Zionist Tolerance For a Change
(gilad.co.uk) -- by Gilad Atzmon
I have spent the last ten years elaborating on Jewish national ideology and tribal politics. During my journey of grasping what Zionism and Israel stand for, I came to realize that it is actually the Jewish left -- and Jewish Marxists in particular -- that provide us with an adequate glimpse into contemporary Jewish identity, tribal supremacy, marginal politics and tribalism.
‘Jewish left’ is basically an oxymoron. It is a contradiction in terms, because ‘Jewishness’ is a tribal ideology, whilst ‘the left’ are traditionally understood as aspiring to universalism.
On the face of it, the ‘Jewish left’ is, at least categorically, no different from Israel or Zionism: after all, it is an attempt to form yet another ‘Jews only political club’. And as far as the Palestinian solidarity movement is concerned, its role is subject to a growing debate -- For on the one hand, one can see the political benefit of pointing at a very few ‘good Jews’, and emphasizing that there are Jews who ‘oppose Zionism as Jews’. Yet on the other hand, however, accepting the legitimacy of such a racially orientated political affair, is in itself, an acceptance of yet another form, or manifestation of Zionism, for Zionism claims that Jews are primarily Jewish, and had better operate politically as Jews(1).
To a certain extent then, it is clear that Jewish anti Zionism, is, in itself, still just another form of Zionism.
‘Jewish dissidence’ has two main roles: First, it attempts to depict and bolster a positive image of Jews in general (2). Second, it is there to silence and obscure any attempts on the part of the outsider to grasp the meaning of Jewish identity and Jewish politics within the machinations of the Jewish state. It is also there to stop elements in this movement from elaborating on the crucial role of Jewish lobbying.
The Jewish Left is there then, to mute any possible criticism of Jewish politics within the wider Left movements. It is there to stop the Goyim from looking into Jewish affairs.
A decade ago I met the Kosher dissident brigade for the first time -- As soon as I started to express criticism of Israel and Zionism -- they started to bounce around me.
For a short while, I fitted nicely into their discourse : I was young and energetic. I was an award winning musician, as well as a promising writer. In their eyes I was a celebrity, or at least a good reason to celebrate. Their chief commissars reserved the best, and most expensive dining tables ahead of my Orient House’s Ensemble concerts. The five grass-root penniless activists, followed the trend and came to my free stage Jazz Combo afternoon concerts in the Barbican Centre’s Foyer. They all wanted to believe that I would follow their agenda, and become a commissar myself. They were also very quick to preach to me who were the ‘bad guys’, those who should be burnt in hell: Israel Shahak, Paul Eisen, Israel Shamir and Otto Weininger were just a few amongst the many baddies. As one may guess by now, it didn’t take me too long to admit to myself that there was more wisdom in a single sentence by Eisen, Weininger, Shahak or Shamir than in the entire work of the Jewish Left put together. I was quick to make it clear to my new ‘Red’ fans that it was not going to work : I was an ex-Israeli, and I no longer regarded myself as a Jew any more. I shared nothing with them and I did not believe in their agenda. Indeed, I had left Israel because I wanted to drift as far away as I could from any form of tribal politics...
Naturally, I bought myself at least a half a dozen enemies, and they were quick to run a campaign against me. They tried to silence me; they desperately ( and hopelessly ) tried to wreck my music career; they mounted pressure on political institutions, media outlets, and music venues. One of them even tried to drag me to court...
But here is an interesting twist : In comparison with the contemporaneous Jewish Red terror, Zionism comes across as a relatively tolerant endeavour...MORE...LINK
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