National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel "Special Relationship" on March 7, 2014 at the National Press Club.
Jeffrey Blankfort is a journalist and radio programmer. His articles have appeared in CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Mondoweiss, Pulse Media, Left Curve, The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and the Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. He currently hosts a twice monthly program on international affairs for KZYX, the public radio station for Mendocino County in Northern California where he now lives.
Blankfort was a founding member of the November 29th Committee on Palestine, a co-founder of the Labor Committee on the Middle East and editor of its publication, The Middle East Labor Bulletin (1988-1995).
Atzmon writes on political matters, social issues, Jewish identity and culture. His papers are published on very many press outlets around the world. Here is just a short list of his recent publications: World News, Press Tv, Rebelion, The Daily Telegraph, Uprooted Palestinians, Veterans Today, Palestine Telegraph, Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Aljazeera Magazine, Information Clearing House, Middle-East-Online, Palestine Chronicle, The People Voice, Redress, Shoa (The Palestinian Holocaust) , The Guardian, transcend and many more.
Gilad and All That Jazz
Now on Amazon.com Instant Video for $1.99 (USA only)
Gilad Atzmon is one of modern music's most respected musicians. He is also a controversial public opponent of Israel. Born into a pro-Zionist family and serving in the first Lebanon War, Gilad had a dramatic turnaround. He quit the army, picked up his sax and exiled himself to London, declaring ...
Directed by: Golriz Kolahi
Runtime: 1 hour 4 minutes
Gilad Atzmon's New Book: The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics
Jewish identity is tied up with some of the most difficult and contentious issues of today. The purpose in this book is to open many of these issues up for discussion. 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. Gilad examines the tribal aspects embedded in Jewish secular discourse, both Zionist and anti Zionist; the ‘holocaust religion’; the meaning of ‘history’ and ‘time’ within the Jewish political discourse; the anti-Gentile ideologies entangled within different forms of secular Jewish political discourse and even within the Jewish left. He questions what it is that leads Diaspora Jews to identify themselves with Israel and affiliate with its politics. The devastating state of our world affairs raises an immediate demand for a conceptual shift in our intellectual and philosophical attitude towards politics, identity politics and history.
National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel "Special Relationship" on March 7, 2014 at the National Press Club.
Presentation at the National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel "Special Relationship" on March 7, 2014 at the National Press Club.
Stephen M. Walt is professor of International Affairs at Harvard University; previously taught at Princeton University, University of Chicago; consultant for the Institute of Defense Analyses, the Center for Naval Analyses, and the National Defense University. He presently serves on the editorial boards of Foreign Policy, Security Studies, International Relations, and Journal of Cold War Studies.
Walt also serves as Co-Editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs. Author of The Origins of Alliances, which received the 1988 Edgar S. Furniss National Security Book Award and, with co-author John J. Mearsheimer of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.
World leaders and Jewish groups condemned a leaflet handed out in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk in which Jews were told to "register" with the pro-Russian militants who have taken over a government office in an attempt to make Ukraine part of Russia, according to Ukrainian and Israeli media.
To read more: http://www.usatoday.com/
The Frost Programme - Oswald Mosley (15th Nov 1967)
David Frost confronts Mosely, Frost is very sharp, funny at times. But Mosely, former head of the British Union of Fascists, stands firm. He holds his position and presents his rational. They discuss the alliance with Hitler, racism and anti Semitsm. Around 14 minutes in, the Jewish mob attacks. This is a must watch!
DEBATE - Anti-Semitism: myth or reality
A Talk Given By Gilad Atzmon @ The Albion Beatnik Book Shop, Oxford, UK
April 15, 2014
Good evening book lovers and wisdom seekers.
As some of you have realised the title of this debate morphed slightly since I initiated it. The discussion was first titled ‘Anti-Semitism, A Myth or A Threat.’ We are now supposed to engage in a dialogue on ‘Racism, a Myth or a Threat.’
Ladies and gentleman, this shift in the title is, actually, more significant than it first appears. It is actually a manifestation of our confusion and fear of looking at Jewish identity, politics, culture and ideology.
There is no doubt amongst scholars that Jews, as a group, derive from multiple ethnic origins and are far from a homogenous race. There is no racial continuum between a Polish Jew and a Yemenite one. But it is also obvious that Jewish political culture, whether Zionist or ‘anti’ is ethno-centric and, to a large extent, racially driven. Just like Israel, the Jews-only State, Israel’s Jewish opponents too often prefer to operate within Jews-only organisations such as ‘Jewish Voices For Peace,’ ‘ Jews for Justice,‘ etc’. In short, whether they are Zionist or ‘anti,’ Jews somehow prefer to operate in ethnically segregated racially oriented political cells.
The conclusion is obvious -though Jews are not a race, Jewish identity politics is racist to the core.
We can now rephrase the title of the debate slightly and ask whether Jewish racism is a myth or a threat. Let me tell you straight away, this won’t lead into an interesting discussion. Jewish racism is evident and it is certainly a threat.
Five million ethnically cleansed Palestinians can confirm that this is the case. Their brothers and sisters that stayed behind, against all odds, can tell you about Israeli ethno- centrism and racially discriminatory laws. Even here, in the UK, my Palestinian friend, the poet, Naiad Izzat, was expelled from a Palestinian solidarity group by so- called good Jewish socialists just for saying what she thinks about Jewish culture and politics. So here is another embarrassing conclusion. Jewish racism is easily visible as a threat but for some reason we cannot address it in the open.
I guess that by now we are ready to tackle the initial topic of this debate. Anti-Semitism, is it a myth or a threat?
Let us first make sure that we understand the terminology involved.
At a certain stage, largely at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, some elements within European intelligencia were fascinated by Darwinism and its political applications. It was then that opposition to Jewry adopted a racist rationale. Some political thinkers and movements were clearly opposed to Jews just for being Jews. Such opposition could be recognized as an essentialist tendency that is racially driven and is often tagged as anti-Semitism. However, I believe that this rationale had been defeated by the end of WWII.
As a leading commentator on Jewish identity, I am closely familiar with pretty much every critical text related to Jewish politics. I can confirm that I have never come across contemporary opposition to Jewry that is blood or biologically related. I can’t point to any body of work or political call to oppose Jews for being Jews. But I have seen many texts that criticise Jewish racism, culture and politics.
You will have to ask yourself, maybe for the first time, is cultural criticism wrong? Is political criticism a crime? Should a certain kind of politics be free from criticism? Elaborating on these questions may lead us to a better understanding of the notion of Jewish power. Jewish power isn’t solely the manifestation of the dominance of certain Jews within our political, cultural and financial landscape. Jewish power is primarily the capacity to stop us from discussing the true meaning of such Jewish dominance.
We tend to believe that politics of any kind must be subject to thorough criticism. We don’t stop ourselves from criticising the BNP or David Cameron. We do not seem to hesitate before we criticize the Muslim Brotherhood, but try to comment on Ed or David Miliband’s support of Israel and the Zionist project. Alternatively make an attempt to question what is the meaning of the Jewishness of the Jewish State. You will quickly face a wall of resistance, and may end up subject to a smear campaign by the so-called progressive Jews. The truth is that Jewish power, i.e. the aggressive attempt to conceal the real meaning of Jewishness, is actually maintained by the Jewish Left.
The Kosher Trinity and the Jewish Quantum Mechanics
We will now try to grasp the mechanism by which this suppression of political criticism has taken place.
Due to emancipation, secularization and the rise of nationalism, European Jewry went through a radical transformation during the 19th century. By 1897, we saw the formation of two Jewish nationalist movements. One was Zionism – a promise to ‘civilize’ the diaspora Jew by means of resettlement in Zion (Palestine). The other was the Bund – a ‘socialist Jews only movement’ that demanded the rights of a nation for the Yiddish people in Eastern Europe.
Israeli historian Shlomo Sand argues that these two movements contributed towards the invention of the ‘Jewish Nation.’ It was the invention of the Jewish nation that brought about a new kosher trinity – as opposed to theo-centric rabbinical Judaism,- modern Jewish secular identity is related to Race (a biological bond), Nationalism (a common narrative) and Religion (a fantasy of common beginnings and heritage referred to as Yiddishkeit ).
The kosher Trinity is coherent and consistent, yet a sinister amalgam. Let’s, for instance, examine the Zionist call: as a race ‘the Jews are victims,’ as a Nation ‘they deserve a place under the sun’ and for their religion ‘this place must be Zion.’
Although many Jews operate politically, and in most cases aggressively as Jews, they somehow defy any criticism of themselves in the name of racism and religious intolerance.
When you criticize Israeli policy, the Zionist Jew will denounce you as a racist. When you disapprove of the racist and supremacist tendency entangled with Judaism and the Talmud, the progressive Jew will accuse you of religious intolerance. But when you expect the cosmopolitan Jew to uphold his alleged universal commitment to humanity and to remove himself from his Jews- only progressive cell and join humanity for real, you are immediately blamed for being intolerant culturally, religiously and even a racist.
What we see here in practice is a new form of Jewish Quantum mechanics. The political Jew is everywhere and nowhere at once. The political Jew is a dynamic and coherent and yet, somehow blurred. You can never comprehend what it is or where to find it exactly, but you can be sure that it is somewhere within an imaginary tri-polar magnetic field that is formed by Jewish racism, aggressive nationalism and vague and versatile Jewish religious adherence. The Jewish political subject is bouncing endlessly between these three magnetic forces. It is never standing still, it is never found on once place -it moves, morphs and adapts
May I admit that so-called anti Semites may skip the above physical metaphors and instead refers to the Jew as a chameleon. Interestingly enough, Woody Allen’s Zelig may as well be a cinematic attempt to deal with this Jewish morphic condition.
Now, let’s face it. At least theoretically speaking there is nothing wrong with being racially oriented, we do not campaign against Blacks who celebrate their blackness. Nationalism can be an uplifting feeling and religious rituals can purify the spirit. But, unfortunately, none of these positive potential characteristics can be ascribed to Jewish ID politics. Tragically, modern Jewish politics is always celebrated at the expense of someone else. The Zionists plundered Palestine, the Neocon suffocates Arab land with uranium depleted shells in the name of morals, the good cosmopolitan Jew rushed to Spain to kill Catholics and burn their churches in the name of the ‘proletariat’. As I speak to you tonight the Jewish lobby here in Britain, America and France is pushing for war against Syria and Iran.
I came here today to address the question of whether anti-Semitism is a myth or a thereat. My answer is simple. The opposition to Jewish power is neither a myth nor it is a threat. It is actually a primary humanist and a moral duty.
The Jewish State and its dedicated lobbies are threats to world peace. To oppose Jewish power and to understand its operational mode is an ethical imperative. And it can also save the Jews.
Jews are pretty gifted in bringing disasters upon themselves. Jewish history is a spectacular chain of horrid holocausts. And if there is something Jews fail to do, it is to look in the mirror and admit some faults. Instead of taking responsibility for their past and future, Jewish culture and politics can be understood as a successful attempt to blame others. It is somehow always the ‘anti Semitic Goy’ who is at fault.
Peculiarly enough early Zionism was a rare Jewish attempt to look in the mirror. A few Jewish intellectuals such as Herzl, Nordau and Jabotinsky looked in the mirror and were devastated enough to admit that something was indeed problematic in the Jewish social condition. They diagnosed a Jewish cultural malaise but their remedy proved to be a complete failure.
Whether Jews can look in the mirror and self-reflect is an open question. However, criticism of Jewish power and culture is an ethical must, it is a necessity. We owe it to ourselves, to our kids and to future generations. I guess that it would be also right to suggest that those who are tagged as anti-Semitic nowadays, are simply brutally honest people, often enough, of Jewish origin.
Gilad Atzmon explores the meaning of Jewish Identity Politics.
Conferencia "El significado de Israel. Judaismo, Identidad judía y Sionismo"
La Facultad de Letras, la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y la Cátedra de Estudios de Medio Oriente Ibn Khaldum, tiene el agrado de invitarles a la conferencia "El significado de Israel. Judaismo, Identidad judía y Sionismo", impartida por Gilad Atzmon, activista político, novelista, escritor y saxofonista.
Día: Miércoles 09 de abril
Hora: 6:00 p.m.
Lugar: Auditorio Abelardo Bonilla, Escuela de Estudios Generales
Alimuddin Usmani interviews Gilad Atzmon
Alimuddin Usmani: Gilad Atzmon, on the 20th of March in Geneva you gave a talk which was a success. People of all ages, different ethnic origins and social backgrounds came to listen your thoughts on Jewish identity politics. Do you feel that more people are interested in your ideas?
Gilad Atzmon: I have no doubt that my ideas are becoming increasingly popular and reach new circles. Yet, often people who claim to follow my thought process appear not to understand where I come from or what I try to achieve. I am not a political person nor am I an activist. I am an artist and a thinker and I believe that my intellectual responsibility is to reinstate the spirit of Athens, which is the ability to think freely, to seek truth, to ask questions, to make judgments, to think ethically and to revise our thoughts as we progress. As such, I am an opponent of Jerusalem, the attempt to reduce the universe into a set of binaries, by means of castrating laws that defy the natural aspiration for freedom, always in the name of one form of correctness or another.
Alimuddin Usmani: During your speech you mentioned that some young American Jews are fascinated by the Israeli way of life and immigrate to Israel. Do you think that most of them are disappointed after spending some time in that country?
Gilad Atzmon: Some are interested and then some of those immigrants are disappointed. I suggest that we stop judging Jewish politics on the basis of individuals or statistics - it is not about Moishe or Haim. We are engaging in an ideological discourse. What I argue in the talk as well as in my latest book is that we detect a counter flow of aspirations between the ‘Diaspora’ Jew and the Israeli. The ‘Diaspora’ subject is thrilled by the image of the Israeli who shoots from the hip, flies an F-16, drops bombs from afar and then relaxes on the beach on Sabbath. The Israeli, so it seems from afar, fills the hollow emancipated Jewish identity with content which the Diaspora Jew lacks. The Israeli, on the other hand, is happy to leave everything behind and move to LA or Brooklyn, make money, marry a shikze and have BBQ on Sunday. The reason is very simple. the Israelis, are like the French, the Americans and the Brits, their identity is geographically oriented. Sometimes they move away from Israel and adopt a new nationality, just like other migrants. In other words, Zionism has managed to plant geographic orientation in the Israeli Jew and this orientation is subject to replacement by new geography.
Below is a film made about an album that I musically produced last year together with the OHE and friends. The man behind the project was Glenn Armstrong. Philip Bagenal took care of the sound and Ros Stephen took care of the strings arrangement and beyond.
For more details: http://www.coupperdu.com/
UK, Costa Rica, Turkey, France, Germany, USA, Greece
4th With The Blockheads
5th Gilad Atzmon & OHE at St Davis Hall, Sherborne Jazz Club, South Petherton. Somerset
6th Gilad Atzmon & OHE at Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester
7 -13 OHE Concerts, Workshop and Lectures, San Jose International Art Festival, Costa Rica
16 With She Raja @ The Pizza Express Jazz Cub London
17 With She Raja @ The Pizza Express Jazz Cub London
18 With Chris Ingham trio Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds
19 With the Blockheads
21-25 Turkey (Talks and Book related events)
26 With the Blockheads
29 Gilad Atzmon + Terry Collie’s trio - Jazz@retro, South London
3 Gilad Atzmon 4tet, 606 Jazz Club London
4-8 NYC, recording project
9 Gilad Atzmon & the OHE , Crypt Jazz, London
13 May Gilad Atzmon & the OHE, Canolfan Ucheldre, Holyhead
14 May Gilad Atzmon & the OHE, Galeri, Carnarfon
15 May Gilad Atzmon & the OHE, Gwyn Hall, Neath
16 May Gilad Atzmon & the OHE, RWCMD, Cardiff
17 Gilad Atzmon & the OHE @ Calstock Arts, Devon
19-21 Touring Devon with Craig Milverton’s trio
23 Gilad Atzmon & the OHE @ Fleece Jazz, Suffolk
24 With the Blockheads
25 With the Blockheads
26-28 A Talk and book related events in Lyon, France
29 Gilad Atzmon & the OHE, Stroud Festival, Gloucester
30-31 Gilad Atzmon & the OHE, Jazz Nights, Megaron, Athens
1 Gilad Atzmon @ Shetland Islands Jazz Festival