‘Ordinary’ Israelis Don’t Perceive Themselves as Ordinary People

By Rima Najjar

Global Research, June 28, 2020

On reading the enduring horrific daily news coming out of Palestine/Israel relating to the ongoing Jewish-state Nakba, I invariably feel a strong desire to discuss what is often the elephant in the room. It’s an issue constantly on the minds of Israelis and Palestinians alike, while at the same time being difficult to discuss frankly and directly in polite society.

The issue is Jewish supremacy as it manifests itself in the Zionist settler-colonial state of Israel and beyond. (See my blog post, What is Jewish supremacy and how is it different from White supremacy?). I say “beyond”, because there is a strong existing connection to Israel by ‘ordinary’ Jews outside of Israel/Palestine, whose Jewish communities, in Europe and America, feed Israel. Even at a mature age they go there, either to visit or to stay (which is a support and confirmation for the state), but more often to serve in the military which is the most militant of brainwashing in Jewish supremacy.

Most activists skirt the issue of Jewish supremacy and some deny it outright in a way they would not dream of doing with White supremacy. The only safe place to discuss the issue of Jewish supremacy, it sometimes appears, is within the confines of Mondoweiss.

But even there, we are more likely to read forceful critiques debunking the Zionist idea of a ‘Jewish nation’ as sold to the world by the world Zionist movement. A necessary exercise. Nevertheless, I often wonder, what about the concomitant fact of the religious Jewish character of the state as expressed in its Basic Law? What about the self-professed Jewish identity of millions of Jews, in Israel and outside Israel — not to mention Palestinian perceptions of them — as Jews first, and Zionist second?

It therefore seems at times that, in order to liberate Palestine from the Zionist settler-colonial regime, Palestinians must first undertake the impossible task of convincing the world that those who espouse the Zionist settler-colonial regime are less Jewish than Zionist, which of course strips them of their self-identified Jewish identity and is unacceptable to them.

More and more Jews worldwide today are saying “not in our name”, in reference to Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. However, they too, don’t have the power to rename Israeli Jews as something else. This brings to mind Israel’s chief rabbi’s statement that “some Jews are more Jewish than others.”

When we talk about Israel, we can discuss apartheid, demographics, settler-colonialism, but we are often silenced when the issue is Jewish supremacy and the Jewish nature of the state — issues that are central to Israeli society as well as to the current and future dynamics of Palestinian-Israeli relations.

If the goal of all the analysis about Israel is to find realistic solutions for an impossible status quo, we ought not to dismiss this very real and troubling issue. It doesn’t make sense to do so.

In a 2015 article published online and titled ‘Palestine‒Israel: Decolonization Now, Peace Later’, Alaa Tartir (researcher at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland and a policy advisor at Al-Shabaka) lists a number of basic but fundamental obstacles to any future lasting peace in Israel/Palestine. Among them is the following characterization of Israeli society:

Another dominant observation that I noticed in my small, random and unrepresentative sample is the sense of superiority [among Israeli Jews]. liberal, leftist, fundamentalists, secular, religious and progressive voices, from different generations living in different cities, shared the feature of superiority, which is problematic at the very personal and human level, before it extends to politics. Statements like ‘we are God’s chosen nation’, ‘we don’t care about international law’, ‘we help those poor Palestinians to end the occupation’, ‘we offer Palestinians jobs and they work for us’, ‘Gaza is irrelevant’, ‘I have Palestinian friends but would never trust them’ characterized the discussions. Therefore, unless ‘ordinary’ Israelis perceive themselves as ordinary people and not superior to other nations it is impossible to imagine how a one-state or two-state solution could work.

Tartir goes on to say,

Just as the Palestinian people and leadership need to engage in a serious process of reforming their strategies, so do the Israelis. The Israelis need to reconcile internally a number of issues mainly related to the apartheid structures, Jewish supremacy, the Jewish nature of the state, the demographic phobia and the return of the Palestinian refugees from exile.

When we are forced to ignore the perceptions of Israelis and their set of values and beliefs (which are the root manifestation of the Zionist Jewish state in Palestine), when we are unable to confront them candidly, we Palestinians will never be able to achieve justice and equality.

Lena, a former Israeli, writes:

Many Jews, even if not overtly Zionist, share this basic belief that in order to prevent another extermination, they must become DOMINANT and exercise superiority, because “this is how the world works, either you dominate or be exterminated”. Although nobody ever has persecuted or offended these young Jews, they share the view of Goyim as a bunch of people who inherently want to erase Jews from this planet. I honestly do not know how to combat a basic belief that the world is based on domination, that whoever does not dominate will be subjugated or killed, that Jews must forever fight against an inherent existential threat, therefore not letting them dominate is the same as wanting them all dead.

Lena describes the mindset of any group of people who have been conditioned to see the world through us vs. them.

“Confronting the occupier, colonizer or oppressor is the main lesson from the history of liberation movements across the world,” writes Tartir. We must confront Israelis on the issue of Jewish supremacy, as on all others.

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Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem and whose mother’s side of the family is from Ijzim, south of Haifa. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank. She is a frequent contributor to Global Research.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Rima Najjar, Global Research, 2020

Jewish Identity Politics and the current Identitarian World War (video)

Source

 BY GILAD ATZMON

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In this interview with Swiss thinker Piero San Giorgio I delve into the present global cultural, political and spiritual crisis identifying the centrality of Jewish identitarian philosophy at the heart of current events. Together we elaborate on the significant influence of Jewish thought on whatever is left out of both ‘Left’ and ‘Right.’ Those who are interested in my thought and the few who are still disturbed by my ideas will enjoy this extended discussion as we simplified some of the most problematic contemporary topics to do with controlled opposition, identitarianism, the collapse of the Left and its surrender to biological determinism, the centrality of Zionism and more.

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Metropolis and the Battle for Herd Unity

 BY GILAD ATZMON

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by Gilad Atzmon

The 1927 cinematic epicMetropolis is often described as a ‘German expressionist’ (anti realist) and a ‘science-fiction’ film. Today, as we watch the evaporation of the Covid19 phantasmal saga of viral apocalypse, we will examine whether Metropolis’ plot was truly anti-realist. 

 Watching the film almost a century after its creation brings up some existential and perplexing thoughts. Is not Metropolis the most timely expression of our current fatigue with corporate culture, our dismay with ‘science’ and ‘technology,’ and our fatigue of our deeply rotten and uniquely ungifted political class?  I suggest that back in 1927, the creators of Metropolis understood the current dystopia and its ontological roots better than some of our most venerated contemporary ‘intellectuals.’ Accordingly, I believe that rather than as ‘science fiction,’ ‘an astute prophetic message’ is the best description of this ambitious moment in German cinema.

Watch Metropolis: https://youtu.be/AvtWDIZtrAE

The film was directed by Fritz Lang and  written by his wife,Thea von Harbou, in collaboration with Lang. It is important to note that Lang escaped from Germany in 1933. Lang, it seems, didn’t approve of the Nazi regime: his wife, however, stayed behind. After the war, Thea von Harbou was imprisoned for collaboration with the Nazis. I don’t intend to examine whether Von Harbou was a ‘Nazi’ or not, but I will support the argument that Metropolis was probably the definitive and most prophetic ‘Nationalist Socialist’ (as opposed to National Socialist) masterpiece. 

Metropolis was created in Germany during the era of the Weimar Republic. It is set in a futuristic metropolitan ultra capitalist dystopia that isn’t so removed from the reality of some of our present day Western metropolises. It tells the story of Freder, the son of the oligarch city master  (Joh Fredersen), and Maria, an inspirational working class, Christian and saintly character. Together Freder and Maria defeat social injustice and the class divide by means of Herd-Unity. For this unity to occur, a mediator has to come forward to transform the history of social conflicts into a harmonious future.  We are exposed to two and a half hours of horror, oppression, slavery, capitalist malevolence and class divide that resolves in the end  into reconciliation of an Hegelian ‘end of history’ nature. The cinematic epic exhausts itself when the workers’ leader and Joh Fredersen are shaking hands and accepting their mutual fate and co-dependence. “The Mediator Between the Head and the Hands Must Be the Heart,” is the inter title of the scene, emphasising the ideological and metaphysical motto of the film.  

Post WWI Germany was evidently in need of a unifying character who could resolve the class struggle and bond the workers and the capitalists into  an integrated organismus sharing an harmonious, unified  reality. It would be naïve not to believe that Hitler and his National Socialist party were driven by such a vision. And they weren’t alone. Roosevelt might have been committed to a similar search for such a bond, as was Henry Ford as well as many others.

The film was made in 1925-6 and saw the screen in 1927, during a significant period in terms of German politics and intellectual evolution. In 1927 Martin Heidegger published his monumental Being and Time (Sein und Zeit). Heidegger posited that the history of Western Philosophy is a tale of the forgetting of Being. Heidegger, more than any other philosopher before him, identified the growing detachment that has become intrinsic to modern existence and post enlightenment human landscape.  

Another text that was published at that time in Germany that had a far more immediate influence than Heideggers’ philosophical musings was Hitler’s Mein Kampf (1925). Though the text is largely described as an ‘anti-Semitic diatribe,’ Mein Kampf wasn’t really a book ‘about Jews,’ though Jews were mentioned occasionally in the text. It was the means by which Hitler, at the time, a veteran corporal and a prisoner, outlined his political ideology and future plan for Germany under his leadership. In that regard, it is interesting to read George Orwell’s 1940 review of the book. Orwell, a voice from the Left, despised Hitler. His review provides an astute critique, yet, he tried to understand the success of Nazism in the light of the total failure of the German working class movement.  Not once does Orwell mention Jews or anti-Semitism.  In this regard, it is interesting to read George Steiner’s  view of Mein Kampf as one of “half a dozen books” published between 1918-27 that resulted from the crisis in German society and culture following its humiliating defeat in WWI.  In the introduction to his book about Martin Heidegger, Steiner correctly locates the work of Mein Kampf within the context of its contemporaries such as  Ernst Bloch’s The Spirit of Utopia (1918),  Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West (1918),  Franz Rosenzweig’s The Star of Redemption (1921),  Karl Barth’s The Epistle to the Romans (1922), and, of course, Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time (1927) mentioned above.

While at the time some film critics saw Metropolis as a ‘banal’ communist statement, it was actually an invaluable Nationalist Socialist cinematic revelation as it was critical of both capitalism and communism. By so doing, it expressed the true political spirit and the wishes of many Germans at the time. Like Heidegger and many other German intellectuals who were critical of the enlightenment, the meaning of modern technology and the crude exploitive instrumentalisation of science, Metropolis identified the growing detachment from the Christian and Athenian Western ethos. In a way, the film forecast the nuclear bomb, offered  a phantasy of a manmade viral apocalypse, it depicted the reality of concentration camps and even predicted robots dictating the  ‘party line’ long before Mark Zuckerberg  was born.

Twenty years before Orwell created Emmanuel Goldstein and many decades before George Soros reduced the so-called ‘Left’ into his controlled opposition toy, Lang, together with von Harbou realised that in the eyes of Capitalists and Oligarchs, the fantasy of a ‘proletarian revolution’ is a useful political tool. There is no better means towards total hegemony and oppression than the disasters the masses bring on themselves willingly and even enthusiastically.

While this is obviously the most cynical interpretation of democracy and the prospect of a revolution, it is hard not to admit that this sardonic reading is the reality in which we live.

In 2020 it isn’t Trump or the Tory government that oppresses the masses. It isn’t the White House that deletes Youtube videos of doctors and renowned scientists and it isn’t the British police that close the social media accounts of truth seekers. Instead, it is the private technology companies that dictate a tyranny of correctness in the name of so-called ‘community standards.’

And they are not alone. Corbyn was initially seen by some, including myself, as a refreshing development in British politics. However, it took just a few weeks before many of us were devastated to realize that the British Labour Party under his leadership had quickly morphed into one of the most oppressive authoritarian political bodies around.

In Metropolis Lang ridicules the idea of ‘the revolution.’ He points at the banality and the hopelessness of the masses. In the film, the workers follow Maria’s humane Christian message, waiting for a mediating savior that would redeem the entire class, but when Maria returns in the shape of a robot and delivers the complete opposite message, literally calling  for war, the masses follow her and rise up against the machine in what seems to be a suicidal act.  

In this, Metropolis managed to capture the menace attached to the Left’s empty and impulsive rhetoric as well as the sinister wickedness inherent in capitalism and its insane abuse of the weak.  

The Nationalist Socialism that evolved in the early 1900s promoted social equality however, it flatly rejected the idea of world revolution and cosmopolitanism. In his book, Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg produces an interesting account of the evolution of European Fascist thinking. Italian Fascism, in Goldberg’s eyes, advocated equality of the Italian people. Not such an outrageous concept in itself. German National Socialism could be defined, according to Goldberg, as Socialism of German Speaking people. Again, maybe not the ideal Marxist vision of the world, but not necessarily a racist concept as many people of different origins and ethnicities may speak German. Hitlerism, however, pushed for Socialism of one race. This was an extremely problematic concept as it discriminated against peoples based on the accident of birth.

It is common to look at the distinction between Marxism (or the Left) and Nationalist Socialism from the perspective of their attitudes toward cosmopolitanism versus equality or justice within a given geographical or national context. However, my study of Jewish Identity politics and Zionism has led me to a deeper understanding of the crucial distinction between Marxism and Nationalist Socialism.

In his spectacular book, The Founding Myths of Israel, the Jewish history scholar Zeev Sterhell, reveals that the ideology of Nationalist Socialism, deeply suffocated with blood and soil (Blut und Boden) was also at the core of the early Zionist revolution well before Hitler wrote Mein Kampf and certainly before Fritz Lang and his wife were looking for a mediator to bond the ‘head’ and the ‘hands.’

 Sternhell notes that the early Zionist movement saw it as a necessity to bond the ‘workers’ and the ‘owners’ into a unified revolutionary force; the nation or the folk. “Nationalist socialism,” Sternhell writes, “taught that all kinds of workers represented national interests; they were the heart of the nation, and their welfare was also the welfare of the nation. Thus, workers standing beside the production line and the owners of the industrial enterprise were equally ‘producers.’” 

 “Similarly,” Sternhell continues,  “nationalist socialism distinguished between the positive’ bourgeois, the producer, and the ‘parasitic’ bourgeois, between ‘productive’ capital and ‘parasitic’ capital, between capital that creates employment and adds to the economic strength of society and speculative  capital, capital that enriches only its owners without producing collective wealth.” 

The early Zionist project was very successful in recruiting Jewish wealth and the productive bourgeois into the emerging Jewish nationalist project.  Zionism, in its early form, thought of the nation as a cultural, historical, and biological unit, or, figuratively, an extended family. Sternhell points out that in Zionism’s early days the individual was regarded as an organic part of the whole, and the whole took precedence over the individual. “To ensure the future of the nation and to protect it against the forces threatening to undermine it, it was necessary to manifest its inner unity and to mobilize all classes against the two great dangers with which the nation is faced in the modern world: liberalism and Marxism in its various forms.” 

In a lucid manner Sternhell relates that Zionism in its early form rejected the spirit of enlightenment –  the European bourgeoisie philosophy. “In place of bourgeois individualism, nationalist socialism presented the alternative of team spirit and the spirit of comradeship: instead of the artificiality and the degeneracy of the large city, it promoted the naturalness and simplicity of the village. It encouraged a love of one’s native land and its scenery. All these were also the basic values of the labor movement. Socialist Zionism, however, went further than any other national movement when it rejected the life of the Jews in exile. No one attacked Eastern European Jewry more vehemently than the young men from the Polish shtetl who settled in Palestine, and no one depicted traditional Jewish society in darker hues than the pioneers of the first immigration waves.”

In his reading of the early Zionist movement Sternhell comes to the realisation that the Jewish nationalist movement was Nationalist Socialist to its core.  Under this concept, Zion, or more accurately, historic Palestine,  the so-called ‘promised land’ was the  ‘heart’ that unified the revolutionary Jewish  ‘minds’ and ‘hands.’

Two years after Metropolis, Germany faced a horrendous financial crisis that  eventually led to the rise of Nazism. It was the disbelief in the Socialist offering and the reality of hard, merciless capitalism that made Germans believe that Hitler was the Heart, the man who brings herd unity and emancipates the Germans from the sons of the enlightenment namely,  ‘Capitalism’ and ‘Marxism.’ Hitler lasted in power for about 12 years. His nationalist devotion was complete, his socialism was pretty selective. His reign of power ended in total global havoc.   Zionist nationalist socialism, prevailed for eight decades. It started in the late 19th century and came to an end in 1977 with the electoral defeat of the Israeli Labour Party. The party that dominated the Zionist revolution for most of a century literally vanished last month but it achieved a lot before that happened. It won wars while displaying spectacular Blitzkrieg victories e.g.1967, it founded a Jews- only State as it vowed to do, it ethnically cleansed Palestine of its indigenous people, it enacted the most problematic racist, expansionist and nationalist  philosophies and tactics and it easily got away with it.

There is a lesson to learn from Metropolis and also from Labour Zionism: if global capitalism is a total disaster then maybe Herd Unity is the way forward; a repeated search for a human bond that transcends race, gender, class, left, right or any other divisive ideology. The push for equality and compassion is precious and the search for that heart that unites us all into one man is a humane endeavour.  Labour Zionism eventually crashed because it wasn’t genuine, it pretended to be humane and universal but was tribal and racist to the bone. Labour Zionism vanished because it was a crude Identitarian precept. It was self-centred, it imploded into its own contradictions. It wasn’t ‘patriotism’ that dismantled Labour Zionism, it was the fact that Zionist patriotism was celebrated at someone else’s expense. This is precisely the danger in ethnic nationalism. I want to believe that this type of manifestation of crude chauvinism can be avoided. To be in the world is to live amongst others, to be and let be.   

For the heart to bond the ‘heads’ and the ‘minds’ a universal ethos is needed: a humble acceptance of the human condition is crucial. Maybe this very realisation explains the centrality of Christian symbolism and the church throughout the entire Metropolis movie. 

Thanks for supporting Gilad’s battle for truth and justice.

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My Struggle

 BY GILAD ATZMON

By Gilad Atzmon

I launched my study into Jewishness two decades ago. It began as a result of my reaction to the relentless attacks on dissident Jewish thinkers who didn’t fit with the ‘revolutionary agenda’ of the so-called Jewish ‘anti Zionist’ Left.  I quickly grasped that it was actually the Jewish Left, the radicals and progressives, who displayed the most   problematic traits associated with Zionism and Jewish identitarianism.

I was perplexed: the same people who adhere to tribal politics and operate in racially segregated political cells preach universalism to others.  I came to understand that nothing was transparent or obvious about Jewish culture and identitarianism, and that this was by design. I decided to untangle the Jewish enigma from a new perspective: instead of asking who or what Jews are, I asked what those who self-identify as Jews believe in, what precepts they adhere to. This question was the beginning of my struggle.

By the time I published The Wandering Who?  (2011),  I realised that those who identify as Jews can be divided into three non-exclusive categories. 1. Those who follow Torah and Mitzvoth. 2. Those who identify with their Jewish ancestry. 3. Those who identify politically as Jews. In The Wandering Who I argued that while the first and the second categories are innocent, the third category is always contaminated by biological determinism. The third category is, in fact, racist to the core. While Jews aren’t necessarily a race, Jewish politics are, too often, racially oriented. This applies to both Zionists and the so called ‘anti’ Zionists. In my work there is no real distinction between Jewish Zionists and their Jewish dissenters. I have found them to be equally racist.

There is more to draw from this categorical approach. It is apparent that not many self identified Jews fall exclusively into just one of the categories. Jewish identity is a multilayered construct.  A West Bank settler, for instance, is usually a follower of Torah and Mitzvoth (cat’ 1), most often he/she speaks in the name of their Jewish ancestry and even claims lineage to Biblical figures (cat’ 2). And  it goes without saying that a West Bank Jewish settler identifies and acts politically as a Jew (cat’ 3). Surprisingly, a JVP activist in Brooklyn isn’t all that different. He or she may not adhere to the Torah but likely identifies ethnically as a Jew (cat’ 2) and certainly acts politically as a Jew (cat’ 3).

In The Wandering Who I argued that If Zionism is a racist ideology, then Jewish anti Zionists are at least as guilty of the same crime. In fact, in the Israeli Knesset, the third biggest party is a Palestinian party. You do the goy count: try to figure out how many Palestinians or Gentiles are on JVP’s board or amongst the British Jewish Voice for Labour (that doesn’t even accept gentiles as equal members).  Needless to mention, this observation didn’t make me overwhelmingly popular amongst Zionists and the so called ‘anti.’

On the day of the publication of The Wandering Who, hell broke loose. What started as a struggle to seek the truth or at least some understanding, evolved into a bloody war. Oddly, no one bothered to find a mistake in my work or pointed to where my argument was lacking. No one claimed that the facts I based my argument on were inaccurate. Both Zionists and ‘anti’ have deployed every trick in their Hasbara book to try and silence me. I was called a racist, an anti-Semite  and a Nazi despite the fact that my entire work is anti racist and in defiance of the Jewish racial argument.

Since 2011 I have been subject to a cowardly smear campaign. But the war called upon me has actually helped me to refine my views on Jewish Identity Politics. I realised that Jewishness (yehudiyut)  is a manifold of different forms of chosenness. Rabbinical Jews celebrate being God’s favorite children. Atheist Jews in practice, dumped  the God who first chose them in order to validate their own superiority as godless people. Jewish Marxists are special for their belief in equality. Tikun Olam Jews believe that it is down to them to save the Goyim. After a few more years of this study I realised that Judaism is just one Jewish religion amongst many and it is not even the most popular Jewish religion.

The great Israeli philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz figured out in the 1970s that while Jews uphold many religions and beliefs, all Jews believe in the Holocaust. It was this observation by Leibowitz that planted the notion of the Holocaust religion. When I wrote Being in Time, I realised that practically every precept can become a Jewish religion as long as it sustains a lucid concept of ‘chosenness’, self-love or auto validation.

The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan revealed that the  ‘unconscious is the discourse of the Other;’ the fear that one’s deepest secrets could be unveiled and make it into the public discourse.  In Lacanian terms, the Jewish unconscious is the fear that the ‘Goyim Know.’ Their torment is that people ‘out there’ will start to converse about what has taken place in front of their eyes: whether it is AIPAC dominance of US foreign policy or the destruction of the Labour Party or the constant threat to world peace imposed by Israel and its Lobby.   

Judging by their desperate attempts to silence me, I assume that I must be seen, at least in the eyes of my Jewish detractors, as a prime conduit for that ever expanding general awareness – after all I have been blowing the whistle for a while. 

Jews do not like those who leave the tribe. Jesus paid a price, as did Uriel da Costa and Spinoza.  For Jews, the former Jew, or ex-Jew, is a threat most likely because many Jews may feel insecure about the ethical ground of their core beliefs, culture and ideology. Enlightened Jewish progressives are probably clever enough to admit to themselves that being born into chosenness is a problematic racially supremacist concept. Honest Jews may have gathered that being chosen by a God you yourself invented to favour you over the rest of humanity is actually funny. Orthodox Jews understand that large parts of  their core beliefs are inconsistent with the western universal humanist tradition. Many Zionists know that their claims to a historic right to a land they have never been in are ridiculous.

The Jewish strategy to handle their fears includes the suppression of elementary freedoms: Jewish Power as I define it, is the power to suppress criticism of Jewish power. I believe that it was I who coined the slogan, ‘We Are All Palestinians.’ In accordance with my definition of Jewish power, Palestinians are those who can’t even utter the name of their oppressor. While Israel calls itself the Jewish State and boasts about itself as Jewish, the Palestinians and their solidarity movement go out of their way to avoid the ‘J word.’ When British Jewish institutions including the chief rabbi and the British Jewish press called an open war on the British Labour and its leader no one in the Labour party dared utter the ‘J word’ except when asking for Jewish forgiveness. The condition of being Palestinian, of not being able to name one’s oppressor, is now a global symptom. This suppression of speech and thought has evolved into a tyranny of correctness.

By the time I wrote Being in Time I understood that my struggle has implications that far exceed my initial intellectual objectives.  What we face as western subjects is a massive battle between Athens and Jerusalem, where Athens is the birthplace of Western thought and Jerusalem is the city of revelation. Athens teaches us how to think, Jerusalem demands our obedience. 

The Western humanist values and intellectual assets we are now nostalgic for came from Athens: democracy, tolerance, freedom of speech, philosophy, Agora, science, ethics, poesis and the tragedy. Jerusalem gave us laws, mitzvoth, regimes of prescribed and proscribed behavior. Athens teaches us how to think ethically: in Jerusalem, ethics are replaced by the Ten Commandments; rules to obey. Jerusalem is not solely a ‘Jewish domain.’ The Jerusalemization of our universe is apparent in every corner of society: from pop culture, to the work place, to academia and beyond.  It is the tyranny of correctness adopted by the new Left and it is at least as infectious within right identitarianism.  

My struggle as I now understand it, has evolved into a metaphysical quest.  I battle to reinstate Athens within my soul. If you want to make the West great again, my struggle is your struggle.  Defy Jerusalem, say no to authoritarianism, embrace Athens in your heart: learn to speak your mind, tell the truth as you see it and bear the consequences.   

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Gilad Atzmon on Truth, Faith and Palestine – Chester Interfaith Palestine Conference

 

 The following is a talk given at Chester Interfaith Palestine Conference 2019 on  (2.1.2019).

https://youtu.be/pfxhicFBHSI

 In the last few days Zionist and Israeli advocacy groups were desperate to cancel the  gathering of many local peace enthusiasts, intellectuals and religious leaders. Every Hasbara trick was put into play: Social media abuse, intimidating phone calls, smears and lies. But none of it worked. The pro- Israeli bigoted efforts backfired – – interest in the conference grew immediately, the local community stood for Palestine, peace, harmony and free speech!

Roderick Heather MBE, Chairman of Hoole Community Centre was subjected to vitriolic abuse.  I learned yesterday that Mr Heather decided to attend the conference meetings and to judge for himself whether it was a ‘hateful’ gathering. Apparently he was  impressed and announced to the group at the end of the first day  that they will always be welcome at the Hoole Centre.  Here is the message Mr Heather sent to North West Friends of Israel, the advocacy pressure group that led the campaign.

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One may wonder why Zionist operators are so desperate to cancel Palestinian meetings and are so fearful of my work in particular. As things stand, the law seems to be on their side. With the IHRA definition of antisemitsm  and current legislation designed to supress all criticism,  the Zionist advocacy groups could theoretically  seek to punish  everyone who even comes close to any disputes of the operation of  their community or their beloved state. You would expect Zionists to ignore Palestinian gatherings. If those gatherings were indeed ‘hateful’ they could have  locked many of us up behind bars a long time ago. Clearly, the friends of Israel know that the  reality is  different. Palestine solidarity is a peaceseeking mission. Despite my huge body of work, I have never been accused of making a single hate statement. Needless to mention, I do not need to mention that I have never been charged or even questioned by a any legal authority anywhere in the world about anything I have said or written. The same applies to Stephen Sizer. The Zionist Lobby groups accuse Palestinian solidarity gatherings of  being ‘hateful’  while knowing that this type of behaviour is something that Palestinian activism is free of.

Here are final words from Chester Interfaith Palestine Conference:

 Chester Palestine Conference November 2nd 2019

 The Chester Palestine Conference was even more successful on its second day.  We actually ran out of chairs!

 The theme for the day was “Grassroots for Palestine: making local links”.

 The day started with a brief interfaith service.

 Burnley Women’s Peace Group shared the experience of their Jerusalem Peace Pilgrimage this year. The images of Palestinian suffering were very moving. They are a Jewish, Christian and Muslim interfaith group.

 A Jewish Roma activist addressed the similarities between the Roma and Palestinian experience.

 Andrew Herbert from Chester’s Methodist Church spoke of his Palestinian house rebuilding experience with the Amos Trust.

 Gilad Atzmon the international jazz artist and author of best-selling books on Jewish identity politics flew in from Greece to give a wide-reaching presentation entitled “Zionism from Herzl to Bibi”.

Atzmon was born into a Jewish family in Tel Aviv, and conscripted into the Israeli regime army where he had a life-changing experience when he was shocked by the barbaric conditions imposed by the Israeli regime on the Palestinians during the Israeli invasion into Lebanon in 1982.

In his intellectual, philosophical and polemical style he engaged us to think deeply about the causes of the worsening trauma of the Palestinian people.

 Damien Short’s presentation on the Genocide of the Palestinians was unable to be shown due to technical problems. We will endeavour to distribute it to the conference attendees. Damien is a Reader in Human Rights at the University of London. His book “Redefining Genocide: Settler Colonialism, Social Death and Ecocide”, which includes a chapter on Genocide and Palestine, is highly recommended.

 The Israeli artist Zohar’s exhibition of Palestinian paintings is on show at Chester University Kingsway Arts Campus, Kingsway, Chester CH2 2LB for the month of November.

These accomplished and thought-provoking pictures are “witnessing the chaos and brutality inflicted on the Palestinian civilian population by an ever more confident and belligerent military power.”

(For insurance and practical reasons we were unable to show these at the conference).

 We look forward to the 3rd Annual Chester Palestine Conference in 2020 !


My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.

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Wandering Israelis?

 

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By Eve Mykytyn*

One of Israel’s founding myths was that it would provide a homeland to a “people without a home.”  Before and especially after World War II, Zionists claimed that the countries in which Jews lived and were citizens were not a homeland.  Jews, like others, the argument went, were entitled to a homeland populated by Jews. Even at its peak, this argument never convinced a majority of Jews to move to Israel, although especially after 1967, many supported Israel from afar. It seems that some Israelis are also not convinced that they need to live in their ‘homeland.’

A PhD thesis by Omri Shafer Raviv, reported on recently by 972, documents the ‘professors committee’  formed by the Israeli government in 1967 in response to Israel’s sovereignty over the ousted Palestinians in conquered territories.  The committee explored how to limit resistance from and encourage the out migration of Palestinians. The professors were surprised by their findings that the Palestinians, the indigenous people of the land, did not want to leave even if promised a better life in, for instance, Kuwait.  The professors, who were among the first generation of Jews to live in their newly declared ‘homeland,’ seemed not to understand what it meant to be tied to a homeland. How else could they have failed to predict that what Palestinians wanted most was to return to their homes, their land, their villages? Over fifty years on, and despite the horrendous living conditions many of them suffer, the Palestinians refuse to disappear.

Emigration has been a continuing issue in Israel, and one that undermines the notion of Israel as a homeland. Initially scorned by Israelis, outward migration was dismissed, as by former Israeli Prime Minister Rabin, as “a fallout of cowards.” But, from its inception, some immigrants chose to leave Israel, in 1942 of the 4,000 Jews who settled in mandatory Palestine, 450 left.  And even in the 1950s, when Israel had one of its greatest increases in population from immigration, outward migration was recognized as a problem. In 1953 the governor of the central bank of Israel, David Horowitz, argued that economic conditions would have to improve for the trend [of emigration] to change, implicitly recognizing that the pull of the homeland was weaker than the prospect of economic success. The discussion of emigration was and is perhaps a sign of Zionist insecurity. If Israel is truly the Jewish homeland, why do so many Jews and Israelis fail to see it that way? The Jerusalem Post notes a more practical concern, “Israelis are acutely aware that the future of Israel as both a Jewish and democratic country depends on maintaining a solid Jewish majority.”

How significant is the issue of outward migration? Despite a plethora of articles (see for ex.) trumpeting a decline in emigration, the number of Israelis who leave exceeds new immigration. The statistics  are opaque,  Israel doesn’t record or perhaps doesn’t  know the intent of those leaving. Recent analysis suggests that Israeli immigration to the UK surpassed British immigration to Israel by a ratio of three to two. Israel’s US Embassy estimates that between 750,000 and one million Israelis live in the United States.

But what is more important is that almost 40% of young  Israelis have expressed an interest in moving their lives elsewhere. They live in a Jewish homeland, and yet they want to wander.

The primary reason young Israelis give for leaving is their inability to earn a decent living. Some cite Israel’s cronyism and shady business deals, they either can’t or don’t choose to participate in a job market that is ‘fixed.’  One can hope that these young ex Israelis, having seen the corrosive effects of tribal rule, will be less inclined to treat the rules of their adopted countries with contempt.

One mother whose sons emigrated opined that it is the ‘finest’ who are leaving. “They are good, high-quality people who can contribute….who are leaving… They stand out abroad. They are considered smart and successful compared to the Canadians.” (Apparently supremacism is present in Israel.) Available statistics support her claim that more educated Israelis leave in greater numbers and this may be because they are the most able to find good jobs elsewhere. In 2017, 5.8% of Israelis with undergraduate degrees had been living abroad for at least three consecutive years. For Israelis with PhDs, it was 11%, a loss of one in nine PhDs. See for more details on the disproportionate Israeli brain drain phenomenon.

To counteract this trend, in 2011 Israel launched “The Israel Brain Gain Program” to help overseas Israelis find jobs at home. Apparently the targeted Israelis were not amenable to returning to their ‘homeland’ and the program was abandoned as a failure.

Does the lack of a Jewish identity cause young Israelis to make decisions based on economics?  Tomer Treves writes that people are leaving  “because of what became of the Zionist idea. The moment the tie with Israel is weakened, the point of remaining is measured by the quality of life, and Israel is not in a good place from that point of view…” Treves posits that the most important factor in loyalty to Israel is  “where on our scale of identity we place Jewish identity. [When the] decision to live in Israel is no longer based on values,” by which he means ‘identifying as Jewish’ “economic parameters enter the equation.” But this argument assumes that loyalty to Israel and a Jewish identity are the same. Those who leave are not renouncing their identity as Jewish, instead they are rejecting the notion that to be Jewish means living in Israel.

Do these recently departed Israelis retain their ties to Israel?  There was an interesting attempt to answer this question by the right wing organization, American Israel Council. AIC sent a questionnaire to Israeli immigrants in the United States that asked who they would support in the event of an Israeli/American rift, whether American Jews (even if they disagreed with Israel’s policies) had an obligation to defend Israel publicly and the extent to which they believed American Jews influenced America’s policies.

Haaretz noted that “two sensitive and potentially explosive” issues have “plagued” American Jews and their relationship to Israel. “The first relates to claims of  dual allegiance” to both Israel and the United States; the other “concerns the pro-Israel, American Jewish lobby.” The now widely utilized IHRA definition of anti Semitism provides that accusations of dual loyalty are anti Semitic. Yet a pro Zionist body asked about these issues  in a manner designed to elicit responses showing loyalty to Israel. Perhaps insecurity about the extent to which present day emigrants support Israel was the impetus for the AIC survey.

Israeli Professor Tamar Hermann worries that the children of Israeli emigrants will not be Israeli, instead they “become Americans, Canadians or Europeans… Israeliness is generally not sustained in the second generation.”  It is not only ‘Israeliness’ that is not sustained in the second generation. This is a hallmark of immigration in general, and in Israel itself. See, for ex. Is there something about Israel that makes it troublesome that the children of those who leave will likely identify with their new land?

Initially, Israel as a homeland was an attractive concept for Jews who felt victimized by widespread anti Semitism. Now it seems that emigrating Israelis are following in the steps of their ancestors, and not the mythical ones to whom God supposedly gave title to land. In the past, and despite the efforts of some to assimilate that were ultimately unsuccessful, the Jews maintained tribal rather than national ties. Young Israelis who move in search of better opportunities may have similarly limited loyalty to their ‘homeland’  and are simply behaving as wanderers.

* – https://www.evemykytyn.com/writing/wandering-israelis

Not Every Jewish Woman is Gal Gadot

June 11, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

not Gal Gadot.jpg

Deconstruction by Gilad Atzmon

Introduction by GA: The DC Jewish Dyke march has been immersed in controversy,  its organisers banned marchers from carrying  rainbow Star of David flags. In the following interview Jill Raney a “mildly radical Southern queer Jewish feminist”  interviews  IfNotNow DC, a community partner of DC Dyke March. I have provided commentary for the interview, deconstructing and exposing the duplicitous nature of the Jewish anti Zionist argument. This interview is a crucial window into the Jewish Identitarian discourse and it provides proof,  yet again, that not every Jew is an Einstein and as the documentation of the march reveals, not every Jewish woman is Gal Gadot.

 Jewish dykes are welcome at DC Dyke March! Nationalist symbols are not.

https://medium.com/

Q: Are Jewish dykes welcome at DC Dyke March?

 A: Absolutely!

 GA: The question is whether Goyim are also welcome at this Purim celebration.

 Q: Why does it sometimes seem as though liberation for Jews and liberation for Palestinians are at odds with each other?

 GA: The obvious answer is that the two calls have nothing in common.  Jews are liberated and Palestinians are oppressed by the Jewish state. ‘Jews’ and Palestinians have little or nothing in common politically.

 A: Because white supremacy wants to divide us! Antisemitism structurally makes intersectional organizing more difficult by making Jews feel afraid of non-Jews. Zionism and the State of Israel are important to some Jews, but the particular way that the State of Israel was founded caused catastrophic harm to Palestinians. Antisemitism and white supremacy have pitted Jews and Palestinians against each other, and we say enough!

 GA: Did  “antisemitism and white supremacy” pit Jews and Palestinians against each other? NO! It is the Jewish State that commits crimes against the Palestinians in the name of the Jewish people and with the almost universal support of world Jewry and its institutions. It is blatantly duplicitous to blame  ‘White’ goyim for Israel’s crimes, although the accusation is symptomatic of the Jewish Left call.

 Q: What is antisemitism?

 A: “Originating in European Christianity, antisemitism is the form of ideological oppression that targets Jews. In Europe and the United States it has functioned to protect the prevailing economic system and the almost exclusively Christian ruling class by diverting blame for hardship onto Jews.”

— Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ), Understanding Antisemitism

 GA: When you refer to  the ‘Christian Ruling class’ who do you have in mind? Are you thinking of Goldman Sachs, or perhaps you mean George Soros or the Kushner Family, or might you mean Haim Saban, a major funder of the Democratic Party or perhaps  you are thinking of  Sheldon Adelson who takes care of both Bibi and Trump’s campaigns?  Who,  I wonder do the IfNotNow’s Dykes intend to fool by this deception?

 Q: What is Anti-Zionism?

 A: “‘Anti-Zionism’ is a loose term referring to criticism of the current policies of the Israeli state, and/or moral, ethical, or religious criticism of the idea of a Jewish nation-state. There has been debate, criticism and opposition to Zionism within Jewish thought for as long as it has existed…

 GA: This is revealing. In the good old days, anti Zionism was understood to be opposition to the ‘right’ of the Jewish State to form a Jewish homeland at the expense of others. But as a result of the domination by Jewish groups of the anti Zionist discourse anti Zionism has been diminished into just  “criticism of the current policies of the Israeli state.”  Here, we are treated to an exposition of the controlled opposition apparatus.

 There are also many non-Jewish anti-Zionists whose perspectives may be informed by moral criticism of the policies of the Israeli government, problems with the impact of Zionist thinking in Israel on non-Jewish residents, and/or a criticism of ethno-nationalism more broadly.”

— Jewish Voice for Peace, “Our Approach to Zionism.”

 Q: What is the difference between antisemitism and Anti-Zionism?

 A: Antisemitism is hatred of Jews for being Jews, also known as bigotry.

Anti-Zionism is criticism of the actions and policies of the State of Israel and/or criticism of the idea of a Jewish nation-state.

 GA: Once again, under her definition, Anti Zionism is not the rejection of the Zionist agenda i.e., the erection of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. It is merely criticism of Israel’s policies.

 Q: What is IfNotNow’s position on Zionism?

 A: A principle of our movement is: “We focus on what unites rather than what divides us…We do not take a unified stance on BDS, Zionism or the question of statehood. We work together to end American Jewish support for the occupation.”

 GA: IfNotNow could not be clearer, it is not even anti Zionist. It only opposes the occupation. In other words, it supports the existence of the Jewish State, and criticises only some of it policies.

 Zionism in practice causes many harms, but Zionism as a conceptual movement for Jewish liberation, and Israel as a place where Jewish people live and visit, are dear to many Jews. Most mainstream Jewish institutions assume all Jews must be Zionist and even hide from young Jews the reality of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians, so many Jewish dykes are unfamiliar with the harms Zionism has caused to Palestinians. We can take seriously the harms Zionism causes to Palestinians and to some Jews, and also welcome Jewish dykes who hold a variety of perspectives on Israel and Zionism.

 GA: This is consistent with the Likud Party’s philosophy. Making plain that IfNotNow is a left field Jewish Hasbara project. We do not need Jewish “progressives” to advise us that “Zionism as a conceptual movement for Jewish liberation, and Israel as a place where Jewish people live and visit, are dear to many Jews.” This is what the ADL are there for .

 Q: I want to show that I’m a proud Jewish dyke! Are there things I should think about?

 A: Jewish dykes deserve to be proud of their Jewishness at DC Dyke March. Certain symbols of Jewishness have been co-opted by the pinkwashing movement, an effort to conceal Israel’s harms against Palestinians. Palestinian dykes deserve to be proud of their Palestinian-ness at DC Dyke March too, and we believe that Jewish and Palestinian dykes can celebrate shared liberation at DC Dyke March. Is it frustrating that Jews are uniquely expected to consider another marginalized group’s needs before showing our own pride? Absolutely! It is very frustrating that Israel violates Palestinians’ human rights in the name of Jews around the world.

 GA: Just out of  interest, is the notion of ‘Dyke’ a form of sexually orientated stance on human rights or is it a well informed position on global politics?  Would the DC Jewish Dyke organisers who are defined sexually (as queers)  and racially (as Jews)  welcome Aryan Dykes to their kosher protest? If not, why not?  

 Q: What happened at Chicago Dyke March in 2017 and why were people upset about it?

A: A few Jewish dykes who were associated with A Wider Bridge, an Israel lobbying organization that engages in pinkwashing, brought a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the middle of it, which looks a lot like an Israeli flag, a Zionist symbol. These dykes purposefully disrupted the march and harassed attendees during the rally. Organizers of the march, including other Jewish dykes, asked them to stop their disruptive, harassing behavior and to put the flag away. They told press that they felt as though they could not be openly Jewish at Chicago Dyke March. This caused many Jewish dykes who heard about the event to worry that they would be unwelcome or asked to hide their Jewishness in dyke spaces. The dykes associated with A Wider Bridge took advantage of common public misunderstanding of the difference between being proudly Jewish, and carrying a flag that represented Zionism. This can be confusing because the Jewish star has been co-opted by Zionism and the State of Israel.

GA: What entitles these Jewish Dykes to decide for other Jewish (Zionist) Lesbians how  to identify and what symbols represent them? Their statements here provide a window into the tyrannical and vile nature of the Jewish Identitarian discourse.

 Q: What is pinkwashing?

 A: Pinkwashing is the practice of a country or corporation presenting itself as queer-friendly and progressive in order to downplay their negative behavior. The State of Israel practices pinkwashing by promoting itself as a safe haven for queer and trans people. This distracts attention from Israel’s denial of Palestinian human rights, erases queer and trans Palestinians and some queer and trans Jews who don’t have a safe haven in Israel, and promotes the Islamophobic and anti-Arab racist narrative that Palestinian queers must be saved from Arab and Muslim society.

 GA: Is this true? Do we really turn a blind eye to Israel’s criminality simply because it pretends to be gay friendly? Do we fail to see that Israel locks Palestinians in open air prisons because Israel pretends to be LGBTQ paradise? Sorry to deliver the news. The Anti Israeli Pinkwash campaign is a classic controlled opposition apparatus. It is there to rehabilitate the moral validity of the Jewish Identitarian Left and it does so at the expense of the Palestinians. It diverts the struggle from the essential Palestinian cause of the right of return to irrelevant Jew-related issues to do with queer politics. 

 Q: Why is IfNotNow cosponsoring DC Dyke March?

 A: One of IfNotNow’s principles as a movement is We show up for others. We stand with other movements, such as those working for racial, economic, and gender justice. We are building a world in which American Jews use our unique position to fight for the liberation of all people.” We are also here to show up for ourselves: there are a lot of Jewish dykes who are members of IfNotNow DC, and our work for queer and trans liberation and for Jewish liberation are deeply connected.

 GA: Since when do people who care for ‘all people’ dictate to others how they may or may not identify and what symbols to avoid? IfNotNow ought to be honest and admit that they really care for the Jews who think as they do. We are dealing here with an Orwellian synagogue. 

 Q: Can we talk more about the rainbow flag with the Star of David in the middle? What’s wrong with bringing that flag to DC Dyke March, and what are my other options?

 A: The flag that caused so much consternation back in 2017 was a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the middle that used the same proportions and line art as the Star of David in the middle of the Israeli flag. It was very specifically an Israeli flag and a rainbow flag merged together, a specifically Zionist symbol, not a neutral symbol of Jewish pride. DC Dyke March is a liberatory space for all dykes, and that includes liberation from violence, from cops, from militarism, and from nationalism. “We are asking people to not bring nationalist symbols because violent nationalism does not fit with our vision of queer liberation,” says a recent piece from DC Dyke March organizers.

 So DC Dyke March welcomes Jewish dykes and does not welcome nationalist symbols. What symbols of Jewish dyke pride are available to us? Paint a rainbow Star of David on your face! Scrawl the words YIDDISHKEIT DYKES across a rainbow flag, or a lesbian pride flag, a bi pride flag, an ace pride flag, a trans pride flag!

 Or if Yiddishkeit isn’t your thing, take your pride flag of choice and put a big menorah on it, or a Hamsa or a chai or a pomegranate, or a cool dinosaur wearing Star of David sunglasses and eating a bagel!

Wear a yarmulke, your rainbow tallis, maybe booty shorts that say Jewish Dyke across the ass! There are so many options! Go wild! See you there!

 GA: The Jewish Dykes certainly provide a list of kosher symbols. I could add a few: what about putting matzo balls in your bikini? Or gefilte fish in the bra? Maybe noodles dripping from armpits? I better stop now before I get too exited.  

Gilad Atzmon on The Public Space

June 01, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

I discussed with Jean-Francois Gariépy a wide range of issues to do with Israel, Jewish ID Politics, Nationalism and Race. Though JF and myself disagree on some fundamental matters, this one hour discussion is fascinating, enlightening and most important, open and tolerant.

On Jews Being United

April 18, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

In his Times of Israel article “What All Anti-Semites Have In Common,” Andres Spokoiny, president and CEO of the Jewish Funders Network, tells us everything we shouldn’t know about the current state of the Jew/Goy divide.

“Today,” Spokoiny complains, “many Jews are willing to overlook and even excuse anti-Semitism when the bigots hate a certain type of Jews.” In the good old days, anti-Semitism was a uniting force. “Anti-Semitism used to be the big Jewish unifier. Jews were always fractious and quarrelsome, but when it came to anti-Semitism, everybody agreed. Anti-Semites hated us without distinction, so in the face of a common threat, we would recognize the danger and unite.” Spokoiny is nostalgic, he wants to see the Jews reunited into a fist of resistance against anti-Semitism.

In the eyes of Spokoiny, the three types of contemporary anti-Semitism, be it Left, Right or Islamic (“which is not only fascistic but outright genocidal,” according to Spokoiny) are in fact one by nature: “there’s just one type of anti-Semitism that simply dresses its ugly persona in different ideological garments.” So it isn’t just the Jews that should be reunited; the Goyim, or shall we say the rest humanity, aren’t diverse either, their oppositions to Jewish politics, Israel or Zionism are only a matter of “different ideological garments.”

In Spokoiny’s universe, the Jews are hated for being Jews. It is not that some oppose Israel for being racist, expansionist and genocidal. It is not because some may be upset that the Israeli Lobby dominates Western foreign affairs in the open. It is not because American and British boys and girls are sent to fight and die in Zio-con wars, it is not because some have noticed that it was a bunch of prominent Jewish intellectuals who have managed to reshape the Western ethos by means of so-called progressive ideologies. It is not because the media seems to be biased in favour of a criminal state, which happens to be a Jewish one. In Spokoiny, reasoning and self-reflection are pushed aside. In his universe some just hate Jews blindly, irrationally and for no reason.

But Spokoiny may as well be right. There is a common element in the Left-wing, Right-wing, Christian and Islamic opposition to Jewish politics, culture and ideology: opposition to choseness is how Bernard Lazare described it in his 1894 Zionist text Antisemitism: Its History and Causes. There is a shared common ground that unites all those so-called ‘anti-Semites.’ The alleged ‘enemies of the Jews’ are people who want the Jewish past to be subject to scrutiny like all other historical chapters, Israeli barbarism to be curtailed, Wall Street to be restricted, Palestine to be free. They want globalisation to be halted, immoral interventionism to die out. The so-called ‘anti-Semites’ actually follow the Zionist promise, they want Jews to finally assimilate and become ‘people like all other people.’ The so-called ‘enemies of the Jews’ are upholding the most enlightened rational universalist ethical positions. They treat Jews as ordinary people and expect their state and institutions to subscribe to ethical standards.

Spokoiny hates Alain Soral, the French intellectual who was sentenced this week to one year in prison by a French court for “negationisme” (history revisionism).

In the eyes of French Jewish institutes and Spokoiny, Soral is the ultimate enemy. He has managed to present a unifying message that appeals to the Left, the Right and Muslim immigrants. Soral calls for a universal reconciliation, between them all under a French nationalist egalitarian ethos. The French Jewish institutions see Soral’s call as a vile anti-Semitic message as it doesn’t seem to accommodate Jewish exceptionalism. However, some Jews have joined Soral’s movement. But they clearly demoted themselves to French patriots. They left chosenism behind, they see themselves primarily as French.

“We in the Jewish community need to believe him (Soral).” Spokoiny writes, “We need to stop participating in the divide-and-conquer game of those who hate us.” In other words, Spokoiny wants to see Jews as one monolithic identity. One that sticks together and exercises its power. If Spokoiny or anyone else thinks that such politics may eradicate anti-Semitism, he or she must be either naïve or just stupid   . What Jews need to do is to self-reflect, to ask themselves why anti-Semitism is rising again. Jews must identify their own role in this emerging reality. Rather than constantly blaming their so called ‘haters,’ Jews may want to repeat the early Zionist exercise and ask what is exactly in Jewish culture, identity and politics that makes Jewish history into a chain of disasters.


My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

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Serious question: What is Zionism?

April 01, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

Introduction by GA: In the following  article John Carville digs into the belly of the beast. He questions the validity of the dichotomy between the ‘J’ and the ‘Z.’  He calls to launch a critical study of different aspects of Jewish culture, politics, identity and power. In 2011 I published The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics. The book was denounced by Zionists and Jewish anti Zionists alike as it proclaimed that since Israel defines itself as the Jewish State it is Jewishness (rather than Zionism) which we must understand first.  In the book I offered a solution to some of  the questions raised by Craville. I contended that instead of asking ‘what Jews are’ or even ‘what Judaism is,’ we should study what are the set of ideologies, precepts and philosophies that people who self identify as Jews adhere to. In my work, Jews are neither a biological continuum nor they are a religious collective. In The Wandering Who Jewishness proves itself to be an elastic identitarian construct.  

We have learned to accept that we are living in a post truth era.  But here is the good news: the more is invested in suppressing the truth, the more the truth is keen to unveil itself.

Zionism.jpg

Serious question: What is Zionism?

By John Carville

If Zionism was the political movement to establish a homeland for the Jewish people in the Middle East, then surely it achieved its goal and the term ceased to have meaning in terms of defining the objectives of a political movement.

Alternatively, if Zionism then morphed into support for the continued existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East, then the only point of view what would not be Zionist would be the one that calls the Jewish state illegitimate and calls for it to be dismantled. Yet there are few political voices that call for such an approach, and governments that have referred to the Jewish state as illegitimate have been demonized for doing so. Clearly, such a view is regarded as a fringe one.

So, what is Zionism today? Is everybody who does not declare Israel to be an illegitimate state that should be dismantled and the land given back to its dispossessed people a Zionist? Would that not make nearly everyone a Zionist? And, if so, does that not deprive the term of any meaning whatsoever?

This is not just semantics. Clearly, considerable effort goes on, particularly within movements like BDS and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, to imprint the mantra into people’s minds that it is “Zionism not Judaism” that is responsible for the ongoing plight of the Palestinian people; and that, more importantly, we should not ask any questions about the role of Judaic teaching or ideology in attempting to understand what motivated and continues to motivate the supporters of what is now a genocidal apartheid state that openly defines itself as a “Jewish state” in the Middle East. If it is Zionism and not Judaism that is the problem, then clearly we need to understand what Zionism is (and, relatedly, whether it is rooted in Jewish religious teaching). And if Zionism turns out to be an empty concept, then we should be asking ask what are the ideological underpinnings of Israel’s brutal treatment of the Palestinians (and the lack of action on the part of the international community in that context) for more than 70 years.

Personally, I reject the “Zionism is not Judaism” approach and see that we are being fobbed off with nonsense. It seems clear that this wonderfully popular term “Zionism” is now devoid of content. Either no one is now a Zionist (because the goal of Zionism was achieved via the Catastrophe of 1948) or almost everyone is a Zionist (because there are very few people who would declare that the Jewish state should be dismantled and returned to its dispossessed owners). And,as Israel Shahak argued eloquently in his important and insightful work Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, I would suggest that we cannot begin to understand Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians without examining the roots of Judaic thinking and Jewish identity in the ethnically and religiously discriminatory doctrines of Judaic religion, which has shaped the Jewish mindset for most of its history. It seems, however, that Shahak’s writing continues to reap far less attention than it merits.

Yesterday, I attended a social evening organized by BDS Granada. Towards the end of the evening, I spoke to a couple of members, who seemed very nice people, but they instantly became uncomfortable when I made this point, namely, that we cannot understand Israel’s ongoing genocide against the Palestinians without looking at its ideological roots and justification in the Jewish religion. ‘Oh no,’ they said, ‘that is dangerously close to anti-Semitism. Zionism is not Judaism,’ etc. Then their Jewish friend popped up and, well, let’s just say things went downhill from there.

Clearly, the topic continues to be both policed and silenced within many circles. It is thus no surprise that the activities of the many nice people within the BDS movement and various PSC collectives have failed to gain any real traction over the last decades, when discussion of issues highly relevant for understanding the problem continue to be policed and rendered taboo out of fear of offending Jewish feelings. And while I agree that there is always a need to respect the feelings of others in all forms of discourse, this needs to be balanced against many other needs, including the right to free speech – especially when the matter involves attempts to resolve ongoing crimes against humanity being committed against a specific collectivity, in this case the Palestinian people. To say that we cannot understand the roots of Israel’s ongoing genocide without examining the doctrines of Judaic teaching over the centuries is not to call for violence or discrimination against people who identify as Jews (and there are various different mechanisms of identification involved here, which merit considerable academic analysis in themselves). Nor is it an attempt to say that all people who identify as Jewish are involved in or support the illegal, oppressive and discriminatory actions of the Jewish state. Attempts to suggest otherwise violate our right to and need for free and open discourse on matters of great importance. Furthermore, discourse about justifications of violence in religious texts have taken place without problem in the context of other religions such as Buddhism, Christianity and Islam (and also, “Hinduism”, though this term is something of a misnomer for the various traditions that are usually grouped together under this name).

Like Professor E Michael Jones, who has also sought to open up discourse surrounding Jewish thinking so that we might understand what is going on in our world, I have never advocated violence against any specific collectivity. And, like Gilad Atzmon, too, I reject racially or biologically based generalizations to examine questions related to the political and social influence of Jewish power and ideology in our world. I have lost count of the amount of times I have had to explain that to talk about discriminatory and supremacist teachings at the core of Judaic teaching does not mean that all individuals who identify as Jewish are as equally influenced by such doctrines. Jewish thought runs the gamut from the belief that all human beings (including non-Jews) should have the same rights and be valued and treated equally to the view that non-Jews have Satanic souls, that only Jews have a Higher Soul that comes from God, and that the non-Jew exists only to serve the Jew like a clever beast of burden, with a vast range of shades in between representing various attempts to reconcile (or not) the notion of being a “chosen people” with a private covenant with their own god (hence the commandment that ‘thou shalt not have other gods before me’) and own set of laws, on the one hand, with the Enlightenment ideals of universalizable morals and the equality of all human beings, on the other. Certainly, there are many people who identify as Jews today who would seek to distance themselves from views espoused by groups such as that of the powerful ultra-Orthodox sect Chabad that it is only Jews that have a Higher Soul, or that expressed by the chief rabbi of the Sephardic community that Gentiles exist only to serve Jews. On the other hand, in noting that, we must also recognize that such an egalitarian strand within Jewish thinking is a relatively recent phenomenon, stretching back only to the post-Enlightenment period, when many Jews sought to break free of the strict mental and social control of the rabbis that had sought to keep them segregated from the rest of humanity in ghettos for so long. And the deep traces of the ancient religious teachings can still be found, and thus merit serious examination, even within today’s secular Jews. As the joke has it, and not without some merit, many secular Jews say they don’t believe in God that but still seem to think He granted them their “promised land”.

Leaving all that aside for now, though, the fact that there exist individuals who identify as Jewish but who reject (consciously or otherwise) the discriminatory ideology of Judaic teaching does not mean that we cannot or should not be allowed to talk meaningfully about the role of supremacist and genocidal teachings within Jewish thought as a Jewish phenomenon as a whole, just as the fact that there are many Americans who have opposed US exceptionalism throughout history does not mean that we cannot or should not be allowed to talk meaningfully about American exceptionalism. This should be fairly obvious. Even in the recent farcical allegations of Russian collusion made against the Trump campaign, no one suggested that all Russians were colluding with Trump, or that Trump’s team was colluding with all Russians. It’s quite simple really. The fact that there are people who see themselves as Jewish who reject (to greater or lesser degree) Jewish supremacist ideology and activity does not mean that we cannot and should not be allowed to talk about supremacist and genocidal thinking within Jewish ideology and religious teaching, nor to examine how far such thought influences events in the social and political sphere. And the fact that so much effort goes into attempting to prevent us from doing so should set off red warning lamps in the minds of any true defender of freedom of speech and academic enquiry.

I thus repeat my claim from a day or two ago, that we need (but of course will not get for what should be by now obvious reasons) full academic recognition of a critical discourse on questions related to Jewish identity, Jewish thinking and Jewish power. We might perhaps call such discourse Critical Jewish Studies. And it should be understood by any legitimate scholar of integrity that Critical Jewish Studies is not anti-Semitism, and that any attempt to silence such studies or discourse on such grounds would represent a violation of principles of free enquiry that any true academic should seek to defend, as well as of the natural law right to freedom of speech.

My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

Donate

Extremist Israeli Settlers (jewish terrorists) Attack High School Near Nablus

Extremist Israeli Settlers Attack High School Near Nablus

 

 

06 Mar
7:49 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

A group of extremist illegal Israeli colonialist settlers attacked, Tuesday, Palestinian High School students and teachers, in the northern occupied West Bank, according to WAFA.

The attack took place in Orif village, near the illegal Israeli Yitzar colony,  south of the West Bank city of Nablus.

Adel al-Amer, a member of Orif village council, told WAFA that scores of settlers attacked and stormed Orif Secondary School for Boys, and subsequently surrounded the school, trapping the school teachers inside.

The colonists hurled stones at homes in the village, which led to confrontations with the residents, before Israeli soldiers opened fire at the residents attempting to defend their homes.

Ghassan Daghlas, a local official told Maan that 50 extremist Israeli settlers attacked the school, stating that one student, injured by rocks thrown by the extremist settlers, was treated at the scene.

In addition to damaging school windows, the settlers damaged vehicles belonging to some of the teachers.

Locals told Maan that Israeli forces raided the village at the same time the settlers attacked, causing clashes with locals.

Military vehicles fired tear-gas bombs, and stun grenades at the villagers, with no further injuries reported.

It is important to note that this is the eleventh time this school has been raided since the beginning of the school year, disrupting the education of Palestinian youth.

Under International Law, all settlements built in the occupied territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, are illegal, as stated in the article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Therefore, as the occupying power, Israel is in violation of International Law, as 500,000 – 600,000 of its civilian population has colonized the Palestinian land which it occupies.

How They Do It–Does Racism Now Define Jewish Identity in Israel?

It’s not clear that Israel is more racist these days. But when religious authorities reinforce a race-based Jewish identity and Netanyahu legitimizes Kahane’s heirs, we’ve got a problem

ed note–as the reader will see, our unesteemed Hebraic author is not just some little mealy-mouthed ‘sort of’ Jew whose exposure to Judaism has been limited to dressing up like Krusty the Clown on Purim once a year. As he personally relates it, he attended yeshiva in Israel in his youth and was schooled by rabbis his entire life.

Therefore, by virtue of all of this, he KNOWS what his own religion and culture teach about ‘his people’ and their status as ‘chosen’ and having been selected by yahweh to be the ‘light amongst the nations’ and about being ‘above all others on the face of the earth’.

He knows. He knows it all began with a pennless nomad named Abram wandering around in the desert hearing voices in his head, some telling him to slit his son’s throat and then burn the corpse on an altar as an act of human sacrifice to the deity whose voice he claims to have heard in his head. He also knows that the starting point for the whole ugly affair began with —

‘I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed.’

In other words, racism–DNA based narcissism–was something that began literally at the very beginning of the entire Judaic affair, and our un-esteemed Hebraic author knows this, and yet, he asks the question, as if it weren’t already immediately apparent and did not need asking, whether or not the Jewish state has become ‘racist’, when in fact it is as much a question that needs asking as  whether or not water is wet or fire is hot.

But this ‘how they do it’. They ask these questions in such a way as if the answer were not already apparent, and in the process of their typically verbose and circular jabber-jawing, inundate the reader with a bunch of Hebraic hocus-pocus/mumbo-jumbo that results in the reader’s curiosity vis a vis this problematic topic being blunted via the over-saturation of Judaic nonsense.

And what’s worse is how many gullible lap dogs–and particularly those of the non-Hebraic persuasion–will lap it up.

Perhaps the answer to the burning question as to why NOW is the appropriate time for an intellectual exploration of this type is provided thus–

‘We are inundated by surveys and statistics that tell us that racism is on the rise, but none of those who collate these figures can tell us how bad things were before every nasty word was broadcast in real-time on social media and before each act of racial violence was recorded on smartphones and uploaded to the web. I remember growing up in Israel of the late 1980s. Arab workers (no-one called them Palestinian then) were regularly assaulted on the streets, and the stories of abuse of Palestinian detainees one heard from older friends who were soldiers during the early days of the First Intifada were, if anything, worse than the horrific cases happening today. And very little made it into the media.’

In other words, that aparitif known as ‘damage control’, spiced up with a twist of  ‘deflection’ and a pinch of ‘distraction’.

As we like to say, no one ever accused ‘them’ of being stupid.

Haaretz

I don’t have many good things to say about the rabbis who taught me as a teenager. But I had a momentary recollection of positivity early this week when Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that he was trying to get the religious nationalist Jewish Home party to link up with the other far-right parties – including the Kahanist Otzma l’Yisrael, to avoid the right-wing bloc losing votes.

Back in November 1990, when the far right extremist Meir Kahane was assassinated in New York, our yeshiva forbade its students from going to the funeral in Jerusalem. Other religious nationalist yeshivas did the same.

This wasn’t a small thing. Telling yeshiva students you couldn’t go to the funeral of a Jew who had been murdered as a Jew. But there was a very self-conscious effort at the time to make it clear there was a difference between us and the Kahanists.

Fast-forward 28 years, and no senior rabbi or politician has objected to Netanyahu’s indecent proposal. At the most you can hear their muttering, “We’ll have to see in the polls if it makes electoral sense.” Not a peep about how unthinkable the idea of joining a blatantly racist party should, one not morally worth considering, even if it would jeopardize the right-wing’s hold on power.

At this point some readers may be nodding that there isn’t that much difference between the religious nationalist, or Orthodox Zionist, community in Israel and the Kahanists anyway. Both are nationalist-fundamentalists who believe Jews should settle the entire historical homeland and disregard the basic rights of non-Jews living there. How is the old-school genteel national-religious racism better than the in-your-face fascist version of Kahane’s disciples?

But it wasn’t that simple three decades ago and it isn’t today. Not only is that broad section of Israeli society (and Jewish society outside Israel as well) which seeks to live a Torah-observant life, while being part of the modern world, impossible to classify in one religious and political box, with dozens of sub-groups existing on the non-parallel scales of nationalism and piety, but the notion that Israelis have become either more or less racist over the years is highly problematic.

We are inundated by surveys and statistics that tell us that racism is on the rise, but none of those who collate these figures can tell us how bad things were before every nasty word was broadcast in real-time on social media and before each act of racial violence was recorded on smartphones and uploaded to the web.

I remember growing up in Israel of the late 1980s. Arab workers (no-one called them Palestinian then) were regularly assaulted on the streets, and the stories of abuse of Palestinian detainees one heard from older friends who were soldiers during the early days of the First Intifada were, if anything, worse than the horrific cases happening today. And very little made it into the media.

In the 1980s Kahane, who regularly led at his rallies chants of “Death to Arabs,” was an elected member of the Knesset. And when he was barred on the grounds of racism from running again in 1988, he was replaced in the Knesset by members of Moledet, whose official policy was ethnically cleansing the West Bank.

So no, I don’t think Israel is necessarily more racist today than it was then (and I’m not even going further back to the wonderful days of the Mapai governments when Israeli Arabs lived under martial law for decades). In some very small ways, particularly the exhaustingly slow, but increasing presence of minorities in gradually higher levels of public service (where they are still woefully underrepresented) things have actually improved.

What has undeniably changed and for the worse, as Netanyahu’s urging to bring the Kahanists in to the legitimate political tent (back in the day when Kahane was an MK, the other 119 members, including all Likudniks, would boycott his speeches, leaving him to address an empty plenum) perfectly shows, is that we’ve become much more tolerant of racism.

And in many ways tolerating racism, even if we believe ourselves to be non-racist, is equally bad. Treating Otzma L’Yisrael and its ilk as a legitimate party means that racism is an option. And when it’s an option, even if we claim not to choose it, racism permeates everything.

Here’s another example. This week, Haaretz’s Judy Maltz reported that rabbinical courts in Israel are demanding more and more immigrants from the former Soviet Union undergo DNA tests when seeking to marry in Israel and their Judaism is in question.

It’s easy to see this as another worrying sign of growing racism in Israel. Except it isn’t really. The dayanim in the rabbinical courts certainly don’t reflect Israeli society, but instead the ultra-Orthodox rabbinical establishment that has always sought to be the gatekeepers of the Jewish people. This isn’t even about Israel per se, it’s a millennia-old debate over what constitutes Jewishness which began in the Diaspora, weaponized by 21st century technology.

Twenty years ago, I reported in Haaretz on the first cases in which rabbinical courts were using DNA tests. At the time it was seen as a positive development, as the tests were meant to solve issues of mamzerut (bastardy) and allow people to wed in Orthodox marriages. The procedure was sanctioned by Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, then the most senior of the ultra-Orthodox poskim (arbiters of halakha) who ruled that DNA testing should be used only to solve problems, not create new ones.

But Elyashiv’s warning has been disregarded, and when it comes to conversion, everything is kosher to reinforce the most reactionary definition of Jewishness.

Is this racism? Not necessarily. The narrow-minded halakhic concept of Jewish identity evolved historically as a reaction to the ruthless persecution of Jews for proselytizing Christians in the early centuries of the Holy Roman Empire. Today, the ultra-Orthodox attitude towards conversion is about intra-Jewish politics and maintaining their hegemony, not race. A convert who has completed the years of rigorous and often callous process of Haredi giyur will be treated as a Jew by the rabbinical courts, no matter the color of their skin.

But while the dayanim live in their own bubble, their actions still resonate. Using DNA profiles for what, for them, is only a technical halakhic decision, reinforces a racist definition of Jewish identity. That may not be their intention, but they don’t really care. They quite literally live in the dalet amot, the rarified – if not alienated – confines of halakha.

I don’t expect Haredi dayanim to exercise more care in their rulings, though I wish they would. But since they exercise inordinate power in Israel, countering their influence means other Jews should reexamine their own definitions of Jewishness. That includes – particularly for religious Jews – making it clear that Kahanism has no place in mainstream politics and Jewishness, but also rethinking attitudes to other forms of Jewish identity.

This week 80 Ethiopians arrived in Israel as new immigrants. They are the first group in about 1000 Ethiopians who have been allowed by the government to emigrate, for reasons of “family reunification.” Over the past 20 years, the Jewish Agency tasked by the government to facilitate the emigration of members of the Falashmura, has done so with gritted teeth, though current chairman Isaac Herzog has reversed that policy.

IOn my visits to the Falashmura compounds in Addis Ababa and Gondar, the Agency’s officials explained to me, usually off-record, that the thousands waiting there for years to be allowed to emigrate were masquerading as Jews and the victims of a cruel manipulation by cynical rabbis and activists making a living off their plight, and by the deluded tikkun olam intentions of American Jewish organizations. They warned that every Falashmura immigrant meant more dozens more relatives who would demand to be let in.

Veteran Ethiopian-Israelis, who belong to the original Beta Yisrael community, have said even harsher things. They described the Falashmura as the descendants of renegades who had converted to Christianity over a century ago, who had conveniently discovered their Jewish roots only when it meant a one-way ticket out of Ethiopia.

I used to accept this view, and wrote in this paper, upon returning from Ethiopia, that successive governments, caving in to pressure and authorizing every few years more Falashmura to emigrate, were “manufacturing Jews.” I’m no longer so sure that’s altogether a bad thing.

Not that we should continue turning a blind eye towards the Ethiopian conversion industry. But however it’s happening, they are arriving and becoming Israeli citizens. And gradually, painfully, slowly, the increasing presence of black Israeli Jews, as we saw last week in the protest in Tel Aviv against police violence towards them, is slowly opening the eyes of Israelis to much broader definitions of Jewish identity and to the pervasiveness of racism which they have tolerated for far too long.

The beauty and the beast – Gilad Atzmon vs. Rachel Riley

January 16, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

In recent weeks Rachel Riley, a British TV celebrity, has tossed the Antisemitic slur in the direction of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, Noam Chomsky, Ken Loach, Aaron Bastani, yours truly and others. In her first extended Ch 4 interview it became clear that Riley isn’t exactly an astute political philosopher. You can watch the entire Ch 4 interview here.

My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

ATB

Gilad

The way forward…

January 11, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

The-way-forward-for-SMFS.png

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As you know, last year the nonstop slanderous blitz against me escalated with the stated purpose of destroying my music career and ruining me financially. Blowing the whistle on the roots of the current dystopia, and even simply honest debate, has been exhausting and expensive. Thanks to you I am not fighting this war alone.

Many thousands of you donated to bail me out and a substantial portion of my legal costs have been covered. I was excited and encouraged that thousands of music lovers and freedom enthusiasts signed the petition against Islington Council and filed complaints against this fully compromised ‘Labour’ authority that was caught in bed with the Likud UK director.

In the last few days I gave a series of house talks with music events throughout California. In each city I visited I explored my ideas with people many of whom were relatively new to my work. The events were a great success. By speaking directly to a smaller group, I could convey my ideas and have the time to discuss questions raised by those in attendance. It is an incredible way to make people think about and analyse identity politics and other issues that have led to our current situation. I intend to offer more talks (and music) in as many different regions as I can. Please let me know whether you are willing to arrange such an event in your town.

The battle ahead is demanding and unfortunately will necessitate  expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

Happy New Year from Gilad Atzmon

December 30, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Everything you need to know about Zionism, Controlled Opposition, The Post Political and Athens vs. Jerusalem so you are ready for 2019.

https://youtu.be/SRX55nHmuUQ

To sign a petition in support of Gilad click here

Lodge a formal complaint with Islington Council: https://www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us/comments-and-complaints?status=inprogress

To support Gilad’s legal fund:  https://donorbox.org/gilad-needs-additional-support

 

Gilad Atzmon’s Christmas Message (2018)

December 23, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Following the intense smear campaign against me, my work, my writing and my livelihood, I decided to produce this short Christmas message and address the ludicrous accusations against me and also to wish you all merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you all for your support.

Please share with friends and foes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=WwTWlKmQX2I

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To sign a petition in support of Gilad click here

Lodge a formal complaint with Islington Council: https://www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us/comments-and-complaints?status=inprogress

Email: assemblyhall@islington.gov.uk

Contact the Council: +4420 7527 2000

To support Gilad’s legal battles:  https://donorbox.org/gilad-needs-additional-support


Transcription`;

Hello everybody.

I make this video because as you may be aware I am subject to a serious vile defamation campaign.

We have seen the same characters attacking George Galloway,  Ken Livingstone, Assange and Corbyn . But when it comes to me, it is an open attempt to wipe out my existence to the point that the Israeli Lobby together with some segments in the compromised British Labour [party] are now united against my saxophone, believe it or not.

All of that probably means that I am on the right track. When you get some flack it only means that you are above target.

I made this video today to clarify my position and counter the crude lies that are spread about me and my work in the Jewish media outlets such as the Jewish Chronicle, Times of Israel and so on….

First let me be clear. I’ve been writing about Jewish Identity politics for 20 years. Despite the slanderous accusations attributed to me, not once in my entire life did I criticise Jews or anyone else as a race, people, ethnicity or biology. I have seen anti-Semitism attributed to me on a daily basis in the last decade. However, not once in my entire life was I questioned by a single law enforcement body about anything I have ever written or said. 

How is it possible that I am accused of being a racist while not being charged or even questioned by police about anything I have ever said? 

I am accused of being a holocaust denier but no one has managed to put a finger on my denial. I am working, intensively performing and teaching in countries that are subject to holocaust denial laws. Yet, not once was I questioned about my views in that regard either.

Let me sum up my most controversial views to you, and you’ll decide yourself whether I’m a racist or a person who is working intensely to seek the truth:

 My politics:

I have never identified with any political party or institution.

 My moral and ideological commitment:

I am avidly anti-racist. However, I am also critical of all forms of political identifications that  are defined by biological factors, such as gender, race, sexual orientation and so on. I believe that in order to improve the world and save ourselves from the current dystopia, we must learn once again to search for that which unites us as people instead of inventing ideologies which separate us. As such I am critical of [the] Identitarian left as much as I am critical of [the]Identitarian Right.

 The Holocaust, History and religion:

I have never denied and I do not deny the Holocaust or any other historical chapter. However, I am against all history laws. In my writing I argue that history is the attempt to narrate the past as we move along. Accordingly, history becomes a meaningful adventure once we revisit and revise the past.  When history becomes a sealed untouchable chapter it is reduced into a religion. Like a few prominent Israeli thinkers actually (Adi Ophir, Yishayahu Leibovitz…),  I do believe that the Holocaust has been reduced into a religion. If this is the case we also deserve the right to be agnostic.

 Jews, Judaism, Jewishness

If Israel defines itself as the “Jewish State” (and it does define itself as the “Jewish State”), the first questions we must ask are: what is Judaism? Who are the Jews? What is Jewishness? We have to find out how these elements work against each other how do they impact Israeli politics, Jewish Lobby politics and so on….

In my work I differentiate between Jews (the people), Judaism (the religion) and Jewishness (ideology and culture). I do not critique Jews, I hardly touch Judaism, and when I do it I am very careful and I deal with interpretations. My field of study is Jewishness and Jewish Identity Politics. I do believe that ideologies, culture and politics must be subject to critical examination.

Finally.

I immigrated to Britain 25 years ago. It was a wonderful free place. I raised my family here. I love this country. I love the people and I also feel loved by so many people who have actually stood by me all along and especially at the moment and I’m really talking about many of thousands of people. My readers and followers know very well that there is not a single element of truth in that which is said about me at the moment, mainly in the Jewish press. Britain, like other Western societies, is rapidly becoming a very dark place. Freedom of speech is reduced into nostalgia. Disastrously enough some elements in the Labour party play a key role in this emerging disaster.

I urge my followers and everyone else who maybe interested in the current witch hunt and the tyrannical shift in British society, to stay tuned to my work and my site. I am punished here because I am probably one of the last standing resistance voices in this kingdom. I stand firm where, sadly, politicians, academics, Journalists  and other artists are too quick to bow.

Love you all

 Merry Christmas 

What It Means to be Israeli: Reflections on Identity From an Israeli Peace Activist

By Miko Peled
Source

SÃO PAULO — (Opinion) To clarify the conditions of Israeli society and Israeli attitudes towards peace and justice, it is important to identify what it means to be “Israeli.” That was the premise of a recent speech I gave at a conference titled “Oslo at 25 – An Elusive Peace,” recently held at the University of São Paulo in Brazil.

My role was to speak about “initiatives from within Israeli society in favor of peace and justice for the region.” The conference included a wide array of speakers from around the world, all experts on the different aspects of the Middle East. I was asked to speak on one of the panels along with Dr. Azzam Tamimi, Afif Safia, and Professor Alvaro Vasconcelos. The panel was chaired by Professor Arlene Clemesha of the University of São Paulo.

What is Israeli Identity?

In my book, The General’s Son, Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, I try to describe what an Israeli is and Palestine is, and I do this through the journey of an Israeli in Palestine. Palestine being a small country, no journey within it can be very long. However, the journey of an Israeli into Palestine is that of one who ventures out of the safe sphere of the privileged occupier, where the roads are well paved and the water flows freely, to that of the occupied, the oppressed, the “other,” where reality is vastly different.

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Zionists will argue that it was in fact anti-Semitism that brought about the need for the creation of a new identity for Jewish people, the Israeli identity, which is aggressive and bold. But was this really an improvement in the conditions of Jewish people? Members of the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community feel very differently.

While some argue that the Holocaust and the anti-Semitism prevalent in Europe throughout the centuries are the justification for the existence of the state of Israel, the fact is that most Jewish people who escaped anti-Semitism sought refuge elsewhere. Only a small fraction of Israelis today have family members who survived the Holocaust.

In a conversation I had with Rabbi Dovid Feldman from New York, I mentioned to him that as Israelis we look down at the rather pale, frail appearance of the Ultra-Orthodox community. “You have no idea how hard we work to maintain this look,” he replied. He went on to say that the Zionist version of a “strong” Jew is antithetical to Judaism.

More than one member of this community has told me, “Israel is no place for a Jew.” In a conversation with Rabbi Elhanan Beck, who moved from Jerusalem to London, Beck told me:

I’ve lived in the U.K. for 36 years and, even with my obvious Jewish look (long beard and traditional clothes), I have never experienced anti-Semitism. Furthermore, neither I or my children have ever seen a soldier; I do not know what a British soldier looks like. In Jerusalem, children see soldiers and guns all around them. So how is Israel a safer or better place for Jews?”

No ethnic or religious identity

There is an unproven claim — more of a myth — that all Jewish people today are descendants of the children of Israel or the ancient Hebrews who lived in Palestine several thousand years ago. Even though this story is perpetuated, the fact is that not a single Jewish person alive today can trace their ancestry to the ancient Hebrews, nor can they show where their ancestral home or land was located, nor do they possess as much as a key to that home. So Israelis are not natives of the land.

In addition to that, Jewish people are ethnically different from one another. The ethnic differences between Yemeni Jews and Polish Jews are evident in every aspect of their existence. Those non-Europeans who ended up in Israel faced very different realities owing to the racist tendencies that were prevalent among the ruling Israelis of European descent. Even today, when racism is less obvious, the ethnic and cultural differences are still obvious.

Whether or not Israelis, who are by and large a secular society, are really Jewish is another question. According to the strict interpretation of Jewish law — which completely and without compromise rejects secularism and Zionism — the so-called Jewish identity of the Israeli people is put in question: Jewish law prohibits Jews from sovereignty in the Holy Land, and sovereignty in the Holy Land is what Israelis are all about. Furthermore, if one does not follow Jewish law, the meaning of one’s Jewish identity is in question.

It, therefore, can come as no surprise that growing up as an Israeli one learns to hate Arabs and to hate orthodox non-Zionist Jews. A great number of the larger Orthodox communities, as in the state of  New York, for example, are survivors of the Holocaust and are strictly anti-Zionist. Clearly, Israelis cannot identify with them.

So if Israelis are not natives of the land on which they live, and their Jewish identity is in question, who are they?

A New Creation

“Israeli-ness” is a new creation, a new political and social entity that in many ways is similar to the white society in South Africa and the Americas. Israeli society was built on a racist, settler-colonial ideology, and it too is guilty of genocide and the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population.

Zionism, the ideological foundation of Israel and of “Israeli-ness,” is incompatible with justice and equality with the indigenous people of Palestine — and therefore is incompatible with what we might see as Peace. Zionist ideological claims to the “Land of Israel” are absolute and, as has been made clear over seven decades of Zionist control of Palestine, will not compromise.

What few attempts Israel has made to negotiate “peace” with the Palestinians should be viewed as tactics to serve the larger strategy of controlling the land, the people and the resources. The Oslo Agreement is no different from the massacres of Deir Yassin or Kfar Kassem that were intended to create a mass exodus of Palestinians and allow for more land to be taken by the Zionist state. Oslo was no different from the Israeli massacres in the refugee camps in Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon, or the recurring attacks on Gaza, or any other attacks on Palestinians that are in fact too many to count.

In a recent interview, I was asked whether it is fair to say that one should not blame the Israeli people but rather the government. Had the state of Israel not been a democracy for Jews, that claim would have some truth to it. But the Israeli governments represent Israeli society. Israelis live in a democracy, they vote in high numbers and they’ve elected and re-elected leaders who have executed brutal attacks against the Palestinian people over the past seven decades.

Israeli attitudes towards peace and justice can be clearly viewed by observing the policies that consecutive Israeli governments have executed towards Palestinians. Ongoing violence and injustice with no end in sight, until such a day that Zionism and its racist ideology are brought down and replaced by an inclusive democracy that provides complete equal rights to all who live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

 

Gilad Atzmon on Sunday Wire Discussing the last Synagogue Shooting

October 29, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

I was interviewed yesterday by Patrick Henningsen/Sunday Wire about the recent synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I offered my view of this tragic event and also allowed myself to offer an alternative view of the current dystopia. Unlike most liberals and so called ‘progressives,’ I see the constant rise in mass shooting events around the globe as a symptom of a radical shift in our human landscape. We are rapidly drifting away from empathy and tolerance. In the discussion I suggested that we better look at the root of that shift and identify the disease instead of focusing on the symptoms.

The interview starts at around 22:30 and is about one hour long,

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Smear and Shekels

October 04, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

smear and shaekels .jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Haaretz reveals today that Canary Mission a Hasbara defamation outlet that was established to  “spread fear among undergraduate activists, posting more than a thousand political dossiers on student supporters of Palestinian rights,” is funded by one of the largest Jewish charities in the U.S.

According to Haaretz; the Forward, an American Jewish outlet,  “has definitively identified a major donor to Canary Mission. It is a foundation controlled by the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, a major Jewish charity with an annual budget of over $100 million.” We could have guessed the funding was from such an organisation. We somehow knew that it wasn’t the Iranian government or Hamas who sent shekels to the Zionist smear factory.  Haaretz continues, “for three years, a website called Canary Mission has spread fear among undergraduate activists, posting more than a thousand political dossiers on student supporters of Palestinian rights. The dossiers are meant to harm students’ job prospects, and have been used in interrogations by Israeli security officials.”

Canary Mission is indeed a nasty operation and far from unique. We have seen similar efforts within the Jewish institutional universe for some time. It might be reasonable to opine that smear has become a new Jewish industry. Consistent with the rules of economics, many new Jewish bodies have entered the profitable business, and these outlets have competed mercilessly with each other for donations and funds.

This is precisely a variation on the battle we have seen in Britain in the last few years. Almost every British Jewish institution joined the ‘Corbyn defamation’ contest, competing over who could toss the most dirt on the Labour party and its leader. The outcome was magnificent. Last week at Labour’s annual conference, the party unanimously expressed its firm opposition to Israel and took the Palestinian’s side.

Badmouthing is not really a ‘Zionist symptom.’ Unfortunately, it is a Jewish political obsession. In between its fund raisers, it seems that Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) invests a lot of energy in smearing some of the more dedicated truth tellers. Mondoweiss, another Jewish outlet, practices this game as well.

I, myself, have been subjected to hundreds of such smear campaigns by so called ‘anti’ Zionist Jews who were desperate to stop the circulation of my work on Jewish ID politics. But these frantic efforts only served to support my thesis that the issues to do with Israel and Palestine extend far beyond the Zionist/anti debate. We had better dig into the meaning of Jewishness and its contemporary political implications.

Once again the question is, why do self-identified Jewish activists use these ugly tactics? Why do they insist upon smearing and terrorising instead of engaging in a proper scholarly and/or political debate?

Choseness is one possible answer. People who are convinced of their own exceptional nature often lack an understanding of the ‘other.’ This deficiency may well interfere with the ability to evolve a code of universal ethics.

The other answer may have something to do with the battle for funds. As we learned from Haaretz, the Canary Mission is funded by one of the richest Jewish American funds. Badmouthing has value. ‘You defame, we send money.’  Unfortunately this holds for Zionists and ‘anti’ alike.

Crucially, in this battle, Jews often oppose each other.  Haaretz writes that the Canary Mission “has been controversial since it appeared in mid-2015, drawing comparisons to a McCarthyite blacklist.” And it seems that some Zionist Jews eventually gathered that the Canary smear factory gives Jews a bad name.

Tilly Shames, who runs the campus Hillel at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, told the Forward that  “the tactics of the organisation are troubling, both from a moral standpoint, but have also proven to be ineffective and counterproductive,”

Shames said that Canary Mission’s publication of dossiers on students on her campus had led to greater support for the targeted students and their beliefs, and had spread mistrust of pro-Israel students, who were suspected of spying for Canary Mission.

This dynamic can be explained. My study of Jewish controlled opposition postulates that self-identified Jewish activists always attempt to dominate both poles of any debate that is relevant to Jewish interests. Once it was accepted that Palestine was becoming a ‘Jewish problem,’ a number of Jewish bodies became increasingly involved in steering the Palestinian solidarity movement. We then saw that they diluted the call for the Palestinian Right of Return and replaced it with watery notions that, de facto, legitimise Israel.

When it was evident that the Neocon school was, in practice, a Ziocon war machine, we saw bodies on the Jewish Left steer the anti-war call. When some British Jews realised that the Jewish campaign against Corbyn might backfire, they were astonishingly quick to form Jews for Jeremy that rapidly evolved into Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL). The battle over the next British PM became an internal Jewish debate. The rule is simple: every public dispute that is somehow relevant to Jewish interests will quickly become an exclusive internal Jewish debate.

Hillel activists see that Canary Mission is starting to backfire. Together with Forward and Haaretz, they have quickly positioned themselves at the forefront of the opposition.

From Bibi to Herzl

September 20, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Zionism vowed to make the Jews people like all other people. Israel promised to be the fulfilment of the Zionist aspiration. But the reality on the ground proved otherwise. It didn’t take long before Israel became ‘The Jewish State’ – a state like no other. In this talk, I present a new outlook of the Zionist project and its collapse. I can now throw new light on the most peculiar anomalies in Zionist history, such as labour Zionist brutality towards indigenous Palestinians in ’48, the rise in the prominence of the holocaust in Israel after ’67 and the current manufactured antisemitism hysteria.

I do apologise for the quality of the sound, we work hard to improve it.

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