Truth In Your Face

December 22, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

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German Speaking website Muslim-Market interviewed me this week about the current debate around my recent appearance at the NRhZ ceremony.  We spoke about History, the Holocaust, Israel, Jewishness… all those things Germans prefer to shove under the carpet.    

http://www.muslim-markt.de/interview/2017/atzmon.htm

MM: Mr. Atzmon, there has been a lot of nonsense written about you in the western media because of your critical positions on Israel. We would like to use this interview to understand your opinion and to correct the false reports. It is said, for example, that you are relativizing Hitler’s crimes against the Jews. Is that true?

Atzmon: I will be as clear as I can. To start with, I am subject to slander and defamation because I extended my critique of Israel beyond the boundaries of mere political criticism or denunciation of ‘Zionism.’

I realised that since Israel defines itself as the Jewish State we better find out what the ‘J word’ stands for: Who are the Jews? What is Judaism and what is Jewishness? While Israeli Jews have a relatively good understanding of these 3 concepts and how they relate to one another and to Zionism, to Israeli politics and to Israeli existence, the Jewish Diaspora and Jewish Left in particular prefer to keep these notions blurred and confusing. This is the primary reason for the campaign against me. I moved the discourse beyond the banal Zionism vs. ‘anti’ rant. Those who follow my work understand that digging into Jewishness, the ideology at the core of choseness, of which Zionism is just one symptom, provides many answers. Further, if I am correct, it may suggest that the solidarity movement was led astray for decades and didn’t achieve a thing for good reason. I should also mention that in my work I have never criticised Jews as people, or as a race, biology or ethnicity. I also refrain from dealing with Judaism (the religion). I restrict myself to criticism of ideology, politics and culture.

MM: … and what about the Holocaust?

Atzmon: My position in regard to the Holocaust is very clear. I argue that history is the attempt to narrate the past as we move along. As such, it must remain an open dynamic discourse that is open to change and revision. I contend that history is essentially, a revisionist adventure. I am therefore against all history laws (Nakba, Armenian Genocide, Holocaust etc.) Like many other scholars, I see that the Holocaust has been reduced to a religion. It is dogma. It lost its universal reflective qualities, it is not about an ethical message anymore. And if the Holocaust is the new religion, all I ask is to be an atheist.

To address your question. The notion of ‘Holocaust relativization’ is in itself a meaningless or absurd notion. History is a relative adventure. We grasp the past by, for example, equating Hitler with Stalin. We examine the difference between the ethnic cleansing committed by the 3rd Reich and that in Palestine by Israel.

Hence the demand to stop thinking about the past in relative terms is in itself a religious dogmatic demand for blind adherence. I won’t surrender to such a ludicrous rule and no one else should.

MM: You once said that you are proud to be a self-hating Jew. Why don’t you just convert to another religion as you have already changed your citizenship?

Atzmon: To start with, I do not discuss my personal religious affairs in public. But I can assure you that I have not been a Jew for many years. I am not the type of a person who could easily join any organised religion. But I enjoy following Jesus’ ecumenical lesson in my own way. I learned to love my neighbours, and to seek truth and peace. This is my personal Jihad.

MM: There are quite a number of Jews, including those in Israel, who resist the policy of occupation. For example, we had the honor of interviewing peace activist Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan. Your criticism of Israeli society is portrayed as completely undifferentiated in the media. Is your view really that sweeping?

Atzmon: I don’t agree with that portrayal. I have a lot of respect for some Israeli dissident voices such as Shlomo Sand, Gideon Levy, Uri Avnery, Nurit Peled, Yoav Shamir, Israel Shamir, Israel Shahak and others. I refer to their work occasionally. I was the first one, outside of Israel, to review Sholomo Sand’s ‘The Invention of the Jewish People.’ As I mentioned above, I do not criticise people or religion. I deal with ideology, politics and culture.

MM: As an Israeli army soldier you were in Lebanon and saw Palestinian refugee camps. What influence did this experience have on your development?

Atzmon: It was Lebanon 1982 that made it clear to me that I shared little with my people and would have to drift away sooner or later. It was in Lebanon, upon seeing the refugee camps that I grasped the extent of the ethnic cleansing that took place in Palestine in 48. While In Lebanon, I realised that me dwelling in a Jewish State on someone else’s land was crossing an ethical red line. You have to understand that back in 82 no one in Israel spoke about the Nakba. Then and there, I saw first hand how duplicitous the Israeli project was.

MM: A few days ago, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a severely handicapped man whose legs had been amputated. What is the effect of such cruel acts by their own army on the population of Israel?

Atzmon: As far as I can tell, the effect is minimal, and this is exactly where my research begins. How is it possible that people who have suffered so much throughout their history can inflict so much pain on others? How is it that the oppressed becomes the oppressor? How is it possible that just 3 years after the liberation of Auschwitz the newly born Jewish State ethnically cleansed Palestine?

MM: After all that has happened, can you imagine a day that Jews, Christians and Muslims will live together in peace in Jerusalem?

Atzmon: This is history for you. The European Jewish past is an endless chain of disasters. In the Muslim world, on the other hand, Jews enjoyed their life and prospered. It is more than possible that culturally and ideologically equating Arab Jews with Ashkenazi Jews could provide all the answers we need, but this is exactly the type of research we are prevented from conducting.

MM: Let’s discuss the event in Berlin a few days ago, which some had tried to prevent. What was your impression of the event and were you able to convey your message?

Atzmon: I thought the event was incredible. It was well attended. You could breathe the spirit of resistance. The crowd was mixed. Many youngsters. I was shocked by the support I received.

MM: What is the motivation for your nerve-wracking and multi-sacrifice commitment to justice and peace in Palestine? We ask this question to encourage others who sooner or later give up in the face of the apparent superiority of the Zionist state.

Atzmon: It is way beyond Palestine by now. It is Syria, Libya, Iraq, and it extends to Greece and Portugal, and then Britain the USA and beyond. By now we are all Palestinians. We are all oppressed by that which we are not even allowed to articulate.

I am living on this planet and like others, I want to be emancipated. I guess that the ferociousness of the animosity against me suggests that some people out there are really afraid of my message. Considering that I am not a political figure nor am I an activist, I take it to mean that they must be afraid of my thoughts. This is worrying but it is also a compliment.

MM: What are your next projects, can we expect another book?

Atzmon: I never know what’s next. But I can tell you, it could be many things, except boring.

MM: Mr. Atzmon, we thank you for the interview.

German original:

 

22.12.2017

Gilad Atzmon ist 1963 in Jerusalem in eine jüdische Familie geboren. Sein Großvater war Mitglied in der zionistischen Terrororganisation Irgun. Er soll großen Einfluss auf die gesamte Familie gehabt haben. Nach seiner Schulausbildung begann Atzmon seinen Wehrdienst in der israelischen Armee. Als im Juni 1982 die israelische Armee im Libanon einmarschiert ist, empfand er großen Unmut. Als Mitglied im Musikkorps der israelischen Luftwaffe (IAFO) musste er im Sommer 1984 an einer Konzertreise bei den israelischen Truppen im Libanon teilnehmen. Er sah das israelische Gefängnis Ansar im Südlibanon und traf Tausende gefangener Palästinenser, die unter unmenschlichen Bedingungen eingesperrt waren. Diese Erfahrungen prägten seine späteren Aktivitäten im Einsatz für Frieden.

Gilad Atzmon verließ Israel und lebt seit 1993 in Großbritannien. Da sein Musikstudium ihm nicht genügte, obwohl er zu den weltbesten Jazzmusikern aufgestiegen war (er spielt Saxophon, Klarinette und andere Holzblasinstrumente), studierte er Philosophie an der Universität von Essex. Im Jahr 2002 wurde er britischer Staatsbürger. Im gleichen Jahr erschien sein erster Roman: A guide to the perplexed. Er griff den Titel einer berühmten, auf Arabisch abgefassten Schrift des jüdischen Philosophen Moses Maimonides auf: Anleitung für Zweifelnde. Sein Roman wurde in 18 Sprachen übersetzt. Der Roman versetzt den Leser in das Jahr 2052 und blickt zurück auf den Untergang des Staates Israel. Sein zweiter Roman My one and only love gilt ebenfalls als  scharfe Abrechnung mit der Kultur und Politik Israels.

Im Jahr 2011 wurde sein Buch The wandering who? A study of Jewish identity politics veröffentlicht. Gemäß Atzmon ist ein jüdischer Staat „grundsätzlich unfähig, die Region in eine Aussöhnung zu führen“, solange nicht aus der jüdischen Identität „alle Spuren ideologischen Überlegenheitsdenkens getilgt werden“. Seine klare antizionistische Haltung hat zu extremer Feindschaft aus Kreisen der Israel-Lobby geführt, die ihn nicht nur inhaltlich, sondern auch persönlich angreifen. Das Buch wurde in zwölf Sprachen übersetzt und erschien in Deutschland beim Zambon-Verlag.

Gilad Atzmon ist verheiratet, hat zwei Kinder und lebt mit seiner Familie in London.

Das Interview wurde in englischer Sprache geführt. Um mögliche Schwächen der Übersetzung zu vermeiden, wird das englische Original im unteren Teil hinzugefügt.

MM: Sehr geehrter Herr Atzmon, in den westlichen Medien wird sehr viel Unsinn über Sie verbreitet, weil Sie Israel gegenüber sehr kritisch sind. Wir wollen gerne dieses Interview dazu nutzen, Ihre authentische Meinung zu verstehen und die Falschmeldungen zu korrigieren. So heißt es z.B., dass Sie die Verbrechen Hitlers an den Juden relativieren würden. Ist das wahr?

Atzmon: Ich will mich so klar ausdrücken wie möglich aus. Zunächst bin ich Verleumdungen und Diffamierungen ausgesetzt, weil ich die Kritik an Israel über die Grenzen der bloßen politischen Kritik oder der Denunzierung des “Zionismus” hinaus ausgeweitet habe.

Ich habe erkannt, dass, wenn sich Israel als jüdischer Staat definiert, wir besser herausfinden sollten, wofür das “J-Wort” steht: Wer sind die Juden? Was ist Judentum und was bedeutet Jüdischsein? Während die israelischen Juden diese drei Begriffe relativ gut verstehen, wie sie zueinander in Beziehung stehen, zum Zionismus, zur israelischen Politik und zur israelischen Existenz, bevorzugen die jüdische Diaspora und die jüdische Linke im Besonderen diese Begriffe verschwommen und verwirrend zu bewahren. Dies ist der Hauptgrund für die Kampagne gegen mich. Ich habe den Diskurs über den banalen Zionismus gegen “Anti”-Tiraden hinausgehoben. Diejenigen, die meiner Arbeit folgen, verstehen, dass das Eintauchen in das Jüdischsein, die Ideologie mit dem Kern des Auserwähltheit, bei der der Zionismus nur ein Symptom ist, viele Antworten liefert. Fall ich also recht habe, könnte das auch darauf hindeuten, dass die Solidaritätsbewegung jahrzehntelang in die Irre geführt wurde und aus gutem Grund nichts erreicht hätte. Ich sollte auch erwähnen, dass ich in meiner Arbeit niemals Juden als Menschen, Rasse, Biologie oder ethnische Zugehörigkeit kritisiert habe. Ich unterlasse es auch, mich mit dem Judentum (als Religion) zu befassen. Ich beschränke mich auf Kritik an Ideologie, Politik und Kultur.

MM: … und wie ist es mit der Holocaust?

Atzmon: Meine Haltung zum Holocaust ist sehr klar. Ich behaupte, dass Geschichte der Versuch ist, die Vergangenheit zu erzählen, während wir uns voran bewegen. Als solches muss es ein offener dynamischer Diskurs bleiben, der offen für Veränderungen und Überarbeitungen ist. Ich behaupte, dass Geschichte im Wesentlichen ein revisionistisches Erlebnis ist. Ich bin deshalb gegen alle Geschichtsgesetze (Nakba, Armenien Genozid, Holocaust etc.). Wie viele andere Gelehrte behaupte ich, dass der Holocaust nun zu einer Religion reduziert worden ist. Es ist ein Dogma. Es hat seine universellen Reflexionseigenschaften verloren, es ist keine ethische Botschaft mehr. Und wenn der Holocaust die neue Religion ist, erbitte ich Atheist sein zu dürfen.

Um Ihre (ursprüngliche) Frage zu beantworten. Der Begriff der “Holocaust-Relativierung” ist an sich eine sinnlose oder absurde Vorstellung. Geschichte ist ein relatives Erlebnis. Wir begreifen die Vergangenheit, um beispielsweise Hitler mit Stalin zu vergleichen, um den Unterschied zwischen ethnischer Säuberung durch das 3. Reich und in Palästina durch Israel zu untersuchen.

Daher ist die Forderung, nicht mehr über die Vergangenheit im Hinblick auf vergleichbare Bedingungen nachzudenken, eine religiöse dogmatische Forderung nach blindem Gehorsam. Ich werde mich einer solch lächerlichen Regel nicht beugen und niemand sollte das tun.

MM: Sie sollen einmal gesagt haben, dass Sie stolz seien, ein selbsthassender Jude zu sein. Warum konvertieren Sie nicht einfach in eine andere Religion? Die Staatsbürgerschaft haben sie ja bereits gewechselt.

Atzmon: Grundsätzlich diskutiere ich meine persönlichen religiösen Angelegenheiten nicht öffentlich. Aber ich kann Ihnen versichern, dass ich seit vielen Jahren kein Jude mehr bin. Ich bin nicht der Typ einer Person, die sich leicht einer organisierten Religion anschließen könnte. Aber ich erfreue mich daran, die ökumenische Lektion Jesu auf meine Weise zu befolgen. Ich lernte meine Nachbarn zu lieben, und Wahrheit und Frieden anzustreben. Das ist mein persönlicher Dschihad.

MM: Es gibt eine ganze Reihe von Juden, auch in Israel, die sich gegen die Besatzungspolitik wehren. Wir hatten z.B. die Ehre die Friedensaktivistin Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan zu interviewen. Ihre Kritik an der israelischen Gesellschaft wird in den Medien immer sehr undifferenziert dargestellt. Ist Ihre Kritik wirklich so pauschal?

Atzmon: Ich stimme der Darstellung nicht zu. Ich habe großen Respekt vor einigen israelischen Dissidenten wie Shlomo Sand, Gideon Levy, Uri Avnery, Nurit Peled, Yoav Shamir, Israel Shamir, Israel Shahak und anderen. Ich beziehe mich gelegentlich auf ihre Arbeiten. Ich war der erste aus Israel, der Shlomo Sands “Die Erfindung des jüdischen Volkes” rezensiert hat. Wie ich bereits erwähnt habe, kritisiere ich weder Menschen noch eine Religion. Ich beschäftige mich mit Ideologie, Politik und Kultur.

MM: Als Soldat der israelischen Armee waren Sie auch im Libanon und haben palästinensische Flüchtlingslager gesehen. Welchen Einfluss hatte diese Erfahrung auf Ihre Entwicklung?

Atzmon: Es war der Libanon 1982, der mir klar machte, dass ich wenig mit meinen Mitmenschen teile und früher oder später wegdriften müsste. Es war im Libanon, als ich die Flüchtlingslager sah, als ich das Ausmaß der ethnischen Säuberungen in Palästina im Jahr 48 begriffen hatte. Im Libanon wurde mir klar, dass in einem jüdischen Staat im Land von anderen zu wohnen ein ethische rote Linie überschritt. Sie müssen verstehen, dass rückblickend in 82 niemand in Israel über die Nakba sprach. Ich erkannte dann und dort aus erster Hand, wie doppelzüngig das israelische Projekt war.

MM: Erst vor wenigen Tagen haben israelische Soldaten einen schwer behinderten Mann, dessen Beine amputiert sind, erschossen. Welche Rückwirkung haben solche grausamen Taten der eigenen Armee auf die Bevölkerung in Israel?

Atzmon: Soweit ich das beurteilen kann, ist der Effekt minimal und genau hier beginnt mein Erforschen. Wie ist es möglich, dass Menschen, die in ihrer Geschichte so viel gelitten haben, anderen so viel Leid zufügen können? Wie kommt es, dass die Unterdrückten zum Unterdrückern werden? Wie ist es möglich, dass nur drei Jahre nach der Befreiung von Auschwitz der neu geborene jüdische Staat Palästina ethnisch gesäubert hat?

MM: Können Sie sich nach allem, was geschehen ist, vorstellen, dass Juden Christen und Muslime eines Tages gemeinsam in Frieden in Jerusalem leben?

Atzmon: Das ist Geschichte für Sie. Die europäisch-jüdische Vergangenheit ist eine endlose Kette von Katastrophen. Auf der anderen Seite genossen Juden in der muslimischen Welt ihr Leben und entwickelten sich. Es ist mehr als nur möglich, dass sich kulturell und ideologisch angleichende arabische Juden mit aschkenasischen Juden alle Antworten bereitstellen, die wir benötigen. Doch genau dies ist die Art von Forschung, an der wir gehindert werden.

MM: Kommen wir zu der Veranstaltung in Berlin vor wenigen Tagen, die einige versucht haben zu verhindern. Wie war Ihr Eindruck von der Veranstaltung und konnten Sie Ihre Botschaft herüberbringen?

Atzmon: Ich fand die Veranstaltung unglaublich. Es war gut besucht. Man konnte den Geist des Widerstands atmen. Die Menge war gemischt, viele Jugendliche. Ich muss zugeben, ich war überwältigt durch die Unterstützung, die ich aus dem Saal erhielt.

MM: Was ist Ihr Antrieb für diesen nervenaufreibenden und mit vielen Opfern verbundenen Einsatz für Gerechtigkeit und Frieden in Palästina? Wir fragen diese Frage um anderen Mut zu machen, die früher oder später vor der scheinbaren Übermacht der zionistischen Gegenwehr aufgeben.

Atzmon: Es geht weitaus um mehr als Palästina. Es geht um Syrien, Libyen, den Irak, und es erstreckt sich auf Griechenland und Portugal, und dann Großbritannien, die USA und darüber hinaus. Inzwischen sind wir alle Palästinenser. Wir sind alle unterdrückt durch das, was wir nicht einmal artikulieren dürfen.

Ich lebe auf diesem Planeten und wie andere möchte ich befreit sein. Ich vermute, dass die Wildheit der Feindseligkeit gegen mich auch darauf hindeutet, dass einige Leute da draußen wirklich Angst vor meiner Botschaft haben. In Anbetracht der Tatsache, dass ich keine politische Figur bin und nicht einmal ein Aktivist, nehme ich an, dass einige Angst vor meinen Gedanken haben müssen. Das ist beunruhigend, aber es ist auch eine Anerkennung.

MM: Was sind Ihre nächsten Projekte, können wir mit einem weiteren Buch rechnen?

Atzmon: Ich weiß nie, was als nächstes kommt. Aber ich kann Ihnen sagen, es könnten viele Dinge sein außer Langeweile.

MM: Herr Atzmon, wir danken für das Interview.

Englisches Original

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UN idiot: Al-Aqsa Mosque is Jewish

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Antonio Guterres, the newly installed United Nations secretary general and a Friend of Israel told Israel Radio on Friday that “it was completely clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple.”

This is no news to people who have studied the history of Temple Mount and Jewishness from some objective sources. The Zionist narrative of Temple Mount, just like Holy Holocaust is all based on fakes, frauds, and forgeries (watch video below).

The so-called Temple Mount (Solomon Palace or Haikale Sulemani) and part of Old City of Jerusalem were destroyed by Romans in 70 AD to crush the anti-Rome armed rebellion by the people of Judea, who were not Jewish. Majority of them belonged to Hebrew tribes also known as Bani Israel who were descendants of 12 sons of prophet Israel (Jacob). These people who lived in Arabian peninsula converted to Christianity and Islam with the passage of time. Over 90% of current world Jewry is not Israelites but Khazarian Turks.

Israeli historian Dr. Shlomo Sand, author of books The Invention of Jewish People’, ‘The Invention of the Land of Israel’, and ‘How I ceased to be a Jew’ has claimed that the word JEW was invented in late 18th century – most probably by Christian Zionists.

The photo above clearly shows that the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of Rock are not built on top of the Temple Mount. And the so-called Wailing Wall under the Al-Aqsa Mosque is not the foundation wall of the Temple Mount – but of a Roman fortress.

In October 2016, UNESCO declared that Old City of Jerusalem (occupied East Jerusalem) had nothing to do with Judaism.

But don’t expect Netanyahu stop speaking through Antonio Guterres’ mouth in the future.

Related Videos

Renouncing Jewishness: Shlomo Sand and Gilad Atzmon

July 31, 2016  /  Gilad Atzmon

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

Source: http://ericwalberg.com/

Renouncing Jewishness: Shlomo Sand and Gilad Atzmon

By Eric Walberg

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

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

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

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

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

When was the Jewish People invented?

Sand’s answer is simple:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scene from Shoval’s ‘Youth’ (2016)

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

Can a liar tell the truth?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hollow identity

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

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

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

Occam’s Razor: less is more

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

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

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

Codepink’s Medea Benjamin

the future and fate of Israel?* 

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

xxx

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

Jews on ‘Jewishness and Zionism’

Rehmat

The Jewish-controlled media rarely mentions the ‘self-hating Jews’ who claim that Jewish religion has nothing to do with Zionism or state of Israel. I can count many of them including Hajo Meyer, Shlomo Sand, Gilad Atzmon, Richard Falk, Israel Shamir, Medea Benjamin, and Paul Eisen. Hajo Meyer addressed Never Again for Anyone conference in Toronto (Canada) on January 31, 2011 (Listen below).

There are many Jewish organizations and on-line news sites which pretends to be anti-Zionism but support the so-called ‘Jewish uniqueness’ such as Jewish Voices for Peace, Jewish Witness for Peace and Friends, Mondoweiss,Jews San Frontiers, etc.

Jewish writer G. Neuburger explains the difference between Judaism and Zionism (here).

On July 30, 2016, Canadian journalist and author Eric Walberg posted an article on his blog, entitled, Renouncing Jewishness: Shlomo Sand and Gilad Atzmon. In case some reader may not know, Dr. Shlomo Sand is an apologetic Zionist Jew while Gilad Atzmon is a rebellious Jew.

The (Jew) exile legend is a myth. Shlomo Sand is a historian and couldn’t find any texts supporting it. The Romans did not exile peoples. “Judaic society was not dispersed and was not exiled.” Jews continued to live in the Holy Land through thick and thin, freer under Muslim rule than Christian, but even the latter never “ethnically cleansed” them. Most converted to Christianity or Islam. Voila! The (Christian, Muslim) Palestinians. However, a tiny core stuck stubbornly to the original monotheism, nurtured by the Babylonian exile in the 6th century BC (the only bona fide exile, the earlier Egyptian exile legend being crafted much later, when the Torah was written down and collected in the 3rd century BC),” says Walberg.

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

Jewish Power, Political Correctness And The ‘Left’

Jewish Power is the capacity to silence criticism of Jewish Power

Israeli Report: Jews are Khazarians

Rehmat

In 2010, when veteran White House UPI correspondent Helen Thomas told Israeli Jews occupying Palestine to go back to their ancestral homelands in Europe, her 50-year career as a journalist was ruined by the Zionist Mafia.

On March 18, 2014, Jerusalem-based The Times of Israel, reported that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu received a ‘scholarly study’ which claimed that the Western Jews occupying Palestine are not from the so-called 12-tribes of Israelites, but children of Mongolian Khazar tribes who adopted Jewish religion and established an empire in Ukrainian part of Russia. The study was done by a team of scholars from leading research institutions and museums.

The Zionist regime and its western-controlled mainstream media has avoided mentioning the existence of such study because it negates the very founding myth of the “G-d’s promise of Holy Land to Jewish people” – or that the West Bank is in fact the “Judea and Samara” of the biblical Jewish empire.

Hungarian Jew historian and ex-communist Arthur Koestler was the first Jewish author, who proudly admitted the Jewish-Khazarian bloodline in his 1976 book,The Thirteen Tribe. Koestler was not an anti-Zionist. He just wanted to convince the Christian world that the ancestors of the present-day Jewish people were not involved in the murder of Christ.

Later, Israeli historian Shlomo Sand in his book, The Invention of Jewish People, expanded Koestler’s views by arguing that Judaism is based on religion and not race – its followers descended from various racial groups who converted to Judaism, therefore, they don’t constitute a nation or need a “Jewish state” of their own.

Israeli historian, professor Eran Elhaik (Johns Hopkins University) in a 2013 study claimed that Jews are not Semitic people, and therefore, has no claim over historic Palestine.

Russian Jewish historian Dr. Simon Dubnow had claimed in 1926 that Jews have historical rights to colonize Crimea. “Jewish colonies have existed there since the nineteenth century. The historic rights of the Jews to colonize Crimea and the entire Black Sea coast from Odessa to the Caucasus cannot be doubted and it is certainly desirable in a region where for two thousand years our ancestors have, under the Greeks and the Scythians, engaged in agriculture,” he said.

On March 4, 2014, Jeffrey Veidlinger, in a Op-Ed at Jewish Tablet magazineclaimed that before Crimea became a Russian ethnic stronghold, it’s a Jewish homeland.

On May 6, 2014, the deputy head of Dnipropetrovsk, B. Filatov and Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoyski announced a plan to build a New Zion: Promised Land in the Zionist liberated Ukraine. Kolomoyski’s fellow Jewish oligarchPetro Poroshenko is the current president of Ukraine.

The Times of Israel is an online Israeli propaganda outlet founded by British-born Israeli Jew journalist David Horovitz in 2012. Horovitz earned his ‘Star of Zion’ wing in 1994 after pinning Israeli Mossad’s bombing of AMIA in Argentina onto Lebanese Islamic resistance Hizbullah.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

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

Shlomo Sand and The Jewish Left’s Lie

Introduction by Gilad Atzmon: The following extract is lifted from an Haaretz article discussing Shlomo Sand. The Author, Anshel Pfeffer has managed to grasp the gist of Sand’s argument that is identical to the criticism I developed in The Wandering Who: Jewish anti Zionism is a spin. It is not ethically grounded, it is not universal either! It exists to convey an image of Jewish dissent – or shall we call it what it is – a controlled opposition apparatus.

http://www.haaretz.com/mobile/.premium-1.626312?v=026A89510E1121BC919983707F199320

“I realized this at a lecture he gave last month at the London Middle East Institute and the Center for Jewish Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Nearly 300 people came to listen to Sand talk about his (Shlomo Sand) new book; a great many of them of that specific demographic that, for want of a better description, can be labeled “conflicted Jews.” In the Q&A part of the lecture, two of them asked Sand, with real pain in their voices, “instead of stopping being a Jew, why didn’t you write ‘How I Stopped Being an Israeli?’”

They simply couldn’t understand how their admired writer, who has dedicated a major part of his writing career to dismantling what he sees as the fake mythology of Jewish nationalism, and lambasting the Israeli state, could deny the Jewish part of his identity in favor of his Israeli one. But Sand has done the opposite of what they expected of him (and some of them have actually done themselves). Not only has he constructed for himself a new form of Israeli identity, but he denies these secular, progressive, non-Zionist Jews their intellectual integrity. He ridicules those who claim to be upholding Jewish values while criticizing Israel, and writes that they are no different from “overt pro-Zionists.” These “anti-Zionist Jews” who have never lived in Israel, he writes, “claim a particular right, different from that of non-Jews, to make accusations against Israel.” Living in their “diaspora,” a term he dismisses with quotation marks, they are “granting themselves the privilege of actively intervening in decisions regarding the future and fate of Israel.”

No universalist ethics

Sand denies the special right of secular non-Zionists to band together as Jews, as they do in dozens of organizations and forums, and sit in judgment of Israel. He goes further, accusing them of the same sin as Jewish nationalists; of trying to claim that there is something special or better about their Judaism. “But Zionism did pick up a lot of things from Judaism,” he argues. “And even if Zionism is not Judaism, it doesn’t mean that Judaism is an ethical religion – Judaism doesn’t allow marrying a non-Jew. Jewish ethics are not the ethics I dream of, it’s not universalist ethics.”

….There is nothing ethical about Judaism, says Sand, blasting away the much cherished liberal notion of tikkun olam – if it’s enlightened, then it’s universal, and therefore not Jewish. The long lists of brave Jewish revolutionaries and human rights advocates so beloved of progressive Jews mean nothing, he claims. If anything, they were denying their parochial Jewish roots and joining a bigger and better global brotherhood of man and woman.

Sand is the scourge of anti-Zionist secular Jews. Criticize Israel, by all means, he tells them; but if you identify yourselves as Jews when doing so, you’re phonies. You don’t get any special moral standing just by accident of birth. You are no better than the goyim. “

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