Gilad Atzmon on Egaliteet Reconciliation
Introduction by GA: I believe that the following is a very interesting interview. Very intelligent questions. I touch upon multiculturalism, patriotism, nationalism, Jewish Left and Progressive spin. I also refer to future Palestinian solidarity in the light of growing Liberal Zionist intervention.
Gilad Atzmon on Egaliteet Reconciliation
E&R: Your last album, « Songs of the Metropolis, » seems to be a rejection of multiculturalism, yet you are often seen as a symbol of multiculturalism. Do you agree with the above and if so, how do you experience what could be seen by some as a contradiction?
GA: I totally agree. I am hailed as the victorious emblem of multiculturalism and yet, from my very early days as an artist I have been critical of multiculturalism, which I see as an attempt to flatten differences, creating a fictitious and phantasmic image of equality. I instead believe that differences must be celebrated. It is the variety, the inaccessibility and foreignness that make the human landscape into a cheerful event. Instead of us reacting to different forms of self-censorship á la political correctness, we better delve into the real meaning of being in the world, ethical thinking and true tolerance, while celebrating differences
E&R: When you decided to leave Israel for good, as a jazz artist, I guess the first destinations of your choice were probably New York, London or maybe even Paris; what made you choose London over the others?
GA: At the time I decided actually to take a break from music. I was determined to spend some quality time reading philosophy. I had to choose between Chicago, London and Berlin. Chicago was windy, Berlin was too exciting and London in the early 1990s looked like a decaying extended village. It was calm and friendly. It was a very smart choice to come over.
E&R: How do you manage in your everyday life in London to be one of the most fervent opponent of Jewish power? Do you encounter a lot of troubles?
GA: For sure, I am harassed daily by tribal operators, mainly Jewish ‘anti’ Zionists, i.e., Anti-Zionist Zionists (AZZ). But I learned to love it: the fact that they chase me 24/7 only proves that I touched the raw nerve. In fact, I am probably the only person to touch Jewish identity politics in such a manner since Bernard Lazare. I understand their despair, I formed an anti-racist method to encounter Jewish secular supremacy and Jewish progressive racism in particular.
E&R: What can you tell us about the state of freedom of speech in Britain?
GA: I am pretty troubled by what I see. But rereading Orwell’s "1984" recently helped me to grasp that it is actually the so-called left that is, unfortunately, responsible for the vast deterioration of our most precious liberties. It can be easily explained – the progressive stance is, at large, a form of secular chosenness; it is righteous, yet, it also entails that someone else must be ‘reactionary’. Progressiveness is basically a supremacist discourse, and supremacy is always intolerant.
E&R: Are you opposing only Jewish nationalism because it is celebrated at the expense of the Palestinians or do you oppose any forms of nationalism?
GA: Not at all, I for instance support Palestinian nationalism and I also contend that nationalism and patriotism are beautiful feelings inspired by true sense of belonging and pride, yet, as you said, I oppose nationalism, once it is celebrated on someone’s else expense.
E&R: Do you see the term Jewish nationalism as an oxymoron?
GA: Quite the opposite. Some would even argue that Judaism is a nationalist religion. However, Jewish nationalism is indeed peculiar for many reasons to do with the exilic nature of Judaism and Jewish ideology i.e. Jewishness, as Lenin suggested when criticising the Bund. It is a national ideology that lacks a clear territorial context. Zionism attempted to resolve this problem, yet the Israeli's bond to their land is also very problematic. They hate the indigenous and they shred ‘their’ land’s beauty with humongous separation walls. In short they are really not accustomed to the notion of ‘dwelling’. I believe that true nationalists actually look after their land and take care of its landscape. The Israeli failed completely on that front!!!
E&R: A couple of months ago, you went to Beirut, could you tell us more about this travel there?
GA: It was my first return to Lebanon after 30 years. I saw the most beautiful country and I met the most beautiful people. It was the closest I’ve been to my birth place for 18 years and this was very moving. But I also saw the conditions in the camps (Palestinian refugees) and that left me in tears, and I mean it literarily. The state in the camps is a total humanitarian crisis, people who live for decades with no hope for or prospect of future.
E&R: On a recent interview given to Press TV, you were telling the journalist about your concerns regarding the funding of some Palestinian NGO’s, have you got more information about it or are you still investigating?
GA: By now I am pretty much ready for an exposé but I am delaying it because I fully realize the possible consequences: it would lead to an inevitable collapse of the Palestinian solidarity discourse as we know it. I am concerned by this and I am not sure that it is my role to be the eternal whistleblower.
Nevertheless, my findings are more far reaching and encompass more than Palestine. I now grasp the matrix that facilitates the Zionification of our universe. We are dealing with a sophisticated form of controlled opposition that limits the boundaries of speech and criticism.
E&R: Recently in France, a comedian named Dieudonné was fined 20 000 Euros for having written a song about the Holocaust industry, and at the same time, an anti-Zionist caricaturist lost his job after some groups denounced him to his employers and pressured them to sack him. What do you think about this situation and what would your advice be on how one should defend themselves when accused of anti-Semitism when they actually only criticise Israel, Judaism or Jewish power?
GA: It is clear that Jewish political institutions do not allow anyone to interfere with their scripted historical narrative. It only means that they didn’t learn the necessary lesson from their own history. And this is nothing short of a tragedy. This is in fact the Jewish tragedy.
E&R: A good part of your writing is directed against the AZZ (Anti Zionist Zionists), the Jewish left (that you see as an oxymoron), and also the Zionists, however, there is an organisation that I would like to ask you about, as I don’t recall that you’ve said much about it (probably for good reasons), the JDL . Maybe also because this organisation is not as active here in UK as it is in France?
GA: Yep, I heard about them but I am not familiar with their operation well enough to comment. However, Zionism has led to a collective sense of Jewish empowerment, so I guess that JDL is just one symptom.
E&R: Have you seen the recent documentary called « The Gatekeepers »? If so, do you think it is just another hasbara trick or a sincere attempt to make amends for Israel’s behaviour?
GA: I read about it, didn’t see it, couldn’t find the time, I have been touring already for 4 months but I read about it. And yes, I guess it is a Hasbara attempt to convey an image of self criticism. Yet, embarrassingly enough, even the Zionist phony self-reflection is still ahead of the Jewish ‘anti’ Zionists who perform zero reflection on every possible front, intellectual, spiritual, political or Ideological.
E&R: This interview is going to be published by Égalité et Réconciliation presided by Alain Soral; Do you know him well?
GA: I don’t know Soral well enough, I met him once briefly and though we had a language abyss between us, it was clear to me that the man is very knowledgeable as well as a strong intellect. I am not familiar enough with Soral’s ideas to comment but I believe in free exchange. I allow all people and parties to post my thoughts. I believe in my ideas ... at least at the time I utter them. As far as I am concerned the notions of Left and Right have zero significance at this point in time. I believe that we are living in a pos- political era and I certainly define myself as a post-political thinker. Being a philosopher I am obviously an essentialist searchinhg for the inherent character of things. I am interested in redefining the question rather than in the production of the answer. I am interested in ideas that shape and contribute toward ethical thinking. This is the only principle I follow. If Soral likes these ideas of mine, he is welcome to own them.
E&R: What do you think about his work and his association? Did you already read some of his writing maybe?
GA: Soral writes in French, I wouldn’t mind reading him in English in case there is something you can suggest
E&R: You said once that you had no respect for mainstream media. What is your opinion about internet?
GA: For the time being it is liberation. But I am not so sure it will stay like that forever.
E&R: Do you share the concerns that some people have, when they argue that many people are satisfied with seeing ‘dissent’ spread on their computer, share it on facebook or other social network, thinking that it is sufficient enough to make a change and actually don’t do much in real life to make it happen?
GA: Actually I do think that people exchanging and thinking freely is a major step forward. I believe that spiritual and intellectual shift is the only hope. Those "demos" and progressive gatherings where thousands of people shout the same slogan in an orchestrated manner always appeared to me as a form of collective masturbation. And as we see, it never lead anywhere, it just watered down resistance…
E&R: What is Gilad Atzmon next step going to be? More music I guess, but another book, a documentary or something else?
GA: I think that by now I have solved the most crucial questions to do with Jewish power , its close connection with the progressive school of thought and the Left's tragic impotence. I have it all in my mind, I am ready to go, to unleash my final blow, I just cannot decide what would be the right medium to explore these thoughts, is it a book, a film or a world tour, but I will make up my mind within days
E&R: I would like to thank you for answering all those questions.
GA: With pleasure, they were very clever and challenging.