Questioning Jewish Progressive Wisdom

November 02, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 There is an element of truth in the above…

There is an element of truth in the above…

By Gilad Atzmon

Earlier this week the Jewish Forward reported on Monday’s counter-Trump demonstration in Pittsburgh.

“They came in their thousands, singing Jewish songs and folksy protest anthems … (they were) holding signs denouncing Donald Trump as ‘President Hate.’”

I think it is not a clever move for leftist Jewish groups to declare that Trump is to blame for the terror attack in Pittsburgh. In fact, some might see it as irresponsible, and a response that could easily provoke further harassment and violence.

Most disturbing to me about the Jewish progressives’ response to Trump’s visit was the blunt dishonesty reflected in the signs and announcements of the protestors and organisers.

According to the Forward one sign read,

“you know who else was a nationalist? Hitler.”

Hitler was indeed a nationalist but so was Churchill, Gandhi, Herzl and even the 52% of the Brits who voted for Brexit. Nationalism isn’t the problem: Racism is.  Accordingly, we tend to believe that it was racism that drove Hitler’s discriminatory ideology. But the ‘progressive’  Jewish groups who opposed Trump this week aren’t free of racism. They themselves are operating as racially exclusive political groups. I have said it many times before. I struggle to see a categorical difference between Aryans only and Jews only clubs. To me, both are equally racist.

“Speakers from Bend the Arc, the progressive Jewish group that organised the march, castigated Trump and what they saw as his complicity in the attack, allegedly perpetrated by an anti-Semite who shared Trump’s anti-refugee views.”

It is comforting to learn that  Jewish progressives support some refugees; do they also support the Palestinian refugees?

Israel has prevented the ethnically cleansed Palestinians from returning  to their land for more than 70 years.  The Jewish State’s record on refugees and asylum seekers is appalling. But it seems the progressive Jews at Bend the Arc have little to say about that. I searched Bend the Arc’s web site and didn’t find any denouncements of the Jewish State’s anti refugee policies.  Maybe in the Jewish progressive universe one rule applies to the Jewish State and another rule to the sea of Goyim.

Noticeably,  the Bend the Arc event was not the only protest in town: A previous rally event had been held nearby, organized by the leftist Jewish group IfNotNow in collaboration with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and other groups.

“We know Trump is responsible for violence in our city,” IfNotNow and DSA organizer Arielle Cohen told the Forward. “ Trump has been the enabler-in-chief.” I fail to see the evidence that supports Cohen’s strongly worded accusations. And I wonder whether the decision makers at IfNotNow and JVP grasp the danger they may inflict on their communities by making such provocative accusations.

It is interesting to contrast this reaction to that of the members of the African American congregation that was targeted in 2015 by Dylann Roof, a self-professed racist shooter, who killed 9 people who had invited him into their bible study. After the shooting, Mr. Roof was unrepentant but the reaction of the victims and their families contrasts sharply with the progressive reaction to the Pittsburg massacre.

At Mr. Roof’s bond hearing, the victim’s relatives spoke directly to Roof. “You took something very precious from me”  Nadine Collier, the daughter of Ethel Lance said. “But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul.”

“I acknowledge that I am very angry,” said the sister of DePayne Middleton-Doctor. “But one thing that DePayne … taught me that we are the family that love built. We have no room for hating, so we have to forgive. I pray God on your soul.”

Each speaker offered Roof forgiveness and said they were praying for his soul, even as they described the pain of their losses. Not one speaker blamed political leaders or anti Black sentiment. They correctly saw Roof as the culprit, even as they compassionately prayed for him. There is much to admire in the congregation’s reaction. It was the opposite of inflammatory, intended to calm the situation.

If the goal is to unite America, to bridge the divide and calm things down, probably equating your president with Hitler and accusing him of the hate crimes of others is the worst possible path to choose.

 

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Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories – Book Review

The Biggest Prison on Earth: a History of the Occupied Territories

 

The Biggest Prison on Earth – A History of the Occupied Territories, by Ilan Pappe. (Photo: File)

By Jim Miles

(The Biggest Prison on Earth – A History of the Occupied Territories.  Ilan Pappe.  Oneworld Publications, London, 2018)

The history of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine is continued with Ilan Pappe’s recent work, The Biggest Prison on Earth.  For those who have read Pappe’s earlier histories, it is clear the original Zionists recognized the existence of the Palestinian population and the resistance most likely to rise from it.  Also recognized are the actions taken throughout the occupation and settlement that the Jewish settlers were intent on marginalizing, displacing, and cleaning as much of Palestine as they could of its residents.

The revelation in this continuation of the history is the high degree to which these policies were officially planned and ready for action starting up to four years before the 1967 six day pre-emptive war against the Arab states.  The details of control, the laws, and institutions necessary to contain the Palestinian population and to try and force it into exile were developed before the war started – and implemented immediately afterward. These rules and regulations essentially made all occupied areas into large open-air prisons.

Pappe argues that the term “occupation” is invalid for two main reasons:  first, it is not a temporary situation; and it denies 80 percent of the Palestinian Mandate.  I understood the latter to recognize that in reality all of the British controlled Mandate is occupied by Jewish settlers.   Israel is in its entirety a colonial settler society and not an occupying power: it is permanent and it practices ethnic cleansing.

Demographics above all plays a major role in Palestine.  With the 1967 war about to start, the Israeli’s recognized they were absorbing an even larger demographic deficit by acquiring the new territories.  The means to control the situation domestically and with foreign countries was important, and most importantly was the support of the U.S. politically, militarily, and financially.  The goal, apart from completely eliminating the Palestinians, was to hold territory without annexing it and preventing any contiguous Palestinian control. The book works through the political discussions before and after the war, and then through the different periods leading up to the Oslo Accords.

The Oslo Accords fit perfectly into the Israeli plans of never intending to create a Palestinian state.  Domestically, the PLO and Fatah were not only sidelined but with the creation of the Palestinian Authority and the three zones of control in the West Bank, essentially became partners in crime.    Internationally, the politicians talked, and talked some more while more and more settlements were established in the newly occupied zones…and the international community accepted the ploy.

Pappe also takes the reader through the two Intifadas and the various onslaughts/punishments handed out to Gaza.  In sum, Gaza has served as a maximum security prison, without recourse to any international recognition except for a few moments when the assaults killed large numbers of women and children.   It has served in some respects as a training ground and munitions testing site for the Israeli army highlighting mostly what the world should know about its complete lack of morality and its general lack of on ground fighting efficiency.

Israel never intended from the start to do more than nod their collective heads and continue on with their well-planned zones of military control.  The Biggest Prison on Earth – A History of the Occupied Territories is essential reading in order to help complete the overall picture of Israeli intransigence in regards to international law and international human rights standards and their callous subjugation of the Palestinian people.

– Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews to Palestine Chronicles.  His interest in this topic stems originally from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and economic subjugation of the global community and its commodification by corporate governance and by the American government.

Robert Faurisson and the Study of the Past

October 23, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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The history of ideas provides us with the names of those few men and women who challenged the boundaries of tolerance.  Professor Robert Faurisson was one such man. Faurisson, who died last Sunday at age 89, was a French academic who didn’t believe in the validity of parts of the Holocaust narrative. He argued that gas chambers in Auschwitz were the “biggest lie of the 20th century,” and contended that deported Jews had died of disease and malnutrition. Faurisson also questioned the authenticity of the Diary of Anne Frank many years before  the Swiss foundation that holds the copyright to the famous diary “alerted publishers that her father (Otto Frank) is not only the ‘editor’ but also legally the ‘co-author’ of the celebrated book” (NY Times).

In the France of the late 1960s-1970s Faurisson had  reason to believe that his maverick attitude toward the past would receive a kosher pass. He was wrong. Faurisson may have failed to grasp the role of the Holocaust in contemporary Jewish politics and culture. And he did not grasp that Jewish power is literally the power to silence opposition to Jewish power. 

In 1990 France made holocaust revisionism into the crime of  history denial.  Faurisson was repeatedly prosecuted, beaten and fined for his writings. He was dismissed from his academic post at Lyon University in 1991.

I am bothered by the question of why Jews and others  attached to their politics are desperate to restrict the story of their past. This question extends far beyond the holocaust. Israel has enacted a law that bans discussion of the Nakba – the racially motivated ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people that occurred a mere three years after the liberation of Auschwitz. Similarly, exploring the role of Jews in the slave trade will cost your job or lead to your expulsion from the labour party. My attempt to analyse the true nature of the Yiddish Speaking International Brigade in the 1936 Spanish Civil War outraged some of my Jewish ‘progressive’ friends.

Jean-François Lyotard addressed this question.  History may claim to relate what actually occurred, but what it does more often is operate to conceal our shame. The task of an authentic historian is, according to Lyotard, similar to that of the psychoanalyst. It is all about removing layers of shame, concealment and suppression to try to uncover the truth.   

It was the work of Faurisson that helped me to define the historical endeavour in philosophical terms.  I define history as the attempt to narrate the past as we move along. To deal with history for real, is to continually re-visit and revise the past in light of our cultural, social and ideological changes. For instance, the 1948 Nakba came to be thought of in terms of ethnic cleansing in the early 2000s when the notion of ‘ethnic cleansing’ entered our vocabulary (and our way of understanding a conflict) following the crisis in Kosovo. The real historian reevaluates the past and embraces adjustments that place our understanding of that past in line with our contemporaneous reality and terminology.

Professor Faurisson and the controversy around his work illuminates the distinction between real history and religion. While history is a vibrant dynamic matter subject to constant ‘revision,’ the religious approach to the past is limited to the production of a rigid unchanging chronicle of events. Authentic history invokes ethical thinking to examine the past in light of the present and vice versa, religious history often operates by denying or rejecting increasing ethical insight – it judges actions and events according to set predefined parameters. The question at stake is not what happened in the past but the freedom to research and evaluate the past without being threatened by ‘history laws.’ In the same manner I support ‘progress’ in cancer research, although I do not  produce scholarly comments on related scientific findings, I support the past being continually re-examined although I offer no  judgment of any kind regarding the validity of those historical findings. For history to be a valid and an ethical universal pursuit, history laws must be abolished.

In 2014 I met Robert Faurisson and discussed with him different questions about the meaning of history and what the past meant to him.

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2e7359

Khan Al-Ahmar Exposes the Misplaced Priorities of the PA and the International Community

Residents of Khan al-Ahmar block Israeli bulldozers to stop the demolition of their village. (Photo: Oren Ziv, Activestills.org)

October 20, 2018

By Ramona Wadi

The Palestinian Authority and the international community made a PR spectacle out of Khan Al-Ahmar and its impending demolition. Suffice to say that when facing human rights violations which are listed as war crimes, protocol is given precedence and the media follows suit. Two recent statements testify to this collective experimentation upon the Palestinian people.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor warned that Khan Al-Ahmar’s demolition would constitute a war crime under the Rome Statute. Fatou Bensouda will, she added, “continue to keep a close eye on the developments on the ground.” It is worth noting that the situation in Palestine has been under preliminary investigation at the ICC since 2015 and the rhetoric remains stagnant in concordance with the bureaucratic procedures that allow war crimes to be committed rather than prevented.

Meanwhile, PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah paid a so-called “solidarity visit” to the threatened village in which verbal distinction between the people and the politicians was blurred.  “Our presence here today in Khan Al-Ahmar carries a message that says we are going to fight to defeat the deal of the century,” Hamdallah declared.

Whose presence was he referring to? The PA’s presence is a symbol devoid of any symbolism, diplomatic or otherwise; it’s an authority without authority. There will be no official PA presence in Khan Al-Ahmar when the Israeli bulldozers roll in and rhetoric about fighting the deal of the century will be spouted forth at another opportune time and place.

While the fate of the Bedouin village has indeed attracted international attention, there is a constant failure to note that all such forced displacements from 1948 onwards are part of Israel’s plan to colonize all of historic Palestine. The insistence on framing this eviction as detrimental only to the two-state compromise is not only inaccurate but also dangerous.

To what extent is Khan Al-Ahmar important to the international community? Is it because there is a commitment to uphold human rights — if so, why are they not being upheld? — or is there some value to be derived from maintaining the clearly obsolete two-state rhetoric? It is not difficult to guess that human rights have little to do with what is happening. This should prompt collective outrage at the international community’s own abuse and exploitation of Palestinian rights depending on whether they concur with the accepted paradigm.

The PA and the international community have tethered Palestinians to future hypothetical support. Furthermore, there is an adamant refusal to view Khan Al-Ahmar’s demolition as another macabre chapter in a long history of forced displacement of the Palestinian people. Historically, the villagers’ struggle is not unique, yet we are forced to view it as an isolated incident.

The difference lies beneath the perception. Palestinian communities targeted with forced displacement are aware of their solitary predicament in relation to the political unraveling of their cause. The PA’s alignment to Israel and the international community, on the other hand, leaves it with little choice other than to continue the charade of allegedly protecting Palestinian rights while failing, more than ever, to find a foothold for its survival beyond what is dictated to, and implemented by, itself as an institution created to defend Israel. Like the international community, PA officials have attempted to tie Khan Al-Ahmar to the two-state delusion in vain, while the community has persisted in its resistance within the framework of historic Palestine.

– Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor, where this article was originally published. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

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Rebel Voice has presented many articles on the Palestine Crisis. The suffering of the people there at the bloodied hands of the Israeli state is the stuff of nightmares. Yet it continues unabated.

Since the arrival of the arch-fascist, Trump, the Israeli regime has become further emboldened, and gods knows they were bad enough beforehand. Conditions in what remains of Palestine are deteriorating at an increased pace. The Israeli policies of Apartheidand ethnic cleansing are designed to bully the indigenous people into leaving the home of their ancestors so that foreigners from Brooklyn and London can squaton the vacated land. It is a crime against humanity and a war crime and recognized as such by the international community, yet the governments do nothing.

The following article provides an overview of all the Palestinians are being forced to face in their daily struggle to survive, as Israel is…

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Why Holocaust Education is Failing?

October 17, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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 By Gilad Atzmon

Despite the vast amount invested in Holocaust education and in spite of the fact that the Holocaust is the only compulsory subject in the British national history curriculum, British pupils seem not to follow the message of the rigid topic. For some reason, they struggle to buy into the primacy of Jewish suffering. They show little interest and learn mostly nothing.  Yesterday’s Tablet Magazine article,  “The Failure of Holocaust Education in Britain”, produced a clumsy attempt to grasp the reason for the failures of Holocaust education.

UCL’s  Centre for Holocaust Education has recently conducted  the ‘world’s largest ever study of its kind, it interviewed over 8,000 pupils aged 11-18 in England. Andy Pearce who work as a researcher at the centre told the Tablet that apparently  25-30 years of Holocaust education “is failing to make an impact.”

Pearce reports that when students were asked who was responsible for the Holocaust, “Hitler dominated the answer.” This is presumably a ‘wrong answer.’ Pearce continues, “Incredibly when we asked them to tell us who the Nazis were, students responded by saying they were ‘Hitler’s minions’ and ‘Hitler’s paratroopers.’” Pearce wasn’t happy with this answer either. “There was no reference to the Nazi Party as a political movement. Students also told the researchers that most Jews were killed in Germany. There was no understanding of collaborating regimes and many believed that mass killing began in 1933.”

Pearce inadvertently provided some crucial insights into the systematic failure of ‘holocaust education.’ While Heidegger taught us that to educate is to teach others how to learn, indoctrination is a very different exercise. It teaches how to produce the ‘right’ answers. The Holocaust, as taught and preached, falls into the domain of indoctrination. It is not a subject matter that is open to discussion or revision. The Holocaust as a subject does not accommodate dilemma or confusion. It is treated like a religious text with a rigid structure that doesn’t allow deviation.

For history to be relevant it must contain a dynamic discourse with present day, historical and contextual connotations. If the Holocaust is to be a vibrant topic that is engaging and enlightening for young enthusiastic minds, then the Holocaust must be placed into a context, such as comparing Auschwitz to Gaza. Nuremberg laws must be juxtaposed with the Israeli National Bill and the Israeli Law of Return. For the Holocaust to win our kids’ attention they must try to address the most difficult of questions: How and why was it that just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz, the newly born Jewish State ethnically cleansed the vast majority of the indigenous Palestinians? For the Holocaust to garner universal interest, it must carry a universal message!

Apparently ‘Holocaust education’ in Britain and in the West in general is dependent on Holocaust survivors. Elli Olmer is an outreach teacher for the Holocaust Education Trust. She told the Tablet, “I love what I do and hope to do it for many years but it all depends on what happens after we lose our survivors.” Despite Israel’s scientific gains in life extending technologies, it seems survivors aren’t going to live forever. Moreover, many survivors complain that their ability to reach young audiences is fading for the obvious reasons. However, their approach that engagement with a chapter in the past can only be reached through personal experience with people who lived through that chapter shows that the Holocaust is understood by these so called ‘educators’ as an a-historical narrative.

Historians revisit Napoleonic wars without depending on ‘meetings’ with survivors of those wars. We believe that we can learn about  the Roman empire without expecting veteran Roman generals to visit our classes. Why then does the Holocaust needs its survivors? Why can’t the Holocaust be taught as a proper historical chapter through analysing texts and documents and encountering some opposing views? Because Holocaust education is driven by political interests and laws requiring such education are passed by means of emotional manipulation. It is there, of course, to serve Israeli and Jewish politics — the Holocaust is the raison d’être behind the Jewish state. But the Holocaust is also used to serve other global political trends such as (im)moral interventionism, pro immigration, anti racism, pro liberalism and so on.

The use of the Holocaust for political ends suggests that British youngsters may actually be more sophisticated than the banal minds that attempt to crudely indoctrinate them into submission. They sense that something about the holocaust education is not ‘straight forward,’ so to say. It is not taught as an open discourse, it is somehow different than other chapters in the past. It isn’t really open to discussion.

As could have been expected, Corbyn and the Labour party are dealt some of the blame. “The current debate over anti-Semitism in Britain’s opposition Labour Party and the views of its leader Jeremy Corbyn have also had a negative impact on Holocaust education in the classroom and made better teacher training even more imperative.”  Apparently, British youngsters do not live in a bubble. “Students now ask about Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism… Two to three years ago I would not have had pupils who would have heard the terms,” a teacher said.

The UCL team also examined what teachers hope to achieve by teaching the Holocaust.  “There is a belief that if we study the Holocaust it will stop it happening again.” The truth of the matter is that  there is more than one  holocaust happening at the moment: Palestine, Libya, Syria just to mention a few. The Holocaust will become a meaningful lesson when it is finally emancipated from the primacy of Jewish suffering and  when we return to empathy and compassion as a basic tenet of our culture. Unfortunately I do not see the Holocaust Education Trust leading us in such a direction.

Surprisingly enough, Mike Levy, a Holocaust educator based in Cambridge, admitted to the Jewish outlet  that there is “an atmosphere of fatigue in the air when it comes to talking about the Holocaust and that students and teachers want to learn more about other genocides and contextualize the Holocaust.” I  agree with Mr. Levy. Let’s expose our kids to Aleppo, Tripoli  and Gaza and show them the crimes that are committed by our own democratically elected governments.  Let them figure out for themselves who are the Nazis of our time.  I believe that this would be the first step in preventing the next Holocaust.

 

Insightfulness and Palestine

October 14, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

Insight refers to the sudden ability to see something in a way that profoundly clarifies our understanding. It allows us to revise our views from a totally new perspective. Insightfulness is an innovative mode. It offers an alternative, out of the box, vision of the world around us. Insightfulness is a key factor in any dynamic and vibrant discourse.

While the so-called revolution is occasionally fueled by ideological or social ‘insight,’ the ‘revolutionaries’ are more often anti insightful by nature.  They spend their energy reducing an ‘insight’ into a fixed regime: a doctrine, a dogma, a strategy, a pile of commandments, a kosher jargon or a list of ‘deplorables.’ While Marx, for instance, offered an insightful materialist vision of our past as well as our human future, Marxists are generally an anti-insightful bunch. Their doctrine reduces Marx’s insights into Torah and Mizvoth, restricting and suppressing creative thinking. So-called ‘revolutionaries’ are too often a collective of  ‘counter-revolutionaries;’ people who do little but kill insightfulness. They identify symbolically with the ‘revolution,’ while they sustain a reality of stagnation. This analysis may assist us in understanding the last 150 years of Left paralysis in the West. It may also explain why it is often fascists who take over precisely when conditions are ripe for a ‘text book’ Marxist revolution.

Observing the evolution of the Palestinian solidarity movement and the growing influence of Jewish bodies within this movement has provided me with the opportunity to monitor a spectacular anti-insightful operation.

For many years I have wondered why the Palestinian solidarity discourse is uniquely anti-intellectual. It basically jettisons critical thinking and acts instead from a rigid activism manual. Instead of advancing our understanding of the essence and the nature of what is responsible for the oppression of the Palestinian people, namely The Jewish State, the movement clings to models that drive us as far as possible from the conflict or a working understanding of its roots. Instead of asking how the Israelis interpret the meaning of their state as the ‘Jewish state’ or trying to understand how the Jewishness of that ‘Jewish state’ influences Israeli politics or its supportive lobby around the world, we cling to moldy 19th century theoretical models (e.g., colonialism) that apply to super power conduct in an industrial era. Instead of comparing the Jewish State to other political models that adhered to expansionism, nationalism, race and ethnic cleansing (Nazi Germany, for instance), we equate Israel with apartheid South Africa.

In truth, Israel is far more vile than apartheid South Africa. Apartheid is a racist system of exploitation, the Jewish state doesn’t want to ‘exploit’ the Palestinians, it wants them gone. Israel is a racially driven, expansionist ethnic cleanser but we are not allowed to study the true nature of its philosophy.

I should feel a bit sorry to point out that the Palestinian solidarity movement is not just ideologically and politically misleading, it is actually misleading by design.

In 2010 I asked Olivia Zemor,  an enthusiastic French Jewish pro Palestinian BDS activist, why she disseminates populist slogans that work to stifle her followers’ ability to understand the roots of the conflict and its possible resolution. Zemor’s answer was shockingly simple: “we have a lot of people who support Palestine, we better keep them busy with simple tasks.”  Perhaps the Palestinian solidarity movement is an intense engagement, but, as we know, it has yet to facilitate the return of a single Palestinian refugee to Jaffa, Lod, Haifa or anywhere else in that unpromising land.  In fact, it is doing the opposite. It keeps people busy with ‘simple tasks’ that divert their attention from the root cause of the conflict. Instead of looking at the exceptionalist and racist orientation that is intrinsic to pretty much every Jewish political discourse, we equate a post modernist  21st century entity  with the modernist politics of the 19th century British empire.  Instead of unconditionally supporting the Right of Return, the movement is basically an endless internal Jewish debate about Jews’ right to BDS.

In the 1990s the Palestinian solidarity movement  engaged in a vibrant innovative discourse that was the basis of an evolutionary mechanism where the most profound thoughts prevailed.  But this changed in the early 2000s when a crude and relentless effort emerged aimed at eradicating any attempt at deep, essentialist, innovative thinking. Insightfulness was replaced by a rigid regime of correctness. The solidarity movement rapidly became an intellectual desert.

Instead of caring for the refugees in Lebanon or Syria, the Palestinian solidarity movement primarily engaged in the  ‘fight against antisemitsm.’  Bizarrely, it was the Palestinian solidarity movement that acted, well in advance of Hasbara pressure groups, to purge those ‘problematic voices’ who were brave enough to call a spade a spade.  This was predictable since it was in the early 2000s that  the Palestinian solidarity movement morphed into a Jewish identitarian discourse. From that point on, the solidarity agenda was defined by Jewish sensitivities.  The solidarity movement didn’t liberate Palestine because it wasn’t meant to. Its real goal was to vindicate the Jews as a collective from the crimes committed  on ‘their behalf’ by the Jewish State.

Throughout this time the so-called ‘Jews in the movement’ (JIM) viciously and ferociously attacked the greatest  minds and most enthusiastic activists who expressed support for Palestine (People like Israel Shamir, Greta Berlin, Richard Falk, Norman Finkelstein, Paul Eisen and Alison Weir).  None of these attacks led to discussion or debate within solidarity institutions, for these institutions have been reduced into authoritarian kangaroo courts.  The attacks were often followed by Talmudic Herem procedures – calls for disavowals and excommunication.

Back in the day, Paul Eisen taught me the iron rule of Jewish politics. “Self identified political Jews,” he said, “always kick to the left.” As long as they do so, they sustain their membership in the fold. Often we learn that a West Bank messianic settler has kicked to Netanyahu’s left. Netanyahu, on his part, kicks the Israeli political centre. The Israel’s Labour Party does the same to the Israeli Left that itself often harshly criticizes Jewish diaspora ‘anti’ Zionist groups. Unfortunately, this dynamic doesn’t stop at the Israeli border. Diaspora self-identified progressive ‘anti’ Zionist Jews follow the same procedure. They smear, denounce and purge those whom they are desperate to silence.

The pattern is clear, to be a (political) Jew is to define the boundaries of kosher conduct. Jews do not agree amongst themselves on what constitutes kosher political conduct, but they do agree on the necessity of boundaries. To be a Jew is to insist that someone else is ‘beyond the pale.’

This  dynamic  manifests itself daily within the Jewish pro  Palestinian movement. The British Jewish group that calls itself “Free Speech on Israel” doesn’t actually support true freedom of speech. It just insists upon redefining the boundaries of such ‘freedom.’ JVP and Mondoweiss often tell us what and who we shouldn’t listen to. When my book The Wandering Who was published in 2012 it rapidly gained popularity amongst Palestinian supporters. Mondoweiss were very quick to react. They changed their comment policy . “From here on out, the Mondoweiss comment section will no longer serve as a forum to pillory Jewish culture and religion as the driving factors in Israeli and US policy.” The Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist site practically banned its followers from talking about the Jewishness of a state that calls itself ‘The Jewish State.’

The same applies to Richard Silverstein and others who are often denounced by Zionists and even anti Zionists  yet still insist upon defining what is right and who is wrong for Palestine.

In light of this Jewish kick boxing apparatus, Goyim are easy to describe. Goyim do not kick to the left nor do they kick to the right.  The most dedicated American journalist on Palestine,  Alison Weir, has never told us what the boundaries of the political discussion are. The Washington Report on  Middle East Affairs has not told us whom we should ignore or disavow. Stephen Mearsheimer also failed to tell us who to delete. And these Goyim are not alone. I have never seen Richard Falk’s repudiation list. Norman Finkelstein is not a fan of my work, but he does not interfere with my or anyone else’s work. The same applies to Chomsky.  Paul Eisen and Israel Shamir who suffered more than most the vile and brutal smear campaigns, have never participated in the Jewish left kicking.

Shamir, Eisen, Finkelstein, Chomsky and Falk may disagree on many things but they share a crucial quality.  Like Uri Avnery R.I.P. and Gideon Levy they do not present a template of kosher boundaries. It is not surprising that these people are amongst the most insightful. They operate as intellectuals. They do not operate politically as Jews. They offer their take on reality and refrain from defining what issues we shouldn’t tackle. They let others be.

In my latest book, Being in Time, I reinstate the discussion about ‘Athens and Jerusalem.’ Athens, as I define it, is the birth place of philosophy, science and beauty. Athens is where ‘we think things through.’ Jerusalem, on the other hand, is the city of revelation, the realm of obedience governed by a strict regime  of correctness. Unfortunately, the Palestinian solidarity movement has been reduced into a ghettoized Jerusalemite sect. But despite this, solidarity with the Palestinians hasn’t died out. It has grown into a universal global awareness. By now, we are all Palestinians, Like the Palestinians we can’t even utter the name of our oppressor.

It was not the so called ‘solidarity movement’ that made us Palestinians. It is the IHRA definition of antisemitsm that makes us Palestinians. It is the global campaign against Corbyn and the Labour party that has made us feel like refugees in our own country. It is Trump making Israel great again that made us Gazans. It is the realization that Zionist abuse is a multi layered  global  disaster. It is the understanding that if we won’t wake up and soon, we may be next to bear the consequences.

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To learn how we have become our own worst enemy read Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto…

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

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