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Sat

10

Oct

2009

Who Is A Jew? By Gilad Atzmon
Saturday, 10 October 2009 07:59
by Gilad Atzmon

Gilad Atzmon (Hebrew: גלעד עצמון‎, born June 9, 1963) is a jazz musician, author and anti-Zionist activist who was born in Israel and currently lives in London.
"Anti-Semite is an empty signifier, no one actually can be an Anti-Semite and this includes me of course. In short, you are either a racist - which I am not - or have an ideological disagreement with Zionism... which I have."
He was born a secular Israeli Jew in Tel Aviv, and trained at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. His service in the Israeli military convinced him Israel had become a militarized state controlled by religious extremists. In 1994, Atzmon emigrated from Israel to London, where he studied philosophy. Atzmon is an anti-Zionist who critiques Jewish identity issues and supports the Palestinian Right of Return as well as the establishment of a single state in Israel/Palestine. He is a signatory to the "Palestinians are the Priority Petition" which states “full and unconditional support of the Palestinian people is a condition sine qua non for activists to adopt.
The question of "who is a Jew?" has been debated in Israel since it attained statehood. In the Jewish state the authorities, Rabbis and the media would dig into one’s bloodline with no shame whatsoever. For the Israelis and orthodox Jews, Jewishness is obviously a blood related concept. However, Jewishness and blood concerns are becoming a subject of a growing debate in the UK. In the last few days The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian are trying to decide whether Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a ‘self hating Jew’ or just an ordinary anti-Semite. Like the Israeli Rabbis they both dig into his bloodline.

Ahmadinejad is revealed to have a ‘Jewish past’ said the Daily Telegraph on Saturday. According to the paper, a photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 ‘clearly’ suggests that his family had Jewish roots. The Telegraph even found the ‘experts’ who suggested that ‘Mr Ahmadinejad's track record for hate-filled attacks on Jews could be an overcompensation to hide his past.’ Needless to say that Ahmadinejad has never come on record with a single anti-Jewish ‘hate- filled’ attack as The Telegraph suggests. He is indeed extremely critical of the Jewish state and its raison d'etre. He is also highly critical of the crude and manipulative mobilisation of the holocaust at the expense of the Palestinian people.

One may wonder how come a Western media outlet happens to selectively engage with issues to do with the racial or ethnic origin of the Iranian president. At the end of the day, digging into people’s ethnic past and family bloodline is not a common practice you expect from the Western press. It is something you tend to leave for racists, Nazis and rabbis. For one reason or another, no one in the so called free press tried to dwell on the close ties between multi billion swindler Bernie Maddof and his tribe. The free press saved itself also from dealing with Wolfowitz’s ethnicity, in spite of the fact that the Zionist war he brought on us has cost 1.5 million lives by now. If you wonder how it is that the Western free media is reverting to ‘pathology’ in order to deal with a Muslim president, the answer is simple not to say trivial:

The so called ‘liberal West’ is yet to find the answers to President Ahmadinejad within the realm of reason. It lacks the argumentative capacity to address Ahmadinejad. Instead, it insists to spin banal racially orientated ideas that cannot hold water, ‘By making anti-Israeli statements’ says The Daily Telegraph, ‘he is trying to shed any suspicions about his Jewish connections.’ The truth of the matter is clear. Ahmadinejad has already managed to re-direct a floodlight of reasoning and skepticism just to enlighten our darkest corner of hypocrisy. He somehow manages to remind us all what thinking is all about.
 

It is pretty much impossible to deny the fact that Ahmadinejad’s take on the holocaust and Israel is coherent, consistent and valid. He seems to have three main issues with the narrative:

1. Around sixty Million died in WWII, the vast majority of them were innocent civilians. How is it, asks Ahmadinejad, that we insist to concentrate on the particularity of the suffering of one ‘very’ specific group of people i.e. the Jews?

2. The Iranian president rightly maintains that this historical chapter must be historically examined. This would mean as well that every event in the past should be subject to scrutiny, elaboration and revision. ‘If we allow ourselves to question God and the Prophets, we may as well allow ourselves to question the holocaust.’

3. Regardless of the truthfulness of the holocaust, it is a trivial fact that the suffering of the Jews in Europe had nothing to do with the Palestinian people. Hence, there is no reason for the Palestinians to pay for crimes committed by others. If some Western leaders feel guilty for crimes committed against the Jews by their own ancestors, which they seem to claim, they better allocate some land for the Jews within their territories rather than expect the Palestinians to keep upholding the Zionist murderous burden.

As much as it is obviously clear that the above points raised by Ahmadinejad are totally valid, it is also painfully transparent that the West lacks the means to address those issues. Instead we seem to revert to supremacy and pseudo scientific discourse dwelling on blood, pathology and lame psychoanalysis.

As embarrassing as it may seem, in just three moves Ahmadinejad manages to expose the current deceptive Western mode of discussion. He, in fact identifies the holocaust as the core of our hypocritical stand, a tendency that has managed to shatter our ethical judgment. The holocaust was there to divert the attention from the colossal crimes committed by the allies. Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden are just brief examples of institutionalised genocide at the hands of the English speaking empire. The holocaust has successfully matured into a new religion. Yet, it lacks theology. It doesn’t allow any form of criticism or reformism. It is in fact an anti-Western religion inspired by hate and vengeance. It is dark, it is blind and it lacks mercy and compassion. It is a faith that declares an assault on any form of doubt. It is a crude brutal belief system that stands in opposition to the notions of liberty and goodness. As if this is not enough, those who subscribe to this religion are complicit in an ongoing assault against grace and peace.

As things stand at the moment, The British media is yet to decide whether Ahmadinejad is a ‘Jew rebel’ or just a ‘Meshugena Goy’. The Guardian was very quick to publish its own take on the subject refuting the Telegraph’s account. However, one thing is clear, neither the Guardian nor the Telegraph or any other so called ‘free media’ outlets are free enough to address the questions raised by Ahmadinejad. 1. Why only the Jews? 2. Why do you all say NO to scrutinizing the past? 3. Why do the Palestinians have to pay the price? Instead of engaging in these crucial elementary questions, the British broadsheet papers succumb to racially orientated bloodline digging.

Rather than following the banal Zionist query ‘who is a Jew?’ I suggest that we take the discourse one step further and ask a very simple question: What does Jewishness stands for?

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