Israel’s New Cultural War of Aggression

MAY 8, 2017

A few weeks ago my book Palestine’s Horizon: Toward a Just Peace was published by Pluto in Britain. I was in London and Scotland at the time to do a series of university talks to help launch the book. Its appearance happened to coincide with the release of a jointly authored report commissioned by the UN Social and Economic Commission of West Asia, giving my appearances a prominence they would not otherwise have had. The report concluded that the evidence relating to Israeli practices toward the Palestinian people amounted to ‘apartheid,’ as defined in international law.

There was a strong pushback by Zionist militants threatening disruption. These threats were sufficiently intimidating to academic administrators, that my talks at the University of East London and at Middlesex University were cancelled on grounds of ‘health and security.’ Perhaps, these administrative decisions partly reflected the awareness that an earlier talk of mine at LSE had indeed been sufficiently disrupted during the discussion period that university security personnel had to remove two persons in the audience who shouted epithets, unfurled an Israeli flag, stood up and refused to sit down when politely asked by the moderator.

In all my years of speaking on various topics around the world, I had never previously had events cancelled, although quite frequently there was similar pressure exerted on university administrations, but usually threatening financial reprisals if I was allowed to speak. What happened in Britain is part of an increasingly nasty effort of pro-Israeli activists to shut down debate by engaging in disruptive behavior, threats to security, and by smearing speakers regarded as critics of Israel as ‘anti-Semites,’ and in my case as a ‘self-hating,’ even a self-loathing Jew.

falkpalestine

Returning to the United States I encountered a new tactic. The very same persons who disrupted in London, evidently together with some likeminded comrades, wrote viciously derogatory reviews of my book on the Amazon website in the U.S. and UK, giving the book the lowest rate possible rating, This worried my publisher who indicated that how a book is rated on Amazon affects sales very directly. I wrote a message on my Facebook timeline that my book was being attacked in this way, and encouraged Facebook friends to submit reviews, which had the effect of temporarily elevating my ratings. In turn, the ultra-Zionists went back to work with one or two line screeds that made no effort whatsoever to engage the argument of the book. In this sense, there was a qualitative difference as the positive reviews were more thoughtful and substantive. This was a new kind of negative experience for me. Despite publishing many books over the course during this digital age I had never before had a book attacked in this online manner obviously seeking to discourage potential buyers and to demean me as an author. In effect, this campaign is an innovative version of digital book burning, and while not as vivid visually as a bonfire, its vindictive intentions are the same.

These two experiences, the London cancellations and the Amazon harassments, led me to reflect more broadly on what was going on. More significant, by far, than my experience are determined, well-financed efforts to punish the UN for its efforts to call attention to Israeli violations of human rights and international law, to criminalize participation in the BDS campaign, and to redefine and deploy anti-Semitism so that its disavowal and prevention extends to anti-Zionism and even to academic and analytic criticism of Israel’s policies and practices, which is how I am situated within this expanding zone of opprobrium. Israel has been acting against human rights NGOs within its own borders, denying entry to BDS supporters, and even virtually prohibiting foreign tourists from visiting the West Bank or Gaza. In a remarkable display of unity all 100 U.S. senators recently overcame the polarized atmosphere in Washington to join in sending an arrogant letter to the new UN Secretary General, António Guterres, demanding a more friendly, blue washing, approach to Israel at the UN and threatening financial consequences if their outrageous views were not heeded.

Israel’s most ardent and powerful backers are transforming the debate on Israel/Palestine policy into a cultural war of aggression. This new kind of war has been launched with the encouragement and backing of the Israeli government, given ideological support by such extremist pressure groups as UN Watch, GO Monitor, AIPAC, and a host of others. This cultural war is implemented at street levels by flame throwing militants that resort to symbolic forms of violence. The adverse consequences for academic freedom and freedom of thought in a democratic society should not be underestimated. A very negative precedent is being set in several Western countries. Leading governments are collaborating with extremists to shut down constructive debate on a sensitive policy issue affecting the lives and wellbeing of a long oppressed people.

There are two further dimensions of these developments worth pondering: (1) In recent years Israel has been losing the Legitimacy War being waged by the Palestinians, what Israeli think tanks call ‘the delegitimation project,’ and these UN bashing and personal smears are the desperate moves of a defeated adversary in relation to the moral and legal dimensions of the Palestinian struggle for rights. In effect, the Israeli government and its support groups have given up almost all efforts to respond substantively, and concentrate their remaining ammunition on wounding messengers who bear witness and doing their best to weaken the authority and capabilities of the UN so as to discredit substantive initiatives; (2) while this pathetic spectacle sucks the oxygen from responses of righteous indignation, attention is diverted from the prolonged ordeal of suffering that has long been imposed on the Palestinian people as a result of Israel’s unlawful practices and policies, as well as its crimes against humanity, in the form of apartheid, collective punishment, ethnic cleansing, and many others. The real institutional scandal is not that the UN is obsessed with Israel but rather that it is blocked from taking action that might exert sufficient pressure on Israel to induce the dismantling of apartheid structures relied upon to subjugate, displace, and dispossess the Palestinian people over the course of more than 70 years with no end in sight.

Richard Falk is Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Renouncing Jewishness: Shlomo Sand and Gilad Atzmon

July 31, 2016  /  Gilad Atzmon

GA: A very interesting piece of writing by Eric Walberg. Along the years I have learned a lot from Walberg, one of the very few creative thinkers left within the Left.

Source: http://ericwalberg.com/

Renouncing Jewishness: Shlomo Sand and Gilad Atzmon

By Eric Walberg

For years now, I’ve known there was something wrong when my well-meaning anti-Zionist Jewish friends found it necessary to join Jewish anti-Zionist groups opposing Israel. In the US, Jewish Voice for Peace, in Canada, Not in Our Name; in Britain, Jews Against Zionism — every country has its group, usually more than one. “I am a Jewish witness against Israel,” I would be told. Sounds good, even brave. Sand’s latest deconstruction of Jewishness and Israel, How I Stopped Being a Jew (2014), makes it clear why my suspicions were well founded.

Barely 100 pages, it is a page-turner, a precis of his earlier more scholarly works, arguing that the romantic, heroic age of Jewish nationalism, as embodied in the creation of a Jewish state, is coming to an end. Israel will not disappear, but it is an anachronism, an embarrassment in the postmodern age. A reminder of the horrors of Nazism, but not as the Zionist crafters of the “holocaust industry”, or “holocaust religion”, would have it. The Zionist project is exposed by Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shamir and many more Jewish critics as reenacting the same policies of yesteryear. A flawed answer that is doomed, “an insidious form of racism“.

For the Israeli Sand, the Jewish “national” identity is a fraud (an Israeli identity is fine); the only viable Jewish identity is a religious one, and as a nonbeliever, he logically concludes,  “Cogito, ergo non sum.”

Gilad Atzmon takes Sand’s logic further. He tore up his Israeli passport, becoming an ex-Israeli as well as an ex-Jew. 

What’s so wrong with a secular, ethnic Jewish identity? Well, it can be based on only one of two things: persecution (being “forced” into being a Jew whether one likes it or not, as in the Nazi’s racial laws) or being “born” into the Jewish people. The former is no longer an issue and the latter is full of holes, and based on a dangerous myth.

When was the Jewish People invented?

Sand’s answer is simple:

“At a certain stage in the 19th century, intellectuals of Jewish origin in Germany, influenced by the folk character of German nationalism, took upon themselves the task of inventing a people ‘retrospectively’, out of a thirst to create a modern Jewish people.”

For Jews, this required a homeland, and the westernized Jewish elite were able to provide this. As the West suffered one mortal blow after another (WWI&II), Zionism took on a new meaning. Voila! Israel.

But the exile legend is a myth. Sand is a historian and couldn’t find any texts supporting it. The Romans did not exile peoples.

“Judaic society was not dispersed and was not exiled.”

Jews continued to live in the Holy Land through thick and thin, freer under Muslim rule than Christian, but even the latter never “ethnically cleansed” them. Most converted to Christianity or Islam. Voila! The (Christian, Muslim) Palestinians. However, a tiny core stuck stubbornly to the original monotheism, nurtured by the Babylonian exile in the 6th century BC (the only bona fide exile–from which they returned, the earlier Egyptian exile legend being crafted much later, when the Torah was written down and collected in the 3rd century BC).

Jews are not a race but rather a collective of many ethnic groups who were hijacked by a late 19th century ‘national’ movement. There is no racial or ethnic basis for being Jewish any more than there is for being Christian or Muslim. The great majority of those who today consider themselves Jewish are descended from converts in Central Asia, eastern Europe and north Africa, not from ancient Hebrews expelled from the Holy Land by the Romans. They are not ethnic “Semites”, of near eastern origin, or ethnic anything else.

Atzmon is a noted jazz musician, and deconstructs a popular 1970s Israeli pop song by Shlomo Artzi: All of a sudden a man wakes up in the morning. He feels he is people and to

Scene from Shoval’s ‘Youth’ (2016)

everyone he comes across he says shalom.Artzi’s youth suggests Jews suddenly became “people” thanks to the state of Israel, conflating being Jewish with being Israeli, suggesting only Israelis can really feel free as Jews. What Artzi ignores is that feeling proud to be an Israeli is only for those Israelis who have “Jew” stamped in their passport, and, among them, only those who are blind to the bloody colonial basis for this privilege. Hardly a recipe for a healthy feeling.

Can a liar tell the truth?

Israel is a “democratic and Jewish state” according to Israeli law. The “Jewish” nature was first defined in the Declaration of Independence of 1948. The “democratic” character was added by the Knesset in 1985. This is a contradiction in terms, as Jewish by definition determines the state according to race, making it undemocratic for those in the state not Jewish. In cartesian lingo, both ‘A’ and ‘not A’ are true.

This flawed logic now lies at the heart of what it means to call oneself a secular Jew, either Israeli or ‘diaspora’. Sand joins other ex-Jews, Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shamir, and Will Self, who have renounced Jewishness, either as secularists, or as converts to Christianity, shedding a contradictory, now empty, signifier.  Given what Israel has become, “democratic” and “Jewish” are no longer compatible. Sand rejects the faux Jewish nationalism served up by Zionism, which excludes non-Jews from the narrative, and is left with nothing except himself, his books, his sense of right and wrong. A lonely world.

Atzmon takes Sand’s attack on identity politics a step further, arguing in The Wandering Who that secular Jewish anti-Zionism feeds into the Zionist narrative, the do-gooder counterpoint to the more sinister role of the diaspora, taking Sand’s concerns to an even more uncomfortable conclusion: The Jewish Diaspora is there to mobilize lobbies by recruiting international support. The Neocons transform the American army into an Israeli mission force. Anti-Zionists of Jewish descent (and this may even include proud self-haters such as myself) are there to portray an image of ideological plurality and ethical concern.*

Sand dismisses both religion and nationalism as the basis for his identity. Atzmon argues both are legitimate, though they both are perverted in the case of the Israeli state. Nationalism is an authentic “bond with one’s soil, heritage, culture, language”, a cathartic experience, not at all “empty” as a signifier.  Though nationalism may well be an invention, it is still “an intrinsically authentic fulfilling experience”. It can be misused, is often suicidal, but nonetheless, “it sometimes manages to integrate man, soil and sacrifice into a state of spiritual unification.”

What is especially moving about ex-Jews like Sand, and ex-Israel ex-Jews like Atzmon, is that they are trapped by their own Israeli heritage, whether or not they emigrate. Reading Sand’s book in Hebrew, writes Atzmon,

“is for me, an ex-Jew and ex-Israeli, a truly authentic experience that brings me closer to my roots, my forgotten homeland and its fading landscape, my mother tongue or shall I simply say my Being.”

He is confronted not by some “‘identity’ or politics but rather the Israeliness, that concrete nationalist discourse that matured into Hebraic poetry, patriotism, ideology, jargon, a dream and a tragedy to follow.” Israel’s present state has “robbed him of that Israeliness which was once to him a home.”

Hollow identity

Most still yearn to keep a diaspora Jewish identity alive. Judith Butler’s Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism (2013) is by a liberal-leaning Jew who feels she must salvage her Jewishness from Israel’s nationalism and occupation policies. “A new Jewish identity might emerge that connects Tel Aviv with New York’s Upper West Side, Berlin, Paris, London and Buenos Aires — and all of them on an equal footing,” writes Carlo Strener in hisreview.

For Sand and Atzmon, there is no “new Jewish identity” possible, because there is no diaspora. French Jews are French. Canadian ones are Canadian. It’s fine to be a believing ‘person of the Book’, and even an Israeli, speaking Israeli (really a new language) and being a citizen of a well-behaved multi-ethnic nation state, based on universal norms, like France or Canada. But everyone eats matzo balls already.

Assimilation is not like extermination, despite Golda Meir’s cries of “Wolf!” Non-religious Jewishness will continue to evaporate, along with Christian and Muslim identities for those who abandon their faith. There is no shame in calling oneself an ex-Christian or ex-Muslim. 

Occam’s Razor: less is more

Anti-Zionists “rightly see [Zionist] policies as threatening the renewal of Judeophobia” that identifies all Jews as a “certain race-people, and confuses them with Zionists.”** Yes, but, as Atzmon argues, this “confusion” is part of the agenda, pushing Jews outside of Israel to support Israel unthinkingly and accept the resultant resentment they experience as “anti-Semitism”.

And even if they protest–as Jews–they inadvertently support the “Zionist world conspiracy”:

If those who call themselves anti-Zionist Jews without having lived in Israel, and without knowing its language or having experienced its culture, claim a particular right, different from that of non-Jews, to make accusations against Israel, how can one criticize overt pro-Zionists for granting themselves the privilege of actively intervening in decisions regarding

Codepink’s Medea Benjamin

the future and fate of Israel?* 

The Jewish signifier undermines the anti-Zionist one. Slots muddy things. Medea Benjamin, a “one percenter, a nice little Jewish girl” founded the now legendary peace group Codepink. QAIA (Queers against Israeli apartheid) folded when its organizers realized by highlighting their ‘gay’ signifier, they were doing more harm than good. The queers don’t have the luxury of renouncing their queerness, but thoughtful Jews like Benjamin similarly downplay their own tribalism, and Sand and Atzmon have renounced it, as the honorable way out of their Catch-22.

xxx

* Gilad Atzmon, The Wandering Who?, Zero Books, 2011, p70.
** Shlomo Sand, How I Stopped being a Jew, Verso, 2014, p94–95.

Counterpunch – On Gilad Atzmon’s “The Definitive Israeli Lexicon”

May 26, 2015  /  Gilad Atzmon

From A to Zion

On Gilad Atzmon’s “The Definitive Israeli Lexicon”

by EUGENE SCHULMAN

http://www.counterpunch.org

Infamous for his earlier book, “The Wandering Who?: A Study in Jewish Identity Politics” (2011), Gilad Atzmon has collaborated with Italian cartoonist and interior designer, Enzo Apicella to produce “The Definitive Israeli Lexicon, A to Zion”.

Since the publication of “The Wandering Who?” Atzmon has been vilified and dragged through the mud of slander by the Jewish/Israeli establishment, accused of anti-Semitism and being a self-hating Jew.  Born in Israel of Jewish parents, and having served in the IDF, Atzmon became disenchanted, to say the least, with Israel and its policies in Palestine and against the Palestinian people.  He moved to England to follow a career in jazz music as a talented saxophone player, and put himself through university where he studied philosophy and earned a masters degree.

Atzmon has been on the road playing concerts and lecturing on the meaning of his book for a number of years, and despite the criticisms of it, it still sells widely and has had an enormous influence on public opinion of Judaism and Israeli policies.  The same public who were moved by Walt and Mearsheimer’s book, “The Israeli Lobby”, are moved by Atzmon.

The book under review is, on the surface, of a much different nature.  “A to Zion” is intended to be a book of humor, attacking the shibboleths of Zionism.  But, as we know, Jewish humor is directed at itself and is often self deprecating.  Atzmon uses it often in his lectures and conferences.  And in his travels he has picked up a lot of this humor and translates it in this book as jabs against Zionism.  A short aphoristic book of only a hundred or so pages, it is designed to alphabetically define certain aspects of Zionism and Zionist personalities in one-liner jabs.  Interspersed throughout are delicious cartoons by Apicella, a cartoonist I have never encountered before this book.  His drawings are clever enough to be editorial cartoons in any newspaper.  They probably are in Italy.

Here are just a few of the one liners that grab attention:

* Aliya – Jewish immigration to Israel; initially it was supposed to solve the Jewish question.  In practice, it just moved it to a new location.

* Bar Mitzvah – the moment when the male Jew accepts that his foreskin is not going to grow back.

* Humour, Jewish – diverts attention from the problematic symptoms by means of self-deprecation.

* Zionism – a false promise to take the Jews away and to give the goyim a break.

Please, run out and buy a copy of this book.  It will knock a hole in all your prejudices.

A short video on The Definitive Israeli Lexicon.

 

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Buy it now before it is banned!!!

Eugene Schulman lives in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

The Israeli Humanitarian Enthusiasm – A Dialectical Perspective

April 30, 2015  /  Gilad Atzmon

By Gilad Atzmon

The Times Of Israel reported today “Israel’s aid team to Nepal larger than any other country’s’

Video:

http://www.wibbitz.com/watch/?id=b529016edd6484075bfdd2012ac903dfd

We are familiar with this pattern. Israel is always fast to send its medical aid and rescue teams to remote destinations as soon as the news about a natural disaster hits CNN. Yet, peculiarly, it is the same Israel that inflicts tragedies that easily match the worst natural disasters on its next door neighbours.

How can we reconcile this clear discrepancy between Israel’s humanitarian enthusiasm and the collective lethal ambitions Israeli society inflicts on its Arab neighbours? Why are the Israelis so intent on displaying a global image of ‘caring’ while behaving in a  murderous and heartless manner towards their neighbours?

Jewish identity politics can be seen as a dialectic struggle between self-hatred and self-love. Self-hatred refers to the acceptance that something is intrinsically wrong within the ‘Jewishness.’ This was the view shared by most early Zionists who agreed amongst themselves, at least, that the Jewish Diaspora identity was corrupted, capitalistic and morbid. They wrongly believed that ‘homecoming’ would save the Jews from themselves. Self-love, on the other hand, is the ability to fight one’s symptoms and convey an image of goodness.

Sending the biggest aid mission to Nepal and suffocating Nepalese survivors in Stars Of David is an indication that Israel has a lot of guilt to manage. And its remedy is an act of humanitarian virtue.

The Jewish State can be seen as a dialectic struggle between good and evil. But if Israeli existence is of a dialectic nature, it may well suggest that at least, politically and metaphysically, it cannot be resolved, it can only evolve.

This leaves the Israelis doomed to bounce between Gaza and Nepal or shall we say, evil and virtue, till they are redeemed from this impossible struggle Jews inflicted on themselves by their awkward nationalist project.

Packing Hasbara 2015, Targeting Gilad Atzmon, Loading Anti-Semite and Holocaust-denier attacks…

March 12, 2015  /  Gilad Atzmon

GA: This is a very interesting article by Shawn Robinson.  It delves into the methods in which criticism of the Jewish State, its ideology and culture are suppressed.

http://falastinews.com/

 Packing Hasbara 2015, Targeting Gilad Atzmon, Loading Anti-Semite and Holocaust-denier attacks…

By Shawn Robinson

So who is Gilad Atzmon the ant-Semite and Holocaust-denier de jour?

Well for one, he is a former Israeli and now British citizen living in London England; but his claim to fame is as a world renowned jazz saxophonist and writer on identity politics.

And he is no schmuck either. He has a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Essex in Colchester, England after being schooled in composition and jazz at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem.

Gilad Atzmon Video

As an Israeli you have guessed it, Atzmon is Jewish and therefore Semitic. So by definition he can be hardly an anti-Semite. But something needs to be said here, just as a point of reference that there are more than 50 groups that fall under the Semitic category. The commonality of this foundation is the derivations of the Semitic languages that relate and stem from the Hebrew dialect. Others often maligned as anti-Semites are the Arabs who too are of the 50 plus Semitic peoples.

It is absurd to continue this precept of anti-Semitism in its current construct. Hate directed towards the Jewish people is not acceptable and nor is discrimination or prejudice that Jewish people have experienced for thousands of years.

Knowing the origin of the term anti-Semite, which not that long ago was a construct that was considered normal in particularly the western Christian communities, it really needs to be released from the narrative of the Jewish community as it is not an appropriate term at all. As to refer to someone as ant-Semitic would by definition indicate that they are against a broader group of people beyond the Judaic population.

 

Furthermore… when someone makes a claim of anti-Semitism, it needs to be not presented as a conclusion ever. Clear and defined statements need to be presented that indicate and prove the construct of anti-Semitism before making such an allegation as these days allegations of anti-Semitism abound unfettered leaving the victim of this accusation with an indelible mark on their name and reputation.

 

But my personal favourite is the accusation of holocaust-denial.

What more sickening slander can be allocated on someone than to suggest the suffering and systematic mass murder of any people did not happen.

So with regards to Gilad Atzmon, and knowing that various reporters including Blake Alcott of the respected magazinecounterpunch actually read and evaluated the writings of Atzmon in 2013, concluded that he was NOT what he was accused of – being an anti-Semite or holocaust-denier can be reviewed, assessed and determined from that article:

To Shun or Bury the Hatchet? The Case of Gilad Atzmon by BLAKE ALCOTT

***

So moving on because there really is no basis on the accusations, but what must be clearly stated, is that Atzmon is being slandered with these accusations that have the potential to be socially deprecating career killing labels. What needs to be exposed is that the pro-Israeli lobbies who are able to falsely target people with impunity do so because of the silence of the masses including the media who could shut all this down in one day.

Yes, the pro-Israeli lobby is a machine that is backed up by lots of money, eager lawyers and the mentality of people to drain the victim financially and emotionally. This sends a loud message that sets the precedence to others to stay quiet, to not speak out, to not support the targeted person publicly or to criticize or demand Israel to account for its crimes.

With the various definitions of fascism, I would say this is a fascist mentality and action in the way of the State of Israel and its lobby groups go about organizing society that controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the State of Israel and its policies.

Latuff 2.gif

What is horrific is the media bolstered by the journalism community who are not doing their jobs which is to report the news, who with their complicity in silence maintain and further abrogate the denial of an important discussion including the crimes of the State of Israel, the slow genocide of the Palestinians and the persecution of those who come forward with evidence and knowledge to right terrible wrongs. Atzmon even takes it a step further by linking Jewish identity politics and their impact within world history. I would also add in how they have also been hi-jacked by the Zionist entity who fund these pro-Israeli lobby groups that in their missions, co-opt Judaism and its meanings.

Reflecting back we have the story of Dr. Norman Finkelstein. Yes he appeared on the AIPAC radar with his PhD thesis in the 1980s proving Joan Peter’s book “From Time Immemorial” was a fraud. He exposed the information that could not be substantiated are accepted within the scholarly construct that she presented herself as a respected journalist when she published her book.

Having read the Peter’s book and Edward Said’s “Blaming the Victim”, I have to agree with Dr. Finkelstein and I find it offensive that such a book is considered to be noteworthy never mind permitted as a source in other books including Dr. Alan Dershowitz’s “The Case for Israel”.

Dr. Finkelstein’s “crimes” however were to challenge the notions on subjects such as the holocaust money making industry that did not bring reparations or resolution of any meaning or value to the survivors or to the families of people systematically murdered in Europe. It should be noted that it took 350,000 employed Christian Europeans and various European governments between the 30s until the liberation of the thousands of camps within the massive concentration camp system in Europe by the Allies and Soviets in 1945.

latuff 4.jpg

But it really was Dr. Finkelstein’s exposure of another fraud, on Democracy Now, hosted by Amy Goodman on Dr. Dershowitz’s book “The Case for Israel”. One of the best recorded discussions ever I have to say, and it was Dr. Finkelstein who with his comprehensive knowledge, detailed facts and categorical evidence who was able to put the truth in perspective in spite of Dr. Dershowitz’s efforts to distract from his false claims.

This would be the undoing of Dr. Finkestein who dared to challenge Dr. Dershowitz, America’s appointed voice on Judaic and Israeli history, along with American foreign policy and America’s requirement to protect Israel from in my opinion itself, but according to Dr. Dershowitz’s statements, the forces that want to annihilate Israel.

So long story long, Dr. Finkelstein found himself the target of an odious and slanderous campaign by Dr. Dershowitz and others that would publicly result in Dr. Finkelstein’s denial of tenure at DePaul University. All I will say is that DePaul complied with the process of granting tenure, which by democratic process was going to give tenure to Dr. Finkelstein which was suddenly overturned by one individual who by Dr. Dershowitz’s good fortune, was in the position to ruin Dr. Finkelstein’s reputation and ability to work as an educator. Denial of tenure does not bode well for any scholar or professor of which Dr. Finkelstein found himself in with regards to his future employment. Never mind that he was a popular professor and that his classes were always filled to capacity.

Getting back to the Atzmon issue of free speech.

latuff 5.jpg.gif

There is something that people need to stand for no matter where, how or for whom, and that is the human right of freedom of speech also known as freedom of expression or right to free speech.

In the United Kingdom, this concept of free speech goes back to 1689 when the Bill of Rights granted parliamentary privilege for freedom of speech and debates along with proceedings in Parliament which is still in effect.

Yes, the United Kingdom is a member of the European Union, so just to be clear, it is also defined and justly so in 1998 when the United Kingdom accepted the European Convention, and the guarantee of freedom of expression which is contained in Article 10, integrating it into the United Kingdom’s domestic law under the Human Rights Act.

Freedom of expression does not include racial incitement, or threats or a list of other negative uses that attack or subjugate an individual or people. See below for links to texts and commentaries that identify specifically these concerns if you are so interested.

latuff 6

Atzmon does not incite or subjugate anyone. What he does in his texts is take on a difficult conversation as a former Israeli, former soldier of the Israeli Defense Forces, as a former Israeli nationalist, as a former Jew even, and does so philosophically and politically. His “mistake” seems to be to open a discussion on Zionism and the State of Israel outside of the defined parameters that Dr. Dershowitz and the pro-Israeli lobby groups have determined for all of us.

I will not speak for anyone, particularly a Jewish person and what they feel or think or have concluded about their ethno-religious culture slash identity, however I will fight the forces that deny them to write about it.

Which is in many international laws and decrees, these rights to free expression including the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights that granted formal recognition on the laws of most nations including the United Kingdom to preserve the inherent human right to voice one’s opinion publicly without fear of censorship or punishment.

To deny a voice is to censor the message.

phrases “ant-Semitic” and “holocaust-denier”, as members of all societies, we retreat and distance ourselves from such ideas and people which these pro-Israeli lobby groups well know.

These actions on Atzmon since mid-January have resulted in the cancellation of two performances at prestigious and well-known venues and now a third venue is being threatened with a public boycott by Jewish groups if they allow Atzmon and his ensemble to perform in their scheduled concerts.

The second venue that cancelled did so because they felt threatened and the need to be protective of their 800 students, which should be their priority.

How did that even happen, that they would feel insecure physically and that their students were at risk for the sake of a performance by a jazz saxophonist? Where is the Metropolitan Police? How is a Jewish lobby group allowed to threaten a world renowned concert venue and conservatory to cancel the performance of Atzmon and his ensemble, and nothing is investigated?

Even with the signing of almost 4000 signatures calling on the second venue, the Royal Northern Music College to reconsider and reschedule the performance which they are so stricken with silence due to fear of terror and being also hatefully labeled.

latuf 7

So what are we going to do about that and all this?

Because once Atzmon is 100% unable to schedule a performance, they will move on to their next target that they will victimize as systematically supported by our ears and eyes, looking the other way.

No one under attack is saying anything other than the truth. The State of Israel is committing war crimes whether they be illegal settlements or dropping phosphorus on an unarmed civilian population.

lattuf 8

Why does Israel and its supporters keep getting free passes to terrorize and harass people either collectively or individually? Even in my own country Canada, the current conservative government is trying to pass legislation that criticisms of Israel will be deemed anti-Semitic making the criticizer subject to legal charges

lattuf 9

Atzmon is not the only former Israeli Jew who has something to say. Others are also working hard to dispel the myths and propaganda. Are they next on the target list? Or what about human right activists who have no claim or stake in any of this, but to seek humanity for all in that region?

This I know. Many people want to support Atzmon but they are afraid of these pro-Israeli lobbies. They have mortgages to pay and mouths to feed and don’t want to risk their families’ futures. But silence is not justice, it is not an answer and is an important ingredient in this cocktail of propaganda that is disabling the world.

If a Jewish person can’t create a conversation on the Jewish religion and its identity within the political realm, who can? Ask yourselves that.

These pro-Israeli lobby groups need to be exposed. They receive tax advantages that help fund destructive campaigns like the ones that went after Dr. Finkelstein, Dr. Steven Salaita and the cartoonist Carols Latuff whose work is used in this article.

lattuf 10

Now they are currently attempting to derail Atzmon and his ability to work as a musician.

Look at your community. Are there any other lobby groups with the same missions?

These lobby groups are not only sustained through substantial funding but are in existence to promote the propaganda (hasbara) that continues the denial of the Palestinians and their suffering while elevating the Israelis as perpetual victims in a region that the majority of Israelis are being of European descent, and have no cultural ties or long term connection. Does that make sense?

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Because the pro-Israeli lobby groups are now very engrained in government policies and pro-Israeli individuals are able to work within these governments in positions in which they can influence foreign policy that makes our countries complicit in the crimes against humanity that are being inflicted on the Palestinian people, not only openly but with impunity which is sustained by our silence, and violates everything that we have in terms of international law and even the construct of the United Nations, which was to prevent genocide and war.

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So is Atzmon going to be the next victim or an example of why we worked so hard to have freedom of speech?

Maybe ask Dr. Steven Salaita?

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You decide.

*****

Like all mentioned in this article, I do not necessarily agree with all that they have to say but I will always stand for them to be able to express their views and understandings. I am sure that people do not necessarily always agree with me and I welcome the opportunity to be enlightened. For the record the basis of all my arguments and writings are human rights supported by international humanitarian law.

My Ode to Carlos Latuff: I am a fan of his work and I do at times blink hard when I see his latest cartoons however I give him my respect for also not shying away from creating a conversation on various subjects including anti-globalization, anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, anti-racism, anti-fascism, anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism, Marxism, socialism, feminism, indigenous rights…

 

Sources on Freedom of Expression (UK):

Arab Press Freedom Watch

ARTICLE 19, Global Campaign for Free Expression

Committee to Protect Journalists

“Free Speech in the Age of YouTube” in the New York Times

Fundamental Freedoms: The Charter of Rights and Freedoms – Canadian Charter of Rights website with video, audio and the Charter in over 20 languages

Index on Censorship

International Federation of Journalists

International Freedom of Expression Exchange

International PEN

International Press Institute

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media

 

  1. Klug, Francesca (1996). Starmer, Keir; Weir, Stuart, eds. The Three Pillars of Liberty: Political Rights and Freedoms in the United Kingdom. The Democratic Audit of the United Kingdom. Routledge. p. 165. ISBN978-041509642-3.
  2. Hensley, Thomas R. (2001). The Boundaries of Freedom of Expression & Order in American Democracy. Kent State University Press. p. 153. ISBN 9780873386920.
  3. Public Order Act 1986
  4. Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988
  5. Joint Committee on Human RightsParliament of the United Kingdom(2005).Counter-Terrorism Policy And Human Rights: Terrorism Bill and related matters: Oral and Written Evidence. Counter-Terrorism Policy And Human Rights: Terrorism Bill and related matters 2The Stationery Office. p. 114.
  6. Sadurski, Wojciech (2001). Freedom of Speech and Its Limits. Law and Philosophy Library 38. p. 179. ISBN9781402002816.
  7. Crook, Tim (2010). Comparative Media Law and Ethics. p. 397. ISBN9780203865965.
  8. Lemon, Rebecca (2008). Treason by Words: Literature, Law, and Rebellion in Shakespeare’s EnglandCornell University Press. pp. 5–10. ISBN9780801474491.
  9. Emmerson, BenAshworth, Andrew; Macdonald, Alison (2012). Human Rights and Criminal Justice(3rd ed.). Sweet & Maxwell. p. 200. ISBN 978-1-847-03911-8.

Jacob Cohen “Documenterview”: the Sayanim, Dieudonné and the French dissident movement

I have been contacted today by the producers of a most interesting and unique documentary entitled Jacob Cohen “Documenterview” who informed me that their video was now available on YouTube in a seven-part series you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzHtFW-mC6vGh07g8RK7sUITTYsQYBlN0

When I asked them to make the video available in one file, they told me that they would do that, but that in the meantime I could use a special embed code which makes all the seven series available in one window.  Since I do not want to wait, this is what I will do today, but I will let you know when the full documentary becomes available in one file.

Jacob Cohen: “A Law Against Israel is Impossible to Enact in Morocco”Jacob Cohen is an extremely interesting person.  This French Jew, born in Morocco, is the author of several very interesting books.  This ex-Freemason and ex-Zionist, Cohen is the first person to write a full book dedicated to the topic of the voluntary Jewish collaborators of Israel known as “Sayan” (plural: “Sayanim”): Le Printemps des Sayanim which, needless to say, is not available in English.  And since the English language Wikipedia does not offer any info about Cohen, the best I can do is to give you a link to a Google-translation of his French Wikipedia entry.  Here is a link to his blog (in French): http://jacobdemeknes.blogspot.com/

This documentary also discusses the “Dieudonné” phenomenon and the general problem of the struggle of the French people against the Zionist-controlled nomenklatura. At a time when Berhard-Henri Levi travels to Kiev to declare his full support for the Nazi junta in power, it is very timely to get an insight into what is really happening in France as told by a extremely well-informed ex-insider.

The full series is long (4,5 hours) but I nevertheless highly recommend it to everybody.

The Saker

PS: for my previous articles about Dieudonné, Soral and the French anti-Zionist dissident movement please see here:

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2009/05/israel-lobby-commits-maje-blunder-in.html

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2009/06/dieudonnes-anti-zionist-campaign-in.html

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2013/11/is-new-revolution-quietly-brewing-in.html

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/01/state-repression-in-france-only-makes.html

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/01/quenelle-warfare-in-france-report-from.html

 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

GILAD ATZMON EXPLAINS THE JEWS

More or less, i would say…

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

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