Gilad Atzmon Needs Your Immediate Support!

March 16, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Support Gilad.jpg

I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Campaign Against Antisemitsm’s chairman Gideon Falter. I have made the decision to fight this crucial battle for freedom of expression even though this fight poses a real risk of bankrupting me and my family.

I choose to fight their suit because I believe that the CAA and its chairman and its use of libel laws pose a danger to freedom of speech and the future of this country as an open society. Enough is enough!

Mr. Falter has sued me for comments I made on my own website.

My comments were made in the context of expressing my opinion about the situation where, last July, The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) attested that there had been no increase in anti-Semitism in Britain, and Gideon Falter and the CAA refused to accept the CPS’s verdict. Falter and the CAA insisted that anti Semitism was on the rise. Sky news reported on the discrepancies between the findings of CPS and the CAA.

I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Campaign Against Antisemitsm’s chairman Gideon Falter. I have made the decision to fight this crucial battle for freedom of expression even though this fight poses a real risk of bankrupting me and my family.

I choose to fight their suit because I believe that the CAA and its chairman and its use of libel laws pose a danger to freedom of speech and the future of this country as an open society. Enough is enough!

Mr. Falter has sued me for comments I made on my own website.

My comments were made in the context of expressing my opinion about the situation where, last July, The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) attested that there had been no increase in anti-Semitism in Britain, and Gideon Falter and the CAA refused to accept the CPS’s verdict. Falter and the CAA insisted that anti Semitism was on the rise. Sky news reported on the discrepancies between the findings of CPS and the CAA.

I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Campaign Against Antisemitsm’s chairman Gideon Falter. I have made the decision to fight this crucial battle for freedom of expression even though this fight poses a real risk of bankrupting me and my family.

I choose to fight their suit because I believe that the CAA and its chairman and its use of libel laws pose a danger to freedom of speech and the future of this country as an open society. Enough is enough!

Mr. Falter has sued me for comments I made on my own website.

My comments were made in the context of expressing my opinion about the situation where, last July, The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) attested that there had been no increase in anti-Semitism in Britain, and Gideon Falter and the CAA refused to accept the CPS’s verdict. Falter and the CAA insisted that anti Semitism was on the rise. Sky news reported on the discrepancies between the findings of CPS and the CAA.

My article focused on the choice examined by Sky News between two accounts, one maintained by Falter and the CAA, an NGO that is dedicated to prosecuting antisemitism with “zero tolerance”, and the judicial approach of the CPS: a public body, subject to scrutiny and committed to impartiality.

My comments about the CAA are the basis of their lawsuit. I believe that I have the right to express my opinions on my own website: freedom of political expression is at the heart of freedom of speech. Mr. Falter claims that my criticisms of him do not amount to an opinion at all, and is seeking an order that would stop me from saying anything similar about him again, as well as paying him huge sums in libel damages and legal costs.

The CAA has contacted Jazz venues, community centres, concert halls and even overseas companies demanding that my events be cancelled. They have now escalated this battle and if they win this will ruin me financially.

I can not fund my defence alone.  I am obliged to ask every peace loving human being who cares about freedom and ethics for funds to help me defend this case. Fighting  this battle may cost tens of thousands of pounds. I am going to need some four figure donations to find the ludicrous amount required. But every single penny mounts up and please do give something.

If you have ever enjoyed my writing – join the fight. If you don’t agree with me yet support freedom of speech – my fight is your fight. If you support the right to point at the truth without being labeled ant-Semitic – this lawsuit is the battle ground,   my fight is your fight.

I appreciate any help you can give.


How Zionist is the New World Order? and How Biblical Is Zionism?

March 13, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon


GA: If Zionism was intially all about the ‘promised land’, Neoconservatism stands for the shift towards a ‘promised planet.’ How do we bridge the gap between the nationalistic aspiration and the  globalist agenda?   From Yahweh to Zion by  Laurent Guyénot offers some interesting answers. Guyénot doesn’t attempt to tell us what Yahweh is but instead what the notion of Yahweh represents within the contexts of Judaism, jewish culture, Jewish politics and Jewish identification.  Guyénot’s offers a  very important contribution. I hope that is books are made of fire resistant materials.      

How Zionist is the New World Order? and How Biblical Is Zionism?

Laurent Guyénot

Editor’s note: In these two articles, historian Laurent Guyénot explores questions that you are not even supposed to ask…much less actually think about. Those of us who still read, and think, are grateful.  –Kevin BarrettVeterans Today Editor

How Zionist is the New World Order?

by Laurent Guyénot, first published at Vinyard of the Saker

Laurent Guyénot is the author of From Yahweh to Zion: Jealous God, Chosen People, Promised Land … Clash of Civilizations, 2018.  ($30 shipping included from Sifting and Winnowing, POB 221, Lone Rock, WI 53556).

The Zionist paradox

Jewishness is full of paradoxes. For example, remarked Nahum Goldmann, founder and longtime president of the World Jewish Congress: “Even today it is hardly possible to say whether to be a Jew consists first of belonging to a people or practicing a religion, or the two together” (The Jewish Paradox, 1976)[1]. The answer has always depended on the circumstances. Another paradox is the relationship of Jewishness to both tribalism and universalism: Israelis, “the most separatist people in the world,” in Goldmann’s words again, “have the great weakness of thinking that the whole world revolves around them.”[2]

This great weakness is, of course, a great strength, and so is the ambiguity of Jewishness. It has served Israel—a secular “Jewish state”— very well. Theodor Herzl thought of Zionism on the model of European nationalistic movements, lobbying for the right of the Jews to become a nation among nations. But everyone can see now that Israel is no ordinary nation. It never was and never will be. It is the paradoxical nation.

Part of the ambiguity comes from the very name Israel, which already had a twofold meaning before 1948: it referred to an ancient kingdom supposedly founded in the first millennium BCE, and destroyed by the Romans in the first century CE. But for the following two thousand years, Israel was also a common designation for the Jewish community worldwide, “international Jewry” as some call it. That was the meaning of “Israel”, for example, when the British Daily Express of March 24, 1933 printed on its front page: “The whole of Israel throughout the world is united in declaring an economic and financial war on Germany.”[3] The members of Israel were then called Israelites interchangeably with Jews. Although quite contradictory in terms, the two notions (national Israel and international Israel) have been conflated by the 1948 Law of Return, which made every Israelite of the globe a virtual Israeli.

Today, Zionism has shifted into a kind of meta-Zionism where the greatest number of the Israeli elite—including individuals with no stamped Israeli citizenship but a profound loyalty to the Jewish state—reside outside Israel. Some of them hold key positions in state administrations, particularly in the United States. As Gilad Atzmon remarks, “there is no geographical center to the Zionist endeavor. It is hard to determine where Zionist decisions are made”; “the Israelis colonize Palestine and the Jewish Diaspora is there to mobilize lobbies by recruiting international support.”[4] The neoconservatives—“an intellectual movement in America to whose invention Jews can lay sole claim,” as correctly assessed the Jewish Daily Forward[5] — are the most influential group of Diaspora Jews dedicated to Israel. They are no conservatives in the traditional sense, but rather crypto-Likudniks posturing as American patriots in order to align US foreign and military policies with the Greater Israel agenda—high-level sayanim, so to speak (read John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, 2008).

Their mentor Leo Strauss, in his 1962 lecture “Why We Remain Jews,” declared himself an ardent supporter of the State of Israel but rejected the idea that Israel as a nation should be contained within borders; Israel, he argued, must retain her specificity, which is to be everywhere.[6] Indeed, this paradoxical nature of Israel is vital to its existence: although its stated purpose is to welcome all the Jews of the world, the state of Israel would collapse if it achieved this goal. It is unsustainable without the support of international Jewry. Therefore, Israel needs every Jew of the world to define his/her Jewishness as loyalty to Israel. Ever since 1967, the hearts of an increasing number of American Jews began to beat secretly, and then more and more openly, for Israel. Reform Judaism, which had originally declared itself to be exclusively religious and opposed to Zionism, soon rationalized this new situation by a 1976 resolution affirming: “The State of Israel and the Diaspora, in fruitful dialogue, can show how a People transcends nationalism while affirming it, thus establishing an example for humanity.”[7]

How do they both affirm and transcend nationalism? The biblical way. The Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, is the unalterable prototype of Jewish history: everything that follows the fall of the Hasmonean kingdom has to be biblical—the Holocaust, for example. Inevitably, Jewish nationalism, or patriotic love for Israel, resonates with the destiny of Israel as outlined in the Bible: “Yahweh your God will raise you higher than every other nation in the world” (Deuteronomy 28:1). Every nation is a narration, and Israel’s narrative pattern is cast into the Hebrew Bible. To love Israel is to love Israel’s biblical story, no matter of how mythical it is. And through biblical prophecy, the vision of the past becomes the vision the future: Solomon’s empire will come to pass.

That is why Zionism was never an ordinary form of nationalism, nor can Israel ever be a “nation like others.” The paradoxical nature of Israel is best embodied by its founding father Ben-Gurion: a secular Jew who saw himself as a new Joshua,[8] hoped for “the restoration of the kingdom of David and Solomon,”[9] and prophesized that Jerusalem will be “the seat of the Supreme Court of Mankind, to settle all controversies among the federated continents, as prophesied by Isaiah.”[10]Let us be fair and assume that Ben-Gurion was simply referring to Isaiah’s prophecy that “the Law will issue from Zion” and that Yahweh will “judge between the nations and arbitrate between many peoples” (2:3-4), not to the Second Isaiah’s prophecy that Israel “will feed on the wealth of nations” (61:6), and that nations who do not serve Israel “will be utterly destroyed” (60:12).[11] Ben-Gurion’s vision lives on: a 2003 “Jerusalem Summit” attended by three acting Israeli ministers including Benjamin Netanyahu and many American neoconservatives including Richard Perle, affirmed that “one of the objectives of Israel’s divinely-inspired rebirth is to make it the center of the new unity of the nations, which will lead to an era of peace and prosperity, foretold by the Prophets.”[12] Zionists have always been in love with the Bible.

Such are the geopolitical implications of the Jewish paradox: Zionism cannot be a mere nationalistic aspiration, as long as it claims to be Jewish, for “Jewish” means “biblical”. And more than two thousand years ago, the ancient prophets had bent over the cradle of Israel to predestine it as “a nation above other nations.” Israel carries in its biblical genes the plan for a world order headquartered in Jerusalem. I’m not talking about a secret conspiracy here: the Jewish plan to rule the world has been plainly outlined in the global bestseller for more than two thousand years. If most people in the Christian world don’t see it, it is because it is right under their nose. Christians claim that the Jews don’t read their Bible correctly, or that they got their Zionism from the Talmud or the Kabbalah. Both claims are pitiful attempts to exonerate the Old Testament from the Zionist catastrophe: the Hebrew Bible was written by Jews for the Jews, and I have never heard a Zionist quote the Talmud or the Kabbalah, whereas they quote the Bible every day.

The prophetic spirit that inspired Isaiah long ago has been very active since the beginning of the 20th century. It spoke through religious leaders like Kaufmann Kohler, a leading figure of American Reformed Judaism, who wrote in his major work on Jewish Theology (New York, 1918) that “Israel, the suffering Messiah of the centuries, shall at the end of days become the triumphant Messiah of the nations.”[13] And it spoke through secular thinkers like Alfred Nossig, a Zionist who collaborated with the Gestapo in the Warsaw ghetto for the emigration of selected Jews to Palestine, who wrote in his Integrales Judentum (Berlin, 1922):

“The Jewish community is more than a people in the modern political sense of the word. It is the repository of a historically global mission, I would say even a cosmic one, entrusted to it by its founders Noah and Abraham, Jacob and Moses. [. . .] The primordial conception of our ancestors was to found not a tribe but a world order destined to guide humanity in its development.”[14]

The Feuerbachan approach

The paradoxical nature of Jewishness (combining separatism and universalism), which is reflected in the ambiguous nature of Zionism (combining nationalism and internationalism), is ultimately linked to the Jewish conception of God. Is the biblical Yahweh the national god of Israel or the universal God of humankind? Let’s search for an answer into the Book of Ezra, the paradigmatic episode for the Jewish colonization of Palestine. It begins with an edict of the Persian king Cyrus, which says:

Yahweh, the God of Heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has appointed me to build him a Temple in Jerusalem, in Judah. […] Let [every Jew] go up to Jerusalem, in Judah, and build the Temple of Yahweh, the God of Israel, who is the God in Jerusalem” (Ezra 1:2–3).

Here Cyrus speaks in the name of “the God of Heaven” while authorizing the Judean exiles to build a temple to “the God of Israel […] the God in Jerusalem.” We understand that both phrases refer to the same God, called Yahweh in both instances, but the duality is significant. It is repeated in the Persian edict authorizing the second wave of return. It is now Artaxerxes, “king of kings,” who switches from the “God of Heaven” to “your God” or “the God of Israel who resides in Jerusalem” when addressing Ezra (7:12–15). The phrase “God of Heaven” appears one more time in the book of Ezra, and that is again in the edict of another Persian king: Darius confirms Cyrus’s edict and recommends that the Israelites “may offer sacrifices acceptable to the God of Heaven and pray for the life of the [Persian] king and his sons” (6:10). Elsewhere the book of Ezra only refers to the “God of Israel” (four times), “Yahweh, the God of your fathers” (once), and “our God” (ten times). In other words, according to the author of the book of Ezra, only the kings of Persia see Yahweh as “the God of Heaven” (a fiction, of course: for Persians, the God of Heaven meant Ahura Mazda) while for the Jews he is primarily the “God of Israel”. That is the deepest secret of Judaism, and the key to Jews’ relationship to universalism and to the nations: success rests on their ability to make Gentiles believe that the national god of Israel residing in the Jerusalem Temple is the God of Heaven who happens to have a preference for Israel.

The misunderstanding led to a public scandal in 167 CE, when the Hellenistic emperor Antiochos IV dedicated the temple in Jerusalem to Zeus Olympios, the supreme God. He was simply expressing the idea that Yahweh and Zeus were two names for the supreme cosmic God, the Heavenly father of all mankind. But the Jewish Maccabees who led the rebellion against him knew better: Yahweh may be the Supreme God, but He is Jewish. Only Jews are intimate with Him, and any way the Pagans worship Him is an abomination.

So is Yahweh God, or just the god of Israel? Why should we care? Well, let’s call it the Feuerbachan approach to the Jewish question. In his famous work The Essence of Christianity(1841), which was to influence greatly Karl Marx, Ludwig Feuerbach sees the universal God as “the deified and objectified spiritual essence of man”: theology is anthropology in disguise, and “The consciousness of God is the self-consciousness of man.” But if we regard the biblical Yahweh as a creation of Jews alone, rather than humanity at large, then we can consider him as a personification of the national character of the Jewish people—or, more correctly, a reflexion of the mentality of the Jewish elite who invented Yahweh.

It is known to biblical scholars that, in the oldest strata of the Bible, Yahweh appears as a national, ethnic god, not the supreme God of the Universe. “For all peoples go forward, each in the name of its god, while we go forward in the name of Yahweh our god for ever and ever” (Micah 4:5)[15]. “I am the god of your ancestors,” Yahweh says to Moses (Exodus 3:6), who is then mandated to declare to his people, “Yahweh, the god of your ancestors, has appeared to me,” urging them to talk to Pharaoh in the name of “Yahweh, the god of the Hebrews” (3:16–18). The Hebrews chant after the miracle of the Red Sea engulfing Pharaoh and his army, “Yahweh, who is like you, majestic in sanctity, among the gods?” (15:11).[16] And in Canaan, a Hebrew chief declares to an enemy king: “Will you not keep as your possession whatever Chemosh, your god, has given you? And, just the same, we shall keep as ours whatever Yahweh our god has given us, to inherit from those who were before us!” (Judges 11:24).[17] In all these verses, Yahweh is an ethnic or national god among others.

What sets him apart from other tribal gods of his kind is possessive exclusivism: “You shall have no other gods to rival me” (Exodus 20:3); “I shall set you apart from all these peoples, for you to be mine” (Leviticus 20:26). This is the justification for strict endogamy: it is forbidden to marry one’s children to a non-Jew, “for your son would be seduced from following me into serving other gods” (Deuteronomy 7:4).

Yahweh is known as “the Jealous One” (Exodus 20:5 and 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24, 5:9, and 6:15). But jealousy is an euphemism for outright sociopathy, because what Yahweh demands from his people is not just exclusivity of worship, but the destruction of their neighbors’ shrines: “Tear down their altars, smash their standing-stones, cut down their sacred poles and burn their idols” (Deuteronomy 7:5). Judean kings are judged on the unique criterion of their obedience to that precept. Hezekiah, whose disastrous policy of confrontation with Assyria led to a shrinking of the country, is praised for having done “what Yahweh regards as right,” namely abolishing the “high places” (2 Kings 18:3–4). His son Manasseh, whose 50-year reign is known to historians as a time of peace and prosperity, is blamed for having done “what is displeasing to Yahweh, copying the disgusting practices of the nations whom Yahweh had dispossessed for the Israelites” (2 Kings 21:2). Manasseh’s son Amon is no better. Josiah, on the other hand, proved worthy of his great-great-grandfather Hezekiah, by removing from the temple “all the cult objects which had been made for Baal, Asherah and the whole array of heaven. […] He exterminated the spurious priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed and who offered sacrifice on the high places, in the towns of Judah and the neighborhood of Jerusalem; also those who offered sacrifice to Baal, to the sun, the moon, the constellations and the whole array of heaven” (2 Kings 23:4–5).

It is ironic that Yahweh, originally a minor tribal god, should compete with the great Baal for the status of supreme God, as when Elijah challenges 450 prophets of Baal in a holocaust contest, which ends up with the slaughter of them all (1Kings 18). In ancient Syria, Baal Shamem, the “Heavenly Lord,” was identified as the God of Heaven and honored by all peoples except the Jews.[18] The goddess Asherah, whom Yahweh loathed even more, was the Great Divine Mother worshipped throughout the Middle East. In Mesopotamia, she went under the name of Ishtar, while in the Hellenistic era, she was assimilated to the Egyptian goddess Isis. The Hebrews themselves called her “Queen of Heaven” and turned to her in times of trouble, to the dismay of their priest and prophet Jeremiah, who threatened them with Yahweh’s exterminating wrath (Jeremiah 44).

Historians of religion tell us that Yahweh was still a national god at a time when the notion of a supreme God was widespread. When and how the Levites declared the god of Israel to be the true and only God is not entirely settled, but it is generally admitted that it happened shortly before the time of Ezra, when the Book of Genesis was composed (with much borrowing from Mesopotamian and Persian myths). The process is easy to imagine, for it follows the cognitive logic of a narcissistic sociopath among the community of gods: from the commandment of exclusive worship and the destruction of other gods’ shrines, it is a small step to the denial of the very existence of other gods; and if Yahweh is the only existing god, he must be “The God.”

A curious story about King Hezekiah can serve as an illustration of this process. The Assyrian king threatens Hezekiah in the following manner, explicitly identifying Yahweh as the national god of Israel:

“Do not let your god on whom you are relying deceive you with the promise: ‘Jerusalem will not fall into the king of Assyria’s clutches’ […] Did the gods of the nations whom my ancestors devastated save them?”

Hezekiah then goes up to the Temple and offers the following prayer:

“It is true, Yahweh, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations, they have thrown their gods on the fire, for these were not gods but human artifacts—wood and stone—and hence they have destroyed them. But now, Yahweh our god, save us from his clutches, I beg you, and let all the kingdoms of the world know that you alone are God, Yahweh” (2 Kings 19:10–19).

So here we witness how Yahweh was promoted from the status of a national god to that of universal God by the prayer of a devout king. In response to that prayer, according to the biblical story, “the angel of Yahweh went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp,” then struck their king by the hand of his sons (19:35–37). Pure fiction: the Assyrian annals tell us that in reality, Hezekiah paid tribute to the Assyrian king. Which proves that Hezekiah’s claim was deceptive.


The exclusive monotheism demanded by Yahweh is a degraded imitation of that inclusive monotheism toward which all the wisdoms of the ancient world converged by affirming the fundamental unity of all gods. As Egyptologist Jan Assmann emphasizes, the polytheisms of the great civilizations were cosmotheisms, insofar as the gods, among other functions, form the organic body of the world. Such a conception naturally led to a form of inclusive or convergent monotheism, compatible with polytheism: all gods are one, as the cosmos is one.[19] The notion of the unity of the divine realm naturally connects with the notion of a supreme God, creator of heaven and earth, enthroned atop a hierarchy of deities emanating from him—a concept familiar to Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, and most ancient philosophers. The exclusive and revolutionary monotheism that the Yahwist priests crafted for their own benefit is of a totally different kind: it is, in fact, the exact opposite of the inclusive and evolutionary monotheism of neighboring peoples.

From the historical perspective, it is not the Creator of the Universe who decided, at some point, to become the god of Israel; rather, it is the god of Israel who, at some point, was declared the Creator of the Universe by the Levites and their scribes. The Jewish conception of Yahweh parallels that historical process: for the Jews, Yahweh is primarily the god of Jews, and secondarily the Creator of the Universe. This is what Maurice Samuel kindly tried to tell us in You Gentiles(1924): “In the heart of any pious Jew, God is a Jew.” “We [Jews] and God grew up together,” that is why “we need a world of our own, a God-world, which it is not in your nature to build.”[20]

And so the paradoxical nature of Yahweh is, in reality, a deception. The idea that the Heavenly Father of humankind, somewhere in the second millennium BCE, chose a particular people and ordered them to dispossess and slaughter other peoples is, any way we look at it, an outrageous absurdity. The fact that billions of people have believed it for thousands of years makes no difference. Or rather, that is the problem: many peoples throughout history have believed themselves to have been chosen by God, but only the Jews have managed to convince others that they have. That has turned this outrageous absurdity into the most devastating idea in world history.

The deceptive nature of biblical monotheism is the key to understanding traditional Jewish attitude to universalism. For the Jewish conception of God is reflected in the Jewish conception of Humanity. Just like their tribal god speaks of himself—through his prophets—as the God of humankind, Jewish communitarian thinkers speak of Jewishness as the essence of humanity: Judaism constitutes a “particularism that conditions universality” so that “there is an obvious equation between Israel and the Universal”; in other words, “Israel equals humanity” (Emmanuel Levinas, Difficult Freedom: Essays on Judaism, 1990).[21] It is almost always in reference to their Jewishness that such opinion makers, who are often ardent Zionists, proclaim themselves universalists: see for example how Rabbi Joachim Prinz, a German Zionist who in 1934 had applauded the Nazi state for being “built upon the principle of the purity of nation and race,” declared in 1963, as chairman of the American Jewish Congress, that he supported the African-American civil rights movement “as a Jew.”[22] “Jewish universalism” is a contradiction in terms and therefore necessarily deceptive. It is self-deception in the case of most Jews, who believe what they have been taught by their representative elites ever since the Haskalah: that there is no contradiction in being a tribalist at home and a universalist in the street—provided that, in each of their universalist stand, they do not lose sight of the important question: “Yes, but is it good for the Jews?”[23] Of course, there are many remarkable exceptions: Jews who have broken through the mental “Jewish prison” (as Jewish journalist Jean Daniel calls it)[24] to reach for some universal truths. I call it the genius of the escapee.

Ultimately, the deceptive nature of both biblical monotheism and Jewish universalism is a key to unraveling the Zionist paradox: nationalism and internationalism go hand in hand in Israel’s destiny, because Israel is, fundamentally, a biblical and therefore universal project. For the Jewish cognitive elites who determine Jewish public opinion to a large extent, the New World Order is an ancient et eternal idea. It is Israel’s destiny carved in the Bible. It is inherent to Jewishness.

  1. Nahum Goldmann, Le Paradoxe juif. Conversations en français avec Léon Abramowicz, Stock, 1976 ( 9. 
  2. Nahum Goldmann, Le Paradoxe juif, op. cit., p. 6, 31. 
  3. Alison Weir, Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel, 2014, k. 3280–94. 
  4. Gilad Atzmon, The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics, Zero Books, 2011, pp. 21, 70. 
  5. Gal Beckerman, Jewish Daily Forward, January 6, 2006, quoted in Stephen Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel, Enigma Edition, 2008, p. 26. 
  6. Leo Strauss, “Why We Remain Jews,” in Shadia Drury, Leo Strauss and the American Right, St. Martin’s Press, 1999, pp. 31–43. 
  7. Quoted in Kevin MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism, Praeger, 1998, kindle edition 2013k. 5463–68. 
  8. Dan Kurzman, Ben-Gurion, Prophet of Fire, Touchstone, 1983, pp. 17–22. 
  9. As he declared before the Knesset in 1956, quoted in Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, Pluto Press, 1994, p. 10. 
  10. David Ben-Gurion and Amram Duchovny, David Ben-Gurion, In His Own Words, Fleet Press Corp., 1969, p. 116 
  11. All Bible quotes are taken from the Catholic New Jerusalem Bible, which has not altered the divine name YHWH into “the Lord,” as most other English translations have done for unscholarly reasons. 
  12. Official website: 
  13. Kaufmnann Kohler, Jewish Theology, Systematically and Historically Considered, Macmillan, 1918 (, p. 290. 
  14. Alfred Nossig, Integrales Judentum, Interterritorialer Verlag, 1922, pp. 1–5 (on 
  15. Most translations use a uppercase for the “God of Israel”, and a lowercase for other national gods, but ancient Hebrew does not distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters, so here, and in further quotes, I have used a lowercase g for all national gods, including Israel’s, and reserved the uppercase G for the One supreme God. 
  16. See also Psalms 89:7. 
  17. Jean Soler, Qui est Dieu?, Éditions de Fallois, 2012, pp. 12–17, 33–37. 
  18. Norman Habel, Yahweh Versus Baal: A Conflict of Religious Cultures, Bookman Associates, 1964, p. 41. 
  19. Jan Assmann, Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism, Harvard University Press, 1998, p. 3.  
  20. Maurice Samuel, You Gentiles, New York, 1924 (, pp. 74–75, 155. 
  21. Online on 
  22. Prinz’s pro-Nazi statements from his 1934 bookWir Juden are quoted in Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, Pluto Press, 1994, p. 86. Prinz’ introduction to King’s “I have a dream” speech on August 28, 1963, beginning with “I speak to you as an American Jew,” is at 
  23. Jonny Geller made this paradigmatic question the title of his humorous book Yes, But Is It Good for the Jews? Bloomsbury, 2006. 
  24. Jean Daniel, La Prison juive. Humeurs et méditations d’un témoin, Odile Jacob, 2003

How Antisemitsm Became Noise

March 09, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon


The charge of ‘antisemitsm’ has become a noise — a whiny repetitive backgr

ound disturbance. We have learned to live with it, to accept that some people are just inherently upset and there is nothing we can do to change them or to help them out.

In Britain various Zionist organisations and media outlets dedicate themselves to threatening the British public. They torment the biggest political party in Europe and its leaders by tossing about their accusations  of ‘antisemitism.’ They crudely interfere with freedom of speech and the basic liberty to choose to oppose Israel and its tribal lobby.

Miraculously, it seems the Brits have become inured to the endless racket. By now they either ignore the constant moan or they are just irritated  with the producers of that perpetual noise. In any case, it is clear that despite their persistent slander of Corbyn, he is more popular than ever. At this point I suspect that it might be more damaging to Corbyn if they were to allege that actually Corbyn is Jewish, perhaps the son of a rabbi.

This week, every Jewish outlet around the world reported that Jeremy Corbyn was an active member of a ‘secret’ Facebook group made up of Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites.

They are referring to a tedious 280-page report released by David Collier, that details supposed ‘anti-Semitic’ and anti-Israel material shared by members of the group. For instance, one member of the group wrote that he had read “Mein Kampf,” and suggested that “Everybody should be forced to read it, especially Jews who have their own agenda as to why they were not liked.” I guess the so-called ‘people of the book’ want to decide what books are qualified for Goyim’s digestion. I take it that Collier & Co do not accept that outside of the Jewish ghetto people like to exchange ideas and may even agree to disagree.

Collier reports that Corbyn posted on the FB group’s wall on a number of occasions. In one comment, he praised the heroic Dr. Mads Gilbert, the Norwegian physician who treated patients in Gaza staying on even as it was subjected to a genocidal attack from Israel. Corbyn wrote  “huge respect” for “my friend” Gilbert and said he would be “delighted to invite him to Westminster.” Perhaps someone will be kind enough to explain to Collier and his brethren in the Jewish press that outside of Golders Green Dr, Gilbert’s actions are how we define humanism and Corbyn’s affectionate attitude toward such a humanist isn’t exactly a ‘crime.’

Britain’s MSM didn’t picked up the story about Corbyn and the secret FB group. It is too boring, and the Brits have had enough of this constant lament.

There is a practical side to this. Although the story tells us nothing about Corbyn and his non existent animosity to Jews, the perpetual  Zionist tantrum does serve to help us grasp Jewish culture and even Jewish history.

Let’s look for instance at Jennifer Gerber, the director of Labour Friends of Israel. She stated, “Mr. Corbyn has repeatedly failed to apologize to the Jewish community and to recognize the hurt caused by his past actions and associations. Now would be a good time for him to do so.”

What does Mrs. Gerber expect Corbyn to apologise for, his support for the oppressed and ethnically cleansed Palestinians? Or that he failed to operate as a FB inquisitor on behalf of the Lobby?  I’ll use this opportunity to point out to Mrs. Gerber that  Corbyn is doing pretty well without issuing such an ‘apology.’ Their actions might even be counterproductive, possibly the more Gerbers and Colliers castigate Corbyn as an ‘anti-Semite’ the more popular he becomes.

Joseph D. Glasman, head of political and government investigations at the ultra Zionist Campaign Against Antisemitism, accused Corbyn of failing to operate as a kosher police force.  “One of Mr. Corbyn’s slogans is ‘standing up, not standing by,’ but in this case he has not stood up but instead he actively joined in.”

In an interview published Thursday, Britain’s former Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, said he would refuse to hold talks with Corbyn until the Labour party showed “clearer signs of resolute action” against anti-Semitism within its ranks.

It is painful to watch a tribe ignore its past and repeat its historical mistakes. Surprisingly, their sole voice of reason is JC editor Stephen Pollard. Writing about his “Jeremy Corbyn dilemma” Pollard states:  “The truth is that we (The JC) could have such a story (Corbyn and his FB friends)  almost weekly. But I am acutely conscious that there is a perverse side to this – that the more it’s reported, and the more we go big on it, the more it is then discounted as just par for the course.”

Somehow  Pollard has sensed Goyim fatigue. Perhaps he can see that the Jewish fascination with ‘victimhood’ has made antisemitsm into white noise. Well done Stephen.

If they want to burn it , you want to read it..

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Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto  ,  and   here  (

Book by Tel Aviv historian Shlomo Sand uncovers “Land of israel” myths


Asa Winstanley


Shlomo Sand is a history professor at Tel Aviv University. His charismatic, readable style was evident in his previous book The Invention of the Jewish People, the English edition of which kicked up quite a controversy in 2009. The title alone seemed designed to shock.

But in fact Sand was arguing a fairly banal truism: there is no such thing as a unified, national “Jewish people.” As a globalized religious community (due to proselytizing before the rise to power of Christianity in the fourth century) there are instead multiple different Jewish communities across the world.

A Jew from Yemen would have no distinctive secular points of reference in common with a Jew from France, Russia or Poland. For example: before Zionist reinvention from the end of the 19th century, Hebrew was a purely liturgical language. Jews from different countries naturally spoke in local languages.

That book was a fascinating journey through centuries of Jewish history, much of it swept under the carpet by Zionist historiography. Sand’s new book, The Invention of the Land of Israel, is essentially a direct sequel, focusing on the nature of an idea central to Zionism: the “Land of Israel” — Eretz Israel in Hebrew.

Sand explains that in Israel, “in the Hebrew-language edition of foreign books, the word ‘Palestine’ is systematically replaced with the words Eretz Israel … Even when the writings of important Zionist figures such as Theodor Herzl, Max Nordau, Ber Borochov and many others [who also used ‘Palestine’] … are translated into Hebrew” (23).

Holy land or homeland?

In the Hebrew Bible (known to Christians as the Old Testament), the geographic area roughly corresponding to the land of Palestine (between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea) is mostly called the “land of Canaan.” The area “never served as a homeland for the ‘children of Israel,’ and for this reason, among others, they never refer to it as ‘the Land of Israel.’” Most Israelis, Sand argues, are not aware that the term is not found in the the Hebrew Bible “in its inclusive meaning” of a wide geographic area (86).

Later Jewish religious law “does feature the debut of the term ‘Land of Israel’ ” but, Sand explains, this was a “holy land” rather than a “homeland” (102). Most Jews did not seek to live there. Philo of Alexandria, a first century Jewish philosopher, lived in Egypt — right next to Palestine. He could have moved to Jerusalem, since both regions were under Roman rule — but instead, like most people, he chose to live and die in his original homeland (96).

Furthermore this Eretz Israel was traditionally considered by mainstream Judaism to be so holy the devout were positively forbidden to move there (183). Even pilgrimage was a rare, and later phenomenon. Between the years 134 and 1099, “we know of no attempts by the followers of rabbinical Judaism to make pilgrimages to the holy city” of Jerusalem (123).

All this stands in stark contrast to the 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence which claims that “the Jewish people … never ceased to pray and hope for their return.” In contrast to this “mythos,” Sand writes: “most of the world’s Jews … did not regard Palestine as their land … they did not strive ‘in every successive generation to reestablish themselves in their ancient homeland’ ” (175).

Ever-shifting borders

“Settlement Zionism, which borrowed the term ‘Land of Israel’ from the Talmud, was not overly pleased with the borders it had been assigned by Jewish law … extending only from Acre to Ashkelon … [it was] not sufficiently contiguous to serve as a national homeland,” argues Sand (214).

He then reviews the history of the ever-shifting definition in Zionist thought of where exactly its “Land of Israel” is — something undeclared till this day.

Early Zionists drew on God’s promise in the book of Genesis to give the mythical patriarch Abram’s children “this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates” in modern day Iraq.

In 1897, the same year as the first Zionist congress, Israel Belkind (“the first practical Zionist”) drew a map: “ ‘The Jordan splits the Land of Israel in two different sections,’ asserted Belkind, whose assessment was subsequently adopted by most [Zionist] settlers of the period” (216).

For the future first prime minister of Israel David Ben Gurion, these borders “were too expansive and untenable, while the borders of the Talmudic commandment were too narrow.” In 1918 he gave his own take: “In the north — the Litani River, between Tyre and Sidon [in Lebanon] … In the east — the Syrian Desert. The eastern border of the Land of Israel should not be precisely demarcated … the Land’s eastern borders will be diverted eastwards, and the area of the Land of Israel will expand” (217).

Not for nothing were the borders of the new state unmentioned in its declaration of independence (233).


Ben Gurion later scaled back this conception, but even mainstream Labor Zionist figure as Yigal Allon would still at times refer to the whole of historic Palestine as the “western Land of Israel” as late as 1979 (237).

There’s also a brilliant chapter on the origins of Christian Zionism in the protestantism of nineteenth-century British imperialists.

Sand stops short of calling for implementing the right of return for Palestinian refugees. His concluding chapter is a history of al-Sheikh Muwannis, the Palestinian village that Israel ethnically cleansed in 1948 and in place of which his own university now stands. Unfortunately, he counterposes removing the university, on the one hand, with the Palestinian refugees never being able to return en masse, on the other — as if those are the only two options (280).

It’s a useful book for debunking Zionist myths, which, due to the legacy of Protestant Christian Zionism in the west are surprisingly resilient. But as Sand’s slightly flaky post-Zionist politics demonstrates, a more realistic knowledge of history doesn’t necessarily translate fully to a rights-based understanding of the Palestinian plight.

Still, there is much to enjoy and learn in the evidence in the potentially incendiary material he assembles here.

Asa Winstanley is an associate editor with The Electronic Intifada, and a journalist in London who has also worked in Palestine.

Shabbatai Zvi : A False Jewish Messiah and the Founder of the Donmeh Sect*

March 01, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon


Dr Jaafar Hadi Hassan

 Shabbatai Zvi is the most famous false messiah in modern Jewish history.  He was born in 1626 in Smyrna (modern Izmir) in Turkey and was one of three brothers.  He was described as handsome and clever.  His father, who was a merchant, wanted him to become a rabbi and when he was old enough he began to study religion with some rabbis in his home town.  While he was studying the normal prescribed books, he was also attracted to the Kabbalah (Jewish esoteric knowledge).  He delved into this subject until he became well versed in it.  When he was about twenty years old he graduated as a rabbi, after which he began to teach some students who subsequently became his disciples and admirers.  Shabbatai would tell them sometimes about his sadness and anger over the Chmielniky massacre against the Jews in the Ukraine which had happened in 1648 and would also tell them about his determination to revenge it.

After a while Shabbatai began to hint to his disciples that he might be the saviour of the Jews and their redeemer (Shabbatai was born on 9th of Ab, in the Jewish calendar which was the same day on which the Jewish messiah was supposed to be born).  Later he began to tell them secretly that he would be the Jewish messiah and would save the Jews.  In the meantime he contracted a marriage but did not consummate it for months and when his wife’s family asked for a divorce he agreed to it.  Some time later he contracted another marriage but did not consummate this either and this marriage also ended in divorce.  Meanwhile his claim to be the future Jewish messiah had reached the rabbis of the town of Izmir and had enraged them.  They decided to summon him and interrogate him, but he refused to attend the meeting.  Because of the trouble he was facing with the rabbis, he decided to leave on tour and go to Greece where there were Jewish communities.  In these places he also gave hints that he was the Messiah.  After some time he returned to his home town Izmir.

Shabbatai was known to suffer from periods of depression followed by an extreme state of elation during which he danced and sang in front of his students and friends. He was also known to have a beautiful voice.  When his brothers became aware of his states of depression which used to last for weeks, they suggested he travel to Palestine and go to Jerusalem which might alleviate his problem.  Shabbatai agreed and he left his home town with some money provided by his brothers.  He did not go directly to Palestine but took the route to Egypt.  No one knows the reason for his decision but while he was there he was told about an official in charge of the finances of the country and leader of the Jewish community called Rafael Joseph Chalabi, who was interested in Jewish religion and especially in the Kabbalah and had gathered together a group of rabbis in his palace.  Shabbatai visited him and Rafael offered to let him stay in his palace with the rest of the group. There he stayed for some time and was treated with respect by both the group and Rafael.  He then decided to travel to Palestine with Jerusalem as his destination.  After his arrival there he began to study the Kabbalah with well known rabbis but he also used to go on his own to visit the graves of some famous rabbis at night.

It is not known how long Shabbatai stayed there before the Jewish community asked him to go to Egypt as a messenger for them to beg Rafael, whom Shabbatai knew and had stayed with, for financial help as the community was in dire need of money to pay for their heavy taxes.  Shabbatai agreed to go and to help the community of Jerusalem.

While Shabbatai was there he heard about a woman of Polish origin, living in Italy, whose name was Sarah who mixed with men and told fortunes and predicted the future.  More importantly she used to say she would get married to the Jewish messiah.  Shabbatai then sent a message to her offering to marry her.  She immediately accepted his offer and went to Egypt where the marriage took place with extravagant celebrations in the palace of Rafael Chalabi.  When Shabbatai was asked how he could marry such a loose woman, he replied by saying that he followed the example of the prophet Hosea who was ordered in the Scriptures to marry a whore.

While Shabbatai was in Egypt he also heard from the rabbis in the palace about a rabbi living in Gaza called Nathan of Gaza.  This rabbi, as the rumours said, treated the “sick souls” of people and minds.  As Shabbatai was struggling with the problem of depression, he thought it would be good for him to meet this rabbi.  So he travelled to see him and when Nathan first saw Shabbatai he immediately bowed to him and showed him great respect.  They talked together for many hours, and then Nathan informed him that he was the messiah and what he suffered was the suffering of the Messiah and was, in fact, a sign of his messiahship.  Then Nathan, while he was with his students, produced what looked like a leaf of an old book which supposed to be from 12th century in which it said Shabbatai Zvi who would be born in 1626 would be the redeemer of the Jews and the messiah.  On another occasion, while Nathan was celebrating a feast with his companions he began to sing and dance frantically and then lay on the floor for some time apparently without breathing.  The people around him thought that he was dead and put a piece of white cloth over his face.  Then he suddenly uttered a sentence saying that Shabbatai Zvi was his messiah and his beloved and he then told those around him that Shabbatai was the messiah.

This was in 1665.  Then Nathan spread the news and he began to try to convince people that Shabbatai was indeed the messiah.  People started to descend on Gaza to see the messiah and day after day the crowd multiplied and people had to sleep in the streets as there was not enough room in the houses.  When Shabbatai decided to go to Jerusalem a number of people, including some rabbis, accompanied him.  In Jerusalem he was well received by the people and one day he put on a green garment, mounted a horse and rode round Mount Zion seven times.  During this time, he was behaving like a messiah, according to Jewish tradition, for example, he uttered the name Yahweh and ate food which is prohibited in Jewish Law and he asked the people around him to eat it too.  Shabbatai’s behaviour and the support which he had from the people angered the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem as well as the rest of the rabbis in the city.  Consequently, they issued a decree of excommunication against him and had it publicised.

So Shabbatai decided to go to Turkey.  He first went to Syria and from there planned to travel on to Turkey.  When he arrived in Damascus he was received by many people who celebrated his arrival.  Even some rabbis received him cordially and some even believed in him.  In the meantime, Nathan was sending letters to the Jewish communities in the Middle East and Europe urging them to believe in Shabbatai Zvi and promising them redemption.  Shabbatai then went to Aleppo and in this city people celebrated his arrival and many came to him to be in his presence and to have his blessing.  People also began to prophesy and fall down unconscious and while in this state announced the mission of Shabbatai.  He stayed in Aleppo for more than a month before deciding to leave for Istanbul.  The Jews in Aleppo begged him to stay longer but he told them that he was in a hurry to fulfil his mission.  Many people accompanied him on the way to protect him and his entourage.  They told of thousands of beings coming from heaven at night and disappearing during the day.

When he arrived in Turkey, Shabbatai did not go directly to Istanbul but instead went to his home town Izmir.  The news had already reached the people there and on his arrival they received him with great celebrations.  The rabbis there kept silent because of Shabbatai’s popularity and because anyone who dared to criticise Shabbatai was attacked and so consequently some of these rabbis left the town as they were frightened of their own people. The Jewish population of the town was in a festive mood and Shabbatai was always surrounded by people.  He had a bodyguard and a scribe to write his letters to the Jewish communities and hundreds of people went with him whenever he went to the synagogue.  People would clear the way in front of him when he went to visit someone or to the synagogue and he had assistants who carried a few things of his such as a comb.  The Jewish community in Izmir began to call him “king” and they engraved the word “king” on the birmah of the temple (where the Bible is read).  He also began to sign his name as Shabbatai, the King, and Messiah in the letters he used to send.

Meanwhile, there were rumours that the lost tribes of Israel had appeared in Morocco and numbered hundreds of thousands and also in the Arabian Peninsula where they had occupied Mecca, demanding that the Sultan give them Palestine in return for handing over this city.  There were also rumours circulating of the appearance of the Prophet Elijah who, according to Jewish tradition, was still alive.   Both these two events are thought to be signs of the immanent appearance of the messiah and so many people believed these rumours.

During this time many people came to visit Shabbatai from abroad and meet with him.  There were some demonstrations, too, at this time by Jews in several places outside Turkey to celebrate the appearance of the messiah and in some of them, for example Poland, they carried Shabbatai’s picture.  The demonstrations caused friction between Christians and Jews.  Some governments like those of the Yemen and Morocco banned the demonstrations.  Furthermore, people began to torture themselves in different ways as a sign of repentance.  Some buried themselves up to the neck, others fasted for a long period of time while some injured themselves with thorns and so on.  Also, there were many people who prophesied after they had fallen unconscious and uttered words announcing that Shabbatai Zvi was the messiah.

After a few months in Izmir, Shabbatai decided to go to Istanbul presumably to take the power from the Sultan.  He travelled by sea and was accompanied by a group of his followers.  The ship was delayed by rough seas and his followers were worried asking each other “geldi mi?” (Has he arrived?).  But there was a surprise awaiting Shabbatai there.  As soon as he arrived at the port he found a group of soldiers waiting to arrest him.  This was a great shock to the group with him as he was then taken to a small prison which was assigned to criminals.  He stayed in this prison for a while until the Jewish community in the city intervened on his behalf with the authorities to have him moved to a better place.  Then the government moved him to the fortress of Gallipoli where there was a prison for political prisoners.  Here Shabbatai was comfortable and his wife Sarah had her own section.  People began to visit him in their hundreds and even some prominent people who believed him began to visit him too and offer him money.  In this prison Shabbatai had his scribe with him who wrote letters on his behalf and in one of his letters Shabbatai instituted the 9th of the month of Ab as a feast day rather than a solemn one of fasting as it is usually kept by the Jews and he prescribed some homilies and texts from the Bible to be read on this occasion.  Shabbatai also instituted his birthday celebrations.  In connection with this he wrote a circular letter to his followers detailing the manner in which his followers should behave on this occasion.  It was an elaborate way of celebrating his birthday.  Another change he brought about in the prison was that he began to sign his letters with the phrase “I am your Lord Shabbatai Zvi”.

People continued to come to pay homage to Shabbatai in increasing numbers and so, as a direct result, prices for passage by ship and the prices of commodities sold in the area around the prison also increased.  In the meantime, the Prophet Nathan continued to send letters to Shabbatai’s followers telling them that the redemption was near and that his imprisonment was part of the mission.

While he was in the prison, a Polish rabbi came to visit him whose name was Nehemiah Cohen.  This rabbi, it is said, used to prophesy and Shabbatai heard about that and sent for him but it seems that the rabbi came to Shabbatai to argue with him about some aspects and signs of the messiah  according to Jewish beliefs.  As soon as he arrived he began to discuss these aspects with him.  He argued with Shabbatai that he could not be the messiah because there should have been another messiah (minor one) before him called the Messiah ben Joseph who would have to have been killed in battle before the appearance of the last messiah.  In reply to him Shabbatai stated that the Messiah ben Joseph had appeared and had been killed in 1648 during the massacre of Jews in the Ukraine and Poland during the rebellion of Baghdan Chmielinsky.

But Nehemiah Cohen was not convinced and continued to argue with him for three days.  Shabbatai’s followers became angry about this when they learned of it and Nehemiah, scared of them, told the guards at the prison that he had converted to Islam.  He did this to protect himself from attack by Shabbatai’s followers.  Nehemiah decided to tell the authorities that Shabbatai was a false messiah, an impostor and a deceiver who was encouraging people to rebel against the government and should therefore be punished.  When he told this to the authorities, Shabbatai was taken by the army from the prison together with some rabbis to accompany him as Shabbatai requested.  When they were on their way to the Sultan’s palace he told them he was scared and did not know what to do.  In the palace a council, consisting of the governor of the city, the vizier, the Imam of the Palace Prayers,  the Mufti, The Sultan’s physician and the Sultan who was sitting on the upper floor to see but not to be seen, were awaiting Shabbatai.

When Shabbatai arrived, the council began to interrogate him and accused him of pretending to be the messiah in order to seize part of the empire (by which they meant Palestine).  It is said that the Sultan suggested that Shabbatai should stand against a wall and be hit by arrows to test his claim and that if he was the true messiah then the arrows would not harm him.  Shabbatai was confused as to what to do, so the physician of the Sultan who was a Jewish convert to Islam whispered to him that it would be better for him to convert to Islam to save himself from death.  Shabbatai immediately agreed and told the council that he had for a long time been thinking of converting to Islam and would like to do so and they accepted this and performed the procedure and the rites necessary for his conversion. So he was taken to have a bath, was given new clothes and made to wear a turban, given the name Muhammad Aziz Effendi and was also given the honorary title “Keeper of the Gates of the Palace”.

Shabbatai’s followers were shocked when they heard of what had happened and had different reactions to it.  Some of them left Judaism altogether and some rejected Shabbatai and abandoned their belief in his messiahship but others continued to believe in him despite what had happened and the prophet Nathan announced to his followers that converting to Islam was part of the process of the Messiahship and that they needed to convert to Islam as Shabbatai had.  Shabbatai then began another phase of his activity which was to convince his followers to convert to Islam and even asked people who came to visit him to do so likewise. In the synagogue itself he used to preach Islam and convinced people to convert.  But he forbad them to marry Muslims.  This is one of the 18 beliefs which he laid down for his followers.  The Turks began to call those of his followers who proclaimed Islam “Donmeh” which literally means “turning” ie because they turned from Judaism to Islam.

The Donmeh followers who converted to Islam began to pray like Muslims in the mosques and secretly like Jews in hidden synagogues.  They also began to use two names, one Jewish which they used with Jews and another Muslim one used in public.  Shabbatai continued his activities in Turkey and after a few years the Turkish authorities accused him of trying to convert Muslims to Judaism and decided to deport him to Albania to a town called Uslinj.  Here too some of his followers began to visit him and pay homage to him.  In the meantime, his wife Sarah died and a short while after her death he married another woman, a daughter of a well known rabbi from Salonika who was one of his followers.  Shabbatai lived here for a few rather quiet years and died in 1676 and was buried there on the seashore as he requested.


A few years after his death, hundreds of his followers who had not converted to Islam announced their conversion and some years after that his followers became divided into two groups and finally, not many years later, the movement divided itself into three separate sub-sects as they remain to this day.


The members of the Donmeh Sect are estimated to be about one hundred thousand and most of them  live in Turkey today. Since the beginning of the twentieth century they have begun to play an important economic and political role in the country.  Many of them also became high ranking officers in the army.  Some of them became ministers like Muhammad Jawid Bek who was Minister of Finance on three occasions at the beginning of the last century and Ismail Jem who became foreign minister in the nineties of the last century and Tansu Chelar who became Prime Minister in the same period.


The Donmeh are active nowadays in business and in education and they have a big university which has many faculties for different subjects.  They are also very active in the economy and in the media too.  The Donmeh nowadays would prefer to be called Saloniki rather than Donmeh as they think that the latter name now has pejorative connotations but in fact they still continue to be known as Donmeh.


*I have published a book (in Arabic) on the Donmeh Sect which has been reprinted three times.


Purim Special: From Esther to AIPAC*

March 02, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon


By Gilad Atzmon

Book of Esther

The Book of Esther is a biblical story that is the basis for the celebration of Purim, probably the most joyous Jewish festival. The book tells the story of an attempted Judeocide but it also tells a story in which Jews manage to change their fate. In the book the Jews do manage to rescue themselves and even to mete revenge.

It is set in the third year of Ahasuerus, and the ruler is a king of Persia usually identified with Xerxes I. It is a story of a palace, conspiracy, an attempted Judeocide and a brave and beautiful Jewish queen (Esther) who manages to save the Jewish people at the very last minute.

In the story, King Ahasuerus is married to Vashti, whom he repudiates after she rejects his offer to ‘visit’ him during a feast. Esther was selected from the candidates to be Ahasuerus’s new wife. As the story progresses, Ahasuerus’s prime minister Haman plots to have the king kill all the Jews without knowing that Esther is actually Jewish. In the story, Esther together with her cousin Mordechai saves the day for their people. At the risk of endangering her own safety, Esther warns Ahasuerus of Haman’s murderous anti-Jewish plot. Haman and his sons are hanged on the fifty cubit gallows he had originally built for cousin Mordecai. As it happens, Mordecai takes Haman’s place, he becomes the prime minister. Ahasuerus’s edict decreeing the murder of the Jews cannot be rescinded, so he issues another edict allowing the Jews to take up arms and kill their enemies, which they do.

The moral of the story is rather clear. If Jews want to survive, they better find infiltrates into the corridors of power. With Esther, Mordechai and Purim in mind, AIPAC and the notion of ‘Jewish power’ looks like an embodiment of a deep Biblical and cultural ideology.

However, here is the interesting twist. Though the story is presented as an historic tale, the historical accuracy of the Book of Esther is largely disputed by most modern Bible Scholars. It is largely the lack of clear corroboration of any of the details of the story of the Book of Esther with what is known of Persian History from classical sources that led scholars to come to a conclusion that the story is mostly or even totally fictional.

In other words, though the moral is clear, the attempted genocide is fictional. Seemingly, the Book of Esther set its followers into a collective Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It makes a fantasy of destruction into an ideology of survival. And indeed, some read the story as an allegory of quintessentially assimilated Jews who discover that they are targets of anti-Semitism, but are also in a position to save themselves and their fellow Jews.

The Book of Esther is there to form the exilic identity. It is there to invoke PRE traumatic stress,  It sets the conditions that turn ‘Judeocide’ into a valid constant threat. But it also offers a survival  strategy to encounter such an imaginary threat.

Interestingly enough, the Book of Esther (in the Hebrew version) is one of only two books of the Bible that do not directly mention God (the other is Song of Songs). In the Book of Esther it is the Jews who believe in themselves, in their own power, in their uniqueness, in their sophistication, in their ability to conspire, in their ability to take over kingdoms, in their ability to save themselves. The Book of Esther is all about empowerment and the Jews who believe in their powers.

From Purim to Birkenau

In an article named “A Purim Lesson: Lobbying Against Genocide, Then and Now“, Dr. Rafael Medoff shares with his readers what he regards as the lesson inherited to the Jews by the Book of Esther. If to be more precise, it is the art of lobbying which Esther and Mordechai are there to teach us. “The holiday of Purim” says Medoff, “celebrates the successful effort by prominent Jews in the capitol of ancient Persia to prevent genocide against the Jewish people.” But Medoff doesn’t stop just there. This specific exercise of what some call ‘Jewish power’ has been carried forward and performed by modern emancipated Jews: “What is not well known is that a comparable lobbying effort took place in modern times — in Washington, D.C., at the peak of the Holocaust.”

In the article Medoff explores the similarities between Esther’s lobbying in Persia and her modern brothers lobbying within the FDR’s administration at the pick of WW2. “The Esther in 1940s Washington was Henry Morgenthau Jr.” says Medoff, “a wealthy, assimilated Jew of German descent who (as his son later put it) was anxious to be regarded as ‘one hundred percent American.’ Downplaying his Jewishness, Morgenthau gradually rose from being FDR’s friend and adviser to his Treasury Secretary.”

Clearly, Medoff spotted a modern Mordechai as well, “a young Zionist emissary from Jerusalem, Peter Bergson (real name: Hillel Kook) who led a series of protest campaigns to bring about U.S. rescue of Jews from Hitler. The Bergson group’s newspaper ads and public rallies roused public awareness of the Holocaust — particularly when it organized over 400 rabbis to march to the front gate of the White House just before Yom Kippur in 1943.”

Medoff’s reading of the Book of Esther provides us with a glaring insight into the internal code of Jewish collective survival dynamics in which the assimilated (Esther) and the observant (Mordechai) are joining forces with clear Judeo centric interests in their minds.

According to Medoff the similarities are indeed shocking. “Mordechai’s pressure finally convinced Esther to go to the king; the pressure of Morgenthau’s aides finally convinced him to go to the president, armed with a stinging 18-page report that they titled ‘Report to the Secretary on the Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of the Jews.'”

Dr. Medoff is rather ready to draw his historical conclusions. “Esther’s lobbying succeeded. Ahasuerus cancelled the genocide decree and executed Haman and his henchmen. Morgenthau’s lobbying also succeeded. A Bergson-initiated Congressional resolution calling for U.S. rescue action quickly passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — enabling Morgenthau to tell FDR that ‘you have either got to move very fast, or the Congress of the United States will do it for you.’ Ten months before election day, the last thing FDR wanted was an embarrassing public scandal over the refugee issue. Within days, Roosevelt did what the Congressional resolution sought — he issued an executive order creating the War Refugee Board, a U.S. government agency to rescue refugees from Hitler.”

It is clear beyond doubt that Medoff sees the Book of Esther as a general guideline for a healthy Jewish future. Medoff ends his paper saying: “the claim that nothing could be done to help Europe’s Jews had been demolished by Jews who shook off their fears and spoke up for their people — in ancient Persia and in modern Washington.” In other words, Jews can do and should do for themselves. This is indeed the moral of the Book of Esther as well as the Holocaust religion.

What Jews should do for themselves is indeed an open question. Different Jews have different ideas. The Neocon believes in dragging America and the West into an endless war against Islam. Emmanuel Levinas, on the contrary, believes that Jews should actually position themselves at the forefront of the struggle against oppression and injustice. Indeed, Jewish empowerment is just one answer among many. Yet, it is a very powerful not to say a dangerous one. It is especially dangerous when the American Jewish Committee (AJC) acts as a modern-day Mordechai and publicly engages in an extensive lobbying effort for a war against Iran and beyond.

When analysing the work and influence of AIPAC within American politics it is the Book of Esther that we should bear in mind. AIPAC is more than a mere political lobby. AIPAC is a modern-day Mordechai, the AJC and even JVP  are modern-day Mordechais. Both AIPAC,  AJC and JVP are inherently in line with the Hebrew Biblical school of thought. However, while the Mordechais are relatively easy to spot, the Esthers, those who act for Israel behind the scenes, are slightly more difficult to trace.

I believe that once we learn to look at Israeli lobbying in the parameters that are drawn by the Book of Esther/Holocaust-religion, we are then entitled to regard the enemies of Israel  as the current Haman/Hitler figure. AIPAC and Kushner are Mordechais, Trump is obviously Ahasuerus, yet Esther can be almost anyone, from the last Neocon to Max Blumenthal  and beyond.

If they want to burn it , you want to read it..

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Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto  ,  and   here  (

* This is a segment from an  2007 Counterpunch’s article. I gave it a minor facelift updating some of the names and organisations.

israeli army’s lies can no longer salvage its image. It is the most immoral army in the world

(Image: Carlos Latuff)

Israeli army’s lies can no longer salvage its image

A child horrifically injured by soldiers was arrested and terrified into signing a false confession that he was hurt in a bicycle accident. A man who, it was claimed, had died of tear-gas inhalation was actually shot at point-blank range, then savagely beaten by a mob of soldiers and left to die. And soldiers threw a tear gas canister at a Palestinian couple, baby in arms, as they fled for safety during a military invasion of their village.

In the early 2000s, at the dawn of the social media revolution, Israelis used to dismiss filmed evidence of brutality by their soldiers as fakery. It was what they called “Pallywood” – a conflation of Palestinian and Hollywood.

In truth, however, it was the Israeli military, not the Palestinians, that needed to manufacture a more convenient version of reality.

Last week, it emerged, Israeli officials had conceded to a military court that the army had beaten and locked up a group of Palestinian reporters as part of an explicit policy of stopping journalists from covering abuses by its soldiers.

Israel’s deceptions have a long history. Back in the 1970s, a young Juliano Meir-Khamis, later to become one of Israel’s most celebrated actors, was assigned the job of carrying a weapons bag on operations in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank. When Palestinian women or children were killed, he placed a weapon next to the body.

In one incident, when soldiers playing around with a shoulder-launcher fired a missile at a donkey, and the 12-year-old girl riding it, Meir-Khamis was ordered to put explosives on their remains.

That occurred before the Palestinians’ first mass uprising against the occupation erupted in the late 1980s. Then, the defence minister Yitzhak Rabin – later given a Hollywood-style makeover himself as a peacemaker – urged troops to “break the bones” of Palestinians to stop their liberation struggle.

The desperate, and sometimes self-sabotaging, lengths Israel takes to try to salvage its image were underscored last week when 15-year-old Mohammed Tamimi was grabbed from his bed in a night raid.

Back in December he was shot in the face by soldiers during an invasion of his village of Nabi Saleh. Doctors saved his life, but he was left with a misshapen head and a section of skull missing.

Mohammed’s suffering made headlines because he was a bit-player in a larger drama. Shortly after he was shot, a video recorded his cousin, 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi, slapping a soldier nearby after he entered her home.

Ahed, who is in jail awaiting trial, was already a Palestinian resistance icon. Now she has become a symbol too of Israel’s victimisation of children.

So, Israel began work on recrafting the narrative: of Ahed as a terrorist and provocateur.

It emerged that a government minister, Michael Oren, had even set up a secret committee to try to prove that Ahed and her family were really paid actors, not Palestinians, there to “make Israel look bad”. The Pallywood delusion had gone into overdrive.

Last week events took a new turn as Mohammed and other relatives were seized, even though he is still gravely ill. Dragged off to an interrogation cell, he was denied access to a lawyer or parent.

Shortly afterwards, Israel produced a signed confession stating that Mohammed’s horrific injuries were not Israel’s responsibility but wounds inflicted in a bicycle crash.

Yoav Mordechai, the occupation’s top official, trumpeted proof of a Palestinian “culture of lies and incitement”. Mohammed’s injuries were “fake news”, the Israeli media dutifully reported.

Deprived of a justification for slapping an occupation soldier, Ahed can now be locked away by military judges. Except that witnesses, phone records and hospital documentation, including brain scans, all prove that Mohammed was shot.

This was simply another of Israellywood’s endless productions to automatically confer guilt on Palestinians. The hundreds of children on Israel’s incarceration production line each year have to sign confessions – or plea bargains – to win jail-sentence reductions from courts with near-100% conviction rates.

It is more Franz Kafka than Hollywood.

A second army narrative unravelled last week. CCTV showed Yasin Saradih, 35, being shot at point-blank range during an invasion of Jericho, then savagely beaten by soldiers as he lay wounded, and left to bleed to death.

It was an unexceptional incident. A report by Amnesty International last month noted that many of the dozens of Palestinians killed in 2017 appeared to be victims of extra-judicial executions.

Before footage of Saradih’s killing surfaced, the army issued a series of false statements, including that he died from tear-gas inhalation, received first-aid treatment and was armed with a knife. The video disproves all of that.

Over the past two years, dozens of Palestinians, including women and children, have been shot in similarly suspicious circumstances. Invariably the army concludes that they were killed while attacking soldiers with a knife – Israel even named this period of unrest a “knife intifada”.

Are soldiers today carrying a “knife bag”, just as Meir-Khamis once carried a weapons bag?

A half-century of occupation has not only corrupted generations of teenage Israeli soldiers who have been allowed to lord it over Palestinians. It has also needed an industry of lies and self-deceptions to make sure the consciences of Israelis are never clouded by a moment of doubt – that maybe their army is not so moral after all.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

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