Debbie Menon: Abunimah Boycotting and Censoring Gilad Atzmon ?
Who or what could have prompted Ali-Abuminah to write such a counter-productive diatribe against the beneficial works of Atzmon ?
Palestinians boycotting and in effect censoring a hard-hitting, courageous fellow traveler is a disgraceful act and poor strategy. It has come as a rude shock to many of us genuine campaigners for Palestine.
I’m pretty sure Mr. Abunimah didn't read Atzmon’s book.
Does he not know that Atzmon's book has been clearly blessed, endorsed and reviewed by illustrious authors and researchers, and alternative media stalwarts, long time ‘Friends of Palestine’ the likes of Messrs. John Mearsheimer, James Petras, William A Cook, Jeff Gates, Paul Balles, Alan Hart, Kim Petersen , Richard Falk, and scores of others as no other book ?
Do the signatories on the anti-Atzmon condemnation paper have a problem with all of the above mentioned writers?
Do their work get space on Ali Abunimah's Electronic intifada blog ?
Does Abunimah & Co. even realize that these respectable committed campaigners have spent a life time writing volumes to spread awareness about the Palestinian struggle through their writing and activism and many of them have wound up uterly frustrated and penniless precisely due to the lack of any unity, organization or support from diaspora Paletinians? Shame on you!
‘Gilad Atzmon has written an absorbing and moving account of his journey from hard core Israeli nationalist to a de-Zionized patriot of humanity and passionate advocate of justice for the Palestinian people. It is 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.’
Professor Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University, author of over 20 books, and UN Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestinian Territories.
‘Gilad Atzmon has written a fascinating and provocative book on Jewish identity in the modern world. He shows how assimilation and liberalism are making it increasingly difficult for Jews in the Diaspora to maintain a powerful sense of their 'Jewishness.' Panicked Jewish leaders, he argues, have turned to Zionism (blind loyalty to Israel) and scaremongering (the threat of another Holocaust) to keep the tribe united and distinct from the surrounding goyim. As Atzmon’s own case demonstrates, this strategy is not working and is causing many Jews great anguish. The Wandering Who? should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike.’
John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago
‘Gilad Atzmon’s book, The Wandering Who? is as witty and thought provoking as its title. But it is also an important book, presenting conclusions about Jews, Jewishness and Judaism which some will find shocking but which are essential to an understanding of Jewish identity politics and the role they play on the world stage.’
Karl Sabbagh is a journalist, television producer and the author of several books including A Rum Affair, Power Into Art, Dr Riemann’s Zeros and Palestine: A Personal History. He is currently the publisher of Hesperus Press
‘Gilad Atzmon‘s The Wandering Who? is a series of brilliant illuminations and critical reflections on Jewish ethnocentrism and the hypocrisy of those who speak in the name of universal values and act tribal. Relying on autobiographical and existential experiences, as well as intimate observations of everyday life, both informed by profound psychological insights, Atzmon does what many critics of Israel fail to do; he uncovers the links between Jewish identity politics in the Diaspora with their ardent support for the oppressive policies of the Israeli state.
Atzmon provides deep insights into “neo-ghetto” politics. He has the courage – so profoundly lacking among western intellectuals – to speak truth to the power of highly placed and affluent Zionists who shape the agendas of war and peace in the English-speaking world. With wit and imagination, Atzmon’s passionate confrontation with neo-conservative power grabbers and liberal yea sayers sets this book apart for its original understanding of the dangers of closed minds with hands on the levers of power.
This book is more than a “study of Jewish identity politics” insofar as we are dealing with a matrix of power that affects all who cherish self-determination and personal freedom in the face of imperial and colonial dictates.’
Professor James Petras, Bartle Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, author of more than 62 books including The Power of Israel in the United States.
‘Atzmon’s insight into the organism created by the Zionist movement is explosive. The Wandering Who? tears the veil off of Israel’s apparent civility, its apparent friendship with the United States, and its expressed solicitude for Western powers, exposing beneath the assassin ready to slay any and all that interfere with its tribal focused ends.’
Professor William A. Cook, Professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California, and author of The Rape Of Palestine.
‘The Wandering Who? features Gilad Atzmon at his delightful and insightful best: engaging, provocative and persuasive.’
Jeff Gates, author of Guilt By Association: How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War
‘The Wandering Who? is a pioneering work that deserves to be read and Gilad Atzmon is brave to write this book!’
Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo, author and Professor Emeritus in the field of international law. He is director of the Center for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Brattleboro, Vermont and the former Dean of The Jerusalem School for Law and Diplomacy.
It is a scholarly and truly monumental work, deeply profound and, of course, controversial.
Alan Hart, British Journalist and former covert diplomat in Middle East, ITN's News at 10, BBC's Panorama
Kudos to the publishers 'Zer0 Book' for pretty much outlining the problem:
Contemporary culture has eliminated both the concept of the public and the figure of the intellectual. Former public spaces– both physical and cultural — are now either derelict or colonized by advertising. A cretinous anti-intellectualism presides, cheerled by expensively educated hacks in the pay of multinational corporations who reassure their bored readers that there is no need to rouse themselves from their inter-passive stupor. The informal censorship internalized and propagated by the cultural workers of late capitalism generates a banal conformity that the propaganda chiefs of Stalinism could only ever have dreamt of imposing.
Zero Books knows that another kind of discourse — intellectual without being academic, popular without being populist — is not only possible: it is already flourishing to the regions beyond the striplit malls of so-called mass media and the neurotically bureaucratic halls of the academy. Zer0 is committed to the idea of publishing as a making public of the intellectual. It is convinced that in the unthinking, blandly consensual culture in which we live, critical and engaged theoretical reflection is more important than ever before.
We have the potential on the Internet, for this "other kind of discourse." intellectual without being academic, popular without being populist but only if we can keep it free from government interference and regulation and Zionist infiltrators! Which is not only possible but essential if we are to ever have or regain a reliable exchange of factual and honest ideas, knowledge and information which has not been twisted to the degree that the truth is no longer evident in order to fit some marketing or political objectives.
That means that the lie will have equal opportunity to ride First Class as well as the Truth. But… given any sort of government or economic controls or Zionist influences, then the Lie will supersede the Truth, and the forces of market and politics will prevail, and Truth, knowledge and real information will fade from the pages of history.
Earlaiman a frequent commentator on these pages astutely observes that most of the signatories on the anti-Atzmon condemnation paper are located in foreign (non Palestine) nations where they probably feel fat and secure in their high and lofty offices, pulpits and lectures.
These folks and those like them justify fully a former US Military strategic analyst Dr. Alan Sabrosky's, criticism of the Palestinian movement's “leadership” in the first of a series of his articles last summer, that so upset some within the Palestinian movement.
When the ship is sinking, blame someone who criticizes the organizers of the voyage. Never, ever, blame yourselves or the people who took you onto the rocks.
But then, what else can one expect from the same people who have led Palestine and Palestinians for 60 years from one triumph to another….?
These people are either fools, or dupes of the Israelis, or simply too terrified of what the Israelis can or will do to them, or some combination thereof.
I don’t always agree with Atzmon, and many people don’t agree with me, but so what? Reasonable people can disagree.
Each and every one of us has his or her own foibles and hobby-horses, and whether we give rein to them occasionally or not, as long as the principal thrust of most of our work is directed at our main chance — which is countering that of the Zionists — we all need to exercise patience and charity, let the occasional transgression (as one or more of us may see it) pass unremarked, and continue the good fight. Internal dissension and a needlessly purist worldview just help our common enemy.
Issue with Atzmon in this instance is that he has gored accurately some exceptionally sacred (in a secular sense) Israeli/Jewish oxen, hence the response from the Palestinian variant of “Uncle Toms & Aunt Jemimas.”
Tim King goes directly to the heart of the matter when he identifies the difference… "…knowing right from wrong and acting on it."
It is really that simple!