”Gilad Atzmon grew up in Israel in a Jewish family that included Holocaust survivors. He fell in love with jazz as a teenager, so when it came time to serve in the IDF he joined a military band. During his IDF service, Gilad awakened to the horrors of Zionism and its brutality toward Palestinians. Shortly after leaving the IDF, he also left Israel and never returned.”
”Now London-based, Gilad Atzmon is considered one of Europe’s top jazz musicians – and, increasingly, its leading ex-Israeli anti-Zionist voice. He has published two acclaimed novels, and his new book The Wandering Who? has endured vicious attacks, smear campaigns, and boycotts by such Zionists as Alan Dershowitz, and is becoming a worldwide bestseller.”
”In all of this, Gilad Atzmon is quite the anti-Zionist success story. …” Kevin Barrett
Quoted from: A RESPONSE TO ALI ABUNIMAH & CO. by Gilad Atzmon,edited by Omar K Neusser [Add-ons in brackets]
The strength of my arguments is grounded on the transparent truthful nature of my premises. ... 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.
[So that no-one should] 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 [i.e. Bombing Iran 2012, which has not started any wars since Ancient Greece, quite the opposite to Israel]. 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.
Clearly there is no racism, anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial in my writing [and no-one will be able to] identify a single bit of evidence of such tendencies in my work. ... 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. [They were in any case not chosen to be beyond criticism.]
[In order to clear the terminology]: 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.[Lebensraum: haaretz.com]
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.
”Today, more and more Israelis are lining up to get second passports and asking themselves, “Is there life after Zionism?” Gilad Atzmon offers a perfect example, with plenty of supporting arguments, of how ex-Zionist Israelis can liberate themselves from the shackles of a brutal, abusive, and ultimately doomed ideology and identity.” Kevin Barrett
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