Gilad Atzmon

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Netanyahu On ‘The Jew’, Herzl and Tikkun Olam

By Gilad Atzmon

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a fascinating speech yesterday at the memorial ceremony of Theodor Herzl in Jerusalem (27.6.2013). ‘The Jew’, stated Netanyahu, is the saver and the liberator of humanity. He and she are the true meaning of progress as conveyed by the notion of ‘Tikkun Olam’ (fixing the world).  ‘The Jew’, according to the Israeli PM, is the emblem of philosophical, ideological, spiritual, scientific and aesthetic innovation.  

In his attempt to describe late 19th Century Jewish life in Vienna, Netanyahu said “they (the Jews) rose and flourished in science, art, medicine, philosophy, music, journalism, business, economics - Jewish prosperity can not be described. Freud, Mahler, Schnitzler, Schoenberg, Wittgenstein who came from a Jewish home, Stefan Zweig…”

But then, like Herzl, Netanyahu accepts that in spite of all their greatness, European Jews were doomed - they were despised and were eventually subject to a horrendous fate. According to Netanyahu and his mentor Herzl, antisemitism is engraved in the Goy’s mind.  “People are willing to believe everything about the Jews,” he says.  

Netanyahu draws his conclusion – The Jewish State is essential. “The Jewish state was founded in accordance with Herzl's vision. It indeed united the Jewish genius”. But then he is forced to admit that actually, “Tikkun Olam is not protecting you (the Jews) … because the biased belief against us continues.”

Netanyahu is indeed coherent and consistent, but there is one small detail he may fail to see. It’s more than likely that  the so called ‘Goyim’ i.e. the rest of Humanity, are not that interested in the Judeo-centric notion of 'Tikkun Olam' – those ‘progressive’ and 'moralist' ideologies that are mainly concerned with: the primacy of Jewish suffering (holocaust religion), plundering oil from Muslims in the name of democracy (Neoconservatism), stealing from the rich in the name of Marx (Marxism) or stealing from the poor in the name of Milton Freidman (free market).

Netanyahu, Herzl and probably most Jewish ideologists always fail to detect the growing fatigue of ‘Tikkun Olam’ and its messengers. Zionists and Anti Zionists alike would do themselves and the rest of us a great favour once they gather that rather than ‘fixing the world,’ they better consider fixing themselves and their Jewish universe first. 



Below you will find an extract from Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech  at  the memorial ceremony of Theodor Herzl in Jerusalem. (27.6. 2013) Translated by Gilad Atzmon

We like to say, rightly, that Herzl's greatness stands out when we look at the poor condition of the Jews at the time. This is true. The situation in Eastern Europe, the ghettos, was indeed appalling. However, Herzl's significance is even more noticeable if we examine his view of the situation of the Jews in his immediate vicinity. Herzl lived and worked in Vienna. The Vienna of the late 19th century was a Jewish renaissance. The one who can attest to that was the greatest writer of America, Mark Twain. 

Mark Twain is a familiar name to you all because of his books, but also because of his visit to the Land of Israel in 1869.  20 years later, Twain came to Vienna. He lived there for two years. He met the Jews. 

In Vienna 1850 there were almost no Jews but the House of Habsburg promoted them, and they flooded in, and they rose and flourished in science, art, medicine, philosophy, music, journalism, business, economics - Jewish prosperity cannot be described. Freud, Mahler, Schnitzler, Schoenberg, Wittgenstein who came from a Jewish home, Stefan Zweig, Wasserman, you surely know about the medical text called after him, and many, many, many, many, many more. 

Twain came to Vienna and he met them all. He knew Jews in the U.S, but there weren’t many at the time.  Here he saw this community blossoming, it’s contribution bestowed upon the Jews to the progress of humanity. He writes a remarkable mass concerning the Jews and he says: All empires - the Babylonians and Chaldeans, and Greeks and Romans - they all rose, thrived and crashed, yet, the Jew has always won with his harm tied behind his back. The Jew is one percent of humanity – yet unbeatable. Twain wrote this after meeting Vienna Jews. 

But he also wrote something else. He said: ‘What is this anti-Semitism?’ At that time, Vienna’s Karl Lueger, who was Hitler's mentor and was the mayor of Vienna, harbored this hatred, despite the Jewish enormous contribution.  Twain wrote ‘what do they want from the Jews? They contribute so great for humanity - what is this anti-Semitism?’

He could not give an answer. But these successful Jews, those good, those geniuses, they did not ask the question, except one. He (Herzl), unlike his fellow intellectuals and artists, was not daydreaming, he was a prophet, and each of his thoughts and predictions were based on a sober and even brutal analysis of reality. Herzl wasn’t following his whims, he was reading the truth.

Twain made friends with Herzl. He went along with Herzl to watch a play Herzl wrote on the Ghetto walls. In this play, Herzl predicts that the collapse of the walls and Jewish assimilation would abate anti-Semitism. 

Herzl believed that the contribution of the Jews to humanity, Tikkun Olam, something we all want to see, wouldn’t eliminate anti-Semitism. He did not believe that this will protect the Jews from the ancient hatred cultivated for 2500 years since the Hellenistic period – for people are willing to believe everything about the Jews, amongst them the greatest people of humanity in the world.


…Now the Jewish state was founded in accordance with Herzl's vision. It indeed united the Jewish genius as it was at the time of Herzl. Since the Nobel Peace Prize was established at that time and the Jews continued to contribute to humanity, more than 20% of the Nobel Prizes, as if we were a Jewish billion worldwide rather than just 14 million. And the State of Israel, the State of Israel has more Nobel Prizes than any other country in relation to the population. Contribution to humanity continued, but the basic distinction Tikkun Olam is not protecting you (the Jews), it just does not protect you, because the biased belief against us continues.


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