Gilad Atzmon

jazz artist-world music-live dates-author-thoughts-Jewish Identity-Politics-Athens & Jerusalem-The Wandering Who? Being in Time

Welcome to Gilad Atzmon's webpage. This site provides information about Gilad's musical and intellectual activity.  

Filtering by Category: Israel

Gilad Atzmon: Israeli War Criminals Are Welcome Here

Earlier today Britain amended its universal jurisdiction law to the extent that Israeli war criminals can now enter the Kingdom without risk of arrest. British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould shamelessly called Israeli war criminal Tzipi Livni, against whom an arrest warrant was issued in 2009, and told her that the Queen has signed the amendment "to ensure that the UK’s justice system can no longer be abused for political reasons."

Ignoramus ambassador Gould should know that putting a war criminal behind bars is not a political matter, but an ethical necessity.
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Gilad Atzmon: Being in Time

Time Banking and Social Changes

(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?

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Gilad Atzmon: Israel Better Think Twice

As the rift between Israel and Turkey deepens,  the Israeli media is preparing its crowd for another  possible exciting bloody conflict.
 
Israel’s leading news outlet Ynet, published yesterday a detailed comparison between Israel’s and Turkey’s military capacity - it outlines the size of the air force, navy, ground forces in the respective countries. “Turkey”, it says, “posses much bigger navy but our air force is larger.’
 
I guess that this is what one would expect from Israel, a morbid collective driven by war enthusiasm and some bizarre craving for bloody conflict.
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Gilad Atzmon: The Flag And The Penis

The Daily Mail reported this week that young Paul Donnachie was found to have acted in a racially aggravated manner when he defiled an Israeli flag in a supposed political protest.

“A judge has ruled that a St Andrews University student who defiled an Israeli flag in a supposed political protest was acting in a racially aggravated manner.  Donnachie, 19, put his hands down his trousers before he touched the flag belonging to Jewish exchange student Chanan Reitblat in what he claimed was a 'political statement'.”

Donnachie, will lose his place at St Andrews University with immediate effect.  He is very unhappy with court’s decision. 

The pathetic Scottish sheriff, who was booed loudly by pro-Palestine supporters, upheld the complaints, telling Donnachie: “I consider this to have been an act of malice against Mr Reitblat for his membership of Israel.

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Gilad Atzmon: They Better Run For Their Lives

 

I have been monitoring the Hebrew press for the last three days and it is increasingly obvious to me and others, that no one out there, including Israeli top analysts, understands where the current escalation is leading.
 
However, a few things are becoming clear:
 
1.      The so-called ‘Jewish spring’, known also as the Israeli ‘tents protest’, has been easily dismantled. The Israelis seems to be far more enthusiastic about wars than social justice. The naïve thinkers who believed that Israel was heading toward a 'social revolution' will have to eat their words once again.  
 
2.      The nature of the clash in the Egyptian border is far from being clear; yet, it is obvious that the IDF was caught unprepared. In reality, Eilat, the Israeli southern tourist resort, is in immanent danger of being cut off from the rest of the country. Israel, so it seems, doesn’t have the military answers to such a scenario.

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Gilad Atzmon: De-Zionification Now

"It (immigration) was a politically motivated attempt by ministers to transform the fundamental make-up and identity of this country (Britain). It was done to destroy the right of the British people to live in a society defined by a common history, religion, law, language and traditions." 

(Melanie Phillips, as quoted by mass murderer, Anders Breivik, in his manifesto)

Melanie Philips, a rabid Zionist and the author of Londonistan: How Britain is Creating a Terror State Within” is not happy to be singled out by Andres Breivik in his 1500 pages manuscript.   Are they suggesting that “my writing provoked the mass murder of some 93 Norwegians?” she wonders righteously on her blog. I guess that Phillips knows the answer, as much as she knows how to play with words. But I will use this opportunity to reiterate it for her, and for the rest of us -- there certainly is a clear and strong resemblance between Breivik’s views and Philips’ writing. The most obvious and immediate comparison is that both oppose Islamic immigration and multiculturalism of course, but it goes much further in that both identify the enemy within the ‘left political circuit’.

Breivik cites Philips’ take  on Labour's immigration policy: "It was done to destroy for ever what it means to be culturally British and to put another 'multicultural' identity in its place."

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Gilad Atzmon: Was the Massacre in Norway a reaction to BDS?

I learned last night from an Israeli online journal, that two days before  the Utoya Island massacre,  AUF’s (Labour Party's youth movement)  leader Eskil Pedersen gave an interview to the Dagbladet, Norway's second largest tabloid newspaper, in which he unveiled what he thinks of Israel.

In the course of the interview, Pedersen stated that he “believes the time has come for more drastic measures against Israel, and (that he) wants the Foreign Minister to impose an economic boycott against the country.”

Pederson went on to say, “The peace process goes nowhere, and though the whole world expect Israel to comply, they do not. We in Labour Youth will have a unilateral economic embargo of Israel from the Norwegian side.”

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Gilad Atzmon: The Herem Law in the context of Jewish Past and Present

 

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.

 

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Gilad Atzmon: Flotilla, Flytilla and the prospect of ‘Civil Society Action’

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.[1]

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’.

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Gilad Atzmon: Jewish Self-Reflection is Overdue

In an audio interview , Harvard University Yiddish Professor Ruth Wisse has condemned ongoing attempts by international activists to set sail for Gaza, on what she calls a “kill-the-Jews flotilla.” 

“The purpose of the flotilla is to discredit the Israeli attempt to protect itself and to give Hamas a free hand amassing weapons to use against Israeli civilians.”  Wisse also forms a new type of ‘Jewish solipsism,’ saying “It should be called for what it is: a 'kill-the-Jews flotilla. If it is called by its proper name, then it will be recognized for what it is.” 

Here is the Yiddish logic: label first, then grasp accordingly. However, I would like to remind Wisse that as things stand in the Middle East, it is not the Flotilla peace activists  or the democratically elected Hamas who kill. It is actually the Jewish State that is doing the killing, en masse, and  in the name of the Jewish people. 

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Gilad Atzmon: Gaza Flotilla vs. Diaspora Jewry

The Israelis are preparing themselves for another massacre on the high seas.

This should not take us by surprise: after all, people who are detached from a true notion of history, and driven by a continuous fantasy of destruction, would be the last to draw a lesson from their past.

Earlier today I learned that The Israeli Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry held a simulation practice, ahead of the Gaza flotilla: in the course of the exercise, Minister Yuly Edelstein formed a ‘special situation room’ that is designated to disseminate ‘public diplomacy’ on the internet ,via messages, 
photos, video clips and additional materials, with emphasis on Diaspora 
communities, Jewish organisations, and friends of Israel around 
the world.

Just in case you weren’t sure what the expected role of Diaspora Jews is, I guess that by now Minister Edelstein has provided the answer.

However, the most interesting part of the story is the detailed description of the flotilla simulation itself: the imaginary scenarios depicted by Minister Edelstein and the IDF provide a glimpse into Israeli collective psychosis.

“The exercise was based on a scenario in which approximately 500 activists on 
approximately ten ships reached Israel's territorial waters at 10:00,” says the Israeli document. 
”Despite having been warned by the IDF, the ships continued on their way. At 
10:30, the Israel Navy began approaching the ships. Stun grenades were 
thrown at the IDF soldiers, as well as one live grenade that caused a number 
of casualties to our forces.”

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Gilad Atzmon: Self Reflection in Mondoweiss

I would like to draw your attention to an interesting thread on Mondoweiss, discussing my interview with Philip Weiss.

To read the Mondoweiss thread, click here.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Philip Weiss didn’t feel very comfortable with the publication of my interview with him -- In fact no one, including myself, felt comfortable with it , and some editors told me they were more than a little surprised that Weiss had agreed to my publishing it. But the truth of the matter is that Weiss gave me a green light after reading it all, and I salute him for his courage.

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Gilad Atzmon: And What About Jewish Anti Gentile Studies?

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. 

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Gilad Atzmon: For The Sake Of Jewish Sensitivities

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.

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THE WALL a play by Douglas Watkinson – reviewed by Gilad Atzmon

The Wall is a thought provoking new play based on Douglas Watkinson’s own experiences. 

At the age of sixty, David visits a British military cemetery in Israel. For the first time in his life he is about to call upon the grave of his father Ralph who was blown up in 1947 at the age of twenty five by the Jewish Stern Gang.

The play is a unique encounter between David, a middle-aged Englishman, and his dead father Ralph, a young English Corporal at the time of the British Mandate. It is a meeting through which we, the audience, can 'witness' six decades of Israeli brutality, through the eyes of a dead British Corporal buried in foreign soil along side thousands of his peers. The play is a cleverly constructed dialogue between a sixty year old son: a man who grew up in post WWII Britain, an indoctrinated gentleman  and a liberated dead father who is free to call things what they actually are.

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Gilad Atzmon: A Warning From The Past

Netanyahu's successful speech before the American joint houses was an extravaganza of Jewish power: there can be little doubt that as far as American elected politicians are concerned, Benjamin Netanyahu actually appears to be far more popular than even the American president himself.

Yet, you may want to ask yourself -- are Netanyahu and the Jewish State really popular amongst the American people? Do the American people approve of their elected politicians being AIPAC’s puppets? Are the American congressmen and senators serving American interests by aligning themselves so subserviently to AIPAC’s goals -- or are they increasingly  being subjected to pressure from a foreign state’s lobby?

It is all becoming pretty much like watching the way power operates in a totalitarian regime: American politicians are submissively obeying 'the call of Zion' as they stand up and applaud Netanyahu at all the ‘right moments.' And they clearly realise, all too well, that failing to do so would mean immediate political annihilation.

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Anayat Durrani: Exposing dangerous myths (Al Ahram Weekly)

Al-Ahram Weekly Online

Anayat Durrani interviews jazz musician extraordinaire Gilad Atzmon, discovering a secret weapon that Palestinians have in their struggle for freedom

 

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."

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Gilad Atzmon: Israel’s Doomed Fate

“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. 

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Panel Event -Zionism, Jewishness and Israel, Is Now Online (Must Watch)

I am very proud to announce that our last week panel event is now online (see bellow).

In spite of the pathetic attempts by Zionists and their Jewish ‘anti Zionist’ allies to crash the event, the panel was a great success. The room was packed. We explored some of the  most complicated issues to do with current world affairs. Some of London Jewish activists broke away from their segregated 'Jews only cells'  and marched with us. 

Interestingly enough, our detractors who promised to picket the event didn’t dare showing up.

I believe that the panel was a crucial  contribution to this movement and freedom of thought.

I vow to do it again and again and again. I will keep you posted.

Short version:

Panel event- 'Zionizm, Jewishness and Israel' from Tali Atzmon on Vimeo.

 Full version including Q&A

The full version of a panel event on 'Zionizm, Jewishness and Israel' from Tali Atzmon on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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