Gilad Atzmon’s attack against me – the ‘merchant of JVP’

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Two days ago, Gilad Atzmon published a piece on his blog, titled “the questions that Jonathan Ofir prefers to avoid”. These were questions he sent to me when he wanted to interview me over a year ago. At that point I didn’t know much about Atzmon, only read a few quotes, and recall being warned in advance by a friend, but I had given him a chance, when he approached. Then came the questions. 

Atzmon’s questions referred to my piece “To my fellow Israelis: We can stop this”. Among them: 

Do you really believe that the Jews or the Israelis can “stop it now”?

Have Jews ever stopped themselves voluntarily?

Obviously, I agree with you that Israel and Zionism are engaged in horrendous crimes. But as far as I can tell, Jewish Bolsheviks were engaged in crimes of an even greater scale.

According to Yuri Slezkin, Jews were “Stalin’s willing executioners”. Neocons, a Jewish American political school have inflicted greater disasters than Israel or Zionism.

Is it possible that Zionism is just one symptom of a disastrous Jewish political continuum?

Can you imagine a peace loving Jewish political existence?

Can you point at such a body in Jewish history?

I did a bit more background check, saw a video of a talk. The point of the questions appeared to be that ‘Jewishness’ was the problem, and if I didn’t concede to it, I would probably be regarded as an ‘anti-Zionist Zionist’ or ‘Zionist gatekeeper’ as Atzmon likes to say. I saw where it was going, and I realized that I would lose any way I answered. I politely backed out. I got admonished for lack of ‘intellectual integrity’. At that point I already knew that a distance had to be kept, and that anything I did or said would likely be held against me.  

But a few days ago, Michael Lesher wrote on Facebook that he was going to be doing a talk in New York on Sunday April 30 at which Atzmon would also be speaking. I thought it merited warning (and Lesher admitted to not actually knowing Atzmon), so I described my experience in the comments, and noted I hadn’t spoken about the issue publicly before.

Atzmon came on the thread:

“You Jonathan .. I also didn’t write about it publicly but i probably should.. I will just publish the questions you were not willing to answer so everyone knows what you are and who you work for.. correction .. by now everyone knows ..”.

After another person expressed support for what I write in general, Atzmon wrote:

“The tribe …. my dear,, spreading the myth of the good J (the banal AZZ’ mantra – zionism is bad but Js are good ..)..”

Then Atzmon published the piece called “the questions that Jonathan Ofir prefers to avoid,” and shared the link on the thread, writing:

“You asked for it,, now eat it”.

Now it gets even more interesting. Atzmon writes:

“You see Jonathan… out of your cyber ghetto we really do not appreciate this gatekeeping project you subscribe to… we are not afraid of any form of criticsm ,, we are not afraid of history revisionism either..we believe instead in free exchange ,,, we want more Athens and less Jerusalem..Reading Michael Lesher I get the impression that despite him being an orthodox Jew and unlike you, he also subscribes to athens ..Lesher criticism of contemporary rabbinical society is genuinely universal…anyway,, feel free to discuss the topic on my page,,,it is an open space just to make sure people of your ilk can meet the opposition”.

Notice, the use of double and triple commas. It seems very idiosyncratic for Atzmon. It’s interesting, because then comes a supporter of Atzmon who writes:

“Jonathan, I am not sure at this point of who you truly are, but i definitely notice you also admit not knowing much about Gilad Atzmon, and there is no doubt in my mind that you haven’t bothered yourself to read his book nor did you followed any of his talks proper ,,, so maybe before condemning Gilad’s message you should learn to listen,,, I believe this is an important piece to start with,,, [linking to a 2007 article by Atzmon].

Atzmon is delighted with this comment – and even with himself:

“my god [xxx],, how did you find it… Incredible … I moved a bit since then but it is indeed strong… And it explains very well why Ofir and the JVP are disturbed by my work.. i point at the J they are desperate to conceal the J ….”

At this point, I began to feel very much like Ali Abunimah, who wrote in response to Atzmon in 2013:

“I do not usually write in response to nonsensical online allegations by bigots. If I did I would have little time for anything else. However, I thought it was important to do so in this case.”

And why is this important, beyond the simple offensive ad hominem attacks that are part of Atzmon’s way and style? Because Atzmon makes his attacks against people whom he sees as subscribing to a global Jewish dominance. He believes that even attempts at Palestine solidarity such as BDS have been overtaken by ‘Jewish gatekeepers’ for Judeo-centric agendas, as it were. For Atzmon, ‘Zionism’ is just a mask for the real issue that is responsible for Palestinian suffering and much else: “Jewishness”. When Atzmon twisted Abunimah’s words, he wrote that

[Abunimah] “is just dishonest/stupid. Abunimah calls Israelis Zionists because he needs the so called Jewish ‘anti’ Zionists to support his operation.”

So for Atzmon, those ‘liberal Jews’ who may come as far as challenging and opposing Zionism, are often ‘AZZ’s’ (‘anti-Zionist Zionists’). Thus Abunimah, who opposes all forms of racism including anti-Semitism, is for Atzmon simply a “Sabbath goy” (a gentile who performs work for Jews).

In 2012, various Palestinian writers and activists including Abunimah, BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti, professor Joseph Massad and others officially disavowed the racism and anti-Semitism of Gilad Atzmon.

So what does Atzmon want with me? He seems to want to expose me as a supposed “JVP merchant”, a “dedicated Jewish gatekeeper”. Now those terms can seem puzzling for some. What is this coded language? JVP stands for Jewish Voice for Peace. Atzmon believes that the American Jewish organization, which also supports BDS, is really about ‘Jewishness’ and giving Jews good PR, as it were. He says that “Liberal Jews want to make the [Palestinian] solidarity movement a Goyrein zone” and talks about “JVP, BDS and Jewish liberal terror”.

What is this “merchant” word about? Well, if you think about Shylock, the Jewish character from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, the word is a code for the stereotype of the sleazy Jew. This is not just my unfounded association. Atzmon is fully aware of these stereotypes, as he writes:

“Shylock is the blood-thirsty merchant. With Fagin [the Jewish dealer of stolen goods in Dicken’s Oliver Twist, ed.] and Shylock in mind Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum.”

Atzmon’s language about me is further condescending, as he regards me as a “boy”, and alters my last name to “offir”. He obviously thinks this is amusing.

So, Atzmon believes I work for JVP (which I don’t, but I support their aims, am on their Facebook group and receive their mails).

Even those who desperately try to defend Atzmon’s statements as merely critical ones, seem somewhat unconvincing when you actually take a look at statements from his book ‘The Wandering Who?’, as in:

“It took me many years to understand that the Holocaust, the core belief of the contemporary Jewish faith, was not at all an historical narrative [for] historical narratives do not need the protection of the law and political lobbies. It took me years to grasp that my great-grandmother wasn’t made into a ‘soap’ or a ‘lampshade’ as I was taught in Israel. She probably perished of exhaustion, typhus or maybe even by mass shooting… The fate of my great-grandmother was not so different from hundreds of thousands of German civilians who died in deliberate, indiscriminate bombing, just because they were Germans. Similarly, people in Hiroshima died just because they were Japanese… [As devastating as it was], at a certain moment in time, a horrible chapter was given an exceptional meta-historical status.” (pp 175, 149).

Thus – no gassings mentioned, and so many others killed. Not that big a deal in itself, as it were. This can be said to be the “soft core holocaust denial” which Deborah Lipstadt refers to, also in relation to the current US administration’s approach:

“Soft-core denial is much more insidious and squishier but when you know something is not quite right,” she told us [Washington Post]. “When you take out the identity of the victims, when those victims were specifically targeted, that is a form of rewriting history, and that’s what denial is all about.” 

Given, Atzmon seems to be somewhat more educated on this one than White House Spokesperson Sean Spicer, but this only means his assertions are often harder to spot.

Atzmon writes in his attack on me:

“I recently read a disgusting private exchange between Ofir and a peace activist where Ofir used the most abusive crypto Zionist tactics and argumentation (antisemitism, holocaust denial you name it.) I have since then witnessed Ofir disseminating the usual kosher progressive mantra. I am not impressed”.

Atzmon does not provide quotes, so it’s very hard to see what he’s talking about, and in what context. Talking about anti-Semitism in itself is not contentious – neither is usage of the term Holocaust denial. Leveling those charges against an individual is something I rarely do. If I establish such aspects in a person, I usually just disengage completely. I have blocked numerous anti-Semites and Holocaust-deniers in social media. They should just be ignored and disassociated from. 

I could also simply have chosen to ignore Atzmon, or disconnect, as I did a year ago. Was it a mistake to warn publicly about him, and provoke his ire? I’m not sure, but it brought his public attack against me. Would it then be wise to ignore that? I have thought about it for a few days, and reached the conclusion that it’s more than just about me. Like Ali Abunimah, I thought that it was important to do so in this case, to make a public response.

Gilad Atzmon thinks that “time is ripe for the rest of us to know what questions Jonathan Ofir would prefer to avoid.” I think more people need to know about Gilad Atzmon’s bigotry and anti-Semitism, under the guise of a ‘peace activist’.

As for Atzmon’s questions, I regularly voice my critique on both Zionism and Judaism, and I don’t need a person like Atzmon leading me up the path.

Atzmon’s questions speak volumes on their own.

About Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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306 Responses

  1. Juan R.
    April 29, 2017, 4:32 pm

    All 100 senators sign letter asking for equal treatment of Israel at the U.N. Washington Post April 29, 2017

    • johneill
      April 29, 2017, 8:36 pm

      it’s almost like they’re not aware that ‘equal treatment’ would address israel’s nuclear weapons stockpile.

    • Talkback
      April 30, 2017, 6:54 am

      Yep, that’s the only way these boot lickers can make a high political career in the home of the brave and the land of the free. So what’s your point?

    • JWalters
      April 30, 2017, 7:25 pm

      True equal treatment would be a real breakthrough.

    • Elizabeth Block
      May 1, 2017, 10:01 am

      Does this mean that they no longer single out Israel as the only country which one may not criticize?
      Halevai.

    • festus
      May 2, 2017, 8:04 am

      That’s the last thing Israel wants.

  2. Keith
    April 29, 2017, 5:40 pm

    JONATHAN OFIR- “The point of the questions appeared to be that ‘Jewishness’ was the problem, and if I didn’t concede to it, I would probably be regarded as an ‘anti-Zionist Zionist’ or ‘Zionist gatekeeper’ as Atzmon likes to say. I saw where it was going, and I realized that I would lose any way I answered.”

    Lose what? Why would answering Atzmon’s questions, which apparently you agreed to, have been such a problem? You make it sound like you are a victim under attack. Since these interview questions were prefaced by positive comments about your video, why the fear? It is at least somewhat informative that your listing of Atzmon’s questions appear cherry-picked for effect. Below are the first question and part of the second question which appear to me non-threatening.

    “1. Your decision to present your moving appeal in English is a significant choice. Rather than talking to Israelis you talk about Israel. I went through a similar transition, rather than talking to Jews I made a decision to talk about Jews.

    What led to your decision?

    2. I am slightly confused by your attitude to Zionism:

    a. You seem to argue that Judaism and Zionism are distinct entities; is this really the case? Is there a clear dichotomy? Where does Judaism end and Zionism starts? After all, rabbinical Jews are atthe forefront of the racist crimes against Palestinians.

    b. I understand that some rabbinical communities are opposed to Israeli and Zionistcrimes, but they are certainly small in number and have limited influence, don’t you agree?” http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2017/4/27/the-questions-jonathan-ofir-prefers-to-avoid

    I think a discussion on Judaism versus Zionism versus “Jewishness” could have helped clarify your respective positions. I suspect that your “background check” indicated to you that any association with Atzmon would have negative consequences for you with much of organized Jewry, so you opted out.

    JONATHAN OFIR- “This can be said to be the “soft core holocaust denial”….”

    “This can be said?” Are you saying it or disingenuously implying it? While Atzmon lacks Finkelstein’s scholarly prose, their views are at least somewhat similar. There was the historical Nazi holocaust and there is the Zionist constructed Holocaust narrative which they exploit. The insistence that the Holocaust was both uniquely evil and the culmination of 2000 years of Gentile Jew-hatred is part of the Zionist narrative. To question the narrative is not the same as denying the essential facts of the event. I might add that Norman Finkelstein has also been accused of being a Holocaust denier and anti-Semite.

    Atzmon is not alone in trying to analyze the effect of Judaism and Jewishness upon the Jewish state. Israel Shahak felt that “Historical Judaism and its two successors, Jewish Orthodoxy and Zionism, are both sworn enemies of the concept of an open society as applied to Israel. A Jewish state, whether based on its present Jewish ideology or, if it becomes more Jewish in character than it is now, on the principles of Jewish Orthodoxy, cannot ever contain an open society.” (p13, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” Israel Shahak)

    There are a few other things, however, I’ll leave it at this.

    • Danaa
      April 29, 2017, 10:19 pm

      Good points, Keith. I was about to make one of those myself (the one about the Holocaust being turned into something of a cult-like jewish gatekeeping aspect).

      Now, it is true that Atzmon can be artless. Even his questions can be phrased as an offense so it’s not surprising that he elicits defensive reactions. Not that I don’t understand how one could become so brittle given the attacks leveled against him for many years now. But psychologism aside, I think Ofir, despite denials, was probably given ample warnings that any association with Atzmon is poison in any and all jewish communities/organizations. Of course, being from israel, Ofir should recognize the MO of someone like Atzom. Something like offense is the best defense? a certain aggressiveness, whether justified or not?

      That being said, I probably would have also cringed at the question on Bolshevism. There is something about that line of questioning that makes me uncomfortable, and not because I care to be a gate-keeper, of any kind, for anyone. By now, that part of history – in general – the entire 1917 revolution, in fact – is so fraught with inaccuracies, exaggerations and mythologies that short of being a scholarly historian I am not sure I would be able to answer any question about that part of Russian history. Just heard someone on NPR who was researching Lenin’s train trip back to Russia. Who funded it and for what purpose, she asked? was Lenin a tool of Western powers – or in particular of the German powers who sought a withdrawal of Russia from WWI. plausible, but true? false? who knows? how would anyone ever know what transpired in lenin’s mind?

      I only bring this up because i see – among European Jews of marxist leanings, never Americans – an ongoing debate about Trotsky. May be Gilad has by now figured out what it’s all about, I sure didn’t.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2017, 9:50 am

        @ Danaa

        Bolshevist Revolution–the very disproportionate role of Jewish leaders–this is generally a taboo subject in America. Even the Noble Prize Winner Solzinitzin (sic) from Russia could not get his book 200 Years Together incorporating it published in English translation here.

        Similarly, Chapter 16 of The Last Days of the Romanovs, naming the Jews running all the revolutionary parties (Translated from the French Edition by Nathel) has only days ago been
        for the first time published in English translation.

      • Goodwin Sands
        April 30, 2017, 11:13 am

        Ah, the old enemy, Judeobolshevism. Wasn’t there a guy who ran for chancellor on an anti-Judeobolshevism platform? Gimme a second, I’m sure I’ll come up with it.

        See what Atzmon drags in?

      • catalan
        April 30, 2017, 12:16 pm

        “Bolshevist Revolution–the very disproportionate role of Jewish leaders–this is generally a taboo subject in America”. – Citizen
        You will be pleased to find that it is an extremely popular subject in Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. That’s why I got out of there when the going was good. Now I live in gorgeous New Mexico, where being Jewish appears to be a positive thing, if a thing at all, something that I still, after 20 years of living in the States, have a hard time getting used to (like the stores full of food). I am very grateful for living here; as to Israel, I say, quadruple the nuclear arsenal. Having the ability to destroy life on earth several times over is the most effective way to keep the enemies at bay. Let talknic discuss the partition plan and the students in Portland boycott Israeli hummus and feta, who cares…

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2017, 2:16 pm

        “Ah, the old enemy, Judeobolshevism.”

        Apparently, a very real concern. One commenter mentioned a “Judeo-Bolshevist Commissariat”.
        I have never known precisely what is meant by “Commissariat”.

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2017, 2:32 pm

        “Citizen” if we thought for days, no, 200 years together we couldn’t come up with any reasons (besides pure cussedness and orneriness) why Jews might be involved in, or even in the forefront of revolutionary activities against the Imperial House, the Romanov’s, in Russia, could we?

      • oldgeezer
        April 30, 2017, 2:45 pm

        @Mooser

        I usually buy my smokes and gum there but never worry about the religion or politics of the owner(s)

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2017, 4:24 pm

        @Mooser
        I don’t get the point of your rhetorical question. Both works I mentioned abound in giving historical reasons for said Jewish revolutionary activities, same as there’s a myriad of historical reasons for peasant uprisings, to some degree also known as pogroms, yet not always solely attributable to scapegoatism.

        @Goodwin Sands

        Do smear by association much?

        The two works I mentioned should have been published in English translation long ago, same as the POV of BDS should be discussed on US mainline cable TV news/infotainment. Informed consent, not propaganda by both commission and commission.

      • catalan
        April 30, 2017, 6:11 pm

        The three key disputable items are the 6 million figure, the gas chamber showers,and claim Hitler always planned to exterminate the Jews once he was in power.
        The 6 million figure is not disputable. It can easily be arrived to, or something close to it, without reading any boring history volumes. Hungary – 400,000, Romania- 400k, Poland- 3m, Russia and Ukraine, 1.5m, Czechoslovakia, Greece. 100k. All these people are simply missing. There are no reports of Greek Jews or Hungarian Jews being tucked away somewhere. Everyone saw them leaving, nobody knows where they are.
        The third claim- nobody claims that Hitler always planned to exterminate all Jews. The final decision was taken in 1942.
        As to the showers, this is a favorite in the denial universe despite many eye witness report. I say, who cares how they died? All these people were sent to Aushwitz and were worked to death or starved or whatever. They died.
        Only solution – Israel needs to significantly increase the nuclear arsenal and include ICBMs in it. The arsenal should be announced to the world as well. No other way.

      • RoHa
        April 30, 2017, 7:42 pm

        ‘I have never known precisely what is meant by “Commissariat.”

        Look it up, and then you will be the very model of a modern MW commenter.

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2017, 9:27 pm

        “I don’t get the point of your rhetorical question.”

        Yeah, I know what you mean. Who could push the Jews around?

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2017, 10:41 pm

        “Look it up…”

        After I go to the Judo-Bolshevik Commissary for gum, smokes, and a self-defense course.

      • Keith
        May 1, 2017, 12:37 am

        CATALAN- “Only solution – Israel needs to significantly increase the nuclear arsenal and include ICBMs in it.”

        Indeed, what better way to demonstrate our shared common values? (yes, I know that you are probably joking/poking) May you choke on your tongue in cheek.

      • Maghlawatan
        May 1, 2017, 7:02 am

        Catalan,
        At least half of the 6 million were shot dead in Poland and the Soviet Union by Nazis and their helpers.
        The book Bloodlands by Snyder is very informative.
        Nukes and ICBMs are stupid. Israeli society is rotting from the inside.
        Do you think it was a good idea to include the Mizrahim in the project?

      • Mooser
        May 1, 2017, 2:04 pm

        “Only solution – Israel needs to significantly increase the nuclear arsenal and include ICBMs in it.”

        And the beauty part is, the world will never, ever, hold the Jews outside Israel hostage for Israel’s good behavior insofar as not blowing up the world. If they even try we say: “Touch us, your I-phone stops working, and you will have to slice tomatoes again!”

      • marc b.
        May 1, 2017, 2:18 pm

        The three key disputable items are the 6 million figure, the gas chamber showers,and claim Hitler always planned to exterminate the Jews once he was in power. The 6 million figure is not disputable. etc.

        what intellectual rigor. 3 million there, a million here – counting on fingers. actually, no, ‘six million’ is not the undisputed number. there is a range of estimates from reputable scholars from 5 to 6 million jewish victims, a significant difference, the difference being important for historical purposes, and on a personal level, as a million less deaths presumably is a good thing for those victims tallied but not actually killed. and despite the vaunted accounting practices of the germans, there isn’t even an agreed upon figure for the number of dresden deaths from the fire bombing. the rest of your comment is equally superficial.

        a. yes, there are those who have claimed hitler always intended to murder all the jews, which is part of the ‘world looked on’ myth;
        b. the existence and use of gas chambers is certainly an important historical point, for many reasons, and if there is no distinction to be made between a european jew being worked to death, freezing in a cattle car, or being gassed, it becomes even more difficult to see why the holocaust would be treated as a divisible historical event given all the other premature, unnatural deaths caused by the germans and others during the war. why should some polish intellectual getting his brains blown out in 1940, or a child freezing to death on the streets of leningrad be treated differently?

    • Jonathan Ofir
      April 30, 2017, 3:18 am

      Keith, I’ll try to be short, and give you full disclosure on some of your wonders.

      First of all the questions are in Atzmon’s own article which I linked to. At first, I didn’t think it was necessary to put them all out there, I thought the last multiple question could do. Then in the editorial process, there was interest to have the questions appear early in the article, to give the reader a sense. So then I put them all up, but it ended up being like a lecture by Atzmon instead. So I opted for a selection.

      You, too, in seeking to convey the ‘positive’ point, have made a selection. We need to summarize to convey a point, and that’s not suspicious or unfair.

      My point is not that all of Atzmon’s points are suspicious. I am making the critical point of how he takes those points and where he leads them. It’s the low point that I am pointing out. My point about ‘losing’ is that with him, if you don’t agree to the assertions, you are still on his interview turf. And it seemed that it was not a discussion as much as it was a ‘test’. I don’t want to be tested by a person with such notions.

      • Jonathan Ofir
        April 30, 2017, 4:28 am

        And Keith, as to Finkelstein’s points on Holocaust –
        Finkelstein uses two distinct terms in regards to the Nazi Holocaust: One is “Nazi Holocaust”, to refer to the actual events. The second is “Holocaust” to refer to the ‘industry’ around it.
        Finkelstein does this, I believe, precisely in order to differentiate the two aspects.

        I do not need to get into the “soap” issue Atzmon brings. That is known to be a hoax disseminated by Simon Wiesenthal and Deborah Lipstadt also notes this. That’s a shameful invention, and there were others. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a genocide, with gassings, and a Holocaust, if you see what I mean.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2017, 4:35 am

        I agree with Keith. And I don’t see how Jonahtan Ofir’s response to Keith amounts to “full disclosure.” What is very clear is Ofir does not want to present, by addressing them, certain of Atzmon’s basic questions as legitimate, rational, worthy of inquiry. Maybe somebody can map out a three column chart of factors clarifying distinctions between Judaism versus Zionism/Jewish State versus “Jewishness”? Certainly the main media and influential mainstream politicians conflate all three, usually, in the case of American media and politicians, omitting any speech about Zionism, or even naming it.

      • Goodwin Sands
        April 30, 2017, 9:05 am

        “I am making the critical point of how he takes those points and where he leads them.”

        Atzmon is a man who’s spent the last decade waving both hands and shaking one leg over the line into the region of anti-Semitic rhetoric, so that his supporters can say “oh but he never actually *stepped* across the line and therefore Atzmon’s anti-Semitism isn’t an issue.”

        The Holocaust denial thing – ask Atzmon how many Jews the Nazis killed, and watch him dodge and weave and leave open the possibility that the “six million” is really only Jewish propaganda – is just the most blatant example, and the one that finished off his reputation among anti-Zionists in London, but that’s only part of the racism Max Blumenthal has attacked Atzmon for.

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2017, 9:06 am

        As far as I can discern , the two key claims of the classic Holocaust narraative that are denied by “Holocaust Deniers” are the 6 Million victim figure, and the gassing by shower of Zyklon-B in special chambers. Anybody else?

      • Goodwin Sands
        April 30, 2017, 9:14 am

        “Maybe somebody can map out a three column chart of factors clarifying distinctions between Judaism versus Zionism/Jewish State versus “Jewishness”?”

        “Jewishness” is simply Atzmon’s nebulous, never-defined catch-all for every bad thing he wants to say about the Jews while maintaining a paper-thin façade that he’s not talking about the Jews per se. It’s a flimflam. But there are parts of his audience practically begging: “Filmflam me about Jews, Atzmon! I want to say, believe, and disseminate bad things about The Jew Per Se but I need a layer of rhetorical dodges and dog whistles to make it seem all right as long as I don’t self-examine too closely.”

      • festus
        April 30, 2017, 9:40 am

        When you don’t want to answer inconvenient questions, accuse the questioner of Holocaust Denial, and figuratively drop the mic and walk off the stage in victory.

      • Philip Weiss
        April 30, 2017, 10:22 am

        The commenters seem to think we should run a list of Pamela Geller’s questions about Islam, too. That’s Atzmon’s game too. They both have figured out what is responsible for these conflicts, and it’s one religion.
        If they could only talk about all religions, that might be interesting. But of course they can’t.

      • Donald Johnson
        April 30, 2017, 12:30 pm

        Phil– completely agree. Atzmon is very much like the Islamophobes. All those poor misunderstood bigots want to do is ” ask questions”. The giveaway is the focus on one religion and the obvious demonizing, but sure, it’s only about honest historical inquiry.

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2017, 1:41 pm

        Seems to me that Atzmon simply takes the Zionist-style rhetoric and stands it on it’s head. He’s talking about Israel-Jews the way they talk about everybody else, (is the best I can put it.)

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2017, 4:40 pm

        I’m fairly sure everyone here knows Americans have been undergoing historical revisionism of what use to be taught to our children as American History for decades now. I don’t agree with anyone who doesn’t apply the same rigor to the classic Holocaust story. De facto banning of books or speakers should not be tolerated. All ideological oxen should be gored.

      • YoniFalic
        April 30, 2017, 5:14 pm

        @Philip Weiss. Atzmon is quite clear that he has no problem with Judaism qua religion. Geller acts as if her issue is Islam qua religion, but the areas of Islam that she attacks are generally very similar to Judaism. Her real issue is the difficulty of enmeshing Islam either to serve Zionism or to be silent about Zionism as organized Christianity mostly is. (I am willing to be corrected on this point.) Unlike Atzmon, who is a decent writer in English and in Modern Israeli Hebrew, Geller is impossible for me to read for any length of time.

        Atzmon seems to be like me a victim of Israeli education or indoctrination, who became totally disgusted on realizing that most everything that he learned about Judaism, Zionism, Jewish history, and Zionist history consists of lies. (Note that Israelis from our background (secular, pseudo leftist progressive) don’t generally distinguish Judaism, Jewishness, the Jewish people, and Zionism. We have to learn to make the distinctions that Atzmon and I try to make.

        Eventually, I learned how to put Judaism, Jewishness, and Zionism into context and to think about them rationally from a reasonable comparative perspective as modern academic historians are supposed to analyze history. Developing such critical historical thought patterns is the point of academic history programs just as learning to think critically about the law and to formulate legal arguments or opinions according to acceptable legal reasoning, forms, and principles is the point of law school.

        Atzmon is a rather gifted autodidact, but his analysis suffers from the lack of a critical historical perspective. He is also rather unfair to Philip Weiss, but then Atzmon has worked neither as a journalist or as a serious (non-propagandist) historian. I have problems with Weiss’s approach to Jewish history, culture, identity, and religion, but I post anonymously and work hard to conceal my identity because I know what Zios want to do to me. Obviously Weiss suffers from constraints that I don’t experience. Atzmon has yet another situation because he is a professional musician with a following in Europe. He is somewhat immune to a lot of Zionist attacks, and they may even give him a helpful “buzz”.

      • Keith
        April 30, 2017, 5:34 pm

        JONATHAN OFIR- “Keith, I’ll try to be short, and give you full disclosure on some of your wonders.”

        Rather than respond to this response to my comment, I am going to go to the bottom of the comments section and make a fresh comment to permit comments to my comment and comments to these comments. I plan on doing an analysis of your article to determine what exactly happened, why you are writing this article for Mondoweiss, and why Mondoweiss chose to publish it, along with an observation on Gilad Atzmon. Ambitious,no? Sound good? Wish me luck!

      • MHughes976
        April 30, 2017, 9:16 pm

        If Pamela Geller wishes to test us with a series of questions about Islam, I say ‘bring it on’. Not that I for my part would be able to answer serious questions about Islam (perhaps they would not be serious) but I think I would be interested in commening on the relevance of her own answers to her political agenda.
        If someone else wishes to pose questions on Christianity and its relationships with imperialism and with Zionism I would think those questions should be answered rather than refused. What is the value of my ‘identity’ (as they say) as a Christian if I am not prepared to answer questions from the critics of my religion as rationally as I can?

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2017, 9:29 pm

        “I’m fairly sure everyone here knows Americans have been undergoing historical revisionism of what use to be taught to our children as American History for decades now.”

        ROTFLSMAJAO!! I’ll say!

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2017, 10:18 pm

        .” I plan on doing an analysis of your article to determine what exactly happened, why you are writing this article for Mondoweiss, and why Mondoweiss chose to publish it, along with an observation on Gilad Atzmon.”

        Gee, that’s great! Do you happen to have any information on any one, or all of those things?

      • echinococcus
        May 1, 2017, 5:55 am

        Falic,

        Thank you for the obvious common sense of your interpretation of Atzmon.
        Allow me a single correction, about your “Atzmon is quite clear that he has no problem with Judaism qua religion”. In fact, he has the same problem with it as religion that you, me and some others also have, and he just can’t afford the luxury of not exposing the nonsense.

      • Boo
        May 1, 2017, 12:08 pm

        “Atzmon is a man who’s spent the last decade waving both hands and shaking one leg over the line into the region of anti-Semitic rhetoric … The Holocaust denial thing – ask Atzmon how many Jews the Nazis killed, and watch him dodge and weave”

        So “He does the Holocy-Pokey and he turns himself about? That’s what it’s all a-bout.”

      • Mooser
        May 1, 2017, 4:45 pm

        It’s hard to give up on a guy who fronts an organ trio.

      • ToivoS
        May 1, 2017, 5:49 pm

        Jonathan, you do not need to apologize for avoiding Atzmon’s questions. The man is toxic. He specializing in distorting answers in response to his sly and vague questions. There seem to be a number off people here on MW that, other than the fact they Atzmon a reasonable person, actually seem reasonable themselves on other questions. It brings to mind the old saying, ‘avoid getting into a mud wrestling match with a pig, because in any case the pig enjoys it’.

      • catalan
        May 2, 2017, 3:45 pm

        Mooser,
        How can I become an anti Zionist? That would put me in the same camp as the people who claim that the Jews of Skopje, my grandfather’s cousins, were taken to Poland for a vacation to help them and just died on the way. Many were kids. How could I do that to their memory? I choose nukes over that, thank you for the offer. See, you see yourself as a hostage, and Israel as the enemy. To me, it’s not like that. I don’t want my destiny at the hands of Citizen, German Leftie, Ossinev, etc. I have zero trust that without Israel they won’t come after us. Sorry.

      • Talkback
        May 2, 2017, 5:04 pm

        catalan: “How can I become an anti Zionist?”

        In your case: Imagine Palestinians were actually Jews.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 8:07 pm

        “I choose nukes over that, thank you for the offer”

        Yeah, “you choose nukes”. And you’ll have ’em too, “catalan”, the Israelis will send you some. Watch for the Amazon drone.

        Not a hostage of Israel, silly, a hostage for Israel. That’s different.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 11:46 pm

        “How can I become an anti Zionist?”

        You already are. You don’t contribute to Zionism (and with your income? A shondah!) and you provide hundreds of “hits” and “UPVs” (‘unique page views’- interacting with a website) to a reputed anti-Zionist website.
        You mentioned you don’t buy Israeli products.
        Who could ask for anything more? If we all in the US did that Israel would collapse. Hardly what the Jews of Skopje deserve by way of remembrance.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 11:50 pm

        “I have zero trust that without Israel they won’t come after us.”

        But if Israel commits more atrocities or starts throwing A-bombs around, they will come and give every Jew in the world a medal. And a large check. Thank you Israel!

    • Goodwin Sands
      April 30, 2017, 8:41 am

      “To question the narrative is not the same as denying the essential facts of the event.”

      This is a good example of how Atzmon likes to hide behind blur-words.

      Atzmon isn’t merely “questioning the narrative” in the Finkelstein sense, he’s “questioning the narrative” in the Holocaust denial sense. That’s why he’s going to go speak at the Holocaust denial organization “Institute for Historical Review” next week on May 6. This is the sort of thing that rightfully wrecked his reputation in the UK left, who took the time to peer through the blur and then was appalled by what Atzmon was really up to.

      But Atzmon hopes you don’t make the distinction between Finkelstein and David Irving. After all, they’re both “questioning the narrative of the Holocaust,” so they both must be noble souls, right?

    • JosephA
      April 30, 2017, 8:57 am

      Whomever accused Norman Finkelstein of being a Holocaust denier and an anti-Semite might want to come back to reality, as he’s clearly neither if you have ever heard him speak or read any of his books.

      • Goodwin Sands
        April 30, 2017, 9:23 am

        Agreed. But the case of Atzmon is very different; Atzmon wants to portray himself as a Finkelstein figure, while he’s really more like the Fred Leuchter of Jews.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        April 30, 2017, 10:11 am

        Whomever accused Norman Finkelstein of being a Holocaust denier and an anti-Semite might want to come back to reality, as he’s clearly neither if you have ever heard him speak or read any of his books.

        Oh really. And what has reality to offer to convince this person to come back to it?

      • Citizen
        April 30, 2017, 5:35 pm

        “Holocaust Denying” & “Holocaust Industry”: http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/Finkelstein/ShermerBook.html
        Caveat, I don’t agree with the review writer that “holocaust deniers” simply want to latch on some small factual items of the Holocaust to discredit the Holocaust narrative generally. The three key disputable items are the 6 million figure, the gas chamber showers,and claim Hitler always planned to exterminate the Jews once he was in power. Obviously, these three items pose a uniqueness, which Finkelstein shows has been exploited to the max as a profitable business and political club.

      • Goodwin Sands
        April 30, 2017, 6:01 pm

        Oh, look, FPP = Focal Point Press – that is, David Irving’s imprint.

        You’re citing David Irving’s personal website as where you get your news from.

        Did you think no one would notice, or just that – as in Atzmon’s target audience – no one would care?

        Atzmon sure brings ’em out, doesn’t he.

      • beruga
        April 30, 2017, 6:47 pm

        “Holocaust Denying” & “Holocaust Industry”: http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/Finkelstein/ShermerBook.html

        Thanks for the link

        “Atzmon sure brings ’em out, doesn’t he.”

        non-kosher remains best kosher :)

      • Keith
        April 30, 2017, 8:10 pm

        GOODWIN SANDS- “You’re citing David Irving’s personal website as where you get your news from.”

        Citizen linked to a book review by Adam Bresnick which appeared in the 11/5/2000 edition of the Los Angeles Times. You are saying that “fpp” is David Irving’s personal website? Is the book review the same as appeared in the LA Times? Perhaps you would care to comment on the book review rather than using David Irving as a tar baby? Incidentally, not all of us frequent “anti-Semitic” websites like you do, hence, have no idea that “fpp” has some special significance. But the article is what it appears to be: a book review in the Los Angeles Times. Yet more Zionist claims of anti-Semitism where none exist in order to vilify and stifle discussion.

      • MHughes976
        April 30, 2017, 9:23 pm

        I have never quite been able to work out where Finkelstein or indeed Atzmon stands on the dire events called Holocaust. On the whole F seems to stand with Hilberg but maybe not quite consistently.

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2017, 9:32 pm

        “Did you think no one would notice, or just that – as in Atzmon’s target audience – no one would care? “

        “Goodwin” my friend, you haven’t spent a lot of time in the Mondo comment section before now, have you?

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 1, 2017, 6:40 am

        “Incidentally, not all of us frequent “anti-Semitic” websites like you do”

        Buddy, if you think David Irving’s own personal website is not anti-Semitic but merely “anti-Semitic” then there’s not much I can do to help you.

      • Keith
        May 1, 2017, 3:13 pm

        GOODWIN SANDS- “Buddy, if you think David Irving’s own personal website is not anti-Semitic but merely “anti-Semitic” then there’s not much I can do to help you.”

        I have heard of David Irving, but I am not as intimately familiar with his writings and website, etc, as you seem to be. Interesting how those who recklessly hurl the charge of anti-Semitism seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trolling those sites they claim to hate. So no, I don’t libel someone as an anti-Semite based upon what you and your ilk say. Besides, I don’t see anti-Semitism as a significant problem, the charge basically an attack club used by those of privilege to attack others who try to analyse political economy and the question of power.

        And Goodwin, you are quite obviously a tribal anti-Zionist attack dog running around calling others anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers. You suddenly appear and make 22 offensive comments (so far) on this single thread. What brought you here? The need to attack anyone who doesn’t agree with your peer group ideology? So, do you get paid for this or is unjustly vilifying people a labor of love for you? Why don’t you go home and change your brown shirt, you have drooled all over the one you are currently wearing.

      • Mooser
        May 1, 2017, 6:14 pm

        “I have heard of David Irving, but I am not as intimately familiar with his writings and website, etc, as you seem to be. Interesting how those who recklessly hurl the charge of anti-Semitism seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trolling those sites they claim to hate.”

        Uh, “Keith”, I hate to mention this, but you’ve used that wheeze a couple of times, so maybe I ought to warn you, it doesn’t work the way you think it does. Far from it.
        It tends, instead, to show you as somebody who uses no discrimination about the information you are accepting. If it fits your preconceptions, you go with it.

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 1, 2017, 6:29 pm

        And so Keith makes my point for me perfectly. Because *he* doesn’t spot or recognize the anti-Semitism, therefore it *can’t* be anti-Semitism and therefore I must be “a tribal anti-Zionist attack dog” for making it clear that it *is* anti-Semitism. When Max Blumenthal dismissed Atzmon as a “Gilad Atzmon unmasks himself again as a de facto Israeli hasbarist who happens to play sax” was he being a “tribal anti-Zionist attack dog” as well, for making the same point?

      • Keith
        May 2, 2017, 1:35 am

        MOOSER- “It tends, instead, to show you as somebody who uses no discrimination about the information you are accepting.”

        What information I am accepting? I don’t hang out at David Irving’s website, do you? I don’t really care if David Irving is an anti-Semite or not, but obviously you have a tribal interest in hyping virtually non-existent anti-Semitism. You keep trying to have it both ways. You can’t. Deal with it. Are you calling me a liar for saying that I don’t frequent the David Irving website? Well, screw you! Who the hell are you to complain about me? Chump.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 11:15 am

        “Are you calling me a liar for saying that I don’t frequent the David Irving website? Well, screw you! Who the hell are you to complain about me? Chump.”

        “Keith”, you didn’t take my advice about trying de-caf, did you?

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 12:16 pm

        “Because *he* doesn’t spot or recognize the anti-Semitism…/…,that it *is* anti-Semitism. “

        “Goodwin” can you tell me why “Keith” or anybody, owes us this distinction at this point?
        There is no special place, no special elevated level people must go to when they think about Jews and Zionism.

        Do you know of some reason why they should?

      • Talkback
        May 2, 2017, 5:09 pm

        @ Citizen

        Adam Bresnick – Insult to Injury
        http://articles.latimes.com/2000/nov/05/books/bk-47232

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 2, 2017, 6:00 pm

        Yep, the review is available on the LA Times site. That’s what makes it so revealing that Citizen decided to post the David Irving link instead. Only the most famous Holocaust denier in the world, that’s all.

      • Citizen
        May 2, 2017, 7:05 pm

        @ Goodwin Sands

        “Yep, the review is available on the LA Times site. That’s what makes it so revealing that Citizen decided to post the David Irving link instead. Only the most famous Holocaust denier in the world, that’s all.”

        Reveals what? The content of the review is what interested me, not which site I found it on. I linked to the first site I found it on. I had no clue it was a David Irving link. Is the LA Times another David Irving link? Nearly all your comments are aflame with guilt by association and devoid of factual backup. You drink way to much zionist Kool-Aid.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      May 1, 2017, 6:48 pm

      Atzmon is a musician. He says valid and illuminating things about matters of which he has personal experience, such as his time serving in the IDF in Lebanon. But he does not know much history and lacks the skills, time, and other resources to do his own historical research. So if he expatiates on the Russian Revolution, the Spanish civil war, and other diverse topics these are not original contributions, he is borrowing these ideas from somewhere. And comparative analysis leaves no doubt that the source from which he takes these ideas is Nazi-style anti-semitism.

      Regarding the Holocaust, the Revisionist historians whose views he parrots do not deny the existence of concentration (labor) camps, only of death camps. They admit that conditions in the concentration camps were extremely harsh, but not especially for the Jews: perhaps 200,000 Jews perished.

      On “Judeo-Bolshevism” I would point out that Jews were not the only ethnic group represented disproportionately in the early Soviet bureaucracy and secret police. So were Armenians, Latvians, and Poles, for instance. The founder of the secret police was of Polish origin and many of his colleagues were Latvians (strange as this seems in light of later developments). The degree to which different ethnic groups were attracted to bolshevism reflected complex historical circumstances and does not prove that bolshevism was a basically ethnic phenomenon. It was not. Later on the initially disproportionate representation of Jews, Poles etc. disappeared, but this did not change the basic nature of the system in the least.

      It seems a diversion of energy to have to discuss these extraneous issues on a site devoted to I/P. It would be better to ignore Atzmon.

      • Citizen
        May 2, 2017, 11:46 am

        @ Stephen Sheffield
        Anybody can see the vastly disproportionate number of Jewish leaders in the early Soviet bureaucracy, not the grunts–I don’t get why you feel the need to diminish it. (As Mooser suggested, the Jews had their good reasons to kill the Russian royalty.) Said disproportion is listed in the 1921 French Version of The Last Days of the Romanovs (was omitted from 1920 English version): https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Document:The_Jewish_role_in_the_early_Soviet_Regime

      • Danaa
        May 2, 2017, 5:36 pm

        Sheffield, I agree about the arguments about Atzmon and/or HD (Holocaust denial) are a distraction, as I kept saying above.

        Unfortunately or fortunately, the topic of Atzmon seems to be irresitable to too many people. To me, the most interesting aspect of this is the ‘why”. What is it about atzmon that gets the goat of certain people, enough so to generate a veritable raucus?

        A thought – may be here it’s not Atzmon as much as Ofir? may be we all sense that Ofir, given his hard-hitting pieces about israel has become sufficiently visible to where he too must burnish his credentials to continue having the warm reception he gets among the dissident crowd? The sub-text to my musing here is that Ofir, like Abarbanel, like peled, seem to be on the recvieving end of especially sharp brand of vitriol from the mainstream jewish-affiliated direction. Like Atzmon, these are all ex-Israelis (as in growing up there, not just relocating at some point in adult life) which gives them both a unique perch AND a chance to speak from a credibility reservoir. When they speak of israelis and what they are like, we have to take them at their word, because they lived there – in the belly of the cult that we all suspect israel is. They are the cult refugees, just like me, and Shmuel and others who are not so well-known.

        Atzmon is the gadfly, I suspect, who can be used profitably to smear the israeli ex-pat commentators by association, thereby detracting from that special credibility arsenal they are equipped with. I suspect that is probably why Ofir felt obliged to use an otherwise minor incident like GA asking him some questions which he did not particularly feel compelled to reply to, as a vehicle to burnish his own armor, which he surely needs. Even if I am not entirely right in assigning motivations to someone I don’t know, I prefer to hold onto these speculations, so I can better avoid the temptation to step into the mud and become one with the spectacle. Me, no gladiator. in the commentariat arena….

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 2, 2017, 6:03 pm

        “So if he expatiates on the Russian Revolution, the Spanish civil war, and other diverse topics these are not original contributions, he is borrowing these ideas from somewhere. And comparative analysis leaves no doubt that the source from which he takes these ideas is Nazi-style anti-semitism.”

        Exactly. But not just a bit here and a bit there. A long, strong pattern of this going back a dozen years.

      • Citizen
        May 2, 2017, 7:19 pm

        @ Danna

        “…why Ofir felt obliged to use an otherwise minor incident like GA asking him some questions which he did not particularly feel compelled to reply to…”

        The incident may be “otherwise minor” but the questions he didn’t answer, rather chose to omit, were not minor. Just saying. His later address of them below in this thread is useless, still does not really respond to them.

    • Yossarian22
      May 2, 2017, 7:15 pm

      If you can’t tell that Atzmon is an anti-Semite who believes that the problem in Israel/Palestine isn’t settler colonialism, racism or apartheid but rather the mark of the nefarious Jew, that’s very troubling. Look at these questions:

      “According to Yuri Slezkin, Jews were “Stalin’s willing executioners”. Neocons, a Jewish American political school have inflicted greater disasters than Israel or Zionism.

      Is it possible that Zionism is just one symptom of a disastrous Jewish political continuum?

      Can you imagine a peace loving Jewish political existence?”

      Nor did Finkelstein ever deny that the Holocaust was a genocide and that genocide, by its very nature, is of a different order than the slaughter of the battlefield.

      Just because apartheid apologists lob baseless anti-Semitism accusations against pro-Palestinian activists doesn’t mean there aren’t some anti-Semites who cloak themselves in anti-Zionism.

  3. yonah fredman
    April 29, 2017, 8:23 pm

    Gilad atzmon is a rabid dog.

    • Mooser
      April 29, 2017, 8:57 pm

      Poor Atzmon. You can take the fellow out of Israel, but in a lot of ways he makes it look hard to take Israel out of the fellow.

      • festus
        April 30, 2017, 11:15 am

        A lot of Group Think here

    • marc b.
      April 30, 2017, 8:25 am

      And what is done with ‘rabid dogs’?

      • Goodwin Sands
        April 30, 2017, 9:09 am

        If they can spout the right buzzwords, they’re put on a stage in the East Village, which is what happens to Atzmon tonight.

      • yonah fredman
        April 30, 2017, 11:27 am

        If the action implications of my analogy were too extreme let me adjust my analogy. Atzmon is chocolate chip cookies with imbedded barbed wire.

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2017, 2:01 pm

        “Atzmon is chocolate chip cookies with imbedded barbed wire.”

        A cookie so good, you can’t just mention it once!

      • Boo
        May 1, 2017, 12:11 pm

        Sold under the brand name “Apartheid Chips”?

  4. MHughes976
    April 29, 2017, 10:33 pm

    My answer to Atzmon’s questions would be along the lines that Judaism is a set of religious precepts and Zionism the belief that those who are Jewish, and only they, have an inherent right, now commonly called birthright, to a share of sovereignty over Palestine, others having a share only by the reasonable generosity of the true heirs. I consider Zionism to be a false proposition. If Judaism implies Zionism then the precepts of Judaism must, for me, be false to an important degree. It would seem that the majority of those considering themselves to be of Jewish religion do consider that Zionism is implied, but there is a dissenting minority. I think it’s fairly clear that the link is not logically watertight, so it is possible, to use Atzmon’s terminology, for Judaism to end short of Zionism as a set of beliefs about God and ethical behaviour. I do understand Atzmon’s reluctance to believe that the dissenting religious minority or the other relevant, overlapping minority, that of dissenting Israelis, stands any foreseeable chance of stopping the Zionist agenda, which has been marked with so much success, admiration and
    reward, in its tracks. It is still right and important to make the effort, though. Maybe Almighty God will bend the arc of the universe a bit. I think that Atzmon’s questions should be answered rather than refused.
    Some Soviet people of Jewish background did terrible things, granted. They suffered also. But the truth or falsity of the Zionist idea is the question and we will not find the answer to that question in the records of the past or its chapters of atrocity.

    • Danaa
      April 30, 2017, 3:33 pm

      beautiful comment MHughes. But unfortunately since you didn’t mention either the Holocaust or Bolshevism, it won’t be deemed of deserving a retort by the likes of goioodwin sands. Certainly not good old yonah, who these days issues epithets, it seems (well, I excuse him. Fatigue is a terrible thing).

      But FWIW, I liked your comment (well, we agree, in general*, so that helps….).

      ____
      * there are always those specifics though….

      • MHughes976
        April 30, 2017, 8:45 pm

        Thanks very much for kind words – I meant to refer to Bolshevism by the term ‘Soviet’, though perhaps some people use ‘Bolshevik’ only for the revolutionary, not for the Stalinist phase. I think it’s very important to say what we mean by ‘Zionism’. Its relationship with Judaism, colonialism, nationalism can then be more clearly discussed. I see no reason not to answer Atzmon’s questions or indeed not to answer the questions that Zionists may put to us. Of course some matters may be well beyond our knowledge, so ‘I do not know’ is sometimes a legitimate answer to a question.

    • lyn117
      May 1, 2017, 12:09 am

      The problem I have with a lot of this blaming by Atzmon of Judaism (or Jews) for a bunch of ills, is similar to the problem I have blaming any other religion for a bunch of ills. Sure, ala Israel Shahak, you can dig up a bunch of talmudic thought advocating mass murder of innocent civilians and, as Max Blumenthal noted, truly believed and taught by certain Jewish religious leaders. Rather horrible stuff. But I don’t personally know any Jews who actually follow that kind of thinking, virtually all my Jewish friends and acquaintances are atheists who believe in equal rights, abhor genocide and so on. When I look at it, that Judaism and this Judaism are radically different sets of beliefs. So as far as I’m concerned, it’s not up to me to say what someone else’s beliefs are, and if they want to call their beliefs Judaism and themselves a Jew, I’m not about to argue. And only blame the ones who actually advocated genocidal acts.

      In answer to the question, ‘Do you really believe that the Jews or the Israelis can “stop it now”?’ or a lot of the others, I’d probably just say, ‘Do you really believe that humanity can “stop it now”?’

  5. Danaa
    April 29, 2017, 10:45 pm

    Part of me understands the torments of Atzmon. The part that sees neocons continue to walk among us, free as birds, even rewarded – amply – while their crimes resulted in rivers of blood on the other part of the world. I cringe at the sight of horrific war criminals, every bit as abominable as certain fascist types, people like Feith, whose hands are dripping with the blood of innocents , being actually interviewed on TV as if they were not criminal serial killers. Even considered for a job in Trump’s administration – which sort of smelled like Eichmann appointed to a UN’s human Rights commission or something (luckily for us all, even trump could not go that far). This part of me cannot forgive the jewish community that sheltered and covered up for the likes of Wolfowitz, kagan, Ledeen et al with platitudes about – hey, it’s not just jews! what about Cheney? oh sure. Cheney. that totally mclarifies things, don’t it?

    Possibly, though temperamentally very different from Atzmon, I too would launch at tirades if cornered by certain individuals. The ones who hold the Feith et al cover-up by the jewish establishment guilty as charged (for being basically willing to forgive the thugs for Empire and israel) but then recoil at expanding beria’s ethnicity to a historical cover up by the entire jewish establishment of Russia. Unlike Atzmon though I would never be so quick to hold an entire community (even a tribe) guilty because of some Jewish connection by some to some very bad things.

    Still, on bad days, I rant much as Atzmon does. On bad days when the magnitude of the crimes and abominations committed against the Syrian people, the Iraqi people, the Libyan people, the Yemeni people, become impossible to ignore. I know many jewish people (and of course, many many non-jewish people), people i respect, expressed their disgust with the neocons every bit as deeply and clearly as I did and do. I also know that many of the jewish people who failed to be suitably disgusted simply because they had not much knowledge about foreign affaires in general, much as most Americans. After all, it’s the unique privilege of those who live in the heart of the beast to not know what the beast does when it goes on its rampages.

    But still, there is that little voice that says – of all its subjects and citizens, the Jews of the Empire should not use apathy or ignorance as a way out of witnessing that which must be witnessed, if civilization is to continue. If too many of them do just that, then perhaps they are all guilty?

    All that being said, a world without the like of Ofir is a sad world indeed. I have never seen an article of his I didn’t like or appreciate. Of all the people out there, if I were Atzmon, I would let it slide, Even on a bad day.

    • JosephA
      April 30, 2017, 9:08 am

      “After all, it’s the unique privilege of those who live in the heart of the beast to not know what the beast does when it goes on its rampages.”

      Amen, I couldn’t have said it better myself. At the end of the movie “A few good men”, Jack Nicholson lectures Tom Cruise about essentially protecting his freedom. Let me say this, if the price to pay for my freedom to live in relative safety and security in the US(A! USA! USA!) is the continued murder of innocent people around the world (in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, etc.), that’s just not a compromise I am willing to accept. There has to be a better way, and there is. Dismantling the military-industrial complex will not be an easy task.

    • just
      April 30, 2017, 11:19 am

      Danaa~ thank you very much for this that I also hold true:

      “All that being said, a world without the like of Ofir is a sad world indeed. I have never seen an article of his I didn’t like or appreciate. Of all the people out there, if I were Atzmon, I would let it slide, Even on a bad day. ”

      Mr./Maestro Ofir is a reflective human that I’ve appreciated since his voice came upon this stage. I eagerly await his articles because are honestly presented, well- written, and factual. He is truly amazing and has the honesty and a voice that should never be quelled. Your voice is always welcomed, too~ a necessary voice of reason and a balm that makes me believe that justice and peace will, and can, prevail.

      I miss Taxi, Seafoid, Hostage, and Walid so much. Gilad Atzmon also has a voice that he needs to get out. He appears to be tortured , but … that’s his own journey, isn’t it? I can only offer my condolences for his pain and appreciation for his journey toward the light.

      Thank you, Danaa and Jonathan.

      • Danaa
        April 30, 2017, 3:34 pm

        just, like you I miss some of the old crowd. We should really find a new meeting place, where we can do our lamentations, shouldn’t we?

      • MHughes976
        April 30, 2017, 8:32 pm

        I too much miss the four mentioned, also Shmuel and Tree.

      • WH
        May 1, 2017, 4:18 am

        Seafoid returned under a different name, didn’t anyone notice?

      • Mooser
        May 1, 2017, 12:41 pm

        “Seafoid returned under a different name, didn’t anyone notice?”

        Shhhh! Mum’s the word. Keep it sub hat.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      May 2, 2017, 1:48 pm

      Danaa: You think Beria was Jewish? For what it’s worth, he was a Georgian, like Stalin. More precisely, he belonged to a Georgian subgroup called Mingrelians (or Megrelians).

      • Danaa
        May 2, 2017, 5:08 pm

        Not taking the bait. Russia under stalin is simply not my beat. If beria was or wasn’t and who else was or wasn’t I’ll just have to let others debate.

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 2, 2017, 6:05 pm

        See what happens when you get your history from Atzmon?

      • Danaa
        May 2, 2017, 7:08 pm

        Goodwin, what happens when you support apartheid, racism, ethnic supremacy, murder, mayhem and probably genocide, if you had a chance?

        Whatever and whoever Beria was he had nothing over the gloriously criminal state of israel and its syncophants abroad. Like you, Goodwin?

        The evil you seem to support is quite on par with Stalin’s worst. And given what israel is preparing for the Palestinians, you may yet get a chance to discuss another holocaust altogether.

        Your obsessions with holocaust-schmolocaust seems to have a pathological component. You know, we do have some good pasychologists around here. I understand Abigail Abarbanel may be willing to consult on-line…..

  6. JoeSmack
    April 29, 2017, 11:41 pm

    Hi Jonathan,

    I’m sorry you had such a negative experience with GA on the internet, but given how many internet creeps there are in this Movement, I think it is worth reflecting on why this particular creep keeps getting so much attention.

    GA mixed anti-Semitic rhetoric with genuine critiques about privileging Jewish voices, and nowhere is the latter more obvious than in the management of JVP — from the name to the organizational makeup to the constant lagging behind the rest of the movement to the repeated insinuations that Arab anti-colonial sentiment is unacceptable or even anti-Semitic, etc.

    Those matters deserve to be critiqued; they are far greater obstacles than anti-Jewish fringe writers. I worry that excessive focus on GA and failure to criticize him for the right reasons contributes to mystifying this greater issue.

    • Citizen
      April 30, 2017, 9:40 am

      I think much of GA’s analysis of his chosen political subjects are very insightful, and rarely heard by the general American pubic, which has a stake in the matter, and because the USA is the lone superpower, so does the rest of the world. Unfortunately, yes, sometimes he hurts his attempt to wake up the public by spouting anti-semitic rhetoric blurb-like comments, e.g., on Twitter. I have yet to see any reasonable criticism of, e.g., his book The Wandering Who, or his article Being In Time.

      • Goodwin Sands
        April 30, 2017, 11:22 am

        Strange how studiously you’re avoiding his scheduled talk – not his first – at the neo-fascist Institute for Historical Review, coming up next week.

        You wouldn’t trust a flat-earther to lecture you on astrophysics. Why would you let someone who pimps for Holocaust denial lecture you on the Jewish character?

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2017, 1:57 pm

        Don’t you see, Mr Sands, that people try to use their knowledge of the present to get information about the past in perspective. We all must do that, and I think it is getting harder and harder for people to picture the Jews getting pushed around.

      • unverified__5ilf90kd
        April 30, 2017, 2:27 pm

        I totally agree with Citizen’s comments on this subject. I have read GA’s book “The Wandering Who” and his articles; GA’s analysis of Zionism etc is profound in my opinion. I find GA’s conclusions very convincing and helpful to me in understanding the outrageous behavior of the Jewish lobby in the USA. I have never seen any criticism of GA’s book that had any logical or factual basis. John Mearsheimer even praised this book although he was predictably called an antisemite by many Jewish pundits for his opinions. Thankfully this antisemitism canard has only devalued the concept and led to even more rational criticism of Zionism. The people on this site who call GA a “rabid dog” etc are merely apologists for the already tarnished irrationality that leads to selfish and criminal Zionist goals.

      • Goodwin Sands
        April 30, 2017, 2:50 pm

        “I have never seen any criticism of GA’s book that had any logical or factual basis.”

        Then you have not looked very hard at all. The book broke his reputation in the UK, not because of Zionist machinations, but because of its innate anti-Semitism, which explains Zionism by an argument boiling down to, “Well you know what those Jews are like, say no more! say no more!”

      • Talkback
        May 1, 2017, 5:51 am

        Goodwin Sands: Then you have not looked very hard at all. The book broke his reputation in the UK, not because of Zionist machinations, but because of its innate anti-Semitism, which explains Zionism by an argument boiling down to, “Well you know what those Jews are like, say no more! say no more!”

        Well, we do know what those Zionist Jews are like, don’t we? But what has this got to do with antisemitism besides your innate antisemitic conflation of Zionists and humans who happen to be Jewish?

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 1, 2017, 8:34 am

        Been quite clear that “Zionist” and “Jew” are two different concepts. Some people are both, some are neither.

        Similarly, anti-Zionism is a different concept than anti-Semitism. Some people are neither, and some – Atzmon being a great example – are both. It’s actually Atzmon’s nasty habit of conflating Zionism with his catch-all “Jewishness” in order to attack both that first started getting him blowback.

      • Mooser
        May 1, 2017, 5:03 pm

        “Been quite clear that “Zionist” and “Jew” are two different concepts. Some people are both, some are neither.
        Similarly, anti-Zionism is a different concept than anti-Semitism”

        And we are entitled to this distinction because why? We, the Zionists and Jews destroyed that distinction when we thought there was advantage in it. Why shouldn’t we live with the result?

    • W.Jones
      April 30, 2017, 10:02 am

      Good points.

  7. Donald Johnson
    April 30, 2017, 12:28 am

    Atzmon is at best a troll. You can see it in the comparison of the deaths of German civilians in bombing raids to the Holocaust. Indiscriminate bombing is a war crime, but the Allies stopped killing civilians when the war was over and Hitler would not have stopped killing Jews. Hitler intended to wipe out the Jews and the Allies did not intend to wipe out the Germans.

    This is obvious and shouldn’t need to be spelled out, but when you see someone arguing like this it is a clear sign that if you engage this person you are going to be wasting a lot of time refuting nonsense.

    • W.Jones
      April 30, 2017, 10:05 am

      I wonder if he could intentionally be trying to create conflict in the solidarity movement. If he were legitimate, why would he be opposing BDS.

      It seems like if someone wanted to derail the SOlidarity movement they would create people saying outrageous things to create inner conflict.

      • Goodwin Sands
        April 30, 2017, 11:28 am

        I think there’s a simpler explanation – Atzmon is the Donald Trump of the anti-Zionist movement. He discovered he could get a buzz by saying edgy things about Jews, liked the attention, said edgier things, the racist dog whistles got more and more distinct, and Atzmon got locked in a spiral that took him all the way to running interference for the Holocaust denial movement and going to their gigs. Many people saw through Atzmon early in that spiral, some later in that spiral, and some never will.

        The difference is that the anti-Zionists sussed him out and turned him out, while the Americans made Trump president.

      • Citizen
        May 1, 2017, 5:16 am

        @ Goodwin Sands:

        And even simpler explanation may be that Atzmon suspects too many Jews involved in BDS or anti-Zionism are so involved as they wish to preserve a distinction between being Jewish and being Humanist? If so, an analogy may be those who criticize J-Street as AIPAC-Lite. This might explain why Atzmon decided he was no longer a Jew. I asked him, in effect, via Twitter, if the Hillel The Elder strain of Judaism might not be also a strain of Humanism, but I never got a response. Perhaps he thinks if so, then why not simply identify as a humanist?

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 1, 2017, 8:36 am

        “too many Jews”

        Ah, yes, too many Jews. Because you know what those Jews are like, eh?

      • Mooser
        May 1, 2017, 12:18 pm

        Somebody has to sell anti-zionism to conservatives in a way they can understand.

    • festus
      April 30, 2017, 10:11 am

      Actually the allies killed over 1 million Germans after the German government had surrendered after being giving a guarantee that the violence would stop (best guess 1.7 million), most from starvation in prison camps. And yes, the fire bombing of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, etc. were horrific war crimes not to be blithely excused.

      • Goodwin Sands
        April 30, 2017, 11:24 am

        Ah, yes, the Braque nonsense. You guys are sure sticking to your playbook.

      • Donald Johnson
        April 30, 2017, 12:27 pm

        Yeah, I heard that claim around 1990– ” Other Losses” . So we are supposed to believe that in Western prison camps a gulag level death rate occurred and was successfully covered up.

        Two other points. I didn’t dismiss Allied war crimes– I pointed out that the Holocaust was worse. It clearly was. That is true even if Other Losses was true.

        And this is exactly the sort of bad faith argument that pops up with people like Atzmon. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to criticize Zionism and even what Finkelstein calls the industry without having to sink to the level of someone who thinks the Holocaust was the same as the bombing of civilian populations. You don’t have to think the Holocaust was uniquely evil and beyond any other atrocity in history, but you also don’t have to wallow in far right arguments that downplay it either.

    • Maghlawatan
      June 1, 2017, 12:45 am

      Donald, 2 million Germans were murdered between 1945 and 1947. Pogroms restarted in Poland after the formal end of fighting. Eastern Europe was a charnel house between 1939 and 1947

  8. Citizen
    April 30, 2017, 5:22 am

    I suggest Atzmon’s POV is larger than Ofir’s:
    http://www.veteranstodayarchives.com/2011/09/14/gilad-atzmon-being-in-time/

    • Goodwin Sands
      April 30, 2017, 8:48 am

      Veterans Today? A wacky conspiracy site full of Holocaust deniers? Really?

      This is Atzmon’s audience now that the left has repudiated him — the alt-right and the “there are Jews under my bed” crowd. That he still occasionally scents it up with a bit of anti-Zionist rhetoric demonstrates mostly how easy it is to fool some people if you clang the “I’m being censored by Zionists” bell at the same time.

      • Danaa
        April 30, 2017, 3:17 pm

        Goodwin Sands, how about you respond to my points, not just citizen’s? or MHHughs976’s thoughtful comments?

        I ask for a reason – which is other than defend Atzmon’s assaults on polity and politeness. (which I’ll grant he does – with apparently great relish). GA made it apparently his mission to call any and all writers and speakers of jewish origin to account over their tribal connection. No matter how they might rise above it or side-step it, they will, by definition, be forever guilty of whitewashing something or other to do with the tribe. I am sure GA will find me guilty too (perhaps of secret gatekeeping? as in juggling the keys to the gate while standing in the way?).

        The point some opf us make – and on which we may be accused of cavorting with Atzmon – is that the fact that there is indeed a tribe is nothing either new or particularly controversial, but the cult that grew out and from within the tribe – zionism – is a uniquely toxic element that the entire tribe is called to recognize and atone for.

        In making this last point I am on the same page, I believe, as Phil and the other writers and contributors to this blog. And very much with Jonathan Ofir, given his writings. The difference however is one of degree and demand for atonement. My demands are probably harsher because people like me cannot seem to be able to package the reality of the very evil things israel has done and is doing, and the eviler it’s planning to do, ars something semi-benign (as in the old adage s “they all do it” and power gets to your head”, etc.).

        I find commonality with Atzmon on the level of unforgiveness. Sometimes I track with jeremiah rather the “nice” isiah (cf. Ellis, a modern version). I want to see evil shouted from roof-tops. I want to see perpetrators punished (how exactly I am not sure, because violence is not my cup of tea). Atzmon brings rage into the conversation. And for that I would rather he stayed in then be shunned.

        Of course, for the many who want a gentler, scholarlir take on evil and its many doers and promoters inside the tribe, there is Abigail Abarbanel.

      • Danaa
        April 30, 2017, 3:37 pm

        Sorry for the typos (and that’s the only thing I am apologizing for, now and ever). Overran the edit time window, darn….

      • Goodwin Sands
        April 30, 2017, 4:51 pm

        Atzmon is a big gift-wrapped present to the Zionists. Anyone at all familiar with the history of anti-Semitic rhetoric will see Atzmon as playing its greatest hits, over and over, while hoping to transpose them into the key of anti-Zionism in a way that gets other anti-Zionists to take up the tune. He is a one-man series of ringing refutations of the idea that anti-Zionism is untainted by anti-Semitism. All he has to offer is a negative example of how not to promote anti-Zionism.

        Atzmon’s approach to Jewishness is essentialism, and that essence is in Atzmon’s eyes one hundred percent purely terrible. That he pimps for Holocaust denial on the side is not a minor little footnote in this context. He hates the very idea of Jews.

        The only way to go forward to any kind of productive exchange on Jewish identity – or Jewish anything – is to put him in the bin.

      • Danaa
        April 30, 2017, 11:26 pm

        You want to put Atzmon “in the bin” (whatever that means). His sin apparently being one of playing into the hands of some supposed anti-semites (the current existence of which I have not been able to confirm, not having met or witnessed any these past few decades).

        So Goodwin, if the bin is for Atzmon, what fate would you prescribe for the actual evil doers? yes, I mean, the Netanyahus, the Feiths, the Wolfowitz’s, the Horowitzes, the Dershowitzs,the IDF pure-of-arms, the baby killers in Palestine, the pervertors of American foreign policy towards bombing still more countries, the whole multitude of zionism justifers, and bayers for ever more spilled blood?

        Seems to me that the sins of Atzmon, such as they are, pale by comparison with the sins of actual killers, murderers and accomplices to murder. Of thieves and liars. Of genocide peddlers. Of each and every one of those millions of israelis who just couldn’t get enough of dead children in Gaza, and still can’t.

        But may be you are more interested in some anti-semitic purity tests than real victims of the urges of palestine? may be the pogromists are, well, just slightly “mistaken” and are going a wee-bit over-board, but Atzmon? why he be guilty of the gravest of sins – dumping on the tribe (rightly or wrongly, does it really matter?).

        So, excuse me if I don’t care to join in your witch-burning rituals. Or your holocaust-effigy wavings. A bitt oo busy here watching real fires consuming real innocents…..as in an ongoing holocaust, not that one in the past.

      • Talkback
        May 1, 2017, 5:30 am

        Goodwin Sands: “Veterans Today?

        Guilt by association fallacy?
        http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/gilad-atzmon-being-in-time.html

        Goodwin Sands: “All he has to offer is a negative example of how not to promote anti-Zionism.”

        LOL. It’s more of a negative example of how not to promote Jewish identity politics.

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 1, 2017, 8:37 am

        Atzmon isn’t simply reposted on the wacky Jew-conspiracy site Veterans Today; he frequently comes and joins the comments when his stuff appears.

        So that’s not guilt by association, that’s guilt by guilt.

      • Talkback
        May 2, 2017, 5:20 pm

        Goodwin Sands: “Atzmon isn’t simply reposted on the wacky Jew-conspiracy site Veterans Today; he frequently comes and joins the comments when his stuff appears.”

        I also post on boards who are predominantly Zionist. Does that make me a Jewish supremacist?

        Goodwin Sands: “So that’s not guilt by association, that’s guilt by guilt.”

        So after a guilt by association fallacy we get a tautology. Which I can understand, if you don’t have any actual arguments.

        Is there anyone you know who thinks that this is somehow intelligent, too?

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 2, 2017, 6:07 pm

        “I also post on boards who are predominantly Zionist. Does that make me a Jewish supremacist?”

        Do you also go speak as invited keynote at Zionist conferences, the way Atzmon pimps for Holocaust denial at the Institute for Historical Review?

  9. AddictionMyth
    April 30, 2017, 9:55 am

    This is pretty confusing to me and I’m not sure what to make of it yet. I am not a Zionist but I am a very proud Jew and hopefully soon Israeli. I believe in One State with equal rights for all. Part of the problem is that the Zionist Christians in the US have made settlers dependent on aid, and the rich Jews (e.g. Adelson) have made the Haredi dependent, and the US government and the UN have made the Palestinians dependent (Trump just boosted aid to Palestinians while cutting everyone else!) so now everyone’s trying desperately to protect their franchise. Maybe guys like Atzmon are trying to fan the flames of ‘anti-Semitism’ to keep alive the pretext for supplying aid to both sides to ‘keep the peace’, but of course that is simply extortion. Sometimes the best way to help someone is to stop trying to ‘help’ them – ‘tough love’. Addiction similarly had lots of factions and fake factions but I eventually figured out everyone’s angle and I will here too. :-)

    • Mooser
      April 30, 2017, 2:06 pm

      .” I am not a Zionist but I am a very proud Jew and hopefully soon Israeli.”

      “Sometimes the best way to help someone is to stop trying to ‘help’ them – ‘tough love’. Addiction similarly had lots of factions and fake factions but I eventually figured out everyone’s angle and I will here too. :-)”

      You go, “AM”! You show those Israeli Zionists what it’s all about. Israel needs someone like you who refuses to hold irreconcilable contradictory ideas, unless they can be resolved and rationalized in an ethical manner.

      • AddictionMyth
        April 30, 2017, 2:45 pm

        ^ When sarcasm becomes prophecy.

    • just
      April 30, 2017, 2:21 pm

      “I am not a Zionist but I am a very proud Jew and hopefully soon Israeli.”

      Why in the world would you choose to emigrate to the Apartheid State?

      How on earth can you eagerly look forward to and hope to justify occupying someone’s home?

      Perhaps you should look inward. Please don’t think that further colonization and destruotion of Palestine and Palestinians is helpful.

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2017, 2:40 pm

        “How on earth can you…”

        “Just”, cognitive dissonance seems to be his specialty.

      • AddictionMyth
        April 30, 2017, 2:45 pm

        LOL don’t worry I don’t take up much space. :-)

    • Citizen
      April 30, 2017, 5:54 pm

      Caveat, AddictionMyth: Yes Trump did boost aid to Palestine a bit, while cutting aid to many other countries, but Trump is not cutting the latest $38 Billion aid package to Israel; indeed, he suggested he might up it.

    • JoeSmack
      April 30, 2017, 9:45 pm

      “I am not a Zionist but I am a very proud Jew and hopefully soon Israeli.”

      So you’re not a Zionist, but you’re proudly moving to a settler-colonial state that permits you to live on someone else’s land on the basis of your Jewishness?

      What is the purpose of this kind of engagement with Israel? You want equality but you will physically move to the settler-colony, where you will legitimate its institutions by paying taxes and participating in Israeli national life? This is a very odd decision on your part, the kind that makes me question what kind of solidarity movement is being built here in America.

    • lyn117
      May 1, 2017, 4:02 pm

      If you are a Jew who intends to become an Israeli, I think that makes you a Zionist.

  10. jd65
    April 30, 2017, 11:06 am

    Good article Jonathan Ofir. Much appreciated. Atzmon is a very tough nut to crack, and as you write, often the best approach to him is to simply take a pass. But he’s a provocateur. And a rather skilled one, so sometimes he gets the better of us. He’s a huckster. Something of an odd mirror image of Pamela Geller or David Horowitz. I used to think he was merely confused, but now believe that he intentionally distorts to gain attention. He’s very good at it, and that’s very unfortunate.

    You write, “…[Atzmon] alters my last name to ‘offir’. He obviously thinks this is amusing.” Yup. He’s a curious mix of a precocious 8 year old trapped inside an adult pseudo-intellectual’s body. And these two points you mention, I feel, are key:

    1) If I did [respond to Atzmon] I would have little time for anything else. (Abunimah)

    2) Now those terms can seem puzzling for some. What is this coded language?

    Totally agreed on these two ideas/points. I address them in a video response I made to Atzmon a couple years back. As Abunimah writes, correctly, responding to and unpacking Atzmon thoroughly takes a lot of time because of GA’s ability to pack so much gobbledygook into such small spaces (whether it’s his speaking or writing). Again, although he is often disingenuous or simply wrong, he remains skilled.

    If interested, here’s a video I made a couple years back where I did my best to unpack a shamefully manipulative video GA made about Max Blumenthal; GA’s pet target. I have a lot of respect for Max, so this time I felt the urge to create some type of response. It’s long, so set aside 30 minutes if you wanna check it out. It also tries to keep a sense of humor about the Atzmon situation/conundrum. Anyway, good article Jonathan, and here’s the vid:

    https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=3c_c7-us7x4

    • jd65
      April 30, 2017, 11:21 am

      Wrong link to vid in my post above. Sorry. Here’s the link (administrator: if there’s anyway you could simply place this correct link in my above post it would be greatly appreciated, but I wouldn’t be expecting you to take the time to do that…):

      • Jonathan Ofir
        May 1, 2017, 2:06 am

        Thanks JD65, it’s a very rational dissection there. Thanks for your patience in making it.

      • jd65
        May 1, 2017, 12:44 pm

        Thanks Jonathan. And yeah, it did take patience to make. As I’ve said before, Gilad doesn’t make it easy. So thank you for your patience in watching as well. I feel the length alone may put most folks off from watching it at all. Others may be put off by my goofy film/pop culture references and attempts at humor (it felt natural, even helpful, to me to include that stuff), making them feel the vid is not taking the subject seriously. Anyway, again, good article above and all the best…

  11. yonah fredman
    April 30, 2017, 11:46 am

    I understand that ofir is a member of mw and deserves a podium here, but if mw is devoted against islamophobia and wishes to accord jews judaism and * the same respect offered to muslims and islam, raising the topic of a dispute with GA, the barbed wire man, can bring mw no honor.
    (This * is GA’s bete noire, jewishness.)
    In fact a fight against zionism will involve a study of the jews and the question of Jewish identity. Or identities.
    It is difficult to imagine Jewish identity at the time of napoleon, which was about the time that the czars of mother russia acquired a piece of Poland and with it a mass of yehudim. Although viewing nazi extermination of jews as the logical conclusion of the European Jewish epic is bad, it was only one possible historic possibility is a better way of looking at it, still the history of 1881 until 1945 produces a question mark regarding god, tradition and the future. Lucky is the man who loved rock n roll and the dream of America and saw in the arrival on American shores a rebirth of jews who had removed the silly past and adopted the big wide future. Others are deeper into the past.
    Atzmon is chocolate chips laced with barbed wire.

    • Mooser
      April 30, 2017, 3:13 pm

      “Lucky is the man who loved rock n roll and the dream of America and saw in the arrival on American shores a rebirth of jews who had removed the silly past and adopted the big wide future. Others are deeper into the past.”

      Shorter “yonah”: ‘Where is my Shtetl? Where is my pogrom? I want my pogrom!’

      Poor “yonah”. A Miniver Cheevy mashgiach.

    • Donald Johnson
      April 30, 2017, 3:24 pm

      The intention was good, Yonah, but I also wonder if it was a good idea to raise Atzmon’s profile in any way. There are always going to be people like him– engaging them even to criticize just gives them the attention they crave.

      • Jonathan Ofir
        May 1, 2017, 2:35 am

        That’s a valid concern Donald Johnson. It was my initial concern, that whatever I said was probably only going to serve that agenda.
        On the other hand, some people are just unaware of what is behind Atzmon’s ‘activism’. That needs exposure too. That exposure will no doubt give him publicity and attention. Maybe he trives on this attention, even when it’s negative – still, he needs to be known about, on turf that is not his own setup.

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 1, 2017, 6:44 am

        It’s a tough call. On one had, Atzmon’s pretty much a nobody in the US, and has been reduced to being pretty much a nobody in the UK, because of the very blatant anti-Semitism. On the other hand, there are always those who are prepared to overlook, or unable to even detect, anti-Semitism – even when it’s as thick as Atzmon’s – as long as there is some perfunctory wave toward mentioning the Palestinian struggle. You can see it here by how studiously some people are refusing to even acknowledge Atzmon’s talks at the Holocaust denial org, because they just can’t handle the cognitive dissonance. They want to believe Atzmon is a crusader for justice, and that means they have to ignore the evidence – and there is an enormous amount of it – that he’s just a seedy anti-Semite who gets mileage out of pushing the “I’m a martyr” button.

    • Mooser
      April 30, 2017, 10:06 pm

      “Lucky is the man who loved rock n roll and the dream of America”

      Ooo, what a lucky man he was! Mellow is the man who knows what he’s been missing.

  12. NorthCascadian
    April 30, 2017, 11:59 am

    I remember first seeing essays by Atzmon back before “the Wandering Who” came out. Especially the purge that went on in the London Palestinian Solidarity Committee. This purge extended out to include the brilliant Palestinian essayist Nahida Izzat. All of that was quite disheartening, but the purges just kept coming. Now Alison Weir is forbidden by? Is it all JVP?
    And why do these purges remind me of the Bolsheviks?
    Atzmon has always struck me as the type of person I would expect more Israeli Jews to become. Ethically waking up and rejecting the nightmare that is Israel. We need more Atzmon’s and we need to appreciate that they are the green shoots emerging from the dying and decaying corpse of Zionism.

    • Goodwin Sands
      April 30, 2017, 1:53 pm

      “Atzmon has always struck me as the type of person I would expect more Israeli Jews to become. Ethically waking up and” … pimping for Holocaust denial by giving speeches at their neo-fascist headquarters, as Atzmon does next week.

      Gee, I wonder why more Israeli Jews don’t do that. Quandary, isn’t it.

    • Citizen
      April 30, 2017, 6:49 pm

      How about this guy: Cynical Misuse of the Holocaust – Miko Peled https://youtu.be/bIPkz-Zfo2M via @YouTube
      Here he is again, on the Balfour Declaration: Miko Peled – The Balfour Declaration https://youtu.be/ZYcdUUTnX2g via @YouTube

      • Jonathan Ofir
        May 1, 2017, 2:14 am

        But that doesn’t make Miko Peled a Holocaust denier, or even trivialiser.

  13. Ejosephweixel
    April 30, 2017, 1:34 pm

    I was approached by Atzmon via Face Book some time back. He had an agenda, to slander certain Palestinian BDS leaders for supposedly selling out the right of return in exchange for “shekles from Soros.” I asked him for proof. None has been forthcoming but abuse of the kind Jonathan describes, that he could serve up.

    By the way, Atzmon is a blowhard ignoramus. Shakespeare’s Shylock was not a merchant. He was a banker who lent money to a Christian merchant.

    His ignorance or dishonesty or both shows through in his praise for David Duke. Atzmon believes that Duke knows more about Jewish identity than even he, the erudite Gilad Atzmon does. This would lead to a conclusion that Atzmon is a Jew despite his claim of being not a Jew, but a Palestinian. Of course Atzmon plays off his Jewish name, his Israeli accent and his yiddischer punim. These give him credibility in some eyes when he goes after Jews as such.

    If you’ve been taken in by Atzmon or by the David Duke charm offensive you should gather up your patience and give this link a read,not a cursory glance. It’s got screenshot to back up my words.

    http://redeyetaxi.blogspot.com/2016/01/a-little-refresher-course-or-guide-to.html?m=1

    • jon s
      April 30, 2017, 4:24 pm

      Correct. The “Merchant ” in the play is Antonio.
      Atzmon is as accurate in this as he is in asserting that the death marches were an effort to save the Jews, and the Jewish death camp inmates embarked on them voluntarily.

      • Mooser
        April 30, 2017, 9:43 pm

        “Atzmon is as accurate in this as he is in asserting that the death marches were an effort to save the Jews, and the Jewish death camp inmates embarked on them voluntarily.”

        Do you have cites for Atzmon saying these things, in context? I very much doubt it.

        But I understand, you’re from Beersheba, and feel you have the right to get your kicks in, too.

      • Donald Johnson
        May 1, 2017, 12:10 pm

        There is an interview with Ynet where Atzmon says the death marches were humane–

        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4147243,00.html

        I suppose he could claim to be misquoted. But if he is showing up at a holocaust denial conference, he might not want to.

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 1, 2017, 7:43 pm

        That’s the thing – everybody makes a mistake or two, but Atzmon just keeps going and going and going far past the point he can pretend it’s all just an accident.

  14. jon s
    April 30, 2017, 3:51 pm
    • Goodwin Sands
      April 30, 2017, 4:54 pm

      Phil Weiss a Zionist! Twilight zone, anyone?

      As I said above, Atzmon is the Donald Trump of anti-Zionism.

    • Citizen
      May 1, 2017, 6:36 am

      Interesting, especially if Atzmon repeats Phil correctly: the timing issue. When is it ever time to change insurance policies?

      • ToivoS
        May 1, 2017, 8:24 pm

        Citizen, please do not equate Alison Weir with Atzmon. I happen to believe that she was unfairly drummed out of the movement for Palestinian justice by JVP. Her offense was to appear on an Alex Jones interview. I think she was correct to try to communicate with that audience. Why not, those were the people who just elected our president. But Alison does not have anything to do with Atzmon or for what he stands for.

      • Citizen
        May 2, 2017, 10:00 am

        @ ToivoS
        I agree Alison Weir was unfairly drummed out merely for appearing in a forum to get her message out to the American people, for merely striving to inform Americans of vital data the mainstream media omits.

  15. Keith
    April 30, 2017, 6:30 pm

    JONATHAN OFIR- “Gilad Atzmon thinks that “time is ripe for the rest of us to know what questions Jonathan Ofir would prefer to avoid.” I think more people need to know about Gilad Atzmon’s bigotry and anti-Semitism, under the guise of a ‘peace activist’.”

    What actually happened is that Atzmon contacted you to praise your video and request an interview, which you agreed to. After a “background check”, you decided that you didn’t want to answer the questions. I suspect that your check indicated that most of those in the anti-Zionist group which you hope to influence have a strong antipathy to Atzmon and that cooperating with him in any fashion would be bad for you, particularly if any of your answers tended to agree with his position. Hence, you declined to answer any of the questions lest you be somehow associated with the Atzmon tar baby. And what did the dreaded Atzmon do? Nothing.

    About a year later Michael Lesher wrote on Facebook that he was doing a show where Atzmon would be present. You felt duty bound to warn him. Warn him of what? That even seeming to associate with Atzmon is a big no-no with your peer group? Since you didn’t link the exchange, I don’t know what you/Atzmon said. Your link was to Counterpunch which doesn’t have comments. Honest mistake? In other words, you used the social media to publicly vilify Gilad Atzmon. I suspect that this public vilification of Atzmon is something of a requirement in your peer group in order to establish your bona fides. And how did Atzmon retaliate? He published the questions which you didn’t answer on his website which few follow (I don’t). Shocking! How dare he! So what? I mean, who cares?

    Why the article on Mondoweiss? I am guessing that not enough of your peer group would be aware of what occurred, hence, the need to publicize your actions on a more popular venue. Interestingly, past experience has taught me that if I make any sort of positive, or even neutral reference to Atzmon, or link to his website, my comment will probably not pass moderation. Fine, no biggie. But you submit an article with links and it goes up, even though you are giving Atzmon publicity. Obviously, the demonization played a significant role, enabling both you and Mondoweiss to establish/reinforce your anti-Atzmon bona fides. Even Phil got a personal attaboy by conflating Atzmon with Pamela Geller. If that protects Phil to continue discussing Jewish power, fine.

    So what we have here is a win-win-win-win situation. You, Phil and Mondoweiss win by reinforcing the anti-Atzmon requirement for peer group membership. The fourth win? Why, Atzmon of course! He seems to be more concerned with self-promotion than with reasoned discussion. Why else the provocative language and questionable venues? And it seems to have worked. I suspect that Gilad Atzmon is much better known than if he had maintained a more reasoned profile. Maybe not. I am also under the impression that he was pilloried by “liberal” anti-Zionists right from the get-go. Even now, attacking Atzmon seems to be some sort of requirement for group acceptance. And those who don’t go along pay a price.

    • Mooser
      April 30, 2017, 9:49 pm

      “I suspect that Gilad Atzmon is much better known than if he had maintained a more reasoned profile.”

      Yeah, all this Israel-Jewish-Holocaust stuff must be doing wonders for his career as a jazz musician.

    • Mooser
      April 30, 2017, 10:35 pm

      “Why the article on Mondoweiss? I am guessing…”

      Wait a minute. You are “guessing”? I thought you knew.

    • Jonathan Ofir
      May 1, 2017, 2:24 am

      Keith, you assume a lot here. I’ve written my points down. You seem to be troubled by my not having copied in what I first wrote on Michael Lesher’s thread as a warning – in fact, at first I did fully, but decided to paraphrase a bit so as to avoid literally ‘quoting myself’, but I did provide a near exact citation. Here’s a copy of what I wrote on the thread:
      “I never wrote this publicly before, but Atzmon did once ask to interview me. At that point I only read a few quotes and was warned in advance. Then came the questions. I will not repeat them here. I did a bit more background check, saw a video of his talk. I saw where it was going, and I realised that I would lose any way I answered. I asked politely to back out. I got admonished for lack of ‘intellectual integrity’. At that point i knew that a distance had to be kept, and that anything I did or said would likely be held against me.
      It’s very rare that I would simply avoid discussion with someone. But this was beyond discussion. It was disturbing at another level.”

      • Citizen
        May 1, 2017, 5:41 am

        I don’t think Ofir’s response here addresses Keith- another evasion, and repetitive at that.

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 1, 2017, 8:08 am

        Keith’s entire argument seems to be that this is high school, and that the only reason you’re dissing Atzmon is to be in with the cool kids.

        Any indication of any kind that there is anything at all problematic about Atzmon’s anti-Semitism simply doesn’t make its way into his argument. Poor innocent lambkin Atzmon is being persecuted by the mob for no reason whatsoever. Sniff! Sob!

        Imagine this simple thought experiment. You are suddenly beamed onto a stage. You look around and discover that you are in an event you know to be sponsored by the world’s best-known Holocaust denial organization. You are standing between Mark Weber, a neo-fascist who has made a career out of Holocaust denial and other white-supremacist causes, and Kevin MacDonald, another white supremacist, editor of the white-power “Occidental Review” and the alt-right’s favorite (discredited) academic.

        What do you do? I think everyone here would know exactly what to do – stamp away from the neo-fascists and white-power types as quickly as possible.

        But Atzmon wasn’t suddenly beamed to that stage. He made a special trip to do it. He didn’t stamp out as quickly as possible. He gave an invited speech.

        And oh how hard some people are trying to ignore this awkward fact!

      • Mooser
        May 1, 2017, 1:24 pm

        There isn’t a special place in the mind where people think about Jews and Zionism. They think about it, try to understand it, pretty much like anything else.

      • Keith
        May 1, 2017, 2:43 pm

        JONATHAN OFIR- “You seem to be troubled by my not having copied in what I first wrote on Michael Lesher’s thread as a warning – in fact, at first I did fully, but decided to paraphrase a bit so as to avoid literally ‘quoting myself’, but I did provide a near exact citation.”

        Jonathan, now you are misrepresenting me. I wondered at the lack of a link to your Facebook exchange with Atzmon so that we could get a feel for what transpired that so motivated you to write an article for Mondoweiss of what appears to me to be a tempest in a teapot. I referenced the lack of a link to the exchange, not that you quote yourself. Why the link to CounterPunch, not the actual exchange? So far I have seen nothing which remotely justifies this obsession your peer group (and now apparently you) have with Gilad Atzmon. I have, however, seen what happens to those who refuse to jump on the anti-Atzmon band wagon, Greta Berlin for one. So, Atzmon asked you some questions you didn’t like. Big deal. Admonished you for lack of intellectual integrity? Publicly? When? Atzmon says that he never published the story. Is he lying? Or did he make the “lack of intellectual integrity” statement after you “warned” Michael Lesher on Facebook? Right now it still looks to me that you are picking a fight with Atzmon in order to have a pretext to vilify him as a bigot and anti-Semite. And since this will probably increase awareness of Atzmon, you are not really trying to silence him, except, perhaps, by tainting anything he says as anti-Semitic, hence, not quotable. I am guessing that the primary objective involves the internal discipline of the tribal anti-Zionists who seek to control the BDS movement. Those who don’t comport with the tribal view are excommunicated and vilified as anti-Semites. The charge of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial the standard clubs used to intimidate people into submission to those who have the power to level the charge.

        JONATHAN OFIR- “Keith, you assume a lot here.”

        Pretty easy to set the record straight if I am wrong. You can start by linking to Michael Lesher’s Facebook post so we may read exactly what you said and how Atzmon responded.

    • Goodwin Sands
      May 1, 2017, 6:55 am

      I’m curious whether Keith will ever get around to acknowledging Atzmon’s talks to the neo-fascist Holocaust denial org, even when it’s clear that Atzmon knows it for exactly what it is.

      Atzmon, around the time in the middle of the last decade that he started pimping for Holocaust denial, built a narrative that said the blowback he was getting was Zionist in design. But that stance became untenable when it was clear that the bulk of the blowback was coming from Jewish anti-Zionists who recognized Atzmon’s dog whistle anti-Semitism and called him out for it. So Atzmon had to invent the nonsense business about “anti-Zionist Zionists” attacking him. And that in turn led to his current spiel about how e.g. BDS is really just a Zionist false front.

      Some people worked very hard to keep themselves from seeing Atzmon’s anti-Semitism, so invested were they emotionally, but by the time his “Wandering Who” came out, there was no argument left, and Atzmon was run out of the UK left – deservedly so. Atzmon’s response was to start to coddle up to the alt-right – “Red Ice Radio” has had him as a repeated guest, he can’t quite manage to say a bad word about David Irving or David Duke, he’s shared a podium with Kevin MacDonald, he does these denier talks, he refuses under all circumstances to acknowledge the gas chambers, and so on. All of it sending up bright red flares which his few naive supporters on the left must ignore. Which, when the facts are this obvious, and the UK left verdict against him so strong, comes down to motivated reasoning.

      • Citizen
        May 1, 2017, 2:54 pm

        @Goodwin Sands

        I’ve never heard or read or seen any specific critique of anything Kevin MacDonald has written or said, nor of his logic. I also don’t think he was ever in the KKK unlike Duke, once upon a time. So why not share a tad of your knowledge of that professor, so we can become aware of why we should dismiss all his works?

      • Danaa
        May 1, 2017, 3:10 pm

        Goodwin, your constant harping on the Holocaust is getting beyond boring – this is something that happened over 70 years ago, and to this day, it is something to wave with, accuse with, go on and on about and yes, keep claiming compensation for. Even as palestinians got hardly any compensation for the atrocities committed against them by Jews – supported and abetted by oh, such fine souls in the west. So polite, so well-spoken. The same beautiful souls who don’t believe the ,20 Million Russians who died over the same period of time merit but a footnote (some of the 20 million were jewish too, BTW). A footnote, as in – oh but they died in war!

        Your kind of hypocrisy and constant holocaust, holocaust! flag waving is the sin that will keep more people under bondage of perpetual occupation alive. After all, there is always Atzmon to talk about!

        It seems to me that your reaction in particular exemplifies Atzmon’s point about the tribe uber ales. there are so many points to debate or discuss when it comes to someone like Atzmon. Rightly or wrongly, he acts out the fury that accompanies many who escape from cults. Yes, it’s acting out, and one may or may not want to engage with someone who flings around provocations and needlings. But you are worse, because so far on this thread, the only things you keep bringing up are those worn-out accusations of holocaust denial and anti-semitism. That while real people – today – are dying in the concentration camp that is Gaza where israelis – of such lovely, nice people, keep them under lock and chain, hoping to some day get the world distracted enough so they can finally bomb them or starve them to death.

        Why not talk about this coming holocaust!

        Nothing is more boring and reeking of self-aggrandisement and entitlement than thses pathetic cries of but anti-semitism! you single-handedly give backing to the VT publication 9and sometimes they are on the money too).

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 1, 2017, 6:38 pm

        “Goodwin, your constant harping on the Holocaust is getting beyond boring”

        Not here to keep you entertained. Just here to drop the Atzmon facts and thereby reveal those who, like you, look for pretexts to look away from a blatant anti-Semite exploiting the Palestinian cause.

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 1, 2017, 7:44 pm

        And the answer to my question is, no, he apparently won’t acknowledge it.

  16. helen4yemen
    April 30, 2017, 10:34 pm

    You mentioned Ali Abunimah’s name like a dozen times and the message you want to put across is not hard to discern, you want Ali Abunimah as a Palestinian to stand by your side against your adversaries. I am not Palestinian but I am Middle Eastern and the question of Palestine is the question of the highest importance to me in my life. I read your letter to so-called “Israelis” where you were totally deceptive when you attempted to disassociate Zionism from Judaism. Zionism is Judaism or else you need to tell me what brought totally foreign Europeans to Palestine. Where do the borders of the Zionist state come from if not from Numbers 33 and 34 of the OT. If you are a Jew, then your God does instruct you to remove the natives off that land and settle on it in their place. That is what Zionism was all about from its inception.

    You did attempt to make the conflict as if it were between two indigenous peoples instead of one foreign and one indigenous. You must state clearly that the foreign people in Palestine are colonial setters like that French in Algeria or the British in Kenya. If they are not, you have to tell me how these foreigners are connected to the land of Palestine? The theft of Palestine is totally indefensible.

  17. catalan
    May 1, 2017, 8:57 am

    I used to think that sanity will prevail and the conflict will be resolved peacefully. Now I think that was naive and stupid. History doesn’t work that way. Two major wars are coming, one with Hamas and one with Hizbollah, or possibly one war on two fronts. It will be much bloodier and more destructive than before. As usual, many naive young people on all sides will die. As usual, civilians will die too. It’s all very tragic. Human beings are like chimps that invented binary logic. Aggressive and cruel genetically on the one side, and unable to see shades of gray on the other.

    • festus
      May 1, 2017, 11:07 am

      As usual, many naive young people on all sides will die. As usual, civilians will die too –

      Nearly all of them Palestinians and/or Lebanese. If the usual recent pattern holds, Israel will kill hundreds of times as many as will their victim…oops, opponent.

      Think you might have wanted to mention that when you pretend that both sides are equally culpable and equally powerful.

      • catalan
        May 1, 2017, 1:34 pm

        “If the usual recent pattern holds, Israel will kill hundreds of times as many as will their victim…oops, opponent”. – Festus
        I agree with you, with the caveat that the usual patterns will not hold. Rather, the next two wars will be much more destructive, with possibly eventually leading to the collapse of Hamas in Gaza and the elimination of Hizbollah in Iran. I have no interest in wars of any kind. However, this is an easy prediction, it’s like saying that Apple will sell a lot of iPhones next year. This situation is not one that talks of any kind will resolve, and with the tensions building, it is only a matter of time until it explodes. Like I said, it is a tragedy, and especially one for the people of Gaza and Lebanon.

      • Citizen
        May 1, 2017, 3:05 pm

        Your “two major wars” may drag in Iran, USA (pushed by Lyndsey Graham, Javanka), even Russia (linked to Syria, which is linked to Lebanon). It could also drag in Saudi Arabia & oil sheikdoms–partnering with Israel against Iran. Samson Option is stirring. World beware!

      • talknic
        May 1, 2017, 8:53 pm

        @ catalan May 1, 2017, 1:34 pm

        ” the next two wars will be much more destructive, with possibly eventually leading to the collapse of Hamas in Gaza and the elimination of Hizbollah in Iran.”

        Uh huh. Hizbollah are not of Iran. Hamas and Hizbollah are from the people by the people, you’ll have to eliminate the people.

        ” I have no interest in wars of any kind”

        Very funny. Zionism declared war on Palestine 1897. You do nothing here but cheer for it

        “This situation is not one that talks of any kind will resolve…”

        Especially when Israel refuses to adhere to its word or the Law or the UN Charter or its own declaration of statehood

        “Like I said, it is a tragedy, and especially one for the people of Gaza and Lebanon”

        What you’ve said is in the archive you poor fool http://mondoweiss.net/profile/catalan/ it tells us you relish the tragedy

        Intelligent hired help in Hasbara la la land must be hard to come by

        BTW Israel could withdraw from all non-Israeli territories. Stop lying. Stop shafting and hiding behind poor Jewish civilians by putting them on the front lines in illegal settlements and charging them for the privilege. Never been tried

    • Mooser
      May 1, 2017, 12:36 pm

      .” It will be much bloodier and more destructive than before. As usual, many naive young people on all sides will die”

      That is true “catalan”, and we can ill afford the losses. We are an aging population. And since there won’t be sufficient young Israelis to replace the losses, it will be up to us older people to come to Israel, hold the line, and see that the blood of our young people is avenged! See you at the Masadadammerung, “catalan”!

      • Citizen
        May 1, 2017, 3:08 pm

        Hagee will be wringing his hands with joy!

      • catalan
        May 1, 2017, 6:08 pm

        See you at the Masadadammerung, “catalan”!
        Only this time, the Masada folks will be in Gaza. They will defend their kooky charter, fantastic dreams, and the belief in being chosen to recover Quds to the very last man, in the process costing many civilian lives. Looking at these 1.5 million living in this delusion, with the Mondo crowd thinking that it helps them by boycotting Israeli hummus is surreal.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 11:23 am

        “Only this time, the Masada folks will be in Gaza.”

        You bet. No trauma ‘long us, boss! We never lose, don’t even know what it’s like to lose.

  18. Tony Greenstein
    May 1, 2017, 10:18 am

    Jonathan Ofrir is absolutely right to refuse to engage with Atzmon’s anti-Semitic obsessions. They do nothing whatsoever to help build support for the Palestinians or opposition to Zionism.

    Instead they concentrate on Jewishness and being Jewish and effectively end up supporting the Zionist claim that Zionism is a logical continuation of Judaism. It is a fact that Orthodox Jewry was almost wholly opposed to Zionism when Theodor Herzl first appeared on the scene.

    It is also the case that with the advent of state power and the effective seizure of power by the Zionist in Jewish communities throughout the world, that the very nature of Jewish identity, or ‘Jewishness’ as Atzmon calls it, has also changed.

    Keith selectively quotes Israel Shahak who would have dispatched Atzmon with a flea in his racist ear. He quotes from Jewish History, Jewish Religion. In fact Shahak was particularly critical of the Zionist myth that there was a seamless Jewish history extending back into time. He wrote (p.50) from JHJR that:

    ‘there has been a great deal of nonsense written in the attempt to provide a social or mystical interpretation of Jewry or Judaism as a whole. This cannot be done, for the social structure of the Jewish people and the ideological structure of Judaism have changed profoundly through the ages.’

    The two are not incompatible. Shahak is talking about Rabbinical or Orthodox Judaism and Zionism as an opponent of an open society. Correct but they are not and were not the only forms of Judaism. In the modern era, Jewish Socialism in its many forms from Bundism to Communism and Social Democracy. But Atzmon has bought into the lies of the neo-Nazis that there was a form of Jewish Bolshevism.

    Atmon is an incorrigible reactionary. The fact that he sees BDS, which comes from the call of Palestinians not Jews, as part of a Jewish conspiracy says everything.

    People like Jonathan and myself are interested in how best to support the Palestinians and bring down Zionism. Not engage with anti-Semites and their apologists, some of whom are on this discussion, who play into the hands of Zionists whose main theme these days is that support for the Palestinians = anti-Semitism.

    Atzmon is a fringe anti-Semite. we have no need to build his already bloated ego. Nothing he says if of the slightest interest. He believes that Jews possess racial characteristics whereby they are hostile to non-Jews and exploit them such that they bring the holocausts upon them. He is entitled to his holocaust justification positions but anti-racists should best ignore this man.

    I have written a summary of Atzmon’s anti-Semitic nonsense on my blog.
    http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/guide-to-sayings-of-gilad-atzmon-anti.html

    It is no accident that Atzmon attacks the main weapon that Palestinians have today, BDS. As he once said, the Academic Boycott is ‘book burning’.

    Those fools who think they are being clever in supporting Atzmon are doing the work of the Zionists.

    • karmagalny
      May 1, 2017, 12:08 pm

      “It is a fact that Orthodox Jewry was almost wholly opposed to Zionism when Theodor Herzl first appeared on the scene.”

      And the fact is that even though some of Orthodox Jewry opposes Zionism and the Jewish state, they are behaving in the same way. Take a look at Samar sect, Kiryas Joel in Monroe, NY where they have annexed public land. It’s little Palestine. And they aren’t the only ones. So, Zionism and Jewishness aren’t separate. Stop lying, Greenstein. And stop calling yourself a Semite. This is another most insidious move to tie yourself to land you have absolutely no ties to. You’re an Ashknazi Jew. European heritage. You don’t have a Semitic bone in your body.

      • jd65
        May 1, 2017, 1:17 pm

        Sheesh. GA really brings ’em outta the woodwork, eh? Although I am jealous, karmagal, of your ny locale. I wish I still lived there. Great state…

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 1, 2017, 7:13 pm

        Yeah, she really did just try to play the Khazar card on Greenstein, didn’t she.

        Amazing. But what do you get if you educate an Atzmon fan? An ex-Atzmon fan.

    • karmagalny
      May 1, 2017, 3:17 pm

      Greenstein, you possess a spectacular talent to produce quotes you fail to understand.

      “This quote by Shahak suggests that there is no interpretation of Jewry (the people) and Judaism (the religion) as a whole

      ‘there has been a great deal of nonsense written in the attempt to provide a social or mystical interpretation of Jewry or Judaism as a whole. This cannot be done, for the social structure of the Jewish people and the ideological structure of Judaism have changed profoundly through the ages.’ ”

      but Atzmon is doing the opposite
      1. he never criticizeS Jews, the people
      2. he doesn’t touch Judaism

      Atzmon refers to Jewishness: Jewish ideology and Jewish political identification and even here Atzmon looks at sub grouping: Israelis, Diaspora, Religious , similarities with LGBT, etc.

      Greenistein, you could do with a few more grey cells.

      You should also know that Atzmon shared a platform with Norton Mezvinsky yesterday. For those who do not know , Mezvinsky was Shahak’s editor. And the two were closely related.

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 1, 2017, 7:15 pm

        “For those who do not know , Mezvinsky was Shahak’s editor. And the two were closely related.”

        But not, if you’re being consistent, actually Jews, since you think Ashkenazi Jews aren’t Jews at all, according to your earlier post.

      • YoniFalic
        May 1, 2017, 9:59 pm

        Norton Mezvinsky is uncle of Marc Mezvinsky, who is Chelsea Clinton’s husband.

    • Citizen
      May 1, 2017, 3:18 pm

      RE: “Atzmon is a fringe anti-Semite. we have no need to build his already bloated ego. Nothing he says if of the slightest interest. He believes that Jews possess racial characteristics whereby they are hostile to non-Jews and exploit them such that they bring the holocausts upon them. He is entitled to his holocaust justification positions but anti-racists should best ignore this man. ”
      I never read, heard, or have seen Atzmon referring to Jews as a race. His bone to pick with Jews is with Jewish political identity over time, not racial identity, with Jewish cultural attributes, not racial or DNA attributes. Anybody?

      • Mooser
        May 1, 2017, 4:38 pm

        His bone to pick with Jews is with Jewish political identity over time, not racial identity, with Jewish cultural attributes, not racial or DNA attributes. Anybody?”

        “racial or DNA attributes”?

        Like I said, people don’t go to some higher or special place when they discuss Jews and/or Zionism. They have to go with the perspectives and attitudes they have.

      • Citizen
        May 2, 2017, 5:28 pm

        @ Mooser
        Speak human, not moose–nobody has a clue what U mean in the context of my comment.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 8:35 pm

        “Speak human, not moose”

        I’m sorry, I try to keep it short, and I may not be clear.

        I don’t think people go to a special place in their minds to think about or talk about Jews, and matters which relate to the subject. They do it in the usual way, using their accustomed perspectives. It is unrealistic to expect anything else.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 11:37 pm

        “It is unrealistic to expect anything else.”

        And I think it is a situation which we have in large part created for ourselves.

    • Danaa
      May 1, 2017, 3:28 pm

      greenstein, in Israel, the entire educational system is steeped in hostility towards non-Jews (and not only palestinians). The result is an arrogant, cruel, crude, loud-mouthed and ignorant population with just a few who even know what Human Rights are all about. The UK is under lock and key as far as criticizing that torrid little apartheid state, with almost all the rich ones (yes, the 1%) supporting outright anything and everything that can be done to persecute the palestinians. And indeed to wage destructive wars on any Arab country that failed to recognize the apartheid based fascist theocracy in the middle -east (yes, i know, they love them some LGBT. So enlightened!).

      Your BDS campaign as it now stands is, in fact, toothless. I support it, of course, and do so by refusing to engage with anyone and anything that comes from that evil little place, including its sad little language (which I am mercifully forgetting. never liked to speak it anyways). So my question to you – and I know you are an avowed anti-zionist – how will you ever get through the glass ceiling of privilege, so effectively used by the one-percenters of the tribe to suppress dissent? you think that smearing atzmon is an effectivre tool? have you ever expressed one tenth of the passion you direct his way towards the real bad guys out there? did you call out israel and the one-percent jewish establishment in the UK and US for pushing the destruction of Syria? or is that also something that can be interpreted with the famously talmudic, On the one hand, on the other hand?

      For myself, notice i don’t care to discuss the merits or flaws of Atzmon’s many claims. I assume that like many, he is right about many and off the reservation on some. So what? ben-Gurion wasn’t? Churchil wasn’t? Mother Theresa wasn’t? (no, I am not comparing GA to these illustrious personalities. Just making a point about points). Those who want to hear him out can and those who don’t care to engage with him shouldn’t. I am only talking about the relative passion directed towards marginalizing someone on the tribe’s fringe vs the passion directed towards the ultra=powerful, myth peddling, atrocity supporting members smuck at the center of the tribes.

      have you succeeded yet in marginalizing someone like Poju zabludovich (who is actually known for occasional rantings himself)? got him on record yet? managed to get an audience?

      Anyways, given the proscribed boundaries of the battle for human rights for the palestinians, I see those boundaries as the problem, and fist shakers such as Atzomon, as a symptom. But, by all means, do go ahead and expand your passion on the margins of the battle, waving the anti-semitites! and holocaust-denier! flag. Like goodwin Sand on this thread. and keep up the purity tests too. Maybe you’ll bag another minor victory on the BDS front on some obscure campus. For which I am grateful of course. Just that it hasn’t done a thing yet to stop a single new settlement, has it?

      • Marnie
        May 2, 2017, 1:27 am

        great post Danaa –

      • Citizen
        May 2, 2017, 10:24 am

        Not a single settlement stopped. Daily misery of Palestinians goes on, funded by us Americans no-stop, with no end in sight despite the growing poor in USA & the growing poor reputation of the USA in the world.

      • catalan
        May 2, 2017, 11:58 am

        “Not a single settlement stopped. Daily misery of Palestinians goes on” – Citizen
        Well I am doing my part. I stopped buying the Sabra brand hummus (too pricey); I don’t own a Soda Stream machine (don’t care for carbonation). And I buy Greek feta and Mexican tomatoes (no Israeli such in Costco). I figure, a few more like me and all the settlers are going to leave Maale and Be’ersheba and Ashdod (all settlement). Maybe even Tel Aviv.
        There is a bright future ahead for Palestine. It is truly exciting to be alive in such wonderful times.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 1:45 pm

        “Well I am doing my part. I stopped buying…”

        “catalan”, give it up, already. If you are not doing anything positive, anything material, to support Zionism, you might as well be an anti-Zionist. Heck, ask any Zionist: you might as well be a terrorist.

      • Citizen
        May 2, 2017, 5:32 pm

        @ Mooser
        Yes, all the zio-veggies tremble when catalan comes down the aisle.

    • Edo
      May 1, 2017, 3:43 pm

      Chomsky also opposes the Academic boycott. I don’t think it’s a very unreasonable opinion. I don’t have any about this subject by the way. Anyway, why do you care about Gilad? He says provocative things. Ignore him.

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 1, 2017, 7:21 pm

        Provocative is one thing; openly anti-Semitic is another, and that’s where Atzmon is. He’s spent a decade trying to work hard-right racist views of the Jews into lefty discourse. Mostly he has failed, and he has failed exactly because people refused to simply look the other way.

      • echinococcus
        May 2, 2017, 2:03 am

        Sands,

        Looks like you again forgot to define “antisemitic”.
        If it is some group discrimination bound to someone’s characteristics at birth (like “Jewish” ancestry) then it’s pure and simple racism and doesn’t deserve a propagandistic separate name.

        If it is not directly tied to a birth characteristic, for example the irrational belief of some religious persons, then any and all discrimination may be perfectly kosher.

        So, either you define precisely first or you are just talking nonsense.

        Now, Atzmon is, as also indicated by his name, of Jewish ancestry; he has never shown any open enmity to anyone for the sole fact of having been born with such ancestors.

        Besides, he also is born as an illegal alien in occupied Palestine and has served in its criminal military. He has not denied or attacked his biologic origin.

        So there is no racism here.

        All the rest is a matter of legitimate discussion. For example, I can repeat that the Jewish religion is a disgusting stone-age relic dumbing down all followers of the three big monotheistic religions, and that people who call themselves “Jewish” in the absence of religion and the total absence of a common culture, mother tongue and territory are just racist. Is discussing fact antisemitic?

        Let me see, why would someone publish a dozen posts with the sole aim of attacking a guy who is discussing religion, cultural practices and such –all obviously a matter of choice and all open to discussion? Why would you try everything for character assassination without once bringing concrete examples and of the accusations?

      • Edo
        May 2, 2017, 4:21 am

        Goodwin Sands, I believe he has failed because he’s ridiculous, and people can think for themselves.

      • Edo
        May 2, 2017, 7:04 am

        I have no problem with disputing what he says, but he’s been taken way too serious. He doesn’t have any political power what so ever, and he doesn’t seem to want any. So he’s not dangerous or anything. He’s a one man act. People who support Israel’s policies use him to attack people who criticize Israel. His work is very easy to criticize, because he is using all the bad things jewish people had done in politics, to make a point about ‘jewishness’. Which seems to me to be a very odd point to make, since you can do it with every group on the planet. He makes the point that jewish people are criticizing and participating in a lot of problems in the world, and explaining this by saying that the jews who criticize problems do this to try to make sure they aren’t attacked as a group. But I don’t see any problem with that. Muslims are participating in Isis, and are criticizing it. But in my opinion it’s a mistake to attack people like Richard Falk for recommending the book. The book has some, in my opinion, plainly ridiculous passages (I didn’t read it in it’s whole I think), but it has some interesting things to say about identity politics (in general). I do believe there is something to be said to criticize the jewish only groups like ‘jewish voice for peace’. I do think they are well intentioned people, and it helps to combat the notion you are antisemitic when you criticize Israel to point at jewish people (on the other hand it’s a very strange thing if you think about it. You never ever have to point to muslims who criticize Saudi-Arabie, to avoid being called anti-muslim’ when you criticize that country ). But to criticize Israel while being jewish you can also do it in an open group which is inclusive. A group that would be called ‘White people against apartheid’, also seems a bit strange. I’m not against the group, I think they are well-meaning people, but I do think there is something to be said that there is something strange in an exclusive group about politics, based on identity.

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 2, 2017, 6:16 pm

        “If it is some group discrimination bound to someone’s characteristics at birth (like “Jewish” ancestry) then it’s pure and simple racism and doesn’t deserve a propagandistic separate name.”

        Pity all the dictionaries disagree with you. Maybe it’s a Zionist plot?

      • echinococcus
        May 3, 2017, 2:19 am

        Sands,

        I observe that you still haven’t provided a definition for your nonsense.
        We still don’t know if you are talking about accident of birth or anything acquired.
        As for the rest… the dictionary you rode on in.

    • Keith
      May 1, 2017, 5:16 pm

      TONY GREENSTEIN- “Keith selectively quotes Israel Shahak who would have dispatched Atzmon with a flea in his racist ear.”

      So now you are channeling Israel Shahak? Pity that Jeffrey Blankfort, who was friends with both Shahak and Atzmon, isn’t here to comment. Yes, I do quote Shahak selectively not randomly, in order to make a point. You don’t?

      TONY GREENSTEIN- “In fact Shahak was particularly critical of the Zionist myth that there was a seamless Jewish history extending back into time. He wrote (p.50) from JHJR that:”

      Yes, I know and have tried to make that point on Mondoweiss in rebuttal to the Jewish myth-history of the Holocaust as culmination of 2000 years of persecution. Are you implying that the majority of organized Jews don’t believe in ageless irrational Gentile anti-Semitism? Interesting. Since we are speaking of Shahak, you must be aware that he believed that Zionism represents a return to the ideology of Classical Judaism. And since the overwhelming majority of organized Jewry as represented by the Council of Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations is Zionist, it seems to me that Judaism and Zionism have become intertwined. Jewish socialism versus universal socialism? Jewish prominence in the Bolshevik movement versus Jewish Bolshevism? Jeez, Tony, you are becoming incoherent. Remember, the whole article is justified as exposing how Atzmon did Jonathan wrong by publishing the questions which Jonathan didn’t answer. How far afield must you go with your anti-Atzmon screed?

      TONY GREENSTEIN- “Atzmon is a fringe anti-Semite. we have no need to build his already bloated ego.”

      Then why did Jonathan write the article giving Atzmon free publicity over such a trivial incident? Why is your group of tribal anti-Zionists (who scream anti-Semitism at the drop of a hat) so obsessed with Gilad Atzmon? Are you pleased with what happened to Greta Berlin?

      TONY GREENSTEIN- “Those fools who think they are being clever in supporting Atzmon are doing the work of the Zionists.”

      Not those fools who, along with the Zionists, promote a wildly exaggerated view on the threat of anti-Semitism, and continue to charge those who disagree with them of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial? Okay Tony, you have shown solidarity with Jonathan in attacking Gilad Atzmon. Time to calm down.

    • Goodwin Sands
      May 1, 2017, 6:41 pm

      Tony Greenstein is probably more responsible that any other person for peeling away Atzmon’s shell and showing the public the raw anti-Semite underneat. Atzmon’s getting kicked to the kerb by the UK anti-Zionist movement couldn’t have happened without Greenstein. And as a result, Atzmon has a special place of loathing in his heart for Greenstein, even as Atzmon gets more and more closely tied to the alt-right.

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 1, 2017, 7:25 pm

        Incidentally, Atzmon is getting ready to wrap up NYC; one of his next stops is in the midwest, where he will have an event with all-purpose conspiracy-whack Kevin Barrett – Holocaust denier, truther, Sandy Hooker, raving anti-Semite, and like Atzmon, a long-time contributor to the crazy “Veterans Today.” They had to move it out of the college student union because those guys are not fans of hosting events by Holocaust deniers like Barrett and Atzmon.

      • Danaa
        May 2, 2017, 12:03 am

        So, other than “exposing” Atzmon, Greenstein accomplished what exactly? for the palestinians, I mean.

        I get that you and him are anti-semite chasers par excellance. Must be a great sport. Is that a bit like ambulance chasers? is the exercise keeping you fit?

        I am sure that the ones agonizing under the boots on the ground in israel are most appreciative of your efforts. Surely you guys must have done a lot of good in the campaign for human rights. Please share some recent successes – we are dying to know, out here in the wilderness, where the spirit of Spinoza roams (yes, the one that got shunned – for emitting sacrileges considered bad-for-the-Jews or something).

      • Keith
        May 2, 2017, 1:32 pm

        DANAA- “So, other than “exposing” Atzmon, Greenstein accomplished what exactly?”

        Greenstein, Blumenthal, Abunimah and now Ofir have a personal/professional interest in attacking Atzmon as an anti-Semite. These attacks perform two functions. First, they appear to be the first line of defense these guys use to protect themselves from charges of anti-Semitism, as they all have been. Second, they are sending a message to the Jewish Zionist elites that they are focusing on Israel, not tribal kinship. Both the Zionists and these anti-Zionists are fixated upon anti-Semitism. Remember that Greenstein, Blumenthal and Abunimah also attacked Greta Berlin for anti-Semitic behavior.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 2:15 pm

        “Greenstein, Blumenthal, Abunimah and now Ofir have a personal/professional interest in attacking Atzmon as an anti-Semite”

        In fact, you might go so far as to say that if Atzmon did not exist, they would have to invent him!. You very well might.

      • Keith
        May 2, 2017, 4:11 pm

        MOOSER- “In fact, you might go so far as to say that if Atzmon did not exist, they would have to invent him!.”

        Either that or pick someone else on their list. Jeez, you don’t think Yoni Falic and I are towards the top of that list, do you? Would Hophmi fight them off claiming he got to us first? What about Goodwin Sands? Mondoweiss is not for the faint of heart, I tell ya’.

      • Talkback
        May 2, 2017, 6:09 pm

        Keith: “What about Goodwin Sands?”

        Popping out of nowhere writing 36 posts in 36 hours against Atzmon … Jonathan Hoffman? LOL.

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 2, 2017, 6:18 pm

        “These attacks perform two functions.”

        Nah, they perform one function – they demonstrate that they can see things you can’t, and you’d rather attack them than up your own perception skills.

      • RoHa
        May 2, 2017, 7:52 pm

        ” Goodwin Sands…Popping out of nowhere writing 36 posts in 36 hours against Atzmon … ”

        I find the Goodwin Sands phenomenon more interesting than the Atzmon debate. Looks to me as though a dedicated anti-Atzmonite saw a mention of JO’s silly article and jumped in.

        I read this the other day.

        https://www.commondreams.org/hambaconeggs

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 8:11 pm

        “Jeez, you don’t think Yoni Falic and I are towards the top of that list, do you”

        “Yoni Falic and I”? “Keith” to put it as gently as possible, I really don’t think you and “Yoni Falic” are on the same list, but go ahead and flatter yourself.

      • Keith
        May 3, 2017, 10:46 am

        ROHA- “Looks to me as though a dedicated anti-Atzmonite saw a mention of JO’s silly article and jumped in.”

        Hard to say what he is. He appears to be a contrived caricature which can be interpreted different ways. Conceivably he could be a genuine anti-Semite pretending to be an exaggerated version of an intolerant Jew. Who knows? Who cares? The only thing which gives him any believability whatsoever is that this whole anti-Atzmon hysteria is so wildly out of proportion, Atzmon and the anti-Atzmonites engaging in a form of symbiotic name calling. Hopefully, this Goodwin character will depart when this thread mercifully ends.

      • Mooser
        May 3, 2017, 12:37 pm

        “Hopefully, this Goodwin character will depart when this thread mercifully ends.”

        Is there any other readership or commenter you feel Mondo shouldn’t have?

      • Keith
        May 3, 2017, 4:24 pm

        MOOSER- “…I really don’t think you and “Yoni Falic” are on the same list….”

        Whew, that’s a relief! Now all I have to worry about is Hophmi, Yonah (occasionally) and you. As long as you and Hophmi don’t gang up on me, I should be okay.

      • Keith
        May 3, 2017, 4:32 pm

        MOOSER- “Is there any other readership or commenter you feel Mondo shouldn’t have?”

        Is there a point you are making or have you become a compulsive commenter, making comments just to make comments. 25,834 and counting.

      • Talkback
        May 3, 2017, 5:44 pm

        RoHa: “I find the Goodwin Sands phenomenon more interesting than the Atzmon debate.”

        Me, too. I wonder what his explanation would be for not answering Atzmon’s questions. Maybe that his position on Zionism could be quoted on Neo-Nazis sites as an example for how to support a supremacist state by considerung only certain citizens as nationals. You know, waht he called “guilt by guilt association”.

        RoHa: “Looks to me as though a dedicated anti-Atzmonite saw a mention of JO’s silly article and jumped in.”

        He’s loosing momentum. The ratio is going down to 50 comments in 60 hours.

      • Mooser
        May 3, 2017, 5:54 pm

        “25,834 and counting.”

        You’re right. Even if I try to keep it short, that’s too many.

    • echinococcus
      May 2, 2017, 10:03 am

      Greenstein,

      Your “BDS” is not a movement of people who are just boycotting the Zionist entity. It is an official network of organizations, one part being in NaZionist-occupied Palestine and quite non-clandestine (and so, totally controlled by the Zionist entity), another part Zionists and avowedly tribal “Jewish” organizations that are doing their damnedest to limit the boycott to post-67 occupation. But, even more than that of limiting and containing the boycott, their main goal seems to be the hunt for “antisemitism”, undefined.

      If you think that an organization of Western “liberals”, led by explicitly tribal groups (even segregated by name), only boycotting post-67 conquest or whatever has been marked as “excess” by the lib-Zionist invaders, and practicing widespread witch-hunt and character assassination for some crime of “antisemitism”, totally irrelevant to the stated objective, looks much different from a Zionist-led sabotage of the Palestinian solidarity movement (when seen from the outside, of course, not that guys like you inside it would get it) –well, think again.

      Of course, whenever you happen to get some boycott done in-between witchhunts, I support even you (as Mustafa Barghouti said, if you boycott only a single egg, I want you to do that.)

  19. festus
    May 1, 2017, 11:05 am

    “Soft-core denial is much more insidious and squishier but when you know something is not quite right,” she told us [Washington Post]. “When you take out the identity of the victims, when those victims were specifically targeted, that is a form of rewriting history, and that’s what denial is all about.”

    Isn’t that exactly what all these Jewish Holocaust Orgs do? Leave out the identity of all the 5 million non Jews said to have been killed in the Holocaust? Nearly all Holocaust stories omit these folks and when they do get referenced they are lumped together with a dismissive label of “others”.

    • Citizen
      May 1, 2017, 3:14 pm

      Is there a Roma in the house?

    • Goodwin Sands
      May 1, 2017, 6:43 pm

      Funny, last time I went to the US Holocaust Museum and Memorial in DC, the little mock passport I was given was for a Roma girl. If they’re supposed to be ignoring the Roma, nobody told them.

      • Citizen
        May 2, 2017, 10:37 am

        Yes, it’s tiresome how American politicians carry on about the Roma, and have so many US museums are devoted to them–& jeez, look at the power of the Roma lobby on Congress and WH and main media! Not to mention how there’s always got to be an endearing Roma character or two in so many sitcoms on TV! And, didn’t the Roma just get a $38 billion welfare check to keep their military cutting edge? All we can see about the Jews is they like giant, garish, neon wedding dresses!

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 12:33 pm

        “All we can see about the Jews is they like giant, garish, neon wedding dresses!”

        That’s what I told my bride-to-be, but she insisted I wear a suit at our wedding.

  20. karmagalny
    May 1, 2017, 11:41 am

    Sadly, Mr. Ofir, I believe what you concluded when you read those honestly probing questions (and they really are impressive questions) was that you wouldn’t be able to legitimately defend the group/culture with which you identify. On some level I understand that this can be scary. These questions force you to see the ugliness in the culture around which your entire identity is based. But the upside is, if you’re honest with yourself, if not with Atzmon, you can break up with this culture. You can leave the club. It’s not the MAFIA.

    What you don’t get away with is calling Atzmon an antiSemite or any other baseless name because he made you uncomfortable. Really you should thank him. He has never attacked Jews for being Jews. He criticizes the culture and politics of Chosensim. He has a right to. We all do as the problemisn’t contained within boundaries of the Jewish culture but rather infiltrates all of humanity with the most devastating effects on gentiles. Just look at the Middle East. And that’s only the tip of iceberg.

    Everything is allowed to be questioned, including what we were told about what happened to, AND BY Jews in WWII. Many people feel the official story of 9/11 is false, they aren’t called 9/11 deniers. They are truth seekers. Only Jews seem to exist in this either/or, “if not this, then that” dynamic. If we don’t see the Jewish state as legitimate, then we are calling for death of Jews. If we question anything about the Jewish narrative on WWII, then we are denying it happened. This is absurd. And patently false.

    So, you can point fingers at the bravery and honesty of someone like Atzmon, or you can answer those questions. If not for him, do it for yourself.

    • larick
      May 1, 2017, 2:38 pm

      I’ve had a very thorough email exchange with Gilad Atzmon a few years back, as he is a friend of a Palestinian friend of mine who encouraged me to get to know him. I found him to be disengenuous in extreme and clearly intent on defaming Jews, thus establishing himself as a “go to” guy for people who, like he, assert some inherent evil of the Jewish people. That is racist on its face, as it would be about any other ethnos. Most ethnic or ethno-religious groups have perpetrated evil at one point or another, and I don’t think there’s a quantification formula to decide who’s better or worse than another, but apparently Gilad get’s to be the “inside guy” to name his own, but notice: he’s against against Zionism. That’s what JVP does successfully while Gilad throws eggs and beats his chest about what a brave iconoclast he is. And Mr. K. no, asserting that because a line of racist banter about one’s ethnic group makes one uncomfortable does not make Gilad’s questions “impressive”…No, even if they make me “uncomfortable” they’re still childishly stupid questions. Granted, Gilad has found a way to make himself the center of debate, just like our narcissistic President.

      • echinococcus
        May 5, 2017, 1:25 am

        Larick,

        Are you an unreconstituted Zionist who believes in “Jews” as an “ethnic group”? There is no such thing, unless you bring clear proof of basic cultural commonalities between the Ashkenazi and the Spaniards and the Bukharans and the Falashas, which are entirely independent from religious-ritual items.

        Stone-age attributes like tribal attachment or religion (or recent attachment to the Nazi-like political movement called Zionism) are not inborn. They are acquired and can be shed by using one’s bean. So your accusation of “racism” is over the top (not to call it more.)

    • larick
      May 1, 2017, 2:40 pm

      I’ve had a very thorough email exchange with Gilad Atzmon a few years back, as he is a friend of a Palestinian friend of mine who encouraged me to get to know him. I found him to be disengenuous in extreme and clearly intent on defaming Jews, thus establishing himself as a “go to” guy for people who, like he, assert some inherent evil of the Jewish people. That is racist on its face, as it would be about any other ethnos. Most ethnic or ethno-religious groups have perpetrated evil at one point or another, and I don’t think there’s a quantification formula to decide who’s better or worse than another, but apparently Gilad gets to be the “inside guy” to name his own, but notice: he’s against against Zionism but also against organizing against it. That’s what JVP does successfully while Gilad throws eggs and beats his chest about what a brave iconoclast he is.

      • German Lefty
        May 2, 2017, 7:35 am

        “He’s against against Zionism but also against organizing against it. That’s what JVP does successfully while Gilad throws eggs and beats his chest about what a brave iconoclast he is.”

        I disagree. Atzmon doesn’t reject JVP because it’s against Zionism. Actually, I’m not sure if JVP is opposed to Zionism. I think that Atzmon rejects JVP because of the “J”, not because of the “VP”.

      • Citizen
        May 2, 2017, 10:57 am

        @German Lefty
        I agree. I also think JVP shunned Alison Weir because she went on a talk radio show to inform Americans of the objectively negative side of the history of the US-Israel special relationship (for Americans) because they get no such information from the US mainstream media–but remained mute when the show host also entertained some anti-semite rhetoric from callers-in.

    • Goodwin Sands
      May 1, 2017, 6:44 pm

      “He has never attacked Jews for being Jews. He criticizes the culture and politics of Chosensim.”

      He has rather obviously played you like a piano.

      • Citizen
        May 2, 2017, 5:38 pm

        A piano with only one color of keys? Like yours? Or is it your fingering?

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 2, 2017, 6:20 pm

        My piano can distinguish between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Perhaps one day you’ll learn how to do that too, and then you can instruct Karmagal.

  21. Edo
    May 1, 2017, 2:25 pm

    Gilad is a provocateur. That’s what he does. Beyond the provocations I do think he sometimes has a point. I do agree that laws against holocaust-denial are plainly absurd. I think every historian is entitled to make claims, and if they are false, they should be proven false with words. Not with legal punishment. Are there people in jail for questioning the number of people who died within slavery? I’m not aware of such a case. I think it’s just absurd. I think what is done to Faurisson is a travesty. The guy obviously believed in what he said, I don’t think he had any malign intentions, he didn’t advocate any violence, yet he has been treated like a terrible criminal. It’s just ridiculous. Just prove the guy is wrong, and that’s that.
    Besides this Gilad says some shocking things, he’s too obsessed with jewish people who do bad things, and it’s an overfocus. He seems to think tribalism is uniquely jewish, while that criticism can be made of a lot groups. Yet he’s a clown, so I don’t know why people take him so serious.

    • Goodwin Sands
      May 1, 2017, 6:50 pm

      As I noted above, you can argue about whether or not there should be laws against hate speech. There is no international consensus on that. What there *is* international consensus on is that Holocaust denial is a form of hate speech. Why? Because it requires an enormous, enormous International Jew Conspiracy, with tendrils everywhere, forging millions of documents, and – more incredibly – hiding the missing six million so effectively that they remain hidden even now, 75 years later. Maybe they’re all at the Secret Jew Lair under the South Pole?

      You can’t have Holocaust denial without also having a Jewish conspiracy bigger than all the James Bond villains put together. And that requires nothing short of taking absolute leave of your senses.

      • Edo
        May 2, 2017, 4:16 am

        Well they me be just crazy, that’s also an option. If I deny dinosaurs existed I also would think there is a conspiracy of scientists who all forge documents etc. Either way, I think these laws are ridiculous. As I said, show them to be wrong, like you do here, and that’s that. Making laws against this only makes those people interesting.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 11:30 am

        “You can’t have Holocaust denial without also having a Jewish conspiracy bigger than all the James Bond villains put together.”

        An international conspiracy big enough to steal an entire country. And commit genocide with impunity. Yup, that’s a big one!

      • Citizen
        May 2, 2017, 5:42 pm

        @ Mooser
        Naw. U only need the question always beating in the heart, “Is it good for the Goys?” And lots of money. Sheldon Adelson is not a conspirator, for example, he’s right out in the open!

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 2, 2017, 6:22 pm

        “Well they me be just crazy, that’s also an option.”

        Given how precisely their beliefs line up point-by-point with a neo-Nazi line of patter that’s been out there for half a century, it’s not a very good option, is it. Unless you’re very naive.

  22. broadside
    May 1, 2017, 3:25 pm

    If it was Atzmon who coined the phrase “the spectrum of Zionism and anti-Zionism” it’s sure no wonder why he’s persona non grata around here.

    • Mooser
      May 1, 2017, 4:32 pm

      “the spectrum of Zionism and anti-Zionism”

      Well, it’s hard to deny. If there wasn’t any Jews or Judaism, there probably wouldn’t be any Zionism. And one thing is indisputable: You can’t be anti-Zionist if there’s no Zionism.

      • Maghlawatan
        May 1, 2017, 5:49 pm

        Anti Zionists are Mensches. If there were no Zionism there would still be Mensches. There would just be fewer deluded Jews ! Being rational should be a mitzvah.

        The golden calf was groupthink. Zionism is groupthink. Zionism is to Judaism as Kool Aid is to fruit.

  23. German Lefty
    May 1, 2017, 6:04 pm

    Atzmon: “It took me years to grasp that my great-grandmother wasn’t made into a ‘soap’ or a ‘lampshade’ as I was taught in Israel.”
    Ofir: “I do not need to get into the “soap” issue Atzmon brings. That is known to be a hoax disseminated by Simon Wiesenthal and Deborah Lipstadt also notes this.”

    Fascinating! I have never been taught that Nazis turned people into soap or lampshades. The first time that I read this claim was on the Internet in an article or comment written by a US Jew. I mistook this claim for factual information and wondered why the German education system withheld this information from me. Later, I noticed that German neo-Nazis make soap comments as well. For example, they talk about being in the shower and reaching for someone’s grandmother (because she was turned into soap). I just heard of a German neo-Nazi rapper called MaKss Damage. In one of his songs he raps about people in Buchenwald being turned into soap. (Note: I have never listened to the song myself and I don’t know the song title or the exact lyrics.) What I am trying to say is that I find it very telling that both Zionists and neo-Nazis perpetuate the soap myth. Both groups have an interest in making the Holocaust sound as terrible as possible.

    Ofir: “Thus – no gassings mentioned, and so many others killed. Not that big a deal in itself, as it were. This can be said to be the soft core holocaust denial.”

    Seriously?! That’s a totally ridiculous accusation! If people don’t mention EVERY SINGLE killing method and EVERY SINGLE victim group EVERY SINGLE time they talk about the Holocaust, then that’s Holocaust denial?! LOL! Not mentioning a certain thing is not the same as denying the thing’s existence. For example, when there’s a documentary that focuses on Christian homophobia, then this does NOT imply that there’s no Muslim homophobia (and vice versa). You see Holocaust denial in Atzmon’s statements because you WANT TO see it, not because it’s actually there. I notice that accusing people of Holocaust denial/downplaying is becoming a silencing tactic in the same way as accusations of anti-Semitism.

    • Goodwin Sands
      May 1, 2017, 7:50 pm

      Hilarious. I see Holocaust denial in Gilad Atzmon because he goes out of his way to pimp for the Holocaust denial movement, and will do so again on May 6 when he gives a special talk to the false-front neo-fascist Holocaust denial organization “Institute for Historical Review.”

      Atzmon has a long, solid, sordid pattern of being a shill for Holocaust denial. Sorry if you don’t like it.

      • karmagalny
        May 2, 2017, 12:05 am

        Goodwin Sands, All you do is come up with moronic, inaccurate invectives. You have zero substance. IHR are academics, historians. Sorry if YOU don’t like it. Why so frightened.

        ” But not, if you’re being consistent, actually Jews, since you think Ashkenazi Jews aren’t Jews at all, according to your earlier post.”. Where did I say this? I said Ashkenazi Jews aren’t Semites. They aren’t. Semite doesn’t mean Jewish.

        What I find most intriguing is all the folks you list as irrelevant, from IHR to Atzmon, you spend an awful lot of time trolling them. You seem to know Atzmon’s schedule down to the minute. Seems like a major investment of your time for people who don’t matter. This doesn’t say much about you, dear.

      • German Lefty
        May 2, 2017, 6:49 am

        @ Goodwin Sands
        My comment refers to the Atzmon quote that Ofir provides in his article, not to any other thing that Atzmon does. And the fact is that this quote does NOT prove that Atzmon is a Holocaust denier.
        Also, you seem to believe in guilt by association. Just because Atzmon is willing to talk to Holocaust deniers doesn’t mean that he’s a Holocaust denier himself. Sometimes, a (liberal) Zionist talks at an anti-Zionist event, but this doesn’t make him an anti-Zionist. Sometimes, an anti-Zionist talks at a (liberal) Zionist event, but this doesn’t make him a Zionist. Just because you are willing to talk to someone or to work with someone doesn’t mean that you agree with him.
        Of course, I disapprove of Holocaust denial. However, I also think that Holocaust denial is quite harmless compared to (Zionist) Holocaust exploitation. Probably, Atzmon agrees with me that fighting Holocaust exploitation should have priority over fighting Holocaust denial and that’s why he is willing to talk to Holocaust deniers.
        Anyone who dares to speak out against the way the Holocaust is currently commemorated and misused by the Zionists gets accused of denying or downplaying the Holocaust itself. However, questioning the commemoration of an event is not the same as questioning the original event itself. Let me give you an example from Germany of how the media distort words: The German politician Wolfgang Gedeon, who is an anti-Zionist, once wrote that Holocaust commemoration has become the civil religion of the West (for the purpose of strengthening Zionism). However, the German media wanted a scandal and that’s why they distorted his words and claimed that he wrote that the Holocaust is a civil religion. Of course, the fabricated statement that the Holocaust is a civil religion sounds like Holocaust denial because religious beliefs consist of myths.
        By the way, if Holocaust denial is illegal, then religious belief must be illegal too – because it contradicts reality. Or conversely: If it’s legal to believe in a sky daddy, creationism or a paradise full of virgins, then why isn’t it legal to believe that the Holocaust has never happened? Either ALL idiotic beliefs are legal or NONE of them. Someone could found a religion whose core teaching is that the Holocaust didn’t happen. Then this kind of Holocaust denial would fall under religious freedom.

      • German Lefty
        May 2, 2017, 7:14 am

        I also want to add that you need to consider the circumstances: The Zionists tell so many lies to get away with their crimes against Palestinians that I can’t really blame people for coming to believe that the Holocaust is yet another of those Zionist lies.
        “A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.” – Aesop
        In my opinion, the best way to fight Holocaust denial is by fighting one of the main causes of Holocaust denial, i.e. the Holocaust exploitation by the Zionists. And the best way to fight Holocaust exploitation by the Zionists is by putting an end to Zionism.

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 2, 2017, 6:24 pm

        “All you do is come up with moronic, inaccurate invectives. ”

        So you’re saying Atzmon doesn’t speak on May 6 to the IHR, an organization internationally known for its core mission, the promulgation of Holocaust denial?

      • Goodwin Sands
        May 2, 2017, 6:33 pm

        “IHR are academics, historians.”

        Man, did you drink the Kool-aid to the bottom.

        They were founded by the blackshirt David McCalden and the “anti-Judeobolshevist” Willis Carto, an infamous anti-Semite and racist.

        You remind us that the first prerequisite to being an Atzmon admirer is not to know thing one about anti-Semitism.

    • Goodwin Sands
      May 2, 2017, 6:25 pm

      “The Zionists tell so many lies to get away with their crimes against Palestinians that I can’t really blame people for coming to believe that the Holocaust is yet another of those Zionist lies.”

      Yes, folks, he really did just blame Holocaust denial on Jews.

      • German Lefty
        May 3, 2017, 3:50 am

        “Yes, folks, he really did just blame Holocaust denial on Jews.”
        First of all, I am a she, not a he. Second, I wrote “Zionists”, not “Jews”. I feel very sorry for you if you seriously believe that these two groups are the same.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      May 2, 2017, 7:47 pm

      The Soviet prosecutors at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1945 charged that the Nazis had made soap out of human fat and presented supposed samples, but there was no forensic proof. No doubt this helped spread the story. If there were any truth in it there would be some evidence of procedures to extract and process the fat.

      It is clear, by contrast, that the victims’ hair was cut off and sold in bulk to the Alex Zink Company in Bavaria, which used it in making various products.

      Skin for lampshades is an intermediate case. There is testimony that Ilse Koch, wife of the commandant of Buchenwald and Majdanek, had a hobby of collecting pieces of inmates’ skin with tattoos on them, but the story that she had lampshades made of them has not been proven. One website says that she ordered workers to make such lampshades, but these workers were Jehovah’s Witnesses and refused to do the job.

      How terrible the Holocaust was does not depend on which if any of these stories is true.

  24. Donald Johnson
    May 1, 2017, 6:37 pm

    Atzmon in his own words

    http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20Editorials/2010/March/15%20o/Truth,%20History,%20and%20Integrity%20Questioning%20the%20Holocaust%20Religion%20By%20Gilad%20Atzmon.htm

    I read a similar post by him several years ago when I first heard his name, and saw he was a Holocaust denier. I only vaguely remembered the details until I looked them up– once it was clear what he was I lost interest in him, but some people here react in kneejerk fashion to any accusation of antisemitism. Such accusations are often dishonest and even racist In the case of Atzmon they are accurate.

    It would be a shame if he became closely linked to BDS. Fortunately from what people have said here, he opposes it.

  25. objak
    May 2, 2017, 5:34 am

    Goodwin,

    Good comments.

    I used to debate the same basic points with the same people.

    This was before the alt-right was on my radar and in general prominence so I didn’t really understand their sensibilities like I do now.

    I did see perfumed contamination from sites like Veteran’s Today, Occidental Observer, etc… white identitarian gripes barely dressed up as concern for Palestine.

    For some I/P is simply a way to get at the “JQ” and Atzmon is admired because that’s what he cares about too. When Jews live in your head and under the bed too, everything is reduced to outing this supposedly unnameable force. Just notice who will help a thread like this get to near 200 comments and if those same people ever comment on other topics, especially ones that are not Jewish centred.

    But then again, admiration for Atzmon tells you enough already.

    • Citizen
      May 2, 2017, 11:26 am

      @objak

      When born Jew-Haters (“anti-Semites”) live in your head and under the bed too, everything is reduced to outing this supposedly nameable force and building up Israel at the expense of the innocent Palestinian people directly, and at the expense of the USA’s treasure in huge foreign aid to Israel and US blood in foreign wars in the Middle East against whomever Israel perceives as its enemy.

      • objak
        May 2, 2017, 2:34 pm

        Very true that reckless and baseless charges of antisemitism have been used to cover up Israeli encroachments on Palestine and Palestinians.

        Now, back to the subject at hand, which is why Atzmon appeals to a particular kind of personality is attracted to I/P.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 3:25 pm

        “Very true that reckless and baseless charges of antisemitism have been used to cover up Israeli encroachments on Palestine and Palestinians.

        Now, back to the subject at hand, which is why Atzmon appeals to…”

        Ah, another two mutually exclusive subjects.

      • Citizen
        May 2, 2017, 5:47 pm

        At @Mooser
        Yes, objak thrives on his compartments in his brain; makes analysis easier for him. He’s like a Zionist motel desk clerk. He will “keep the light on for you.”

    • Mooser
      May 2, 2017, 3:30 pm

      “Just notice who will help a thread like this get to near 200 comments and if those same people ever comment on other topics, especially ones that are not Jewish centred.”

      Right you are, “objak”. I see a lot of the regulars, and then there seems to be a few people who signed up just for this Atzmon-centered thread.
      You might have checked a few archives before you stepped in that one.

    • Goodwin Sands
      May 2, 2017, 6:25 pm

      As I said, Atzmon’s an interesting touchstone. Most people – and in general, the ones most familiar with the historical modes of anti-Semitic rhetoric – saw that Atzmon was stroking those strings even a decade ago, and it has only gotten louder. But Atzmon learned that with some people, he could shout whatever anti-Semitic crap he wanted at whatever volume he wanted, as long as he was at the same time clanging the “Zionists want to censor me” bell with all his might – which is what he did for his NYC talk, where (a) anti-Zionists announced they would be (b) picketing but not halting the talk, causing Atzmon to clang the bell saying that (not a) Zionists were (not b) planning to halt the talk.

      We saw this division here too. Most people quickly got to the root of the problem Atzmon presents for anti-Zionism, but by astounding coincidence, the ones who celebrate Atzmon were also disproportionately the ones running the “IHR is a scholarly institute” game or the “Ashkenazi Jews aren’t actually Jews” game or “there is no anti-Semitism anymore” game or expressing faux confusion about why historians don’t doubt the gas chambers but anti-Semitic neo-fascists do. And that’s only some of the games I see people running in this comment thread. There’s a reason why so many of Atzmon’s (few) defenders aren’t deeply bothered like a normal person would be by Atzmon playing pattycake with David Duke and David Irving and the IHR (and a UK counterpart, Paul Eisen’s DYR): at root, they’re just not anti-racists when it comes to Jews.

      • Mooser
        May 3, 2017, 3:12 am

        “they’re just not anti-racists when it comes to Jews.”

        Like Zionists are anti-racists? “Goodwin” maybe we are simply getting back what we’ve handed out. We believe in our own racism enough to kill for it, take a country for it, but nobody else can talk bad about us?
        Something tells me it won’t work that way. Maybe we should make a deal. People can talk no worse about uh, Zionists, than Zionists do about “Arabs” and the ‘non-existent’ Palestinians.

      • Danaa
        May 3, 2017, 5:48 pm

        Nice one, Mooser. Quite on point, too. Goodwin is such an inspiration to us all!

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2017, 3:49 pm

        Sometimes, when I see someone demanding a detailed knowledge of Jewish history, and feeling entitled to all kinds of distinctions, and being shocked by the misconceptions, well, sometimes I am tempted to say “Well, buddy, know you now what many minorities and women to a great extent, go through every day. ”
        But I don’t. It wouldn’t be helpful, so I don’t.

  26. hophmi
    May 2, 2017, 9:58 am

    Always love these posts. They show just how beloved Mondoweiss is by overt antisemites like Keith and YoniFalic.

    • Mooser
      May 2, 2017, 1:22 pm

      “Always love these posts.They show just how beloved Mondoweiss is by overt antisemites…”

      You should do it like Capt Renault: ” I’m shocked, shocked to find that antisemitism is going on in here!”

      • eljay
        May 2, 2017, 2:25 pm

        || hophmi: Always love these posts. They show just how beloved Mondoweiss is by overt antisemites like Keith and YoniFalic. ||

        Don’t fret, hophmi – there are plenty of posts that show just how beloved Mondoweiss is by overt Jewish supremacists like you and Mayhem.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 3:14 pm

        Pit Boss: “Capt Israel, your winnings”

        “Thank you. Now, round up the usual suspects”

      • broadside
        May 2, 2017, 4:09 pm

        “Mooser” I prefer:

        Bibi Netanyahu, upon receiving a communication from the EU condemning the expansion of Jewish settlements. (Shredding it):

        “Please. It is a little game we play. They put it on the bill, I tear up the bill. It is very convenient.”

    • Mooser
      May 2, 2017, 3:43 pm

      Me, I’m always struck by the compassion, the empathy, the understanding that Zionists, especially American Zionists, show toward IDF vets, the guys and girls who were drafted to do what Israel demanded.
      God forbid they should be the least bit unsettled by it. God forbid they might think of the people on the other side as human, and be disturbed by it. After all, “Hophmi”, you aren’t. No “sad disease” for you. No IDF either, of course.

      Chicken-soup hawks make me sick.

      • Citizen
        May 2, 2017, 6:01 pm

        Me too; so do chili hawks.

    • Talkback
      May 2, 2017, 5:53 pm

      @Hophmi
      “Always love these posts. They show just how beloved Mondoweiss is by overt antisemites like Keith and YoniFalic”

      Yup. That’s Mondoweiss. They even allow shmocks to post who have reached a miminum level of intelligence that allows them to accuse others of antisemitism and bash Mondoweiss. It’s like watching a monkey playing with water for the first time.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      May 3, 2017, 10:01 pm

      You love them because it gives you material to exaggerate and malign Mondoweiss as a whole and an excuse to ignore the site’s coverage of the Palestinians’ plight.

  27. Ossinev
    May 2, 2017, 1:13 pm

    @Hophmi
    “Always love these posts. They show just how beloved Mondoweiss is by overt antisemites like Keith and YoniFalic”

    Always love your posts – would really develop a passion for them if you were to give overt examples to illustrate your claims. Go on really concentrate , make a few notes , structure your argument and then all guns blazing. It`s known in intellectual circles as making a point and then proving it. Sorry to sound so overtly anti – semitic.

  28. Danaa
    May 2, 2017, 5:09 pm

    For Mooser above: I was about to make the same comment, but longer of course. So you tripped the wire and here goes:

    Of course, it’s nice to see a thread grow to well over 200 comments, something that has not been seen on MW for quite a while now. And for the record, I suspect there is a lot of “comment fatigue going on when it comes to Palestine. That + a certain desultory state of mind, given the bad things we read every day, and the foreboding I think we all share when it comes to the future. On the other hand, it is Atzmon, yet again, that brings out the multitudes, especially the ‘silent kibbitzers” (of which I am sure there are many) who rarely comment on matters that are of greatest concern to Palestinians.

    This to me illustrates one of the serious issues that bedevils otherwise excellent sites like MW. Even if this blog has not been run by individuals of jewish ancestry (Phil and Adam) it is often Jewish people from the Anglo countries that do the bulk of the commenting (and are prominently featured above the line too). That’s not a coincidence but a result of being in positions of privilege that allow them to comment and write about such a so-called “controversial” subject. yes, there are Arabic people and non-jewish people in general that read and comment as well, but they too, I suspect, have certain “privileged” positions from which to issue opinions (I define “privilege” broadly, as something that allows one to feel pretty secure in their own position in the world. Secure enough to where they don’t fear someone knocking at the door the next day for a comment made on Facebook – something that happened to over 900 palestinians in israel per recent revelations).

    We often wish we had more people commenting who are either israeli or palestinians. Very few do, and that colors the tenor of the comment section, which has come to have a rather mournful rather than rageful tone. But secretly or not, we all understand that even without the language barrier, a palestinian commenter on MW. no matter how annonymized. has to watch his/her back (that knock at the door). And even say, an Arab American who lives in the US will not feel as secure as a jewish American or jewish English citizen.

    That’s why the Atzmon threads grow and grow. Because the subject of a jewish epicurus is one of intense interest to many jewish people, and they do much of the commenting (if nbot exclusively so). And to them the mere word “holocaust” is a trigger – on either side of the debate fence. Even the few non-jewish commenters have become quite inured by now and/or jaundiced, after having waded into the holocaust and/or anti-semitism, especially if they called out these topics for the rackets that they are (in the sense of building walls between people rather than bringing them together). Of course, by association with something like BDS, someone as exposed as Abunimah, must then track with the Jewish “dissident’ mainstream when it comes to controversial figures, such as Atzmon, or Weir, so I wouldn’t bring up him or other palestinian solidarity activists as examples of Atzmon denouncers and antisemitism disavowers. Politically they all do what they must to keep up the fight from their side of the fence (and there is a fence there!).

    Still it is my hope that obviously jewish commenters such as Goodwin sands – so very active, all of a sudden, and Greenstein whose life’s work seems to be the pursuit of Atzmon, will not prejudice the larger issue on which most of us are united, namely the desperate fight to endow Palestinians with human rights.

    • Citizen
      May 2, 2017, 6:21 pm

      I’m one of the non-Jewish commenters on MW, and have done so since 2008. I agree the key focus is to endow Palestinians with human rights. As an American, and Humanist, I am frustrated by my government’s support against basic Palestinian rights, using my tax dollars. Call me naive, but I think “Never Again” is a universal humane goal, and many in my family have fought for this, for example, all my many uncles in WW2 although the phrase was not around then. WW2 led to Nuremberg, led to Geneva IV, and I deeply resent the neocon-zionist agenda. No uncle of mine, veterans all, would fight for or willingly pay for what Israel has been doing for decades.

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 8:19 pm

        “I’m one of the non-Jewish commenters on MW,”

        Okay, I have got to have my jewdar reprogrammed or adjusted or something.
        Are you sure? Okay, okay, if you say so.

    • Mooser
      May 2, 2017, 8:15 pm

      :” I was about to make the same comment, but longer of course.”

      That’s true, I try to keep it short.

  29. Jonathan Ofir
    May 2, 2017, 6:05 pm

    Well you know what? I’ve decided I’ll answer those questions anyway. This is not on Atzmon’s turf anymore, but I’m making it in 2nd person as a fictive interview. Atzmon seemed somewhat upset when he put this article on his FB wall, said I had inflicted a ‘little shoah’ upon myself (obviously a dog whistle for anti-Semities and Holocaust-deniers of all kinds). He suggested I simply ‘can’t’ answer those questions. “Why? Zero integrity is obviously the answer”, he wrote.

    Although I think I have made my point in the article, I thought, you know what, now that so many people seem to be upset about me not answering the questions – then why not? So here are the answers to all questions, with various analyses of the twists in the questions:

    GA: 1. Your decision to present your moving appeal in English is a significant choice. Rather than talking to Israelis you talk about Israel. I went through a similar transition, rather than talking to Jews I made a decision to talk about Jews.

    What led to your decision?

    JO: Well Atzmon, that’s already a twist in your second sentence. You say “rather than talking to Israelis you talk about Israel”. Let’s see what I actually say, ok? http://mondoweiss.net/2016/02/to-my-fellow-israelis-we-can-stop-this/#sthash.L5If89pH.dpuf

    “I will not write this in Hebrew, although that would probably have been the most direct idiomatic tool to reach your minds. I will not do so, because I have had enough of dirty laundry recycled amongst us “self-understanding” Israelis. Whilst I write to you, my hopes of change coming from within us Israelis have regrettably declined in the years – and thus, I am also, if not more so, placing my bets upon the involvement of the international community – whose help we need so badly – not for more cash, weapons, or apologetic “understanding”, but rather for its intervention in what we are apparently unable, and mostly unwilling, to fix.”

    I speak in second person, do you see that? My title is “to my fellow Israelis”. My point is obviously that I am not excluding Israelis in my address – but rather including all others, as well. There’s a huge difference.

    Now you say that you went through a “similar transition” – that is, based upon your mentioned twist. So the ‘similarity’, for you, is in the sense of ‘Israelis’ being similar to ‘Jews’. And you thus decided to exclude Jews, as it were, from your address, and simply talk about them. Whilst it could be interesting to discuss the parallels between Israelis and Jews, they are simply not the same.

    GA: 2.  I am slightly confused by your attitude to Zionism:

    a.      You seem to argue that Judaism and Zionism are distinct entities; is this really the case? Is there a clear dichotomy? Where does Judaism end and Zionism starts? After all, rabbinical Jews are atthe forefront of the racist crimes against Palestinians.

    b.  I understand that some rabbinical communities are opposed to Israeli and Zionistcrimes, but they are certainly small in number and have limited influence, don’t you agree?

    c.  Like you, I grew up in Israel. My experience was that Zionism was not a driving forcein our upbringing. It was an archaic idiom referring to some Diaspora figures that made it into streets names in Tel Aviv (Herzl, Pinsker, Zobotinsky etc.).  We joined the IDF because we were Jews not because we wereZionists. Do you really believe that Zionism,  that oldpromise to bring the Diaspora Jews to Zion, has once again become a driving force in Israel?

    d. You say, “We were brainwashed to think that Zionism is our saviour.” Were we really?  (by the way, I am not saying you are wrong, I am curious to know why you say what you say, I accept that Israeli society may have changed)

    e. You say our soldiers died “primarily for Zionism?”  Maybe you want to define more clearly what Zionism is and what Zionism has meant for you.

    f.   As you know, Israel is not a country it is a state, Palestine is the country. Soldiers die for ‘Medinat Israel’, the State of Israel. Some rabbinical Jews prefer to talk about Eretz Yisrael -the country of Israel. For them Eretz Yisrael is a holy Jewish continuum and they are willing to fight and die for it. Whether we like it or not, they are Judaically driven rather than Zionistically motivated. Is there a clear dichotomy between ‘the religion’ and ‘the political’ there?

     

    JO:

    a.    Judaism and Zionism are two entities, although they interact. I spoke about “the ostensibly inextricable tie that Zionism has made between itself and Judaism, in monopolising Judaism”. There is a nationalist element in Judaism, and any religion can apply its notion of ‘its people’ to justify tribal violence. That doesn’t make Judaism Zionist. There are many Jews who are not Zionist, in varying degrees of faith from secular to orthodox.

    b.    That Zionism currently has massive representation amongst Jews internationally, does not mean it has always been so. At the beginning of the Zionist movement Zionists were a fringe. This only shows the power that Zionism has. Still, you can’t say it IS Judaism as a generalism.

    c.    Are you saying that the Left-center “Zionist Union” has its name for nothing? (besides The World Zionist Organisation, Zionist Organisation of America etc.). Zionism has come to manifest in Israel. This makes it convenient to speak about “Israel”. Still, the Zionist aim is there. Its essence is to preserve a Jewish Ethnic majority, to substantiate a “Jewish and Democratic state”. You might think that proves it’s about ‘Jewishness’, but I refer you to my point a.

    d.    Yes, it’s a metaphor, I use it to draw a metaphor to Jesus and sacrifice. The notion about Israel saving Jews from another Holocaust, as it were, is probably plainly understood by you. That notion of ‘saving’ is based on the idea of providing a ‘national home’, a ‘national refuge’ as it were – as it requires the Zionist principle of ‘Jewish state’. It’s rather straightforward logic, I thought.

    e.    I don’t need to clarify again, that soldiers who die for Israel, the manifestation of the Zionist aim, die for Zionism. If Israel weren’t that manifestation in its raison d’etre, they wouldn’t be dying primarily for Zionism.

    f.    Once again, those who want to talk about ‘Eretz Israel’ as a holy Jewish continuum, and believe they are fighting Amalekytes in biblical times – let them believe so. I’m not here to get into the heads of those who believe in myths.

     

     

    GA: 3. Do you really believe that the Jews or the Israelis can “stop it now”?

    Have Jews ever stopped themselves voluntarily?

    JO: Yes. That doesn’t mean it should be left to Israelis (allow me to put aside the ‘Jews’) to do so without pressure. Your ‘do you really believe’ could be applied to South African Apartheid. Did you really believe they would stop? Of course, it requires pressure. ‘Have Jews ever stopped themselves voluntarily?’ – now you’re pulling me to the ‘Jewish’ thing again, although that wasn’t my point. OK – you consider yourself an ex-Jew. But when you were ‘Jewish’ – did you ever stop yourself voluntarily? No? Well if not, maybe that’s just a personal trait that you have come to project on ‘Jews’.

      

    GA: 5.  “A state is not people” you say.  “A state is a regime, a paradigm of governance.”

    Is Germany, France or Turkey just a paradigm of governance? Do we deny the existence of the Germans, French and Turks? Assuming that Palestine becomes a state, will we then deny the existence of the Palestinian people? Accordingly, what kind of people are the Jews, especially given that most of them are not physically connected to a land (the land of Israel) ?

     

    JO: Let’s see what I say, in context: ‘A state is not “people”. A state is a regime, a paradigm of governance. A state may belong to its citizens – but then neither “we” nor Israel constitute a real state. For the State of Israel is the state of those who hold Jewish Nationality – which supersedes their citizenship.’

    So yes, I am pointing to the problem of the Israeli national model, where only Israeli citizenship exists, but not Israeli nationality. This is a problem, and this can be solved by regulating religion down to a minor role in which it does not supersede nationality. That’s how UK can be a ‘Christian state’, but you can be a UK national also if you’re Muslim.

    GA: 6. You rightly say “I refuse to be a part of this “we” if that means some ethnic-religious-national mishmash superiority.” Yet how could the Jews celebrate their Jewish collectivism while avoiding exclusivity or choseness?

     

    JO: They can celebrate it like they celebrate Hanukah, like Christians celebrate Christmas and Muslims celebrate Ramadan. It can be done.

     

    GA: 7. You seem to defend Judaism in light of the tie between Judaism and Zionism and I am slightly confused:  are you an observant Jew? If not, why do you feel the need to defend Judaism?

     

    JO: Am I defending Judaism? By suggesting it does not need to be relinquished? Well, yes, like I’m principally defending the right of people to be religious, or atheists, or anything in between. Am I defending it ‘in light of the tie between Judaism and Zionism?’ No, that’s just you’re assertion. I am not an observant Jew. I practice very little if at all anything of Jewish tradition. Why do I ‘feel the need to defend Judaism’? Well, adding to the above, if you don’t defend the rights of people to have a belief (other than what you believe is legitimate to believe) – then it’s tyranny, isn’t it?

     

    GA: 8. Obviously, I agree with you that Israel and Zionism are engaged in horrendous crimes.

    But as far as I can tell, Jewish Bolsheviks were engaged in crimes of an even greater scale.  According to Yuri Slezkin, Jews were “Stalin’s willing executioners”. Neocons, a Jewish American political school have inflicted greater disasters than Israel or Zionism.

    Is it possible that Zionism is just one symptom of a disastrous Jewish political continuum? 

    Can you imagine a peace loving Jewish political existence?

    Can you point at such a body in Jewish history?

     

    JO: Ah, Jewish Bolsheviks. Yes, many Jews were part in the Bolshevik revolution. Does this make all Jews Bolsheviks by nature? Many Germans were Nazis. Does this make all Germans Nazis by nature? You mention Yuri Slezkine (it’s with an E at the end). His book referred to in this respect is ‘The Jewish Century’ from 2006. The phrase “Stalin’s willing executioners” is said to be found there (I have not read the book), but the phrase has become so intriguing that Kevin McDonald’s 17.000 word review of the book, widely circulated, has come to present the phrase as if it was the title itself http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/slezkinerev.pdf

    It is a rather interesting that McDonald’s first bloc quote is of Hitler, and whilst he regards it ‘extreme’, he seems to be supportive of it.

    The irony is, that on page 92, McDonald concedes that “again we see the importance of Slezkine’s claims that Jewish Communists lacked a Jewish identity.”

    You see, Gilad, this is your claim – that “Jewish identity”, “Jewishness” is the problem. You consider that ‘Jewish identity politics’, also when there’s no Jewish State. So your assertion that it’s all just one “disastrous Jewish political continuum” suggests that there’s no escape from this continuum – but to relinquish “Jewishness”. Therefore the question cannot be separate from ‘politics’ – thus you ask “can you imagine a peace loving Jewish political existence’? But I am advocating to separate the Jewish from the State. For you that’s not enough, it would seem – “Jewishness” would continue. Yes – Judiasm, Jews, Jewishness, whatever, they should be allowed to continue. Israel has existed since 1948. So a ‘political existence’ as in a Jewish State hasn’t occurred before that in the past few millennia. But for you it has. For you it’s a one continuum from time immemorial. I find that somewhat Zionist, in a strange kind of way.

    • Goodwin Sands
      May 2, 2017, 6:58 pm

      For what it’s worth, have a look into who Kevin MacDonald is. You may discover three interesting things.

      One, he was the only person to voluntarily testify on behalf of Holocaust denier David Irving in the 2000 “Denial” trial.

      Second, he was one of the keynote speakers at Richard Spencer’s white-power alt-right “Hail Trump” event in DC the week after Trump was elected.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/21/alt-right-conference-richard-spencer-white-nationalists

      Third, last year (Oct. 1) he shared an event at the Institute for Historical Review, the infamous Holocaust denial organization, with … one Gilad Atzmon, who will speak there again later this week.

      http://auschwitz.org/en/history/holocaust-denial/the-institute-for-historical-review/

    • Danaa
      May 2, 2017, 7:42 pm

      I am ever so glad you took the time to answer Gilad’s questions. One can agree or disagree with Gilad’s slant on, say, “jewishness” as a tribal thing (and a slant he has) but his value (at least to me) is that the provocative way he asks certain questions requires some self-interrogation. It was, in the past a useful exercise for me. May or may not be for you, as you seem to have greater certainties than I do.

      I do agree that speaking directly to israelis in their own language – one that the vast majority of jews around the world neither speak nor understand – is an exercise in futility. There will be some who will agree with your positions (say – separating church from state, or revisiting the foundational zionist mantra – my interpretation of your position) but those are either way too few, have way more on their plate, are scared to stake a position or are just too jaundiced by one too many failures of the left. Clearly, not enough to make a difference in policy as the country keeps slipping further and further to the nationalist right with each coming year.

      Therefore speaking to others, elsewhere in the world is essential and you seem to have done a great job of that. The problem I see is that of the audience – for either you, or me ( in my own more far more modest capacity). Are we able to transcend the tribal and reach the universal? are we doomed to just have eternal chit-chats with our lefty friends and fans? should we try to reach the more conservative segments out there (in the US context), and more importantly, can we actually have a meaningful dialog with Palestinians (either there in the holey land or outside) who are not nearly as secure and privileged in their security as we are?

      To me, some of Atzmon’s questions serve a purpose in that they highlight this last dilemma – who are we talking to, really? mainstream jews? young lefty activists? a few israeli ex-pats like myself? Arabic people? christian people? NGO’s? the UN?

      Which begs a host of other questions, if I bring in the element of what’s the most effective way to bring about a change in the I/P sad equation (more I = lots less P)?

      Atzmon appears to maintain that remaining part of the tribe while trying to bring about human rights of the Palestinians (in practice, not just theory) is not possible due to cognitive dissonance (chosenness, trying to protect the tribe, cf. gatekeeping, etc.). I wonder whether that’s true. Been wondering for quite a while now. to me, this was – and is – a question everyone must answer for themselves. I discovered, along the way, that it’s not possible to advocate for palestinians rights without choosing sides. So I did but given the price, am not sure i can recommend it to others.

      Again, I appreciate very much all the work you have been doing, your inspiring writings and the fact that you were willing to even wade into the Atzmon sand pit. As opposed to some others, I do think this takes some courage and definitely no small amount of fortitude.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        May 3, 2017, 9:52 pm

        I think the most important target audience for Mondoweiss is young Jews who have been brought up in the Zionist mainstream but have begun to question what they have been taught. Our aim should be to provide them with information, insights, and personal testimonies that will help and encourage them in their journeys away from Zionism.

        There are other groups that it is worth targeting, but Mondoweiss is in a good position to target this particular audience due to the Jewish background of its founders and many of its contributors.

        For this purpose it is useful to cover some ‘Jewish’ issues such as the Holocaust that are exploited by Zionism. The main thing here is to challenge the interpretations of these issues that Zionism uses for its own purposes. For example, in the Zionist version of the Holocaust only a few ‘righteous Gentiles’ came to the assistance of their Jewish fellow citizens, with the great bulk of Gentiles at best indifferent to their fate. This version feeds the hostility to Gentiles that is inculcated in Israelis and the idea that Jews have to have a state of their own. But it is a highly distorted version (for reasons that require a separate article).

        I would like to object to the overly cynical assertion that those Palestinians who take a stand against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial do so wholly or mainly for tactical reasons, to gain some respectability in a threatening political environment. I believe that on the whole they do it because they are intelligent, humane, and decent people. Opposition to Holocaust denial was an important part of the work of the late Edward Said, who was surely a principled man and no opportunist. The villagers at Bil’in hosted an exhibition on the Holocaust, and I doubt that they did so under the illusion that it would give them any protection against the IDF.

      • Danaa
        May 5, 2017, 6:27 pm

        Stephen Shenfield – I understand your assertion with regard to the target audience of MW and you may well be right about that.

        However, what I am saying is something else – this effort to edify the “young jews” is, in fact, a drop in the bucket. Other than raising some awareness in jewish circles, producing a little campus activism (and little it is!) and authoring a whole bunch of good articles on awakening to the plight of the palestinians, the effort as a whole, resulted in next to no gains for the palestinians. And indeed, since this website was launched, over that entire period, the palestinians only lost ground in all the ways that matter to them, even as they gained in the PR department. Not saying the effort is not a worthy one, of course, just that it does not produce sufficient gains to alter the facts on the ground.

        This civilized BDS exercise, can go on for another 20 years, achieving very little of consequence. The victories are largely symbolic – and to most israelis, meaningless.

        Young jews, as you refer to them are also not the ones controlling the purse strings. older jews do. And without addressing the issue of relative power between the two camps – for human rights vs for taking the land and destroying the indigenous people – is highly lopsided. For every little symbolic victory (say the UNESCO declaration) the other side scores gigantic victories in terms of additional US money, more aerospace collaborations, more knesset actions curtailing the rights of people inside israel and on the ocuupied territoris, and more shows of force (like the 100 senators writing a letter).

        basically, I am saying your “target audience’ will NOT achieve anything of substance for the palestinians, but many will end up feeling good about the essential goodness of their “tribe”. Wrongly of course because no tribe has essential goodness embedded in it. ALL tribes are dedicated to self-preservation of their own members, sometimes violently, sometimes less so, but always aggressively.

        Since these are the facts (little progress for the Palestinians other than better PR), I believe that the jews alone are incapable of bringing about the needed revolution, for it would take a revolution, indeed, whatever form that revolution takes. Sorry to be the bearer of bear news but this is the reality. Unless Jewish people with progressive thought find a way of making common cause with non-jewish people (and I mean, all those “other’ non-jewish ones, not just the palestinians who are kind of jewish descendants anyways) nothing much will change on the ground. And to make that common cause, the jewish activists will have to learn to check their anti-semitism and holocaust denial charges somewhere in the closet. These are utterly immaterial to palestinian progress, and only serve as purity tests to exclude otherwise essential people.

        lastly, yes, none of those palestinian leaders really care all that much about those “anti-semitism” charges – but they can’t say that can they? why should they? the flingers of such accusations are nearly always out to lunch at best and gate-keeping at worst. but no, I wouldn’t expect Abunimah to confess his true feelings any more than I expect sanders to confess that he feels israel is actually a rogue state. Politically unpalatable, that’s all.

      • Keith
        May 5, 2017, 8:29 pm

        DANAA- “And to make that common cause, the jewish activists will have to learn to check their anti-semitism and holocaust denial charges somewhere in the closet.”

        Wow! I agree, however, if that happened, some would consider it an existential threat to the Jewish people! And since it is unlikely to happen, it would appear that anti-Zionism is, to a degree, Zionism’s echo. That is, a different version of the affirmation of kinship.

      • RoHa
        May 5, 2017, 10:45 pm

        That’s not an existential threat.

        This is an existential threat.

        Door to door existentialists:

        http://existentialcomics.com/comic/178

      • Keith
        May 5, 2017, 11:53 pm

        ROHA- “This is an existential threat.”

        Whatever.

  30. Citizen
    May 2, 2017, 6:46 pm

    “So a ‘political existence’ as in a Jewish State hasn’t occurred before that in the past few millennia. But for you it has. For you it’s a one continuum from time immemorial. I find that somewhat Zionist, in a strange kind of way.”

    Duh. U just made Atzmon’s point in your comment, and you don’t know it. You really need to read The Wandering Who. Start there. Phil Weiss should do the same.

    • Jonathan Ofir
      May 3, 2017, 2:39 am

      You seem to have missed my irony, Citizen. I can’t explain it, just like you can’t explain a joke without ruining it.

      • Citizen
        May 3, 2017, 8:27 am

        Any way you cut it, the nasty joke is on the entire Palestinian people. Explain to me the irony in that. One ironical aspect, for me, is I, as an American tax payer, am helping to pay for this nasty joke, a joke also on my own country’s highest ideals.

    • Mooser
      May 3, 2017, 3:21 am

      Don’t you see, “Citizen”? For hundreds of years in Europe, the Jews had a “political existence” thrust on them, even if they didn’t want it.

      That’s the irony.

      (Gee, pretty much the first time the Jews could avoid a “political existence” was the US. I think, but we didn’t let that stop us when Zionism came along.)

      • Citizen
        May 3, 2017, 8:31 am

        Hey, I saw Fiddler On The Roof. Who’s the milkman now, Jared Kushner?

      • Citizen
        May 3, 2017, 8:38 am

        Mooser, born royalty, e.g., Romanovs, have had their “political existence” thrust on them too; as had the serfs, peasants of that era (or any era, since I think the average American is an example of modern serfdom, as is, say, Greece, etc. Usury is both a privilege and a bane that keeps on giving. I’m not sure when irony multiplies so much it loses it’s wry comic impact.

      • Mooser
        May 3, 2017, 12:01 pm

        “Hey, I saw Fiddler On The Roof.”

        You are one up on me there.

        “I’m not sure when irony multiplies so much it loses it’s wry comic impact.”

        Sorry, I have a very high MDR.

      • Mooser
        May 3, 2017, 2:26 pm

        “Mooser, born royalty, e.g., Romanovs, have had their “political existence” thrust on them too”

        Yes, the poor folks. Whole family died in a pogrom, didn’t they?

  31. grandpont
    May 2, 2017, 7:48 pm

    ‘ I find that somewhat Zionist, in a strange kind of way’. Indeed. That is the point. Atzmon has only made a partial break with the zionist principles in which he was brought up. As a young Israeli he would have been taught that there is a continuous Jewish identity and ‘essence’, persisting through history, whose natural expression is Israel;. and that Israel is a very good thing. In the course of his army service in Lebanon he discovered that it was not a good thing but a very bad thing. Good for him; if more Israelis had made the same journey the world would be a better place. Unfortunately he stopped there, and left the rest of his essentialist nonsense unquestioned. Well if there is something called ‘the essence of Jewishness’ and Israel is its expression then Jewishness is evidently a very bad thing. But there isn’t.

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