Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Algeriepatriotique interviews Gilad Atzmon: “Dieudonné has proved to be resilient to Jewish nationalist terror”

Interview by Mohamed El-Ghazi, M. Ait Amara | January 18, 2014

Your fight against Zionism provokes critics against you in Israel and in the West. Your detractors conflate consciously between “anti-Zionism” and “anti-Semitism.” What is the difference between these two concepts?

Gilad Atzmon: “anti-Semitism” is a misleading notion that refers generally to criticism of Jews as ‘people’, ‘ethnicity’ or ‘race.’ Such criticism that is biologically driven hardly exists nowadays.

Anti-Zionism, is a different kind of fish — it refers broadly to criticism of the Jewish state, its politics, policies and ideology.

But the truth is that I do not fit in any of those categories. Although I criticize Israel harshly and more than often, I am actually interested in the true meaning of Jewish identity, culture, politics and ideology. I believe that as long as people operate politically under the Jewish banner we are entitled to question their motives, politics  and philosophy. Israel defines itself as “The Jewish state,” hence, its Jewishness must be examined.

I am indeed critical of the Jewish state, but I am often also critical of Jewish Left and even the Jewish so-called ‘anti’-Zionists. I basically disapprove of all  ‘Jews-only’ clubs, whether they are on the Left or the Right. I would argue that like Zionism and Israel, Jewish anti-Zionism is racially driven and Judeo-centric to the bone. It is primarily committed to Jewish tribal interests rather than to the Palestinian cause. In my book The Wandering Who I obviously produce enough evidence to support this claim.

Do You consider Zionists as the main cause behind the global financial crisis? How?

Not exactly, in The Wandering Who I contend that a financial bubble was created in the USA by the Federal Reserve in order to divert the attention from a military blunder in Iraq (a neocon Zionist war). But I actually argue that rather than a ‘conspiracy,’ the credit crunch was, in fact, an accident. The bubble burst unexpectedly…

We tend to believe that Zionism is limited to the colonization of Palestine in order to create a state there. Now, you say that it is “a global movement fed by a unique tribal solidarity”. What do you mean by “tribal solidarity”?

To start with, your terminology is slightly inaccurate. Zionism is not a colonial movement, in spite of the fact that many of us are using the term. Colonialism is defined as a material exchange between a mother state and a settler state. In the case of Zionism we can easily identify the ‘settler state’ but it is far more difficult to find or identify who is the ‘mummy’. Also the Jewish re-settlement in Palestine was spiritually and ideologically driven rather than being economically motivated.

However, with Jewish lobbies operating aggressively in most Western capitals (AIPAC, CFI, CRIF etc’), promoting global Zionist interests and advocating global wars against Iran and Syria, it is really impossible to avoid the fact that Zionism is now a global movement with global interests.

Tribal solidarity, in that respect, is also very easy to grasp. It refers to the vast support world Jewry lends to their national movement and tribally driven campaigns.

Could Zionism prevail creating “global conflicts,” as you say? In other words, why can’t Zionism pursue peace?

Because Jewish secular identity is defined by negation. The Godless political Jew (as opposed to the orthodox one) is defined by the animosity evoked in others. Jews need enemies and thus the continued existence of the Jewish state in the Middle East may lead to many more sectarian wars in the region in the future. But again it isn’t just Israel or Zionist politics. The Judification of the Palestinian ‘solidarity’ movement introduced us to vile witch-hunts consistent with the vile Jewish herem (excommunication) culture. In the last few years we have seen the UK PSC expelling activists and even Palestinians from its ranks. As I say above, Jewish politics is defined by negation, as such, it can only promote wars.

If Israel was created by the British capitalists to control oil production and transportation in the Middle East in the early twentieth century, how could Zionism take the West hostage several decades later? What led to this reversal of roles?

I don’t agree.  Israel wasn’t created by the British Empire and oil wasn’t at all the logos behind the Balfour Declaration. This is a popular banal materialist Marxist fantasy that doesn’t hold water and is set to deceive.

Zionist lobbies managed to squeeze the Balfour declaration out of the British Empire  at the peak of WWI promising to bring the USA into the war in return. Britain needed the USA to join the war effort  in order to break the stalemate on the Western front. Promising Palestine to the Jews seemed a little price to pay. The Balfour Declaration in that regard was there to appease the American Germanic patriotic Jewish financial elite who were quick change their allegiance from Germany to Britain. The message is clear, the Jewish lobby in the USA was already amongst the most influential political bodies in the USA and Britain as early as 1917.

The Western media is resistant to any criticism of Zionism. Currently, Dieudonné is attacked from every possible side in France. How do you explain this relentlessness media and political onslaught against this comedian? 

Dieudonné has proved to be resilient to Jewish nationalist terror. All attempts to destroy him achieved the opposite, it only helped him to refine his humour and criticism of Jewish power. By now Dieudonné has managed to expose the lethal continuum between the Jewish Lobby, the so-called Palestinian solidarity movement and the French imaginary ‘Left’ establishment. Is it really a surprise that the ‘socialist’ government that just a few weeks ago shamelessly attempted to jeopardize the negotiation with Iran in a desperate attempt  to appease the Israeli government is now chasing a black comedian who refuses to subscribe to the primacy of Jewish suffering?

Unlike welded and well-organized Zionists, the anti-Zionist movements seem scattered. Why don’t the latter have a strong organization to fight this sprawling group that “kills in the name of Jewish suffering,” as you say? 

The Zionification of the Palestinian solidarity movement, which I have been monitoring for more than a decade, is pretty much completed. It located Jewish tribal interests at the centre of the Palestinian struggle. Instead of caring for Palestine, solidarity organisations are now primarily concerned with the fight against ‘anti-semitism’. The Palestine solidarity movement is now operating as a controlled opposition. It is funded largely by liberal Zionists, such as George Soros and his Open Society Institute, who also funds the pro-Israeli Jstreet. The same Soros funds most Palestinian NGOs and even the BDS Movement. We are seeing the emergence of a little Palestine solidarity industry that is set to achieve nothing and is actually very good at it (achieving nothing).

But on the other hand, there are some very positive developments:

More and more people out there see the real picture. And I actually take some credit for it. More and more people are becoming sensitive to Jewish lobby activity and Zionist advocacy of global conflicts. More and more people grasp the role of the Left. They see the Guardian’s attempt to vindicate war criminal Sharon. In short, more and more people grasp that Palestine is here, in Paris, in London, in Athens and in Detroit.

As it stands, we are all Palestinians. The vast popular support of Dieudonne is a clear message to AIPAC, CRIF and CFI – beware, the party comes to an end. Enough is enough.

I would be very happy to see the Jewish lobby, both Zionist and the so-called ‘anti-’, coming to terms with the current change, but I doubt it. Being an avid reader of Jewish history and Left’s impotence, I predict that the Lobby will become more aggressive and I am really concerned with the inevitable consequences to Jews and the rest of us.

http://www.algeriepatriotique.com/

January 21, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Probing Max Blumenthal’s Goliath

By Jay Knott | Dissident Voice | December 11, 2013

Note: throughout this review I refer to concepts like “racial oppression”, “Jewish supremacy” and so on. None of this is intended to imply that the concept “race” is meaningful, biologically or otherwise. Racial supremacy does not depend on the reality of race, but merely on the belief in it. Whether race is or is not meaningful is a completely separate question from whether Israel is an instance of racial supremacy. I cover this separate question in another article, Invention, Imagination, Race and Nation.

Max Blumenthal just had a book published, entitled Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel. He is a left-wing Jewish American journalist. The book assumes that the left/right political dichotomy is meaningful, not only in America, but in the Jewish state. He writes as if Israel can be reformed:

“The Nakba law was only one among a constantly expanding battery of racist and anti-democratic proposals pouring from the legislative offices onto the floor of the Knesset” (page 62).

“Israel’s very existence is threatened by fascism” (Uri Avnery, quoted sympathetically by Max Blumenthal on page 65, complaining about Jewish extremism undermining what is good about Israel).

“…the maintenance of a Jewish demographic majority is Israel’s national priority…” (page 42).

A national priority is something which can be changed. [it changed in south africa] But a Jewish majority is what Israel is.

My point (at least, in this review) is not to criticize reformism as such – normal Western countries can be, and are continually being, reformed. They are critical of their own histories, particularly in regard to racial oppression. Israel stands alone in its self-righteousness.The almost exclusive concern of organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, radical anti-racist groups, and various academic departments, with “white racism”, tends to obscure this. Another article of mine, “The One-Sided View of Hate in Hate Studies,” goes into this question in more detail.

On several occasions in the book, the author criticizes the “settlements” in the “occupied territories” and the “right wing” Israeli politicians who support them. Taken seriously, this argument supports Israel’s fallback position — withdrawal to its 1967 frontiers, before it occupied the “occupied territories”. On page 273, he explains that liberal Zionists mislead us, by claiming that the “source of Israel’s crisis” is in 1967, with the occupation of the West Bank and other areas, rather than with the ethnic cleansing of 1948. But the Nakba was not the “source of Israel’s crisis” – it was the source of Israel!

The book is critical of what it calls Israeli “racism”, for example, on pages 18, 23, 39, 77, 135, 176, 247, 334 and 398. But what would it mean for a state, whose very definition of citizenship is membership of a particular “race”, regardless of geographical origin, leading to the expulsion of non-members of that “race”, who happen to be located within that state’s boundaries, to be “less racist”?

One area where Blumenthal argues there could be improvement, is the mistreatment of Israeli citizens of Palestinian Arab descent.

“…it is hard to find any Arab citizen who travels abroad by air and who has not experienced a discriminatory security check at least once” (page 39).

But, unlike equality for minorities in Western countries like the USA, equality for Israel’s Arab minority would make no difference to the basic fact that Israel, the Jewish state, is an implementation of imagined racial supremacy. They’re a minority because most of them were driven out.

In line with his effort to make Israel look like a Western society, Blumenthal lauds “feisty bands of Israeli radical leftists who had dedicated themselves to direct action against their country’s militaristic policies” (page 67) as if they are analogous to the anti-war movement in the USA. But the war in Vietnam really was a US policy, and that is why it could be changed. Ditto, US aggression in the Middle East. The imposition of Jewish supremacy is not an Israeli policy. It is what Israel is.

On page 116, he contrasts the left-wing shministim with right-wing “Israeli ultra-nationalists”. But what is an “ultra” nationalist in Israel? You either support Jewish power, or you don’t. Uri Avnery confuses the issue further by claiming that the “violence” of the “rightists” is the result of “brainwashing”.

“About fifty Jewish radical leftists brought up the rear of the protest [against a settlement], banging drums and chanting in Hebrew ‘Fascism will not pass!’” (page 50).

One of Blumenthal’s radicals left Israel and landed in London. No, it’s not Gilad Atzmon, whom the author explicitly repudiates. In contrast to Atzmon’s critique of Zionism and Jewish anti-Zionism, Blumenthal’s favorite joined “a radical counterculture” that was “transforming the Western world”, “successfully fusing anti-Zionism into the New Left’s broader struggle against colonialism” (page 265).

He’s right. Subordinating anti-Zionism to anti-racism, etc., has been very successful – in the sense of making it completely ineffective. As a result, the struggle against Zionism has been a complete failure – segregation and apartheid were ended, but Jewish supremacy in Palestine continues.

Blumenthal is, at best, ambiguous; he criticizes Israeli policies and politicians, and sometimes comes close to criticizing the entire project, but never once gets to the point – since the Western countries (the USA, Britain, France, etc.) have repudiated racial supremacy, and enforced compliance with that repudiation, and Israel is, by its very definition, based on racial supremacy, the Western countries should, if they follow their own standards, boycott Israel until it grants citizenship only to those born in Palestine, and those whose recent ancestors were born in Palestine, in other words, ceases to exist.

An example of this ambiguity is the first paragraph on page 74. It starts by saying there is not much to choose between the right and left wing Israeli parties, because they only differ in how to maintain the what he delicately calls the “Jewish demographic majority”. But the same paragraph ends:

In a society where maintaining the tyranny of the ethnic majority formed the underpinnings of national policy, there could be little wonder that an unapologetically supremacist party like Yisrael Beiteinu was able to consolidate a mainstream foothold in such a rapid fashion.

What does claiming the tyranny of the ethnic majority forms the underpinnings of national policy mean? Isn’t it just a roundabout way of saying that racial supremacy is what that nation is? In which case, why does it matter how unapologetic its parties are about their supremacy?

Blumenthal complicates and confuses the issue, but it’s quite simple. There are three major differences between South African apartheid and Israel. One is that, unlike apartheid, Israel exists. The second, is that Israel is Jewish. Finally, South Africa merely had to change its laws, but if Israel abandoned racial supremacy, it would no longer be the Jewish state. The complete contrast between the treatments of these two implementations of racial supremacy means that Jews have special rights in the Western world, and that white gentiles do not. It follows that opposing racial supremacy today therefore means, first and foremost, dismantling Jewish privilege, and that the “anti-racist” industry’s continuing emphasis on the critique of “white privilege” is, to put it charitably, a diversion.

How is Jewish privilege maintained? Blumenthal does briefly mention an example of president Obama having to grovel to the power of the American Jewish lobby on page 275, but only in passing, and with no attempt to help us understand how the organizations of a small ethnic minority can make the most powerful country in the world follow its interests.

~

Jay Knott wrote The Mass Psychology of Anti-Fascism.

December 12, 2013 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel Lobby Threatens Church Groups With Congressional Investigation Over Call for Restricting U.S. Military Aid

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | October 18, 2012

A coalition of U.S. church groups recently made public a letter which called upon the U.S. government to condition future military aid to Israel on its fulfillment of obligations under U.S. law.  The statement was intended to express criticism of Israel’s use of U.S. weapons like cluster bombs in violation of our law and noted that U.S. military assistance provided Israel a buffer against undertaking any actions to advance a just and lasting peace.  For example, its settlement policy, refusal to return to 1967 borders, and refusal to share Jerusalem, all directly contradict international law and stated U.S. policy.

Though these church groups have been critical of Israeli policy in the past, threatening to lobby for withholding military aid would really cut the Israel lobby to the quick,  as it’s a position held by a number of anti-Zionist groups that are much farther to the left.  The fact that mainline Christian denominations, who generally support liberal Zionist positions, would be moving in a more critical direction has to be deeply concerning to the lobby.

Though they refuse to consider or acknowledge it, such a development indicates a growing alienation of American churches from Israel and the draconian positions advanced by its government.  The churches are willing to lose their interfaith dialogue with the Jewish community over such an issue, which indicates how seriously they take their opposition to the Netanyahu regime.

First to lash out in anger was (typically) Abe Foxman followed by one of Israel’s leading hasbara outfits, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.  It appears to be taking the lead in “handling” the BDS efforts of a number of the Christian denominations.  As such, it’s a key player in Israel’s campaign against so-called “delegitimization.”  Those guys at JCPA play hardball.  Not content merely to criticize the churches, they lashed out at the “anti-Judaism” elements within their ranks.  They used terms like “vicious anti-Zionism,” “relentless attacks on the Jewish state,” and “delegitimizers of Israel” to up the ante and level of vitriol.  They also threatened to call out the Congressional dogs through mounting investigations of the groups themselves:

“JCPA is considering as a response asking Congress to investigate delegitimizers of Israel and to issue a resolution against their efforts.”

I’m not sure what this is supposed to gain the lobby.  Do they think that parishioners will be mortified to find their particular denomination is called out by name in a Congressional resolution?  Should these groups then call on their particular Congressional allies to respond tit for tat?

October 18, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , , | 4 Comments

Google, Facebook to help Israeli colonists combat “cyberhate”?

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | May 13, 2012

In a May 10 press release, the staunchly pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League (ADL) announced it “will convene a new working group on cyberhate that will bring together Internet industry leaders and others to probe the roots of the problem and develop new solutions to address it head-on.”

According to the ADL statement, the establishment of a “Anti-Cyberhate Working Group” was approved by the Task Force on Internet Hate at a May 7 meeting held at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society in Palo Alto, California. The task force was created by the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism (ICCA).

“Internet hate continues to have a global impact on civil society and a transparent process to respond to it will lead to reviewability and consistency,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “We welcome the commitments of Google and Facebook to participate in this dialogue to combat online hate speech, Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism. Working alongside the Internet’s leaders will allow for the development of industry standards that balance effectiveness with respect for the right to free speech.”

The ICCA Task Force is co-chaired by Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, who is charged with countering antisemitism. A member of Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party, Edelstein lives in the illegal West Bank settlement of Neve Daniel, which he sees as part of “Greater Israel.” As far as the Israeli minister is concerned, however, those who dare to nonviolently oppose Israel’s ongoing colonization of Palestinian land are motivated only by hate. According a report on Edelstein’s anti-Arab racism, he told delegates at a 2009 international conference on “combating antisemitism”:

We must repeat again and again these basic facts – TO BE ‘anti-Israel’ IS TO BE ANTI-SEMITIC. TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL, ISRAELI PROFESSORS and ISRAELI businesses, these are not political acts, these are acts of hate, acts of anti-Semitism! Anti-Israel hysteria is anti-Semitic hysteria. They are one and the same. [Ed: Upper case letters in the transcript]

If this is what is meant by “cyberhate,” perhaps the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement should consider targeting Google and Facebook for their apparent willingness to collaborate in the defense of the Israeli occupation.

May 13, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Anti-Zionism in the 21st Century

By Tariq Shadid | Palestine Chronicle | January 29, 2012

The essence of the Palestinian struggle is the battle against Zionism. It is a battle against its racism, against its murderous war crimes, against its insatiable territorial hunger, against its disdain for non-Jewish human rights, and against its devoted attempts to destroy Palestinian national identity. As voices of normalization are on the rise, and social media is invaded by paid pro-Zionist bloggers, there is an increased need for anti-Zionists to draw attention to the crimes committed by ‘Israel’, and to speak up against the ongoing media silence and the apologist activities of those misleadingly portraying themselves as ‘peace doves’. Let us first look briefly at the history of the anti-Zionist struggle, and then see where we stand today.

The Ideology of Zionism

Years before the creation of the state of ‘Israel’, there was already a full-blown battle going on against Zionism. On one side, the Palestinians were resisting against the usurpation of their land, having grown aware of the far-stretching implications of the Balfour declaration of 1917, which laid the foundation for the mass-immigration of European Jews into Palestine. In those same decades, there was also an ongoing struggle within the Jewish communities in Europe, where many were opposed to the tenets of Zionism either on a religious basis, or on the realization that colonizing an inhabited land would inevitably cause an injustice that would continue to reverberate for many years to come. A famous example of this in that period of time was the famous genius Albert Einstein, who in 1938 already expressed his opposition to the creation of a ‘Jewish state’, and in a letter to the New York Times that he wrote together with a number of prominent Jews in 1948, strongly denounced the horrendous Deir Yassin massacre.

The ongoing struggle of the Palestinians against Zionism and the continuing expropriation of their land is well-known, but not everyone is aware that within Jewish ranks, true ideological opposition against Zionism still exists. The most well-known group among these is Neturei Karta (‘Guardians of the City’), an organization of international Jews united against Zionism. On another note, within the current framework of the Zionist state, a coalition of groups that call themselves ‘Campus Watchdogs’ recently went as far as labeling 10 % of Israeli academics as ‘anti-Zionist’. It is likely that this number is highly overrated, since this McCarthyism-like approach can be expected to have lumped together a wide variety of people who expressed criticism at their government’s actions. In a similar way that outside criticism of ‘Israel’ quickly gets labeled as ‘anti-Semitism’, many of the one thousand mentioned academics, publicists and journalists are likely to have received the label of ‘anti-Zionist’ despite adhering to many of Zionism’s principles.

Tribal, Religious, or Ideological?

For some, the ongoing misery is a war between two peoples, basically a ‘tribal war’. Others prefer seeing it as a war between religions, with Judaism on one side and Muslims on the other side. Those who adopt this view are ignoring the pluralistic ethnic and religious composition of the Palestinian people, and are for instance ignoring the fact that many Palestinians are Christians, who have not been spared the gruesome fate of their Muslim compatriots. Thirdly, there are those who view the struggle as a battle between ideologies: Zionism on one side, and anti-Zionism on the other.

As the original PLO manifesto (28 May 1964) stated, the organization declared that “Palestine with its boundaries that existed at the time of the British mandate is an integral regional unit”  and that it sought to “prohibit the existence and activity of Zionism”. It also contained statements calling for a right of return and self-determination for the Palestinians. When reading the manifesto, it becomes clear that the PLO, the first more officially organized Palestinian movement against the land theft and expulsion committed by the Zionist terrorist organizations that later declared the Zionist state, was an explicitly anti-Zionist movement. The PLO incorporated the various existing political movements in one body, and was declared to be the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. This was widely accepted by an overwhelming majority of Palestinians.

The Oslo Disaster

As illustrated above, the foundations of the Palestinian struggle were based on the territorial integrity of Palestine (i.e. the one state solution) and the right of return of all expelled Palestinians. These original foundations became embedded in an entire generation of Palestinians worldwide. In 1993, the leadership under Yaser Arafat adopted the two-state solution instead, which largely happened in a top-down manner and led to the Oslo accords, However, it soon became clear to all that the Oslo accords were only accepted by ‘Israel’ as a deceptive method to hypnotize the Palestinians as well as the masses of the world into an illusion of Israeli willingness for territorial concessions, while in truth confiscating huge swathes of land, building a separation wall and almost tripling the settler population (from 250,000 to 700,000). It should be no surprise that even early on, as the scam became blatantly clear to all except seemingly to the leadership of the newly created Palestinian Authority, the original tenets of the struggle were yet again embraced by many Palestinians inside of Palestine as well as in the diaspora.

Return to the Struggle

As the state of confusion created by the Oslo accords lingered on, some defeatist voices however also turned to normalization, instead of returning to the basics of the struggle. It is not to be wondered at that disillusion and opportunism play their role in such a complex situation, wherein many lose hope when faced with the overwhelming military, economical and strategic dominance of the Zionist state. Nevertheless, youth movements that are currently active in keeping the struggle for Palestinian rights alive, predominantly see anti-normalization as one of their main strategic goals. They adhere to the above-mentioned basic tenets of the struggle, and reject the failed formula of negotiations that is still pursued by the Palestinian Authority, despite its lack of popular mandate for it. For most Palestinians it is blatantly clear, that the so-called ‘Peace Process’ has only caused damage to their cause and has not brought even the slightest prospects of a better future, let alone of self-determination or independence.

Internationally, pro-Palestinian activists also largely adhere to the basic tenets of the Palestinian struggle, namely the one-state solution and the right of return of the Palestinian refugees.  There are other issues as well that are deemed non-negotiable to the majority of Palestinians, such as strong opposition against the Judaization of Jerusalem (Al Quds) which is projected as the future capital of liberated Palestine, and the release of all thousands of Palestinian political prisoners.

There is definitely also a group of ‘two-staters’, but their numbers are dwindling fast, and they rarely engage in activism since their views are largely represented by the Palestinian Authority. The strongest cure for the fallacy of the two-state solution was seeing the Palestinian side of that solution being gobbled up by the Zionist state over the years, faster than one could issue statements of protest against them.

New Shape of the Struggle: Back to Anti-Zionism

It is clear nowadays that the Palestinian Authority is not a useful apparatus for waging any form of struggle, but an administrative body that functions mainly as an extension of the Israeli security apparatus, in a framework inherited directly from the Oslo agreements. This does not mean that the people have stopped struggling. The modern Palestinian struggle has moved towards preferring popular resistance over armed struggle, and employing BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) as a main strategy of generating pressure against the Zionist state. What has also changed, is that this struggle has gained large numbers of international supporters all over the world, who support the Palestinians in their pursuit of freedom from Zionist oppression.

These changes have also brought anti-Zionism back to the forefront, and this has far-reaching implications. Whereas a two-state solution almost automatically implies the undertaking of steps towards normalization, since it implies an acceptance of Zionism and relinquishing the claim of 78 % of Palestinian territory to it, a one-state solution which aims to create a state for all of its inhabitants that does not discriminate on the basis of race of religion, requires a strong and uncompromising return to anti-Zionism as a unifying strategy.

Anti-Zionism versus Normalization

In a struggle that aims to achieve this, normalization is an extremely damaging concession that can never be combined with the dismantling of Zionism, which is the ultimate goal of its strategy. After all, a struggle against racism cannot be successful if the inherently racist tenets of Zionism are accepted. The ‘Oslo-period’ has however sown its sorrowful seeds in more places than may directly become apparent. The vast majority of the Arab masses have not accepted Zionism in their midst, but there are stubborn strands of normalization that seem to be enjoying an increasing momentum within ‘progressive’ ranks of various Arab communities.

Two Egyptian examples can be mentioned in this context. One is Mona Eltahawy, who seems to consider ‘Israel’ to be a civilized state and refused to condemn the genocidal massacre in Gaza that claimed the lives of 1,400 Palestinians (including at least 300 children) by massive attacks from drones, tanks, Apaches and F-16’s – on a population that possesses no bombing shelters or anti-aircraft artillery. Another even more mind-blowing example is Maikel Nabil, an Egyptian blogger who enjoyed wide campaigns for his release when he was arrested for criticizing the SCAF military junta of post-Mubarak Egypt. He expressed his love for Israel on his blog and in Israeli media with an enthusiasm rarely ever seen before in the Arab world. There are other examples too, such as Arab-American comedian Ray Hanania of Palestinian origin, who proclaimed himself a candidate for Palestinian presidency in a video that he posted on Youtube, wherein he called for an acceptance of Israeli settlements, and an end to the Right of Return.

The Only Ziocracy in the Middle East

It is true that these examples do not represent the sentiments of the majority of Palestinians and other Arabs, whether in the Arab world or outside of it, but these voices cannot be ignored either. The main reason for this is that voices of normalization like the ones mentioned above often receive disproportionate attention in Western-dominated mass-media, and thereby have a number of insidious destructive effects upon the struggle.

First of all, they make those who are true to the anti-racist struggle against Zionism seem extremist, by offering alternatives that at first sight strike the general public as being more inspired by peaceful motives. This is a distortion of reality: support for ‘Israel’, the most belligerent state in the Middle East, the only state in the region in possession of (over 300) nuclear arms, and the only ‘Ziocracy’ where ones ethnic background automatically categorizes one as having less rights than others, can never be truthfully designated as ‘peace-loving’.

Secondly, the apparently human inclination of the masses to flock around the famous without delving deeply into their philosophies, brings multitudes of people close to positive truth-distorting evaluations of the Zionist state. For example, progressive Arabs who embrace Mona Eltahawy’s feminist activities, are inclined to also automatically defend their idol’s views on ‘Israel’, simply because they are already in a state of adoration of her person. Another example involves Maikel Nabil: when progressive activists rallied for him due to his unjust incarceration by SCAF, his shocking pro-Israel views seemed to be lumped together with his anti-SCAF views under the label of ‘freedom of speech’, effectively paving the way for the perceived ‘right’ of Egyptians to view ‘Israel’ in an undeservingly positive and gruesomely distorted loving manner.

The Struggle Goes on

The true and original struggle of the Palestinians is a struggle against Zionism, and this is entirely incompatible with the views mentioned above. Normalization must therefore be opposed, vocally, directly, loudly and clearly. There is definitely a need for increased activity on this front, since anti-normalization and BDS do not enjoy the support of mass media, unlike the voices of normalization.

If this means that these voices need to be confronted even on a personal level, then so be it. It may not be a pleasant thing to do, and some might argue that it distracts from calling attention to the continuing atrocities that the Zionist state is inflicting on a daily basis upon the defenseless Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. However, as has been argued in the article “Anti-normalization: an necessary part of BDS campaigning”, calling attention to these injustices will remain highly ineffective if the public is simultaneously exposed by mass media to Arab voices that aim to paint a misleading image of ‘Israel’ as if it were a beacon of civilization, and a saviour for mankind.

In other words: if you value BDS and wish it to be effective, and if you believe in opposing the racist ideology of Zionism, one of your tasks is also to confront those who suck up to power for their own personal gain. And since their number is increasing, it looks like you have work to do.

– Tariq Shadid is a Palestinian surgeon living in the Middle East, and has written numerous essays about the Palestinian issue over the years.

January 30, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Tribal affiliation and intolerance of the “Jewish left”

By Gilad Atzmon | November 1, 2010

I have spent the last 10 years elaborating on Jewish national ideology and tribal politics. During my journey of grasping what Zionism and Israel stand for, I came to realize that it is actually the Jewish left – and Jewish Marxists in particular – that provide us with an good glimpse into contemporary Jewish identity, tribal supremacy, marginal politics and tribalism.

Jewish dissidence

The term “Jewish left” is basically an oxymoron. It is a contradiction in terms, because “Jewishness” is a tribal ideology, whilst “the left” are traditionally understood as aspiring to universalism.

On the face of it, the “Jewish left” falls into the same category as Israel and Zionism, in that it is an attempt to form yet another “Jews-only political club”. And as far as the Palestinian solidarity movement is concerned, its role is subject to a growing debate. On the one hand, one can see the political benefit of pointing at the small number of “good Jews” and emphasizing that there are Jews who “oppose Zionism as Jews”. Yet on the other hand, however, accepting the legitimacy of such a racially oriented political affair is in itself an acceptance of yet another form or manifestation of Zionism, for Zionism claims that Jews are primarily Jewish and must operate politically as Jews.1

To a certain extent, then, Jewish anti Zionism can be viewed as just another form of Zionism.

“Jewish dissidence” has two main roles: First, it attempts to depict and promote a positive image of Jews in general.2 Second, it is there to silence and obscure attempts by outsiders to understand the meaning of Jewish identity and Jewish politics within the context of the Jewish state. It is also there to prevent elements in this movement from elaborating on the crucial role of Jewish lobbying.

The Jewish left is there, then, to mute any possible criticism of Jewish politics within the wider left movements. It is there to stop the goyim, or gentiles, from looking into Jewish affairs.

”Paddling in chicken soup has never been my thing”

A decade ago I met the kosher dissidents brigade for the first time. As soon as I began to voice criticism of Israel and Zionism, they started to bounce around me. For a short while, I fitted nicely into their discourse: I was young and energetic. I was an award-winning musician and a promising writer. In their eyes, I was a celebrity – or at least a good reason to celebrate. Their chief commissars reserved the best, and most expensive dining tables ahead of my Orient House Ensemble concerts.

The five penniless grassroots activists followed the trend and came to my free stage Jazz Combo afternoon concerts in the Barbican Centre foyer. They all wanted to believe that I would follow their agenda and become a commissar myself. They were also very quick to preach to me about who were the “bad guys”, those who should be burnt in hell, such as Israel Shahak, Paul Eisen, Israel Shamir and Otto Weininger – these were just a few of the many baddies. As one might guess by now, it didn’t take me too long to admit to myself that there was more wisdom in a single sentence by Eisen, Weininger, Shahak or Shamir than in the entire work of the Jewish left put together. I was quick to make it clear to my new “red” fans that it was not going to work: I was an ex-Israeli and I no longer regarded myself as a Jew any more. I shared nothing with them and I did not believe in their agenda. Indeed, I had left Israel because I wanted to drift as far away as I could from any form of tribal politics.

Paddling in chicken soup has never been my thing.

Naturally, I bought myself at least a half a dozen enemies, and they were quick to run a campaign against me. They tried to silence me, they desperately (and hopelessly) tried to wreck my music career, they mounted pressure on political institutions, media outlets and music venues. One of them even tried to drag me to court.

But they failed all the way through and they failed on every possible level. The more pressure they mounted, the more people read my writing. At a certain point, people around me were convinced that my detractors were actually running my public relations campaign. Moreover, the relentless attempts to silence me could only prove my point. They were there to divert attention from the crucial role of Jewish politics and Jewish identity politics.

I have asked myself often enough: how is it that they failed with me? But I guess that the same internet that successfully defeated the Israeli hasbara, or Israeli propaganda, has also defeated the Jewish left and its hegemony within the movement. In the wider scheme of things, it is totally obvious how marginal the Jewish Marxist discourse is. Its voice within the dissident movement is, in actual fact, insignificant.

I guess also that the fact that I am a popular Jazz artist didn’t make life easy for them.  At the time those Jewish commissars labelled me as a racist and an anti-Semite, I was touring the world with two ex Israeli Jews, an Argentinean Jew, a Romanian Gipsy and a Palestinian  Oud player. It just couldn’t work for them, and it didn’t.

But here is an interesting twist. In contrast to the contemporary Jewish “red terror”, Zionism comes across as a relatively tolerant endeavour. In recent months I have been approached by every possible Israeli media outlet. In the summer, “Ouvda”, the leading Israeli investigative TV show, asked repeatedly to join me and my band on the road. They were interested in launching a debate and discussing my ideas in primetime. This week, the Israeli Channel 2 TV approached me for a news item. Again, they were interested in my views. Yesterday, I discussed my views for an hour with Guy Elhanan on Israel’s Kol ha-shalom (Voice of Peace).

For the most obvious of reasons, I am very cautious when dealing with the Israeli media. I choose my outlets very carefully. I usually refuse. But I also accept that as a person who cares about the prospect of peace I must keep an open channel with the Israeli public, and two weeks ago I agreed to be interviewed by Ha’aretz writer,Yaron Frid. This was my first published interview in Israel for more than a decade. I must admit that I was shocked to find out that not a single word of mine had been removed or censored. Ha’aretz let me say everything that the kosher “socialists” had consistently tried to stop me from saying.

On my “self-hatred” and Jewishness, the Israeli paper Ha’aretz let me say:

I am not a nice Jew, because I don’t want to be a Jew, because Jewish values don’t really turn me on and all this “Pour out thy wrath on the nations” stuff doesn’t impress me.

It also let me question the entire Zionist ethos, the reality of plunder and deluded historicism, the questions Zionists cannot answer “Why do I live on lands that are not mine, the plundered lands of another people whose owners want to return to them but cannot? Why do I send my children to kill and be killed, after I myself was a soldier, too? Why do I believe all this bullshit about ‘because it’s the land of our forefathers’ and ‘our patrimony’ if I am not even religious?”

And about the Palestinian right of return, I said:

The Israelis can put an end to the conflict in two fucking minutes. Netanyahu gets up tomorrow morning, returns to the Palestinians the lands that belong to them.

They let me express how I would differentiate and define Israel and Palestine:

Palestine is the land and Israel is the state. It took me time to realize that Israel was never my home, but only a fantasy saturated in blood and sweat.

About chosenness, de-Judaization and Jewish identity, I said:

…for Netanyahu and the Israelis to do that [accept the Palestinian right of return], they have to undergo de-Judaization and accept the fact that they are like all peoples and are not the chosen people. So, in my analysis this is not a political, sociopolitical or socioeconomic issue, but something basic that has to do with Jewish identity.

In the interview I compared the Jewish left with national socialism – and Ha’aretz’s editor let it through:

The idea of left-wing Jews is fundamentally sickening. It contains an absolute internal contradiction. If you are leftists, it doesn’t matter whether you’re Jewish or not, so in principle when you present yourselves as leftist Jews you are accepting the idea of national socialism. Nazism.

Ha’aretz, as would be expected, challenged my opposition to Jewish politics:

Atzmon has been accused from every possible platform of disseminating vitriol against Jews. He, though, maintains that he “hates everyone in equal measure”. He’s also been accused of self-hatred, but he is the first to admit this, and in comparison with Otto Weininger – the Austrian Jewish philosopher who converted to Christianity and of whom Hitler said: “There was one good Jew in Germany, and he killed himself” – he is even proud. “Otto and I are good friends.”

But at least Israelis can cope with Otto Weininger and his ideology. However – when I gave a talk about Otto Weininger in a London Marxist bookshop five years ago (Bookmarks), a ”synagogue” of 14 Jewish Marxists unsuccessfully tried to picket the event and to pressure the Socialist Workers Party into submission. Guess what: they failed!

Ha’aretz challenged my take on the Holocaust, yet it printed my answer without changing a single word.

I am fighting against all the disgusting laws and persecutions of those so-called Holocaust deniers – a categorization I don’t accept. I think the Holocaust, like any historical episode, must be open to research, to examination, to discussion and debate.

And Ha’aretz, an Israeli Zionist paper, let me express my thoughts about Israeli mass murderers and their destiny.

It might be a good thing if the Nazi hunters hunt down [Shaul] Mofaz and [Ehud] Barak, for example, and not all kinds of 96-year-olds who are barely alive. It’s pathetic.

It also let me tell Israelis that they are all to blame:

In Israel 94 per cent of the nation supported Operation Cast Lead. On the one hand, you want to behave like a post-enlightenment state and talk to me about individualism, but on the other hand you surround yourselves with a wall and remain attached to a tribal identity.

Yaron Frid ended his piece by saying “Israel lost Gilad” and “The score, for now: 1-0, Palestine leading.”

I was happy with the article. But I was also jealous. For here in Britain we are still far from free to explore these issues.

The message here is plain and simple: Ha’aretz, a Zionist paper, has let me discuss all those intellectual avenues that the “kosher socialists” insist on blocking. A week before my Haaretz special, the Israeli paper featured Mavi Marmara hero Ken O’keefe. Again, Ha’aretz’s coverage was fairly balanced, certainly more balanced than the BBC’s “Panorama”.

The moral is clear : As much as Zionism is repugnant and murderous, it is still way ahead of the Jewish left , simply because it is still, in some regards at least, part of an ongoing and open discourse.

There is no doubt that among the most prolific enemies of Israel and Jewish identity, you will find Israelis and ex Israelis, such as  Ilan Pappe, Gideon Levi, Amira Hass, Tali Fahima, Israel Shamir, Israel Shahak,  Nurit Peled, Rami Elhanan, Guy Elhanan, Jonathan Shapira,Yeshayahu Leibowitz, Mordechai Vanunu,  Uri AvneryShimon Tzabar, myself, and others.

We may not always agree with each other, but we let each other be.

Zionism was an attempt to bring about a new Jew: an ethical, productive and authentic being. But Zionism failed all the way through. Israel is a criminal state, and the Israelis are collectively complicit in relentless crimes against humanity. And yet, Zionism has also succeeded in erecting a solid school of eloquent and proud “self-haters”. Israelis are taught to be outspoken and critical. Unlike the Diaspora Jewish left who for some reason operate as a thought-police, Israeli dissidence speaks out. Israelis are trained to celebrate their “symptoms” – and this also applies in the case of dissidence.

Unlike Jewish Marxism, which operates largely as a tribal public relations campaign, Israeli dissidence is an ethical approach. You wouldn’t hear Israeli activists shouting “not in my name”. The Israelis mentioned above do accept that each Israeli crime is committed in their names. They also accept that activism is the crucial shift from guilt to responsibility. Hence, it is also far from surprising that on the “Jewish Boat to Gaza” mission, the veteran Israeli air force pilot Yonatan Shapira – and also Rami Elahanan – both spoke about ethics and humanitarian issues, while the British Jew Richard Kuper was apparently, judging from his words, perhaps more concerned with amending the image of world Jewry.

Being an ex Israeli, I believe that the only thing I can do for Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, myself, my family, my neighbours and humanity is to stand firm and speak my heart against all odds.

I also believe that we all know the truth. We just need to be courageous enough to spit it out.

Notes
1. As bizarre as it may sound to some, “Jews against Zionists” (JAZ) and “Jews for BDS” (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) actually affirm the Zionist mantra, in that they operate primarily as Jews. As much as it is impossible for uprooted Palestinians to settle in Israel and become a citizen with equal civil rights, it is also impossible for them to join any of the primarily Jewish groups for Palestine.

2. Richard Kuper, the person behind “Irene – the Jewish Boat to Gaza”, was bold enough to admit it: “Our goal is to show that not all Jews support Israeli policies toward Palestinians.”. It is now an established fact that the Jewish boat carried hardly any humanitarian aid for the Gazans: its main mission, as far as Kuper was concerned, seems to have been to amend Jewish reputation.

October 31, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism | , , , , | 1 Comment