Archive | March 15th, 2012

VT Exclusive: Atzmon-Palestinian Infighting Reveals Underbelly of Gutless Duplicity

NOVANEWS

Why Would Supposed Palestinian Activists Attack Gilad Atzmon?

 

Gilad

by  Gordon Duff,  Senior Editor

 

Last week, Ali Abunimah, editor of a blog called “Electronic Intafada” published a letter cosigned by a group of moderately to well known “activists” quite violently attacking Gilad Atzmon of Veterans Today. 

The letter began attacking Atzmon for his recent work,The Wandering Who, a discourse on Jewish identity, which has drawn violent criticism.

Who are these critics?  They are advocates for war on Iran, lobbyists for military aid for Israel and, of course, the avowed enemies of the Palestinian people.

Now this group is joined by what is meant to appear to be the real spokesmen for the Palestinian cause.  This, however, on closer examination is everything but the truth.

What is the truth? The truth isn’t simple but I hope it is at least interesting.  The conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people is one of the most misrepresented and costly in world history.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have fled their homes with most living in barbaric conditions justified by a mythology sold to a gullible world by media owned and controlled by extremist groups tied to Israel’s Likudist party.

I  invited Gilad Atzmon, a veteran of the IDF, to join Veterans Today as a columnist several years ago.  He was carefully vetted by an informal organization that includes among its staff and sources many, if not most, of the world’s intelligence communities “heavy hitters.”

The Wandering Who – Is Wandering Here

We had learned that much that had been represented as “conspiracy” was what we dealt with as everyday reality and that the mainstream media and, worst of all, the cowardly academics whose bumbling helped certify mythology as temporary truth was a betrayal of honor and values.

When reading Ali Abunimah, I can see some of his points on Atzmon’s book, at least from his sociological side.

However, a geopolitical realist should know the power and influence the Jewish people have attained and how the changes in that sector, their gullibility, their move to the right, their abandonment of humanistic values, has negatively impacted the world.

Atzmon’s explanation of this is “spot on” the value of which Abunimah seems to miss.  This is excusable, of course, disagreement is a part of dialog.  However, Abunimah may well not be the “honest player” he seems.

I had mentioned the vetting Atzmon went thorough.  We find him courageous, tireless and extremely open and honest. We do not find the same of his critics.

We find them effete, inherently a pack of petty plotters and utterly lacking in what Americans call “the right stuff.” These are a pack of characters out of a Kafka novel, petty bureaucrats, minor intellects, “arm chair dissidents” or worse, controlled opposition.

Some time ago, as information involving the war on terror, the invasion of Iraq and the attacks of 9/11 debunked, without question, the cover story sold at very high price by the west, a benchmark was created by which we could separate goats, sheep and the occasional wolf in our midst.

Dr. Alan Sabrosky

Dr. Alan Sabrosky presented the initial evidence tying Israel to 9/11.  I received direct confirmations through high ranking sources in Israel and Russia. Then evidence began piling up, volumes of it, which is available in Veterans Today, evidence unassailed by our critics of Atzmon.

This evidence constitutes a “third rail” for certain groups in Israel and elsewhere who have helped lead the world to a decade of warfare and economic collapse.

During that time, however, while most Palestinians suffered, some have done very well for themselves, have thrived on the status quo.

Atzmon is criticized for his position on 9/11, one we see as, not just supportable but the only reality based possibility. It is also a position, not just accepted throughout the Islamic world but through scholars and military experts by the thousands who have been quite outspoken.

The “cover story” on 9/11 is dead, killed by hard science and Israel’s involvement is proven by evidence, not conjecture.

The opposition depends on the type of bullying and invective used by Ali Abunimah of “Electronic Intafada,” what seems to be a well coordinated “ganging on” done in cooperation it seems, with Alan Dershowitz and Abe Foxman of the ADL. The Dersh had been on John Stossel’s show urging the ‘shunning’ of book blurber John Mearsheimer by not only the University of Chicago students, but the faculty, also.

Normally, this should seem impossible, perhaps a coincidence or is something more sinister at hand, is Lenin’s old addage, “If you want to control the opposition, be the opposition,” rearing its ugly head?

We have Atzmon on one side, with his powerful criticism of Israeli apartheid, of Israeli involvement in 9/11 and, most dangerous of all, his willingness to listen to historical revisionists who question the word from heaven itself, the version of the holocaust that has been used to justify persecution of the Palestinian people.

Post WWII smokestack is five feet from the back wall, connected to nothing – Build as Hollywood type set

For those of us who are students of history out of necessity rather than profit, the use of the holocaust to justify apartheid, even slaughter, has made the official version suspect.

Under closer examination, substantial portions of the holocaust, as insisted on, are pure Marxism, creations of the Stalinist state that built the “demonstration” gas chambers and smoke stacks at the camps now used as tourist attractions.

At some point, more than just the Soviets or their Zionist and/or Marxist friends went that extra step, insisting on blind obedience to a version of history defended, not often with the gun or sword.

They more often used sociological controls, perhaps more political, the press used as a weapon, “defense” organizations used to intimidate and, in particular, economic power that is very Jewish, the most powerful economic group on earth, that can get anyone who strays from the Marxist path removed from gainful employment.

So many of Atzmon’s Palestinian or purported Palestinian foes live at the behest of the sworn enemy of their blood, who they criticize with carefully controlled and carefully orchestrated regularity.

If Jews have built a society of the mythology of victimization as Atzmon contends, then a similar society exists among Palestinians.  If such groups stifle dialog and truth, if such groups tend toward reaching a plateau as it were of controlled criticism, much is explained.

We can now easily see how, despite the efforts of world leaders for decades, the plight of the Palestinian people has steadily deteriorated.  An axiom, ill applied, one from a Godfather film; “Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer.”

Vanunu with Ken O’Keefe

Watching and undermining Atzmon, perhaps the only effective voice for the Palestinian people other than Ken O’Keefe, also of Veterans Today, would have been wise.

Openly attacking Atzmon accomplished only one thing, it exposed to the world that the plight of the Palestinian people continues because many who would be “among them” but who are far from it, profit from the suffering of others.

Victimization is not a Jewish industry, but rather an industry for those who exploit and control the Jews.  It creates, as I see it, a permanent feeling of rejection, of being hated, of being inferior.

It also pre-stages a people for accepting lies as truth and for brutality under the guise of “race defense” or, perhaps most shameful of all, religious will as expressed by a people I know from vast personal experience to reject religion as superstition.

Thus, the order went out to silence Atzmon.  When Abe Foxman, whose continual accusations against any who threaten the geopolitical will of the ultra-nationalist Likudist dictatorship in Israel, the call of “anti-semite” rings continually.

This is a joke to those who note Foxman’s demeanor and duplicity for what it so obviously is, it is strange but not unexpected to hear the answering call from the “controlled opposition.”

Foxman had tried to cash in on the decades old media popularity of Ron Silver, the charismatic actor who played Dershowitz in film.  The real Dershowitz has taken on more of the demeanor and “like-ability” of Dick Cheney of late, hardly a defender of human rights, the man he may well have been at one time.

Dershowitz’s cynicism is deep as a well, you can see it on his face, in his every gesture.

This leaves us with Gilad Atzmon to travel the world, as he calls himself, “the Wandering Who,” a stateless being, British by citizenship, musician by trade, “stand-up” comic when need requires, to defend, not so much the Palestinian people but humanity and the travels his own life has set before him.

Our Palestinian blogger, perhaps the “controlled opposition,” 40 years in intelligence work leads me to assuming that rather easily, isn’t a shadow of Atzmon.  Bloggers are generally anticharismatic figures, and we certainly have one who has collected more of his ilk at his side.

Palestinian betrayers have been harshly dealt with by their own people, a version of the Ali treatment.

Are they betrayers? I think so.

I think you can’t defend the Palestinian people unless you are willing to challenge the cynicism that sells the holocaust as though it were a brand of soap and pushes the plight of these victims of Israeli Jews way to the back of the bus.

In a world wrought with technicalities and absurdity, even I may be considered a holocaust survivor, definitions have gone that far.

The real problem is that there is an actual shared victimization, one that should bring about understanding, consensus and humanity, rather than the gamesmanship and lies we are now subjected to.

Collective suffering when used to excuse criminality or when exploited for political and economic reasons denies the humanity of all.

I represent  a group, soldiers, those who serve their nations as the eyes and ears of truth, or so I would tell myself.  Among our number are traitors and war criminals.  We also have millions who have suffered and given all for what they truly believe to have been truth and honor.

Maybe they were wrong, certainly the case can be made that all war is offensive and economic.  A dead 19 year old on a battlefield somewhere, a grieving parent will find no solace in that.

Armed and Dangerous – Gilad with personal automatic weapon

Atzmon is a dangerous man.  He is human when those who oppose him are not.  They will never appear on stage with him, they become invisible, smaller with every word until they finally disappear.

An audience would ask, “Who was that other person, I didn’t like them.”

If, for over six decades, great intellectuals, the best “thinkings”, as they will gladly tell you, of their time, lay out plans for the future, for the salvation of the people of Israel or Judea or Palestine, whatever they call it, one can only look and judge, judge by the results.

What we have has to be what they wanted.

As with anyone of honesty, there will always be one admission.  We are but the children of the playground, albeit Kipling’s ”playing fields” or the sandlots of Detroit I was raised on.

I learned of children there and the lessons I learned taught me what I needed to survive wars, too many wars, to retain what humanity possible. to learn loyalty and to understand what “heart” and “honor” really mean.

I simply like Gilad Atzmon.  He is a “good kid.”  Of our others, I don’t know all but have learned to understand and deal with bullying when I see it.

I see it.   It is the flag of weakness, physical weakness, hatred of self and intellectual inferiority. All I can say is this:  “Good luck with that.”

Editing:  Jim W. Dean

—————————————

A Response to Ali Abunimah & Co.

by Gilad Atzmon

The Jewish Lobby Bullets Have Been Bouncing off Gilad – Now Come the Palestinians to Try

Ali Abunimah & Co tend to present themselves as advocates of “One Democratic State in Palestine.” This leaves me puzzled: what kind of democracy do they have in mind, exactly?  For by calling for my “disavowal,” they prove beyond a doubt that they cannot tolerate even some elementary cultural criticism—criticism that is endorsed and praised by some of the most respected thinkers within our movement and beyond.

In fact, I am pretty delighted with the outraged reactions to my thoughts. I guess it enables us to map the discourse and its boundaries—and means that those boundaries are now official.

Not only has my latest book, The Wandering Who?, rocked the boat, but it also has managed to unite Alan Dershowitz and Abe Foxman with Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal. That is pretty encouraging: it means that peace may prevail after all.

The Dersh has ruled another Shunning – So why would Palestinian ‘human rights’ activists follow?

However, I also have some bad news for my would-be silencers, Palestinian and Jewish alike. I do not have any plans to slow down or drift away. I am a jazz musician and an independent thinker.

I am basically a free agent—I say what I think and think what I say. The popularity of my writing among Palestinians, solidarity activists and truth seekers is the direct outcome of my sincere approach to the subject matter.

Whether my detractors accept it or not, the strength of my arguments is grounded on the transparent truthful nature of my premises. Until now, not one of my opponents has been able to point out a single discrepancy within my argument or the facts I cite.

For instance, I contend that since Israel defines itself as the Jewish State—its tanks and planes decorated with Jewish symbols—it is our duty to ask: Who are the Jews? What is Judaism? And what is Jewishness all about?

The fact that some activists shy away from asking those questions doesn’t mean that the rest of us also should behave cowardly.

In case my detractors—be they Zionists, Anti-Zionist Zionists or Palestinians—fail to realize it, Palestine is not alone anymore, and is no longer an isolated, remote discourse. Even as I write, AIPAC is publicly and relentlessly pushing America into a new global conflict. In Britain, 80 percent of Tory MPs are members of the Conservative Friends of Israel.

What we are witnessing here is a clear Zionist shift from the discourse of a “promised land” to one of a “promised planet.” I’m convinced that calling a spade a spade could actually save the world, including Americans, Brits, Iranians and Palestinians. But it also can save the Jews from the grave potential consequences inflicted on them by the Jewish lobbies.

Minister of Ideology…Ali-Abunimah

Sadly, Ali Abunimah has misrepresented my thoughts. Clearly there is no racism, anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial in my writing.  As determined as my detractors are to find it, they have failed to identify a single bit of evidence of such tendencies in my work.

Ali Abunimah says on my behalf that “one cannot self-describe as a Jew and also do work in solidarity with Palestine, because to identify as a Jew is to be a Zionist.”

What a ludicrous interpretation of my writing, in which I go out of my way to define the issue in categorical terms. What I am obviously opposing is Jewish racial exclusivity.

If Israel is in the wrong for being a Jews-only State, I argue, then its Jewish critics better fight it using an inclusive, universalist ideology and practice.

I am indeed critical of Jewish identity politics, Jewish culture and Jewish ideology. I am also critical of the Jewish cultural attitude toward history. I am critical of Jewishness and any form of Jewish exclusive political activism. And yet, I wonder, why should any person who seeks justice and peace object to my approach? Is Jewish culture or identity politics beyond criticism? Are Jews chosen after all.

I am sorry to disappoint my Palestinian and Jewish opposition league, but it seems as if their terminology is faulty and misleading: Zionism is not colonialism, for colonialism is defined as a material exchange between a Mother State and a Settler State. The fact that there is no Jewish Mother State suggests that Zionism doesn’t fit the colonial model.

Nor is Israel an Apartheid State, for Apartheid is defined by the exploitation of the indigenous residents. Yet the Jewish State prefers that the Palestinians simply and completely disappear. In other words, we are dealing here with a unique racially driven expansionist philosophy not very different from the Nazis’ Lebensraum.

The Hard Edge of ‘Growing Space’

Israel is not Zionism, and vice versa.  Israel is theoutcome of the Zionist project. If Zionism is a promise to establish a “Jewish National Home in Palestine,” Israel is its post-revolutionary product.

Indeed, Israelis are barely familiar with Zionist thought and ideology. From their perspective, anti-Zionist ranting is a remote Diaspora discourse.

Shalom does not mean peace, reconciliation or harmony. Its accurate English translation is “security for the Jews.” Israeli culture lacks a clear notion of “peace” as we know it—i.e., harmony and reconciliation.

I suggest that my detractors spend some time and think this through, so they can understand that the issues involving this conflict and its resolution go far beyond mere political discourse.

I would like to take this opportunity to advise my opponents that their campaign is counterproductive. Those who are interested in my ideas realize that we are living in a post-political and post-ideological era.  Like myself, they are interested in an ethical argument.

They are not “party members,” and they are not taking “orders” from any sectarian group or ideology. Instead they listen to their hearts. Those pro-Palestinian organizations sponsoring my current U.S. book tour realize very well that my work galvanizes a demarcation line between truth and its enemies.

In spite of the relentless slander campaign against my writing, it has not achieved a thing except to expose a rigorous intellectual intolerance in our midst. If my opposition is concerned with my thoughts, it will have to learn to debate.

Before we can proceed, I guess, my detractors may have to actually read my book and decide exactly what they are against.

http://www.wrmea.com/action-alert-archives/11130-to-disavow-or-debate-gilad-atzmon.html

Last night Ali Abunimah and other respected Palestinian writers and activists signed a statement calling for “The Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon,” who is winding up his U.S. tour with events in Washington, DC today and tomorrow. The Washington Report is convinced that Atzmon’s interview tonight by Prof. Norton Mezvinsky couldn’t come at a better time. Please read Abunimah’s statement and Atzmon’s response below. Then come to tonight’s discussion and decide for yourself whether to shun Atzmon or engage him in debate. For those who want to further explore the renowned jazz musician’s ideas and music, copies of Atzmon’s latest book, The Wandering Who?, as well as his three CDs, will be available for purchase.

Wednesday, March 14, 6:30-8:30 PM Gilad Atzmon is interviewed by Prof. Norton Mezvinsky, (Connecticut State University Professor of History Emeritus) at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20001 (free, open to public, light dinner)

Thursday, March 15, 5-6:30 PM DC Peace House, 1233 12th St. NW, Washington DC 20005

Posted in Campaigns1 Comment

Misrepresentation and moral cowardice: Gilad Atzmon responds to Ali Abunimah and company

NOVANEWS
 http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com

Gilad Atzmon debunks a statement signed by Ali Abunimah and others in which they misrepresent his critique of Jewish identity politics, and he vows to continue his fight for the truth. By publishing this, we reaffirm our support for Mr Atzmon and hope that the signatories of the statement will turn their focus to the real enemies of the Palestinian people.

ed note–Gilad is 1000% corrrect–Until the world (or at least that portion of it working to understand and/or solve the problem of Israel and Zionist violence) begin to understand that the root of this problem is Jewish indentity and how it manifests itself in the modern world, all that will be accomplished is a lot of wasted time, energy and money. Abunimah & co who bend over backwards to try and discuss Israel, Zionism and what has been done to the Palestinian people while simultaneously avoiding and/or condeming the discussion of Jewish supremacy are in effect working towards the continued suffering of the Palestinian (and other) people under the jack-booted heel of Israel.

 

By Gilad Atzmon

Ali Abunimah and company tend to present themselves as advocates of “One democratic state in Palestine.” This leaves me puzzled: what kind of democracy do they have in mind, exactly? For by calling for my “disavowal”, they prove beyond doubt that they cannot tolerate even some elementary cultural criticism – criticism that is endorsed and praised by some of the most respected thinkers within our movement and beyond.

In fact, I am pretty delighted with the outraged reactions to my thoughts. I guess it enables us to map the discourse and its boundaries – and means that those boundaries are now official. Not only has my latest book The Wandering Who? rocked the boat, but it has also managed to unite Alan Dershowitz and Abe Foxman with Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal. That is pretty encouraging: it means that peace may prevail after all.   Water off a duck’s back   However, I also have some bad news for my would-be silencers, Palestinian and Jewish alike. I do not have any plans to slow down or drift away. I am a jazz musician and an independent thinker. I am basically a free agent – I say what I think and think what I say. The popularity of my writing among Palestinians, solidarity activists and truth seekers is the direct outcome of my sincere approach to the subject matter.

Whether my detractors accept it or not, the strength of my arguments is grounded on the transparent and truthful nature of my premises. Until now, not one of my opponents has been able to point out a single discrepancy within my argument or the facts I cite. For instance, I contend that since Israel defines itself as the Jewish state – its tanks and planes decorated with Jewish symbols – it is our duty to ask: Who are the Jews? What is Judaism? And what is Jewishness all about?

The fact that some activists shy away from asking those questions doesn’t mean that the rest of us also should behave cowardly.

In case my detractors – be they Zionists, “anti-Zionist” Zionists or Palestinians – fail to realize it, Palestine is not alone anymore, and is no longer an isolated, remote discourse. Even as I write, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is publicly and relentlessly pushing America into a new global conflict. In Britain, 80 per cent of Tory Members of Parliament belong to the Conservative Friends of Israel. What we are witnessing here is a clear Zionist shift from the discourse of a “promised land” to one of a “promised planet”.

I am convinced that calling a spade a spade could actually save the world, including Americans, Britons, Iranians and Palestinians. But it also can save the Jews from the grave potential consequences inflicted on them by the Jewish lobbies.   Misrepresentation   Sadly, Ali Abunimah has misrepresented my thoughts. Clearly there is no racism, anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial in my writing. As determined as my detractors are to find it, they have failed to identify a single bit of evidence of such tendencies in my work.

Ali Abunimah says on my behalf that “one cannot self-describe as a Jew and also do work in solidarity with Palestine, because to identify as a Jew is to be a Zionist.”   What a ludicrous interpretation of my writing, in which I go out of my way to define the issue in categorical terms. What I am obviously opposing is Jewish racial exclusivity. I argue that that if Israel is in the wrong for being a Jews-only state,  then its Jewish critics had better fight it using an inclusive, universalist ideology and practice.   I am indeed critical of Jewish identity politics, Jewish culture and Jewish ideology. I am also critical of the Jewish cultural attitude toward history.

I am critical of Jewishness and any form of exclusive Jewish political activism. And yet, I wonder, why would any person who seeks justice and peace object to my approach? Is Jewish culture or identity politics beyond criticism? Are Jews chosen after all.   The wrong model   I am sorry to disappoint my Palestinian and Jewish league of opponents, but it seems as if their terminology is faulty and misleading: Zionism is not colonialism, for colonialism is defined as a material exchange between a mother state and a settler state. The fact that there is no Jewish mother state suggests that Zionism doesn’t fit the colonial model.

Nor is Israel an apartheid state, for apartheid is defined by the exploitation of the indigenous residents. Yet the Jewish state prefers that the Palestinians simply and completely disappear. In other words, we are dealing here with a unique, racially-driven expansionist philosophy not very different from the Nazis’ Lebensraum.

 Israel is not Zionism, and vice-versa. Israel is the outcome of the Zionist project. If Zionism is a promise to establish a “Jewish national home in Palestine”, then Israel is its post-revolutionary product. Indeed, Israelis are barely familiar with Zionist thought and ideology. From their perspective, anti-Zionist ranting is a remote diaspora discourse.

Shalom does not mean peace, reconciliation or harmony. Its accurate English translation is “security for the Jews”. Israeli culture lacks a clear notion of “peace” as we know it – i.e. harmony and reconciliation.   “In spite of the relentless slander campaign against my writing, it has not achieved a thing except to expose a blatant intellectual intolerance in our midst. If my opponents are concerned with my thoughts, they will have to learn to debate”   I suggest that my detractors spend some time and think this through, so they can understand that the issues involved in  this conflict and its resolution go far beyond mere political discourse.  

Counterproductive intolerance   I would like to take this opportunity to advise my opponents that their campaign is counterproductive. Those who are interested in my ideas realize that we are living in a post-political and post-ideological era. Like myself, they are interested in an ethical argument. They are not “party members”, and they are not taking “orders” from any sectarian group or ideology. Instead they listen to their hearts. Those pro-Palestinian organizations sponsoring my current US book tour realize very well that my work galvanizes a demarcation line between truth and its enemies.

 In spite of the relentless slander campaign against my writing, it has not achieved a thing except to expose a blatant intellectual intolerance in our midst. If my opponents are concerned with my thoughts, they will have to learn to debate.

But before we can proceed, my detractors will have to actually read my book and decide exactly what they are against.

Posted in CampaignsComments Off on Misrepresentation and moral cowardice: Gilad Atzmon responds to Ali Abunimah and company

Palestine: no two-state solution possible

NOVANEWS

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

In January 2012, the Israeli group Peace Now, issued a report, Torpedoing the Two State Solution – The Strategy of the Netanyahu Government, setting out the record levels of illegal Israeli settlement construction in 2011 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its clear objective of strangling any hope for a viable Palestinian state under the two-state solution scenario. Another report, written by European Union (EU) Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah in 2011, and leaked to the press this January, comes to much the same conclusion after analysing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from what is known as Area C in the West Bank. The Heads of Mission report expresses the concerns of European imperialism over developments in Israel and its potentially destabilising effects on the wider region. It also points to a developing rift with US imperialism over the issue. What is clear from both reports is that the strategy of the ‘two-state solution’ is a political dead end for the Palestinians. BOB SHEPHERD reports.

 

Peace Now shows that in 2011 there was a record 20% rise in housing unit construction starts in the colonial settlements in the West Bank, not including East Jerusalem. This means that at least 3,500 housing units were being built in the West Bank during 2011. Since November 2011 the Israeli Ministry of Housing has announced tenders for the construction of a further 1,201 housing units in the West Bank and 2,057 in East Jerusalem. Peace Now says that plans for 3,690 housing units in East Jerusalem have been approved, and that three areas in East Jerusalem are being targeted by Israel for such construction.

Peace Now argues that in a deliberate attempt to create ‘facts on the ground’, the Israeli state is expanding settlement construction on land that would be crucial to a future viable Palestinian state. These include areas between East Jerusalem and the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, development of which would virtually split the West Bank in two, the area around Bethlehem to the south of Jerusalem, and the expansion of the Ariel settlement to the north of the West Bank. During 2011 the Israeli government also recognised 11 new settlements in the West Bank by making official the squatting/stealing of Palestinian land by some 2,300 Israeli settlers.

The EU Heads of Mission report addresses Israel’s control of Area C in the West Bank. This includes ‘crucial natural resources and land for the future demographic and economic growth of a viable Palestinian state’ and comprises 62% of the land area in the West Bank. It has remained under Israeli control since the signing of the Oslo Agreement in 1993. All 124 illegal Israeli settlements are within Area C. The Heads of Mission say that Israel has ‘continuously undermined’ the Palestinian population in this area and through its actions is ‘rapidly closing the window’ on a two-state solution. They demonstrate that Israel is engaged in a policy of ‘forced transfer of the native population’ from Area C – in other words, ethnic cleansing. The settler population now stands at 310,000 while the Palestinian population has fallen to an estimated 150,000. In 1967, there were 200-320,000 Palestinians in just one part of what is now Area C alone, the agriculture-rich Jordan Valley. The Heads of Mission cite home demolitions, severe prohibitions on construction, settlement expansion, movement restrictions, and denial of access to land and water as ways Israel has used to expel Palestinians from this part of the West Bank. Now, fewer than 6% of West Bank Palestinians reside in an area that was expected to comprise the major part of any future Palestinian state.

The report recommends that the EU takes an active role in promoting Palestinian economic development, backing infrastructure projects related to roads, water, schools and medical clinics to ‘support the Palestinian people and help maintain their presence’. It says that the EU should be calling on Israel to halt demolitions of Palestinian houses and structures built without permits: there have been 4,800 since 2000. The EU should also be more vocal in raising objections to ‘involuntary population movements, displacements, evictions and internal migration’.

The EU is concerned that the continued unrestrained expansion of settlements and the suppression of the Palestinian people by the Zionists, supported by US imperialism, are creating a time bomb for imperialism in the Middle East. EU embassies in Israel have underlined this in a separate report leaked in December 2011 which argues that Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian citizens should move from being ‘second tier to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’ to a ‘core issue’. It catalogues widespread discrimination in education, employment, housing and access to land and notes a surge in legislative proposals targeting the Palestinian minority and ‘a political climate in which discriminatory rhetoric and practice go unsanctioned’. It suggests that the EU should involve itself in promoting Palestinian rights within Israel, as tackling inequality ‘is integral to Israel’s long-term stability’.

The unending blockade of Gaza

At the end of 2011 Oxfam reported that,‘For the vast majority of people in Gaza, life has not become any easier, despite pledges by the Government of Israel in June and December 2010 to ease the ongoing blockade. Not only have certain commitments gone unfulfilled, but the unacceptably high levels of poverty and unemployment show that a token number of trucks cannot deliver what people need to rebuild their shattered lives. Karni crossing has been locked down, exports over the last year have all but ceased, and the entry of materials needed to kick start the economy remains hopelessly delayed. Residents of Gaza do not need more broken promises; they need meaningful change brought through an end to the blockade.’

Oxfam says that the import of goods is only 34% of the level before the blockade was imposed and 1% less than in 2010. There is still a ban on the import of building material for private firms and it is still severely restricted for the Palestinian Authority (PA) and NGOs working in Gaza. This has prevented the reconstruction of the 3,540 homes destroyed and 2,850 damaged during the Israeli onslaught on Gaza in 2008/2009, and the repair of water and sewage plants and other vital infrastructure. 90-95% of Gaza’s water supply from the underground aquifer is now undrinkable. Around 75% of the population is dependent on food aid.

The PLO collaborates with Israel

As the grip of Zionism tightens further, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has gone back on his position that no talks could take place with Israel until the settlement construction stopped by agreeing that the PLO would meet with representatives of Israel in Amman, Jordan. Four meetings were held in January, supposedly to explore the possibility of re-opening peace discussions. All Palestinian political groups apart from Fatah condemned the meetings. In Ramallah, a group called ‘Palestinians for Dignity’ held a number of demonstrations outside the PA headquarters condemning the talks. Its spokesperson said, ‘The PLO’s reneging on their promise to the Palestinian people and their return to negotiations implies that the leadership accepts the continued theft and seizure of Palestinian lands, legitimises the on-going attacks of the settlers, and furthermore undermines the Palestinian people as a whole.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Palestine: no two-state solution possible

‘REVISIONISM IS THE TRUE MEANING OF HISTORY’- GILAD ATZMON IN MADISON WISCONSIN

NOVANEWS

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on ‘REVISIONISM IS THE TRUE MEANING OF HISTORY’- GILAD ATZMON IN MADISON WISCONSIN

A Response to Ali Abunimah & Co.

NOVANEWS

by Gilad Atzmon

 

Ali Abunimah & Co tend to present themselves as advocates of “One Democratic State in Palestine.” This leaves me puzzled: what kind of democracy do they have in mind, exactly?  For by calling for my “disavowal,” they prove beyond a doubt that they cannot tolerate even some elementary cultural criticism—criticism that is endorsed and praised by some of the most respected thinkers within our movement and beyond.

In fact, I am pretty delighted with the outraged reactions to my thoughts. I guess it enables us to map the discourse and its boundaries—and means that those boundaries are now official. Not only has my latest book, The Wandering Who?, rocked the boat, but it also has managed to unite Alan Dershowitz and Abe Foxman with Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal. That is pretty encouraging: it means that peace may prevail after all.

However, I also have some bad news for my would-be silencers, Palestinian and Jewish alike. I do not have any plans to slow down or drift away. I am a jazz musician and an independent thinker. I am basically a free agent—I say what I think and think what I say. The popularity of my writing among Palestinians, solidarity activists and truth seekers is the direct outcome of my sincere approach to the subject matter.

Whether my detractors accept it or not, the strength of my arguments is grounded on the transparent truthful nature of my premises. Until now, not one of my opponents has been able to point out a single discrepancy within my argument or the facts I cite. For instance, I contend that since Israel defines itself as the Jewish State—its tanks and planes decorated with Jewish symbols—it is our duty to ask: Who are the Jews? What is Judaism? And what is Jewishness all about?

The fact that some activists shy away from asking those questions doesn’t mean that the rest of us also should behave cowardly.

In case my detractors—be they Zionists, Anti-Zionist Zionists or Palestinians—fail to realize it, Palestine is not alone anymore, and is no longer an isolated, remote discourse. Even as I write, AIPAC is publicly and relentlessly pushing America into a new global conflict. In Britain, 80 percent of Tory MPs are members of the Conservative Friends of Israel. What we are witnessing here is a clear Zionist shift from the discourse of a “promised land” to one of a “promised planet.” I’m convinced that calling a spade a spade could actually save the world, including Americans, Brits, Iranians and Palestinians. But it also can save the Jews from the grave potential consequences inflicted on them by the Jewish lobbies.

Sadly, Ali Abunimah has misrepresented my thoughts. Clearly there is no racism, anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial in my writing.  As determined as my detractors are to find it, they have failed to identify a single bit of evidence of such tendencies in my work.  Ali Abunimah says on my behalf that “one cannot self-describe as a Jew and also do work in solidarity with Palestine, because to identify as a Jew is to be a Zionist.” What a ludicrous interpretation of my writing, in which I go out of my way to define the issue in categorical terms. What I am obviously opposing is Jewish racial exclusivity. If Israel is in the wrong for being a Jews-only State, I argue, then its Jewish critics better fight it using an inclusive, universalist ideology and practice.

I am indeed critical of Jewish identity politics, Jewish culture and Jewish ideology. I am also critical of the Jewish cultural attitude toward history. I am critical of Jewishness and any form of Jewish exclusive political activism. And yet, I wonder, why should any person who seeks justice and peace object to my approach? Is Jewish culture or identity politics beyond criticism? Are Jews chosen after all.

I am sorry to disappoint my Palestinian and Jewish opposition league, but it seems as if their terminology is faulty and misleading: Zionism is not colonialism, for colonialism is defined as a material exchange between a Mother State and a Settler State. The fact that there is no Jewish Mother State suggests that Zionism doesn’t fit the colonial model.

Nor is Israel an Apartheid State, for Apartheid is defined by the exploitation of the indigenous residents. Yet the Jewish State prefers that the Palestinians simply and completely disappear. In other words, we are dealing here with a unique racially driven expansionist philosophy not very different from the Nazis’ Lebensraum.

Israel is not Zionism, and vice versa.  Israel is the outcome of the Zionist project. If Zionism is a promise to establish a “Jewish National Home in Palestine,” Israel is its post-revolutionary product. Indeed, Israelis are barely familiar with Zionist thought and ideology. From their perspective, anti-Zionist ranting is a remote Diaspora discourse.

Shalom does not mean peace, reconciliation or harmony. Its accurate English translation is “security for the Jews.” Israeli culture lacks a clear notion of “peace” as we know it—i.e., harmony and reconciliation.

I suggest that my detractors spend some time and think this through, so they can understand that the issues involving this conflict and its resolution go far beyond mere political discourse.

I would like to take this opportunity to advise my opponents that their campaign is counterproductive. Those who are interested in my ideas realize that we are living in a post-political and post-ideological era.  Like myself, they are interested in an ethical argument. They are not “party members,” and they are not taking “orders” from any sectarian group or ideology. Instead they listen to their hearts. Those pro-Palestinian organizations sponsoring my current U.S. book tour realize very well that my work galvanizes a demarcation line between truth and its enemies.

In spite of the relentless slander campaign against my writing, it has not achieved a thing except to expose a rigorous intellectual intolerance in our midst. If my opposition is concerned with my thoughts, it will have to learn to debate. Before we can proceed, I guess, my detractors may have to actually read my book and decide exactly what they are against.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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