Pingpong: Richard Forer vs. Gilad Atzmon

June 04, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

In this talk Richard Forer and Gilad Atzmon engage in a lively back and forth discussion about identity politics, truth and  truthfulness in the context of Israel and Palestine.

This talk was recorded on May 12, 2018.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buT9msHzIgM

To Support Gilad’s Legal Defence Fund

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In Case You Missed It: What Is Antisemitism?

By Michael Neumann

March 27, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – Every once in a while, some left-wing Jewish writer will take a deep breath, open up his (or her) great big heart, and tell us that criticism of Israel or Zionism is not antisemitism. Silently they congratulate themselves on their courage. With a little sigh, they suppress any twinge of concern that maybe the goyim–let alone the Arabs–can’t be trusted with this dangerous knowledge.

Sometimes it is gentile hangers-on, whose ethos if not their identity aspires to Jewishness, who take on this task. Not to be utterly risqué, they then hasten to remind us that antisemitism is nevertheless to be taken very seriously. That Israel, backed by a pronounced majority of Jews, happens to be waging a race war against the Palestinians is all the more reason we should be on our guard. Who knows? it might possibly stir up some resentment!

I take a different view. I think we should almost never take antisemitism seriously, and maybe we should have some fun with it. I think it is particularly unimportant to the Israel-Palestine conflict, except perhaps as a diversion from the real issues. I will argue for the truth of these claims; I also defend their propriety. I don’t think making them is on a par with pulling the wings off flies.

“Antisemitism”, properly and narrowly speaking, doesn’t mean hatred of semites; that is to confuse etymology with definition. It means hatred of Jews. But here, immediately, we come up against the venerable shell-game of Jewish identity: “Look! We’re a religion! No! a race! No! a cultural entity! Sorry–a religion!” When we tire of this game, we get suckered into another: “anti-Zionism is antisemitism! ” quickly alternates with: “Don’t confuse Zionism with Judaism! How dare you, you antisemite”

Well, let’s be good sports. Let’s try defining antisemitism as broadly as any supporter of Israel would ever want: antisemitism can be hatred of the Jewish race, or culture, or religion, or hatred of Zionism. Hatred, or dislike, or opposition, or slight unfriendliness.

But supporters of Israel won’t find this game as much fun as they expect. Inflating the meaning of ‘antisemitism’ to include anything politically damaging to Israel is a double-edged sword. It may be handy for smiting your enemies, but the problem is that definitional inflation, like any inflation, cheapens the currency. The more things get to count as antisemitic, the less awful antisemitism is going to sound. This happens because, while no one can stop you from inflating definitions, you still don’t control the facts. In particular, no definition of ‘antisemitism’ is going to eradicate the substantially pro-Palestinian version of the facts which I espouse, as do most people in Europe, a great many Israelis, and a growing number of North Americans.

What difference does that make? Suppose, for example, an Israeli rightist says that the settlements represent the pursuit of aspirations fundamental to the Jewish people, and to oppose the settlements is antisemitism. We might have to accept this claim; certainly it is difficult to refute. But we also cannot abandon the well-founded belief that the settlements strangle the Palestinian people and extinguish any hope of peace. So definitional acrobatics are all for nothing: we can only say, screw the fundamental aspirations of the Jewish people; the settlements are wrong. We must add that, since we are obliged to oppose the settlements, we are obliged to be antisemitic. Through definitional inflation, some form of ‘antisemitism’ has become morally obligatory.

It gets worse if anti-Zionism is labeled antisemitic, because the settlements, even if they do not represent fundamental aspirations of the Jewish people, are an entirely plausible extension of Zionism. To oppose them is indeed to be anti-Zionist, and therefore, by the stretched definition, antisemitic. The more antisemitism expands to include opposition to Israeli policies, the better it looks. Given the crimes to be laid at the feet of Zionism, there is another simple syllogism: anti-Zionism is a moral obligation, so, if anti-Zionism is antisemitism, antisemitism is a moral obligation.

What crimes? Even most apologists for Israel have given up denying them, and merely hint that noticing them is a bit antisemitic. After all, Israel ‘is no worse than anyone else’. First, so what? At age six we knew that “everyone’s doing it” is no excuse; have we forgotten? Second, the crimes are no worse only when divorced from their purpose. Yes, other people have killed civilians, watched them die for want of medical care, destroyed their homes, ruined their crops, and used them as human shields. But Israel does these things to correct the inaccuracy of Israel Zangwill’s 1901 assertion that

“Palestine is a country without a people; the Jews are a people without a country”.

It hopes to create a land entirely empty of gentiles, an Arabia deserta in which Jewish children can laugh and play throughout a wasteland called peace.

Well before the Hitler era, Zionists came thousands of miles to dispossess people who had never done them the slightest harm, and whose very existence they contrived to ignore.

Zionist atrocities were not part of the initial plan. They emerged as the racist obliviousness of a persecuted people blossomed into the racial supremacist ideology of a persecuting one. That is why the commanders who directed the rapes, mulilations and child-killings of Deir Yassin went on to become prime ministers of Israel.(*) But these murders were not enough. Today, when Israel could have peace for the taking, it conducts another round of dispossession, slowly, deliberately making Palestine unliveable for Palestinians, and liveable for Jews. Its purpose is not defense or public order, but the extinction of a people. True, Israel has enough PR-savvy to eliminate them with an American rather than a Hitlerian level of violence. This is a kinder, gentler genocide that portrays its perpetrators as victims.

Israel is building a racial state, not a religious one. Like my parents, I have always been an atheist. I am entitled by the biology of my birth to Israeli citizenship; you, perhaps, are the most fervent believer in Judaism, but are not. Palestinians are being squeezed and killed for me, not for you. They are to be forced into Jordan, to perish in a civil war. So no, shooting Palestinian civilians is not like shooting Vietnamese or Chechen civilians. The Palestinians aren’t ‘collateral damage’ in a war against well-armed communist or separatist forces. They are being shot because Israel thinks all Palestinians should vanish or die, so people with one Jewish grandparent can build subdivisions on the rubble of their homes. This is not the bloody mistake of a blundering superpower but an emerging evil, the deliberate strategy of a state conceived in and dedicated to an increasingly vicious ethnic nationalism. It has relatively few corpses to its credit so far, but its nuclear weapons can kill perhaps 25 million people in a few hours.

Do we want to say it is antisemitic to accuse, not just the Israelis, but Jews generally of complicity in these crimes against humanity? Again, maybe not, because there is a quite reasonable case for such assertions. Compare them, for example, to the claim that Germans generally were complicit in such crimes. This never meant that every last German, man, woman, idiot and child, were guilty. It meant that most Germans were. Their guilt, of course, did not consist in shoving naked prisoners into gas chambers. It consisted in support for the people who planned such acts, or–as many overwrought, moralistic Jewish texts will tell you–for denying the horror unfolding around them, for failing to speak out and resist, for passive consent. Note that the extreme danger of any kind of active resistance is not supposed to be an excuse here.

Well, virtually no Jew is in any kind of danger from speaking out. And speaking out is the only sort of resistance required. If many Jews spoke out, it would have an enormous effect. But the overwhelming majority of Jews do not, and in the vast majority of cases, this is because they support Israel. Now perhaps the whole notion of collective responsibility should be discarded; perhaps some clever person will convince us that we have to do this. But at present, the case for Jewish complicity seems much stronger than the case for German complicity. So if it is not racist, and reasonable, to say that the Germans were complicit in crimes against humanity, then it is not racist, and reasonable, to say the same of the Jews. And should the notion of collective responsibility be discarded, it would still be reasonable to say that many, perhaps most adult Jewish individuals support a state that commits war crimes, because that’s just true. So if saying these things is antisemitic, than it can be reasonable to be antisemitic.

In other words there is a choice to be made. You can use ‘antisemitism’ to fit your political agenda, or you can use it as a term of condemnation, but you can’t do both. If antisemitism is to stop coming out reasonable or moral, it has to be narrowly and unpolemically defined. It would be safe to confine antisemitism to explicitly racial hatred of Jews, to attacking people simply because they had been born Jewish. But it would be uselessly safe: even the Nazis did not claim to hate people simply because they had been born Jewish. They claimed to hate the Jews because they were out to dominate the Aryans.

Clearly such a view should count as antisemitic, whether it belongs to the cynical racists who concocted it or to the fools who swallowed it.

There is only one way to guarantee that the term “antisemitism” captures all and only bad acts or attitudes towards Jews. We have to start with what we can all agree are of that sort, and see that the term names all and only them. We probably share enough morality to do this.

For instance, we share enough morality to say that all racially based acts and hatreds are bad, so we can safely count them as antisemitic. But not all ‘hostility towards Jews’, even if that means hostility towards the overwhelming majority of Jews, should count as antisemitic. Nor should all hostility towards Judaism, or Jewish culture.

I, for example, grew up in Jewish culture and, like many people growing up in a culture, I have come to dislike it. But it is unwise to count my dislike as antisemitic, not because I am Jewish, but because it is harmless. Perhaps not utterly harmless: maybe, to some tiny extent, it will somehow encourage some of the harmful acts or attitudes we’d want to call antisemitic. But so what? Exaggerated philosemitism, which regards all Jews as brilliant warm and witty saints, might have the same effect. The dangers posed by my dislike are much too small to matter. Even widespread, collective loathing for a culture is normally harmless. French culture, for instance, seems to be widely disliked in North America, and no one, including the French, consider this some sort of racial crime.

Not even all acts and attitudes harmful to Jews generally should be considered antisemitic. Many people dislike American culture; some boycott American goods. Both the attitude and the acts may harm Americans generally, but there is nothing morally objectionable about either. Defining these acts as anti-Americanism will only mean that some anti-Americanism is perfectly acceptable. If you call opposition to Israeli policies antisemitic on the grounds that this opposition harms Jews generally, it will only mean that some antisemitism is equally acceptable.

If antisemitism is going to be a term of condemnation, then, it must apply beyond explicitly racist acts or thoughts or feelings. But it cannot apply beyond clearly unjustified and serious hostility to Jews. The Nazis made up historical fantasies to justify their attacks; so do modern antisemites who trust in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. So do the closet racists who complain about Jewish dominance of the economy. This is antisemitism in a narrow, negative sense of the word. It is action or propaganda designed to hurt Jews, not because of anything they could avoid doing, but because they are what they are. It also applies to the attitudes that propaganda tries to instill. Though not always explicitly racist, it involves racist motives and the intention to do real damage. Reasonably well-founded opposition to Israeli policies, even if that opposition hurts all Jews, does not fit this description. Neither does simple, harmless dislike of things Jewish.

So far, I’ve suggested that it’s best to narrow the definition of antisemitism so that no act can be both antisemitic and unobjectionable. But we can go further. Now that we’re through playing games, let’s ask about the role of *genuine*, bad antisemitism in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and in the world at large.

Undoubtedly there is genuine antisemitism in the Arab world: the distribution of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the myths about stealing the blood of gentile babies. This is utterly inexcusable. So was your failure to answer Aunt Bee’s last letter. In other words, it is one thing to be told: you must simply accept that antisemitism is evil; to do otherwise is to put yourself outside our moral world. But it is quite something else to have someone try to bully you into proclaiming that antisemitism is the Evil of Evils. We are not children learning morality; it is our responsibility to set our own moral priorities. We cannot do this by looking at horrible images from 1945 or listening to the anguished cries of suffering columnists. We have to ask how much harm antisemitism is doing, or is likely to do, not in the past, but today. And we must ask where such harm might occur, and why.

Supposedly there is great danger in the antisemitism of the Arab world. But Arab antisemitism isn’t the cause of Arab hostility towards Israel or even towards Jews. It is an effect. The progress of Arab antisemitism fits nicely with the progress of Jewish encroachment and Jewish atrocities. This is not to excuse genuine antisemitism; it is to trivialize it. It came to the Middle East with Zionism and it will abate when Zionism ceases to be an expansionist threat. Indeed its chief cause is not antisemitic propaganda but the decades-old, systematic and unrelenting efforts of Israel to implicate all Jews in its crimes. If Arab anti-semitism persists after a peace agreement, we can all get together and cluck about it. But it still won’t do Jews much actual harm. Arab governments could only lose by permitting attacks on their Jewish citizens; to do so would invite Israeli intervention. And there is little reason to expect such attacks to materialize: if all the horrors of Israel’s recent campaigns did not provoke them, it is hard to imagine what would. It would probably take some Israeli act so awful and so criminal as to overshadow the attacks themselves.

If antisemitism is likely to have terrible effects, it is far more likely to have them in Western Europe. The neo-fascist resurgence there is all too real. But is it a danger to Jews? There is no doubt that LePen, for instance, is antisemitic. There is also no evidence whatever that he intends to do anything about it. On the contrary, he makes every effort to pacify the Jews, and perhaps even enlist their help against his real targets, the ‘Arabs’. He would hardly be the first political figure to ally himself with people he disliked. But if he had some deeply hidden plan against the Jews, that *would* be unusual: Hitler and the Russian antisemitic rioters were wonderfully open about their intentions, and they didn’t court Jewish support. And it is a fact that some French Jews see LePen as a positive development or even an ally. (see, for instance, “`LePen is good for us,’ Jewish supporter says”, Ha’aretz May 04, 2002, and Mr. Goldenburg’s April 23rd comments on France TV.)

Of course there are historical reasons for fearing a horrendous attack on Jews. And anything is possible: there could be a massacre of Jews in Paris tomorrow, or of Algerians. Which is more likely? If there are any lessons of history, they must apply in roughly similar circumstances. Europe today bears very little resemblance to Europe in 1933. And there are positive possibilities as well: why is the likelihood of a pogrom greater than the likelihood that antisemitism will fade into ineffectual nastiness? Any legitimate worries must rest on some evidence that there really is a threat.

The incidence of antisemitic attacks might provide such evidence. But this evidence is consistently fudged: no distinction is made between attacks against Jewish monuments and symbols as opposed to actual attacks against Jews. In addition, so much is made of an increase in the frequency of attacks that the very low absolute level of attacks escapes attention. The symbolic attacks have indeed increased to significant absolute numbers. The physical attacks have not.(*) More important, most of these attacks are by Muslim residents: in other words, they come from a widely hated, vigorously policed and persecuted minority who don’t stand the slightest chance of undertaking a serious campaign of violence against Jews.

It is very unpleasant that roughly half a dozen Jews have been hospitalized–none killed–due to recent attacks across Europe. But anyone who makes this into one of the world’s important problems simply hasn’t looked at the world. These attacks are a matter for the police, not a reason why we should police ourselves and others to counter some deadly spiritual disease. That sort of reaction is appropriate only when racist attacks occur in societies indifferent or hostile to the minority attacked. Those who really care about recurrent Nazism, for instance, should save their anguished concern for the far bloodier, far more widely condoned attacks on gypsies, whose history of persecution is fully comparable to the Jewish past. The position of Jews is much closer to the position of whites, who are also, of course, the victims of racist attacks.

No doubt many people reject this sort of cold-blooded calculation. They will say that, with the past looming over us, even one antisemitic slur is a terrible thing, and its ugliness is not to be measured by a body count. But if we take a broader view of the matter, antisemitism becomes less, not more important. To regard any shedding of Jewish blood as a world-shattering calamity, one which defies all measurement and comparison, is racism, pure and simple; the valuing of one race’s blood over all others. The fact that Jews have been persecuted for centuries and suffered terribly half a century ago doesn’t wipe out the fact that in Europe today, Jews are insiders with far less to suffer and fear than many other ethnic groups. Certainly racist attacks against a well-off minority are just as evil as racist attacks against a poor and powerless minority. But equally evil attackers do not make for equally worrisome attacks.

It is not Jews who live most in the shadow of the concentration camp. LePen’s ‘transit camps’ are for ‘Arabs’, not Jews. And though there are politically significant parties containing many antisemites, not one of these parties shows any sign of articulating, much less implementing, an antisemitic agenda. Nor is there any particular reason to suppose that, once in power, they will change their tune. Haider’s Austria is not considered dangerous for Jews; neither was Tudjman’s Croatia. And were there to be such danger, well, a nuclear-armed Jewish state stands ready to welcome any refugees, as do the US and Canada. And to say there are no real dangers now is not to say that we should ignore any dangers that may arise. If in France, for instance, the Front National starts advocating transit camps for Jews, or institutes anti-Jewish immigration policies, then we should be alarmed. But we should not be alarmed that something alarming might just conceivably happen: there are far more alarming things going on than that!

One might reply that, if things are not more alarming, it is only because the Jews and others have been so vigilant in combatting antisemitism. But this isn’t plausible. For one thing, vigilance about antisemitism is a kind of tunnel vision: as neofascists are learning, they can escape notice by keeping quiet about Jews. For another, there has been no great danger to Jews even in traditionally antisemitic countries where the world is *not* vigilant, like Croatia or the Ukraine. Countries that get very little attention seem no more dangerous than countries that get a lot. As for the vigorous reaction to LePen in France, that seems to have a lot more to do with French revulsion at neofascism than with the scoldings of the Anti-Defamation League. To suppose that the Jewish organizations and earnest columnists who pounce on antisemitism are saving the world from disaster is like claiming that Bertrand Russell and the Quakers were all that saved us from nuclear war.

Now one might say: whatever the real dangers, these events are truly agonizing for Jews, and bring back unbearably painful memories. That may be true for the very few who still have those memories; it is not true for Jews in general. I am a German Jew, and have a good claim to second-generation, third-hand victimhood. Antisemitic incidents and a climate of rising antisemitism don’t really bother me a hell of a lot. I’m much more scared of really dangerous situations, like driving. Besides, even painful memories and anxieties do not carry much weight against the actual physical suffering inflicted by discrimination against many non-Jews.

This is not to belittle all antisemitism, everywhere. One often hears of vicious antisemites in Poland and Russia, both on the streets and in government. But alarming as this may be, it is also immune to the influence of Israel-Palestine conflicts, and those conflicts are wildly unlikely to affect it one way or another. Moreover, so far as I know, nowhere is there as much violence against Jews as there is against ‘Arabs’. So even if antisemitism is, somewhere, a catastrophically serious matter, we can only conclude that anti-Arab sentiment is far more serious still. And since every antisemitic group is to a far greater extent anti-immigrant and anti-Arab, these groups can be fought, not in the name of antisemitism, but in the defense of Arabs and immigrants. So the antisemitic threat posed by these groups shouldn’t even make us want to focus on antisemitism: they are just as well fought in the name of justice for Arabs and immigrants.

In short, the real scandal today is not antisemitism but the importance it is given. Israel has committed war crimes. It has implicated Jews generally in these crimes, and Jews generally have hastened to implicate themselves. This has provoked hatred against Jews. Why not? Some of this hatred is racist, some isn’t, but who cares? Why should we pay any attention to this issue at all? Is the fact that Israel’s race war has provoked bitter anger of any importance besides the war itself? Is the remote possibility that somewhere, sometime, somehow, this hatred may in theory, possibly kill some Jews of any importance besides the brutal, actual, physical persecution of Palestinians, and the hundreds of thousands of votes for Arabs to be herded into transit camps? Oh, but I forgot. Drop everything. Someone spray-painted antisemitic slogans on a synagogue.

* Not even the ADL and B’nai B’rith include attacks on Israel in the tally; they speak of “The insidious way we have seen the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians used by anti-Semites“. And like many other people, I don’t count terrorist attacks by such as Al Quaeda as instances of antisemitism but rather of some misdirected quasi-military campaign against the US and Israel. Even if you count them in, it does not seem very dangerous to be a Jew outside Israel.

Michael Neumann is a professor of philosophy at Trent University in Ontario, Canada. He can be reached at: mneumann@trentu.ca

This article was originally published by “Counterpunch” –

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Information Clearing House.

The AZZ Freak Show starring Tom Pessah

March 05, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 By now, the discourse of the oppressed is defined by the sensitivities of the oppressor. 

By now, the discourse of the oppressed is defined by the sensitivities of the oppressor.

By Gilad Atzmon

If you want to understand how Jewish domination of the Palestinian solidarity movement has derailed the Palestinian struggle and caused complete paralysis of the movement, the explanation can be found in 972.com and Tom Pessah .

“Anti-Semitism is unlike most other forms of hatred” writes Pessah at 972.com today.  And why? Because  “it is both a form of bigotry and a false accusation.”  An Israeli Jew ‘pro’ Palestinian is telling us that while hatred of Jews is based on lies, other forms of hatred (misogyny, anti black, Islamophobia) must be factually supported. Can you think of a more telling example of morbid Judeo centrism?

“Bigotry is always bad,”  Pessah writes. And it seems that the tribal merchant has uttered what seems like a universal sentiment, until it becomes clear that again he is only referring  to his tribe. “It is bad for Jews inside the pro-Palestine movement .. it is bad for attracting Jews from outside the movement… and it provides plenty of ammunition for those seeking to silence Palestine solidarity activism by equating it with anti-Semitism.” Pessah’s  attack on ‘bigotry’ is only as it applies to Jews.

If self-love were a Jewish sport, Pessah would be an Olympic gold medalist . His Jews-only organisation, Jews For Racial and Economic Justice’s (JFREJ) new booklet, “does a good job of defining anti-Semitism as an ideology that uses lies and stereotypes about Jews in order to blame them for society’s problems.” Can  Pessah tell us how many goyim are members of the board of this exclusionary Jews-only oranisation? I looked at the booklet. I saw a lot of the usual ‘Zionism is not Judaism’ but I didn’t see  any attempt to explain what was meant by Jewishness. There were no references to the Jewishness of the Jewish State. The demography of the Ziocon club wasn’t mentioned in the booklet either.  What the JFREJ offers instead is the usual  lame  solidarity Hasbara — a desperate attempt to conceal the embarrassing fact that Israel defines itself as the Jewish State and is supported by a vast majority of Jewish institutions.

In his article, Pessah, an Israeli Jew who dwells on Palestinian land, attempts to impose boundaries on the Palestinian solidarity movement. It is no secret that Jewish activists feel threatened by the Palestinian Right of Return. In fact, the entire Jewish solidarity project can be seen as an attempt to weaken the Right of Return by diluting its content with as many misleading slogans as possible; For example: ‘End of Occupation, ‘Colonialism,’ ‘settler colonialism,’ ‘Apartheid’ etc. These terms are designed to divert the solidarity movement from the essential Palestinian cause and, in practice, to provide Israel with the right to exist.

To read more about The Jewish Solidarity Spin.

Pessah admits that he was initially concerned by the Palestinian Right of Return. But his anxiety was allayed when some “non-Arab pro Palestinians” explained to him that “Palestinians returning to their homeland didn’t have to mean expelling the current Jewish inhabitants. From then on, I started to make the right of return a central part of my advocacy work.”

And so, once again, we see that Pessah’s ‘solidarity’ is primarily concerned with Jews. It was only when he understood that Israelis would not be affected by the Right of Return that Pessah decided to integrate the slogan into his pro Palestinian phrase-book.

An Israeli Jew is now an authority on the true meaning of the Right of Return? It makes me wonder if Pessah has confirmed that the Palestinians have now given up on their villages, cities, orchards and fields? If this is the case, then please, set up a meeting immediately with Pessah, 972’s editorial staff and Bibi Netanyahu, seal a peace deal and once and for all put this Israeli/Palestinian conflict behind us.

But then, what is the meaning of the powerful Palestinian chant, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free?”  Pessah offers an interpretation. “We meant freedom for everyone.” Apparently the Zionists didn’t buy his nonsense. So Pessah and his ‘solidarity’ group have “promised to stop using this chant.”

Pessah writes,

“We had gone out of our way to be sensitive, taking the claim of Jewish safety seriously, while ignoring the politics these (Jewish)  lobby groups were trained to promote.”

Precious, isn’t it?

The followers of my work know that I contend that the result of Jewish domination within some segments of the Palestinian solidarity movement can be described in very clear terms:

The discourse of the oppressed is defined by the sensitivities of the oppressor.

Pessah has been stupid enough to bring this devlopment to light.

“When one of our allies confused the terms ‘Jews’ and ’Zionists,’ I wrote a long letter to my colleagues about the differences between the two.” We do not need Pessah  or Ali Abunimah to tell us that Zionism and Judaism aren’t identical. Leibnitz has provided us with the relevant theory.

The problem is that we cannot determine where Zionism ends and Jewishness starts. Similarly, it is impossible to determine where Pessah and the AZZs end and Netanyahu begins. All of them care primarily about Jews and their interests, they may disagree on the details.

Pessah proudly informs his 972 Jewish followers how he helped to silence a Muslim preacher, Abdul Malik Ali,  because he had claimed that

(a) “Zionist Jews” were behind a series of violent incidents that were blamed on Muslims, including 9/11, and that

(b) these same Jews owned the media. “Since then,” Pessah writes,

 

“Abdul Malik Ali has never been invited back to speak, and we were taken seriously after demonstrating that we did not conflate anti-Semitism with opposition to Israel’s policies.”

The generally admired Alison Weir is also an “enemy” as far as Pessah is concerned.  Pessah apparently  takes pride in her expulsion from the Leading BDS coalition.

As usual, yours truly is the ultimate enemy. This time I am accused of being

“a Holocaust denier and an active proponent of Nazism.”

I guess it really gets under these tribals’ skin that I insist that we stop treating the holocaust as a religion and instead elevate it to an historical chapter subject to the usual open scrutiny. Pessah boasts about the call made in 2012 for my disavowal. As Pessah and others surely know, this call had zero impact on my work or my career. If anything, it confirmed to many much that I have to say about Jewishness, choseness and the duplicity inherent in the AZZ camp. I have never worked closely with any Jewish groups or solidarity bodies dominated by tribal interests. I am a writer. I wrote The Wandering Who, which is, without a doubt the best selling book on Jewish ID politics. The book digs into the corrosive work of Jewish solidarity groups. It explains the tribal ideology that drives Pessah, Mondoweiss JVP, 972 and future Judeo-centric bodies to come.

If Pessah weren’t offended by my work and did not try to discredit me, I  would take it as an insult and consider early retirement.

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

cover bit small.jpg

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto

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

 

The Banality of Good, last segment-Finding the Way Home

February 07, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

If Jews can identify with their ‘promised land’, surely Palestinians, the true indigenous people of that land, should be entitled to do the same and actually return to their homes!

If Jews can identify with their ‘promised land’, surely Palestinians, the true indigenous people of that land, should be entitled to do the same and actually return to their homes!

By Clara S and Gilad Atzmon

Clara:   While not many people feel bounded with the soil nowadays, many people would argue that a spiritual home is not enough. I would agree. Identity groups seem to be an answer. But as you rightly said, identitarian views do not make a consistent argument for the universal, especially in a context of victimization. For others home is still a certain place they defend against the invasion of foreigners or wind turbines, which isn’t exactly a universal argument either.

Isn’t following a universal ethos a contradiction to the concept of home? And if not, how do we find our way?

Gilad:  Not at all, the bond to the soil, the love of the land, and even biological identitarianism can become universal as long as you accept that it applies to everyone. I am obviously anti- identitarian, but I do accept that, if Jews, Lesbians, Transsexual and Black can identify politically with their biology, then Whites can also do the same.  If Jews can identify with their imaginary  ‘promised land’, surely Palestinians, the true indigenous people of that land, should be entitled to do the same and actually return to their homes. In short every idea including egoism can turn into a universal ethos once it is stripped of exceptionalism.  And to address your question, ‘home’ can be a universal idea as long as we set universal conditions to facilitate such an idea. The Israel/Palestine conflict is a great test case. At the moment Israel is a chauvinist Jewish State. For Israel to become a universal adventure, it has to transcend itself into a ‘State of its Citizens.’  This idea was suggested by Palestinian-Israeli Knesset Member Azmi Bishara, soon after he coined this genius motto he had to run for his life.

Clara:   You have explained that Zionism was the promise to civilize the diaspora Jews by means of ‘homecoming’, making them people like all other people, a collective of people bonded with the soil and living in peace and harmony with their neighbors.

So is home, for you, living in peace with oneself and the universe, so to speak?

Gilad: To start with I am not a Zionist and making myself ‘people like all other people’ isn’t my objective. I also contend that making Jews people like all other people is a problematic motto for other people do not want to resemble other people.  Living in peace and loving my neighbors isn’t an objective for me but rather the way in which I live my life. However, my relationship with myself is a different matter all together. I, in fact, live in peace and harmony with my neighbours despite my upbringing and early indoctrination: despite the goy hatred, the chosenness, and the constant Shoah brainwashing. I had to clear  all those out of my system. This is exactly where self-hatred becomes a positive force towards harmony and reconciliation. 

 Clara:   I must admit, that when you first talked about self-hate being the path to the universal, I strongly disagreed. I thought it was exactly the path to hundreds of atomic bombs threatening the world. But I guess I didn’t grasp what you were saying at all. It is about that ‘know thyself’ moment in your life when you discovered you were ‘the Nazi here’ which changed everything, isn’t it?

 So I agree with you if you define self-hate as being able to look at yourself in a detached and self-critical way and self-love as not being able to do that. It needs that special ugly moment to develop such a capacity. To be honest, I have had such moments, too. But self-hate alone cannot be the way to harmony. I think you need to be able to love yourself to be able to love others. And btw, even though you call yourself a self-hater, I do not think that you hate yourself so much. You actually seem to be quite in peace with yourself and the world around you (a long as there is no smear campaign in sight).

Gilad: You are obviously correct. Let me address your point in a humorous manner. If you define Jewishness as an intense form of self-love, then Jewish self-hatred can be realised as ‘loving oneself hating oneself.’ We obviously accept that self hate is a metaphorical notion. I wouldn’t necessarily argue that it is a universal path. But it is clearly a recognized Jewish path towards the universal. It is a method of breaking out of intellectual and spiritual stagnation. I better admit that I love myself hating myself, this is probably what is left of the Jew in me. But I also love reading and exchanging with other self haters. For me the so-called self haters, Jesus, Spinoza, Weininger, Marx were whistleblowers, as we call them these days, they actually introduced a scope of harmony.

Clara:   We are talking about a painful individual process here. Can such a process be applied to a group? You said before that ‘there is no collective remedy to the Jewish question. If Jews want to rescue themselves, they must break out alone in the night, in the dark with the hope that they meet the universal at daybreak.

 Gilad: Yes, this is my view. There is no collective remedy for the Jewish question.  Why? Because people who are tied to each other by a phantasmic exceptionalist notion of race, biology or blood, will always fall into the same chauvinist racist trap. This is what happened to Zionism, it promised to emancipate the Jews from themselves but ended erecting the biggest ghetto walls known to man. This is exactly the trap the Jewish anti Zionist have fallen into. They promised to emancipate the Jews from the Zionist but ended operating within privileged racially oriented political ghettos that are identical with Zion.

Clara:   Isn’t that the end of any collective effort to fight for a peaceful and more just world?

Gilad: On the contrary, this is where we launch into a search for ethics in ourselves. This is where we depart from Jerusalem (the city of mitzvoth / commandments) and reinstate Athens (the capital of reason) once again. We dig into the meaning of being human regardless of our gender, race or skin colour. We leave the tribal behind and re-launch our expedition towards the universal.

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

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The Banality of Good pt. 6: Jewish Power and Identity Politics

February 03, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

By now, we are all Palestinians. Like the Palestinians we aren’t really allowed to dig into the true meaning of our oppression. Our opposition is shaped by the sensitivities of our oppressors.

By now, we are all Palestinians. Like the Palestinians we aren’t really allowed to dig into the true meaning of our oppression. Our opposition is shaped by the sensitivities of our oppressors.

 

By Clara S and Gilad Atzmon

Jewish Power and Identity Politics

Clara:   You show how Jewish institutions influence US policies, that it all happens in the open and that the Zionist lobbyists boast about their power. So, are Jews, in fact, controlling the world, just as the Nazis claimed they were?

Gilad: This is another multi layered question for which we must first clarify the terminology. Do the ‘Jews’ (the people) control the world? Absolutely not. But a few segments within the Jewish elite are certainly dominant and vastly over-represented within media, finance, culture, academia, politics, political lobbying, Hollywood and so on.  I elaborate on this volatile topic in my new book ‘Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto. The book was partially inspired by ‘The Jewish Century’, the monumental text by Yuri Slezkine that attempted to explain what it was within the Jews that made the 20th into their century: What is it about Jews and their culture that made them dominant in the West?  In Being in Time I offer a few of my original ideas. I also attempt to examine some other theories that have been largely rejected, but that I find  helpful.

My study suggests that the Jewish elite is extremely sophisticated as well as gifted.

Clara:   If they are so gifted, why do you see ‘their dominance in western culture’ as a problem? Can’t we all profit from their extraordinary talents?

Gilad:  To start with, we did and we do. That which we criticize is also that which makes our life special.  The obsession with the global free market which we hate is entangled with the imaginary sense of freedom we purport to celebrate.  The widespread  consumerism we hate is part of the illusion that we can posses whatever we want.

But this is a  problem as well.  The world we live in is not a nice place. It is  dystopic and we the people are becoming more nostalgic by the minute. At an earlier  point we saw ourselves as free subjects. Now not much is left of that decaying freedom.  We are reduced to consumers. The politicians who should  represent our needs and desires mostly just facilitate consumption by means of credit. Manufacturing has died on us and the prospect of a better future is remote. I addressed these troublesome issues in ‘Being in Time’. I believe that the identitarian revolution, or rather, the New Left ideology has a lot to do with the above. The Western subject has been indoctrinated to think and speak ‘as a’: as a gay, as a woman, as a black, etc. We learn to identify with our biology (gender, skin colour, sexual orientation, etc.)  We learn to see ourselves as an aggregation of biologically oriented tribes. Our people are a construct of multiple Israelite tribes, but the Israelites are better than anyone else at being Israelites, they have been doing it for 3000 years.

Clara: So identity politics are a Jewish construct?

Gilad: Exactly. And here is the most problematic twist. In ‘Being in Time’ I argue that the New Left has fallen into the Nazi trap. Dividing humanity by biology (race, skin colour, gender etc.) requires that we define ourselves and others in biological terms.  Instead of uniting under a dynamic universal ethos we are subject to new categories that make human universal harmony impossible.

We live in a totally fragmented society. Instead of fighting together for our common and universal needs, we are divided into identitarian groups and fight each other.

 Clara:   Biology? Doing what the Nazis did and even defining a ‘race’ when there is none? I see your point: a nice twist indeed.

Although defining oneself in terms of identity seems to be natural: we (nearly) all have experiences of loss and discrimination because of our ‘biological’ identity: as a woman, as a member of an ethnic minority, as somebody with a handicap, because of our sexual orientation, and on.

 Gilad: True. It is natural for people to identify with their biology.

This is why half of the Americans voted for Hillary Clinton. This is why ID politics is the only so called Left ideology that has gained in popularity. It also explains some of what what attracted the masses to Nazism.  And then, it also explains the logos at the core of Jewish tribalism.

 Clara: Gilad, I have a lot of sympathy for anti-discrimination and emancipatory movements. Without them I still would not have the right to vote and my independent career would not have been possible. The homosexual couple in my neighbourhood would have had to pose as cousins and a lot of barrier-free railway stations would be non-existent. And I, personally, love the mix of different ethnic cultures we experience in Germany, in spite of the problems that come with it.

For me as a teacher it has always been important to make sure I support those students who were not born with a silver spoon in their mouths. The motto of our school is ‘Diversity is our strength’ and I stand by that.

 When I first encountered criticism of identity politics I didn’t take it seriously because I found the criticism regressive: it came from the kind of people who want to send women back to, as the German saying goes, Kinder, Kueche, Kirche (kids, kitchen and church), forbid abortion, kick out foreigners and view homosexuality as something sick. Though there were increasingly aspects to the ‘multi-culti’ and open-border ideas that made me wonder. I must admit that it was not until the last American presidential race that I realized that within the Democratic Party, identitarian politics had replaced policies that were, in my opinion, ‘genuine Left’ such as improving people’s social and economic situation and anti-imperialism. And I realized that the same had happened to the left in Germany.

 So has the Left been captured by identitarians?

 Gilad: Yep, I fully understand. Like many others, I used to agree with Left ideology  but as I grew older I found the Left to be increasingly  delusional, dogmatic and frequently  duplicitous. I couldn’t detect any suggestion of dialectical thinking. Even the aspiration towards equality had somehow evaporated. In ‘The Wandering Who’ I shifted. Instead of asking what the ‘J-word’ represents, I asked what do people mean when they identify themselves as Jews? In ‘Being in Time’ I employed an identical strategy. I asked what is it that people who identify as Leftists adhere to?

The answer was pretty troubling. The New Left shares little or nothing  with old Left values. The New Left is tribal, biologically oriented, and it is authoritarian and often proto fascist. The Left was not simply captured by the identitarians, it was hijacked. The New Left is occupied territory and this is another reason why we are all Palestinians.

This is why I argue that by now the Left / Right dichotomy is meaningless and on the verge of futile. Welcome to the post-political condition.

Clara: We are all Palestinians?

Gilad: I believe that it was me who coined the popular adage, ‘by now, we are all Palestinians.’ The meaning of this saying is devastating.

Like the Palestinians we aren’t really allowed to dig into the true meaning of our oppression.  The boundaries of pro Palestinian discourse are shaped by Jewish sensitivities. Tragically, this is an adequate description of our Western dissent.  Our opposition is shaped by the sensitivities of our oppressors.

Clara:   So could we say that emancipation has been replaced by victimization? Are identity politics a  powerful movement of people who see the world through the restricted perspective of victims of racist, sexist or some other prejudice or discrimination?  Is its philosophy that ‘The world would be a better place, if everybody saw it the way I do’; ‘If xy changed his attitude, I could fulfill my  potential, I cannot do that because xy doesn’t let me do it’? Then it is always somebody else who is made responsible. No wonder that white males, who until now were symbols of oppression, also want to be recognized as victims. The steps from this thinking to hate and destructive violent behaviour are not that big:

“We shall have our manhood. We shall have it or the earth will be leveled by our attempts to gain it.” That is how Eldrige Cleaver  described the needs of blacks.  The way the MeToomovement brings down male ‘perpetrators’ also seems to be more driven by spite and the wish to humiliate than by the wish to bring wrong-doing to light and peace to women who have been scarred. True ‘souls on ice’!

And because we have to be ‘politically correct’ we are not allowed to criticize  victims so as not to hurt their feelings. But this doesn’t heal the harm. You go on feeding this particular ‘child,’  it will never be satisfied and will grow into a big fat monster crying ‘feed me!’ till the end of time.

But how does Jewish victimization and their huge success in the 20th century connect?

Gilad  It is amazing for me to read your comment  because I examined  ID politics and victimhood using a similar approach in ‘Being in Time’.  On the one hand we are all broken into biologically oriented tribes. We are defined by our skin, gender, mother’s gene, sexual orientation, yet it is only the biologically identified Jews who have a state, hundreds of atomic bombs, squadrons of F-35s and the question is why? Let me shock you. Because Jewish identity involves self- hatred. Early Zionism was the promise to change the Jews, to relieve them of their victimhood. To make them people like all other people. When identitarians learn how to hate themselves, they may start to move forward, they may even find their path back to the universal.

Clara:   Do you mean that self-hatred was the key to Zionism and if Jewishness hadn’t hijacked Zionism, the Jews could have found the path to the universal?
Gilad: Exactly, Zionism was driven by hard core self-loathing. A core principle of  Early Zionists was ‘negation of the Galut (Diaspora)’. This form of self-hatred  fuelled the fantasy of a new Jewish beginning. Zionism was a form of Jewish empowerment, that tried to replace victimhood.

Clara:   ‘… but I laugh, and eat well, and grow strong …’

Gilad: Yes. Instead of blaming the Goyim for anti-Semitic crimes, early Zionists looked into Jewish history and culture and tried to identify what is it in Jewish culture and politics that brings about anti-Semitism. This may explain why Jewish identitarianism has achieved far more than other  identitarian groups. Early Zionism, as far as I am concerned, was an astonishing transition in Jewish history.  Yet, the fact that it failed is even more significant. It might mean that there is no collective remedy to the Jewish question. If Jews want to rescue themselves, they must break out alone into the night, in the dark, with the hope that they may meet the universal at daybreak.  

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

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Daily Sabah: Exclusive interview with Gilad Atzmon

Comment:

Brother Gilad said: To survive is to win.

I say: To Win is to Survive and to Survive is to Resist. To Win Palestinians should realize that Palestine is a Part of Greater Syria “Bilad Asham”. They should bury Afratat’s slogan about “Palestinian Independent  Decision”. Thanks to Syria and allies for keeping the Palestinian Cause alive. Thanks to Daesh for breaking Sykes-Picot borders. Thanks to stupid TRUMP for uniting real Arabs and Real Muslims and Real Humans.

UP

Daily Sabah: Exclusive interview with Gilad Atzmon

January 22, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

I left Israel because I didn’t want to live on someone else’s land.

I left Israel because I didn’t want to live on someone else’s land.

https://www.dailysabah.com/

Gilad Atzmon In an interview with Daily Sabah’s editor Burak Altun digging into  the current crisis in the Middle East

Burak Altun: Mr Atzmon, you are one of the most gifted jazz musicians around. In addition, you  are actively engaged in peace in the Middle East and criticize the state of Israel  within that context. I can see two separate identities here – you are a musician and a political activist. At the social and political level, you complain about identity politics in the West. What is it all about?

Gilad Atzmon: To start with, you are very kind in your description of me, but let me correct you. I am not a political activist, I have never been involved in politics and I prefer to stay away from the so called activist community. The reason is simple. Activists always know the answers. I am a philosopher. My task is refining the questions. I can easily live in peace with more than one answer and even with competing and contradicting  answers.

However, let me address your question regarding identity politics. In the world in which I grew up the role of the political and especially Left politics was to point at that which unites us. Our left icons insisted that it didn’t matter whether one is a Muslim, Black, Jew or Woman, we were all united against the mammonites, those capitalist plunderers in the City. But this has  changed. At a certain stage the Left decided to embrace new tactics. We were taught how to speak ‘as a’: as a woman, as a Jew, as a Black, as a gay and so on. Instead of being united we were set up to fight each other. In this New Left/progressive universe, we the people are divided by our biology yet the global market is united in its war against us the people, against humanity and humanism.

How do you explain the allegations of anti-Semitism, which are repeatedly directed against you? You yourself differentiate between Judaism (the religion) and Jewish politics.  According to the logic of those who accuse you, critics of “Islamism” must be Islamophobes.

The accusation of anti-Semitsm is obviously an empty one. It is designed to stifle criticism of Israel and Jewish power. In my entire life I have never criticized Jews or anyone else as a people, race, biology or ethnicity. I deal solely with ID politics, ideology and culture!   For me racism becomes a problem when blind hatred is performed, when you hate X for being X, when you hate Black people for being Black or when you hate White people for being White. I can’t think of anyone who hates Jews for being Jews. I would admit that more than a few may oppose Jews for what they interpret as Jewish politics, Jewish Lobbying, Jewish ideology and so on. This tendency deserves our attention. It clearly deserves Jewish attention but Jewish power is the power to suppress criticism of Jewish power.

Now, your point regarding Islamists and Islamophobia deserve attention. I don’t believe that there are such things as ‘Islamists’ or ‘Islamism.’ In Islam, like in Judaism, there is no distinction between the political and religio.  Islamism is a Zionist/Neocon invention. It was created in an attempt to draw an imaginary dichotomy between the religious reality and the political. It is basically a projection of the Jewish post-assimilation reality on the Muslim world. It was invented in order to provide a ‘rationale’ for America and Britain so they could flatten Arab cities on behalf of Zion.

You said once in an interview for Russia Today that your charm is your defense against the antisemitic allegations. Can you elaborate? Can a likeable person basically not be an anti-Semite? And do you sometimes wonder if your critics are secretly playing your music before they go to bed? 

My comment on George Galloway was obviously comical. It is pretty obvious that a person who plays music every night with many Jews and shares platforms with rabbis cannot be ‘anti-semitic.’ It is hardly a secret that many of my supporters are Jews and even Israelis.

I would have loved to think that my detractors can enjoy my music. But I do not have any reason to believe that they are aesthetically inclined.

You grew up in a Zionist family and witnessed the Lebanon War in 1982. Would you be so committed to peace in the Middle East today if you had not had that experience? How do you feel about it when you reflect on your past?

It is hard to say. I am not a political person. I am doing what I am doing because I am curious.

I left Israel because I didn’t want to live on someone else’s land. But when I witnessed the Jewish Diaspora Zionists’ hawkish attitude and even worse, the duplicity at the core of the Jewish anti-Zionist discourse, I realised how intense Jewish identity is. I started to dig into it. We are dealing with complex and fascinating people who are shaped by a very old tribal philosophy that morphs quickly. By the time you think that you understand Jewish ID politics, it only suggests that Jewish ID politics has already morphed into something else. 

My philosophy hero Otto Weininger taught me that in art, self exploration is exploration of the world. For me, self reflection is understanding the troubling affairs around us. I guess that this is why Jews are so troubled by self hatred. It is an attempt of unveiling the concealed, the deepest secrets Jews tend to hide from themselves.

I do not need to ask you how about your stand on the U.S. decision regarding Jerusalem – but it would be interesting to know if you see a long-term departure from the “Trump’s Middle East policy. At the moment, the outcry is particularly great – which is partly due to the relevance of  Jerusalem. However, there had been no constructive development in the Middle East under Obama’s leadership. How do you rate the role of the USA – and especially the Israel lobby? You once said that AIPAC offered you money to become a member. Was the amount not big enough? 

Trump doesn’t have a middle East policy. And this is not a bad thing. America is not a key player anymore and this is a very positive development. We should thank Trump and Kushner for it. But it is true that this deterioration didn’t start just a year ago. I believe Obama made a conscious decision to pull out from the region. 

There is no doubt that AIPAC has been dominating American Middle East policy for a long time and it is totally obvious that AIPAC was serving the interests of a foreign state rather than American national interests. Americans can only blame themselves for letting this happen.

Since I left Israel, I have never been approached by a single Israeli or a Zionist body who tried to buy my support or collaboration.  The Jewish institutions and people who attempted to bribe me a few times in the past were of the Jewish anti-Zionist persuasion. I was offered to be ‘looked after’ and protected as long as I accepted their duplicitous terminology or just dumped my own. They wanted me to limit the discussion to Zionism and to make sure I drift away from the study of Jewish ID politics. Several times I was asked to denounce and disavow several people. I always rejected any dialogue with these kinds of tribal agent. In some cases I exposed these attempts. 

How do you rate the recent move by the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) led by President Erdoğan against the Trump decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? Will the UN resolution do something?

I’ll be honest with you. I do not think that anyone, including President Erdoğan, can liberate the Palestinians except the Palestinians themselves. How they do that is indeed a complicated question. I believe that Abbas is right. Time is their weapon. To survive is to win. The only people who can destroy the Jewish state are the Jews themselves. This is how they have always done it along their history.

In recent years, President Erdoğan has repeatedly, loudly complained of the Israeli government’s behavior towards the Palestinians and used harsh words such as “terrorist state” or “child murderer” regarding Israel. Many leaders of Arab states would never dare to do so that concretely. So Erdoğan’s popularity in Palestine seems very high. Do you believe that President Erdoğan can build a powerful counter-pole to Israel and the United States? It seems as if the EU member states have also moved a bit toward the Palestinians politically since the last Jerusalem crisis – even if they are looking for political pressure against Israel in vain.

President Erdoğan was indeed outspoken when it comes to Israel but I do understand how volatile the situation he is in. He has to deal with a very complex situation. Syria, the Kurds, Gülen, NATO, Russia and the USA. Unfortunately, Israel is a key player in all of that. We have seen the Turks swinging on issues to do with Israel. At the end of the day, Erdogan was elected to serve the Turkish people and this mission is probably difficult enough considering the complexity involved.

Do you still believe in the possibility of a two-state solution?

I’ve never believed in a two State Solution. And I am not so sure that the discussion about solutions is leading anywhere. It is designed to keep some activists busy so they have something to shout in their gatherings and pickets. 

What we really see is facts on the ground. Israel and Palestine are one state. One electrical grid, one international pre dial number (+972), one sewage system yet this state is oppressive, abusive and often genocidal towards the indigenous people of the land. Why? Because Israel defines itself as ‘the Jewish State.’ It is a state of the Jews rather than ‘a State of its citizens.’ For the situation to be resolved Israel must be ‘de-Jewishified’ (stripped of its Judeo-centric  exceptionalism and become  a state of its citizens, regardless of their ethnicity or religion). However, when this happens Israel will become Palestine from the river to the sea.

Thank you very much for the interview Mr Atzmon, and good luck with your music and your political commitment to peace in the Middle East.

All the best…

 

The Occidental Observer – “Being in Time” Book Review

December 04, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

Introduction by GA: Two weeks ago I posted a banal book review by  David Rich, an ultra Zionist caricature. Today The Occidental Observer published a review of Being in Time. This review is critical of some aspects of my work.  However, unlike the intellectually hollow Jewish rabid nationalist  Rich who offered little but name calling (fascist, anti-Semite etc.) Nigel Jackson’s text is scholarly oriented. Jackson locates Being in Time within a philosophical, intellectual and political framework.  He also examines the text from  right wing perspectives referring to some texts that are new to me. I learned a lot from this review. I tend to believe that there are no people within the contemporary Left milieu who could produce such a scholarly text anymore, and this is indeed sad on the verge of tragic!

being in time .jpg

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto, 

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

 

Review of Gilad Atzmon’s “Being in Time”

http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2017/12/04/review-of-gilad-atzmons-being-in-time/

Nigel Jackson

Being in Time by Gilad Atzmon (Skyscraper Publications, UK, 2017)

…the Radical party, who, to gratify their political prejudices, would join with Satan himself. (George Borrow, Lavengro, Chapter XLII)

In this well-produced and sturdily presented 213-page book the internationally celebrated jazz musician and political commentator continues the analyses of Jewish religion, culture, history and political influence in world politics which he initiated earlier in his 2011 book The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics. After reading it twice, I conclude that, among other things, he has provided very strong support for two men, often publicly reviled, whom I have admired and thought much about since 1964: Eric Butler, founding director of The Australian League of Rights, and Captain A. H. M. Ramsay, the British Conservative MP in the 1930s and 1940s.

Butler in 1946 published his book The International Jew which was very strongly attacked by hostile critics as being a deplorable anti-Semitic tract. His unwise use of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a framework for his study made the book an easy target, though its hostile critics did not successfully come to terms with its overall contents. However, his use as an epigraph of a sentence by Oscar Levy, who in his time was a famed Jewish writer and disciple of Nietzsche, would appear to have been thoroughly justified now by Atzmon, another Jew. ‘The question of the Jews and their influence on the world, past and present, cuts to the root of all things and should be discussed by every honest thinker.’ That could equally be an excellent epigraph for Being in Time.

Atzmon cites Yuri Slezkine’s 2006 book The Jewish Century as a confirmation of ‘Jewish dominance’ in world politics. He writes: ‘I do not care about ethnicity, biology or race, but I do care about ideology…. I see the cultural and ideological impact of Jerusalem on pretty much every aspect of Western life. But, unlike most commentators, I allow myself to voice my criticism of that aspect.’

Butler, following C. H. Douglas, identified the seat of the world’s ills in a corrupt financial system manipulated by a wealthy elite, largely if not wholly Jewish. Atzmon identifies the bad, ‘trade-oriented’ side of capitalism as ‘Mammon: banking, stock market, investment, currency manipulations and so on.’ This, he argues, is the root cause that has led to mass impoverishment of blue-collar workers in the USA and Britain, hence the election of Donald Trump and the British vote to leave the European Union. ‘Mammon… makes the rich richer but leaves them detached from the rest of society…. While traditional manufacturing involves labour on a large scale, Mammon is concerned only with the accumulation of wealth for its own sake and, as such, is impervious to social or ethical issues [including] care for the worker…. At present Mammonism is the driving force behind global capitalism…. As a direct result, production and manufacturing must always gravitate to where labour and production are cheapest.’

Atzmon expresses admiration for the prophetic writing of Henry Ford in his 1920 book, also called The International Jew. ‘Ford didn’t refer to the Jews as a whole, he didn’t criticise the Jews as a race or as an ethnicity…. He did oppose a tiny segment within world Jewry. For him the “international Jew” was a reference to a bunch of oligarchs and Mammonites.’ Atzmon writes in that tradition.

The originality of his analysis of this aspect of Jewish affairs lies in his detailed explanation of how it came about and how it has dominated the discourses of cultural Marxism, identity politics and political correctness to the great detriment of human freedom and living conditions in Western nations. It is, he explains, not so much a matter of conspiracy and secrecy as of centuries of development of relevant cognitive skills and practical marketing abilities in a Jewish elite whose spokesmen have actually been quite open about the success they have attained.

II

In 1964 I read Captain Ramsay’s book The Nameless War, which is also a manifesto against the dominance of a Jewish financial elite. Especially interesting to me was his account of recent Spanish history: ‘The next revolution to merit our attention is the one that broke out in Spain in 1936. Fortunately for Europe, it was frustrated by General Franco and a number of gallant men, who instantly took the field in opposition to the revolutionary forces, and succeeded in a long struggle in crushing them.

‘This achievement is all the more remarkable in view of the latest development in revolutionary organisation, which was then revealed in the shape of the International Brigades…. They were recruited from criminals, adventurers and dupes from 52 different countries, mysteriously transported and assembled in formations in Spain within a few weeks of the outbreak of disorder, uniformed in a garb closely related to our battle dress and armed with weapons bearing the Jewish five-pointed star. This star and the Seal of Solomon were upon the signet rings of N.C.O.s and officers in this communist horde of ill-disciplined ruffians. I have seen them myself in wear.’ Ramsay explained that German and Italian help was provided to the Spanish Nationalists after ‘Barcelona had been declared in October 1936 the capital of the Soviet States of Western Europe.’ (That was obviously a failed fore-runner of the European Union!)

Ramsay, a Catholic British patriot who sought to keep Britain out of what he could see would be a disastrous war with Germany, was arrested under the infamous Regulation 18B, soon after Winston Churchill assumed power in wartime Britain, and imprisoned without trial until 26th September 1944. In 1998 a detailed study of ‘British anti-Semitism’ in 1939 and 1940 was published, largely focusing on Ramsay. This was Patriotism Perverted by Richard Griffiths, whose hostility to right-wing conservatism had already been exhibited in his 1980 book Fellow Travellers of the Right: British Enthusiasts for Nazi Germany 1933–39. It seems from its index that Patriotism Perverted entirely ignores the above information about the Spanish Civil War which Ramsay had reported. Griffiths, one presumes, was a ‘guardian of the discourse’ (to use Atzmon’s term) and not a ‘guardian of the truth.’

Information in Being in Time, which derives partly from George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, seems to clearly justify Ramsay’s defence of Franco. Atzmon writes: ‘Orwell’s experience as a combatant with the Yiddish-speaking International Brigade in 1936 had left him disgusted by the intolerant correctness that was intrinsic to the revolution-motivated warriors around him.’ It made him ‘an opponent of the communist “party line” and crude “red” dogmatism.’ Atzmon states that a quarter of the Brigade were Jewish. ‘The Red Jews who travelled to Spain ended up fighting in Jewish legions because identity politics and Left-orientation are largely a Jewish intellectual domain that is actually quite foreign to working people…. The revolutionary Jews didn’t believe in God or keep the Sabbath but they were killing Spanish Catholics and often burning their churches, something Rabbinical Jews never did.’ Atzmon adds in a footnote the welcome news that ‘a growing number of contemporary historians accept that General Franco wasn’t a ‘Fascist’… [or] a ‘National Socialist’. He was a Catholic patriot.’ Unfortunately, ‘the delusional intent at the core of the Spanish International Brigade… is still a sacred taboo within Left circles.’

III

Atzmon is a master of iconoclasm within the realm of the political order. He is not always so adroit when seeking to articulate his vision of the good life as the foundation on which a better society can be built. For example, he foolishly sneers at the greatest of the mysteries of Judaism: ‘The Jewish God doesn’t even allow his people to utter his name.’ Those who turn their backs on the tradition in which they were reared often become too severe in their criticism of it. The Jewish commandment he rejects is designed to remind Jews of the nature of the Ain-Soph as an ultimate reality beyond words and forms. All the great sacred traditions attest to that reality in their profoundest teachings.

Atzmon sets up a series of binaries on which to base his discussion and one of these needs to be carefully examined. He writes: ‘Leo Strauss contends that Western civilisation oscillates between two intellectual and spiritual poles – Athens and Jerusalem. Athens … is the birthplace of reason, philosophy, art, science and the logos. Jerusalem … is the city of God where God’s law prevails. The philosopher, the true historian, or the essentialist … is the Athenian, “the guardian of the truth.” The Jerusalemite is “the guardian of the discourse”, the one who keeps the gate, in order to maintain law and order at the expense of ecstasies, poetry, beauty, reason and truth.’

This contrast does less than justice to Jerusalem and Jewish culture. The Old Testament contains many moving celebrations of ecstasy and beauty in most poignant poetry. Think of the Psalms and the Song of Songs. Strauss may have been right to point to an ongoing struggle between defenders and critics of doctrine, but identifying the one with Jerusalem and the other with Athens begs too many questions. It is notable that Atzmon says nothing at all about the magnificent system of the sephiroths in Jewish mysticism.

‘While Islam and Christianity are belief systems, Judaism is an obedience-regulatory system,’ suggests Atzmon. The truth is that all three ‘religions of the book’ contain both those systems, as well as mystical and esoteric traditions that go beyond them.

The phrase ‘guardians of the discourse’ need not always contain a pejorative sense, yet Atzmon usually gives it that. For example: ‘The Jerusalemite cultural Marxism is sustained by an institutional dismissal of the truth and the removal of any method that may result in approaching the truth.’ Such a dismissal is bad; but in other contexts ‘the discourse’ is rightly protected by its adherents, when tides of barbarism threaten to sweep away the garnered and stored wisdom and knowledge of the past.

Philosophy appeals to him more than religion: ‘The Abrahamic religions are founded on a set of counterfactual premises.’ Such premises may from one point of view be susceptible to challenge; but from another point of view they may be part of myths which emerged from the Real. ‘The Hebrew Bible is a chronicle of shunned prophets.’ Yes, but Jewish tradition has maintained them in memory and celebrates them today.

Despite these inadequacies of definition, Atzmon is basically a man of light. Following Martin Heidegger, he acknowledges the existence of ‘the Real’, which he distinguishes from contingent aspects of our mundane world: ‘The Real refers to truth that is unchangeable and absolute. The Real is metaphysical and abstract. Reality… is based on sense perception and the material order. The Real emerges as that which is outside language, within the domain of the inexpressible. The Real resists symbolisations.’ Atzmon adds: ‘Philosophy can be summed up, as Heidegger put it, as a prolonged story of “forgetfulness of Being”, the story of that which is closest to us and yet most mysterious and unattainable. Being and time are like the tip of your nose, so close you fail to see it. The truth is there at all times, all we have to do is open our eyes and contemplate it.’

It is in the light of this approach that Atzmon can write that for him ‘inquiry is a never-ending self-examination’ and note approvingly that for the film director Quentin Tarantino ‘dilemma is the existential essence.’ It is easy to see why Atzmon has become such a powerful defender of intellectual freedom. He is generous-hearted too: ‘An ethical society should care for all of its members, that they live and thrive.’

IV

Being in Time is a devastating attack on the corruption of the political process in Western nations at the present time, as the following quotations show.

‘Left ideology is like a dream.’ It is sustained by ‘the addictive rush of effecting change.’

‘Democracy operates to convey a false image of freedom of choice.’

‘While Western corporate culture is guided by the principle of a strict hierarchy defined by the survival of the fittest, academia, media and culture suppress any attempt to grasp the meaning, the nature and the essence of “fitness”…. [This is] sophisticated institutional oppression.’

‘Interference with language is nothing short of an attempt to limit intellectual freedom.’

‘There is a critical discrepancy in contemporary Left, liberal and progressive movements…. Jewish ethnocentrism and even Jewish racial exclusivity is fully accepted, while other forms of ethnocentrism are bluntly rejected…. The [progressive] discourse is selective, incoherent and unprincipled.’

‘The traditional cosmopolitan Left lacks the political means to replace this rapturous sense of volkish belonging with anything meaningful or popular enough to compete.’ [Atzmon is discussing the attachment of workers to their national icons.]

‘What does [identity politics] have to do with opposition to capital accumulation … mammonism? The answer is nothing.’

‘If the Left ideology is shaped and structured like a dream, then the role of the ideologist is to sustain the slumber.’

‘Cultural Marxism … is a largely manipulative method that is set to diminish or even dismantle the so-called bourgeois hegemonic culture in favour of an imaginary emancipation.’

‘The Jerusalemite cultural Marxism is sustained by an institutional dismissal of the truth and the removal of any method that may result in approaching the truth.’

‘The entire New Left infrastructure [has] … one basic mission: to divert attention from the blunders of Mammonism and from those who benefit most from Mammon.’

‘Since the 1970s America and the West have gone through a radical transition…. The Western worker has been reduced to a mere consumer.’

‘More and more people are losing the means necessary to sustain consumption and are sentenced to deprivation.’

‘Biology does not sit well with the ideas of equality, social change, the dream of what ought to be.’

‘The attempt to break society by means of identity politics also helps hide the fact that, for all our social justice sophistication, our society is subject to crude cognitive segregation.’

‘The reality of cognitive partitioning defies the fantasy of the “ought to be” and the utopian dream…. There is no possibility of full justice or equality.’

‘For the Left elite to tackle their issues, they would have had to transform their entire philosophical and methodological structure. They’d have had to … proceed into an ethical thinking that is dynamically flexible and unpredictable.’

‘Facing reality defies the nature of Left, liberal and progressive thinking.’

‘“After politics” is a tale of the complete victory by one oligarchy. The consequences may be fatal for our planet.’
‘Creating and maintaining dissent in order to control opposition is deeply embedded in modern, Jewish, secular politics.’

The overall picture is of a massive river of ‘useful idiots’ manipulated by a very small minority intent on maintaining their power, wealth and privilege. It would be nice to see some of our local Leftists grasping the nettle and admitting that they have been leading the troops to disaster rather than saving the world and preparing a paradise on earth.

V

It must be admitted that Atzmon uses a broad brush approach, reliant on many sweeping statements and generalisations. What, however, if his basic thesis is the truth? Then quibbles about exceptions and about inadequate definitions and terminology will not prevent Being in Time from being a prophetic masterpiece containing ‘the word for the day.’

Naturally Atzmon has been attacked as an ‘anti-Semite’, but, although his targets clearly extend across much of the range of contemporary Jewish culture and are not restricted to the mammonist elite, he is not blind to the misplaced idealism of many ‘progressive’ Jews and gentiles, nor does he write in a spirit of malice or hatred.

He has been careful in his discussion of the Jewish Holocaust, which he sees as the most popular ‘Jewish religion’ in our time. He has neither denied it in this book nor affirmed it. However he makes pertinent remarks about it:

Crucially, the Holocaust affirms the uniqueness of its followers. It is devoted to the primacy of Jewish suffering, granting the Jew the crown of thorns as the ultimate sufferer. It is also used to justify every Jewish action, from ethnic cleansing to genocide…. The Holocaust religion has united “The Jew” and “The Jews” within a self-sufficient, comprehensive and independent “God-less” narrative. Jews constitute the victims, the oppressors and the redeemers…. The religion prescribes a manner of speech and a strict set of commandments. Most crucially … it is totally and deplorably intolerant of any form of dissent.

Atzmon adds: ‘Real Jewish power is… the power to silence criticism of Jewish power. It is the capacity to determine the boundaries of the political discourse — and particularly criticism of itself.’ This very brave man has certainly set out to bell the cat!

VI

The book engages in relatively little discussion of the Right, of conservatism. This is because Atzmon sees the contemporary disaster as being the result of a much more powerful Left.

He associates the Right with rootedness, something T. S. Eliot described in his essay ‘Virgil and the Christian World’ as piety. He also associates it with romanticism and nostalgia for a better and vanished past. He hardly attends to the ongoing struggle of those of us on the Right which, essentially, is to ‘redeem the time’ and conserve as much as possible of our heritage while at the same time helping to build a better future in line with sacred tradition and the best elements of Western European culture.

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

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto, 

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

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