In Gratitude of JVP
By Gilad Atzmon
I want to thank JVP (Jewish Voice For Peace) for once again displaying their corrosive attitude. The following is another clumsy ad hominem attack: no facts, no attempt to substantiate. It is a crude, futile exercise in policing free thought and interference with the understanding of Jewish Identity politics, Israel and Zionism.
Our Jewish ‘peace’ merchants are panicking for a good reason. They realize that I am about to blow the whistle. I have recently complied a devastating document that proves that the Jewish solidarity project has successfully derailed the pro Palestinian campaign. In the next two weeks I will present my case in 10 American cities and on radio and TV shows.
These Jewish activists preach against ‘right wing rhetoric’ but they themselves operate within racially exclusive political cells. Maybe they should finally disclose how many ‘goyim’ hold seats within their ‘Jews only’ JVP board. Is it possible that the Zionist Knesset is more diverse than the ‘anti’ JVP? You can decide for yourself.
Once again these Zionist employ their flawed terminology - ‘Colonialism,’ ‘ settler colonialism,’ ‘apartheid,’ etc. to conceal the fact that Israel defines itself as the Jewish State and its politics are driven by a radical yet vastly popular interpretation of Jewishness.
One might expect progressive Jews to defy the notion of choseness. But the JVPs insist upon dictating what language is allowed and what ‘detracts’ from the Palestinian movement. Is not the huge list of great humanists, scholars and pillars of Palestinian solidarity supporting my work enough to shake this deceitful bunch of crypto Zionists JVPs? Not yet apparently…
And who or what is a ‘neo Nazi’ exactly? Out of curiosity I would love to learn from JVP what makes peace hero activist Ken O’Keefe into a Neo Nazi (whatever that is), What did O’Keefe do to deserve such repulsive treatment at the hands of our so-called ‘Jewish allies’?
Dear friends, long ago I came to the conclusion that the Jewish Left is not the solution; it is actually the core of the problem. The document below proves my point.
This Friday, Gilad Atzmon will be speaking at Mutiny Cafe. Here is our response:
"As Front Range Jewish Voice for Peace, we are aware of the presence of right-wing rhetoric and casual anti-Semitism amongst many groups who oppose Zionism and many policies of the state of Israel. Many of us in Denver have noticed the influence of intellectually lazy anti-Zionism, which points the finger at Jews for our role in perpetrating the Israeli occupation, as opposed to the wider problem of Zionism and settler colonialism. In Denver, many are captivated by rhetoric like that of Gilad Atzmon, whose alliance with prominent neo-Nazis such as David Duke, Trevor LaBonte, and Ken O'Keefe is often hidden behind the smokescreen of his opposition to the state of Israel. (Warning: the links are very hateful, but provided as examples of what we wish to condemn). His targeting of our own allies in the Palestine solidarity community such as Ali Abunimah, Noam Chomsky, and Miko Peled are volatile and counter-productive to finding peace in Israel/Palestine.
This rhetoric and politics are not to be tolerated. When anti-Semitism infiltrates Palestine solidarity circles, it negatively impacts us as Jews. It is a clear form of racism that should be challenged at all times.
Atzmon and anti-Semitism in the Palestine solidarity community are a distraction from the issue at hand, namely the occupation of Palestine by Israel. We want to shift the conversation away from solely anti-Semitism. The more pressing conversation we want to have is one that recognizes that the anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia that sustains the occupation of Palestine comes from the same mindset as traditional anti-Semitism.
It is important for us to recognize as Jews that we are all affected by Israel’s actions. Israel falsely claims to represent us as Jews. The Israeli Law of Return gives us the right to move to Israel and live anywhere we want. Some of the same apartments that Diaspora Jews could be buying or renting in Palestine are built on top of the same land that is confiscated from the indigenous people of Palestine: in the Jerusalem area and the West Bank. Resentment of Diaspora Jews for the benefits we receive is warranted, and comes from a legitimate place of rage, because these benefits come at the expense of the Palestinian people.
Our leaders, and much of our community, have failed us by not speaking out against the injustices being done in our name. They often have a stronghold on Jewish public opinion. Whatever anti-Semitism we encounter within our movements obscures our role as ordinary Jews who oppose Zionism and the failures of these institutions. Given that Palestinians are always presumed to be anti-Semitic by US and Israeli propaganda, we do not need white Americans who claim to be members of our ranks reinforcing these false claims.
Ultimately, anti-Semitic rhetoric makes our movement hypocritical. It prevents us from standing up for those victimized by anti-black racism in the wake of the deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and far too many more. It prevents us from fighting for justice for poor people and people of color in Denver being pushed out by increasing gentrification. It prevents us from seeking justice for Ryan Ronquillo and Jessica Hernandez, who were killed by the police here in Denver. It prevents us from challenging the racism under which our world has been held captive for the last 500 years of human history. Therefore, we officially condemn statements of Gilad Atzmon and others that seek to portray Jews as an inherently flawed group of people."