Archive for the ‘Gilad Atzmon’ Category

Leadership in difficult times | Jay Stoll | The Blogs | The Times of Israel – Jewish News (blog)

This week has been a relatively traumatic one, with an afternoon spentin lockdown and the time thereafterspent focusing on the important things in life. So I hope I can be indulged by ending the week with something a bit lighter community politics.

On Tuesday, the President of the Board of Deputies took leave of his senses as he called for Jewish Students to stay clear from one of the worlds finest universities, the London School of Economics.

He did this because a repugnant piece of scum, Richard Falk, was unduly given a platform to spout his repugnant, scummy, nonsense about the Middle East. Worse still, his audience included another repugnant piece of scum, Gilad Atzmon.

Those who suffered the indignity of being ejected for protesting the repugnant scum are entitled to feel aggrieved. Their concerns as Jewish attendees were patently ignored. Not for the first time, LSE has questions to answer in how it has dealt with an event on its premises.

But one would hope that the response of the communitys leadership would be measured and clear in itspursuit of practical remedy.Instead, we were treated to a reaction withall the subtlety and deftness of a Donald Trumptweet. The Presidents proclamation that LSEis not a safe place for Jewish studentsis a white flag if ever there was one. As his electorate, weare left with two possible responses.

First, a daft tweet albeit one that shows a risible lack of belief in the ability of Jewish students to defend their own cause should be ignored.

Those who study at LSE dont do so because of a Hechsher from the Board of Deputies President. They go there because they are going to a world famous institution, second only to Harvard in the latest global rankings. They go thereto fulfil their career ambitions, and they go there for all the benefits a campus life in London has to offer.

The second optionis to hold the President to account. He is the first and last to acknowledge the status his election afforded him, not least when meeting some of the most powerful people in the land.

So when the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews tweets from his official account, he is doing so as the elected leader of the Jewish Communitys only democratically elected body.

That is some office to hold, and with it comes a responsibility that, in this instance, has not been dignified in his chosen use of 140 characters.

Instead, he could have offered full support to the Union of Jewish Students. In a matter of days, they have secured an extremely supportive statement from the LSE Union and a commitment from the University to investigate events.

Jewish students are resilient and fiercely independent. In UJS, they have a unique resource to seek redress in instances they are wronged, and this will be on full display with the annual NUS gathering fast approaching.

I have no doubt that the President agrees as much, so why did he do it?

It seems to be the case that with this President, we are to expect a race-to-comment-first-at-all-costs mentality, with the sensible reflections only arrivinglater. Thismay satisfy a particularly loud constituency at Board plenary meetings, but it risks the external reputation of the organisation to the outside world.

This week has provided pause for thought on a number of issues, with some of immeasurably greaterimportance than others. However,one thing of which I am certain is that leadership, in whatever context, is defined by a few things:

I fear that on all three counts, this week, our elected President has fallen short.

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Leadership in difficult times | Jay Stoll | The Blogs | The Times of Israel – Jewish News (blog)

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March 26, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Pro-Israel professor withdraws from Ireland summit over Richard … – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Richard Falk. (photo credit:REUTERS)

A British professor scheduled to speak at a conference debating Israel’s right to exist has withdrawn from the event after a writer who has endorsed a book espousing antisemitic conspiracy theories was added to the billing, The Jewish Chronicle reported Tuesday.

Founder and senior editor of Britain Israel Communications and Research Center (BICOM), Professor Alan Johnson, said that he will not be attending the International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Exceptionalism and Responsibility conference in Cork, Ireland later this month due to controversial author Richard Falk’s participation.

I have informed the organizers of the Cork Conference that I will no longer be participating,” Johnson said in a press statement.

“The organizers have issued an invitation to Richard Falk to give a keynote speech… by inviting a speaker who espouses antisemitic conspiracy theories the conference is now objectively an attempt to normalize antisemitism and I cannot attend such an event,” he added.

The conference, scheduled to begin on March 31, will feature a number of ardent critics of the Jewish state, including Israeli anti-Zionist historian llan Pappe and the University of Southamptons Professor Oren Ben-Dor.

Johnson previously stated that he believed he had a duty to attend the conference in order to defend Israels right to exist.

It was only after the addition of Falk, Johnson told The Jewish Chronicle, that he reconsidered his participation in the conference, arguing that Falks appearance changes the character of the event.

Johnson noted Falk’s endorsement of a book by former-Israeli musician and writer Gilad Atzmon as a decisive reason, arguing that Atzmons book as openly antisemitic yet with a tribute on the back page from Falk.

The book, titled the Wondering Who? questions whether the blood libel was false, declares that robbery and hatred is imbued in Jewish modern political ideology on both the left and the right and that the history of Jewish persecution is a myth, and if there was any persecution the Jews brought it on themselves, according to The Jewish Chronicle.

Falk later endorsed the book, writing in a blurb that Atzmon’s work was a transformative story told with unflinching integrity that all [especially Jews] who care about real peace, as well as their own identity, should not only read, but reflect upon and discuss widely.

Atzmon has previously described himself as a proud, self-hating Jew.”

With Johnson’s absence, the Cork conference has now only one pro-Israel speaker scheduled for the event, former Jewish Chronicle columnist Geoffrey Alderman.

In a request for comment by The Jewish Chronicle, Alderman said he intended to argue that under international law and in principle ethnic Jews have the right of settlement throughout the area of Mandate Palestine west of the Jordan River (including what is known as the West Bank), that this right extends to Jews whether or not they are citizens of the state of Israel, but not to Israeli citizens who are not ethnically Jewish, and that the state of Israel has a legal obligation to take any step and all steps necessary to uphold this right.

The Cork conference was originally set to take place at Southampton University in 2015, but was cancelled on health and safety grounds.

Falk recently made headlines after he co-authored a controversial UN report calling Israel an “apartheid state” late last week, earning a rebuke from the United States who said they were “outraged” by the paper.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres later asked the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, or EWCWA, to remove the report, saying the paper does not reflect the views of the” UN leader.

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Pro-Israel professor withdraws from Ireland summit over Richard … – Jerusalem Post Israel News

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March 22, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Jewish students angry over treatment at LSE meeting – Jewish Chronicle


Jewish Chronicle
Jewish students angry over treatment at LSE meeting
Jewish Chronicle
Officials at the London School of Economics have launched an investigation after a public lecture on the Middle East conflict descended into acrimony, with a clash between Jews in the audience and the anti-Israel musician Gilad Atzmon. Mr Atzmon, who
Students urged to read works of Holocaust denier David Irving at LSE eventJewish News
Pro-Israel professor withdraws from Ireland summit over Richard Falk controversyJerusalem Post Israel News
If they want to burn it, you want to read it!MWC News (satire) (registration) (blog)

all 10 news articles »

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Jewish students angry over treatment at LSE meeting – Jewish Chronicle

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March 22, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

UN’s ‘Israel apartheid’ report written by 9/11 truther who promotes antisemitism – Jewish Chronicle


Jewish Chronicle
UN's 'Israel apartheid' report written by 9/11 truther who promotes antisemitism
Jewish Chronicle
Mr Falk has also lent his encomium to one of the most notoriously antisemitic works published in recent years, The Wandering Who by Gilad Atzmon, who describes himself in the book as a proud, self-hating Jew. In the book he questions whether the
Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid – escwaescwa
Publications | United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia – escwaescwa
Statement by Ambassador Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Recent ESCWA …US Mission to the UN
escwa
all 103 news articles »

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UN’s ‘Israel apartheid’ report written by 9/11 truther who promotes antisemitism – Jewish Chronicle

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March 17, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Leave No Dollars Behind – MWC News (satire) (registration) (blog)

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Tuesday, 14 February 2017 12:28

I predict wild success for the Trump administration, at least in its ability to enrich itself. Throughout the campaign it was an open question how rich Trump was. He has, after all, used the bankruptcy rules to his advantage and has failed to pay workers amounts that seem like small change for so-called billionaires. But the question will be open no longer, if all goes as it has been going, Trump will share his new riches with members of his family and administration.

Just days before his inauguration, President-elect Trump announced that he planned to place his business holdings in a trust in order to allay fears that he might exploit the Oval Office for personal gain. The move was not required, as then President-elect Trump had told The New York Times, laws around conflicts of interest dont apply to him, and he could simply keep running his businesses from the White House.

But what did the trust actually accomplish? Nothing. The trust is no blind trust. It is a revocable trust, of the sort generally used in estate planning and it exposes how closely tied Mr. Trump remains to his empire. While the president claims to be uninvolved in the quotidian operations of his business, his trustees are his eldest son, Donald Jr., and Allen H. Weisselberg, the Trump Organizations CFO. Trump continues to receive reports on company profits and losses and he can revoke the trustees authority at any time.

It seems particularly troubling that The Pentagon is planning to rent space in the Trump Tower. Although it is customary for the military and the secret service to rent space near a presidents home, this is space owned (if indirectly) by the president. And the space is not cheap, running approximately $1.5 million a year. Why not rent next door? Will anyone review the lease for its adherence to fair market value? And who at a federal agency can challenge the president about the terms of the lease?

The list of conflicts of interest, where Trump holds an investment that will be clearly affected by government action, is apparently endless. The Atlantic has provided an excellent compilation of Trumps most glaring conflicts, but perhaps to cut down on page length, the Atlantic does not include the conflicts of Trumps appointees and extended family.

Trumps ethical problems include his family and seem to grab his interest without regard to the size of the investment. He has involved himself in his daughters clothing line and not just so he could grab the women inside the garments. When Nordstrom decided to drop Ms. Trumps clothing line due to poor sales, (sales may have fallen in part due to the web site grabyourwallet.org that lists companies to boycott that sell Trump products or that have supported Trump) Trump tweeted, My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!

Soon Trumps press secretary was commenting and then White House senior advisor Conway was advising Americans to buy Ivanas stuff. This would be trivial if it were not indicative of so much more.

Ivanas husbands family stands to gain from the presidential seal as well. The Kushner family is apparently planning to purchase a baseball team. They have structured a deal to buy marlins for a reported 1.6 billion in a deal that temporarily excludes Jared Kushner, Trumps son in law and advisor, as well as Charles Kushner, the family patriarch whose past felonies and jail time might sour the deal. The deal requires the approval the baseball commissioner, but is he supposed to rule against the Trump-in laws?

The conflicts extend to Trumps so-called billion dollar cabinet. Here are two of the worst.

Commerce nominee Ross has said that he will companies. The value of Mr. Rosss investments could depend on policies set by the Commerce Department, which, among other things, oversees oil-spill regulations and trade negotiations. One of the holdings Mr. Ross intends to retain is the Diamond S shipping group, one of the worlds largest oil shippers. Diamond S is a private, off Shore Company, so its exact ownership is not public, but it is known to be co-owned by a state owned Chinese Investment Company that paid about a billion dollars. Will Ross holdings affect Trumps often proclaimed threats to impose tariffs?

Further, the extent of Ross conflicts remains unknown. One of his assets, WLR Mezzanine Associates LLC, is described on Mr. Rosss financial disclosure form as the general partner of various underlying funds. That seems to exclude nothing in particular.

Steven T. Mnuchin, the new Treasury secretary, failed to disclose nearly $100 million of his assets on Senate Finance Committee disclosure documents and forgot to mention his role as a director of an investment fund located in a tax haven.

Mr. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, led wealthy investors who bought the failed IndyMac Bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation during the U.S. financial crisis and transformed it into OneWest. He and the other investors, including George Soros, John Paulson and Michael Dell, more than doubled their investment by selling OneWest to CIT Group for $3.4 billion in 2015. It seems that Onewest made most of its money through rapid foreclosures subsidized by the FDIC. For details of the transaction, plus an amusing comparison of Trump and Mnuchin. [see]

Last year, Mnuchin showed his affinity for conflicts of interest. He resigned as co-chair of Relativity Media shortly before the Hollywood studio filed for bankruptcy. Creditors accused Mnuchin of having a conflict of interest because Relativity Mediawhich had received financing from OneWest Bank while he served as the banks chairmanrepaid $50 million of those loans right before it went bankrupt.

Mnuchin has said that he plans to divest himself of his investments. Almost. He does plan to retain his unpaid position as president of Steven T. Mnuchin Inc., a company he uses to manage some of his investments.

And why shouldnt Mnuchin be trusted? Its not as if hes already using his nomination to make bold declarations affecting companies in which he and a prominent fellow Trump backer have a major financial stake.

Mr. Paulson, Mr. Trump and Mr. Mnuchin have one investment interest in common: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two mortgage finance giants that were bailed out by the federal government during the financial crisis. Mr. Paulson, like some other hedge fund managers, has made a big bet that the federal government will eventually privatize Fannie and Freddie. The day after Mr. Mnuchin was nominated to be the next Treasury secretary, he declared on television that the government should get out of the business of running Fannie and Freddie. What seemed like an off-the-cuff comment sent the shares of the two companies surging.

My friend, Gilad Atzmon often explains that much of the worst behavior occurs in the open. So far, Trumps reign has proved his point. This tells us that we will have plenty to watch in the next few years.

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February 15, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

ATZMON CRITIQUE ~ threewayfight

Not Quite “Ordinary Human Beings”Anti-imperialism and the anti-humanist rhetoric of Gilad Atzmon

[The following statement has been published on several websites. The version published here contains the most up-to-date list of signers.]

Attempting to latch onto the just, vital, and growing movement in support of the Palestinian national liberation struggle, Gilad Atzmon is one of a very small and unrepresentative group of writers who have argued (in agreement with many Zionists) that there is no meaningful distinction to be made between Jews in general and Israeli atrocities. According to Atzmon, the latter are simply a manifestation of Jews historic relationship to gentiles, an authentic expression of an essentially racist, immoral, and anti-human Jewish ideology.

Atzmons statements, besides distorting the history of Jews and constituting a brazen justification for centuries of anti-Jewish behavior and beliefs, also downgrade anti-Zionism to a mere front in the broader (anti-Jewish) struggle. Atzmon has specifically described Zionism not as a form of colonialism or settlerism, but as a uniquely evil ideology unlike anything else in human history. In addition to any ethical problems, this line of argumentation actually strengthens Zionisms grip and claim to be the authentic representative of Jews. It obscures the reality that Zionism is an imperialist and colonialist enemy of Jewish people and Palestinians, as well as the Arab people generally and all those oppressed and exploited by imperialism.

In his online attack on Moshe Machover, an Israeli socialist and founder of the anti-Zionist group Matzpen, Atzmon states:

Machovers reading of Zionism is pretty trivial. Israel, he says, is a settler state. For Machover this is a necessary point of departure because it sets Zionism as a colonialist expansionist project. The reasoning behind such a lame intellectual spin is obvious. As long as Zionism is conveyed as a colonial project, Jews, as a people, should be seen as ordinary people. They are no different from the French and the English, they just happen to run their deadly colonial project in a different time.[1]

For Atzmon, such views are pretty trivial and lame because he holds that Jews are in fact radically different from the French and the English. Of the many quotes we could provide in this regard, here is a small sampling:[2]

In order to understand Israels unique condition we must ask, who are the Jews? What is Judaism and what is Jewishness?[3]

Zionism is a continuation of Jewish ideology.[4]

The never-ending robbery of Palestine by Israel in the name of the Jewish people establishes a devastating spiritual, ideological, cultural and, obviously, practical continuum between the Judaic Bible and the Zionist project. The crux of the matter is simple yet disturbing: Israel and Zionism are both successful political systems that put into devastating practice the plunder promised by the Judaic God in the Judaic holy scriptures.[5]

Sadly, we have to admit that hate-ridden plunder of other peoples possessions made it into the Jewish political discourse both on the left and right. The Jewish nationalist would rob Palestine in the name of the right of self-determination, the Jewish progressive is there to rob the ruling class and even international capital in the name of world working class revolution.[6]

Were Jewish Marxists and cosmopolitans open to the notion of brotherhood, they would have given up on their unique, exclusive banners and become ordinary human beings like the rest of us.[7]

I do not consider the Jews to be a race, and yet it is obvious that Jewishness clearly involves an ethno centric and racially supremacist, exclusivist point of view that is based on a sense of Jewish chosen-ness.[8]

At the most, Israel has managed to mimic some of the appearances of a Western civilisation, but it has clearly failed to internalise the meaning of tolerance and freedom. This should not take us by surprise: Israel defines itself as a Jewish state, and Jewishness is, sadly enough, inherently intolerant; indeed, it may be argued that Jewish intolerance is as old as the Jews themselves.[9]

Israel and Zionism then, has proved to be a short lived dream. It was initiated to civilise Jewish life, and to dismantle the Jewish self-destructive mode. It was there to move the Jew into the post-herem[10] phase. It vowed to make the Jew into a productive being. But as things turned out, neither the Zionists nor the anti Zionists managed to drift away from the disastrous herem culture. It seems that the entire world of Jewish identity politics is a matrix of herems and exclusion strategies. In order to be a proper Jew, all you have to do is to point out whom you oppose, hate, exclude or boycott.[11]

The conclusion to such views is not difficult to draw:

The endless trail of Jewish collective tragedies is there to teach us that Jews always pay eventually (and heavily) for Jewish power exercises. Yet, surprisingly (and tragically) enough, Jews somehow consistently fail to internalise and learn from that very lesson.[12]

More precisely, commenting on the climax of State violence directed at Jews in the 1930s, most famously by Germany, but also in most other European nations, Atzmon is clear:

The remarkable fact is they don’t understand why the world is beginning to stand against them in the same way they didn’t understand why the Europeans stood against them in the 1930s. Instead of asking why we are hated they continue to toss accusations on others.[13]

Within the discourse of Jewish politics and history there is no room for causality. There is no such a thing as a former and a latter. Within the Jewish tribal discourse every narrative starts to evolve when Jewish pain establishes itself. This obviously explains why Israelis and some Jews around the world can only think as far as two state solution within the framework of 1967 borders. It also explains why for most Jews the history of the holocaust starts in the gas chambers or with the rise of the Nazis. I have hardly seen any Israelis or Jews attempt to understand the circumstances that led to the clear resentment of Europeans towards their Jewish neighbors in the 1920s-40s.[14]

It is, as such, not surprising that Atzmons work has received enthusiastic reviews by such prominent members of the racist right as former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, Kevin MacDonald of the Occidental Observer, David Icke, and Arthur Tophams the Radical Press. It should not be surprising that Atzmon has distributed articles defending Holocaust deniers and those who write of the Hitler we loved and why.[15] These connections ultimately serve the interests of Zionism, which seeks to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Jewishness. Zionist agents have repeatedly attempted to ensnare and link Palestinian, Arab, and/or Muslim rights advocates to Neo-Nazism, through dirty tricks and outright lies.

It is more surprising and disappointing, then, that a small section of the left has opted to promote Atzmon and his works. In the UK, the Socialist Workers Party promoted Atzmon for several years before finally breaking with him; his latest book The Wandering Who? has been published by the left-wing Zero Books (a decision that elicited a letter of protest from several Zero authors).[16] In the United States, the widely-read Counterpunch website has repeatedly chosen to run articles by Atzmon. Currently, in February and March 2012, Atzmon is on tour in North America, where several of his speaking engagements are being organized by progressive anti-imperialists who we would normally like to consider our allies.

While perhaps well-meaning, operating under the assumption that any opposition to Zionism is to be welcomed, progressives who promote the work of Atzmon are in fact surrendering the moral high ground by encouraging a belief-system that simply mirrors that of the most racist section of Israeli society. Anti-racism is not a liability; on the contrary, it is a principle that makes our movements stronger in the long fight for a better tomorrow.

As political activists committed to resisting colonialism and imperialismin North America and around the worldwe recognize that there can be different interpretations of history, and we welcome exploring these. Without wishing to debate the question of whether far-right and racist ideologues should be censored, or how, we see no reason for progressive people to organize events to promote their works.

In our struggle against Zionism, racism, and all forms of colonialism and imperialism, there is no place for antisemitism or the vilification of Jews, Palestinians or any people based on their religions, cultures, nationalities, ethnicity or history. At this historic junctionwhen the need to struggle for the liberation of Palestine is more vital than ever and the fault lines of capitalist empire are becoming more widely exposedno anti-oppressive revolution can be built with ultra-right allies or upon foundations friendly to creeping fascism.

As’ad AbuKhalil, The Angry Arab News Service, Turlock, CA

Suha Afyouni, solidarity activist, Beirut, LEBANON

Max Ajl, essayist, rabble-rouser, proprietor of Jewbonics blog site, Ithaca, NY

Haifaa Al-Moammar, activist, stay-at-home mom, and marathon walker, Los Angeles, CA

Electa Arenal, professor emerita, CUNY Graduate Center/Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Women’s Studies, New York, NY

Gabriel Ash, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Geneva, SWITZERLAND

John Baglow, writer, researcher, consultant, CANADA

Bay Area Women in Black

Joel Beinin, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Dan Berger, Wild Poppies Collective, Philadelphia, PA

Chip Berlet, Boston, MA

Nazila Bettache, activist, Montral, CANADA

Sam Bick, Tadamon!, Immigrant Workers Center, Montral, Qubec

Max Blumenthal, author; writing fellow, The Nation, New York, NY

Hagit Borer

Sallye Steiner Bowyer, Israel/Palestine Action Committee, Santa Cruz, CA

Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, UC Berkeley, CA

Lenni Brenner, author, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, New York, NY

Caf Intifada

Paola Canarutto, Rete-ECO (Italian Network of Jews against the Occupation), Torino, ITALY

Paulette dAuteuil, National Jericho Movement, Albuquerque, NM

Susie Day, Monthly Review, New York, NY

Sophia Deeg, solidarity activist, Berlin, GERMANY

Judith Deutsch, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto, CANADA

Ali Hocine Dimerdji, PhD student at The University of Nottingham, in Nottingham, UK

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, professor emerita, California State University

Todd Eaton, Park Slope Food Coop Members for Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions, Brooklyn, NY

Mark Elf, Jews sans frontieres

S. EtShalom, registered nurse, Philadelphia, PA

Benjamin Evans, solidarity activist, Chicago, IL

Steven Fake, author and activist, Reading, PA

David Finkel, managing editor, Against the Current, Detroit, MI

Joel Finkel, Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, Solidarity

Caroline Finkelstein, retired international civil servant, solidarity activist, SWITZERLAND

Nathan Finkelstein, engineer, solidarity activist, SWITZERLAND

First of May Anarchist Alliance

Dr. Bill Friend, in memory of Rabbi Elmer Berger, Alfred M. Lilienthal and Moshe Menuhin

Racheli Gai, Jewish Voice for Peace and Tucson Women in Black

Phil Gasper, instructor, Madison College and contributor to the Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Madison, WI

Kamran Ghasri, Israel Divestment Campaign

Sherna Berger Gluck, professor emerita, California State University/Israel Divestment Campaign, CA

Neta Golan, International Solidarity Movement

Tony Greenstein, Secretary Brighton Unemployed Centre/UNISON, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, Brighton, UK

Andrew Griggs, Caf Intifada, Los Angeles, CA

Jenny Grossbard, artist, designer, writer and fighter, New York, NY

Freda Guttman, activist, Montral, CANADA

Adam Hanieh, lecturer, Department of Development Studies/SOAS, University of London, UK

Swaneagle Harijan, anti-racism, social justice activism, Seattle, WA

Sarah Hawas, researcher and solidarity activist, Cairo, EGYPT

Abe Hayeem, chair, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, London, UK

Rosamine Hayeem, London, UK

Stanley Heller, “The Struggle” Video News, moderator “Jews Who Speak Out”

Mostafa Henaway, Tadamon!, Immigrant Workers Center, Montral, CANADA

Elise Hendrick, Meldungen aus dem Exil/Noticias de una multiptrida, Cincinnati, OH

Doug Henwood, Left Business Observer, New York, NY

Ken Hiebert, activist, Ladysmith, CANADA

Fred Hirsch, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 393 San Jose, CA

Louis Hirsch, Jewish Voice for Peace (for ID purposes ONLY), Chicago, IL

Adam Horowitz, co-editor Mondoweiss.net

Elizabeth Horowitz, solidarity activist, New York, NY

Adam Hudson, writer/blogger, San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Dhruv Jain, Researcher at the Jan Van Eyck Academie and PhD student at York University, Paris, FRANCE

Remi Kanazi, poet and author of Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance & Palestine

Tom Keefer, an editor of the journal Upping the Anti, Toronto, CANADA

Karl Kersplebedeb, Left Wing Books, Montral, CANADA

Anne Key, Penrith, Cumbria, UK

Mark Klein, activist, Toronto, CANADA

Bill Koehnlein, Brecht Forum, New York, NY

Dennis Kortheuer, California State University, Israel Divestment Campaign California

L.A. Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee, Los Angeles, CA

Mark Lance, Georgetown University/Institute for Anarchist Studies, Washington, DC

David Landy, author, Jewish Identity and Palestinian Rights: Diaspora Jewish Opposition to Israel, Dublin, IRELAND

Felicia Langer

Zoe Lawlor, activist, IRELAND

Bob Lederer, Pacifica/WBAI producer, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, New York, NY

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ATZMON CRITIQUE ~ threewayfight

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January 9, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Gilad Atzmon | Stand for Peace

Gilad Atzmon is a musician and political activist. He calls himself an ex-Jew and is notorious for his extreme antisemitic views. He is already widely shunned, even on the far Left.

The following quotes illustrate a selection of the views he has expressed.

Jews were responsible for their persecution by the Nazis

Jewish texts tend to glaze over the fact that Hitlers March 28 1933, ordering a boycott against Jewish stores and goods, was an escalation in direct response to the declaration of war on Germany by the worldwide Jewish leadership.

Jewish lobbies certainly do not hold back when it comes to pressuring states, world leaders and even super powers. AIPACs behavior last week reminded me of the Jewish declaration of war against Nazi Germany in 1933.

Not many people are aware that in March 1933, long before Hitler became the undisputed leader of Germany and began restricting the rights of German Jews, the American Jewish Congress announced a massive protest at Madison Square Gardens and called for an American boycott of German goods.

Burning synagogues a rational act

Im not going to say whether it is right or not to burn down a synagogue, I can see that it is a rationalact.

Jews try to control the world, as predicted by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion

We must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously. American Jewry makes any debate on whether the Protocols of the elder of Zion are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy. So far they are doing pretty well for themselves at least.

The Protocols is widely considered a forgery. It is a manual for a prospective new member of the Elders, describing how they will run the world through control of the media and finance, replacing the traditional social order with one based on mass manipulation. Though the book is considered a hoax by most experts and regarded as a vile anti-Semitic text, it is impossible to ignore its prophetic qualities and its capacity to describe both the century unfolding and the political reality in which we live.

Jews are inhuman and they are destroying the planet

Im anti-Jewish, not anti-Jews. I think Jewish ideology is driving our planet into a catastrophe and wemust stop.

Jews caused the Credit Crunch

How is that America let its foreign policy be shaped by some ruthless Zionists? How come alleged American free media failed to warn the American people of the enemy within? Money is probably the answer, it indeed makes the world go round, or at least the American housing market. Throughout the centuries, Jewish bankers bought for themselves some real reputations of backers and financers of wars and even one communist revolution]. You may wonder at this stage whether I regard the credit crunch as a Zionist plot. In fact it is the opposite. It is actually a Zionist accident. The patient didnt make it to the end. This Zionist accident is a glimpse into Political Zionisms sinister agenda. This Zionist accident provides us with an opportunity to see that as far as misery is concerned, we are together with the Palestinians, the Iraqis and the Afghans. We share one enemy.

Promotion of Holocaust denial

The question of whether there was a mass homicide with gas or just a mass death toll due to total abuse in horrendous conditions is no doubt a crucial historical question. The fact that such a major historical chapter less than seven decades ago is scholarly [sic] inaccessible undermines the entire historical endeavour. Furthermore, unless one approves and repeats the official Holocaust narrative, one may find oneself locked behind bars. This happened lately to three rightwing history revisionists who dared to suspect the official Auschwitz narrative. .I can see these three outlaws: [David] Irving, [Ernest] Zundel and [Germar] Rudolf, the three rightwing historical revisionists who happen to be locked behind bars. While left academics are mainly concerned with signalling out Holocaust deniers telling us what is right and who is wrong, it is the revisionists who engage themselves in detailed archive work as well as forensic scrutiny. If history shapes the future, we need to liberate our perspective of the past, rather than arresting revisionists, we simply need many more of them.

65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz we should reclaim our history and ask why? Why were the Jews hated? Why did European people stand up against their next door neighbours? Why are the Jews hated in the Middle East, surely they had a chance to open a new page in their troubled history? We should also ask for what purpose do the holocaust denial laws serve? What is the holocaust religion there to conceal? As long as we fail to ask questions, we will be subjected to Zionists and their Neocons agents plotsHolocaust religion robs humanity of its humanism. For the sake of peace and future generations, the holocaust must be stripped of its exceptional status immediately. It must be subjected to thorough historical scrutiny. Truth and truth seeking is an elementary human experience. It must prevail.

Israel is worse than the Nazis

To regard Hitler as the ultimate evil is nothing but surrendering to the Zio-centric discourse. To regard Hitler as the wickedest man and the Third Reich as the embodiment of evilness is to let Israel off the hook. To compare Olmert to Hitler is to provide Israel and Olmert with a metaphorical moral shield. It maintains Hitler at the lead and allows Olmert to stay in the tail.

We should never compare Israel to Nazi Germany. As far as evilness is concerned, we should now let Israel take the lead.

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Gilad Atzmon | Stand for Peace

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Holocaust Day The Time Is Ripe For A Jewish Apology …

By Gilad Atzmon on January 28, 2014

Its never too late to say

A mass protest in Paris on Sunday against French President Franois Hollande turned into an anti-Jewish demonstration and ended in clashes between police and protesters.

Seemingly, Jewish organisations around the world are scared by the recent developments in France. Once again, they clearly failed to appreciate the growing mass fatigue of Shoah indoctrination and belligerent lobby politics.

However, I would contend that instead of whining about the rise of anti-Semitism, Jews better, once and for all, learn to ask why? Why the Jews again? Why are they hated? What is it in Jewish politics that evokes so much resentment? Why does it happen time after time?

It wasnt easy for me to admit in my latest book that Jewish suffering is actually embedded in Jewish culture. In other words, Jews are actually destined to bring disasters on themselves. Jewish politics and culture, unfortunately, is obnoxious, abusive, as well as racist, and supremacist to the bone. Jewish culture is set to infuriate the Goyim just because Jews are defined by negation that chilling sensation of being hated.

Interestingly enough, early Zionism, was a promise to change it all. Herzl, Nordau, Borochov and Weizmann believed that a homecoming project would transform the Diaspora Jews into ethical new Israelites. They were sure that a settlement project would make the Jew lovable and respected.

But they were obviously wrong. Zionism was destined to crash. In spite of being driven by anti-Jewish sentiments, Zionism was quickly defeated by Jewishness (Jewish spirit, culture and ideology). It matured into a vile chauvinist amplification of every possible crude Jewish symptom it was initially supposed to eradicate.

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Many Jews around the world are commemorating the Holocaust this week. But if I am correct, maybe the time is ripe for Jewish and Zionist organisations to draw the real and most important lesson from the Holocaust.

Instead of constantly blaming the Goyim for inflicting pain on Jews, it is time for Jews to look in the mirror and try to identify what it is in Jews and their culture that evokes so much fury. It may even be possible that some Jews would take this opportunity to apologise to the Gentiles around them for evoking all this anger.

Indeed, I take this opportunity to make an apology, even though I have not been a Jew for quite a while.

The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity politics and Jewish Power in particular available on Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk

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Holocaust Day The Time Is Ripe For A Jewish Apology …

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The Case of Gilad Atzmon – www.counterpunch.org

Panel at Cooper Union NYC led by Anne-Marie Slaughter, 28 September 2006:

Tony Judt:I just Id just like to say one very quick thing about [the difficulty of getting anything critical of Israel into the mainstream media]. When I submitted an article about the Israeli Lobby debate that Mearsheimer and Walt kicked off to a very well known American, North American, newspaper [NY Times], I was asked by the editorial directors would I mind telling them whether Im Jewish or not. They felt it was something they would like to know before they published it.

Martin Indyk: But they published it.

TJ: I told them I was Jewish. (Audience laughs.)

This review of Gilad Atzmons book The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics and the anti-Atzmon essay by Ali Abunimah and some 20 co-signatories called Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon is an effort to unite the movement for one secular, democratic state (ODS) in historic Palestine of which both Atzmon and Abunimah are adherents. Edward Said wrote,

The absence of a collective end to which all are committed has crippled Palestinian efforts not just in the official realm, but even among private associations, where personality conflicts, outright fights, and disgraceful backbiting hamper our every step.

In his last years Said put such a collective end into words for coexistence between Jews and Arabs in one state and now, at the end of a decade that has witnessed outstanding articles, books and conferences articulating this vision, a chasm opens up. If our effort is not to be crippled both sides must bury the hatchet.

Abunimah, Omar Barghouti, Rafeef Ziadah and other signatories, as well as other ODS supporters known to me who have disavowed Atzmon, have made enormous contributions to justice for Palestinians. Their accusations are worth examining, which requires examining The Wandering Who? and some of Atzmons blogs and videos with an eye out for the racism, antisemitism and Holocaust denial of which Granting accuses him. I havent read everything, of course, and there are certainly mistakes in my judgment, so I welcome any feedback and debate.

The call for disavowal accuses Atzmon of 5 trespasses:

(1) He claims to speak for Palestinians.

(2) He denies that Zionism is settler-colonialist.

(3) He believes that to self-identify as a Jew is to be a Zionist.

(4) He denies the Holocaust.

(5) He is an antisemite, a racist.

Two general observations: First, Grantings accusations are formulated indirectly, not in so many words; but a reading of the short document shows that these are what it boils down to. Second, Granting itself does not include any proof or evidence for the accusations; there are no examinations of Atzmons texts, even out of context. Neither are there explicit definitions of the terms racist and antisemitic that would by rights accompany such severe accusations. For such more detailed definitions and arguments I have searched the web in vain, but of course the web is large, and if I have missed something I hope somebody tells me. Im restricting my analysis almost entirely to Wandering on the assumption that evidence for the accusations would be there, if anywhere.

Strictly speaking there is thus no case, only claims. Atzmon is innocent till proven guilty. It is unfair, difficult and inefficient to put the burden of proof on the accused. Nevertheless, Ive read the book carefully and ended up writing a defense of it that includes several criticisms, quoting Atzmon at length along the way. Please also see the favourable reviews by Mazin Qumsiyeh and John Mearsheimer, and a less favourable one by Elias Davidson. I ignore denunciations of Atzmon by Alan Dershowitz, Tony Greenstein and Jeffrey Goldberg because they consist of associative thinking and are based on often-unreferenced quotations out of context. Preceding Granting, in late February 2012, was a similar critique of Wandering that actually contains 12 quotations from Atzmon.

The five accusations

(1) Guiding the Palestinian struggle

Granting claims that Atzmon for many years now has taken on the self-appointed task of defining for the Palestinian movement the nature of our struggle, and the philosophy underpinning it. Since I am sure the Granting signatories do not reject all ideas of all outsiders, this leaves it unclear what counts as acceptable opinion and support. It is moreover legitimate for Atzmon and other Israeli citizens to advocate visions of the future of their country necessarily including Palestinians.

Grantings concern becomes clearer through the further statementthat As Palestinians, it is our collective responsibility, whether we are in Palestine or in exile, to assert our guidance of our grassroots liberation struggle. Atzmon has in fact elsewhere agreed with this:

It is our duty (as human beings) to show our support to the Palestinian people but we are not allowed to tell them what to do. We are not allowed to tell them what is right or wrong, we can only offer ourselves as soldiers

Ignoring the absurdity of the idea of telling Palestinians what to do, roles between the oppressed and those in solidarity with them must always be negotiated. In this case however I know that there is almost total agreement between Atzmon and the principles of the movement guided by the signatories: Right of Return, equality not apartheid within Israel, liberation of the West Bank and Gaza, and perhaps even a preference for one over two states.

(2) Settler-colonialism

Granting claims that Zionism, to Atzmon, is not a settler-colonial project The text of Wandering does not support this claim. Atzmon in several places explicitly affirms that Zionism is settler-colonial. (pp 9, 88, 101, 165) In apparent contradiction, he does in one place write that it is not a colonial movement with an interest in Palestine. (p 19) In my reading this means it is not just a run-of-the-mill colonial movement out for economic or geopolitical gain: there is no mother country unless it is world Jewry, and Zionisms only colony is Palestine, which was chosen over Argentina and Uganda for cultural and/or religious reasons. Atzmon elsewhere objects to the misleading colonialism paradigm because he regards Zionism as a unique racialist project, not motivated by material exploitation for the (non-existent) homeland.

Atzmon is basically asserting that the settler-colonialist paradigm is not sufficient to explain Zionism: Zionist events like the attack on the Mavi Marmara, dropping White Phosphorus on Gaza, slicing up the Holy Land with separation walls, and indeed the original expulsion of the vast majority of the Palestinian indigenous population just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz have nothing to do with the colonialist nature of the Jewish state (pp 181-182) To be sure, the term nothing overstates the case, but his claim is that more than colonialism is involved. Im inclined to agree when I read for instance Netanyahus December 2012 statement that We live in a Jewish state, and Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. The Western Wall is not occupied territory. We will build in Jerusalem because this is our right.

(3) Jewish political identity

Granting interprets Atzmons complex sociological concept of Jewish-ness to mean that

Zionismispart and parcel of defining ones self as a Jew. Therefore, he claims, one cannot self-describe as a Jew and also do work in solidarity with Palestine, because to identify as a Jew is to be a Zionist.

Now, to say that self-identifying as a Jew entails Zionism is prima facie absurd, and I do not find the claim in Wandering. I agree with Granting that Atzmon is wrong in his blanket criticism of anti-Zionist Jewish groups. I also find Atzmon at places abstruse on this issue of the relation between world Jewry, Jewish ideology and Zionism.

But confusion is abated when we realise that his definition of Zionism differs from the standard, broad movement for a Jewish state in Palestine. Rather: I suggest that it makes far more sense to regard Zionism as a tribal Jewish preservation project [aiming at] the prevention of assimilation[] Accordingly, Zionism should be seen as an amalgam of different philosophies specialising in different forms of tribal separatism, disengagement and segregation. (p 70) Atzmon is thus talking only about a political self-identity, so Granting misrepresents him.

Atzmon sets up three non-exclusive basic categories: Jews (the people), Judaism (the religion) and Jewish-ness (the ideology) or identity politics, or political discourse. (p 15) The book does not criticise Jews, the first category, does criticise a few aspects of Judaism, the second, and argues for 200 pages against the third, Jewish-ness, and against those who put their Jewish-ness over and above all of their other traits. (p 16)

I am confused as to whether Atzmon wants to say that politically identifying with Jewish-ness entails Zionism. In numerous places criticises or laughs at Jewish tribalism (pp 19, 32, 56, 113, 116, 164-165, 172, 181-184), writing that to identify politically as a Jew and to wonder what is good for the Jews is the true essence of Jewish tribal thinking… (p 184) Zionism united the tribe on many levels (p 46) and is grounded on a very specific realisation of the Jewish identity as a synthesis of racial awareness, religious awareness and nationalistic awareness. But while Jewish-ness is an ethnically-based political ideology, Atzmon doesnt show that non-Zionist Jewish political identities are inconceivable.

Grantings signatories must have misread the sentence, To be a Zionist means to accept that, more than anything else, one is primarily a Jew. (p 19) This says that all Zionists are 3rd-category Jews, not the reverse. The context moreover is a specific discussion of sanayim, Mossad agents living abroad.

I do however fault Atzmons statement that considering the racist, expansionist Judeo-centric nature of the Jewish State, the Diaspora Jew finds himself or herself intrinsically associated with a bigoted, ethnocentric ideology and an endless list of crimes against humanity. (p 48) What does intrinsically associated mean? Merely being associated (by others) with something bad is one thing; but when this is intrinsic it could mean that the bad thing is indeed part and parcel of being a Diaspora Jew.

(4) Holocaust denial

Atzmon throughout acknowledges the Holocaust, shoah or Judeocide, asserting however that it should be studied historically like other ethnic exterminations. (pp 43, 70, 130-131, 154, 175-176, 182, 185-186) And we need to see how the Holocaust is used in the destruction of the Palestinians a position shared by Yeshayahu Leibowitz, Adi Ophir, Norman Finkelstein and Marc Ellis. (pp 148-152, 162) I do find imprecision in his statement that the Holocaust [is] not an historical narrative, for historical narratives do not need the protection of the law and politicians (p149); to be consistent with everything he writes about the Holocaust this should read not merely an historical narrative.

Atzmon recalls,

As much as I was a sceptic youngster, I was also horrified by the Holocaust. In the 1970s Holocaust survivors were part of our social landscape. They were our neighbours, we met them in our family gatherings, in the classroom, in politics, in the corner shop. They were part of our lives. The dark numbers tattooed on their white arms never faded away. It always had a chilling effect. Yet I must mention that I can hardly recall a single Holocaust survivor who ever attempted to manipulate me emotionally. (pp 185-186)

Further, It is the Holocaust that eventually made me a devoted supporter of Palestinian rights, resistance and the Palestinian right of return. (p 186)

An earlier blog reads,

[T]he form of Holocaust denial that really bothers me is the denial of the on-going Palestinian Holocaust. This Holocaust is documented and covered daily by the western media. The turning of residential Palestinian cities into concentration camps; the deliberate starvation of the Palestinian population; the withholding of medical aid from Palestinian civilians; the wall that tears the holy land into isolated cantons and Bantustans; the continuous bombardment of civilians by the IAF are known to us all. This Holocaust is committed by the Jewish state with the support of world Jewry.

This accusation by Granting is absurd.

(5) Racism and antisemitism

Atzmon writes nothing against Jews by origin, i.e. against anybody based on their genetic heritage or race; yet this would be the precondition for justifying the allegation of antisemitism/racism because semitic refers to an ethnos or race. I trust moreover that some of his best friends are Jewish, and he vows:

I will present a harsh criticism of Jewish politics and identity. Yet there will not be a single reference to Jews as ethnicity or race This book doesnt deal with Jews as a people or ethnicity. If anything, my studies of the issue suggest that Jews do not form any kind of racial continuum[] I also refrain from criticisng Judaism. Instead, I confront different interpretations of the Judaic code. I deal with Jewish Ideology, Jewish identity politics, and the Jewish political discourse. I ask what being a Jew entails. (p 15; also pp 147-148)

Again, his first two categories religious Jews and Jews by origin are harmless and innocent. (p 16) No one is calling for harm to Jews. (p 131)

Atzmon does once lambaste Judaism for tribalism because it so closely adheres to an ethnic rather than religious concept of itself (p 113) and sees a continuum between the Bible and Zionism (pp 120-122). But he says clearly,

I am against racism and in fact in my writing you wont find a single racial reference. Moreover, when I write about Jewish identity I analyse it in ideological and philosophical terms. For me Jewishness is a mind set. Nothing to do with the quality of ones blood or the religion of ones mother.

He does unfortunately make several statements that refer to Jews where Jewish-ness or Zionist would be more accurate and consistent with the whole book. He for instance writes of European and American Jews who have assimilated and cast aside their Jewish identity, where he means their Jewish political identity or identification with the tribe. (pp 64-65) He rightly says that all Jewish Zionists sign up to the Jewish-ness ideology, but he should avoid any ambiguity suggesting that all Jews adhere to Jewish-ness.

Blurring occurs when he omits the qualifier political in writing of the Jew within, the Jewish understanding of the past or occasionally of Jewish identity. (pp 95, 173, 135) He does however usually precisely include it, for example in writing that one can hardly endorse a universal philosophy while being identified politically as a Jew. (p 39; also pp 102, 138, 145, 174) Imprecision burdens as well the statement that Jewish people can never be like other people, for those who demand to be seen as equal must feel inherently and categorically different. (p 52) I also miss clear definitions for the phrases the Jewish condition (p 184) and the wider Jewish problem. (p 15)

Atzmons use of the phrase Jewish lobbyists (pp 152, 171) has been challenged, clarity speaking for Israel lobby or Zionist lobby. It is however at least mitigating that most Jewish Zionist lobbyists themselves refer to themselves and their organisations as Jewish, and that Zionists themselves appropriate Jewish identities to oppress Palestinian Arabs for instance with the Holocaust (pp 130-134) or Judaic symbols on fighter planes (p 140). As Zionist Michael Bar-Zohar puts it, If youre attacking Israel, this means you are attacking Jews. But why should one language-rule be valid for pro-Israel lobbies and another for its critics? (pp 149-151)

Granting in addition accuses Atzmon of allying himself with conspiracy theories, far-right, orientalist, and racist arguments, associations and entities, but offers no evidence, nor even a definition of what allying would look like. I urge Atzmon to make his language less ambiguous, but given that he is criticising what he sees as the dominant Jewish political culture, not Jews in general, his book in fact supports Grantings position that our struggle was never, and will never be, with Jews, or Judaism, no matter how much Zionism insists that our enemies are the Jews. Rather, our struggle is with Zionism.

Anti-Jewish-ness

Benny Morris, in an interview with Jewish Chronicle and Guardian Zionist Jonathan Freedland, defends himself against Freedlands suggestion that his critical, negative claims about Arab culture could be seen as racist by rejoining that he [like Atzmon] is speaking of a dominant political culture, not Arabs as a genetically defined ethnic group. Morriss ambiguities are between statements that all Arabs or a majority of Arabs or Arabs or Arab culture(s) place relatively low value on human life, but it seems the generalising nature of sociological analysis always entails a degree of conflation between (1) the dominant norms of the group and (2) all members of the group. Nietzsche walked the same tightrope in his Kulturkritik of Christianity. But the issue is the quality of Morriss or Atzmons or Nietzsches empirical evidence and cultural analysis a well-known academic field not whether any such investigation is racist. It is not, since there is no appeal to ethnic causality which is the criterion for both positive (e.g. philosemitic) and negative (e.g. antisemitic) racism.

The advertisement for Wandering claims: Since Israel defines itself openly as the Jewish State, we should ask what the notions of Judaism, Jewishness, Jewish culture and Jewish ideology stand for. The Jewish state and its behaviour is an explicandum of the first order, costing as it does Palestinian lives and livelihoods. He quotes Israels first president: There are no English, French, German or American Jews, but only Jews living in England, France, Germany or America. In just a few words, Weizmann managed to categorically define the essence of Jewish-ness. (p 16) With this concept he hopes to correct and add to our understanding of Zionism.

Atzmon told Haaretz:

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, their fields and houses, and thats it. The refugees will come home and the Jews will also finally be liberated: They will be free in their country and will be able to be like all the nations, get on with their lives and even salvage the bad reputation they have brought on themselves in the past 2,000 years. But for Netanyahu and the Israelis to do that, 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.

The anti-Zionist as well as the pro-Zionist discourse cannot be separated from the Jewish discourse.

At a One Democratic State conference in Stuttgart in 2010, attended by both Atzmon and Abunimah, the latter argued that this culture category is useless:

I think that to use language that blames a particular culture [Atzmon] was talking about Jewish culture is wrong [applause] because such arguments could be made about anyone. We could blame German culture for the history of Germany, we could blame British culture for the history of British imperialism, we could blame Afrikaner culture for apartheid in South Africa. And this really doesnt explain anything at all. (emphasis added)

Atzmon counters that this is

what historians, sociologists, anthropologists, intellectuals are doing when they try to understand historical and political development. The historians and sociologists who look into the Nazi era, dont they look into German culture, into German philosophy, into the work of Wagner, both as a writer and as a composer, into the work of Hegel, and the German spirit, into Christian antisemitism, and the impact of the Protestant church, dont they look into a Martin Luther, and his infamous book about the Jews and their lives? Dont they look into German Early Romanticism? We are in the 21st century. We understand very well that culture, politics, history, heritage, religions, are all bonded together.

Abunimahs position is of course untenable, while at the same time it remains to be seen whether Atzmons concept of Jewish-ness really earns its keep.

Perhaps Jewish-ness is not strictly necessary to refute Zionism and support ODS. However, on the principle of know thine enemy it may assist us in fighting Zionism and negotiating with Israel were it ever to come to the table. I moreover submit that analysing the hoary topic of what it is to be a Jew is of much interest to many Jews who are now doubting their support of the Jewish state. It seems to me that the issue can contribute to both an intra-Jewish discussion and to the discussion of how to stop the Jewish states murderous ethnic cleansing. Why should it do only one or the other?

One Granting signatory, Omar Barghouti, has sought in terms similar to Atzmons to explain Zionist crimes against Palestinians, the relative-humanization of Palestinians, and how Zionists live with it. His explanatory concept is Jewish fundamentalism, relying partly on the thought of Israel Shahak to find cold-bloodedness and justification for Jewish ethnic superiority in some tenets of Jewish Law. The Midianite genocide and certain Torah passages provide precedents for what is happening today. Atzmon likewise relates Israeli behaviour to Biblical precedents (pp 120-122, 157-162), yet in the main looks at secular Jewish culture, whereas Barghouti is perhaps focusing only on religious Jewish culture. Or, if it is not Atzmons anti-Jewish-ness that Barghouti finds racist, antisemitic and Holocaust-denying, what is it?

As for the content of Jewish-ness in the broadest terms merely Judeo-centric political discourse (pp 88, 55, 145, 197) Atzmon characterises it as (1) exclusivist, (2) based on the uniqueness of Jewish suffering, (3) supremacist and (4) uncannily paralleling some Old Testament stories. (pp 121, 160, 188) He writes for instance that

assimilation has never been presented as a Jewish political call. It was rather individual Jews who welcomed and enjoyed European liberal tendencies. The Jewish political call was inspired by different means of tribal, cultural or even racially-orientated segregation. (p 32)

As evidence that it is more tribal than many other groups Atzmon points to a relatively high resistance to assimilation, strong halachic marriage rules (procreative isolation), and high hurdles for conversion to Judaism. (pp 19, 32, 56, 113, 116, 164-165, 172) The bridge to Zionism, in Atzmons view, seems to be that a combination of exile, cohesion and chosenness, together with feelings of unique suffering, led to both a strong desire for an ethnically-defined rather than secular-democratic state and a sense of righteousness (and thoroughness) in its establishment at the expense of indigenous people.

I dont know much about either Judaism or Jewishness, but I think Atzmons evidence for the trait of supremacy is inadequate. (see pp 2, 101, 181-182) True, Zionist acts are racially supremacist, but the book does not give a rigorous proof that feelings of ethnic superiority inhere in the Jewish political culture. But this is a question of content; that he writes about it is certainly kosher.

We should perhaps not forget that Hess, Jabotinsky, Weizmann and all Israeli politicians have tied the state as closely as possible to Jewish history and culture. (pp 16-17, 139) The Law of Return, the Jewish National Fund, Jews-only settlements and roads, the very concept of Eretz Israel, and Israels Declaration of Independence are racist. Negative Kulturkritik is not.

Atzmon unexpectedly even has a good word for Jewish-ness in seeing its complexity and the duality of tribalism and universalism at the very heart of the collective secular Jewish identity (pp 148, 162, 56) Secular collective Jewish identity is made up of bothelements, Athens and Jerusalem. (pp 56, 57, 78) In conciliatory mode he ambivalently asserts that while there is no such thing as a Jewish humanist heritage there are some remote patches of humanism in Jewish culture, [which however] are certainly far from being universal. (p 113) By reference to the ethnic particularism of Jewish-ness he suggests an answer to the question How is it that Israel and its lobbies are so blind to any form of ethical or universal thinking? (p 177, emphasis added)

Another writer seeking connection between Jewish resources and a universal, egalitarian ethics is Judith Butler, whose new book Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism promises a rewarding look at this topic which should be debated, not silenced by the charge of antisemitism or denying the legitimacy of cultural explanations in principle.

Imagine an exam question: Is the following statement antisemitic?:

The reopening of the tunnel [beneath al-Haram al-Sharif] seems an act of arrogant triumphalism, a sort of rubbing of Palestinian and Muslim noses in the dirt. This had the added effect of pouring fuel on the smoldering sectarian competition that has been the citys long-standing bane. I do not think there is any doubt that this Lukud assertion of what is unmistakably Jewish power over Muslim holy places was intended to show the world that Judaism can do what it wants.

Atzmon speaks of Jewish nationalism, Jewish lobbying and Jewish power (p 145), interpreted perhaps by Granting with the somewhat vague phrase attacking Jewish identities. But cannot one speak of a political ideology that sees itself as Jewish using the term Jewish with its bundle of ethnic, religious, and political meanings?

Taboos

Atzmon asks several taboo questions.

I think that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled to start asking questions We should strip the Holocaust of its Judeo-centric exceptional status and treat it as an historical chapter that belongs to a certain time and place. The Holocaust, like every other historical narrative, must be analysed properly Why were the Jews hated? Why did European people stand up against their neighbours? Why are the Jews hated in the Middle East, surely they had a chance to open a new page in their troubled history? If they geniunely planned to do so, as the early Zionists claimed, why did they fail? (pp 175-176)

People who place such questions out of bounds are doomed to think that anti-Semitism is an irrational social phenomenon that erupts out of nowhere. Accordingly they must believe that the Goyim are potentially mad. (p 182) It is a matter of simple logic that to ask why Jews were hated in Europe is not to presuppose that there were good reasons.

Another excerpt:

It took me many years to understand that the Holocaust, the core belief of the contemporary Jewish faith, was not at all an historical narrative [for] historical narratives do not need the protection of the law and political lobbies. It took me years to grasp that my great-grandmother wasnt made into a soap or a lampshade as I was taught in Israel. She probably perished of exhaustion, typhus or maybe even by mass shooting The fate of my great-grandmother was not so different from hundreds of thousands of German civilians who died in deliberate, indiscriminate bombing, just because they were Germans. Similarly, people in Hiroshima died just because they were Japanese [As devastating as it was], at a certain moment in time, a horrible chapter was given an exceptional meta-historical status. (pp 175, 149)

The Holocaust religion freezes a certain narrative in law while Holocaust research follows normal historiographic rules; the claim of its uniqueness is philosemitic, and its severity is used to justify, with the logic of two wrongs making a right, the ethnic cleansing of people having nothing to do with the Holocaust. (pp 148-153)

Evil questions came naturally to Atzmon:

[At age 14 he] asked the emotional tour guide if she could explain the fact that so many Europeans loathed the Jews so much and in so many places at once. I was thrown out of school for a week. (p 184)

As long as we fail to ask questions, we will be subjected to Zionist lobbies and their plots. We will continue killing in the name of Jewish suffering. (p 176)

Ben White has similarly asked, Is it possible to understand the rise in anti-semitism? This requires defining both antisemitic and understand. One poll question asked people if they can understand very well that some people are unpleasant towards Jews. While White is not anti-Semitic and not unpleasant towards Jews, he can understand why some are. First, Israel subscribes to the racial supremacy of Jews, and Zionists equate their colonial project with Judaism, and although reacting to this racism and injustice with attacks on Jews or Jewish property [is] misguided, it can be understood politically. Second, since the Western media are overwhelmingly pro-Israel, some people believe, again misguidedly, the idea of a Jewish conspiracy. We must live with the ambiguity of the word understand.

Similarly, when Atzmon calls violence against non-combatants who are Jewish by origin rational, we must acknowledge the ambiguity of the term rational, which doesnt mean morally justified. Atzmon defends his statement that burning down a synagogue can be a rational act by explaining that by rational he means that any form of anti-Jewish activity may be seen as political retaliation. This does not make it right. One can ask why such violence occurs, just as we can ask why the Jewish state commits and condones violence against innocent Palestinians and the destruction of olive trees and water cisterns. It can be Israeli racism, but it could also be rational behaviour for Israels security. Antisemitism expert Antony Lerman, also, has noted that many acts against Jews in Europe were tied to Israels unjust behaviour they were political, not irrational in the sense of arbitrary, or necessarily motivated solely by hate of Jews.

Another hot topic that might can approach solely in terms of Zionism, not Jewish-ness, is that of the economic, political and media power of Zionists who are also Jews in part motivated by allegiance to their ethnic group. Atzmon covers this briefly (169-172), his Exhibit A being the ardently pro-Zionist Jewish Chronicles listing of the relatively large number of Jews in the UK Parliament (all hard or soft Zionists). Exhibit B is billionaire Haim Saban who says, according to a New Yorker portrait, Im a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel [The Arab] terrorists give me a potch in the panim;he openly seeks influence in political parties, think tanks and media outlets, has tried to buy the LA Times and NY Times to push his agenda, and harbors a wariness of Arabs that may stem from growing up as a Jew in Egypt.

To declare out of bounds the subject of Jewish, as opposed to merely Zionist, influence in politics, finance and media is to claim that support for Zionism by many powerful people has nothing at all to do with the fact that they are Jewish, or rather, that they politically identify as Jews. Xstrata boss Mick Daviss charity United Jewish Israel Appeal (Powering young people in the UK and Israel, Strengthening Jewish identity and the connection to Israel), is merely pro-Israel; in spite of its name, its slogans and its activities furthering Judaisation in the Galil and the Negev, it has nothing to do with Jewishness, no ethno-cultural content whatsoever. The Anti-Defamation League in the US, on this view, is merely a group protecting Jews from antisemitism, only coincidentally pro-Israel. Everybody knows this is fiction, and the subject appears taboo for critics but not for supporters of Zionism.

Again, one can strip Herzls movement for a Judenstaat to its settler-colonialist bones, but given an interest in promoting pro-Palestinian public opinion, one can look at this subject soberly, with no antisemitic intent. Whether Jewish-ness and Zionism connect here, and whether this makes any difference in understanding Zionist oppression of Palestinians, are open questions, and I for one look for Zionist rather than Jewish publicists. But why should this be taboo? At any rate, on this subject Atzmon delivers a one-liner: As I have said earlier, I do not believe in Jewish conspiracies: everything done in the open. (p 76) But his real view is that In fact the opposite [than a conspiracy] is the case. It isnt a plot and certainly not a conspiracy for it was all in the open. It is actually an accident. (pp 30, 21)

To be avoided is the situation where only supporters of Israel can point to ethnic-ideological connections while critics of Israel cannot. If we want to understand the entity committing the Palestinicide, the only line to be drawn is at hate speech based on ethnic, racial and religious criteria.

My objections

The ambiguity of Jewish

As shown above, some of Atzmons statements fail to distinguish clearly between his 2nd and 3rd categories between Jews by biological origin and those whose priority is their (Jewish) cultural identity and could thus be read as antisemitic. I find however no evidence of hate of, distaste for, or even criticism of, Jews. Complicating judgment of these statements is the fact that when they are philosemitic they are not, in our mainstream discourse, seen as objectionable. (p 51) Not only Jewish humour, but quotidian political analysis routinely refers to Jewish not Zionist or Israeli identity.

One Israeli analyst for instance correlates Israeli right and left stances with where on our scale of identity we place Jewish identity, quoting Netanyahu saying, The leftists have forgotten what it is to be Jewish. Still, I believe Atzmon should avoid sentences that use the unqualified terms Jews or Jewish when the subject is identity politics. The statement I grasped that Israel and Zionism were just parts of the wider Jewish problem (p 15) is understood by those familiar with a long intra-Jewish discourse, but not by the wider world. It takes a lot of context to de-fuse a statement like, With contempt, I am actually elaborating on the Jew in me the context coming three paragraphs later, namely that Jewish-ness isnt at all a racial category (pp 94-95)

Tribal supremacy

As already touched on, while the Jewish supremacy of the Jewish states Zionism is obvious, Wandering does not demonstrate to my satisfaction that Jewish-ness is supremacist. Now if Jewish political culture (Jewish-ness) is Zionism, the claim is tautologically true, but Atzmon maintains throughout that they are different. To be sure, adherence to any ethnically- or religiously-defined group arguably implies a belief that the group is a bit better than rival groups: upholding trklk, or saying I am a Christian says something about Kurds, and perhaps Islam, as well. But Atzmons claim is not only open to empirical examination, it is not a claim about (all) Jews as an ethnicity, and therefore not racist. Nevertheless, because this claim is so central to building the bridge between Jewish-ness and Zionism it deserves more argument.

Jews Against Zionism

Atzmon criticises groups that mix ethnic Jewish identity with the non-ethnic political goals of socialism and anti-Zionism; they put their Jewish-ness above the content of their political stance in addition to excluding non-Jews. (pp 62, 71-76, 86-87, 102-105) Groups such as British Jewish Socialists, Jews for Boycott of Israeli Goods, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, or Jewish Voice for Peace remain, he says, within the discourse of ethnicism rather than universal humanism:

Even saying I do not agree with Israel although I am a Jew is to fall into the trap. Having fallen into the trap, one cannot leave the clan behind one can hardly endorse a universal philosophy while being identified politically as a Jew. (pp 38-39)

Link:

The Case of Gilad Atzmon – www.counterpunch.org

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June 18, 2016   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Leadership in difficult times | Jay Stoll | The Blogs | The Times of Israel – Jewish News (blog)

This week has been a relatively traumatic one, with an afternoon spentin lockdown and the time thereafterspent focusing on the important things in life. So I hope I can be indulged by ending the week with something a bit lighter community politics. On Tuesday, the President of the Board of Deputies took leave of his senses as he called for Jewish Students to stay clear from one of the worlds finest universities, the London School of Economics. He did this because a repugnant piece of scum, Richard Falk, was unduly given a platform to spout his repugnant, scummy, nonsense about the Middle East. Worse still, his audience included another repugnant piece of scum, Gilad Atzmon. Those who suffered the indignity of being ejected for protesting the repugnant scum are entitled to feel aggrieved. Their concerns as Jewish attendees were patently ignored. Not for the first time, LSE has questions to answer in how it has dealt with an event on its premises. But one would hope that the response of the communitys leadership would be measured and clear in itspursuit of practical remedy.Instead, we were treated to a reaction withall the subtlety and deftness of a Donald Trumptweet. The Presidents proclamation that LSEis not a safe place for Jewish studentsis a white flag if ever there was one. As his electorate, weare left with two possible responses. First, a daft tweet albeit one that shows a risible lack of belief in the ability of Jewish students to defend their own cause should be ignored. Those who study at LSE dont do so because of a Hechsher from the Board of Deputies President. They go there because they are going to a world famous institution, second only to Harvard in the latest global rankings. They go thereto fulfil their career ambitions, and they go there for all the benefits a campus life in London has to offer. The second optionis to hold the President to account. He is the first and last to acknowledge the status his election afforded him, not least when meeting some of the most powerful people in the land. So when the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews tweets from his official account, he is doing so as the elected leader of the Jewish Communitys only democratically elected body. That is some office to hold, and with it comes a responsibility that, in this instance, has not been dignified in his chosen use of 140 characters. Instead, he could have offered full support to the Union of Jewish Students. In a matter of days, they have secured an extremely supportive statement from the LSE Union and a commitment from the University to investigate events. Jewish students are resilient and fiercely independent. In UJS, they have a unique resource to seek redress in instances they are wronged, and this will be on full display with the annual NUS gathering fast approaching. I have no doubt that the President agrees as much, so why did he do it? It seems to be the case that with this President, we are to expect a race-to-comment-first-at-all-costs mentality, with the sensible reflections only arrivinglater. Thismay satisfy a particularly loud constituency at Board plenary meetings, but it risks the external reputation of the organisation to the outside world. This week has provided pause for thought on a number of issues, with some of immeasurably greaterimportance than others. However,one thing of which I am certain is that leadership, in whatever context, is defined by a few things: I fear that on all three counts, this week, our elected President has fallen short.

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March 26, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Pro-Israel professor withdraws from Ireland summit over Richard … – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Richard Falk. (photo credit:REUTERS) A British professor scheduled to speak at a conference debating Israel’s right to exist has withdrawn from the event after a writer who has endorsed a book espousing antisemitic conspiracy theories was added to the billing, The Jewish Chronicle reported Tuesday. Founder and senior editor of Britain Israel Communications and Research Center (BICOM), Professor Alan Johnson, said that he will not be attending the International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Exceptionalism and Responsibility conference in Cork, Ireland later this month due to controversial author Richard Falk’s participation. I have informed the organizers of the Cork Conference that I will no longer be participating,” Johnson said in a press statement. “The organizers have issued an invitation to Richard Falk to give a keynote speech… by inviting a speaker who espouses antisemitic conspiracy theories the conference is now objectively an attempt to normalize antisemitism and I cannot attend such an event,” he added. The conference, scheduled to begin on March 31, will feature a number of ardent critics of the Jewish state, including Israeli anti-Zionist historian llan Pappe and the University of Southamptons Professor Oren Ben-Dor. Johnson previously stated that he believed he had a duty to attend the conference in order to defend Israels right to exist. It was only after the addition of Falk, Johnson told The Jewish Chronicle, that he reconsidered his participation in the conference, arguing that Falks appearance changes the character of the event. Johnson noted Falk’s endorsement of a book by former-Israeli musician and writer Gilad Atzmon as a decisive reason, arguing that Atzmons book as openly antisemitic yet with a tribute on the back page from Falk. The book, titled the Wondering Who? questions whether the blood libel was false, declares that robbery and hatred is imbued in Jewish modern political ideology on both the left and the right and that the history of Jewish persecution is a myth, and if there was any persecution the Jews brought it on themselves, according to The Jewish Chronicle. Falk later endorsed the book, writing in a blurb that Atzmon’s work was a transformative story told with unflinching integrity that all [especially Jews] who care about real peace, as well as their own identity, should not only read, but reflect upon and discuss widely. Atzmon has previously described himself as a proud, self-hating Jew.” With Johnson’s absence, the Cork conference has now only one pro-Israel speaker scheduled for the event, former Jewish Chronicle columnist Geoffrey Alderman. In a request for comment by The Jewish Chronicle, Alderman said he intended to argue that under international law and in principle ethnic Jews have the right of settlement throughout the area of Mandate Palestine west of the Jordan River (including what is known as the West Bank), that this right extends to Jews whether or not they are citizens of the state of Israel, but not to Israeli citizens who are not ethnically Jewish, and that the state of Israel has a legal obligation to take any step and all steps necessary to uphold this right. The Cork conference was originally set to take place at Southampton University in 2015, but was cancelled on health and safety grounds. Falk recently made headlines after he co-authored a controversial UN report calling Israel an “apartheid state” late last week, earning a rebuke from the United States who said they were “outraged” by the paper. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres later asked the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, or EWCWA, to remove the report, saying the paper does not reflect the views of the” UN leader. Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

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March 22, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Jewish students angry over treatment at LSE meeting – Jewish Chronicle

Jewish Chronicle Jewish students angry over treatment at LSE meeting Jewish Chronicle Officials at the London School of Economics have launched an investigation after a public lecture on the Middle East conflict descended into acrimony, with a clash between Jews in the audience and the anti-Israel musician Gilad Atzmon . Mr Atzmon, who … Students urged to read works of Holocaust denier David Irving at LSE event Jewish News Pro-Israel professor withdraws from Ireland summit over Richard Falk controversy Jerusalem Post Israel News If they want to burn it, you want to read it! MWC News (satire) (registration) (blog) all 10 news articles »

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March 22, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

UN’s ‘Israel apartheid’ report written by 9/11 truther who promotes antisemitism – Jewish Chronicle

Jewish Chronicle UN's 'Israel apartheid' report written by 9/11 truther who promotes antisemitism Jewish Chronicle Mr Falk has also lent his encomium to one of the most notoriously antisemitic works published in recent years, The Wandering Who by Gilad Atzmon , who describes himself in the book as a proud, self-hating Jew. In the book he questions whether the … Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid – escwa escwa Publications | United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia – escwa escwa Statement by Ambassador Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Recent ESCWA … US Mission to the UN escwa all 103 news articles »

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March 17, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Leave No Dollars Behind – MWC News (satire) (registration) (blog)

|Print|E-mail Tuesday, 14 February 2017 12:28 I predict wild success for the Trump administration, at least in its ability to enrich itself. Throughout the campaign it was an open question how rich Trump was. He has, after all, used the bankruptcy rules to his advantage and has failed to pay workers amounts that seem like small change for so-called billionaires. But the question will be open no longer, if all goes as it has been going, Trump will share his new riches with members of his family and administration. Just days before his inauguration, President-elect Trump announced that he planned to place his business holdings in a trust in order to allay fears that he might exploit the Oval Office for personal gain. The move was not required, as then President-elect Trump had told The New York Times, laws around conflicts of interest dont apply to him, and he could simply keep running his businesses from the White House. But what did the trust actually accomplish? Nothing. The trust is no blind trust. It is a revocable trust, of the sort generally used in estate planning and it exposes how closely tied Mr. Trump remains to his empire. While the president claims to be uninvolved in the quotidian operations of his business, his trustees are his eldest son, Donald Jr., and Allen H. Weisselberg, the Trump Organizations CFO. Trump continues to receive reports on company profits and losses and he can revoke the trustees authority at any time. It seems particularly troubling that The Pentagon is planning to rent space in the Trump Tower. Although it is customary for the military and the secret service to rent space near a presidents home, this is space owned (if indirectly) by the president. And the space is not cheap, running approximately $1.5 million a year. Why not rent next door? Will anyone review the lease for its adherence to fair market value? And who at a federal agency can challenge the president about the terms of the lease? The list of conflicts of interest, where Trump holds an investment that will be clearly affected by government action, is apparently endless. The Atlantic has provided an excellent compilation of Trumps most glaring conflicts, but perhaps to cut down on page length, the Atlantic does not include the conflicts of Trumps appointees and extended family. Trumps ethical problems include his family and seem to grab his interest without regard to the size of the investment. He has involved himself in his daughters clothing line and not just so he could grab the women inside the garments. When Nordstrom decided to drop Ms. Trumps clothing line due to poor sales, (sales may have fallen in part due to the web site grabyourwallet.org that lists companies to boycott that sell Trump products or that have supported Trump) Trump tweeted, My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible! Soon Trumps press secretary was commenting and then White House senior advisor Conway was advising Americans to buy Ivanas stuff. This would be trivial if it were not indicative of so much more. Ivanas husbands family stands to gain from the presidential seal as well. The Kushner family is apparently planning to purchase a baseball team. They have structured a deal to buy marlins for a reported 1.6 billion in a deal that temporarily excludes Jared Kushner, Trumps son in law and advisor, as well as Charles Kushner, the family patriarch whose past felonies and jail time might sour the deal. The deal requires the approval the baseball commissioner, but is he supposed to rule against the Trump-in laws? The conflicts extend to Trumps so-called billion dollar cabinet. Here are two of the worst. Commerce nominee Ross has said that he will companies. The value of Mr. Rosss investments could depend on policies set by the Commerce Department, which, among other things, oversees oil-spill regulations and trade negotiations. One of the holdings Mr. Ross intends to retain is the Diamond S shipping group, one of the worlds largest oil shippers. Diamond S is a private, off Shore Company, so its exact ownership is not public, but it is known to be co-owned by a state owned Chinese Investment Company that paid about a billion dollars. Will Ross holdings affect Trumps often proclaimed threats to impose tariffs? Further, the extent of Ross conflicts remains unknown. One of his assets, WLR Mezzanine Associates LLC, is described on Mr. Rosss financial disclosure form as the general partner of various underlying funds. That seems to exclude nothing in particular. Steven T. Mnuchin, the new Treasury secretary, failed to disclose nearly $100 million of his assets on Senate Finance Committee disclosure documents and forgot to mention his role as a director of an investment fund located in a tax haven. Mr. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, led wealthy investors who bought the failed IndyMac Bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation during the U.S. financial crisis and transformed it into OneWest. He and the other investors, including George Soros, John Paulson and Michael Dell, more than doubled their investment by selling OneWest to CIT Group for $3.4 billion in 2015. It seems that Onewest made most of its money through rapid foreclosures subsidized by the FDIC. For details of the transaction, plus an amusing comparison of Trump and Mnuchin. [see] Last year, Mnuchin showed his affinity for conflicts of interest. He resigned as co-chair of Relativity Media shortly before the Hollywood studio filed for bankruptcy. Creditors accused Mnuchin of having a conflict of interest because Relativity Mediawhich had received financing from OneWest Bank while he served as the banks chairmanrepaid $50 million of those loans right before it went bankrupt. Mnuchin has said that he plans to divest himself of his investments. Almost. He does plan to retain his unpaid position as president of Steven T. Mnuchin Inc., a company he uses to manage some of his investments. And why shouldnt Mnuchin be trusted? Its not as if hes already using his nomination to make bold declarations affecting companies in which he and a prominent fellow Trump backer have a major financial stake. Mr. Paulson, Mr. Trump and Mr. Mnuchin have one investment interest in common: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two mortgage finance giants that were bailed out by the federal government during the financial crisis. Mr. Paulson, like some other hedge fund managers, has made a big bet that the federal government will eventually privatize Fannie and Freddie. The day after Mr. Mnuchin was nominated to be the next Treasury secretary, he declared on television that the government should get out of the business of running Fannie and Freddie. What seemed like an off-the-cuff comment sent the shares of the two companies surging. My friend, Gilad Atzmon often explains that much of the worst behavior occurs in the open. So far, Trumps reign has proved his point. This tells us that we will have plenty to watch in the next few years. Subscribe via RSS or Email:

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February 15, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

ATZMON CRITIQUE ~ threewayfight

Not Quite “Ordinary Human Beings”Anti-imperialism and the anti-humanist rhetoric of Gilad Atzmon [The following statement has been published on several websites. The version published here contains the most up-to-date list of signers.] Attempting to latch onto the just, vital, and growing movement in support of the Palestinian national liberation struggle, Gilad Atzmon is one of a very small and unrepresentative group of writers who have argued (in agreement with many Zionists) that there is no meaningful distinction to be made between Jews in general and Israeli atrocities. According to Atzmon, the latter are simply a manifestation of Jews historic relationship to gentiles, an authentic expression of an essentially racist, immoral, and anti-human Jewish ideology. Atzmons statements, besides distorting the history of Jews and constituting a brazen justification for centuries of anti-Jewish behavior and beliefs, also downgrade anti-Zionism to a mere front in the broader (anti-Jewish) struggle. Atzmon has specifically described Zionism not as a form of colonialism or settlerism, but as a uniquely evil ideology unlike anything else in human history. In addition to any ethical problems, this line of argumentation actually strengthens Zionisms grip and claim to be the authentic representative of Jews. It obscures the reality that Zionism is an imperialist and colonialist enemy of Jewish people and Palestinians, as well as the Arab people generally and all those oppressed and exploited by imperialism. In his online attack on Moshe Machover, an Israeli socialist and founder of the anti-Zionist group Matzpen, Atzmon states: Machovers reading of Zionism is pretty trivial. Israel, he says, is a settler state. For Machover this is a necessary point of departure because it sets Zionism as a colonialist expansionist project. The reasoning behind such a lame intellectual spin is obvious. As long as Zionism is conveyed as a colonial project, Jews, as a people, should be seen as ordinary people. They are no different from the French and the English, they just happen to run their deadly colonial project in a different time.[1] For Atzmon, such views are pretty trivial and lame because he holds that Jews are in fact radically different from the French and the English. Of the many quotes we could provide in this regard, here is a small sampling:[2] In order to understand Israels unique condition we must ask, who are the Jews? What is Judaism and what is Jewishness?[3] Zionism is a continuation of Jewish ideology.[4] The never-ending robbery of Palestine by Israel in the name of the Jewish people establishes a devastating spiritual, ideological, cultural and, obviously, practical continuum between the Judaic Bible and the Zionist project. The crux of the matter is simple yet disturbing: Israel and Zionism are both successful political systems that put into devastating practice the plunder promised by the Judaic God in the Judaic holy scriptures.[5] Sadly, we have to admit that hate-ridden plunder of other peoples possessions made it into the Jewish political discourse both on the left and right. The Jewish nationalist would rob Palestine in the name of the right of self-determination, the Jewish progressive is there to rob the ruling class and even international capital in the name of world working class revolution.[6] Were Jewish Marxists and cosmopolitans open to the notion of brotherhood, they would have given up on their unique, exclusive banners and become ordinary human beings like the rest of us.[7] I do not consider the Jews to be a race, and yet it is obvious that Jewishness clearly involves an ethno centric and racially supremacist, exclusivist point of view that is based on a sense of Jewish chosen-ness.[8] At the most, Israel has managed to mimic some of the appearances of a Western civilisation, but it has clearly failed to internalise the meaning of tolerance and freedom. This should not take us by surprise: Israel defines itself as a Jewish state, and Jewishness is, sadly enough, inherently intolerant; indeed, it may be argued that Jewish intolerance is as old as the Jews themselves.[9] Israel and Zionism then, has proved to be a short lived dream. It was initiated to civilise Jewish life, and to dismantle the Jewish self-destructive mode. It was there to move the Jew into the post-herem[10] phase. It vowed to make the Jew into a productive being. But as things turned out, neither the Zionists nor the anti Zionists managed to drift away from the disastrous herem culture. It seems that the entire world of Jewish identity politics is a matrix of herems and exclusion strategies. In order to be a proper Jew, all you have to do is to point out whom you oppose, hate, exclude or boycott.[11] The conclusion to such views is not difficult to draw: The endless trail of Jewish collective tragedies is there to teach us that Jews always pay eventually (and heavily) for Jewish power exercises. Yet, surprisingly (and tragically) enough, Jews somehow consistently fail to internalise and learn from that very lesson.[12] More precisely, commenting on the climax of State violence directed at Jews in the 1930s, most famously by Germany, but also in most other European nations, Atzmon is clear: The remarkable fact is they don’t understand why the world is beginning to stand against them in the same way they didn’t understand why the Europeans stood against them in the 1930s. Instead of asking why we are hated they continue to toss accusations on others.[13] Within the discourse of Jewish politics and history there is no room for causality. There is no such a thing as a former and a latter. Within the Jewish tribal discourse every narrative starts to evolve when Jewish pain establishes itself. This obviously explains why Israelis and some Jews around the world can only think as far as two state solution within the framework of 1967 borders. It also explains why for most Jews the history of the holocaust starts in the gas chambers or with the rise of the Nazis. I have hardly seen any Israelis or Jews attempt to understand the circumstances that led to the clear resentment of Europeans towards their Jewish neighbors in the 1920s-40s.[14] It is, as such, not surprising that Atzmons work has received enthusiastic reviews by such prominent members of the racist right as former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, Kevin MacDonald of the Occidental Observer, David Icke, and Arthur Tophams the Radical Press. It should not be surprising that Atzmon has distributed articles defending Holocaust deniers and those who write of the Hitler we loved and why.[15] These connections ultimately serve the interests of Zionism, which seeks to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Jewishness. Zionist agents have repeatedly attempted to ensnare and link Palestinian, Arab, and/or Muslim rights advocates to Neo-Nazism, through dirty tricks and outright lies. It is more surprising and disappointing, then, that a small section of the left has opted to promote Atzmon and his works. In the UK, the Socialist Workers Party promoted Atzmon for several years before finally breaking with him; his latest book The Wandering Who? has been published by the left-wing Zero Books (a decision that elicited a letter of protest from several Zero authors).[16] In the United States, the widely-read Counterpunch website has repeatedly chosen to run articles by Atzmon. Currently, in February and March 2012, Atzmon is on tour in North America, where several of his speaking engagements are being organized by progressive anti-imperialists who we would normally like to consider our allies. While perhaps well-meaning, operating under the assumption that any opposition to Zionism is to be welcomed, progressives who promote the work of Atzmon are in fact surrendering the moral high ground by encouraging a belief-system that simply mirrors that of the most racist section of Israeli society. Anti-racism is not a liability; on the contrary, it is a principle that makes our movements stronger in the long fight for a better tomorrow. As political activists committed to resisting colonialism and imperialismin North America and around the worldwe recognize that there can be different interpretations of history, and we welcome exploring these. Without wishing to debate the question of whether far-right and racist ideologues should be censored, or how, we see no reason for progressive people to organize events to promote their works. In our struggle against Zionism, racism, and all forms of colonialism and imperialism, there is no place for antisemitism or the vilification of Jews, Palestinians or any people based on their religions, cultures, nationalities, ethnicity or history. At this historic junctionwhen the need to struggle for the liberation of Palestine is more vital than ever and the fault lines of capitalist empire are becoming more widely exposedno anti-oppressive revolution can be built with ultra-right allies or upon foundations friendly to creeping fascism. As’ad AbuKhalil, The Angry Arab News Service, Turlock, CA Suha Afyouni, solidarity activist, Beirut, LEBANON Max Ajl, essayist, rabble-rouser, proprietor of Jewbonics blog site, Ithaca, NY Haifaa Al-Moammar, activist, stay-at-home mom, and marathon walker, Los Angeles, CA Electa Arenal, professor emerita, CUNY Graduate Center/Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Women’s Studies, New York, NY Gabriel Ash, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Geneva, SWITZERLAND John Baglow, writer, researcher, consultant, CANADA Bay Area Women in Black Joel Beinin, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA Dan Berger, Wild Poppies Collective, Philadelphia, PA Chip Berlet, Boston, MA Nazila Bettache, activist, Montral, CANADA Sam Bick, Tadamon!, Immigrant Workers Center, Montral, Qubec Max Blumenthal, author; writing fellow, The Nation, New York, NY Hagit Borer Sallye Steiner Bowyer, Israel/Palestine Action Committee, Santa Cruz, CA Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, UC Berkeley, CA Lenni Brenner, author, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, New York, NY Caf Intifada Paola Canarutto, Rete-ECO (Italian Network of Jews against the Occupation), Torino, ITALY Paulette dAuteuil, National Jericho Movement, Albuquerque, NM Susie Day, Monthly Review, New York, NY Sophia Deeg, solidarity activist, Berlin, GERMANY Judith Deutsch, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto, CANADA Ali Hocine Dimerdji, PhD student at The University of Nottingham, in Nottingham, UK Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, professor emerita, California State University Todd Eaton, Park Slope Food Coop Members for Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions, Brooklyn, NY Mark Elf, Jews sans frontieres S. EtShalom, registered nurse, Philadelphia, PA Benjamin Evans, solidarity activist, Chicago, IL Steven Fake, author and activist, Reading, PA David Finkel, managing editor, Against the Current, Detroit, MI Joel Finkel, Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, Solidarity Caroline Finkelstein, retired international civil servant, solidarity activist, SWITZERLAND Nathan Finkelstein, engineer, solidarity activist, SWITZERLAND First of May Anarchist Alliance Dr. Bill Friend, in memory of Rabbi Elmer Berger, Alfred M. Lilienthal and Moshe Menuhin Racheli Gai, Jewish Voice for Peace and Tucson Women in Black Phil Gasper, instructor, Madison College and contributor to the Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Madison, WI Kamran Ghasri, Israel Divestment Campaign Sherna Berger Gluck, professor emerita, California State University/Israel Divestment Campaign, CA Neta Golan, International Solidarity Movement Tony Greenstein, Secretary Brighton Unemployed Centre/UNISON, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, Brighton, UK Andrew Griggs, Caf Intifada, Los Angeles, CA Jenny Grossbard, artist, designer, writer and fighter, New York, NY Freda Guttman, activist, Montral, CANADA Adam Hanieh, lecturer, Department of Development Studies/SOAS, University of London, UK Swaneagle Harijan, anti-racism, social justice activism, Seattle, WA Sarah Hawas, researcher and solidarity activist, Cairo, EGYPT Abe Hayeem, chair, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, London, UK Rosamine Hayeem, London, UK Stanley Heller, “The Struggle” Video News, moderator “Jews Who Speak Out” Mostafa Henaway, Tadamon!, Immigrant Workers Center, Montral, CANADA Elise Hendrick, Meldungen aus dem Exil/Noticias de una multiptrida, Cincinnati, OH Doug Henwood, Left Business Observer, New York, NY Ken Hiebert, activist, Ladysmith, CANADA Fred Hirsch, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 393 San Jose, CA Louis Hirsch, Jewish Voice for Peace (for ID purposes ONLY), Chicago, IL Adam Horowitz, co-editor Mondoweiss.net Elizabeth Horowitz, solidarity activist, New York, NY Adam Hudson, writer/blogger, San Francisco Bay Area, CA Dhruv Jain, Researcher at the Jan Van Eyck Academie and PhD student at York University, Paris, FRANCE Remi Kanazi, poet and author of Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance & Palestine Tom Keefer, an editor of the journal Upping the Anti, Toronto, CANADA Karl Kersplebedeb, Left Wing Books, Montral, CANADA Anne Key, Penrith, Cumbria, UK Mark Klein, activist, Toronto, CANADA Bill Koehnlein, Brecht Forum, New York, NY Dennis Kortheuer, California State University, Israel Divestment Campaign California L.A. Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee, Los Angeles, CA Mark Lance, Georgetown University/Institute for Anarchist Studies, Washington, DC David Landy, author, Jewish Identity and Palestinian Rights: Diaspora Jewish Opposition to Israel, Dublin, IRELAND Felicia Langer Zoe Lawlor, activist, IRELAND Bob Lederer, Pacifica/WBAI producer, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, New York, NY

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January 9, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Gilad Atzmon | Stand for Peace

Gilad Atzmon is a musician and political activist. He calls himself an ex-Jew and is notorious for his extreme antisemitic views. He is already widely shunned, even on the far Left. The following quotes illustrate a selection of the views he has expressed. Jews were responsible for their persecution by the Nazis Jewish texts tend to glaze over the fact that Hitlers March 28 1933, ordering a boycott against Jewish stores and goods, was an escalation in direct response to the declaration of war on Germany by the worldwide Jewish leadership. Jewish lobbies certainly do not hold back when it comes to pressuring states, world leaders and even super powers. AIPACs behavior last week reminded me of the Jewish declaration of war against Nazi Germany in 1933. Not many people are aware that in March 1933, long before Hitler became the undisputed leader of Germany and began restricting the rights of German Jews, the American Jewish Congress announced a massive protest at Madison Square Gardens and called for an American boycott of German goods. Burning synagogues a rational act Im not going to say whether it is right or not to burn down a synagogue, I can see that it is a rationalact. Jews try to control the world, as predicted by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion We must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously. American Jewry makes any debate on whether the Protocols of the elder of Zion are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy. So far they are doing pretty well for themselves at least. The Protocols is widely considered a forgery. It is a manual for a prospective new member of the Elders, describing how they will run the world through control of the media and finance, replacing the traditional social order with one based on mass manipulation. Though the book is considered a hoax by most experts and regarded as a vile anti-Semitic text, it is impossible to ignore its prophetic qualities and its capacity to describe both the century unfolding and the political reality in which we live. Jews are inhuman and they are destroying the planet Im anti-Jewish, not anti-Jews. I think Jewish ideology is driving our planet into a catastrophe and wemust stop. Jews caused the Credit Crunch How is that America let its foreign policy be shaped by some ruthless Zionists? How come alleged American free media failed to warn the American people of the enemy within? Money is probably the answer, it indeed makes the world go round, or at least the American housing market. Throughout the centuries, Jewish bankers bought for themselves some real reputations of backers and financers of wars and even one communist revolution]. You may wonder at this stage whether I regard the credit crunch as a Zionist plot. In fact it is the opposite. It is actually a Zionist accident. The patient didnt make it to the end. This Zionist accident is a glimpse into Political Zionisms sinister agenda. This Zionist accident provides us with an opportunity to see that as far as misery is concerned, we are together with the Palestinians, the Iraqis and the Afghans. We share one enemy. Promotion of Holocaust denial The question of whether there was a mass homicide with gas or just a mass death toll due to total abuse in horrendous conditions is no doubt a crucial historical question. The fact that such a major historical chapter less than seven decades ago is scholarly [sic] inaccessible undermines the entire historical endeavour. Furthermore, unless one approves and repeats the official Holocaust narrative, one may find oneself locked behind bars. This happened lately to three rightwing history revisionists who dared to suspect the official Auschwitz narrative. .I can see these three outlaws: [David] Irving, [Ernest] Zundel and [Germar] Rudolf, the three rightwing historical revisionists who happen to be locked behind bars. While left academics are mainly concerned with signalling out Holocaust deniers telling us what is right and who is wrong, it is the revisionists who engage themselves in detailed archive work as well as forensic scrutiny. If history shapes the future, we need to liberate our perspective of the past, rather than arresting revisionists, we simply need many more of them. 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz we should reclaim our history and ask why? Why were the Jews hated? Why did European people stand up against their next door neighbours? Why are the Jews hated in the Middle East, surely they had a chance to open a new page in their troubled history? We should also ask for what purpose do the holocaust denial laws serve? What is the holocaust religion there to conceal? As long as we fail to ask questions, we will be subjected to Zionists and their Neocons agents plotsHolocaust religion robs humanity of its humanism. For the sake of peace and future generations, the holocaust must be stripped of its exceptional status immediately. It must be subjected to thorough historical scrutiny. Truth and truth seeking is an elementary human experience. It must prevail. Israel is worse than the Nazis To regard Hitler as the ultimate evil is nothing but surrendering to the Zio-centric discourse. To regard Hitler as the wickedest man and the Third Reich as the embodiment of evilness is to let Israel off the hook. To compare Olmert to Hitler is to provide Israel and Olmert with a metaphorical moral shield. It maintains Hitler at the lead and allows Olmert to stay in the tail. We should never compare Israel to Nazi Germany. As far as evilness is concerned, we should now let Israel take the lead.

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October 30, 2016   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Holocaust Day The Time Is Ripe For A Jewish Apology …

By Gilad Atzmon on January 28, 2014 Its never too late to say A mass protest in Paris on Sunday against French President Franois Hollande turned into an anti-Jewish demonstration and ended in clashes between police and protesters. Seemingly, Jewish organisations around the world are scared by the recent developments in France. Once again, they clearly failed to appreciate the growing mass fatigue of Shoah indoctrination and belligerent lobby politics. However, I would contend that instead of whining about the rise of anti-Semitism, Jews better, once and for all, learn to ask why? Why the Jews again? Why are they hated? What is it in Jewish politics that evokes so much resentment? Why does it happen time after time? It wasnt easy for me to admit in my latest book that Jewish suffering is actually embedded in Jewish culture. In other words, Jews are actually destined to bring disasters on themselves. Jewish politics and culture, unfortunately, is obnoxious, abusive, as well as racist, and supremacist to the bone. Jewish culture is set to infuriate the Goyim just because Jews are defined by negation that chilling sensation of being hated. Interestingly enough, early Zionism, was a promise to change it all. Herzl, Nordau, Borochov and Weizmann believed that a homecoming project would transform the Diaspora Jews into ethical new Israelites. They were sure that a settlement project would make the Jew lovable and respected. But they were obviously wrong. Zionism was destined to crash. In spite of being driven by anti-Jewish sentiments, Zionism was quickly defeated by Jewishness (Jewish spirit, culture and ideology). It matured into a vile chauvinist amplification of every possible crude Jewish symptom it was initially supposed to eradicate. YouTube – Veterans Today – Many Jews around the world are commemorating the Holocaust this week. But if I am correct, maybe the time is ripe for Jewish and Zionist organisations to draw the real and most important lesson from the Holocaust. Instead of constantly blaming the Goyim for inflicting pain on Jews, it is time for Jews to look in the mirror and try to identify what it is in Jews and their culture that evokes so much fury. It may even be possible that some Jews would take this opportunity to apologise to the Gentiles around them for evoking all this anger. Indeed, I take this opportunity to make an apology, even though I have not been a Jew for quite a while. The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity politics and Jewish Power in particular available on Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk ______________________________

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July 29, 2016   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

The Case of Gilad Atzmon – www.counterpunch.org

Panel at Cooper Union NYC led by Anne-Marie Slaughter, 28 September 2006: Tony Judt:I just Id just like to say one very quick thing about [the difficulty of getting anything critical of Israel into the mainstream media]. When I submitted an article about the Israeli Lobby debate that Mearsheimer and Walt kicked off to a very well known American, North American, newspaper [NY Times], I was asked by the editorial directors would I mind telling them whether Im Jewish or not. They felt it was something they would like to know before they published it. Martin Indyk: But they published it. TJ: I told them I was Jewish. (Audience laughs.) This review of Gilad Atzmons book The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics and the anti-Atzmon essay by Ali Abunimah and some 20 co-signatories called Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon is an effort to unite the movement for one secular, democratic state (ODS) in historic Palestine of which both Atzmon and Abunimah are adherents. Edward Said wrote, The absence of a collective end to which all are committed has crippled Palestinian efforts not just in the official realm, but even among private associations, where personality conflicts, outright fights, and disgraceful backbiting hamper our every step. In his last years Said put such a collective end into words for coexistence between Jews and Arabs in one state and now, at the end of a decade that has witnessed outstanding articles, books and conferences articulating this vision, a chasm opens up. If our effort is not to be crippled both sides must bury the hatchet. Abunimah, Omar Barghouti, Rafeef Ziadah and other signatories, as well as other ODS supporters known to me who have disavowed Atzmon, have made enormous contributions to justice for Palestinians. Their accusations are worth examining, which requires examining The Wandering Who? and some of Atzmons blogs and videos with an eye out for the racism, antisemitism and Holocaust denial of which Granting accuses him. I havent read everything, of course, and there are certainly mistakes in my judgment, so I welcome any feedback and debate. The call for disavowal accuses Atzmon of 5 trespasses: (1) He claims to speak for Palestinians. (2) He denies that Zionism is settler-colonialist. (3) He believes that to self-identify as a Jew is to be a Zionist. (4) He denies the Holocaust. (5) He is an antisemite, a racist. Two general observations: First, Grantings accusations are formulated indirectly, not in so many words; but a reading of the short document shows that these are what it boils down to. Second, Granting itself does not include any proof or evidence for the accusations; there are no examinations of Atzmons texts, even out of context. Neither are there explicit definitions of the terms racist and antisemitic that would by rights accompany such severe accusations. For such more detailed definitions and arguments I have searched the web in vain, but of course the web is large, and if I have missed something I hope somebody tells me. Im restricting my analysis almost entirely to Wandering on the assumption that evidence for the accusations would be there, if anywhere. Strictly speaking there is thus no case, only claims. Atzmon is innocent till proven guilty. It is unfair, difficult and inefficient to put the burden of proof on the accused. Nevertheless, Ive read the book carefully and ended up writing a defense of it that includes several criticisms, quoting Atzmon at length along the way. Please also see the favourable reviews by Mazin Qumsiyeh and John Mearsheimer, and a less favourable one by Elias Davidson. I ignore denunciations of Atzmon by Alan Dershowitz, Tony Greenstein and Jeffrey Goldberg because they consist of associative thinking and are based on often-unreferenced quotations out of context. Preceding Granting, in late February 2012, was a similar critique of Wandering that actually contains 12 quotations from Atzmon. The five accusations (1) Guiding the Palestinian struggle Granting claims that Atzmon for many years now has taken on the self-appointed task of defining for the Palestinian movement the nature of our struggle, and the philosophy underpinning it. Since I am sure the Granting signatories do not reject all ideas of all outsiders, this leaves it unclear what counts as acceptable opinion and support. It is moreover legitimate for Atzmon and other Israeli citizens to advocate visions of the future of their country necessarily including Palestinians. Grantings concern becomes clearer through the further statementthat As Palestinians, it is our collective responsibility, whether we are in Palestine or in exile, to assert our guidance of our grassroots liberation struggle. Atzmon has in fact elsewhere agreed with this: It is our duty (as human beings) to show our support to the Palestinian people but we are not allowed to tell them what to do. We are not allowed to tell them what is right or wrong, we can only offer ourselves as soldiers Ignoring the absurdity of the idea of telling Palestinians what to do, roles between the oppressed and those in solidarity with them must always be negotiated. In this case however I know that there is almost total agreement between Atzmon and the principles of the movement guided by the signatories: Right of Return, equality not apartheid within Israel, liberation of the West Bank and Gaza, and perhaps even a preference for one over two states. (2) Settler-colonialism Granting claims that Zionism, to Atzmon, is not a settler-colonial project The text of Wandering does not support this claim. Atzmon in several places explicitly affirms that Zionism is settler-colonial. (pp 9, 88, 101, 165) In apparent contradiction, he does in one place write that it is not a colonial movement with an interest in Palestine. (p 19) In my reading this means it is not just a run-of-the-mill colonial movement out for economic or geopolitical gain: there is no mother country unless it is world Jewry, and Zionisms only colony is Palestine, which was chosen over Argentina and Uganda for cultural and/or religious reasons. Atzmon elsewhere objects to the misleading colonialism paradigm because he regards Zionism as a unique racialist project, not motivated by material exploitation for the (non-existent) homeland. Atzmon is basically asserting that the settler-colonialist paradigm is not sufficient to explain Zionism: Zionist events like the attack on the Mavi Marmara, dropping White Phosphorus on Gaza, slicing up the Holy Land with separation walls, and indeed the original expulsion of the vast majority of the Palestinian indigenous population just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz have nothing to do with the colonialist nature of the Jewish state (pp 181-182) To be sure, the term nothing overstates the case, but his claim is that more than colonialism is involved. Im inclined to agree when I read for instance Netanyahus December 2012 statement that We live in a Jewish state, and Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. The Western Wall is not occupied territory. We will build in Jerusalem because this is our right. (3) Jewish political identity Granting interprets Atzmons complex sociological concept of Jewish-ness to mean that Zionismispart and parcel of defining ones self as a Jew. Therefore, he claims, one cannot self-describe as a Jew and also do work in solidarity with Palestine, because to identify as a Jew is to be a Zionist. Now, to say that self-identifying as a Jew entails Zionism is prima facie absurd, and I do not find the claim in Wandering. I agree with Granting that Atzmon is wrong in his blanket criticism of anti-Zionist Jewish groups. I also find Atzmon at places abstruse on this issue of the relation between world Jewry, Jewish ideology and Zionism. But confusion is abated when we realise that his definition of Zionism differs from the standard, broad movement for a Jewish state in Palestine. Rather: I suggest that it makes far more sense to regard Zionism as a tribal Jewish preservation project [aiming at] the prevention of assimilation[] Accordingly, Zionism should be seen as an amalgam of different philosophies specialising in different forms of tribal separatism, disengagement and segregation. (p 70) Atzmon is thus talking only about a political self-identity, so Granting misrepresents him. Atzmon sets up three non-exclusive basic categories: Jews (the people), Judaism (the religion) and Jewish-ness (the ideology) or identity politics, or political discourse. (p 15) The book does not criticise Jews, the first category, does criticise a few aspects of Judaism, the second, and argues for 200 pages against the third, Jewish-ness, and against those who put their Jewish-ness over and above all of their other traits. (p 16) I am confused as to whether Atzmon wants to say that politically identifying with Jewish-ness entails Zionism. In numerous places criticises or laughs at Jewish tribalism (pp 19, 32, 56, 113, 116, 164-165, 172, 181-184), writing that to identify politically as a Jew and to wonder what is good for the Jews is the true essence of Jewish tribal thinking… (p 184) Zionism united the tribe on many levels (p 46) and is grounded on a very specific realisation of the Jewish identity as a synthesis of racial awareness, religious awareness and nationalistic awareness. But while Jewish-ness is an ethnically-based political ideology, Atzmon doesnt show that non-Zionist Jewish political identities are inconceivable. Grantings signatories must have misread the sentence, To be a Zionist means to accept that, more than anything else, one is primarily a Jew. (p 19) This says that all Zionists are 3rd-category Jews, not the reverse. The context moreover is a specific discussion of sanayim, Mossad agents living abroad. I do however fault Atzmons statement that considering the racist, expansionist Judeo-centric nature of the Jewish State, the Diaspora Jew finds himself or herself intrinsically associated with a bigoted, ethnocentric ideology and an endless list of crimes against humanity. (p 48) What does intrinsically associated mean? Merely being associated (by others) with something bad is one thing; but when this is intrinsic it could mean that the bad thing is indeed part and parcel of being a Diaspora Jew. (4) Holocaust denial Atzmon throughout acknowledges the Holocaust, shoah or Judeocide, asserting however that it should be studied historically like other ethnic exterminations. (pp 43, 70, 130-131, 154, 175-176, 182, 185-186) And we need to see how the Holocaust is used in the destruction of the Palestinians a position shared by Yeshayahu Leibowitz, Adi Ophir, Norman Finkelstein and Marc Ellis. (pp 148-152, 162) I do find imprecision in his statement that the Holocaust [is] not an historical narrative, for historical narratives do not need the protection of the law and politicians (p149); to be consistent with everything he writes about the Holocaust this should read not merely an historical narrative. Atzmon recalls, As much as I was a sceptic youngster, I was also horrified by the Holocaust. In the 1970s Holocaust survivors were part of our social landscape. They were our neighbours, we met them in our family gatherings, in the classroom, in politics, in the corner shop. They were part of our lives. The dark numbers tattooed on their white arms never faded away. It always had a chilling effect. Yet I must mention that I can hardly recall a single Holocaust survivor who ever attempted to manipulate me emotionally. (pp 185-186) Further, It is the Holocaust that eventually made me a devoted supporter of Palestinian rights, resistance and the Palestinian right of return. (p 186) An earlier blog reads, [T]he form of Holocaust denial that really bothers me is the denial of the on-going Palestinian Holocaust. This Holocaust is documented and covered daily by the western media. The turning of residential Palestinian cities into concentration camps; the deliberate starvation of the Palestinian population; the withholding of medical aid from Palestinian civilians; the wall that tears the holy land into isolated cantons and Bantustans; the continuous bombardment of civilians by the IAF are known to us all. This Holocaust is committed by the Jewish state with the support of world Jewry. This accusation by Granting is absurd. (5) Racism and antisemitism Atzmon writes nothing against Jews by origin, i.e. against anybody based on their genetic heritage or race; yet this would be the precondition for justifying the allegation of antisemitism/racism because semitic refers to an ethnos or race. I trust moreover that some of his best friends are Jewish, and he vows: I will present a harsh criticism of Jewish politics and identity. Yet there will not be a single reference to Jews as ethnicity or race This book doesnt deal with Jews as a people or ethnicity. If anything, my studies of the issue suggest that Jews do not form any kind of racial continuum[] I also refrain from criticisng Judaism. Instead, I confront different interpretations of the Judaic code. I deal with Jewish Ideology, Jewish identity politics, and the Jewish political discourse. I ask what being a Jew entails. (p 15; also pp 147-148) Again, his first two categories religious Jews and Jews by origin are harmless and innocent. (p 16) No one is calling for harm to Jews. (p 131) Atzmon does once lambaste Judaism for tribalism because it so closely adheres to an ethnic rather than religious concept of itself (p 113) and sees a continuum between the Bible and Zionism (pp 120-122). But he says clearly, I am against racism and in fact in my writing you wont find a single racial reference. Moreover, when I write about Jewish identity I analyse it in ideological and philosophical terms. For me Jewishness is a mind set. Nothing to do with the quality of ones blood or the religion of ones mother. He does unfortunately make several statements that refer to Jews where Jewish-ness or Zionist would be more accurate and consistent with the whole book. He for instance writes of European and American Jews who have assimilated and cast aside their Jewish identity, where he means their Jewish political identity or identification with the tribe. (pp 64-65) He rightly says that all Jewish Zionists sign up to the Jewish-ness ideology, but he should avoid any ambiguity suggesting that all Jews adhere to Jewish-ness. Blurring occurs when he omits the qualifier political in writing of the Jew within, the Jewish understanding of the past or occasionally of Jewish identity. (pp 95, 173, 135) He does however usually precisely include it, for example in writing that one can hardly endorse a universal philosophy while being identified politically as a Jew. (p 39; also pp 102, 138, 145, 174) Imprecision burdens as well the statement that Jewish people can never be like other people, for those who demand to be seen as equal must feel inherently and categorically different. (p 52) I also miss clear definitions for the phrases the Jewish condition (p 184) and the wider Jewish problem. (p 15) Atzmons use of the phrase Jewish lobbyists (pp 152, 171) has been challenged, clarity speaking for Israel lobby or Zionist lobby. It is however at least mitigating that most Jewish Zionist lobbyists themselves refer to themselves and their organisations as Jewish, and that Zionists themselves appropriate Jewish identities to oppress Palestinian Arabs for instance with the Holocaust (pp 130-134) or Judaic symbols on fighter planes (p 140). As Zionist Michael Bar-Zohar puts it, If youre attacking Israel, this means you are attacking Jews. But why should one language-rule be valid for pro-Israel lobbies and another for its critics? (pp 149-151) Granting in addition accuses Atzmon of allying himself with conspiracy theories, far-right, orientalist, and racist arguments, associations and entities, but offers no evidence, nor even a definition of what allying would look like. I urge Atzmon to make his language less ambiguous, but given that he is criticising what he sees as the dominant Jewish political culture, not Jews in general, his book in fact supports Grantings position that our struggle was never, and will never be, with Jews, or Judaism, no matter how much Zionism insists that our enemies are the Jews. Rather, our struggle is with Zionism. Anti-Jewish-ness Benny Morris, in an interview with Jewish Chronicle and Guardian Zionist Jonathan Freedland, defends himself against Freedlands suggestion that his critical, negative claims about Arab culture could be seen as racist by rejoining that he [like Atzmon] is speaking of a dominant political culture, not Arabs as a genetically defined ethnic group. Morriss ambiguities are between statements that all Arabs or a majority of Arabs or Arabs or Arab culture(s) place relatively low value on human life, but it seems the generalising nature of sociological analysis always entails a degree of conflation between (1) the dominant norms of the group and (2) all members of the group. Nietzsche walked the same tightrope in his Kulturkritik of Christianity. But the issue is the quality of Morriss or Atzmons or Nietzsches empirical evidence and cultural analysis a well-known academic field not whether any such investigation is racist. It is not, since there is no appeal to ethnic causality which is the criterion for both positive (e.g. philosemitic) and negative (e.g. antisemitic) racism. The advertisement for Wandering claims: Since Israel defines itself openly as the Jewish State, we should ask what the notions of Judaism, Jewishness, Jewish culture and Jewish ideology stand for. The Jewish state and its behaviour is an explicandum of the first order, costing as it does Palestinian lives and livelihoods. He quotes Israels first president: There are no English, French, German or American Jews, but only Jews living in England, France, Germany or America. In just a few words, Weizmann managed to categorically define the essence of Jewish-ness. (p 16) With this concept he hopes to correct and add to our understanding of Zionism. Atzmon told Haaretz: 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, their fields and houses, and thats it. The refugees will come home and the Jews will also finally be liberated: They will be free in their country and will be able to be like all the nations, get on with their lives and even salvage the bad reputation they have brought on themselves in the past 2,000 years. But for Netanyahu and the Israelis to do that, 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. The anti-Zionist as well as the pro-Zionist discourse cannot be separated from the Jewish discourse. At a One Democratic State conference in Stuttgart in 2010, attended by both Atzmon and Abunimah, the latter argued that this culture category is useless: I think that to use language that blames a particular culture [Atzmon] was talking about Jewish culture is wrong [applause] because such arguments could be made about anyone. We could blame German culture for the history of Germany, we could blame British culture for the history of British imperialism, we could blame Afrikaner culture for apartheid in South Africa. And this really doesnt explain anything at all. (emphasis added) Atzmon counters that this is what historians, sociologists, anthropologists, intellectuals are doing when they try to understand historical and political development. The historians and sociologists who look into the Nazi era, dont they look into German culture, into German philosophy, into the work of Wagner, both as a writer and as a composer, into the work of Hegel, and the German spirit, into Christian antisemitism, and the impact of the Protestant church, dont they look into a Martin Luther, and his infamous book about the Jews and their lives? Dont they look into German Early Romanticism? We are in the 21st century. We understand very well that culture, politics, history, heritage, religions, are all bonded together. Abunimahs position is of course untenable, while at the same time it remains to be seen whether Atzmons concept of Jewish-ness really earns its keep. Perhaps Jewish-ness is not strictly necessary to refute Zionism and support ODS. However, on the principle of know thine enemy it may assist us in fighting Zionism and negotiating with Israel were it ever to come to the table. I moreover submit that analysing the hoary topic of what it is to be a Jew is of much interest to many Jews who are now doubting their support of the Jewish state. It seems to me that the issue can contribute to both an intra-Jewish discussion and to the discussion of how to stop the Jewish states murderous ethnic cleansing. Why should it do only one or the other? One Granting signatory, Omar Barghouti, has sought in terms similar to Atzmons to explain Zionist crimes against Palestinians, the relative-humanization of Palestinians, and how Zionists live with it. His explanatory concept is Jewish fundamentalism, relying partly on the thought of Israel Shahak to find cold-bloodedness and justification for Jewish ethnic superiority in some tenets of Jewish Law. The Midianite genocide and certain Torah passages provide precedents for what is happening today. Atzmon likewise relates Israeli behaviour to Biblical precedents (pp 120-122, 157-162), yet in the main looks at secular Jewish culture, whereas Barghouti is perhaps focusing only on religious Jewish culture. Or, if it is not Atzmons anti-Jewish-ness that Barghouti finds racist, antisemitic and Holocaust-denying, what is it? As for the content of Jewish-ness in the broadest terms merely Judeo-centric political discourse (pp 88, 55, 145, 197) Atzmon characterises it as (1) exclusivist, (2) based on the uniqueness of Jewish suffering, (3) supremacist and (4) uncannily paralleling some Old Testament stories. (pp 121, 160, 188) He writes for instance that assimilation has never been presented as a Jewish political call. It was rather individual Jews who welcomed and enjoyed European liberal tendencies. The Jewish political call was inspired by different means of tribal, cultural or even racially-orientated segregation. (p 32) As evidence that it is more tribal than many other groups Atzmon points to a relatively high resistance to assimilation, strong halachic marriage rules (procreative isolation), and high hurdles for conversion to Judaism. (pp 19, 32, 56, 113, 116, 164-165, 172) The bridge to Zionism, in Atzmons view, seems to be that a combination of exile, cohesion and chosenness, together with feelings of unique suffering, led to both a strong desire for an ethnically-defined rather than secular-democratic state and a sense of righteousness (and thoroughness) in its establishment at the expense of indigenous people. I dont know much about either Judaism or Jewishness, but I think Atzmons evidence for the trait of supremacy is inadequate. (see pp 2, 101, 181-182) True, Zionist acts are racially supremacist, but the book does not give a rigorous proof that feelings of ethnic superiority inhere in the Jewish political culture. But this is a question of content; that he writes about it is certainly kosher. We should perhaps not forget that Hess, Jabotinsky, Weizmann and all Israeli politicians have tied the state as closely as possible to Jewish history and culture. (pp 16-17, 139) The Law of Return, the Jewish National Fund, Jews-only settlements and roads, the very concept of Eretz Israel, and Israels Declaration of Independence are racist. Negative Kulturkritik is not. Atzmon unexpectedly even has a good word for Jewish-ness in seeing its complexity and the duality of tribalism and universalism at the very heart of the collective secular Jewish identity (pp 148, 162, 56) Secular collective Jewish identity is made up of bothelements, Athens and Jerusalem. (pp 56, 57, 78) In conciliatory mode he ambivalently asserts that while there is no such thing as a Jewish humanist heritage there are some remote patches of humanism in Jewish culture, [which however] are certainly far from being universal. (p 113) By reference to the ethnic particularism of Jewish-ness he suggests an answer to the question How is it that Israel and its lobbies are so blind to any form of ethical or universal thinking? (p 177, emphasis added) Another writer seeking connection between Jewish resources and a universal, egalitarian ethics is Judith Butler, whose new book Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism promises a rewarding look at this topic which should be debated, not silenced by the charge of antisemitism or denying the legitimacy of cultural explanations in principle. Imagine an exam question: Is the following statement antisemitic?: The reopening of the tunnel [beneath al-Haram al-Sharif] seems an act of arrogant triumphalism, a sort of rubbing of Palestinian and Muslim noses in the dirt. This had the added effect of pouring fuel on the smoldering sectarian competition that has been the citys long-standing bane. I do not think there is any doubt that this Lukud assertion of what is unmistakably Jewish power over Muslim holy places was intended to show the world that Judaism can do what it wants. Atzmon speaks of Jewish nationalism, Jewish lobbying and Jewish power (p 145), interpreted perhaps by Granting with the somewhat vague phrase attacking Jewish identities. But cannot one speak of a political ideology that sees itself as Jewish using the term Jewish with its bundle of ethnic, religious, and political meanings? Taboos Atzmon asks several taboo questions. I think that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled to start asking questions We should strip the Holocaust of its Judeo-centric exceptional status and treat it as an historical chapter that belongs to a certain time and place. The Holocaust, like every other historical narrative, must be analysed properly Why were the Jews hated? Why did European people stand up against their neighbours? Why are the Jews hated in the Middle East, surely they had a chance to open a new page in their troubled history? If they geniunely planned to do so, as the early Zionists claimed, why did they fail? (pp 175-176) People who place such questions out of bounds are doomed to think that anti-Semitism is an irrational social phenomenon that erupts out of nowhere. Accordingly they must believe that the Goyim are potentially mad. (p 182) It is a matter of simple logic that to ask why Jews were hated in Europe is not to presuppose that there were good reasons. Another excerpt: It took me many years to understand that the Holocaust, the core belief of the contemporary Jewish faith, was not at all an historical narrative [for] historical narratives do not need the protection of the law and political lobbies. It took me years to grasp that my great-grandmother wasnt made into a soap or a lampshade as I was taught in Israel. She probably perished of exhaustion, typhus or maybe even by mass shooting The fate of my great-grandmother was not so different from hundreds of thousands of German civilians who died in deliberate, indiscriminate bombing, just because they were Germans. Similarly, people in Hiroshima died just because they were Japanese [As devastating as it was], at a certain moment in time, a horrible chapter was given an exceptional meta-historical status. (pp 175, 149) The Holocaust religion freezes a certain narrative in law while Holocaust research follows normal historiographic rules; the claim of its uniqueness is philosemitic, and its severity is used to justify, with the logic of two wrongs making a right, the ethnic cleansing of people having nothing to do with the Holocaust. (pp 148-153) Evil questions came naturally to Atzmon: [At age 14 he] asked the emotional tour guide if she could explain the fact that so many Europeans loathed the Jews so much and in so many places at once. I was thrown out of school for a week. (p 184) As long as we fail to ask questions, we will be subjected to Zionist lobbies and their plots. We will continue killing in the name of Jewish suffering. (p 176) Ben White has similarly asked, Is it possible to understand the rise in anti-semitism? This requires defining both antisemitic and understand. One poll question asked people if they can understand very well that some people are unpleasant towards Jews. While White is not anti-Semitic and not unpleasant towards Jews, he can understand why some are. First, Israel subscribes to the racial supremacy of Jews, and Zionists equate their colonial project with Judaism, and although reacting to this racism and injustice with attacks on Jews or Jewish property [is] misguided, it can be understood politically. Second, since the Western media are overwhelmingly pro-Israel, some people believe, again misguidedly, the idea of a Jewish conspiracy. We must live with the ambiguity of the word understand. Similarly, when Atzmon calls violence against non-combatants who are Jewish by origin rational, we must acknowledge the ambiguity of the term rational, which doesnt mean morally justified. Atzmon defends his statement that burning down a synagogue can be a rational act by explaining that by rational he means that any form of anti-Jewish activity may be seen as political retaliation. This does not make it right. One can ask why such violence occurs, just as we can ask why the Jewish state commits and condones violence against innocent Palestinians and the destruction of olive trees and water cisterns. It can be Israeli racism, but it could also be rational behaviour for Israels security. Antisemitism expert Antony Lerman, also, has noted that many acts against Jews in Europe were tied to Israels unjust behaviour they were political, not irrational in the sense of arbitrary, or necessarily motivated solely by hate of Jews. Another hot topic that might can approach solely in terms of Zionism, not Jewish-ness, is that of the economic, political and media power of Zionists who are also Jews in part motivated by allegiance to their ethnic group. Atzmon covers this briefly (169-172), his Exhibit A being the ardently pro-Zionist Jewish Chronicles listing of the relatively large number of Jews in the UK Parliament (all hard or soft Zionists). Exhibit B is billionaire Haim Saban who says, according to a New Yorker portrait, Im a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel [The Arab] terrorists give me a potch in the panim;he openly seeks influence in political parties, think tanks and media outlets, has tried to buy the LA Times and NY Times to push his agenda, and harbors a wariness of Arabs that may stem from growing up as a Jew in Egypt. To declare out of bounds the subject of Jewish, as opposed to merely Zionist, influence in politics, finance and media is to claim that support for Zionism by many powerful people has nothing at all to do with the fact that they are Jewish, or rather, that they politically identify as Jews. Xstrata boss Mick Daviss charity United Jewish Israel Appeal (Powering young people in the UK and Israel, Strengthening Jewish identity and the connection to Israel), is merely pro-Israel; in spite of its name, its slogans and its activities furthering Judaisation in the Galil and the Negev, it has nothing to do with Jewishness, no ethno-cultural content whatsoever. The Anti-Defamation League in the US, on this view, is merely a group protecting Jews from antisemitism, only coincidentally pro-Israel. Everybody knows this is fiction, and the subject appears taboo for critics but not for supporters of Zionism. Again, one can strip Herzls movement for a Judenstaat to its settler-colonialist bones, but given an interest in promoting pro-Palestinian public opinion, one can look at this subject soberly, with no antisemitic intent. Whether Jewish-ness and Zionism connect here, and whether this makes any difference in understanding Zionist oppression of Palestinians, are open questions, and I for one look for Zionist rather than Jewish publicists. But why should this be taboo? At any rate, on this subject Atzmon delivers a one-liner: As I have said earlier, I do not believe in Jewish conspiracies: everything done in the open. (p 76) But his real view is that In fact the opposite [than a conspiracy] is the case. It isnt a plot and certainly not a conspiracy for it was all in the open. It is actually an accident. (pp 30, 21) To be avoided is the situation where only supporters of Israel can point to ethnic-ideological connections while critics of Israel cannot. If we want to understand the entity committing the Palestinicide, the only line to be drawn is at hate speech based on ethnic, racial and religious criteria. My objections The ambiguity of Jewish As shown above, some of Atzmons statements fail to distinguish clearly between his 2nd and 3rd categories between Jews by biological origin and those whose priority is their (Jewish) cultural identity and could thus be read as antisemitic. I find however no evidence of hate of, distaste for, or even criticism of, Jews. Complicating judgment of these statements is the fact that when they are philosemitic they are not, in our mainstream discourse, seen as objectionable. (p 51) Not only Jewish humour, but quotidian political analysis routinely refers to Jewish not Zionist or Israeli identity. One Israeli analyst for instance correlates Israeli right and left stances with where on our scale of identity we place Jewish identity, quoting Netanyahu saying, The leftists have forgotten what it is to be Jewish. Still, I believe Atzmon should avoid sentences that use the unqualified terms Jews or Jewish when the subject is identity politics. The statement I grasped that Israel and Zionism were just parts of the wider Jewish problem (p 15) is understood by those familiar with a long intra-Jewish discourse, but not by the wider world. It takes a lot of context to de-fuse a statement like, With contempt, I am actually elaborating on the Jew in me the context coming three paragraphs later, namely that Jewish-ness isnt at all a racial category (pp 94-95) Tribal supremacy As already touched on, while the Jewish supremacy of the Jewish states Zionism is obvious, Wandering does not demonstrate to my satisfaction that Jewish-ness is supremacist. Now if Jewish political culture (Jewish-ness) is Zionism, the claim is tautologically true, but Atzmon maintains throughout that they are different. To be sure, adherence to any ethnically- or religiously-defined group arguably implies a belief that the group is a bit better than rival groups: upholding trklk, or saying I am a Christian says something about Kurds, and perhaps Islam, as well. But Atzmons claim is not only open to empirical examination, it is not a claim about (all) Jews as an ethnicity, and therefore not racist. Nevertheless, because this claim is so central to building the bridge between Jewish-ness and Zionism it deserves more argument. Jews Against Zionism Atzmon criticises groups that mix ethnic Jewish identity with the non-ethnic political goals of socialism and anti-Zionism; they put their Jewish-ness above the content of their political stance in addition to excluding non-Jews. (pp 62, 71-76, 86-87, 102-105) Groups such as British Jewish Socialists, Jews for Boycott of Israeli Goods, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, or Jewish Voice for Peace remain, he says, within the discourse of ethnicism rather than universal humanism: Even saying I do not agree with Israel although I am a Jew is to fall into the trap. Having fallen into the trap, one cannot leave the clan behind one can hardly endorse a universal philosophy while being identified politically as a Jew. (pp 38-39)

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