Mooser, in the article you cited (SocialistUnity.com, Jan 2008), Tony Greenstein, an Atzmon-hater, wrote a polemic attempting a total smear job on Atzmon. One of his statements jumped out at me, as being particularly relevant to much of the vociferous opposition to Atzmon's ideas. Greenstein paraphrases Atzmon as follows:
Instead of seeing the Israeli state as an outpost of US imperialism, he reverses the relationship. ‘it looks as if Zionist lobbies control American foreign politics. After so many years of independence, the United States of America is becoming a remote colony of an apparently far greater state, the Jewish state.’
Atzmon "reverses the [true] relationship"! Greenstein, evidently a disciple of Chomsky, regards Israel, the Jewish state, as merely an "outpost of US imperialism." In Atzmon's view (and mine), Zionist lobbies control American foreign policies and the U.S. has effectively become a colony of a politically more powerful Zionist state and its agents in America.
This difference of opinion lies at the heart of many exchanges that I (and Jeffrey Blankfort, for example) have had here at MW with Keith, Max Ajl, VR (v..), and many other acolytes of Chomsky. The basic agreement between me and Atzmon in this specific argument is the main reason why I defend him so strenuously.
No, Gilad Atzmon pays what we might call “Zionised Judaism” (for lack of a better term?) the highest compliment he can, that of being a true representation of Judaism. He also gives it the very thing it demands, the idea that Judaism is inseparable from Zionism.
Damn it, Mooser! You and your sixth-grade education. This whole comment is wrong. You interrupt my Saturday afternoon lounging in my easy chair listening to Don Giovanni and pursuing my study of the Punic Wars (what traditionally-bred Anglos do in retirement) to correct your misunderstandings about current affairs.
Atzmon does not say that modern political Zionism is a representation of true Judaism. He says that Zionism (Israel) has corrupted and hijacked Judaism and the Jewish people. He attacks the ethnocentric tribalism of Diaspora Jewry, which he says has resulted in a widely-accepted, default political philosophy that he calls "Jewish-ness", with the hyphen inserted to distinguish his term from conventional "Jewishness" - the mere state of being a Jew. He specifically says that he is not attacking Judaism, the actual religion. Rather, he is attacking the pseudo-religion, political Zionism, which after the Shoah gradually replaced Judaism as the organizing principle of Jewish identity among most (not all) Jews in the Western world, and which he suggests has catalyzed a specifically Jewish form of poisonous tribal identification - one bound inexorably to Israel. But IMO you are wrong to think that Atzmon believes that all this derives from some innate, egregious flaw in the nature of Jews and Jewish society. There are other explanations for his strong objections. (Here I'm sort of expecting Evildoer to jump to your aid.)
I like your term "Zionized Judaism" because it appears to be the same concept Atzmon had in mind in coining his clumsy and unfortunate term "Jewish-ness". Maybe you should suggest to Atzmon that he replace his term with yours.
Thanks, Mooser, for the link to the English-language guide to Yiddish phrases. I do concede also that, had I had this at my fingertips at strategic moments in my life, it might have helped me make better sense of the modern, and even post-modern, world. But I'm still having trouble connecting, probably because there is a disconnect. I think what I really need is a German-language guide to Yiddish phrases, which would have fewer and smoother seams, and from which I can translate into my poor English as needed. English is such an impoverished language, anyhow, and we are so fortunate to have Yiddish with which we now may express our deeper thoughts. I don't know why I resisted becoming thus improved back when it might have helped me advance in life.
no, i do not think you are exceptional. give others more credit thomson.
I never said I was exceptional. That is a disparaging word you chose to apply to me. I differ from most Americans in a number of ways, but that does not make me 'exceptional' in any way that I know of. You asked if I think I myself will be subject in the future to anti-Semitism and I answered, No, and gave some reasons why. If you think that many Americans are not, and will not be, subject to anti-Semitism, then you live in a bubble of your own making.
The increased anti-Semitism I am predicting does not involve "the mob" (your words) perpetrating pogroms. As I pointed out to Mooser below, I expect 'softer' forms of anti-Semitism to become commonly expressed in political arenas throughout the country. Palestine will not be the central issue. Rather, it will be overt non-Jewish resistance to excessive and disproportionate Jewish influence over political institutions and the media. The expression of this resistance will find venues among many diverse issues of concern to Americans - the foreign policy area being just one set of these.
This is one of the elements of the changing American social environment in which the fight for justice for Palestinians, Lebanese, and other Middle Eastern peoples must be continued. It simply must be dealt with by good people in the best way possible.