Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 2:29PM Gilad Atzmon
By Gilad Atzmonhttp://www.deliberation.info/
Arguing the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign with Norman Finkelstein from HuffPoMonitor on Vimeo.
Norman Finkelstein has recently bought himself a few enemies within the Palestinian solidarity movement for openly and enthusiastically advocating the Two States Solution. In the last interview it seems as if Finkelstein defends Israel’s right to exist.
From an academic point of view, Finkelstein has a point. He argues that in order to win we have to operate within the parameters set by international law. However, some points should be made here.
It is far from being clear who sets the parameters of international law. Is it really the international community? Or is it just a few powerful Western countries looking into their own particular expansionist interests.
- It is also far from being clear whether the international law is either ethically or sensible. Is it ethical to let the Jewish State celebrates its exceptional symptoms at the expense of the indigenous people of the land i.e. the Palestinians? Is it sensible to maintain an, aggressive, expansionist, racist, and exclusivist, nuclear Jewish State in Middle East? Is it safe? Is it good for world peace?
- It is far from being transparently obvious to me why an American Jewish academic or any other Western solidarity activist should have a say about the way or manner in which Palestinian should live on their land. I, for instance, have never come across a Palestinian academic preaching Britain to divide its island by resurrecting the wall at the Scottish border. The meaning of it is simple, there is something fundamentally pretentious in the solidarity discourse and in resolution discourse in particular. We, for some reason, like to tell others what is right or wrong.
- Do we need to discuss resolution for the conflict? Israel is already a one State, it has a single electric grid, one sewage system, one international pre dial number. Yet Israel is dominated politically by an oppressive and racially exclusive Jewish political philosophy. This has to be changed and it will be changed by means of resistance with our solidarity or without it.
- Yet, Finkelstein’s criticism of the solidarity movement is largely valid. The recent expulsion of Palestinians and academics from the UK PSC, proves that we aren’t just dealing with a ‘cult’ discourse as Finkelstein suggests, far worse, we are actually dealing with a rabbinical operation that exercises the most repulsive Judaic excommunication tactics.
- Finkelstein is correct when he suggests that the achievements of the solidarity ‘cult’ operations are pretty limited. However, he may fail to realise that solidarity with the Palestinian doesn’t end in the West, in NYC, London or Paris. The recent political triumph of Muslim parties in the region is fuelled by Hamas and Hezbollah victories. It is more than likely, that the Palestinians and the Aabs will liberate themselves.
- Unlike Finkelstein, I believe that the solidarity movement is already a mass movement. More and more people out there grasp that the continuum between Israel, AIPAC and the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) is the biggest threat to world peace. More and more Brits are astonished to find out that all the British political parties are controlled by the Israel Lobby (Friends of Israel), CFI, LFI, & LDFI . How many British politicians are as friendly with Hartlepool or Penzance? More and more Brits and Americans grasp that their politicians are for sale. They realise that on the Israeli shopping list, a Western politician comes out much cheaper than a tank. More and more Brits and Americans come to realise that in this crucial battle for elementary freedom ‘We are all Palestinians.’
Laura Stuart: Israel’s UK slaves: Board of Deputies of British Jews and Community Security Trust By Laura Stuart
Monday, December 26, 2011 at 1:43PM Gilad Atzmon
Yesterday, on the website of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jamie Slavin spelled out in the strongest terms the views of the board on Israel: "We defend Israel’s right to exist in security, we celebrate its achievements and we work to make it an even better place."
I read with interest an article published on Electronic Intifada by Asa Winstanley about the "Community Security Trust" (CST) and how it does not tolerate the presence of anti-Zionist Jews in it's meetings and, worse still, even secretly informed the British government that anti-Zionist Jews who are involved in pro-Palestine activism are a "security risk". The so-called "security risk" also includes the Orthodox Jews of Naturei Karta. It seems that security, according to the CST, is only for pro-Zionist Jews. The article raises a lot of questions about just who is policing British citizens and it points out that there is a cross-over of interests between the Board of Deputies and CST, as evidenced, for example, by the role of one Mike Whine in both organizations.
Now that the Board of Deputies has put its unequivocal support of Israel beyond doubt, it follows that it must also support Israel's "right to security" even when it involves illegal occupation, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, crimes against humanity and collective punishment against its neighbours, the practice of apartheid on its own Arab citizens and the murder of peace activists on the high seas. There is precious little to see of Jews upholding the Ten Commandments in Israel, least of all "Thou shalt not kill" or "Love thy neighbour"!
If the Board of Deputies of British Jews claim to support all British Jews, does that mean that all British Jews are complicit in those crimes?
Gilad Atzmon's New Book: The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics is available on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
Laura Stuart is a British human rights activist. She visited the Gaza Strip twice in 2009 as part of the Viva Palestina humanitarian missions, was on board the Turkish aid ship Mavi Marmara that was attacked by Israeli state terrorists in May 2010 and joined the humanitarian land convoy to the Strip in October 2010.
Monday, February 13, 2012 at 11:46PM Gilad Atzmon
1st part of two – In this paper and the one to follow, I expose the misleading aspect that is, unfortunately, inherent to some 'anti' racist ideologies. I will elaborate on the role of anti racism in maintaing both Zionism and the Left discourse.It doesn’t take a genius to see that people who are identified as Zionist and Jews are, somehow, over represented in many blunders in today’s world affairs. The pro-war, Neocon think-tanks were overwhelmingly saturated with Zionist Jews, and the ‘moral interventionist’ advocates within the media are also largely Zionist Jews. The ‘brains’ behind the so-called Bush doctrine i.e. The ‘War Against Terror’, were Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby, and if that were not enough, at the heart of the financial turmoil we also find Jewish persons, and financial institutions that are clearly recognizable as Jewish – such as the Lehman Brother, Goldman Sachs, Alan Greenspan, Bernie Madoff, and many others.
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ― Anaïs Nin
Here one must ask an obvious question – why should any Jew anywhere in the world be concerned in any way with these facts? Why should any Jewish person be concerned with actions or ideas that he or she probably has nothing to do with? Why should my Jewish neighbour, also subject to the financial turmoil and with no connection whatsoever with Madoff, Wolfowitz, David Aaronovitch or Lord ‘cash point’ Levy, be at all concerned with current financial or imperial blunders for which he has no responsibility? Why should my Jewish musician friends who have no ties to Israel, AIPAC, CFI, CST, Nick Cohen or Alan Greenspan feel guilty for crimes or actions taken by others just because they also happen to be Jewish? Would a Frenchman or an Irishman in America feel threatened or potentially discriminated against because of revelations that a few of their expatriates had been involved in a major colossal scandal?
So, the question I raise here is a simple one: why should any Jew feel guilty for crimes that are committed by other people – people he or she does not know and is not affiliated with? And the answer is equally simple – Jewish individuals have no reason to assume responsibility for actions committed by other Jews. But the truth of the matter is, that many Jews are extremely concerned about the current blunders: some feel guilty, and many – potentially at least – feel threatened. I would say that such a reaction merits our attention.
Amongst my other sins, I regularly monitor the Jewish media, and it is obvious to me that Jewish institutions are put on alert by any scandal that is even mildly associated with Jewish protagonists or institutions. Jewish media outlets give the impression that every blunder associated with a Jew is highly likely to turn itself into a wave of vile anti-semitism.
We are left to wonder then whether the Jewish fear of anti-Semitism is actually justified, or whether it is simply driven by a ‘fantasy of destruction’.
In my latest book The Wandering Who I contend that Jewish fear of anti-Semitism is largely self-inflicted and has very little to do with the surrounding reality. Jews tend to regard themselves as a tribe and most Jews are subjected to a degree of cultural and racially driven indoctrination. On the one hand, the religion of Judaism teaches its followers that “all of Israel are responsible for one another” (1) (Kol Yisrael areivin zeh l’zeh); while on the other hand, the non religious, secular, emancipated Jews who identify politically, ideologically and socially as Jews they also operate within Jewish ethno-centric settings. Even within the Palestinian solidarity movement we find Jews who operate within ‘Jews only’ cells such as JBIG (Jews for Boycott Of Israeli Goods) and IJAN (International Jewish Antizionist Network). Somehow, they also feel primarily ‘responsible for one another.’
This reading of contemporary Jewish communities may reveal why many Jews are alarmed by crimes committed by other Jews – Jews whom they don’t even know.
I can think of three reasons for such a situation:
- Projection: Because some Jews regard themselves as a racially exclusive tribe, they tend to believe that others - non Jews - will also regard them as such. In other words, many Jews project their own ethno-centric symptoms onto the Goyim i.e. They think the Goyim are as racially driven as they are.
- Guilt: Because some Jews tend to regard themselves as a racially exclusive tribe, they feel guilty for not stopping those members of the tribe who are involved in some major blunders.
- Conjunction –- both 1 and 2.
To a certain extent then, the fear of anti-Semitism inherent to the Zionist and Jewish secular political discourse is fuelled by the belief that the ‘other,’ i.e. the Goy, may well be equally driven by a similar racist ideology.
Some Jews, it must be said, might offer reasons to reject the above explanation: they might argue that Jewish history (i.e. that endless chain of Shoas), proves that ‘the sons of Israel’ would be justified in being on a constant state of alert. Jews, they might say, should be constantly aware that their neighbours might turn against them at any given moment.
I suggest that we are dealing here with a ‘chicken and egg’ situation: while some Jews would agree among themselves that anti-Semitism is largely an ‘irrational disease’, a few historians such as Bernard Lazare were brave and honest enough to ask why and how exactly, Jews have managed to bring so much pain on themselves.
Gilad Atzmon's New Book: The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Friday, February 17, 2012 at 8:46AM Gilad Atzmon
By Gilad Atzmon
2nd part of two – In this part I explore the misleading role of Jewish politics (both Zionist and anti Zionist) within the 'anti racist' campaign.
To read the 1st part click here.
Racism is a big word with some very bad connotations. Being accused of racism is one of the most hurtful and potentially damaging labels around. And yet, how many ‘racists’ really think in ‘biological determinist’ terms? How many ‘racists’ out there really think in terms of ‘genes,’ or even ‘skin colour’? I guess not that many.
While acknowledging that racism had a significant cultural, and politically lethal impact between the late 19th century and the middle of the last century, in today’s politics, the word ‘racism’ is often misused, mistakenly used, or in some cases, consciously used to mislead and even to silence.
Though discrimination against minority groups is unfortunately common and totally unacceptable, it is not necessarily always motivated by crude racism. Islamophobia, for instance, is commonly regarded as a contemporary manifestation of racism but I would challenge such an understanding. Islamophobia, I contend, is not driven by racism, but rather, it is actually a crude symptom of intolerance -- xenophobia manifested as hatred, bigotry and discrimination. My English Muslim convert friends are often subjected to abuse by Jewish campaigners (both Zionist and ‘anti’ Zionists) and the English Defence League -- but not because of their ‘genes’, ‘biology’ or the colour of their skin, but rather because they are ‘different’; because they challenge Western value system and because they oppose Israel and its lobbies. Clearly, they are perceived by some as a 'public enemy' but that reaction cannot always be understood solely as ‘racism’ per se.
Similarly, it is beyond doubt that it is not easy to be black in ‘multi cultural’ Britain. Being a jazz musician I see first hand how my black friends are often treated in this country and I see plenty of evidence of institutional anti-black bigotry. I read about black youngsters being stopped and searched by police between one to four times a day. This is unacceptable and clear evidence of discrimination.
But is this really always about racism? Is it driven solely by ‘biological determinism’? Is it really about ‘genes’, ‘blood’ or ‘skin colour’? This is indeed an open question and obviously I would not rule out the possibility of anti- black (biological) racism. However, I tend to believe that in contemporary multi ethnic societies, most cases of anti-black bigotry and discrimination are various manifestations of deep, thuggish xenophobic feelings mixed with some examples of deep, and sinister cultural intolerance. In other words, often enough, the contemporary bigot is not concerned at all with biological matters but rather with social constructs and culturally driven symbolism(1). This is surely a matter of serious concern, and in some case it is driven by murderous inclinations and it must be dealt with, but it isn’t necessarily (biological) racism per se.
But if it is not racism, what is it then? I reiterate, that these are better understood as different forms of deep cultural and political intolerance within the context of some severe and troubled ethnic interrelations.
So one might ask, why do we restrict our understanding of what fighting ‘racism’ means, when it is actually more likely to be forms of intolerance, ethnic tension and cultural discrimination which we should be protesting against?
I suggest that the confusion here between ‘deep intolerance’, ‘cultural discrimination’ and ‘racism’ is actually no coincidence -- rather it is there to serve a clear Zionist political cause. Peculiarly enough, it is there to maintain a clear racial orientation and segregation at the heart of the multi-cultural discourse. In many cases, those who ‘oppose’ racism must be able to think in racial categories first, otherwise their opposition would be in vain.(2)
Paradoxically then, ‘anti racism’ which many of us identify with, may in some cases evolve into a racially driven discourse. Often, it can even jeopardise the process of natural integration and the shift towards harmonious social relationships (3). It may even dismantle true self-reflective and mirroring process amongst both the victim and the aggressor.
For within a public discourse controlled by ‘anti-racist’ ideology, the victim of any racist slur is immediately redeemed. He or she does not have to self-reflect on his or her actions, for there is not much he or she can do about their ‘biologically determined conditions’. Zionists and Hasbara campaigners(4), for instance, tend to dismiss any possible criticism of Jewish politics and Israeli actions as ‘anti-Semitism’. By so doing, they basically ‘switch off’. They are able to ignore their surrounding reality by referring to any possible criticism of their actions as just another example of blind, ‘racially’ driven hatred towards Jews. Instead of taking the criticisms on board and examining them by means of self-reflection, Jewish political discourse has evolved into an insular and window-less discourse.
In the following video Israeli veteran MK Shulamit Aloni admits that tossing ‘antisemitism’ is an old Zionist trick:
Equally, the so-called ‘racist’ or ‘aggressor’ can also dismiss the anti-racist call because his or her criticism is largely ignored. The ‘aggressor’ knows that in most cases, the issue is not actually about ‘race’ per-se but rather about some acute political, cultural and ideological issues, so this enables him or her to ignore the issue altogether. In spite of the fact that within the contemporary anti Zionist discourse no one criticises Jews for being Jews or employing any racially driven ideology or terminology, Israeli Hasbara and Zionists agents attempt to silence Israel’s political critics by tossing the anti-Semitic label in the air. This tactic obviously fails to silence Israel’s critics but it certainly maintains an abyss of mutual deafness between Zionists and their critics. So we are left with two parallel discourses that have lost all hope of any future exchange.
I believe that this fact alone emphasises how grave is the prospect of peace. Anti-racist politics is in constant danger of erecting walls of deafness that maintain intellectual, political and ethnic segregation at the heart of our public discourse. Rather than promoting hope, integration, tolerance, harmony, assimilation and dialogue - anti-racism could easily promote deafness and insularity exactly where attentiveness and exchange are most needed.
It took me some time to realise that in many cases it is Zionist and Jewish lobbies that maintain and promote the ‘anti-racism’ political discourse, and they do so for two main reasons:
- Being submerged in a racially driven discourse themselves, they are bound to think in terms of racial political categories.
- Racism/anti racism is convenient because it removes any responsibility from the victim. If Jews are hated just for ‘being Jews’, then the Jew is ethically flawless.
But Jews and Zionists are not alone here: the Left also is interested in an anti-racist discourse because it maintains the Left’s relevance as being in the vanguard of progressive ‘ethical insight’. The Left has set itself up as the defender of the weak, and this is indeed adorable. Through the years the Left has sided with the ‘blacks’, with the ‘Zionists’, with the ‘Jew’, with the ‘Iraqi,’ and even with the ‘Palestinian’. But for some reason, the Left has failed to side with the leading contemporary anti-imperialist force -- the Muslim. The Left has also failed to recognise that in Europe, the Muslim is the real oppressed working class and the Left clearly failed to side with the democratically elected Hamas or the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. I suggest that the Left's failure to side with the Muslim is symptomatic of a deep and inherent Western intolerance: the Left is not racist, but it is fundamentally soaked with cultural and ideological intolerance -- possibly a state of mind related to the practicality and pragmatism of being ‘a progressive’ (5). I guess that some people may feel very ‘special’ just because they believe in equality
Naturally, the 'cause' of ‘anti racism’ binds together some elements within the Left with the Zionists and the Hasbara campaign. Arguably, so-called 'anti racist' politics has become just another symptom of the Zionification of the Western political discourse with the supportive Left seen as a mere Zionist instrument. This may explain why the UK's leading anti-racist campaign group Hope not Hate(6) is an offshoot of the Zionist Searchlight Magazine, it also explains why the same Zionist Hope not hate attempts to censor the freedom of speech of Muslim leaders in Britain. It explains why the alleged ‘anti’ racist Harry’s Place (closely affiliated with Hope not hate) won the UK section of the Islamic Human Rights Commission’s 'Annual Islamophobia Awards' in 2006. In Germany the ‘anti’ racist Antideutsche –Anti Fa coalition is openly pro-Israel, pro-Zionist and also anti Islam. My guess is that these rabid Zionist and pro Zionist campaign groups planted themselves at the heart of the so-called Left just to make sure that from there they would be better able to fight Israel’s enemies. But it goes further. In the last UK Palestinian Solidarity Campaign's AGM, two Jewish campaigners who openly operate within an exclusive ‘Jews only’ political cell (J-BIG) proposed a motion against racism. I guess that the absurdity of the situation is clear and doesn’t need further elucidation.
So, as we can now see, some of the leading supremacist and intolerant forces within our contemporary political discourse have managed to locate themselves directly at the very heart of the ‘anti-racist’ call. Furthermore, as it becomes clear that Israel and its lobbies are the driving force behind Islamophobia, it is pretty astonishing to find out that Zionist bodies also dominate the ‘anti-racist’ discourse. The meaning of it is pretty simple - racism and its opposition has gradually become an internal Jewish affair.
The conclusion is simple. It’s time for us to move on, to admit that racism and biological determinism have no significant role in today’s public and political discourse. We must re-think and redefine exactly what it is that leads towards social discrimination and cultural intolerance. Racism in its crude form largely belongs to the past. Our multi-ethnic universe is not inherently racist and therefore anti-racism cannot be a universal call. In many cases, ‘anti racist politics’ is actually there to divert the attention from some institutional discriminatory policies and ideologies.
It is increasingly obvious that the anti-racism campaign, in its current form, is there to serve some clear political interests, and is largely controlled by racially driven Zionists, Jewish lobbies and Jewish pressure groups. It is there to silence any criticism of the Israeli lobby, Israel, Jewish politics and Zionism.
I began this paper by asking why should any Jew feel guilty for crimes that are committed by other people whom he or she does not know and with whom he or she is not affiliated? The answer should by now be obvious: Rather than liberating the rest of humanity from racism, Zionists, Hasbara campaigners and Jewish ‘anti’ Zionists should first emancipate themselves from their own racially-driven ideologies - And stopping projecting their own tribalism onto their surrounding reality would certainly be a good place to start.
- I tend to believe that clashes between ethnic and political groups in Britain are fuelled by social tension and demography rather than by hatred towards skin colour.
- One cannot contemplate over the meaning of anti X without obtaining first a certain comprehension of X
- Minority groups engaged in varied discourses of victimhood (for instance), may miss some opportunities to integrate into wider social, ethnic and political structures.
- Hasbara-Israeli propaganda
- Which is in practice not different from Jewish secular sense of ‘choseness’.
- According to its official website HOPE not hate is “Searchlight's campaign to counter racism and fascism.” http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/about-us/