The Banality of Good pt. 7: Global Tribes vs. National Pride

February 05, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

If global capitalism is a problem, we may have to consider the idea that equality within borders is a possible answer.

If global capitalism is a problem, we may have to consider the idea that equality within borders is a possible answer.

Global Tribes vs. National Pride

Clara:   I have just been reading a Canadian Jewish news bulletin and all the tribal features are there: the community life with kosher catering, the private Sunday schools with their curriculum of Jewish culture, Judaism and the Holocaust, the comment on why we shouldn’t sympathize with Palestinian children and the trip for adolescents to Israel where each of them is supposed to find out ‘what Israel means to me’.

In my opinion one of the flaws of biologically oriented identity politics is the belief that ‘the differences between the respective identity groups are bigger than the differences within the group’ as the ‘Saker’ defines ‘racism’. I am not sure that supporting Israel’s politics is really in the best interests of all the Canadian (US-American, British or German) Jews or even in the best interests of the Israelis themselves. But as members of the tribe they are all on board of the same ship.

Is that what you mean when you argue that identity politics are a tool of globalization and that  the ‘identitarian tribes’ are used to support Neocon / Zionist policies?

Gilad: It is actually simpler than that. The emergence of more and more ghetto walls between us the people dismantles our ability to fight for our universal needs, let alone see the universal for what it is. In the name of diversity, we create a fragmented human landscape that is blinded to its fragments.  This tribal construct is indeed ideal environment for Neocons, mammonites as well as our compromised politicians.

Clara:   In ‘The wandering who’ you write that compassion has evaporated in Jewish thinking. I often feel it is the same in Germany: we do not sympathise with the Greek people and their poverty in connection with the introduction of the Euro, we think they ought to be punished for ‘being lazy, living above their means and not doing their homework’. The same goes for the poor in our country. And we mourn the victims of terrorism in Germany and France but we are not really interested in the terror victims in St Petersburg, Beirut or the terrible suffering in Yemen. And the one time our politicians seemed to show compassion by opening the borders for refugees, the many Germans who, like myself, welcomed that chance had to realize the double standards which were behind it: supporting the wars and economic policies that caused people to leave their homes and not adequately addressing the social and security problems the influx of refugees caused at home.  

Does this lack of compassion have to do with the ‘incapability of mourning one’s own fate’ we mentioned in the beginning of our conversation and which seems to be a common feature in Jewish and German mainstream thinking?

Gilad: The lack of compassion is a symptom of chosenness and exceptionalism . Chosenness and exceptionalism are indeed attached to Jewishness but not only. It is hardly a secret that the selfish manner of thinking is embedded in capitalist thinking. The next question you may want to ask yourself is what is the connection between Jewish culture and capitalism. This is obviously a loaded question that has many answers. Marx believed that the two were intrinsically tied. Werner Sombart agreed with Marx. Max Weber didn’t.  My point, as always, is that we must be able to discuss these matters in the open.

Clara:   I agree, and it is actually a kind of selective compassion with double standards. But there is also the aspect of collectively getting stuck in the victimized self-image connected with identitarian world views.
Anyway, let’s be a bit more specific here. In a talk you gave in Berlin you said that for example the international feminist movement was used to promote wars for the rights of Muslim women. And just recently Angela Jolie posed for NATO exactly for that reason. You also gave the example of gay rights. When it comes to attacking Russia, gay activists from many countries show their concern about gay rights there. So we are led from one fragmented campaign to the other and forget about more important issues.

But what is the alternative? In that talk you seemed to argue that we should return to think in terms of national interests instead. You seem to want to replace the concept of ‘identitarian tribes’ by returning to the idea of strong national states and fixed borders. Isn’t that a very dangerous right-wing concept? Doesn’t that lead to new chauvinism, the persecution of ethnic minorities and more?

Gilad:  This is a good question. To start with, I am not a political activist. I do not offer solutions or alternatives. As mentioned before, I am a philosopher, I am refining questions rather than repeating readymade answers.  I indeed often argue that if global capitalism is a problem (and it is a problem), we may have to consider the idea that equality within borders is a possible answer. Now, let’s talk about Nationalism and National States. I contend that Nationalism isn’t necessarily a problem unless celebrated on the expense of others. In the 1940’s people and nations were minced in the name of lebensraum, in the Neocon dominated global universe we do the same in the name of Coca-Cola, Gay-Rights and fake democracy. I argue, therefore that ethical thinking which is basically an Athenian aspired domain is the remedy.   

Clara:   If there is a definition of left wing, it is concern for social issues and anti-imperialism. Many people argue that politics addressing these issues need a strong national state, i.e. Bill Mitchell  (fiscal policies), Paul Steinhardt (social welfare policies – paywall) and Professor Michael Hartman (national elites are still strong). While others advocate ‘more EU’ to address social issues on an international level, these people claim that such a project is bound to fail, even if tried which currently is not really the case; the EU is not a social project. The right wing parties want ‘less EU’ as well, but tend to support neo-liberal policies.
But again – slippery grounds – people quickly ‘stone you’ when you start talking about the role of the national state. When Sarah Wagenknecht from the Left Party criticized Merkel’s open-border policy, she was accused of socializing with the right-wingers from AfD.

Often accusations of working together with right-wing people (Nazis!) replace an open exchange of argument. I think this is a dangerous development.

Gilad: Again, you are pointing at the Jerusalemite tendency, that tyranny of correctness that dictates a manner of speech, a pattern of ‘correct’ thinking, newspeak. Orwell recognized that that tendency is inherent to Left politics which is fascinating considering the Athenian dialectic nature of Marx thinking. We are living in an upside down world –The anti Fascist are often intrinsically fascists. The anti Zionists are mostly AZZ (Anti Zionist Zionists) and the Athenians who see it all are castigated subject to constant abuse. Yet, the people are not buying into that reality. Brexit proves that Brits want to see a change. Trump won because Americans are frustrated (surely, they are more frustrated now).  Far from being surprising the popularity of Corbyn in Britain and Sanders in the USA can be realised as a similar symptom of frustration with the current identitarian dystopia. Both leaders are nostalgic anti identiatrian characters.  The meaning of it is simple. We are moving into a realm that transcends beyond left/right banal binary. To be in time is to grasp the post political condition.

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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The Banality of Good Pt. 5 – Pre TSD, Zionism and Empire

February 01, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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 By Clara S and Gilad Atzmon

Clara:   After having read Exodus as a teenager I was convinced that after the Holocaust finding a new home in Israel and fighting anyone who threatened their existence was quite an understandable reaction of the Jewish people.

Gilad: Do you mean killing Arabs and taking their land in the name of Jewish suffering?  If this is what you mean, you should bear in mind that Arabs and Palestinians in particular had nothing to do with Jewish suffering. In fact, in Palestine and in the Arab world Jews were living in peace and harmony with their Muslim and Christian neighbours.

As I explained before, with a manifestation of Pre TSD the so-called ‘victims’ envisage an imaginary hostile reality. The only way to prevail is, to act first, to fight anyone who might be in the way. Next we see the erection of ghetto walls, the prospect of peace and harmony evaporate. In short, welcome to the contemporary dystopia.

Israelis today, for instance, are genuinely tormented by a future nuclear conflict with Iran.  Yet, instead of resolving this volatile situation trying to calm the tension, Israeli politics and Jewish Lobby activity actually escalate this tension. The reality on the ground is devastating. The entire region is under a threat of a war that can easily deteriorate into a nuclear conflict.

Zionism was initially a promise to ‘civilize’ the Diaspora Jews by means of ‘homecoming.’  We, I include myself in order to simplify the argument, were supposed to evolve into ‘people like all other people.’ This surely meant living in peace with our neighbours. This project clearly failed.

We are told by most anti Zionists that Zionism hijacked Judaism. I believe that the facts on the ground suggest that it is (almost) the other way around.

Zionism that was initially an anti Jewish movement (some would say anti-Semitic) was hijacked by Jewishness (as opposed to Judaism). It was once again the chosenness (Jewish exceptionalism) that abolished the initial affinity towards the universal. It was Jewishness that guaranteed that Israelis would be unlike any other people. It was Jewishness that retained chosenness at the core of the Zionist thought.  By the way, this exceptionalist shift within early Zionism was subject to a vivid debate.

Clara:   Wasn’t Einstein still an old-school Zionist, when he wrote to Chaim Weizmann in 1929 that if Jews could not coexist peacefully with Arabs, “then we have learned absolutely nothing during our 2,000 years of suffering?”

 Gilad: Indeed and this is the crux of the matter. Einstein realised already in 1929 that hostility towards the indigenous is sadly embedded in Jewish culture. Einstein could see as early as 1929 that the Zionist movement was already making the Palestinians into the new Goyim.  This was probably devastating for him and it clearly produces a devastating understanding of the Jewish continuum.

 Clara:   You argue that it has basically been the belief in their chosenness which has led to the many disasters in Jewish history.

Now this is not a Jewish ‘speciality’. I have always been wondering how Europeans (and later US-Americans as well) felt entitled to conquer the world, to take the land, exploit the resources and manpower, impose their culture and religion on foreign peoples and killing them when they were in the way. This feeling of racial and cultural superiority has always puzzled me. And it wasn’t and isn’t only greed. Many of us were and are true believers in the mission of promoting ‘western values’ all over the world be it for religious or secular reasons. And even those of us who are critical of what is going on still tend to display a kind of colonialist attitude. I admit I have been asking myself more than once ‘What is it in Christianity and western culture as a whole that has made it so disastrous for the world?’

Gilad: Let us closely examine the notions of chosenness. To start with chosenness is not necessarily a bad thing. It becomes a bad thing when you celebrate your chosenness on the expense of the other.  For orthodox Jews Judaic chosenness is interpreted as a moral burden. It is the duty to serve the world with an exemplary ethical behaviour (please do not ask me how many orthodox Jews follow the above). While in Judaism chosenness can be interpreted as a moral duty, in secular Jewish culture it is often realised as a sense of exceptionalism that is racially oriented. The Zionists, for instance, believe that they can ‘return’ to a land after 2000 years and to reinstate their Biblical reign of power. Let me assure you, not many Italians claim for acres in Britain based on the Roman’s reign in the land more or less around the same time. But the anti Zionists are following exactly the same path. The Jewish pro Palestinian activists do believe that they are in a very special position within the Palestinian Solidarity Movement. They are the ones who give the rest of us a “kosher stamp.“ The Jewish anti Zionists have in practice established a realm of Jewish privilege at the core of the discourse that is set to fight the supremacist abuse invoked by their brethren.   I came to the conclusion that Jewish ID politics is basically a collection of different ideas that facilitate self love.

However, you are correct. European colonialism, Slavery, British imperialism and contemporary Ziocons are all forms of chosenism. The problem that we face with Zionism or Israeli brutality is that it celebrates that form of exceptionalism in front of our eyes, yet, we can’t really talk about it.

Clara:   So the real tragedy is that, if Israel’s enemies united and if they defeated the country, all the fears would come true – the self-fulfilling prophecy of a new ‘Holocaust’, which could have been prevented by true ‘self love’, learning from the past and making peace in time.

Gilad: I feel very comfortable with that. Israel defines itself as the Jewish State. If we want to grasp the actions of Israel, its lobbies and world Jewry we must dig into the meanings of Jewishness and Judaism, we must ask who are the Jews. We must delve into Jewish culture and ideology. We should become familiar with Jewish survival strategies.

Clara:   Speaking of unveiling Jewish lobbies: You have just mentioned contemporary ‘Ziocons’. What or who do you mean by that?

 Gilad: Zioncons are those Neocons who send young American and Brits to die for Zion in the name of Coca Cola.

Clara:   For Zion? They fought/fight in Afghanistan, Iraq, some in Syria, it’s an empire of more than 760 military bases worldwide …

 Gilad:   Pretty much so. Zionism is no longer a geographically limited nationalist ideology. I often argue that the Neocon school points at a clear global shift from ‘a promised land’ to ‘a promised planet.’

Clara:   So that without the Neocons the state of Israel would not be so strong and powerful, look at Trump’s support of making Jerusalem the capital of Israel? And without the support and lobbying of rich and powerful Zionists the Neocons couldn’t control US-American politics the way they do?

 Gilad:  I wish I could say that. As I write these lines I read about Bibi Netanyahu successful visit in India. Israeli strategists know that America is on its way down. They are already zigzagging their way into the corridors of power of the new emerging powers. Russia, India and China.

Clara:   At one point you ask in ‘The Wandering Who’ (p.25, kindle edition) „How did America allow itself be enslaved by ideologies inherently associated with foreign interests?” Another one of your ‘anti-Semitic’ sayings.

 Gilad: Indeed this silence of American political establishment, media and academia demands our intellectual attention. I often argue that Jewish power is the power to suppress discussion on Jewish power. I believe that the 1st step in the right direction is to unveil the meaning of this power, to grasp that which they work hard to conceal and suppress.

Clara:   Could we see the Neocons and the Zionists as two not necessarily very brotherly siblings with similar mindsets working together against a multipolar world? A world where nations solve their collisions of interests in peaceful negotiations with respect to international law? A world where the people living in a country are more important than the wish to control some distant part of the world or the supposed interests of Israel? I have found that for many issues I am concerned with I have to talk about the American Empire. But since the Neocon –dominated Empire is entangled with Zionism, and because Jewish elites are mixed up not only with Israeli politics but with the politics of Empire, criticising these kinds of policies is still very difficult: as soon as you touch Jewish or Israeli influence the question of being a Nazi or an anti-Semite lingers behind every corner. It is hard to think straight in such an environment!

Gilad:  Once we break out of the tyranny of correctness we grasp that Neocons are practically Ziocons, in other words, the Neocons and the Zionists are one. Why is it so difficult to discuss it? Because Jewish power is the power to silence criticism of Jewish power.  Jewish power is maintained by the so called ‘Left’ (new Left really) I will prove it to you. Who was it who tried to silence you recently when you questioned the campaign against Atzmon, was it the Zionist federation, the Israeli embassy? Not really, it was the so-called  ‘lefty’ Rubikon and the ‘anti’ Zionist Elias Davidsson. Let me tell you, we are now very close to the bone.  A continuum has been established.

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…

 

Mohammed #Tamimi, 19, seized by occupation forces as global solidarity escalates

Source

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – January 12, 2018

12 January 2018

Photo: Manal Tamimi

The ongoing Israeli harassment and targeted oppression of the Tamimi family, organizers in the anti-colonial land defense and popular resistance in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, continued in the pre-dawn hours of 11 January. While 16-year-old activist Ahed Tamimi and her mother Nariman remain in Israeli prison, facing a series of charges before an Israeli military court, Israeli occupation forces raided the family home of Manal and Bilal Tamimi, seizing their 19-year-old son Mohammed. Manal, Mohammed’s mother, was released one week ago after nearly a week in Israeli prison.


Mohammed smiled and raised his fingers in the “victory” sign as he was taken from his family home surrounded by occupation soldiers.  Manal later reported on Facebook that her son is currently being held in the infamous Petah Tikva interrogation center. He is the latest member of the Tamimi family to be targeted in an ongoing series of raids and and arrests in the village of Nabi Saleh and the neighboring village of Deir Nizam, both near Ramallah. Nabi Saleh, a village of 600, has become a center of popular organizing and indigenous land defense after the illegal settlement of Halamish has stolen the village’s agricultural land as well as its spring.

Ahed and Nariman’s imprisonment has drawn international attention; Ahed’s cousin Nour is also facing several charges before an Israeli military court. The military courts have a conviction rate of over 99 percent, and the two women are charged with incitement for political posts on social media, “assault” on an occupation soldier on their family’s land, and throwing stones, among other allegations. The “assault” charges refer to the livestreamed interaction in which Ahed and Nour demand an occupation soldier leave their home; he was attempting to move to higher ground on the family’s land in order to position himself to shoot at demonstrators in the village. After being slapped by the soldier, Ahed slapped the occupation soldier with her bare hand.

Ahed’s 15-year-old cousin Mohammed was shot in the head by a rubber-coated metal bullet and was in a coma for days; he continues to struggle with serious injuries. Last week, another Tamimi cousin, Musa’ab, 17, was shot and killed by occupation forces in the village of Deir Nizam, the first Palestinian killed in 2018.

As the repression targeting the Tamimi family has continued and intensified, Palestinian and international support for Ahed Tamimi and her family has only grown. Ahed, who has traveled to South Africa, Europe, Lebanon and elsewhere to speak about the Palestinian struggle, is an internationally-known leader in the indigenous land defense movement. She has been involved in the movement in Nabi Saleh since she was only 11 years old.

Protests are continuing around the world to demand Ahed’s freedom and that of the other 6,200 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. Upcoming protests are scheduled in London (on both 12 January and 13 January), Saint-Etienne, Brussels, Rosario, Montevideo, Sydney, Toulouse, Dublin, Braga, Porto, Lisbon, Rome, New York City, Portland, Copenhagen, Berlin, Washington, DC, Arlington and elsewhere.

Photo: London Palestine Action

Street visual actions are also taking place to highlight Ahed’s case and the Palestinian struggle for freedom. In London, grassroots activists put up “guerilla” transit ads and posters on bus stops and Tube trains throughout the city. @Protestencil on Twitter has made the stencil-style posters available for download and use in supporters’ local cities.

 

Photo: London Palestine Action

London Palestine Action has highlighted the ongoing appearance of these “adhacks” throughout London, bringing Ahed’s case and the struggle of Palestinian child prisoners to the streets of the UK capital.  Italian activists in Venice replicated the posters on the streets of the city as well:

Photo: @yabastaedibese

On the streets of Berlin, Jewish Antifa Berlin shared images of large stickers and posters highlighting Ahed Tamimi’s case and those of the Tamimi women posted on signboards and advertising spaces around the German capital city.  Women in Berlin are also organizing a bloc for the women’s march on 21 January that will highlight Ahed’s case.

Photo: Via Jewish Antifa Berlin

An international action week is taking place from 10 to 20 January, focusing on pressure on national parliamentarians in countries around the world to speak out about the case of Ahed Tamimi, including actions targeting Dutch, French, German and Portuguese politicians. In addition, UK minister of state for the Middle East Alistair Burt responded to questions from Labour MP Julie Elliott on 10 January by noting that “the soldiers should not be there and the young woman should not have needed to do what she did.”  This followed an earlier Early Day Motion submitted by a multi-party group of parliamentarians on Ahed’s case.

**

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network denounces the arrest of Ahed Tamimi and Nariman Tamimi, the latest of well over 500 Palestinians arrested by Israeli occupation forces following U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration of recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Approximately half of those detained, like Ahed, Abdul-Khalik Burnat and Fawzi al-Junaidi, are children. There are hundreds of Palestinian children jailed by Israel and frequently subject to beatings, abuse, and interrogations without parents or lawyers present in violation of the law. We urge people of conscience around the world to take action to demand freedom for Ahed and her fellow detained and jailed Palestinian children in occupation detention centers, interrogation centers and prisons – and for Nariman Tamimi and all detained and imprisoned Palestinians.

The resistance of the Palestinian people has never been quelled by arrests or repression, and it must be clear that we, around the world, stand alongside the Palestinian people as they defend Jerusalem and their entire land and people under attack. This includes standing with detained and jailed Palestinian prisoners in their struggle for liberation for themselves, their people, and their occupied homeland.

TAKE ACTION:

    1. For supporters in the US: Call your member of the House of Representatives to support H.R. 4391, the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act. Tell them specifically about Ahed’s arrest, and urge them to act for her release. Tell them to pressure Israel to free Ahed and other detained Palestinian kids. Call the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Representative’s office. CODEPINK has an action to highlight this case specifically.
    2. Take action around the world: From 10 January to 20 January, there is an international week of action to contact local parliamentarians in each country and urge the freedom of Ahed Tamimi and her fellow Palestinian prisoners.
    3. Call your nearest Israeli embassy and let them know that you know about the detention of Ahed Tamimi in Nabi Saleh and other Palestinian child prisoners. Demand Ahed, her mother Nariman, and the other detained children be immediately released. Contact infomation here: https://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/israel
    4. Sign the petition. Over 150,000 people have already signed on to demand freedom for Ahed: https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/free_ahed/?feiNukb
    5. Organize a protest for Ahed or join one of the many protests for Jerusalem and distribute this post and other news about Ahed and the Palestinian prisoners. Get others involved in the struggle for Palestinian freedom! Build the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and complicit corporations like HP and G4S.
    6. Write to Ahed, Nour and Nariman. While Zionist jailers frequently censor Palestinian prisoners’ mail, these letters can help bolster morale and even send a message to the jailers and censors themselves. Write to Ahed Tamimi, Nour Tamimi or Nariman Tamimi (choose one and address your letter to one only) at: HaSharon prison
      Ben Yehuda, P.O. Box 7
      40 330 Israel

 

Kick To The Left

January 11, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Labour Against the Whitchhunt has expelled a third of its associates.

Labour Against the Whitchhunt has expelled a third of its associates.

I am pretty satisfied these days. For the last decade my name has been continuously smeared by Jewish ethnic activists.  I have been called a ‘Nazi,’ a ‘Fascist’ and an ‘anti-Semite’ despite the fact that genuine Left groups and prominent humanists have vigorously supported me all along. Genuine Leftists, it seems, understand that if Israel defines itself as the Jewish State and decorates its F-35s with Jewish symbols, we are entitled to ask who are the Jews, what is Judaism, what is Jewishness and how all these terms relate to each other! Evidently these questions terrify some Jewish ethnic activists.

In December I delivered a speech at a Marxist NRhZ gathering at the Babylon Theatre in Berlin  despite the outraged protests of some German AZZs*.  Here in Britain, the comical Labour Against the Witchhunt  (LAW), a body that was formed to ‘tackle’ the current Zionist purge of the Labour Party, expelled a third of its supporters last Saturday for the ‘crime’ of being associated with Gilad Atzmon.  The notorious AZZ caricature Tony Greenstein reported yesterday that LAW voted to exclude Socialist Fight from participating in LAW.  Why?  “Led by Gerry Downing and Ian Donovan, Socialist Fight has a theory that the Jewish Question is still relevant today.”

Tony Greenstein and Jackie Walker, both suspended from the Labour Party for being ‘anti-Semitic’ despite identifying politically as ‘Jews,’ have formed their own Jewish led anti witchhunt group so they could execute their own witchhunt!

It appears that the ultra Zionist David Rich may as well be correct. We seem to have a ‘Jewish problem’ within the Left.  First, ardent Jewish Zionists conducted an intensive purge of the Labour Party that led to the expulsion and suspension of thousands of party members, including some iconic legends such as Ken Livingstone, who was suspended for telling the truth about Zionism’s collaboration with Nazism. On top of that, the bodies that claimed that they would tackle these problematic Labour expulsions are themselves self identified Jews and are even more tyrannical than the party they were set to critique.

Suspension from the Labour Party is a somewhat vague procedure, but the mass expulsion by LAW was inimical to the democratic and judicial processes. LAW’s actions fit rather neatly with Biblical excommunication or, more precisely, with Hebraic Herem culture. Socialist Fight has disclosed that on Friday evening, just a few hours before LAW’s scheduled meeting to decide upon the exclusion of Socialist Fight, tribal merchant Tony Greenstein informed Socialist Fight, on behalf of LAW, that the meeting was cancelled. Evidently, Greenstein’s grasp of democracy is cloned from the one practiced by the ‘only democracy in the Middle East.’ In the Jewish State, millions of Palestinians are not allowed to participate in the democratic process that determines their fate. In our kosher Labour Anti Witchhunt group, Greenstein inveigled to exclude Socialist Fight from participating in the political decision deciding their fate. The devastatingly simple conclusion is that within Kosher LAW, Socialist Fight are the Palestinians.

We wouldn’t anticipate ethical, democratic or principled behaviour from Tony Greenstein considering his embarrassing past. But why has Jackie Walker been a part of this travesty? Does the ex Momentum activist also adhere to these tyrannical, anti democratic, unethical procedures?

Jackie Walker was suspended from the Labour Party for insisting that the Holocaust should convey a universal message. She was brave to point at the prominence of Jews in the slave trade. However, the great Walker should come clean and tell us what is it about Socialist Fight that positions them beyond the pale. I have a feeling that I know the answer. Jackie operates politically ‘as a Jew’ (as well as Black). She is privileged, she can speak about Jews and slavery, she can universalise the Holocaust, but, for one reason or another,  she does not want to allow Goyim such as Ian Donovan and Gerry Downing to examine the Jewish question in dialectical Marxist terms. They should take their authentic socialist fight somewhere else.

Many years ago, when I came to terms with the gross duplicity at the core of the Jewish Anti Zionist agenda, I consulted with a very clever Jewish friend of mine who had studied the leftist narrative of the Jewish Diaspora for years. He told me, “Gilad, in the Jewish world you always kick to the Left!” Avigdor Lieberman kicks Bibi, Bibi strikes Herzog, Herzog slums Peace Now, Peace Now kicks the AZZs: JVP, Greenstein and Walker. Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein, are not inventing anything new, they are simply following the kosher protocol. They kick to the Left, they booted Socialist Fight thereby re-enacting the classic Herem ritual. Ian Donovan, Gerry Downing and their supporters are just ordinary Goyim (The Jews within Socialist Fight identity as socialists rather than ‘as Jews’). Downing and Donovan are not going to follow the kosher protocol. They won’t kick to the Left. Why? Because they are the Left. They may be the only Left that remains in this country.

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). 

*AZZ – Anti Zionist Zionist

All you need to know about Israel, The Lobby, Yinon Plan & Trump (video)

January 06, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

https://youtu.be/Z9xJWBn1B9M

10 minutes interview on the most popular political show  on Turkish TV.

Turkish Tv, YAZ BOZ; ” Ergün DİLER – Bekir HAZAR”: 29 Dec 2017

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