A religious conflict is one in which the actions and rhetoric of the conflict is dominated by religious ideologies, argumentation and symbolism. This doesn’t mean that all or even most of the people involved in the conflict are religious or religiously motivated. It is likely that the majority of Israelis oppose the relentless assaults by messianic settlers on Al Aqsa mosque that led to the recent escalation. Yet these assaults by hard-core religiously motivated Jewish activists have now shaped the conflict. And this does not apply only to the Israelis. It seems that Al Aqsa mosque has become the symbolic unifier for the Palestinians. And this unification has been a positive development for the Palestinians. While it appeared for a while that Israel had managed to break the Palestinians and their ability to struggle as one people, the current Jewish assault on Al Aqsa has united the Palestinians and Arabs and not just the Muslims.Read More
Filtering by Category: Palestine
Those who were naive enough to buy into the idea that the Israeli Palestinian battle is a ‘political conflict’ must revise their perception of this matter. The images of religiously motivated Israelis and Palestinians stabbing each other with knives and screwdrivers reveal a simple and undeniable truth -- we are witnessing a colossal religious and ethnic conflict. Unlike ‘political disputes,’ religious and ethnic disputes are rarely resolved, at best; such disputes can be temporarily suppressed. The current conflict in Israel is violence at the most personal level. Tragically, this phenomenon is a persistent theme throughout Jewish history.Read More
In this interview with the great Silvia Cattori I also spoke about the corrosive impact of the Jewish Lobby within the pro-Palestinian movemnt.Read More
Three years after the publication of The Wandering Who, I discussed with Bill Alford different aspects of Jewish power and controlled opposition. We elaborated on Identity politics and the tribal ideology that drive Zionism as well as the so-called 'anti.'Read More
Max Blumenthal, a Jewish pro Palestinian decided to take the battle against Gregor Gysi, the German Left Party’s leader, who framed him as an anti semite, to the toilet. Pretty amusing to witness the level of panic, victimhood and obnoxious intrusiveness.
Let me reassure you that when Blumenthal framed me as an anti semite, i didn't have any plans to join him in the loo.
I wish one day, a Zionist with a brain finds the guts to debate me, for smashing the repetitive Kaplan is no fun at all...
From Press TV website:
"A declaration of war" that's how Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman reacted to Israel's closure of the al-Aqsa mosque to worshippers in reaction to the shooting of an Israeli rabbi.
While the UN Security Council proves its inability to hold Israel accountable for illegal settlement building, anger is rising in the capitals of Israel’s allies about its actions and more pressure that Tel Aviv is putting on Palestinian officials.
This edition of ‘The Debate’ interviews Gilad Atzmon, writer & political commentator from London, and Lee Kaplan, investigative journalist from San Francisco, to ask has the world reached a crossroads in how it deals with Israel, and which way will it go?
Reported by Gilad Atzmon
The BBC reported yesterday that London based newspaper The Jewish Chronicle has apologised to readers who complained after it ran an advert for the Disasters Emergency Committee's Gaza crisis appeal (DEC).
The weekly newspaper said running the advert was "meant as a purely humanitarian gesture".
When it launched the appeal, the DEC said the latest conflict had made half a million people in Gaza homeless and warned of a "humanitarian emergency".
After the advert featured in this week's Jewish Chronicle (JC), a Facebook page was set up calling on Jewish readers to boycott the title until it issued a "full apology".
It accused the newspaper of "ignoring the sensitivity of this conflict which is having a day to day impact and effect on the Jewish community here".
A message posted on the papers own Facebook page pointed out that the advert was "not an expression of the JC's view".
It added: "We have received complaints from readers angry at the decision. We apologise for the upset caused."
(A talk given at the 'Palestine, Israel, Germany- The Boundaries of Open Discussion Conference’, Freiburg 11th September 2011)
Dear ladies and gentlemen.
I will begin my talk with an unusual confession. Though I was born in Israel, in the first thirty years of my life I did not know much about the Nakba, the brutal and racially driven ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population in 1948 by the newly born Israeli State. My peers and myself knew about a single massacre, namely, Deir Yassin but we were not at all familiar with the vast scale of atrocities committed by our grandparents. We believed that the Palestinians had voluntarily fled. We were told that they had run away and we did not find any reason to doubt that this had indeed been the case.
Let me tell you that in all my years in Israel, I have never heard the word Nakba spoken. This may sound pathetic, or even absurd to you -- but what about you? Shouldn’t you also ask yourself -- when was the first time you heard the word Nakba? Perhaps you can also try to recall when this word settled comfortably into your lexicon. Let me help you here -- I have carried out a little research amongst my European and American Palestinian solidarity friends, and most of them had only heard the word Nakba for the first time, just a few short years ago, whilst others admitted that they had only started to use the word themselves three or four years ago.
But isn’t that a slightly strange state of affairs? After all, the Nakba took place more than six decades ago. How is it that only recently it found its way into our symbolic order?
Daniel: If you ask, for instance, why were the Jews repeatedly hated in so many places along their history, as you do in some of your texts, you create room for anti-Semites who may say it is because they are intrinsically evil.
Gilad: To start with, as a thinking being full of curiosity, I do not take instructions from anti Semites or Zionists or Jewish anti Zionist campaigners. I instead follow my instincts and go along with my sincere ethically driven truth-seeking adventure. Also, I believe that the answer you attributed to anti Semites can be easily addressed. Jews cannot be ‘intrinsically evil’ because Jews do not form a racial or ethnic continuum. Any racial attribution to Jews is clearly wrong and silly.
Daniel: I actually do not agree with your approach. The appropriate answer to the above question is that in the Middle Ages Jews were barred from many professions except money trade and peddling, two professions which could easily arouse disdain and hate.
Gilad: Dear Daniel, with all due respect, such an answer is far from being sufficient. In Europe at least, Jews have been emancipated since the French Revolution. By the end of the 19th century most European Jews enjoyed equal rights. And yet, something went horribly wrong in the 1920s-30’s. Our duty then, is to understand, what was it? Why did it happen? Why do Jews encounter resentment all too often and in many different places?
The European Union appear concerned about the new Israeli herem law. The law suggests that a person or an organisation calling for the boycott of Israel , including the settlements, can be sued by the boycotts' targets, without having to prove that they sustained any damage.
“We are concerned about the effect that this legislation may have on the freedom of Israeli citizens and organisations to express non-violent political opinions" said spokesperson for foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton.
More and more people and institutions now understand that Israel is not a ‘civilised society’: it is impervious to notions of human and civil rights, and it also does not share the common and fundamental foundations of a Western value system. Israel is not a democracy and it has never been one. At the most, Israel has managed to mimic some of the appearances of a Western civilisation, but it has clearly failed to internalise the meaning of tolerance and freedom.
This should not take us by surprise: Israel defines itself as a Jewish state, and Jewishness is, sadly enough, inherently intolerant; indeed, it may be argued that Jewish intolerance is as old as the Jews themselves.
Regarding legislation then, how are we to understand the implications of the word ‘herem’? The Hebrew word herem in its contemporary usage refers to a ban, boycott and sanction. However, within the biblical context, the word suggests the total destruction of the enemy and his goods at the conclusion of a campaign.
The emergence of Christianity then, can be viewed as an attempt to rectify such a situation of stark intolerance -- it can be understood as an attempt to drift away from The Old Testament’s dark ideology. Christianity introduced ideas of harmony and love. And it is no wonder that the man who dared suggest to his Judean contemporaries to ‘love their neighbours’ ended up nailed to wood. He himself ended up being subject to a vile homicidal herem campaign.
Uriel Da Costa
The spirit of herem is intrinsic to the Judaic teaching and spirit. Many people are aware of Spinoza being subject to a Rabbinical herem. Yet, not many are familiar with the story of Uriel Da Costa.
It might be argued that the passing week was not very easy on the Palestinian solidarity movement: firstly, an international peaceful flotilla aiming to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza did not manage to leave Greek ports. The Greek government had surrendered submissively to Israeli pressure and American Jewish organisations, and blocked the naval enterprise.
Secondly, an international attempt to fly hundreds of activists from all over the world to the West Bank also partially failed, as the Israeli Government had managed to mount just enough pressure to make sure that the project fell apart before it became airborne.
Though it may seem as if the Palestinian solidarity movement suffered a blow, it is actually Israel that was harshly beaten here, for Israel has managed to expose its level of hysteria: it seems that eight old yachts and a few hundred Easyjet passengers have managed to shake the entire Israeli society. Now try to imagine the potential impact of hundred of thousands of Palestinian refugees marching to their homes in Jaffa , Acre Lod , Ramle, Haifa, Beer Shiva and Al Quds.
I guess that the picture is clearer than ever-- Israel doesn’t stand a chance. Its fate is doomed. It is just a question of time. It is not a matter of ‘if’ but a question of ‘when’.
American Jewry won a victory last week: Yale University bowed to pressure - it is now starting yet another initiative to study anti-Semitism, after a decision to cancel an earlier programme had sparked criticism.
The earlier programme created in 2006 was cancelled because it had produced "little scholarly work,” and the institute's courses had not attracted large numbers of students, according to Donald Green, the director of Yale's Institution for Social and Policy Studies.
Abe Foxman of The Anti-Defamation League criticised Yale for cancelling the programme and welcomed the new initiative, saying "We are satisfied that Yale University understood the critical importance of continuing an institute for the study and research of anti-Semitism".
The new programme will be led by Yale professor Maurice Samuels, who states that Yale has some of the leading scholars in the world working on anti-Semitism and interfaith relations. He intends to focus on contemporary and historical anti-Semitism.
However, for all Yale’s efforts, I remain convinced that Samuels will not be able to produce any valuable scholarly work either - the reason is simple: almost the entire body of research on ‘anti Semitism ’ conducted in recent decades is solely concerned and obsessed with recording the historical points at which hatred of the Jews manifests itself. And yet, for some bizarre reason, such scholarly work on anti Semitism never seeks to understand, and is totally impervious to the socio-economic, the ideological, theological and historical contexts, motivations, causes and reasoning that have existed behind such outbursts of hatred against the Jews.
It occurred to me recently that the Palestinian solidarity discourse is spiritually, ideologically and intellectually driven by some very misleading terminology: crucial notions such as Zionism, colonialism and apartheid (heard in every discussion, and present in every text book about the conflict), are either confusing, or even delusional: I believe that they are there to actually block any attempt to grasp the true spirit and ideologies that drive the Jewish State rather than to clarify the situation.
World-renowned Israeli-born jazz saxophonist Gilad Atzmon brought his ensemble to the United States on his third annual North America Jazz tour 4-15 May, crisscrossing the country from New York, to Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco, finishing up in Colorado. The concerts' theme was "Music for Palestinians' Resistance", and the tour was used to raise awareness and fundraise for various humanitarian causes concerning Palestine.
Atzmon described his multi-city tour as giving him an opportunity to "talk about Israel, Palestine and the power of beauty". His tour included a stop in Oakland to attend a benefit for the Bay Area's flotilla passengers set to embark on the US-flagged Audacity of Hope in June to break Israel's illegal naval blockade of Gaza. The novelist, political activist and writer, who now makes his home in England, said he began visiting the US four years ago and comes once a year for two weeks. He said he has a lot of fans in the US and believes the exchange of ideas is crucial.
"I visit as many cities as I can, I meet a lot of people, I give interviews. I believe that true spiritual and intellectual exchange can lead towards a shift of consciousness. It is crucial for me to unveil the spirit and ideology that drives the Jewish state and Zionists around the world," Atzmon told Al-Ahram Weekly. "I believe that we are dealing with a unique ideology and practice and I am also aware that due to self censorship, not many people can discuss openly some of the topics I touch on, such as the fact that Zionism is a continuation of Jewish ideology."
“There will be no return-- time has come to tell Palestinian refugees they will not be returning to the State of Israel,” writes Nahum Barnea, a prominent Israeli ‘liberal’ columnist.
It is becoming clear that Israel lacks the means to cope with Palestinian resilience. Despite Israeli barbarism; despite sixty-three years of oppression, racial discrimination and mass murderous tactics-- including the usage of WMD-- the Palestinian people have remained determined to return to their land.
This week they reminded the Israelis, world Jewry and the rest of the world that the Palestinian cause is not going to fade away. If anything, in 2011, Palestinians seem more decisive, firm and united than their parents’ or grandparents’ generations.
One of the main differences between my work and and the writings of other humanists within the peace movement is that I am willing to move beyond the political discussion -- I dig into the ideological and philosophical roots of the Jewish state, Jewish politics and Jewish identity politics. I look into the meaning of 'Jewishness.'
In my work I clearly identify a continuum between Israel and 'Jewish ideology' ('Jewishness'). And since Israel defines itself as the Jewish State, then surely --we must be brave enough to question what Jewishness stands for.
And clearly, Israelis are proud about their Jewishness -- They are far from being shy about it all.
In the following video Judeo-Centric Israeli Law Professor Ruth Gavison spreads some Jewish Tribal ideas at AIPAC conference.
Ynet published yesterday an exceptionally stupid review of the economy behind the Iron Dome, Israel’s new anti missile defence system. The article attempts to present the ‘reasoning’ behind the new anti missile system. Believe it or not, it compares the running cost of the system with the potential lost caused by the death of an Israeli.
“The Iron Dome system is very good for Israeli economy”, says Dr. Adam Reuter, a ‘financial risk management’ expert. “A 25 year-old Israeli citizen should yield an average of 40 years of production … In other words, the death of an Israeli citizen at age 25 could cause a potential loss of economy of some 1.2 million dollars.”
According to Dr Reuter, the economy is pretty clear; the cost of a battery of Iron Dome which includes 100 missiles is about $100 million. The cost of each missile is about 50 thousand dollars. Reuter logic is simple; if you spend $50.000 on a missile, you may save a young Israel who could potentially contribute 1.2 million dollars to the Jewish State’s economy for the next 40 years.
In a New Statesman article, law professor John Dugard ,who was a Judge on The International Court of Justice as well as being Special Raporteur for United Nations Commission on Human Rights, summarises the Goldstone apology saga : ‘there are no new facts that could possibly have led Richard Goldstone to change his mind about the UN-backed investigation into Israel and the conflict in Gaza.’
While Goldstone claimed that the Israeli investigations produced some results also recognised by a follow-up UN committee report chaired by Judge Mary McGowan Davis, Dugard stresses that the McGowan Davis report was actually very critical of the Israeli investigations, finding them to be “lacking in impartiality, promptness and transparency.”
According to the McGowan Davis report, the Israeli ‘probe’ has resulted in “two convictions; one for theft of a credit card, resulting in a sentence of seven months' imprisonment, and another for using a Palestinian child as a human shield, which resulted in a suspended sentence of three months.”
Dugard is clearly bewildered by Goldstone’s latest zigzag: “Richard Goldstone is a former judge and he knows fully well that a fact-finding report by four persons cannot be changed by the subsequent reflections of a single member of the committee.” What made Goldstone change his mind “remains a closely guarded secret,” says Dugard.
“Even the Israelis in Gaza, when they moved into the Gaza Strip, they moved in with tanks to fight such extremists. It's the same thing here” Muammar Gaddafi (France 24)
In the last few days the UN have paved the way for a no-fly zone in Libya.
David Cameron and Barack Obama have also agreed to draw up "the full spectrum" of military responses to the crisis in Libya.
British PM David Cameron outlined his conversation with Obama, saying "We have got to prepare for what we might have to do if he [Gaddafi] goes on brutalising his own people…”
I find myself overwhelmed by Cameron's humanist stand -- it seems he really cares about the Libyan people.
And yet, I am left puzzled, for I have never observed Cameron, Obama or the UN being so touched in the same manner by the death of Palestinian civilians, who are also butchered on a daily basis by Israeli air raids. As it seems, in the quote above, Muammar Gaddafi performs far more integrity than Cameron, Obama and the UN. Gaddafi clearly manages to question the Western moralist agenda. If the UN is so enthusiastic to bomb Libya, shouldn’t it really start with Israel?
Israeli Ynet reports today that IDF Spokesperson assumed false name to avoid arrest for 'war crimes' in Britain.
In an interview with the British magazine Defense News, IDF Spokesperson Avi Benayahu revealed he had recently flown to Britain using a pseudonym so as to avoid getting arrested and investigated for war crimes.
When asked about the fact that IDF officers are threatened with mass protests and arrest warrants even in friendly countries like Britain, Benayahu replied: "It's true. In my last visit to London, I had to assume a false name because well-funded anti-Israel activists are exploiting universal jurisdiction powers to wage law fare against us."
I guess that Israeli political and military leaders start to grasp the possible outcome of their criminal actions. The message to the British immigration authorities is clear; beware, open your eyes, Israeli war criminals are clearly attempting to enter the United Kingdom using false identities.