Sunday, November 13, 2011

Diaspora Jewry refuses to face impossibility of squaring its chauvinistic, ethno-religious ideology with universal values of Western civilization

Introduction by Chris Moore

In the following book review, Gilad Atzmon puts his finger on the impossible tension faced by Jews who insist on maintaining their Jewish identity between that identity itself and any universal value system they profess to believe and claim to embrace.

This has always been a problem for "secular" Jewry, given Judaism's inherent, chauvinistic political-ideological character, but one that most secular, self-identifying Jews, with their supreme intellectual arrogance and chutzpah, have always thought they could sidestep or explain away, and successfully force the imposition of a double standard that would allow them to maintain a particularistic, self-serving identity and pursue a Jewish supremacist agenda for themselves, while simultaneously claiming to be universalists playing by the same set of rules as everyone else.

Indeed, this double standard is exactly what the Jewish Bolsheviks attempted (and pulled off for a time) in the early decades of the Soviet Union by way of totalitarian force and mass murder. But the double standards can only be enforced at the point of a gun for so long before the intolerable abuse and hypocrisy grates on the non-Jewish masses, and they turn on Jewry with a vengeance.

The same set of double standards -- Jews organizing into greedy, self-serving cliques and cells (i.e. liberal fascist and neocon Zionists, and phony leftists), while simultaneously professing to support American universal constitutionalism, and lecturing others on tolerance and the importance of non-discrimination -- is finally being noticed in the U.S., resented more and more, and wearing thin here, as well.

Clearly, the writing is again on the wall for fraudulently universal Jewry. And this is the one and only reason I support the existence of Israel.

These stiff-necked rubes, cosmopolitan crackers, and secular frauds are never going to give up their chauvinistic Jewish identity, and if forced, they'd just go underground and adopt a universal veneer, while simultaneously acting to subvert and degrade those Gentiles attempting to pursue and perfect good will, universalistic frameworks such as the Christianity, democracy, constitutionalism and the ethos of reason that comprise Western civilization.

The lot of these belong in the Israeli ghetto (one that should be disarmed, to be sure) where at least they can be contained, and the damage they might do can be controlled and mitigated, and where they can pursue whatever demons drive their hypocrisy and insatiability in a way that they do minimal damage to themselves, and more importantly, to the non-Jews they so completely and utterly despise, and relentlessly seek to plunder, subjugate and sabotage. -- C.M.


David Landy and his ‘Israel Critic Jews’- A book review

( -- by Gilad Atzmon --

[Review of]: Jewish Identity and Palestinian Rights: The Growth of Diaspora Jewish Opposition to Israel by David Landy

...Jewish anti-Zionism may aspire to ‘universalism’ - but Jewish culture is fundamentally tribal, ethno-centric and, in most cases, racially oriented. It represents categorically, the direct opposite of universalism. So it is not clear how an inherently tribal, political, ethno-centric and exclusive setting can genuinely uphold a universalist standpoint.

Thus, it was inevitable for Zionism to become the voice of world Jewry and a dominant Jewish identity political discourse.

As opposed to the ‘anti Semitic’ early Zionist school of thought[2], post-1948 Zionism is shaped as a wet dream - it is supremacist; it is tribal; it is expansionist; but most importantly, it is saturated with self-love. Zionism provides the Diaspora Jew with an opportunity to love oneself against all odds. Israeli military and technological power, for instance, can be realised from a Jewish perspective, as a valid verification of chosen-ness and superiority.

Yet, from an identity perspective, anti-Zionism offers the Jew very little, if anything at all. None of the alleged ‘Jewish anti Zionist’ values are in any way truly Jewish. Solidarity with others is certainly not Jewish (Jewish solidarity is based on clannish brotherhood); universalism is far from being Jewish; and peace, harmony and reconciliation are certainly no Jewish inventions.

Landy provides us with some quotes from his ‘critical Jewish’ interviewees. They all speak in the name of ‘Jewish universal values’ and ‘Jewish justice’; and yet, neither Landy nor anyone else ever provides us with a single reference to a text that actually portrays or explicates Jewish secular universal standpoints. Instead, Landy refers to Jewish ‘diasporist identity’. He tries to draw lessons from Jewish Marxist intellectual Isaac Deutscher, who regarded himself as a ‘non-Jewish Jew’. But Deutscher was the complete opposite of Landy’s ‘Israel Critical Jews’: Deutscher had little time for ‘Jewish politics’ joining the Communist Party in Warsaw rather than the ‘Jews only’ Bund whose ‘Yiddishist’ views he so opposed. Unlike Landy’s 'Israel Critical Jews' who are largely driven by Jewish self-interests, Deutscher was captivated by, and adhered to a universal thought. He believed in unconditional solidarity with the persecuted. Deutscher didn’t need a secular synagogue, a ‘Jews only’ cell or a Jewish party. He was a successful product of Jewish emancipation, an individualist who shaped his ethical views by means of judgment rather than by adherence to any orchestrated ‘identity’ with a ‘constructed emblem’.

The 2nd Category Jews Vs. Landy’s Israel-Critical Jews’

In The Wandering Who I divide Jews who identify themselves as Jews into three categories:

1. Those that follow Judaism.

2. Those who regard themselves as human beings that happen to be of Jewish origin

3. Those who put their Jewishness over and above all of their other traits.

I have no doubt that Isaac Deutscher belongs to the 2nd category; while Landy’s ‘Israel critical Jews, who all operate within ‘Jews only’ political cells, fall into the 3rd category. .

Here, I am about to make a most arrogant suggestion. I’d better just come out with it. My guess is that Landy could have done with reading a bit of Atzmon. It would have saved him from many categorical blunders. And it would certainly have made his text more relevant.

Landy has systematically managed to miss the significant contribution of the 2nd category Jews - those who are genuinely interested in universalism and ethical thinking, yet refuse to operate within ‘Jews only’ political and spiritual cells. It is clear that those amongst those ethically driven Jews who express solidarity and empathy with Palestinians, operate as ordinary human beings by stripping themselves of any trace of Jewish exceptionalism and exclusivity. Amongst those Jews you will find some of our leading thinkers and writers such as Lawrence Davidson, Jeff Blankfort, Richard Falk, Norman Finkelstein, and many others.

It is also true that Landy’s ‘Israel Critical Jews’ have produced a rather limited body of intellectual work, if any at all. They certainly write enough about ‘anti Semitism in the movement’; they tell us what is ‘right’ and who is ‘wrong’ for Palestine, and they spend a lot of time pursuing any activists who don’t fit into their kosher vision of Palestinian solidarity. They, consciously and enthusiastically, use hasbara tactics - smear, defamation and misinformation - and, if necessary, are not averse to joining forces with their Zionist brothers and sisters. But still, they write little, if anything, about their own identity or ideology. They don’t produce any music, poetry, cinema, plays, literature, plastic art or indeed anything that could be seen as a uniquely Jewish cultural contribution, something that could be considered as offering an alternative ‘identity construct’. That Landy has managed to miss this obvious and crucial fact is staggering...MORE...LINK

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