Three months ago, I briefly participated in a Palestinian solidarity conference in Stuttgart. The event was dedicated to the 'One State Solution'. As it happened, I was touring in Germany at the time, and thus accepted an invitation by the organiser to say a few words.
Being primarily an artist, rather than a politician or an activist, I am committed to truth and beauty rather than a party-line or any given ideological doctrine. Yet, without my intending to do so, and in just a few sentences – I managed to cross every possible ‘red line’, and I bought myself a few more enemies.
In my speech, I said that as much as ‘universalism’ is a beautiful idea, it is incompatible with Jewish culture, since Jewish culture is tribally oriented. I also told the German Palestinian supporters that as much as ‘peace’ is a beautiful concept, associated as it is with harmony and reconciliation, Shalom, the Hebrew word for peace, is actually interpreted by Israelis as ‘security for the Jews’.
I thought that the supporters of the ‘One State Solution’ should be aware of the complexities that lie ahead.
For years Israelis and Zionists have been pumping 'Shoah' into our veins by using every possible propaganda outlet: media, education, Hollywood, music, literature, billboards and so on.
Seemingly they have been very successful : We are all properly ' Holocausted '. We accept the suffering of the Jewish people -- and we have even managed to draw a universal message from it all.
We do accept that a real Shoah is taking place in front of our eyes in Palestine, where the Jewish state locks millions of Palestinians behind bars: it starves them, it stops medical supplies, food, cement, and educational materials from getting in. But it does not stop there -- when the Jewish state feels like it, it also kills Palestinians indiscriminately. It either blitzes them with white phosphorous , or sends in its tank battalions to drive over Gaza.
Discussing different issues to do with Palestine, Zionist brutality and Jewish lobbying.
Around 16.30 minutes into the 2nd hour, Gloria, an Israeli American lady called the station and spoke about the invaluable importance of David Irving, Michael Hoffman and other revisionists. It is the 'revisionists who help us to understand and question our past' she said.
Haaretz published today a massive interview with Robert Wyatt and myself. It is a very interesting piece. I may also mention that the Israeli paper didn't censor me. It let me say it all (Jews, Judaism, Jewishness, Jewish left, Zionism, Israeli collective barbarism etc')
Self-proclaimed anti-Israeli saxophonist Gilad Atzmon and prog rock legend Robert Wyatt have joined forces to make musical magic and "political noise"
By Yaron Frid
In 1963 a baby was born in Israel. In 1972 a man fell from the third floor (or the fourth - views are divided ) in England in the middle of the night. Both of them took off on the wings of music, and life would one day organize a surprising encounter between them.
This is a sad story with a jolting soundtrack made of the howl of a saxophone and the wail of a clarinet. It's a story of displaced persons who have no other country, featuring war criminals, Nazi-hunters and God in a cameo role, tempered by large daubs of irony and a few crumbs of hope.
Morning. Rain. Rail strike. Soho, London. Who is the huge chuckling fellow in the Italian cafe who is polishing off a schnitzel sandwich (washed down with tea ) and welcomes me with comments like "There is no light at the end of the Israeli tunnel"? Or, "I think there is something untenable, simply untenable in the fact that the Jews, who suffered so much racial discrimination, should establish a state that is founded on race laws." And, topping the charts, "I am dead against the existence of the Jewish state." It's still early in the morning, let me remind you. I-am-dead-against-the-existence-of-the-Jewish-state-and-pass-the-sweetener-please. Good morning to you, too, Gilad Atzmon.
The fact that the cafe is across from Ronnie Scott's famous jazz club offers a subtle hint about Atzmon's identity. He is one of the most acclaimed and in-demand jazz musicians in the world and he only enhances his glory - or totally destroys it, it depends whom you ask - when his mouth isn't otherwise occupied with a saxophone (or a schnitzel ).
Atzmon says he is dealing not with politics, but with ethics. Maybe in his case it really isn't just a matter of semantics. Or cosmetics. But we're here to talk about music. And about beauty. "This beauty which simply spills out of you," he says, "effortlessly, unconsciously, in the most wonderful moments of creativity, and when that happens you understand that you are only the carrier of the spirit, of something bigger than you, over which you have absolutely no control. I have no connection with that beauty, I just eat schnitzels. I am only the messenger. I don't look for the beauty, the beauty finds me and through me finds its way into the world."
Until now, it' been a real source of pride amongst Israel's support network that big name musicians have felt 'safe' to appear at Zionist fund raisers. Even whilst Israel commits ever more stomach churning war crimes in Palestine and -as we saw in May with the attack on the Freedom Flotilla - in international waters.
Aappearing at events to raise issues related to justice in Palestine was seen as a sure fire way of artists being branded anti semitic- leading to (so artists were lead to believe) falls in record sales and trouble s booking tour venues. But, as Gilad Atzmon has aptly named his latest CD ' the tide has changed.'
The Palestine issue is now 'hot' and for the first time, this coming week, a music festival featuring forty world class musicians and bands is taking place in London to send this message far and wide.
JAZZA Fesitval is at the SCALA, London on 12th/13th October, marks the official launch not only of the much anticipated Robert Wyatt/Atzmon/Ros Stephen album.It brings together for the first time artists from the worlds of jazza, funk, folk and hip hop - for Palestine.
Haaretz reported this week that a boat carrying Jewish activists from Israel, Germany, the U.S. and Britain set sail on Sunday for Gaza, hoping to breach Israel's blockade there and deliver aid.
9 Jews will participate in this brave mission: amongst them is Rami Elhanan, an Israeli peace activist whose daughter Smadar was killed in a suicide bombing in 1997. Elhanan rightly maintained that it was his moral duty to act in support of the Palestinians in Gaza because reconciliation was the surest path to peace. "Those 1.5 million people in Gaza are victims exactly as I am," he said.
Refusnik Israel Air Force pilot Jonathan Shapira, another passenger aboard the ship, told Haaretz that "we hope that the soldiers and officers of the Israeli navy will think twice before they obey orders to stop us." Shapira also reflected on recent Jewish history: "Let them remember the history of our people, and those who followed orders and later said we were only following orders.”
Elhanan and Shapira make a lot of sense, for they speak in the spirit of humanism and universalism.
However: when it comes to Jewish political activism, there is always one ‘righteous person’ who insists on providing a glimpse into what is still a deeply Judeo-centric agenda.
Richard Kuper, an organizer with the U.K. group, ‘Jews for Justice for Palestinians’, said “one goal is to show that not all Jews support Israeli policies toward Palestinians.”
Well done Richard. Let me get it right : amongst the Jewish population of 18 million people, worldwide -- all you have managed to apparently represent, speak for and collate, is 9 humanist souls who are not happy with Israeli policies.
Recognizing Israel as uniquely Jewish is one of the key demands made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the latest talks with the Palestinians. However, Foreign Minister Lieberman took it one step further. He demands all Israelis swear an oath of loyalty to the Jewish state. Liebermann’s campaign slogan is "no loyalty, no citizenship."
"We can't continue to ignore issues like that of Hanin Zuabi, who identifies completely with the other side," SaidLieberman on Sunday. He was referring to an Israeli Arab member of Knesset who was stripped of her parliamentary privileges after sailing aboard the heroic Mavi Marmara, and being witness to the Israeli massacre in high seas.
So here we are : Israel is basically a Western liberal ‘multi cultural’ society where all different ethnicities and minorities are demanded to swear loyalty to the ultimate form of chauvinist Jewish tribal practice.
Watch this amusing new Hasbara video. It seems as if the Israelis start to acknowledge that the days of their ‘Jews only state’ are numbered. They clearly gather that they are about to be forced out of the West Bank. In this short propaganda film Israel seems to acknowledge that it will be squeezed into the 1949 armistice lines.
Israel cannot handle its past. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu decided this week to extend from 50 to 70 years the time state archives remain classified. Israel realizes that it has too much to hide.
Haaretz reported this week (in its Hebrew edition only), that the first documents will be released to the public only in 2018 (1948+70). Many of the documents that are stored in the archive are relevant to the history of the first 20 years of the Jewish state: the mass expulsion of the Palestinian people, the massacres in Deir Yassin, Tanturaand many others, the 1956 Suez conflict, the Israeli nuclear project and so on. Disclosing such documents may bring to light some facts that could “shatter myths and cause embarrassment to many entities and individuals” said the Israeli paper. I guess that president Shimon Peres is one of those ‘many individuals’.
One of the most striking trends following the flotilla attack has been how quickly Israeli hasbara is being exposed by internet journalists. The doctored IOF audio clips, where amateurs with mock Arab accents hiss ‘Go back to Aushwitz’ to Israeli naval officers. Well they didn’t take long to pull apart did they? Then there are the (so-pathetic-they’re-almost-funny claims the flotilla was linked to Al Quaeda. I laughed out loud to read in an Israeli paper that humanitarian activist (and former US marine) Ken O’Keefe was going to Gaza to; ‘train a commando unit in Hamas.’ I know Ken fairly well. Quite frankly I’m not sure who should be more insulted by this stupidity him or Hamas? Either way flinging the words ‘Hamas’ ‘Jihadists’ and ‘Israel’s security’ around is no longer having the same shock and awe effect on journalists or the public at large.
Panic is detected in Israel. Strategic affairs minister, Moshe Boogi Ya'alon who served as acting PM during last week's massacre in the high seas said yesterday that “someone failed to prepare a standard operating procedure.” A senior IDF official was quick to respond "If there wasn't a standard operating procedure, why didn't he make sure there was one. He was the acting prime minister and it was his responsibility.” War criminal Tzipi Livni is also unhappy with the Government for failing to take responsibility. Two days ago she led a no confidence vote in the Israeli Knesset.
Seemingly the Israelis are starting to blame each other. This may look like a positive move, however, not a single Israeli is yet to ask for forgiveness. Seemingly no one in Israel grasps the scale of the atrocity in the high seas. No one in Israel comprehends the level of outrage amongst the nations. Israelis, are instead concerned with their Hasbara failure, their military operational mistakes and so on. Up until now, they fail to see that in the high seas, they have managed to kill Christ again.
As I write this piece the scale of the Israeli lethal slaughter at sea is yet to be clear. However we already know that at around 4am Gaza time, hundreds of IDF commandos stormed the Free Gaza international humanitarian fleet. We learn from the Arab press that at least 16 peace activists have been murdered and more than 50 were injured. Once again it is devastatingly obvious that Israel is not trying to hide its true nature: an inhuman murderous collective fuelled by a psychosis and driven by paranoia.
For days the Israeli government prepared the Israeli society for the massacre at sea. It said that the Flotilla carried weapons, it had ‘terrorists’ on board. Only yesterday evening it occurred to me that this Israeli malicious media spin was there to prepare the Israeli public for a full scale Israeli deadly military operation in international waters. Make no mistake. If I knew exactly where Israel was heading and the possible consequences, the Israeli cabinet and military elite were fully aware of it all the way along. What happened yesterday wasn’t just a pirate terrorist attack. It was actually murder in broad day light even though it happened in the dark.
Yesterday at 10 pm I contacted Free Gaza and shared with them everything I knew. I obviously grasped that hundreds of peace activists most of them elders, had very little chance against the Israeli killing machine. I was praying all night for our brothers and sisters. At 5am GMT the news broke to the world. In international waters Israel raided an innocent international convoy of boats carrying cement, paper and medical aid to the besieged Gazans. The Israelis were using live ammunition murdering and injuring everything around them.
Today we will see demonstrations around the world, we will see many events mourning our dead. We may even see some of Israel’s friends ‘posturing’ against the slaughter. Clearly this is not enough.
The massacre that took place yesterday was a premeditated Israeli operation. Israel wanted blood because it believes that its ‘power of deterrence’ expands with the more dead it leaves behind. The Israeli decision to use hundreds of commando soldiers against civilians was taken by the Israeli cabinet together with the Israeli top military commanders. What we saw yesterday wasn’t just a failure on the ground. It was actually an institutional failure of a morbid society that a long time ago lost touch with humanity.
It is no secret that Palestinians are living in a siege for years. But it is now down to the nations to move on and mount the ultimate pressure on Israel and its citizens. Since the massacre yesterday was committed by a popular army that followed instructions given by a ‘democratically elected’ government, from now on, every Israeli should be considered as a suspicious war criminal unless proved different.
Considering the fact that Israel stormed naval vessels sailing under Irish, Turkish and Greek flags. Both NATO members and EU countries must immediately cease their relationships with Israel and close their airspace to Israeli airplanes.
Considering yesterday’s news about Israeli nuclear submarines being stationed in the Gulf, the world must react quickly and severely. Israel is now officially mad and deadly. The Jewish State is not just careless about human life, as we have been following the Israeli press campaign leading to the slaughter, Israel actually seeks pleasure in inflicting pain and devastation on others.
In the last few days Israel was singled out by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation conference's decision to note Israel as a country's whose facilities must be regulated as "fundamentally wrong and duplicitous." This happens for a reason. As much as Israel insists to operate as a modernised high-tech Jewish Ghetto, it also persists in being the biggest threat to world peace. Seemingly, nations are starting to show some real signs of fatigue of the Jewish state and its collective lunacy. But the bad news from Israel doesn't stop just there. The Sunday Times reports today that Israel stations nuclear missile in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline. This doesn't leave much room for doubt. Following the suicidal Massada narrative, the Jewish state is now doing everything it can to escalate the situation in the Middle East into a nuclear world war.
Haaretz reports today that Israel will attempt to block the humanitarian Freedom Flotilla heading toward Gaza. However, according to the Israeli paper, the humanitarian cargo would then be unloaded, inspected and sent to Gaza overland via the United Nations.
Typical for Israel, it tries to win a lost battle. On the one hand, by stopping the flotilla Israel attempts to maintain its regional status as an omnipotent super power that controls the land, the air and the sea. On the other hand, the Jewish state pathetically also wants to evoke sympathy for being ‘sensitive’ to humanitarian issues and the Palestinian plight.
The Israelis indeed internalised the Shoa experience. Very much like notorious Ivan the Terrible from Treblinka who reportedly unleashed his dog against camp inmates, the IDF Border Guard employs dogs against Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli political opposition.
Ynet reported today that Security forces arrived near the village of Dir Nizam accompanied by the Border Guard's canine unit. "They chased us with vicious dogs," one of the protestors said.
To a certain extent Suleiman’s latest film reminded me of Ramzy Baroud’s bookMyFather Was a Freedom Fighter. Both works chart a personal and devastating expedition into hopelessness. Both accounts are saturated with repeated failures and betrayals, both Baroud and Suleiman are courageous enough to criticise their collective narrative and yet, both pepper their story with some staggering wit, hope and humour. They make you smile just when you are about to sob.
Jenin Jenin depicts the true story of Israeli colossal barbarism. There is no doubt left, the Jewish State is the ultimate enemy of humanity and humanism. It also presents the Palestinian ordeal facing the Zionist evil. Clearly, surviving the Israeli occupation is nothing but heroism.
Soon after Jenin Jenin was released, after only three showings, the film was banned by the Israeli Film Board (2002), accusing the film of being libellous for calling itself a documentary despite documenting only one 'side' of the story. One may ask the Israeli Film Board whether they also ban holocaust documentaries for failing to present the Nazi or even the SS ‘side’ of the story.
Bakri petitioned the High Court of Justice against the censor for prohibiting the screening of the film on the grounds that it distorted the truth. After a long fight, the court rejected the censor's decision.
In 2004, the Israeli High Court finally upheld its earlier overturn of the ban, but joined the Film Board in labelling the film a "propagandistic lie," based on Israeli sources which acknowledged only 52 Palestinian deaths, 38 of whom Israeli sources argued were armed fighters.
In 2007, five IDF soldiers who participated in the Jenin refugee camp massacre sued the Cinamatheques in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for screening the film in the midst of the ban, and sued Bakri for 2.5 million NIS for producing the film. In July 2008 Bakri was acquitted of the charges.
Jenin-Jenin earned two awards: the "Best Film" award at the Carthage International Film Festival, 2002, and the International Prize for Mediterranean Documentary Filmmaking and Reporting.
Lyad Samoudi the film's Executive Producer, was killed at Alyamoun at the end of the filming by Israeli soldiers on 23 June 2002.