Gilad Atzmon Explains the Murder of the West by Identity Politics – Introduction by Paul Craig Roberts:

August 29, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

Paul Craig Roberts:

Gilad Atzmon Explains the Murder of the West by Identity Politics

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/08/28/gilad-atzmon-expains-murder-west-identity-politics/

“Strange, isn’t it, that one Jew, Gilad Atzmon, understands the dire situation of the Western World far better than does the entirety of the Western intellectual class, including its large Jewish component.

Read this and if you are successful in doing so, that is, not too handicapped by the low level of education to which Western “education” has degenerated, you will understand very much.

It is likely that Identity Politics has put the Western World into a situation from which recovery is impossible. All the rest of the world need do is to wait.”

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Gilad Atzmon’s Being In Time: A Post Political Manifesto is available now on: Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com and gilad.co.uk.   

 

Being In Time In Virginia

http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2017/8/15/being-in-virginia-in-time

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By Gilad Atzmon
In my recent book Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto, I pointed out that the West and America in particular have been led into a disastrous Identity (ID) clash. This week in Virginia we saw a glimpse of it.

In the book I argue that the transition from traditional Left ideology into New Left politics can be understood as the aggressive advocacy of sectarian and divisive ideologies. While the old Left made an effort to unite us all: gays, blacks, Jews or Whites into a political struggle against capital, the New Left has managed to divide us into ID sectors. We are trained to speak ‘as a…’: ‘as a Jew,’ ‘as a black,’ ‘as a Lesbian.’ The new left has taught us to identify with our biology, with our gender, sex orientation and our skin colour, as long as it isn’t ‘White’ of course.

In Being in Time, I noted that it was a question of time before White people would also decide to identify with their biology. And this is exactly what we saw in Virginia last weekend.

Tragically, ID politics is a vey dangerous political game. It is designed to pull people apart. It is there to introduce conflict and division. ID politics doesn’t offer a harmonious vision of society as a whole. Quite the opposite, it leads to an increasingly fractured social reality. Take, for instance, the continuous evolution of the LGBT group. It is constantly expanding to include more and more sectarian sexually oriented social subgroupings (LGBTQ, LGBTQAI and even LGBTQIAP ).

In the New Left social reality, we, the people are shoved into ID ghettos that are defined by our biology: skin colour, sexual orientation, the Jewish mother, etc.

Instead of what we need to do: fight together against big money, the bankers, the megacorporations, we fight each other, we learn to hate each other. We even drive our cars over each other.

I am opposed to all forms of ID politics, whether it is White, Black, Jewish, Gender or sex oriented. But, obviously if Jews, Gays and others are entitled to identify with their ‘biology’, white people are entitled to do the same. I think that universalism is what we used to call it when we still cared about intellectual integrity.

The problem created by ID politics is extremely grave. ID politics doesn’t offer a prospect of peace and harmony. Within the context of ID politics, we cannot envisage a peaceful resolution of the current ID clash. Can anyone foresee the LGBT community embracing KKK activists into their notion of ‘diverse society?’ The same can be said about the KKK, are they going to open their gates to cultural Marxists?

ID politics equals ID clash, an irreconcilable conflict with no end, the complete destruction of American and, to a certain extent, Western civilisation.  This may explain why George Soros and his open society are invested in this battle. As long as the working people are fighting each other, no one bothers to challenge the root cause of our current dystopia, namely the banks, global capitalism, wall street, Mammonism and so on.

The remedy is clear. America and the West must, at once, break away from all forms of ID politics. Instead of celebrating that which separates us, we must seek what unites and makes us into one people.  I am advocating a radical spiritual, ideological and metaphysical transition. Whether or not we like to admit it, these moments of unity are often invoked by waves of patriotism, nationalism and religious figures. But they could also be inspired by the spirit of justice, equality, compassion and love.  Neither the New Left or the Alt Right offers any of the above. They are equally invested in Identitarian ideologies. The electoral success of Trump, Corbyn and even Sanders or Le Pen points at a general human fatigue.  Readiness for change is in the air.

The Identitarian Shift & the Primacy of the Symptom
(Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto  pg. 49)
ID politics manifests itself as a set of group identification strategies. It subdues the ‘I’ in favour of symbolic identifiers: the ring on the appropriate ear, the nose stud, the type of skullcap, the colour of the scarf and so on.

Within the ID political cosmos, newly emerging ‘tribes’ (gays, lesbians, Jews, Blacks, Whites,vegans, etc.) are marched into the desert, led towards an appealing ‘promised land’, where the primacy of the symptom (gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, skin colour etc.) is supposed to evolve into a world in itself. But this liberal utopia is in practice a sectarian and segregated amalgam of ghettos that are blind to each other. It has nothing in common with the promised universal, inclusive cosmos.

‘The personal is political,’ as the common feminists and liberal preachers have disseminated since the 1960s, is a phrase designed to disguise the obvious; the personal is actually the antithesis of the political. It is, in fact, the disparity between the personal and the political that makes humanism into an evolving exchange known as history. Within the Identitarian discourse, the so-called ‘personal’ replaces true and genuine individualism with phony group identification – it suppresses all sense of authenticity, rootedness and belonging, in favour of a symbolism and imaginary collectivism that is supported by rituals and empty soundbites.Why are we willing to subject ourselves to politics based on biology, and who wrote this new theology found in pamphlets and in the growing numbers of ID Studies textbooks? Is there a contemporaneous God? And who created the ‘pillar of cloud’ we are all to follow?

It is clear that elements within the New Left, together with Jewish progressives and liberal intelligentsia, have been at the heart of the formation of the ideological foundation of ID politics. At least traditionally, both Jewish liberals and the Left were associated with opposition to any form of exclusive political agenda based on biology or ethnicity. Yet, one may wonder why does the New Left espouse such an exclusivist, sectarian and biologically driven agenda?

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21st Century: ID Politics Vs. The People

Patrick Henningsen with Gilad Atzmon and Jay Dyer

https://widget.spreaker.com/player?episode_id=12612322&theme=light&playlist=false&playlist-continuous=true&playlist-loop=false&playlist-autoupdate=true&autoplay=false&live-autoplay=false&chapters-image=true&cover_image_url=https://d3wo5wojvuv7l.cloudfront.net/images.spreaker.com/original/8d7725a748f63de6320a638a594518fb.jpg

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 Being In Time: A Post Political Manifesto is available now on: Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com and gilad.co.uk.   

http://21stcenturywire.com/

This week we deliver another LIVE broadcast from the UK, as SUNDAY WIRE host Patrick Henningsen is joined by two incredible guests to discuss the disturbing political situation in America. In the first hour we’ll be joined by artist and the brilliant and controversial best-selling author and internationally acclaimed jazz artist, Gilad Atzmonto discuss Charlottesville and the problem of Left vs Right identity politics in the West, as well its roots in Jewish ID politics, and how society might be able overcome the downward spiral it currently finds itself in. In the second hour we’re joined by author and analyst, Jay Dyer, from JaysAnalysis.com to talk about America’s new culture wars and why Leftist activists are now pulling down statues across the country and how this might accelerate to more censorship and ceremonial ‘book burning’ activities. In the final segment, we hear a thought-provoking interview with an American man who managed to turn from hating all Muslims to adopting a more open-minded, civil approach to dialogue – proving that communication is the key to conflict resolution.

Being in Time – a Revolutionary Leftist review by Roy Ratcliffe

Introduction by GA: the following is an extended review of my latest book, Being in Time, by Roy Ratcliffe, one of the last free creative thinkers within the Left milieu.

Far from being surprising, Ratcliffe, a revolutionary Marxist, found a lot of truth in the book. The same can be said about conservative and Right Wing intellectuals who also praised the book. How is it possible that both Right and Left ideologists/intellectuals agree upon the validity of a critical text?  Being in Time offers an answer to the above question. In Being in Time, Traditional Left and Right thinking modes are complimentary substances. They are like day and night, the ‘dream’ and the ‘real,’ together they from a mirror image of the human psychic, that mental transition between the ‘ought to be’ and ‘Being.’

Being in Time – a post political manifesto is critical of all forms of Identity (ID) politics: Jewish, gender, White, Black etc. The book argues that the breaking of society into biologically oriented ID sectors has obliterated our ability to fight together as one people. It was set to serve the interests of big money: the Soroses, the JP Morgans, the Goldmans, the Sachses. Being in Time attempts to explain why the USA is being pushed into a civil war. It explains why Trump became the president. It predicts Corbyn’s growing popularity.  It seeks a to offer a new synthesis of our human faculties. Instead of looking into that which spreads us apart, time is ripe to look into that that which unites us all.  

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Jewdas Lies (video-must watch)

August 04, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

https://youtu.be/TKMITv5ZPdw

By Gilad Atzmon

Jewdas calls itself a source of “Radical Voices for the alternative (Jewish) diaspora.” But If Jewdas is the ‘alternative’ then we really prefer the original.

Collaborating with the Campaign Against Antisemitsm’s (CAA) war against British jazz, Jewdas also decided that me playing Jazz is simply unacceptable. They are determined to stop me.

Two days ago at the Vortex Jazz Club in London, a bunch of skullcap boys joined by three Antifa members appeared 50 minutes ahead of my gig with leaflets that were blatantly duplicitous from top to bottom. Jewdas protestors urged my audience not to attend my gig. They obviously failed in their mission. The gig was sold out.

Interestingly enough, the leaflet offered one single ‘quote’ from my book ‘The Wandering Who.’ The quote read:  “Some brave people will say that Hitler was right after all.”

Far from being surprising, this line doesn’t exist in The Wandering Who. Jewdas consciously lied in an attempt to defame me by misrepresenting my thoughts. The line that does appear in The Wandering Who suggests the complete opposite meaning.

“We, for instance, can envisage an horrific situation in which an Israeli so-called ‘pre-emptive’ nuclear attack on Iran escalates into a disastrous nuclear war, in which tens of millions of people perish. I guess that amongst the survivors of such a nightmare scenario, some may be bold enough to argue that ‘Hitler might have been right after all.’

The above is obviously a fictional scenario, and by no means a wishful one, yet such a vision of a ‘possible’ horrific development should restrain Israeli or Zionist aggression towards Iran.” (The Wandering Who, pg 179)

In The Wandering Who I call for an introspective understanding of history that would deter Israel and its lobbies from pushing us into more wars.

The fact that Jewdas consciously lied provokes the necessary question. If I am as bad as Jewdas and the CAA insist, why do they see the need to doctor my words and even manufacture my statements? Surely, if I am anti-Semitic and Nazi supporting as Jewdas believes, it should have by now found a genuine statement by me that can support such a claim.

I ask myself whether Jewdas’ leaders reckon that young Jews in skullcaps standing in the street, intimidating a jazz club, distributing lies about an international musician, harassing bandmates and audiences reflects greatly on the Jewish community. I will save Jewdas the trouble of using their brains. NO is the obvious answer. The jazz community: musicians, audience, clubs are all disgusted by this anti Atzmon campaign.

In the Jewdas flyer I am accused of Holocaust denial. My followers as well as my detractors know very well that I am playing and teaching in Germany regularly. In fact next week I am leading a workshop in south Germany. Holocaust deniers are not welcome in Germany. If Jewdas or the CAA possess the evidence of me being a holocaust denier they better get me arrested or at least questioned in Germany.  My position on the holocaust is established worldwide.  I am against the holocaust or any other event in the past being treated as a religion or a dogma. I insist that if history is the attempt to narrate the past as we move along, then re-visting and revising the past is the true and only meaning of historical thinking! The holocaust like all other events must be subject to revision, so spoiled kids like Jewdas can review their own book burning actions within the appropriate context. I also contend that if the Holocaust is a religion, I persist upon being an atheist.

Jewdas must be completely detached from British society and the reality around them. In the flyer they accuse me of spreading Nazi propaganda and ideology in my concerts. Does this bunch of Jewish youngsters really believe that such a scenario is even conceivable in Britain or anywhere else? The question here is how such a ludicrous idea came into their undeveloped minds. The answer, interestingly enough, is available in The Wandering Whoand Being in Time, the books Jewdas are pretty much desperate to burn. What we see here is Pre-TSD (Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder). Within the context of Jewish Identity politics, being tormented by a delusional event is pretty common and even epidemic. Israel is terrified by a nuclear Iran and Jewdas is terrified by the possibility of Gilad Atzmon’s gigs being neo-nazi beer cellar gatherings. What we are dealing with here is an obvious case of projection. The Jewdases attribute their own problematic symptoms of hatred and vindictiveness to me.

Jewdas claims to be an alternative Jewish diaspora group, they claim to support Palestine and multi-culturalism. But the Palestinians were with me inside the vortex. Two of the most prolific leaders of the Palestinian solidarity movement worldwide (Jafar Ramini and Greta Berlin) were sitting in front of me at the vortex. We had Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians and Iranians. How do I know? They bought my books and CDs and I signed them. The Vortex was packed with people of all ages, from every corner on this planet. On stage we had an NYC Jewish guitarist, and ex Israeli bass player, an Italian drummer and myself. If Jewdas are interested in an alternative diaspora, they better come to my concerts and learn how to intermingle with real diversity and real people. If Jewdas are interested in an alternative diaspora, they should consider not to identify politically and culturally with a race. Because to my ears, Jewish Voice for Peace and Alternative Jewish Diaspora sound as bad as Aryan voice for Peace or Alternative Aryan Diaspora. In short, people who identify politically as a race are not the ones to teach us about tolerance.

The Vortex jazz club offered to host a discussion between my Jewish detractors and myself. I welcomed the idea, I sent an invitation to Jewdas, I am yet to hear back.

I should mention that if the campaign against my music was designed to ruin me financially, it may achieve the opposite. My book sales tripled in the last week or so. I guess I shouldn’t complain yet.

Gilad Atzmon’s book Being In Time: A Post Political Manifesto is available now on: Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com and gilad.co.uk.   

Learn more on Jewdas: http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2016/2/2/jewdas-a-glimpse-into-jewish-left-duplicity

Insight Vox: Gilad Atzmon and the attack on dissent (video)

August 03, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

Author and musician, Gilad Atzmon, has published several books on identity, politics and philosophy; most recently “Being in Time” which examines the post-political world.

He now faces a desperate attempt to destroy his musical career and take away his livelihood. In an extended interview we examine what he is saying that is “forbidden”, who seeks to silence him, how it is done and how we should respond.

Anonymous and unfounded charges of “holocaust denial”, “antisemitism” and of unspecified “hatred” are being used in these attacks. But never is evidence given, let alone tested. The allegations seem to have a power that does not require any underlying truth. How does rationality respond to such incantations?.

He is under attack for his ideas, but it is his music that is targeted, not the ideas themselves. Why should this be? Perhaps it is a simple and crude ploy to cripple him financially. But perhaps it is because in Atzmon, jazz remains a form of resistance. Beauty, spontaneity, grace and authenticity are the hallmarks of his music. Perhaps it is these qualities that his opponents cannot allow to exist.

Join Gilad Atzmon and David Scott as they explore the battle raging around “Being in Time”

Gilad Atzmon’s book Being In Time: A Post Political Manifesto is available now on: Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com and gilad.co.uk.   

Learn more on Jewdas: http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2016/2/2/jewdas-a-glimpse-into-jewish-left-duplicity

Palestine, Syria, ID Politics and the West

July 30, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

Interview by Dina Y. Sulaeman – Indonesia Center for Middle East Studies

http://ic-mes.org/politics/interview-with-gilad-atzmon/

Dina: In your book, “The Wandering Who”, you wrote extensively  about Jewish identity politics. Is ‘identity politics’ special for Jews?

Gilad: No, not at all. In my new book, ‘Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto,’ I present a universal approach to identity politics.

Jewish identity politics is a model for identity politics in general. In the west, we have witnessed the evolution of gay ID politics, black ID politics and so on. ID politics operates to teach people to speak and think ‘as a’;  ‘as a black’, ‘as a lesbian’, ‘as a feminist’, ‘as a Muslim’, etc. It is an attempt to break apart all the established and traditional social structures. Why? Because, the Jewish elite is fearful of the old structures, they tend to believe that anti-Semitism is rooted in the established edifice and in working people being united. The Frankfurt School and thinkers like Wilhelm Reich managed to revolutionise society– in the name of ‘progress,’ we are now divided and detached from our ‘reactionary’ roots.  But it is devastating that the left has been united against working people forging a cohesive identity… this is very strange because the left is supposed to look after the working people and unite and inspire them to action. The left in the west is disturbed by the fact that the working people always vote for the flag, for the right, for the nationalist, for Trump, for Hitler and so on. Accordingly, modern ID politics is a project that developed out of this unique intellectual and political bond between the left and Jewish intelligencia. The Jews are better at ID politics than any other group for an obvious reason. For the  gay, the black, the Muslim, the feminist or the lesbian, ID politicsis a new thing.  Jews have been doing itfor 3000 years — Jewish culture is identity politics.

It would be reasonable to argue that ID politics is an attempt to Jewify (as opposed to Judify)  the entire social order. It has been a project that has caused some devastating cultural, social and political impacts.

Dina: So, there are differences between the  ‘Jew’ and ‘Judaic’ thing.  In your book, you said that the problem, in Palestine for instance,  isJewishness rather than  Zionism. Can you explain it?

Gilad: It is confusing. Jewishness is the belief that the Jews are somehow special, chosen, privileged and should enjoy and celebrate their privilege. Not all Jews subscribe to this idea, but many of them do. Even the Jewish anti-Zionist will say, ‘listen to us, we can say something that you (goyim, gentiles) can’t, we as the Jews in the movement,  give you a ‘kosher stamp.’ They are  basically claiming that ‘we are privileged’.  Even Jewish anti-Zionists subscribe to hard corechoseness. Norman Finkelstein, whom I admire intellectually, used  to say, I can say it because my mother was in a concentration camp.  What about you Dina? Your mother wasn’t in Auschwitz, can you still think or express your thoughts ? Or support Palestine? Or do you have to send your mother to Auschwitz before you make a judgment on Israel or other aspects of Jewish power? Choseness is, unfortunately, embedded in Jewish thinking.

Zionism is just one symptom of Jewish choseness. Interestingly enough, and this is my first time I have said this in an interview, some people, including some of my best friends, say that ‘Judaism was hijacked by Zionism.’  I say NO.  It is the other way around — Zionism was hijacked by Jewishness and eventually Judaism.

Zionism was initially an anti-Jewish movement. Zionism started in  the late 19th century. It proclaimed that Diaspora Jews were an ugly parasitic identity; they didn’twork, they didn’tfarm, they were traders and bankers, capitalists, usurers, exploiters and so on, ..but this wasn’t entirely their fault. It had happened because Jews  didn’t  have a land of their own. “Once we settle in Palestine, all of that will change.”  And, indeed, they went to Palestine and for two weeks they worked on the land and built factories.  But then they found out that the Palestinians were cheaper [labour] and they all became Jews again.   It is amazing that Zionism was a secular movement that promised to ‘civilise’ the Jew. But then ideological Zionism was hijacked by Jewish exceptionalism and later by Judaic choseness. While early Zionism operated to defeat choseness, Israel and Zionism have little to offer but chosenism.

There is a problem with certain interpretations of Judaism. I do accept that some  orthodox  interpretations of Judaism may defy supremacy. But I’ve yet to come across any Judaic perception that I can accept as ethicalor universal. Judaism is not a universal precept:

  1. It’s tribal. It does not refer to  “us” as humanity, it is, instead, all about  “us” the Jews.
  2. There are no ethics in Judaism. In Islam or Christianity, you are expected to  take action based upon belief such as’ jihad,’ you purify yourself. In Judaism‘ethics’ is replaced by ‘commandments’ and ‘mitzvoth’, you follow rules to do this and that, and rules not to do that and this. You are not supposed to make an independent judgement. They tell you, “don’t kill, don’t steal.” Human beings do not need to to be told not to kill, theyknow it’s ethically wrong. In Jerusalem, regulations replace ethics!

Dina: but then when we say that the root of the Palestinian problem is Jewishness (not Zionism), they will call us anti-Jew or anti Semites.

Gilad: It is not nice, but this is a tactic that has been used to silence the discussion. However, we are not talking here about individual  people, we are referring to ideology and we are supposed to be able to criticize ideology. But, as we can see, some Jews don’t want us to do that, and for an obvious reason!

Do you have identity politics here in Indonesia?

Dina: well..yes… We have some Muslim groups that keep saying that the muslims are oppressed by the Chinese and the Christians; they accused the government of being pro-Chinese/Christian.

Gilad: I’m not familiar with Indonesian society and politics, but you just confirmedwhat I have been saying –identity politics is always used as an attempt to weaken the hegemonical structure.

As a nation, we enjoy  the ability to mobilise  as one people. It doesn’t matter if you are Muslim, Christian, or Hindu, we are together, caring for each other, because we share the same land, and our most important values as a country are health, education, and work (production, manufacturing). If I speak instead ‘as a Muslim,’  ‘as a Christian,’  ‘as a woman,’  ‘as a lesbian,’ I contribute to the breaking of society into sectors. The most interesting thing about the sectorial break is that each sector is a cosmopolitan one. If I define myself as a Muslim identitarian then the border of my identity is not the physical border of Indonesia, it extends to Malaysia, the Middle East, the Balkans and even Europe and the United States. If I define myself as a gay, the border also transcends  beyond my country. This is exactly how Jewish identity operates. Jews, as we know,  are not attached to any piece of geography, it is a cosmopolitan  identity.  Zionism initially attempted to defy Jewish cosmopolitanism.

In America, for instance, I speak about the patriots vs. the identitarians, the patriots who see themselves primarily as Americans. So you can be black, you can be gay, you can be a Jew, but you say: I’m an American who happens to be black, I’m an American who happens to be a Jew, I’m an American who happens to be gay. But the identitarians  see themselves primarily as sectarians:   I’m a gay who lives in America, I’m a Muslim who lives in America.  And it’s a very big difference. Because if you are primarily gay, your primary interest is in promoting gay rights and gay interests, for example, to have a dedicated hospital for AIDS. If you are black, you want to see special budget allocations for black people and their needs. But for patriots, whoever they are, the most important thing is a new factory so that we, as a collective (gays, black, Jews, women etc) , have a good reason to wake up in the morning and go to work.

Dina: So in your view, nationalism is very important, right?

Gilad: If global capitalism is a problem, and I thinkit is, then, national socialism may be the answer. What I mean by national socialism is localism combined with equality. I don’t mean racism, I’m anti racist. I am also opposed to tyranny. I would say that my vision of national socialism is similar to that of George Orwell. It is patriotic yet humanitarian: anti racist and anti tyrannical.

Dina: Now I want to talk about Syria with you. Do you think the Syrian conflict distracted public opinion towards Palestine?

Gilad: It did, this is a very clear observation. The crisis in Syria is a hideousdisaster and it has definitely distracted attention from Palestine, and who benefits from that? Israel, of course. This is why it shouldn’t surprise us that the major players in the creation of this crisis were Israel and its supportive Jewish Lobbies. And it shouldn’t surprise us that Israel and the Jewish Lobby are now changing sides. In the beginning they supported Al Nusra, now they seem to be with the Russians. Turkey has switched sides too, they still don’t like Assad but they prefer Assad to having a Kurdish State on their eastern border . So we are dealing with a level of deadly global opportunism. Many within the the pro-Palestinian activist network  are also changing sides, they were anti Assad initially and are now pro Assad.

The Palestinian leaderswere not very politic here. The Assad regime was very supportive of Palestine. Hafez, Bashar’s father, fully supported Hamas. It was devastating  to see how quickly Hamas decided to oppose Assad. I understand why it happened… Qatar, the Saudis, the Sunni alliance, the Muslim Brotherhood. I don’t like to criticize Palestinians and their politics  but they were not very clever here.

Dina: ok last question, what is the future of Palestine?

Gilad: I don’t think that we are moving toward a peace negotiation, a peace plan or an orchestrated reconciliation. When people talk about two states, what they really mean is two Jewish states. But I believe that within the next 20-30 years we will see a Palestinian majority on the land. It’s a just a matter of time. Here I agree with Abbas. Everybody likes to hate Abbas. But Abbas understands that time is on the side of the Palestinians. For Abbas demography is the one and only Palestinian bomb.

Dina: So you don’t agree with jihad?

Gilad: I didn’t say I am against jihad. If Palestinians resist, they will always get my support. They live in hell and I will always support them. This is my role. But I’m not in position to advocate a solution or push a political or military mantra. I see myself as a (Hebrew speaking) Palestinian,  but I don’t live there. I cannot urge people to get themselves killed while I live comfortably in London. I cannot tell them to sit and wait either. It is not my role. My job as an intellectual is to try to explain what is happening. Abbas says that if we engage in active war, they [the Israelis] will throw us all out, they will kill us, they have no mercy, and he is absolutely right. So, we just have to sit and wait;  this land will be Palestine from river to the sea.

Dina: do you refer to  demography?

Gilad:  Absolutely!

theduran.com: Gilad Atzmon on politics in music, Roger Waters, Palestine and humanitarianism

by Adam Garrie

http://theduran.com

Jazz musician, author and philosopher Gilad Atzmon spoke with The Duran about Roger Waters verses the Israel lobby, the place of politics in music, freedom versus dogma and Palestinian freedom in the 21st century.

Recently, Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has been in the news, not for his North America musical tour but for his politics. As an outspoken supporter of Palestine, he has come up against the Israel lobby in many western countries.

Recently, various pro-Israel activists have financed the making of a film against Waters called Wish You Weren’t Here,a mockery of the Pink Floyd album and song Wish You Were Here.

Even among politically minded musicians, few talk about the Israel/Palestine issue. I recently spoke with acclaimed jazz musician, philosopher, social commentator and pro-Palestine thinker Gilad Atzmon about his reaction to the latest attempt to smear Roger Waters over his advocacy of Palestinian justice.

Adam Garrie: As someone who started life as a musician, I have a special affection for music and I would personally never judge my emotive experience at listening to a piece of music based on the politics of the composers and/or performers. At the same time, I am deeply political and am consequently always attentive when musicians decide to get political.

It is nothing new. From Beethoven’s 9th symphony, to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture and Strauss’s 4 Last Songs, musicians have always been immersed in world events. People look to the revolutionary attributes of jazz heroes like Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Roland Kirk and Miles Davis to the folk, pop and rock music of Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Pink Floyd as a source of meaning that ties the political into the emotional and dare I say the spiritual also.

What do you think the connection is and ought to be between music and politics?

 Gilad Atzmon: To start with, although historically musicians and artist have been highly involved in politics, I am not so sure that this is the case anymore.  The culture industry has evolved into a subservient operation. First it reduced beauty into a commodity and  then utilized it as a propaganda tool. Our (music) festivals are funded by banks and politically oriented cultural institutes.

There is no doubt, for instance,  that Jazz, the voice of the oppressed, has lost touch with its original poignant revolutionary impetus. It has been mostly reduced into emotionless scholarly noise verging on academic masturbation.

While politicians operate within a giving symbolic order, artists question conventions and re-invent symbolism. At present, the domineering aspect of the industry reduces the artist into a propagator of accepted conventions utilizing acceptable symbolism. I rebel against all of it. I prefer to dig and to seek the truth, I don’t claim to know the truth but I love excavating.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcYy1L67S-I

 AG: When it comes to the issue of Palestinian freedom and dignity, three people who can justifiably be called music legends stand out as  artists who have used both their music and their voices to speak out, there is yourself, Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) and Robert Wyatt (Soft Machine). Are these artists different than others who talk about political issues, people who tend to flirt with the establishment for example like Bono?

GA:  First, thank you for considering me a ‘legend.’ Supporting Palestine is no doubt a noble cause. Moreover, since the music industry is largely an extended Jewish syndicate, opposition to the Jewish State is a self-inflicted death sentence. As you would expect, not many reasonable people choose to sentence themselves to death.

Robert Wyatt has been supporting Palestine because he is the most authentic mench around. Waters performed in Israel a few years ago, he witnessed the oppression, he was moved by it. He joined the solidarity movement. My case is a bit different.

I was born in Israel. It took me many years to grasp that Israel was Palestine and I was living on someone else’s land. When I understood this, I immigrated to London where I found that Diaspora Jews who operate politically as Jews (Zionist as well as ‘anti’) are far more obnoxious and even dangerous than Israel is. The Lobby (AIPAC, LFI, CFI, CRIFF) dominates USA, UK and French foreign affairs. It pushes us into wars. Unfortunately,  a similar Jewish lobby dominates the Palestinian solidarity movement and has managed to reduce the Palestinian call for a ‘Right of Return’ into an internal Jewish debate about the ‘Right to BDS’ (Boycott, Divest & Sanction Israeli goods).  I started to ask myself questions relating to Jewish power and the Jewish past. I realised that Palestinians are just the Goyim du jour. If we want to help Palestine, we have to understand that by now we are all Palestinians.

Bono, is an interesting case. I would love to believe that he is a genuine and empathetic human being. But too often his activity somehow coincides with neocon interests, colonial imperialism and mammonism in general. Whether Bono is informed enough or not is beyond me. I have never looked into his case in a scholarly manner.

 

 AG: Have you ever personally feared that your musical career could be harmed because of your philosophical, sociological and political statements even though you’re an ardent advocate of peace and human dignity for all?

GA: Assaults against my artistic activity occur daily. Promoters and presenters of my work are subject to a constant barrage of pressure and even threats. Very rarely they succeed in having a gig of mine cancelled.

However, this is crucial. In Europe there are broad hate speech prohibitions. Despite the endless attempts to silence me, not once have I been questioned by a law enforcement body anywhere around the world about anything I said or wrote.

AG: Imagine you are the child in a secular Jewish/Zionist home. You like listening to Pink Floyd’s records as almost all young people have done since the 1960s. Your parents then tell you not to listen anymore because of Roger Waters’ views on Palestine. What might you feel? Would listening to Roger’s music become an act of youthful rebellion decades after The Dark Side of The Moon and The Wall were recorded?

GA: If Zionism was a promise to make Jews people like all other people, then stopping your children from listening to Pink Floyd guarantees that they won’t be people like other people.

AG: In addition to speaking out against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, Roger Waters encourages all musicians to boycott Israel. What are your views on this and if you were invited to Israel to perform your music would you go? If you went would you feel that you would be at risk of violence due to your philosophy and statements?

GA: Yesterday in Prague I met two Israeli musicians who used to work with me in the 1980s. We ended up talking about Roger Waters. They weren’t politically oriented people however, they suggested that Waters is on shaky moral ground because Waters mounts pressure on artists to join BDS and boycott Israel. Let me shock you, I am also troubled by that. The fact that Palestinian solidarity activists can’t differentiate between a tomato and a poet or between an avocado and a historian troubles me.  I am an avid advocate of freedom of speech and expression. I want beauty and ideas to travel freely.

Every discourse is a set of boundaries.  I was invited last year to participate in the 30th Red Sea Festival. My personal boundary is that I will not visit the Jewish State or any other state that is set to serve the interest of one race. I vowed not to visit Israel unless it is a state of its citizens and by that I mean that it is Palestine from River to the Sea.

AG: Roger Waters often pens open letters to fellow artists. Here is your opportunity to do the same. What would you write to Roger?

GA:  Dear Roger:

As a hero of humanity and freedom who made the prospect of a bright future into a song, I urge you to distinguish between Athens and Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the city of revelation and commandments, it provides us with a set of laws that define right and wrong. Athens, on the other hand, is the symbol of philosophy, beauty, science and reason.  Activists belong to Jerusalem, philosophers are from Athens. You cannot fight Jerusalem while being a Jerusalemite. Athens is where you belong. Let’s enable people to think for themselves and learn to make ethical judgements. Let us choose Athens rather than setting a different tyranny of correctness.

AG: Roger Waters is now 73. His musical statement has been very much ingrained on the world and that won’t be taken away. If there was a young man of 17 with the musical talents of for example yourself or Roger and the political views of either yourself or Roger, would you advise them to hold their tongue for the sake of their career assuming you were asked with sincerity and respect?

GA: I guess that I pay a price for being outspoken, but I am very happy. I am a free agent. As I said above, I am not an activist, I don’t advise people what to do or what to say, I endeavor to help people form their own thoughts as they move along. The same rule applies to me, my thoughts are shaped and reshaped constantly. For me this is what Being in Time is all about.

 

AG: Gilad, you recently played on Pink Floyd’s ‘final’ record, The Endless River featuring the line-up of David Gilmour, Nick Mason with archived recordings from the late Richard Wright. If you are able to do so, can you disclose if your politics were discussed during the recording sessions given that the elephant in the room would have been the fact that your politics are most similar to the ex-Pink Floyd member Roger Waters who was not on that particular album?

GA: We didn’t touch upon politics, we were there for music. What fascinated me was that I initially experimented with my tenor sax. It wasn’t easy, I am not the ideal Pink Floyd saxophonist. Then I went into the control room and told David Gilmour and Phil Manzanera that in my mind, I  heard something completely different—a Turkish clarinet. I played one take, there was silence. David said that it was beautiful but totally foreign to Pink Floyd’s sound.  I agreed, he was correct. But I told him that this was what I heard. I didn’t think that my clarinet would make it into the Album, but it did. The explanation is simple: through art, beauty reveals  itself as an authenticity.

 

 AG: Do you think condemnation of artists like yourself, Roger Waters, Robert Wyatt and others from the Israel lobby has any negative effect on how your music is perceived and enjoyed? On the contrary does it have a positive effect or is it immaterial to most music lovers?

 GA: If anything, the attacks provide humanity with a glimpse into the vindictiveness that is unfortunately embedded in Jewish Identity politics, both Zionist and anti. My response; the more they attack, the faster and louder I play. Still, there is something I fail to understand. If the lobby is upset by my criticism of Jewish Identity politics, all they have to do is make sure that the saxophone is constantly shoved into my mouth. They should insure that I play 24/7, they should book my gigs rather than try to cancel them.

Gilad Atzmon’s book Being In Time: A Post Political Manifesto is available now on: Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com and gilad.co.uk.   

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