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An analysis on the attack against Atzmon, by Roger Tucker

Ali Abunimah & Gilad Atzmon at the OK Corral

by Roger Tucker
Saturday, March 24th, 2012

 

okcoral

The recent open letter Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon, apparently written by Ali Abunimah, has come as a shock to many people, including yours truly. Not only have the Zionists colonized Palestine and subjected them to a permanent campaign of genocide, but as anyone who has been paying attention knows, they have colonized the Western democracies, turning them into obedient puppets. Now it appears that they have also colonized the Palestine Solidarity movement.

At the end of this essay are links to a number of responses supporting Atzmon and what he stands for. These cover the ground pretty well, but I’d like to add a critical look at the language used by Abunimah et al and some of the notions underlying such terminology. I’ll start with the title itself, which begins with the curious phrase “Granting No Quarter.” The phrase is familiar to anyone who has read books or seen films based on British naval warfare set in the 18th or early 19th centuries. – this is as extreme as it gets. This from a group of mostly Palestinian supporters of the Palestinian struggle against Israel in opposition to another such supporter. That is sufficiently mind-boggling in itself, but Ali Abunimah, and I would assume at least some of his fellow signatories, are also supporters of One Democratic State as the solution to the basic conflict in the Middle East, as is Atzmon. Some fundamental and portentous difference, beyond a mere dispute about strategy or tactics, must be responsible for such a total and uncompromising attack on a seemingly close ally. It allows for no debate, no compromise – no quarter offered or accepted.

Some observers have implied that Ali & Co. have actually gone over to the enemy, or may have been Zionist agents from day one, and that the Jewish members of these Solidarity groups are acting as their handlers. For the sake of argument, I’m going to assume that is not so, that they are perfectly sincere in considering themselves loyal to the Palestinian cause as they conceive it. Looking at the signatories of the Letter we find some successful academics, Abunimah and Massad being the most prominent. They have prospered as unofficially sanctioned spokesmen for the Palestinian cause in the US and have no incentive to rock the boat. If they presented any perceived danger to tribal Jewry, they would likely find themselves on the street, as has happened to a number of academics, many of them Jewish, who have dared to challenge the predominant Jewish narrative. This points to a simple motivation based on economic and professional self-interest, but I believe there’s more to it than that.

Racism
“Race is a classification system used to categorize humans into large and distinct populations or groups by heritable phenotypic characteristics, geographic ancestry, physical appearance, and ethnicity.” So begins the Wikipedia page on the subject. Race is a broad brush that covers just about any typology that attempts to divide humanity into distinct groups according to such criteria. All such attempts have very fuzzy edges. “Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term “racism” is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature (i.e., which harms particular groups of people).” The accusation of racism has typically been a characteristic of leftist critiques of systems that practice discrimination against members of relatively powerless minorities. The accusation of racism against Zionist Jews is a curious exception. This particular group is far from being powerless. More to the point, there has been an obvious racist component within Jewish culture from the very beginning. Just take a look at the Old Testament, let alone the blatant contempt for the “goyim” (non-Jews) found in the Talmud. The dehumanization of “the Other” is a very old and characteristically Jewish pattern. For tribal Jews and their allies, the “shabbas goyim,” to bandy about the term “racism” is hypocrisy of the highest order. (“The term shabbos goy refers to a non-Jew who performs duties that Jewish law forbids a Jew from performing on the Sabbath.” – wikipedia) What I am getting at is that Ali Abunimah et al are arguably shabbas goyim, non-Jewish elements of the currently dominant political force in the Western world that James Petras refers to as the Zionist Power Configuration (JPC).

Antisemitism
This term is the most powerful weapon in the tribal Jewish verbal armory. To be labeled antisemitic is akin to having been labeled a heretic by the Holy Roman Inquisition. It might not invite torture and burning at the stake, but they will set about ruining your life. It is purportedly a special case of racism, whereby the Jewish people are cast as the eternal victims of racial prejudice. I defer to a Jewish thinker on this subject:

“If this hostility, even aversion, had only been shown towards the Jews at one period and in one country, it would be easy to unravel the limited causes of this anger, but this race has been on the contrary an object of hatred to all the peoples among whom it has established itself. It must be therefore, since the enemies of the Jews belonged to the most diverse races, since they lived in countries very distant from each other, since they were ruled by very different laws, governed by opposite principles, since they had neither the same morals, nor the same customs, since they were animated by unlike dispositions which did not permit them to judge of anything in the same way, it must be therefore that the general cause of anti-Semitism has always resided in Israel itself and not in those who have fought against Israel.” ~ Statement regarding the expulsions of Jews, by noted Jewish author Bernard Lazare in “L’antisémitisme, son histoire et ses causes,”published in 1894.

As a number of people have pointed out, there is another problem with the use of the word antisemitism. “Semite” is a linguistic term denoting peoples who speak semitic languages. Israelis are not semites in spite of the fact that they speak Hebrew ((it’s an adopted language of far too recent a vintage). The Zionists who created Israel and still run it are descended from the Khazars, linguistically a “Turko-finnic” people. The vast majority of semites speak Arabic as their native language, making tribal Jewry, particularly the Israelis, the only people in the world who are truly “antisemitic” – and they are virulently antisemitic.

Colonialism
Abunimah invokes this term, specifically “settler-colonialism,” as characterizing the nature of the Zionist invasion of Palestine. They claim that Atzmon rejects this characterization. Actually, all he does is point out that settler-colonialism has traditionally referred to efforts of European powers to install a permanent presence of their nationals in countries they wish to control. In all such cases, except Israel, there is a mother country that the settlers can rely on to finance and support their efforts. This is different from the case of the Jewish State, in which that role has been played by world Jewry in the diaspora. It’s a non-issue, really, except that once again Abunimah is misusing language to make his argument.

Culture Race, as we mentioned above, is a clumsy, inaccurate and misleading way of looking at the distinguishing characteristics of people that we attempt to lump together in identifiable groups. There’s a much better way of separating out what Atzmon calls “collectives.” This is by looking at characteristic ways of thinking, speaking and behaving, which together pretty much determine who we are. These distinctions are cultural. And this is where the already shaky limb that Ali is clinging to breaks and he tumbles into complete nonsense. Ali doesn’t mention culture in his letter, but take a look at this, Ali Abunimah attacking Gilad Atzmon at the Stuttgart One State conference (Dec 2010. “Jewish Culture.. doesn’t explain anything at all.” This remark is not only absurd – it would be like saying that slavery had nothing to do with the Civil War, or that the playing of the pipes has nothing to do with their Celtic origin, or that the French drink wine merely as a matter of personal choice, etc. , etc. (one could make a parlor game out of this) – he is so intent on demonizing Atzmon that he abandons any shred of intellectual integrity. Perhaps he secretly believes in “Intelligent Design?”

The notion of race is based on genetic differences, which determine our physical being. Genetic evolution in the human race more or less ceased some 5,000 years ago. Culture, on the other hand, is memetic. Memes are patterns that we inherit from our environment, starting when we are children with our families and continuing as we get older to to the notions, norms and attitudes prevalent in our societies. Culture is far and away the most significant causal factor in how we manifest in the world. What makes memetic (cultural) evolution possible and far more rapid than through genetic mutations is that we have the ability to change our minds based on new information, or seeing things in a new way. To do so requires curiosity, an open mind and considerable humbleness. This is what the word “freedom” means in its fullest sense. Many people become rigid and inflexible in their views, including far too many academics. As Eric Hoffer, the great longshoreman philosopher put it in his book ‘The True Believer,’ “In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

Identity politics
This term, frequently used by Atzmon, is the crux of the matter. If you will indulge me, click on Us vs. Them: On the Meaning of Fascism. It is about identity politics and how this phenomenon tends to evolve into fascism. Atzmon is absolutely correct in making it central to his investigation. He stresses that it is intellectually dishonest to attempt to discuss Zionism and Israel without reference to “Jewishness.” Zionism was a specifically Jewish endeavor to create a Jewish state. What could be more obvious? If you leave out the “Jewish” part there isn’t much left, is there? The point is too obvious to belabor, but Abunimah attempts to do just that. Atzmon, in the grand tradition of intellectual inquiry, has committed himself to trying to understand the whole complex picture, which centers around the question of what “Jewish” and “Jewishness” mean. Abunimah cries foul and invokes the taboo that has been the mainstay of Zionist propaganda from day one. You can’t talk about “Jews.” You can’t talk about “Jewishness.” Otherwise you are “racist,” “antisemitic.” A circular, absurd argument. I guess it might upset somebody, most likely “The Wandering Guess Who.” (There is a very intriguing piece from an unlikely source, a recent issue of the New York Times. The author has some very intiguing things to say about tribal identities. Click on Forget the Money, Follow the Sacredness.)

I am Jewish, Atzmon is Jewish (whether he likes it or not – sorry, Gilad, but it’s a friendly dig), and so are many of his supporters. I don’t want anyone telling me that I can’t look at what that means. It is one of my fondest hopes that a great many Jews honestly consider the question “who am I?”. As long as the answer is “I’m a Jew, first and foremost” we are in for a lot more trouble. If the answer is “I’m first of all a human being and the rest is secondary” then there will be grounds for optimism. If enough Jews have the courage to look in the mirror and ask this fundamental question, we could easily solve the most pressing problem facing the world today, because, like it or not, tribal Jewry currently holds all the cards. Without at least the tacit support of most Jews they wouldn’t be able to play their game any longer.

Political Correctness We are now going to address what I believe to be the primary motivations behind Abunimah’s extraordinary attack on Atzmon. A number of political fashions arose out of postmodernism, such as multi-culturalism, radical feminism and gay and lesbian activism, for example. In all cases, these fashions endorse various flavors of identity politics, These particular ideas were actually pioneered within the 60’s counter-culture, but the postmodernist academics turned them upside down. Instead of being inspired by a sense of our common humanity, we were inundated by all sorts of identity politics, all with narratives that, under the new dispensation, couldn’t be challenged without confronting the enforcement arm of the new orthodoxy – political correctness. All of this grew out of the Marxist culture that had previously been the fashion on the Left, but needed a new intellectual basis after the reaction to the horrors of Stalinism and Maoism, and eventually the fall of the Soviet Union. Ergo, postmodernism and its progeny provided continuity and a new lease on life.

In keeping with the tradition of Marxism-Leninism, the neo-Marxists needed to instill monolithic party discipline. After all, there can be only one vanguard of the proletariat. The new ideology of identity politics developed the strategy of political correctness to enforce its monopoly over discourse. This is not confined to the groves of Academe – the ADL and similar Zionist institutions actively enforce the orthodoxy. And, just as an aside, Jews continued to make up a large proportion of both the party leadership and the party faithful, just as Bolshevism was largely a Jewish project. Although the thought police concern themselves with decrying any perceived denigration of a number of tribal groups, by other academics particularly, there is no question that the one and only Sacred Cow is the Jewish Tribe. Casting aspersions on black people, gays or women, for example, will get you a serious dressing down, but any reference to Jews or Jewishness that isn’t flattering might well cost you your livelihood, or worse.

To sum up, the attacks on Gilad Atzmon and Ken O’Keefe reveal an organized attempt to silence independent voices within the Palestinian support community. Many moons ago I was in the US Army. As it was peacetime, the only enemy in sight was the Army itself. We fought to a draw. There are many of us who don’t like to take orders, least of all from from the PC thought police. This an attempted political coup, actually, much like the successful efforts of the Bolsheviks (which means “majority,” although they were a small minority – quite Orwellian, actually) against the Mensheviks. But it isn’t going to work, because Atzmon and O’Keefe aren’t interested in power or being part of an organized movement. They are truly independent people taking a personal stand against a great evil, and they take their stand on behalf of all of suffering mankind, not just the Palestinians. Their efforts are prompted by the plight of the Palestinians, but like Gandhi, ML King and Mandela, they serve an even higher purpose, that of justice, wisdom, compassion and peace.

I would leave it there, but I want to make an appeal to Ali Abunimah et al to reconsider their views on this matter. When I got involved in One State advocacy more than ten years ago, I realized that we needed to operate under a big tent. After all, we are a small, relatively powerless group of people, up against the most powerful and ruthless fascist endeavor in history. At the very least, we need to accommodate one another even if some people have some views that rub us the wrong way. So I would like to invite Ali Abunimah, Joseph Massad, my friend Haidar Eid and all the others to check their guns at the door and rejoin the rest of us involved in the greatest struggle of our time.


Supporters of Atzmon have written a flurry of
responses to Abunimah’s letter. Here are links to some of them:

Needless to say, Atzmon and O’Keefe have had something to say about it as well:

A Response to Ali Abunimah & Co., by Gilad Atzmon

Gilad wrote to his list:

It seems as if in spite of a very well orchestrated Jewish campaign, truth and justice prevailed, a lot thanks to you out there. There is a simple basic fact my detractors fail to grasp.I am not a politician, I do not seek power. I am an artist, I search for beauty and justice. And as it happens both are out there available for us.”

It appears that the same people who are trying to excommunicate Atzmon are also after Ken O’Keefe, which is really disgusting. There aren’t that many real heroes in this world, but O’Keefe is certainly one of them.

Thought Police within the so-called ‘Palestine Solidarity Movement’, by Ken O’Keefe

 

Disclaimer

Roger Tucker Posted by on March 24, 2012. Filed under Palestine. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

23 Responses to Ali Abunimah & Gilad Atzmon at the OK Corral

  1. ariadna

    March 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    The only comment I have is that this is an article worth framing and displaying on walls in as many places as possible.

    (and now…. the expected howlings and catcalls … 1, 2, 3, bowwaowauwww….miaouwauauauauaw)

  2. searching

    March 24, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Great article. Great picture, although it needs some clarification ( who is Ali , who is Gilad at the photo:).
    Yeap, the main message is , my dear decent ladies and gentelmen : Stop pointing guns at each other. The enemy loves it and enjoys it.
    Start pointing guns in one direction.
    We have a very powerful enemy to deal with.
    It is no joke ,but a very sad ,frightening reality.

    • fool me once...

      March 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Gilad is the guy on the left, Kirk “dimple chin” Douglas. If you look closely, you can see his left hand playing an imaginary sax. Kirk, years later goes onto play Spartacus, leading the slaves in a massive revolt (*). He gets crucified at the end of that film.
      Hmmm, maybe that’s where Dr Mathis gets confused. When he tells Gilad to “get offa his cross”, he’s thinking Gilad is Jesus, when really Gilad was Spartacus all along.

      • Gilad Atzmon

        March 24, 2012 at 9:34 pm

        Not bad at all ,, between Spartacus and Jesus.. I actually prefer somewhere between John Coltrane and Dave Liebman.. :)

      • searching

        March 24, 2012 at 9:51 pm

        :) )). Nice interpretation.
        I actually think that Gilad is more like a Saul ,later known as St.Paul from Tarsus. Saul was a wealthy, very well educated Jewish guy ( with a Roman citizenship), who was known for being very zelous in persecution of early Christians. One beautiful day , on the way to Damascus, Saul saw a bright light,boom, fell of the horse to the ground, was blind for a few days ,and to make a long story short, he turned his ways around.
        He changed his name to Paul. He converted, become one the greatest apostoles/missionaries ,spreading Christian message all around the Mediterranen.
        A fascinating, very interesting human being.
        Of course, Gilad is not like him, ( I would not call Gilad a saint ,although he does have a patience of a saint, dealing with all those attacks, threats, slanders and trolls) , but the conversion did took place in Gilad’s Life some beautiful day, and only he knows how it happened or what it triggered.

    • Gilad Atzmon

      March 24, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      I agree,, I have sent a few similar messages to Abunimah. so far no reply. I guess that he realises that he made a tactical mistake.

      • solar

        March 25, 2012 at 11:41 pm

        More likely, he thinks you’re a rather obvious anti-Semite no worthier of a reply than David Irving or David Duke would be.

        But then, David DuKKKe is one of your greatest fans, isn’t he.

  3. Jonathon Blakeley

    March 24, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Great Article. Its great that we are all deconstructing this fake racist smearing. Its is clearly being used to control people and the politics.

    • Gilad Atzmon

      March 25, 2012 at 12:30 am

      Indeed a great article. It points at the differences between Abunimah and myself. Tucker is incredible and it is so great to see him on deLiberation…

  4. who_me

    March 25, 2012 at 3:48 am

    something i have not seem mentioned is the segregation in the 2 letters attacking atzmon. The 1st letter was signed mostly by jews, and written by a jew (i assume) and the 2nd was initially mostly signed by muslims and written by a muslim. why didn’t the 2 these 2 groups join together for these letters? why did they seperate themselves? are muslims not allowed to associate with jews in public? both of these letters were by the same group of people, all of whom are israeli agents of disruption, per se. it’s strange they do not want to be seen associating with each other.

    but maybe there is another reason these israeli quislings do not want to be seen associating together in these character attacks? like it would be too self incriminating and look like too much like an organised smear, as so many of zionist smears do? they want it to look like a natural thing, like it wasn’t organised. and here is where they screwed up. by segregating themselves into 2 ethnic groups writing different, but fully supporting letters, they showed their inherent bigotry. normal people don’t feel they have to separate themselves into cultural groupings when they do something or get together, bigoted groups insist upon separating the different groups. israeli aparheid is based upon extreme separation of groups. so was south african apartheid, an israeli close ally. and so was the american confederate south, who probably inspired both south african and israeli apartheids.

    so here we have people claiming to be progressive or leftists who have adopted the culture of apartheid. they mould their interactions with each other after those of apartheid israel, apartheid south africa and the jim crow american south. 3 similar cultural arrangements which are about as far from progressivism and leftism as one can get. not only do these quislings smear the opponents of israel for israel, they are culturally israeli. abunimah and the greenstains got it bassackwards, they are the colonials. israel’s colonials. they are perfect examples of why israel is the “mother country” and it’s outside supporters are the colonial settlers.

    the way these israeli agents give away their cultural identity aside, it was obvious from the beginning the letters are part of a typical organised zionist character smear and are literally identical in flavour and in style to every other israeli character smear. the letter signers may have thought what they are doing was a clever way to get an israeli opponent nullified, but in reality, what these quisling have done is expose themselves as israeli agents. and what is even more stupid, in their haste in climbing over each other to do israel’s bidding (or israel’s haste to waste them as future assets to attack a minor irritant), they exposed their game en mass. like a herd of sheep following their leader over a cliff.

    it’s unfortunate that not all of israel’s “progressive and leftist” assets didn’t sign these letter, then we’d have the whole network exposed for what they really are. i suppose a few of the more intelligent assets (100iq and higher, perhaps ;) held back to avoid showing who they work for, or perhaps israel ordered some to abstain, to use as a credible reserve for another similar smear later, now that the currents signers are spoiled goods.

    • who_me

      March 25, 2012 at 3:57 am

      incidentally, the order in which the 2 letters were posted also reflects the hierarchy among these israeli assets. jews highest, muslims lowest. just like in israel. just like in every jewish run organisation that includes token goyim.

  5. American

    March 25, 2012 at 4:50 am

    All I can say is ..”“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    I was moved to ordered Gilad’s book by the hard time he was getting from the supposed liberal zionist at mondowiess.com who went nuclear him.
    Looks to me that a lot of people are afraid of having their myths busted up.
    I’m impressed by people who tell painful truths.
    Bravo.

Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 07:02AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments1 Comment | References9 References

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Reader Comments (1)

Lovely! Gilad is courageous -- squarely in the tradition of the prophets, Spinoza, Karl Kraus, and Israel Shahak. We need him.

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSheldon Richman
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