The J word, the J people and the J spot by Gilad Atzmon
Many of us, the critical voices of Zionism and Israel, have already realised something: it is advisable to avoid using the ‘J’ word. Once you use the ‘J’ word you had better expect some serious trouble. But in fact, this is not entirely true. You can safely apply the ‘J’ word, you just have to make sure you say the right things. For instance no one is going accuse you of being a racist for flattering the ‘J’ people with some incredible positive superlatives. No one will cause you any trouble for saying that the J’s are very intelligent or a nice bunch of people. You can even lie and say that they are extremely good looking and by far the kindest people on earth. It is only when you say what you really think that the real trouble starts. As soon as you become slightly genuine you will have to face an orchestrated smear campaign, you will be then called an ‘anti Semite’, a ‘new historian’ and even a ‘holocaust denier’. If you happen to be a ‘J’ yourself you will probably end up being labelled a ‘self-hating J’, no doubt a pretty prestigious club to be a member of.
All of the above depicts a very obscure picture: as it seems, the ‘J’ people do not mind being collectively categorised, they do not mind racial generalisations as long as they come out looking good by it. For instance saying that the J’s are the greatest and the most clever people on earth won’t be taken by them as an outrageous racist remark. But then, as soon as you mention that some of them may appear to be just slightly greedy at times, this is when trouble starts. One may wonder how is it possible, clearly, the two statements are equally racially outrageous, equally categorical. Both statements attribute qualities to a specific racial group and yet only the latter is seen as inflammatory.
Rather than address this riddle, I would prefer to dismiss the issue altogether. In fact, none of these remarks should be considered racist, because the ‘J’ people aren’t a race. Not only are they not a race, they aren’t a class, they aren’t a nation, they aren’t a tribe, they aren’t an ethnic group, they aren’t victims, they aren’t even the oppressors. They are none of these but they can easily become any of them whenever it is convenient.
The J’s are the ultimate chameleons, they can be whatever they like as long as it serves as some expedient. As soon as you criticise their expansionist militant national beliefs (Zionism) you hurt them as a race (Semites), they would insist that anti Zionism is in practice a form of anti Semitism. When you condemn their racist tendencies, they are transformed immediately into an innocent cultural identity (merely chicken soup consumers). When you criticise their exclusive cultural leanings, they then become a race again (it isn’t me it’s all down to my mother, she is Jewish, I am just a consequence of her racial belonging). But it goes further, when you scrutinise their racist and supremacist religious law (Talmud) they remind you that most of them are in fact secular (true by the way), but then, when you question their secular philosophy, they would immediately confess that, in fact, there is no such philosophy. You may push your luck and ask them what stands at the core of their ethnic belonging. A readymade answer would be given instantly: ‘it is Hitler rather than Moses who made us into J’s’. Hitler never asked for our religious beliefs, he killed us just for being J’s.’ When you remind them that Hitler is no longer with us, they would assure you that a new one is just about to be born. Basically you can never win. But neither can they.
You can never win because you don’t really want to win, you just enjoy exploring a unique bizarre and yet a very powerful and victorious identity. For you it isn’t about winning, all you want is to help the Palestinian people in their right and justified battle. For you it isn’t about a clear practical gain, you want to make this planet just a bit nicer of a place to live in. But for them it is a different matter altogether. For them, it is all about winning, they are set to win, unconditional success is brewed into their spirit both culturally and religiously. But they can never win, by the time they win they get lost. They stop being victims. Occasionally it looks as if they are almost there, you can see them running the show, running American political life, running American show business, running the ‘new middle East’, running the Communist revolution but then, as it appears, something always goes wrong. Suddenly, completely out of the blue, everyone around is standing up against the plot. As it seems, they always win the battles but somehow manage to lose the war, very much like contemporary America. Is it a coincidence? I don’t think so.
Sadly enough for them, not only can’t they win, as tragically as it may appear, they can’t lose either, they can never be defeated. Thus even their lowest moments are transformed into a glorious political manoeuvre. By the time millions of European J’s were facing murderous Nazi brutality, Ben Gurion was already capitalising on their imminent deaths. By now, within the J’s common worldview, the holocaust is recognised as a justification and a pillar of self righteousness. Rather than being a moral lesson, the holocaust stands as an excuse. Rather than use the tragic event as a moment of reflection, at least in the eyes of the Zionist J’s it is transformed into a militant expansionist philosophy backed with hundreds of nuclear weapons.
As it seems, they can neither win nor lose, Thus they are doomed to wander around engaging themselves in an endless metamorphosis. They move forward and backwards, from left to right, from right to left, from spirituality into materialism, from orthodox Marxism into hard capitalism. They are always at the cool side of game, when it was right to be a Socialist they were right there in the forefront of the Bolshevik revolution, now when it is hard capitalism that sets the tone, you read about them in the Wall Street Journal, they are the new prophets from Manhattan. Life is never boring for ‘J’ people.
But then, let me tell you, there is only one thing they can’t cope with, one thing that drives them mad. Something that never settles peacefully in their well protected binary world. It is called love. If you love them you kill them. Love shakes their confidence, for them it is far easier to be detested. The only way to destroy Zionism, to dismantle ‘J’ power, is to embrace them to your heart, to make love to their ‘J spot’. To worship them exactly when they anticipate your ultimate aversion. Always overwhelm them with affection. A brief look into their history makes it very clear. By the time they were fully emancipated by their European host nations, they invented Zionism. When anti Semitism was thrown out of the window, it was the Zionists who reintroduced it. By the time Israel was praised by the world for its military success and murderous strategies, Zionism was in ruins.
We must learn to accept everything they do. When they flatten a Palestinian village, rather than protesting, just look in their eyes and assure them that your love is unconditional. When they throw a bomb on a school in Gaza, just hold them close to your heart and express your sincere understanding. When their right wing American zealots take the West into war against Iraq, Syria or Iran just remind yourself that sooner or later peace will prevail. Don’t you ever forget, they are doing all those horrible things not because they are that horrifying, they just feel an urgent need to remind you that you really hate them. When you meet them in person you learn that they are not that vicious, they are just slightly immature beings due to the fact that they are not very competent in social life, they are born chosen. They live in a segregated mental ghetto. They never learned how to handle human company, they know very little about empathy. In the end of the day, they don’t live among others. They prefer to live alongside.
Love is the way to redeem the ‘J’ people and hopefully to save the world. It isn’t easy, some would even say that it is pretty impossible. But as sad as it may sound, love is the only weapon against those who are fuelled by negation.
And by the way, don’t you ever use the ‘J’ word.