The Wandering Who?
(accessol) -- by Alex Seymour
The panel meeting with Gilad Atzmon, Alan Hart , Karl Sabbagh and Sameh Habib proved to be a fascinating, outspoken and of course controversial discussion, assisted in the audience by a clutch of some prominent intellectuals in the Palestine solidarity community.
These notes are not intended to represent the view of any particular speaker but are intended to give a flavour of the discussion that took place.
The evening started off with an attempt to define what exactly was meant by the terms Jewish People, Judaism and Jewishness . Jewish People it would appear is an oxymoron as Jews are not a People in the accepted sense of the term. Judaism is the religion (which most Jews don’t actually practice or believe in).
Jewishness is where the problem lies; it is based on a supremacist Zionist ideology which is present deep down in the supposed non-believing majority (hence the insistance on Israel being located in Palestine rather than Madagascar or Uganda even amongst supposedly assimilated non-believing Jews. Do Palestine support groups which prefix their names with a ‘J’ for Jewish serve any purpose? Is their Jewishness any more relevant that say a group calling itself Jewish Scottish Nationalists? It seems that initially in the days when there was no support in mainstream society in this country especially, the Jewish identification did serve a useful purpose but today that usefulness has more or less disappeared. Nowadays the prefix serves as a barrier against the inclusion of Palestinians, not only are they outcasts from their own land, they are also outcasts from support groups in the diaspora – the Jews doubly screw them.
Why do most Jews however much they distance themselves from the Greater Israel worldview still seem to stop short in acknowledging the full genocidal dimensions and implications of the Nakba. Probably because it falls outside their atavistic notions of Jewishness, their sense of difference, of a chosenness and exclusivity which makes Jews want to band together behind their eruvs, their ghettos and their apartheid walls. Goyim are looked on as stupid which they probably are inasmuch as they give the Zionists free rein to screw them politically, geographically, financially. The pork-barrel way that the US congress operates ensures that the Israel Lobby will always get its way and any new candidate to office in Washington will have to sign up to support Israel if they want to get anywhere.
The creation of the state of Israel was an attempt to turn the ‘ugly’ diaspora Jew into the beautiful ‘civilised’ sabra, Today, as Shlomo Sands has explained, a ‘diaspora Jew’ is a Zionist concept, defining all Jews in relation to the so-called Jewish state. Without Israel, as it were, they don’t exist as Jews.
What is the difference between an anti-Semite in the past and today? There is a joke which says: in the past an anti-Semite was someone who hated Jews; today it is someone whom the Jews hate. In effect today there is no anti-Semitism in this country; what people object to is Jewish control of the media and the power of Jewish money; they object to our government’s subservience to the interests of the state of Israel. But they do not hate Jews simply because they were born Jewish.
If you ask a Muslim what he is he will explain his relationship to the Koran and his beliefs; if you ask a Christian what he is, he will talk about God and Jesus etc; if you ask an orthodox Jew what he is he will explain the concept of the 613 mitsvot and his belief in the Torah. Ask a secular Jew what he is however and he will define himself by what he is not; he is not Christian, not Muslim, not religious, not anything; basically his identity is based on something like the traditional Jewish chicken soup.
The concept of peace as we know it does not exist for an Israeli; he would define peace (his famous “shalom”) as ‘security for Israel’. Despite all the Zionist hasbara, throughout all the wars in the Middle East since before the creation of the State of Israel, that country has never been in any real danger. Israel suffers from a variant of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with the ‘Post’ replaced by ‘Pre’.
It appears that there are three references to the Holocaust already appearing in the Old Testament. Jews tend to think that calamities such as the Holocaust appeared suddenly out of the blue, for no reason like a flash of lightening; you can read in the Book of Esther, the Persians suddenly decided that henceforth they hated Jews and wanted to kill them. And we are supposed to believe that in 1933 the cultured German people suddenly changed overnight into anti-Semites and decided they wanted to kill the Jews.
However if one is looking for causes for the Holocaust (and not excuses for it of course) one could mention the perceived betrayal of the German people by the Jewish bankers who (together with the Russian Jewish bankers) were persuaded into using their influence and money to supporting American entry into the first world war on the British side by the promise of the Balfour Declaration, with its notion of a Jewish state in Palestine...MORE...LINK
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