‘Zio-pressure’ reportedly scotches anti-Zionist musicians’ church gig in Rochester, N.Y.

Israel/Palestine
on 55 Comments

Rich Siegel is a New Jersey musician whom we wrote about a few weeks back in connection with being harassed for his bumperstickers. He sends along the following report. I’m leaving out some of the phone numbers because… well, the enterprising can be enterprising on their own.

Hello Friends- 

I have just been informed that a concert and presentation that was scheduled to be given this coming Tuesday night at First Unitarian Church in Rochester, NY, by jazz saxophonist and noted Israeli Anti-Zionist Gilad Atzmon, and myself, is being canceled due to pressure from a local rabbi.

The concert was organized and promoted by Dan McGowan, founder and chairman of Deir Yassin Remembered, along with a second concert in Geneva, NY, which is going on as scheduled on Wednesday night. Dan was given two reasons for the concert cancellation: 1) that there are going to be activities in adjacent rooms and the noise level of the concert would interfere, and 2) admitted pressure from Rabbi Laurence A. Kotok of Temple B’rith Kodesh to cancel the event. Reason 1 was hardly believable, as the concert has been planned for about two months. Surely someone would have thought of this. 

Dan was very smart and gave them the opportunity to have the event at a different venue, or to take the music out of the event and make it just spoken presentations given by the three of us- Dan, Gilad, and myself. He was turned down. So it is clear that the real reason for the cancellation is Zio-pressure. 

The parties who are caving to Zio-pressure are as follows:

John Keevert, chair of local Social Justice Council, co-sponsor of the event. 

Ron Johnson, representative of First Unitarian Church, co-sponsor and venue for the event.

The First Unitarian Church, Co-Ministers, Scott Taylor and Kaaren Anderson.

Tell them that this event must go on, either at the church or at another venue in Rochester- that they must not let Zio-pressure kick us out of Rochester.

The rabbi who has instigated this cancellation is Rabbi Laurence A. Kotok of Temple B’rith Kodesh.

Tell them that Jewish Anti-Zionists have the same right to free speech as everyone else, and that their attempt to squash our free speech is a disgrace. Thank you, -Rich Siegel

55 Responses

  1. Jim Holstun
    June 26, 2010, 8:49 am

    The Zionist censorship would be there no matter what anti-Occupation group was there. But Atzmon would not have been my choice–his writings are sometimes savvy, but he also veers into Jew-hating, as As’ad AbuKhalil notes:

    link to angryarab.blogspot.com
    Thursday, January 08, 2009
    Friends we don’t need
    There are anti-Semites who intrude on the pro-Palestinian advocacy movement, and they attempt (wittingly or unwittingly) to contaminate it. One Gilad Atzmon is one of those classical anti-Semites. Anti-Semites are not friends of the Palestinian movement and they should be rejected from our midst. These are friends we can do without. The Palestinian people deserve better than those haters.
    Posted by As’ad at 2:03 PM

  2. thankgodimatheist
    June 26, 2010, 9:18 am

    Some people think that giving more than one excuse make them even more credible when it’s actually exactly the opposite. You either give only one or give none..

    • Pamela Olson
      June 26, 2010, 10:23 pm

      When I was censored by the Defense think tank where I worked in DC in 2006 from re-giving a talk I’d already given once about Palestine that people really enjoyed and learned from and recommended to others (similar to the one I gave at Google a few years later: link to youtube.com), my supervisor offered 3 excuses:

      1. It was one-sided. (Duh — it was called “The Palestinian Perspective: What the World Looks Like from the West Bank and Gaza.” It was meant to be a view into an under-represented perspective, and this was made clear by the title itself as well as in a disclaimer at the beginning of the talk. It’s a perspective Americans, especially in the Defense community, should understand, even if they don’t agree with it.)

      2. It would almost demand a rejoinder by an Israeli speaker. (I told them I thought this would be an excellent idea and I was all for it.)

      3. It might spark a debate. (Um… If we can’t have a debate in a think tank, where on God’s green earth exactly should we talk about this?)

      I wrote back: “I’ve been privileged to have a rare view into a region whose culture, politics, and perspectives are very important to our national security strategy and hot areas of study in the defense community. Sharing with my colleagues some the knowledge I have gleaned through more than two years of research and experience is a service I would be very happy and honored to provide.”

      My superviser never wrote back to me and never mentioned it again. To be honest, I’m surprised they even let me give it once. But then Daniel showed up brandishing lead Pipes (or some variant on this), and that was all she wrote.

      • potsherd
        June 26, 2010, 10:27 pm

        I’m sure that a speaker representing the Israeli point of view would “deman a rejoinder by a Palestinian speaker.” Right?

        • Pamela Olson
          June 26, 2010, 10:34 pm

          When Dennis Ross came to speak, told a pack of abject lies, and sneered at me when I tried to correct one of them and then proceeded to totally sidestep the question at hand… Well, let’s just say there was no fuss kicked up about the Palestinian perspective being un-represented or any debate being sparked.

      • Sumud
        June 27, 2010, 12:42 am

        Again, all hail the internet.

        You were censored Pamela, but your Google speech is now available for 6 billion people to see. The stories of Palestine are being told, and are being heard.

  3. Mooser
    June 26, 2010, 9:28 am

    Gilad Atzmon may be fine for background music, but for God’s sake, don’t let him remove his lips from the mouthpiece. Look, I can’t look into Gilad’s heart, and know how he feels, but I can read what he wrote, and I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be taxed with his writings if I was going to work the anti-Zionism circuit. Lot’s of great stuff about the “Jewish essence” and the foibles of the ancient Jews. I’ve said it before (what haven’t I) and I’ll say it again (it’s only fair to warn you): Atzmon doesn’t know the difference between speaking and improvising a jazz solo on his horn. Any ear-catching bit of dissonance or canards in the right key can be worked in and turned to account. And that’s what he does. The best description is Mark Elf’s: “buffoon”.
    Has he changed his tune since I read him? Maybe, but he’s got a lot of stuff tied to his tail.

    • Mooser
      June 26, 2010, 9:32 am

      I remember know, when I read Atzmon on the “Jewish essence” (he doesn’t like it) even I was insulted. And you gotta try hard, real hard, to do that. As we all know, I, like Anatole (that peerless disher-upper) can “take the roughs with the smooths”. But Atzmon is too much.

  4. azythos
    June 26, 2010, 9:38 am

    Mooser – What is your problem here? Very seriously I just don’t get it. What exactly in Atzmon’s writing could have been a problem?

    • hayate
      June 26, 2010, 8:45 pm

      “Mooser – What is your problem here? Very seriously I just don’t get it. What exactly in Atzmon’s writing could have been a problem?”

      Atzmon goes at it from the position of a former “insider”. The pov is from the heart, from experience. This cannot be dismissed easily by rational argument, so emotional, general ad hominim is the preferred attack tactic.

      • Mooser
        June 28, 2010, 10:37 am

        Hey, it’s no skin off my nose, if you like Atzmon. I happen to think he is more musician than buffoon, but he’s more buffoon than anti-Zionist.
        Let me see if I can come up with the specific pieces (or pieces) in which Atzmon discusses (with Talmudic or Toraj references, even) the Jewish “essence”. And oh yeah, the idea of racial “essences” generally.
        To improvise music a couple of beats ahead of where your playing is a valuable, necessary skill. Before you write you’re supposed to think.

  5. maximalistNarrative
    June 26, 2010, 11:09 am

    Those who seek the collective punishment of Jews should expect to be thusly boycotted in the same manner.

    • Pamela Olson
      June 26, 2010, 10:13 pm

      LOL! This is priceless. You’re complaining about the collective punishmen of Jews, then advocating punishing Gilad Atzmon who… IS A JEW.

      Of course you know why your complaint makes no sense. No one is suggesting the collective punishment of Jews but the selective, non-violent, non-lethal, mostly-shaming punishment of Israelis, most of whom at present actively or acquiescently support the subjugation of millions of Palestinians and the ongoing murder of thousands of them. And many Israelis who don’t support the occupation support BDS precisely because they know as well as we do that Israel will never change until it has an incentive to change, and our governments are abjectly failing to create that incentive. People of conscience (particularly Americans and Israelis) know they cannot remain silent or they, too, are complicit in Israel’s flagrant crimes.

      The question is — if you know this line of argument is ludicrous, why do you continue to embarrass yourself by trotting it out?

  6. lvig
    June 26, 2010, 11:10 am

    commenters are busy citing criticisms of Gilad’s writings and/or their own discomfiture with same as “proof” of his unsuitablity to be an anti zio but nobody is citing his actual writings. It seems to me that Gilad hasn’t said anything that Israel Shahak or Shlomo Sand haven’t already said (only with considerably more humor, for example see the hilarous exchange with Lenni Brenner link to counterpunch.org)

    Anyway why all this sudden gatekeeping from a bunch of self-described thick-skinned tough guys? To the point of recommending that Atzmon not even open his mouth?

    • hayate
      June 26, 2010, 9:00 pm

      I’m surprised Brenner and Atzmon had that sort of conflict. The political differences, yes, I can see where a good argument between the two could take place, but in a philosophical sense, regarding religion and ziofascism? No. Thanks for posting that.

  7. Jim Holstun
    June 26, 2010, 11:21 am

    For me, the problem is that Atzmon turns too frequently and too quickly to “Jewishness” as the source of the Palestinians’ problem–saying this or that part of Jewish history and culture and theology is the explanation. This is too much like an inversion of the typical Islamophobic argument about this or that part of Islam explaining Muslim fanaticism, jihad, hatred of Israel, etc. In both cases, the ideological/racist/sectarian argument detracts from the real and operative history of Zionist ethnic cleansing.

    For an example, try this: “Jews being Christ killers isn’t a myth. It is rather a historical and a theological narrative. Whether it is true or not isn’t my concern. However, I do question the similarities between the ‘Passion of Christ’ and the passion of the Palestinian people. I do question as well how come Jews feel offended when associated with a crime committed by their ancestors two thousand years ago. I question the repeated Jewish tendency to crucify their messengers. They did it to Christ, to Spinoza, to Chomsky, these days to Finkelstein and Shamir. There is a well maintained Jewish web site dedicated to ‘those who hate themselves’ and must be nailed to the wood. Pay them a visit and judge for yourself.” link to gilad.co.uk

    The “Shamir” there is the unsavory (at best) Israel Shamir, not the monstrous (at best) Yitzhak.

    • azythos
      June 26, 2010, 12:26 pm

      Jim Holstun – “Atzmon turns too frequently and too quickly to ‘Jewishness’ as the source of the Palestinians’ problem–saying this or that part of Jewish history and culture and theology is the explanation”

      What’s wrong here? Even though Zionism does not represent “Jewishness”, its members certainly consider themselves as “Jewish” and in addition to murderous 19th Century authoritarian nationalism, their ideology is representative of the worst examples of Jewish racial myth, “Jewish history”, Ashkenaze culture and theology. Now that they are under a huge influence of religion this influence is in fact getting more important. Also, there is no walking past the fact that a majority of the self-defining “Jewish” population, even outside the Hellhole, is under the same influence. Anything unfactual so far?

      So why wouldn’t that be a perfectly legitimate target of enquiry?

      As for the passage you quoted, what is untrue there? If your problem is with his calling “Jewish” the tradition of crucifying their messenger, well it is perfectly correct, as it is for most groups of course. It won’t change until a majority reject any tribal allegiance. Still can’t see where your problem is, and why Israel Shamir has an obligation to be “savory”.

      Can’t see either why Asad of all people should be considered any kind of authority on this. Asad, with a justification that equals that of Atzmon with “Judaism”, crustily socks it to Pan-Arabism, Islamists and Islam and is to be admired for that. He doesn’t seem to get it when it comes to a “Jew” who does exactly the same on his own side.

      • Jim Holstun
        June 26, 2010, 1:07 pm

        azythos, You’ve diagnosed the problem perfectly: Atzmon takes the Zionists at their word for what it means to be Jewish. Why model yourself on a racist murderers? To take the dog-eared example: the reason to oppose Nazi Teutonic mythology is not that Nordic people are really nasty, not really great; the reason is that racist ideology is disgusting, no matter which way it aims. And even if 100% of all Nordic people believe themselves to be ethnically superior to mere humans, it doesn’t make it any truer to claim that Nordic people are blue-eyed devils.

        The problem with the passage I quoted is that it gets the Romans off the hook for the crucifixion–classic Jew-hating. And the suggestion that the Jews have some particular propensity for nailing their prophets up is simply racist. Pick your ethnic group (say, the Irish), and see how they treat their prophets.

        Yes, As’ad “crustily socks it to Pan-Arabism, Islamists and Islam”–but not to Arabs, and not to Muslims as such. There’s a word of difference–one might even say a campful (Auschwitz, Bagram, Guantanamo)–between the two.

        Israel Shamir has no obligation to be savory–you’re quite right. But the again, neither do I have an obligation to sniff the Jew-hating stink wafting off of him and call it Chanel No. 5.

        • azythos
          June 26, 2010, 1:39 pm

          Jim – You probably missed what I tried to say, as you write: “Atzmon takes the Zionists at their word for what it means to be Jewish.” I was saying that he doesn’t. It’s not that the Zionists are seen by him or me as spokespersons/representatives of “Jewishness”, which of course is absurd. It is about time to face it, the Zionists necessarily carry the culture and mythology of a majority of what I will stenographically call the tribe and/or the religion. So that tribe and that religion remain a legitimate target. If any tribe member feels slighted, it means he is rejecting the choice of considering himself just a person (i.e. etymologically = Mensch).

          As for the religious aspect itself, any religion is a very legitimate target for a lot of people as are people who follow it. Religion is not an accident of birth, and discriminating against the religious (as opposed to discriminating against people based on their “nominal religion”) is entirely justified. This refers to your remark about Asad’s not attacking “Muslims as such” –which, as an unbeliever, he does a lot.
          As for calling Israel Shamir and Gilad Atzmon “Jew-hating”, I hope you can realize the absurdity of it just by repeating the names. They are exposing the stinking dead rats buried in the tribal and religious culture, and they rightly chose to attack the one they were born in. That’s a long way from being “XYZ-hating”. It sure is hate though, hate of tribal obscurantism. I’m not saying they don’t have their personal hangups, we all do. Their style may repel some and attract others but they don’t deserve to be accused out of political correctness.

        • azythos
          June 26, 2010, 1:55 pm

          P.S., or footnote, to Jim
          “The problem with the passage I quoted is that it gets the Romans off the hook for the crucifixion–classic Jew-hating”

          That is your problem. The only source for all that is the NT. The NT clearly says that the Jewish population and elders were responsible, not the Romans. Period. No other sources. So should one refuse to acknowledge facts because someone could use them to his own ends? What a strange attitude. Is it fair to shoot people who can read instead of the shrill morons who yell ‘blood libel’ even though it is written in so many words in the only source? Of course the whole thing is absurd and of course any and all religious belief is the villain, not the text itself.

          (In fact, seen from a historic viewpoint the fact that the Romans did not interfere in local religious affairs, and systematically rubber-stamped the local religious leaders is what they did everywhere, so the historical probability of the story is very high –between you and me)

        • hayate
          June 26, 2010, 7:41 pm

          Jim Holstun

          I disagree with some of Atzmon’s views politically and with regard to some current events/historical analysis, but I would never slight him on his views of Jewishness/Judaism. He grew up believing the whole shebang in israel and gradually escaped. His views on Judaism are framed by his own experiences growing up Jewish in israel, surrounded by mostly Jewish people who mostly believed the same stuff. He eventually managed to escape out of the box. As once being a part of all of it, his criticisms carry a lot of weight in my mind. Another reason I find his commentary compelling is the way he describes Judaism, the attitude, is much the same in which I have thought of Christianity most of my life. Sort of like, “whoa, this guy criticizes Judaism the way I criticize Christianity, крута”.

      • Mooser
        June 28, 2010, 10:41 am

        “So why wouldn’t that be a perfectly legitimate target of enquiry?”

        Atzmon doesn’t “enquire”, he improvises, he riffs on a theme. Great for jazz, but not so good otherwise.

    • notatall
      June 27, 2010, 10:29 am

      Seeking the roots of zionism in Jewish tradition does not constitute Jew-hating. Shamir goes farther, blaming the Jews (or the “Jewish spirit” as he says) for evils that would and do exist even without Jews, such as war and colonialism. In addition, he plays a dangerous game by allying with Dave Duke, Kevin McDonald and various other white-race supremacists who, for tactical reasons, are harping on another string these days. Zionism is race doctrine, and can only be defeated by opposing all race doctrine. To the best of my knowledge, Atzmon has not fallen into either trap.

  8. munro
    June 26, 2010, 12:21 pm

    As a Unitarian Universalist I can’t imagine this situation reversed:
    “A concert at a synagogue in Rochester, NY is being canceled due to pressure from a local Unitarian minister.”

  9. munro
    June 26, 2010, 12:34 pm
  10. rosemerry
    June 26, 2010, 4:14 pm

    As an ordinary human I find Gilad Atzmon forthright and passionate. OK, he is a bit over the top, but compared with the lies of all Israeli politicians, most of the US Senators and Congress members, EU speakers and the peace envoy/war criminal Bliar, he is at least on the right side of the truth.

  11. jan_gdyn
    June 26, 2010, 6:32 pm

    Write a thoughtful email to people mentioned above if you have a few minutes to spare:
    [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

  12. hayate
    June 26, 2010, 7:17 pm

    “I have just been informed that a concert and presentation that was scheduled to be given this coming Tuesday night at First Unitarian Church in Rochester, NY, by jazz saxophonist and noted Israeli Anti-Zionist Gilad Atzmon, and myself, is being canceled due to pressure from a local rabbi.”

    The rabbis even run churches now. How long before the foul things take over the country’s Buddhist temples and Native American sweat lodges?

    • potsherd
      June 26, 2010, 10:25 pm

      I have no doubt that if an anti-Zionist concert were being held in a sweat lodge, some rabbi or other Zionist functionary would attempt to get it canceled.

      Nevertheless, it is over the top to refer to rabbis in general as “foul things.” That’s a foul.

      • hayate
        June 26, 2010, 11:08 pm

        potsherd

        They’d have all those nonwhites sent to guantanamo…

        “Nevertheless, it is over the top to refer to rabbis in general as “foul things.” That’s a foul.”

        You should hear what I say about Christian preachers. Foul would be a step up from there. :D

  13. hayate
    June 26, 2010, 8:28 pm

    People dismiss Atzmon as an extremist, mostly because he is willing to say things others may think, from time to time, but they don’t have the bollocks to say them out loud. He can actually be quite a brilliant thinker. I checked his website to see if he had any comments of this american church that is now under the control of a rabbi. He didn’t, but this piece from a few days ago is pure brilliance, definitely one of his better efforts, and very much pertaining to the subject at hand. I’ll post it in full, though I recommend going to link since he buried links within the piece which I didn’t duplicate here.

    Connecting the Zionist Dots by Gilad Atzmon

    June 24, 2010 at 6:41AM

    A few weeks ago the Jewish Chronicle published a list of Jewish MPs in the UK parliament. It named 24 in total, encompassing 12 Conservatives, 10 Labour, and two Liberal Democrats. Author and peace activist Stuart Littlewood elaborated on these figures and presented the following analysis:

    “The Jewish population in the UK is 280,000 or 0.46 per cent. There are 650 seats in the House of Commons so, as a proportion, Jewish entitlement is only three seats. The conclusion is pretty obvious. With 24 seats, Jews are eight times over-represented. Which means, of course, that other groups must be under-represented, including Muslims…If Muslims, for instance, were over-represented to the same extent as the Jews (i.e. eight times) they’d have 200 seats. All hell would break loose.”

    A question must be raised here. Why are Jews overwhelmingly over-represented in the British parliament, in British and American political pressure groups, in political fundraising and in the media?

    Haim Saban, the Israeli-American, multibillionaire media mogul offers the answer. The New Yorker reported this week that at a conference last fall, Saban described his pro-Israeli formula, outlining “three ways to be influential in American politics…make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets.”

    As I have mentioned many times before, there is no such a thing as Jewish conspiracy. It is all done in the open. In front of TV cameras from all over the world, listed Israeli Propaganda Author as well as British Foreign Secretary David Miliband gave the Israelis a green light to operation Cast Lead, suggesting in Sderot that “Israel should, above all, seek to protect its own citizens.” Miliband, in practice, made us all complicit in a colossal war crime committed by Israel. Staunch Zionist Lord Levy funded the Labour party when this party launched a criminal war that intended to erase the last pocket of Arabic resistance to Zionism. He also wasn’t at all shy about it. In the media, shameless Jewish Chronicle writers David Aaronovitch and Nick Cohen enthusiastically advocated the same criminal war in the name of ‘moral interventionism’. Nick Cohen also founded the Euston Manifesto ‘think tank’ to support dubious Neocon ideologies on this side of the pond.

    Levy, Cohen, Aaronovitch, Miliband are all in line with Saban’s formula: influence, donations, think tanks, media. Yet they don’t necessarily know Saban, and may never even have heard about the Zionist media mogul. It isn’t necessary. The fact is, Saban didn’t invent anything himself. His formula is deeply brewed in the Judaic religious tradition, Jewish culture and ideology.

    • hayate
      June 26, 2010, 8:32 pm

      Cont:

      United Against Purim

      The Book of Esther is a biblical story that is the basis for the celebration of Purim, the most joyous Jewish festival. The book tells the story of an attempted Judeocide, but it also tells a story in which Jews manage to change their fate by means of political influence. In the story, the Jews do manage to rescue themselves and even to mete revenge, all through an infiltration into the corridors of power.

      It is set in the third year of Ahasuerus, and the ruler is a king of Persia usually identified with Xerxes I. It is the story of a palace, a conspiracy, an attempted Judeocide and a brave and beautiful Jewish queen (Esther) who manages to save the Jewish people at the very last minute.

      In the story, King Ahasuerus is married to Vashti, whom he repudiates after she rejects his offer to ‘visit’ him during a feast. Esther was selected from the candidates to be Ahasuerus’s new wife. As the story progresses, Ahasuerus’s Prime Minister Haman plots to have the king kill all the Jews without knowing that Esther is actually Jewish. Esther, together with her cousin Mordechai saves the day for their people. Esther warns Ahasuerus of Haman’s murderous anti-Jewish plot. Haman and his sons are hanged on the fifty cubit gallows he had originally built for cousin Mordechai. As it happens, Mordechai takes Haman’s place, becoming the Prime Minister. Ahasuerus’s edict decreeing the murder of the Jews cannot be rescinded, so he issues another edict allowing the Jews to take up arms and kill their enemies, which they obviously do.

      The moral of the Biblical story is rather clear. If Jews want to survive, they had better make their way into the corridors of power. They had better bond to the rulers of the world. With Esther, Mordechai and Purim in mind, AIPAC, Levy, ADL, David Milliband, Saban and the notion of ‘Jewish power’ all appear to be an embodiment of a deep Biblical, tribal and cultural ideology.

      However, here is the interesting twist. Although the story is presented as an historic tale, the historical accuracy of the Book of Esther is largely disputed by most modern Bible acholars and historians. The lack of any clear corroboration of between any of the details of the story with what is known of Persian History from classical sources is what has led scholars to come to the conclusion that the story is mostly, or even totally fictional.

      In other words, though the Jewish moral is clear, the attempted genocide is fictional. Seemingly, the Book of Esther sets its (Jewish) followers into a collective Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It transforms a fictional fantasy of ‘destruction’ into a vivid ‘ideology of survival’. And indeed, some read the story as an allegory of quintessentially assimilated Jews who discover that they are targets of anti-Semitism, but are also in a position to save themselves and their fellow Jews.

      The Book of Esther exists to form a coherent exilic tribal identity. It is there to plant an existential stress. It introduces the Holocaust mentality. Furthermore, it fixes the conditions which turn the Holocaust into reality. In hermeneutic terms, the text shapes the reality. In practice, it is the fearful mind the sets itself into a tragic trap of self-fulfilling prophecy. The Shoa ideology matures into a real event.

      Interestingly enough, the Book of Esther (in the Hebrew version) is one of only two books of the Bible that do not directly mention God (the other is Song of Songs). As in the case of Zionist secular ideology and the Holocaust religion, in the Book of Esther it is the Jews who believe in themselves, in their own power, in their uniqueness, in their sophistication, in their ability to influence, in their ability to take over kingdoms, and in their ability to save themselves. The Book of Esther is all about empowerment. It conveys the essence and metaphysics of Jewish power, as described by Haim Saban and performed by AIPAC.

      • hayate
        June 26, 2010, 8:33 pm

        Cont:

        Zionism and Democracy

        Zionists seem to love democracy. The Jewish state outrageously claims to be ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’. Israel’s supporters around the world also advocate conflicts in the name of ‘democracy’. Why do they love democracy so much? I guess that the answer is devastatingly simple. Democracy is the ideal political platform for the Zionist influence merchant.

        Democracy in its current state, especially within the English-Speaking world, is a political system that specializes in positioning inadequate, unqualified and dubious characters in leading positions. Two democratically elected leaders launched the illegal war in Iraq. Two democratically elected leaders marched the west into a financial disaster.

        Running a state is not an easy task. It surely takes some talent and training. In the past, our elected political leaders were experienced politicians who had achieved something in their lives, whether in academia, industry, military or the financial world. In the past, our candidates for premiership had a curriculum vitae to share with us. Apparently this is not the case anymore. Time after time we are left with a ‘democratic choice’ to give our vote to one or another laughable young failure. Time after time we see rising political ‘stars’, people have really achieved nothing in their lives, and who are unqualified to run even a corner shop, let alone a state.

        You may want to ask yourself what qualification Blair or Bush possessed before they took the wheel in their hands. What experience does David Cameron have at his disposal in order to rescue Britain from total disaster on every possible front (financial, Iraq, Afghanistan, education, NHS and so on)? What kind of experience does David Miliband bring with him in the bid for the Labour premiership? The answer is none. Our lives, our future and the future of our children are in the hands of ludicrous, clueless characters. This may explain why Britain ended up with a hung Parliament. Not a single leader in this country could convince the public that he had the talent, the integrity or even just a seed of true leadership.

        But here is the news. As much as our elected leaders are totally clueless, the Sabans, the Lord Levys and the Wolfowitzes know exactly what to do. The Jewish religion, culture and ideology provides its followers with a narrative that saves us of the democratic limbo. The Sabans of this world are far from being amateurs or clueless; they know exactly what to do. They have been doing it for three thousand years. They are the followers of Mordechai and Esther. The Sabans of the world know how to translate the moral of Purim into British and American practice.

        Stuart Littlewood seems to wonder why Jews are over-represented. With Purim in mind, we may be able to suggest an answer. We are dealing here with an exilic cultural setting that preaches for lobbing, influence and control. Shaping politics, media and thoughts is the true meaning of the Book of Esther. Saban was either just genuine or foolish enough to admit it in public. However, the absence of a Book of Esther within the heart of Muslim or Hindu culture may explain why other marginal migrant groups in Britain are adequately and proportionally represented in British politics and media. Moreover, it is unlikely that this will change soon. As opposed to most minorities and marginal identities in the West, Judaism is an exilic national religion and the Jewish identity is a product of tribal indoctrination. This may explain why emancipated Jews who live in Britain for generations as seculars still operate within Jewish political and social settings, and under Jewish political banners.

        It is not a secret that a few Jews out there are very gifted. It is also rather obvious that some Jews are amongst the leading contributors to the humanist and universal discourse. However, this is not something we can say about Haim Saban, who openly desires to influence American foreign policy by means of donations, think tanks and media control. Similarly, David Milliband, who struggled to amend British universal Jurisdiction to make it easy for Israeli war criminal visit his kingdom, should not be regarded as a great humanist either. Nick Cohen, who founded the Euston Manifesto, a think tank that promotes Zionist interests within British intellectual culture, cannot be regarded as an ethical icon. Amazingly enough, they all did it in the open.

        If we care about peace and about our future generations, we must be brave enough to connect the dots. The Mordechais and Esthers within our media, intellectual and political life must be confronted. We must unite against Purim. If the Labour party still carries any ethical responsibility, it should put David Milliband in his place. If our parties want us to believe in their agendas, they had better learn to say “NO” to Zionist money and Jewish proxy donators. If our media outlets want us to believe in their ‘impartiality’, they had better identify the enemy within. How many Iraqis will need to die before the penny drops? How many peace activist should die in high seas before we all say ‘NO more’? How many British workers will need to lose their jobs, homes and hopes before we can allow ourselves to say “NO” to Zionist wars and their advocates in our midst?

        link to gilad.co.uk

      • Mooser
        June 28, 2010, 10:44 am

        “The Book of Esther exists to form a coherent exilic tribal identity. It is there to plant an existential stress. It introduces the Holocaust mentality. Furthermore, it fixes the conditions which turn the Holocaust into reality. In hermeneutic terms, the text shapes the reality. In practice, it is the fearful mind the sets itself into a tragic trap of self-fulfilling prophecy. The Shoa ideology matures into a real event.”

        Intellectual be-bop.

        • MHughes976
          June 28, 2010, 11:30 am

          I don’t entirely blame Atzmon for wanting to bring out and to analyse the terrifying nature of the Book of Esther. He can be guilty of pretentious language but I can empathise with that.
          The differences between the two editions, one known in Hebrew and one in Greek, are interesting. The absence of prayer and the recourse to urgent action in a stye that would normally be horrible but is justified by the circumstances (not by divine permission) does seem to make the kind of point that existentialists were later to make.
          The suggestion that the Persian royal house acquired Jewish blood is interesting, at least as a metaphor for cultural connection between the Jews and the Persians in Hellenistic times.
          The positive suggestion of Esther is that Jews bring prosperity to those who ‘delight to honour’ them.
          It’s also interesting that as the story ends there is no focus on Palestine, no lavish gift to the Jerusalem Temple, just a presentation of the Jews, already exponents of a major international religion or way of life, as an element in imperial success.

  14. kapok
    June 26, 2010, 9:34 pm

    Atzmon makes a good point. How comes it that so many Jews hold high political office? If they were like “normal” people then one would expect to see a more proportional distribution.
    Pointing that out is not necessarily anti-jew.

  15. wondering jew
    June 26, 2010, 9:57 pm

    It is not surprising that the new coterie of Jew haters that has found the Mondoweiss blog a comfortable place to nest would find Atzmon a reasonable anti Zionist. He is not. He is a Jew hater who blames the Jewish culture for Hitler’s genocide against the Jews. Just read the selections and you will see that this is what he is saying. If you wish to weld anti Zionism and Jew hating in such a way and you think you are doing anti Zionism a favor, then go right ahead.

    • sherbrsi
      June 26, 2010, 10:08 pm

      He is a Jew hater who blames the Jewish culture for Hitler’s genocide against the Jews.

      Do you have a link to this article?

      • wondering jew
        June 26, 2010, 10:50 pm

        The article is above, quoted by hayate. the relevant quote:

        “The Book of Esther exists to form a coherent exilic tribal identity. It is there to plant an existential stress. It introduces the Holocaust mentality. Furthermore, it fixes the conditions which turn the Holocaust into reality. In hermeneutic terms, the text shapes the reality. In practice, it is the fearful mind the sets itself into a tragic trap of self-fulfilling prophecy. The Shoa ideology matures into a real event.”

        • hayate
          June 26, 2010, 11:04 pm

          wondering jew June 26, 2010 at 10:50 pm

          Pathetic, sayanim/hasbarat. If you’re going to lie about something, at least have enough brains to lie about something that isn’t right in front of everyone’s eyes.

        • Mooser
          June 28, 2010, 10:45 am

          hayate, who are you gonna believe, Wondering Jew or your…..?

        • Chu
          June 28, 2010, 10:55 am

          WJ, why is Atzmon’s premise not believable to you?
          “If Jews want to survive, they had better make their way into the corridors of power.”

        • wondering jew
          June 28, 2010, 11:04 am

          Chu- I discovered Atzmon’s essay “on antisemitism” and i focused on it and Atzmon’s hatred of Jews who disagree with him and his use of the Christ killer image to condemn Jews. I discuss it on a later post.

  16. demize
    June 27, 2010, 3:20 am

    So let me see if I have this straight here. Jewish Anti-Zionists naturally would not be welcome in any Synagougue south of Temple Bnai-Kropotkin so are playing a Unitarian Church where they are being disinvited because of pressure from the local Pharisees? Is this about right?

  17. wondering jew
    June 27, 2010, 7:01 am

    Gilad Atzmon and the Jew as Christ killer- The accusation that the Jews killed Jesus has been the source of many Jewish deaths over the last two thousand years. Certainly many of those who killed Jews under the influence of this accusation were not thinking of this accusation at the time of the killing. They may have hated Jews for other reasons and the Christ killing accusation was merely a convenient excuse.

    Were the Jews guilty of the killing of Jesus? The actual killers of Jesus were the Romans who hung him up on the cross, but after the fact the story was written in such a way as to exonerate the Romans and blame the Jews. Whereas Atzmon takes the Jewish culture to task for the lack of historicity of the story of Purim and thus accuses them of perpetuating a story that led to a self fulfilled prophecy, he accepts the historicity of the New Testament’s account of Jewish culpability for the death of Jesus. In fact the gospels were written many years after the crucifixion of Jesus, after the destruction of Jerusalem. With the decline of Jewish influence it certainly is credible to consider the blaming of the death of Jesus on the Jews and the exoneration of the Romans to be a strategy to curry favor with the rulers of the world in which the Christians lived. To accept the blame of the crucifixion on the Jews is not to accept fact, but to accept the reports of the gospel against the raw fact that the Romans crucified him.

    Are all the gospels equal in their hatred of the Jews and their blaming of the Jews for the death of Jesus? No. John, the last gospel (chronologically) does not accuse the Pharisees as Mark and Matthew do, but instead accuses the Jews. It is thus the most Jew hating of the four gospels. Matthew includes the infamous verse, “May his blood be on us and on our children”, so therefore Matthew must be considered the second most Jewhating of the gospels. Luke is the least Jewhating of the gospels. In Luke some of the Pharisees come to Jesus and warn him that the Herodians seek to kill him. It is the only book that has the Pharisees (or a group of them) performing this act of life saving. (The life saving in fact didn’t work, because Jesus was intent on going to Jerusalem, despite the danger, or even because of the danger.)

    A Jewish reading of the gospels yields the idea that those Jews who conspired to turn Jesus over to the authorities to be crucified were in fact Quislings, those who were puppets of Rome, doing the bidding of Rome. Every people has its quislings and if in fact those Jews who were currying favor with Rome were responsible for Jesus’s death, by their act of handing him over to the only authority with power of capital punishment, it is wrong to blame the whole Jewish people for the act of those quislings.

    It is valid to hate Zionism for its cruelty towards the Palestinians.

    I do not share this hatred myself seeing Zionism as a valid attempt to save the Jewish people from the storm of death that was coming their way during the first half of the 20th century. The fact that the leaders chose a place that might attract Jews (Palestine) rather than a place that would not attract Jews (Uganda or Birobidzhan) is a logical step for those who were attempting to give a rebirth to the people at the same time that they were trying to physically save them. There were great Jewish Zionists who saw the danger of the attitude of many of the Zionists towards the Palestinians. (I have never seen Atzmon quoting Ahad Ha’am or Judah Magnes or Martin Buber. If anyone can contradict this please point out the relevant quotes.) But in fact to someone who still feels the pain of the extent of the genocide in Europe, Zionism’s greatest failing was that it came too late to succeed.

    But let me return to my point: It is valid to hate Zionism for its cruelty to the Palestinians. But to conflate this cruelty with the killing of Jesus is to blur the lines between anti Zionism and Jew hatred to the point that their is no line whatsoever.

    Gilad Atzmon calls himself an ex Jew. He is the hater of Jews. For a church to refuse to let him speak is appropriate. For a rabbi to pressure a church to refuse to let him speak is appropriate.

    • hayate
      June 27, 2010, 7:22 am

      wondering jew June 27, 2010 at 7:01 am

      So you would kill Jesus again, then.

    • Mooser
      June 28, 2010, 10:48 am

      “Were the Jews guilty of the killing of Jesus?”

      For a Jew, you are awfully concerned with this Jesus fellow, Wondering. Before we go looking for his killer, do you know if he actually existed?

      • wondering jew
        June 28, 2010, 11:07 am

        Mooser, many Jews were killed in the name of Jesus. That is my concern.
        Atzmon feels that he can throw the accusation of Christ killer around with abandon and when a rabbi expresses his disgust that a church would welcome this person, Atzmon, who propagates a specific type of Christian Jew hatred, the rabbi is accused of being improper instead of being congratulated for being spot on.

        I feel that the new testament is an important book and harmful in certain ways and helpful in other ways.

        • Mooser
          June 28, 2010, 11:18 am

          You have got to be about the most pathetic little schmutz extant. Go away. There’s a Yiddish word for you, Wondering: officious.

        • Mooser
          June 28, 2010, 11:21 am

          “Mooser, many Jews were killed in the name of Jesus.”

          You have an amazing talent for reducing everything to a pathetic whine, don’t you, Wondering? Well, at least you turned out merely contemptible instead of completely nuts, like your sibling.
          Go on, take offense, and whine louder! Oy, Oy Oy!

  18. MHughes976
    June 27, 2010, 11:48 am

    I’d have thought that if you place part of blame on Jewish ‘Quislings’ for the death of Jesus the implication is that Jesus was something of a Jewish nationalist (as has been argued). At this rate he would not be recrucified but granted a modest place in the Zionist hall of fame (I’d better not say ‘pantheon’).
    WJ’s analysis of the Four Gospels is fair enough, though despite many differences of emphasis as to Jesus’ death it’s clear that Judaism and Christianity parted company on very bad terms. Jewish tradition about Jesus is very negative (raising doubt, I think, about the nationalist interpretation) and within the received text of the New Testament there are negative remarks about Judaism (some linked with the guilt question) that are distinctly worrying. For instance, have a look at I Thess. ii, 13-16.
    Meanwhile, I can’t see how anyone could fail to find Esther terrifying and morally disturbing, though I think it may have a kind of oblique historical value in indicating that there was a closer intellectual connection than is normally recognised between Iran and Judaea in those ‘Second Temple’ days.
    If Zionism is guilty of excesses or worse (and WJ seems to see some legitimate reasons for a moral critique of Zionism) then it is legitimate to ask what is the underlying cause of these. Atzmon sees the cause within the Jewish religion and this is surely a view that deserves discussion, perhaps critique – but not, for any reason I could see, censorship or ostracism. In the same way we could ask about the origin of Christian excesses against Jews in the New Testament, as mentioned.

  19. Mooser
    June 28, 2010, 11:06 am

    “Atzmon sees the cause within the Jewish religion and this is surely a view that deserves discussion, perhaps critique”

    And if somebody could figure out exactly what that was, and how, and how much its practice affected the political, moral and ethical views of participants, we maybe could start a discussion.

    Again, and I want to make this perfectly clear, I think Atzmon may, in the coming years, become a major figure on the jazz scene.