Essential reading for anyone interested in the issues of Zionism, Judaism, Jewish-ness, anti-Semitism, and history in general. (Atzmon maintains that Zionism “developed as a reaction to the emancipation of European Jewry”, when it was realized that this “might lead to the disappearance of the Jewish identity”. He further maintains that Zionism drew strength from a “created image of emerging anti-Semitism” . . . “a myth of persistent persecution”. Hence Herzl’s displeasure when French Jews, in the wake of the Dreyfus affair, showed signs of feeling “truly emancipated”.)
Elsewhere, Atzmon shows how a tribal cult like Zionism, which by its nature is exceptionalist, is incompatible with a universalist ethic, and suggests that nothing truly progressive can be expected from a state, such as Israel, that clings relentlessly to “a phantasmic, invented yesterday”. Appositely, he notes that Britain and America have also abandoned a “true historical discourse” in favor of a “banal and simplistic historic tale to do with WWII, Cold War, Islam, 911, etc”.
EXTRACT: The Holocaust religion [as first postulated by Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz] is the conclusive and final stage in the Jewish dialectic: it is the end of Jewish history, for it is the deepest and most sincere form of ‘self-love’. Rather than requiring an abstract God to designate the Jews as the Chosen People, in the Holocaust religion the Jews cut out this divine middleman and simply choose themselves. Jewish identity politics transcends the notion of history — God is the master of ceremonies. The new Jewish God, i.e. ‘the Jew’, cannot be subject to any human contingent occurrence. Thus the Holocaust religion is protected by laws, while every other historical narrative is debated openly by historians, intellectuals and ordinary people. The Holocaust sets itself as an eternal truth that transcends critical discourse.
Article from Challenge Weekly of November 1, 2010. Is God the great Ethnic Cleanser?
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You will find Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Middle East at kbrm.org.nz. Basically, they frame the debate with their comic-strip version of history, which assumes an acceptance of Zionist hasbara (propaganda), and then argue for “balance” within that distorted structure.
I have just sent the following letter to the editor of the Manawatu Standard at email@example.com :
Eileen Zinsli says (Letters to the Editor, June 25) that “activists” aboard the Mavi Marmara (not “Mari Marmara”) disembowelled the commanding officer of the Israeli troops who boarded the ship: “…using their hands, [they] spilled his bowels out.”
The officer she refers to has been identified as “Captain R”. This was his testimony, as reported by the New York Post on June 2 (
“I was in front of a number of people with knives and clubs. I cocked my weapon when I saw one of them coming towards me with a knife drawn and I fired once. Then another 20 people came at me and threw me down to the deck below.
“Then I felt a stabbing in the stomach. It was a knife. I got the knife out, then somehow got down to the lower deck. There was another mob of people.
“Another soldier and I managed to get out of there and jump into the water.”
How does Ms Zinsli account for the striking discrepancy between her version of events and the soldier’s own recollection of what happened? I call on her to reveal the source of her information.
April’s edition of Crescent International contains articles headlined “The Afghans’ long agony and resistance”, “Zionist, Arabian rulers aligned against Islamic Iran”, “The Vatican’s child-molesting priests”, “Islamic movement needs to challenge the universal myth of democracy”, “Dilemma of democracy facing Muslims in Britain”, “Is Somalia’s ‘president’ a nationalist or agent of Western interventionists?” and “Dubai’s strange history and stranger investors”.
In the article on Muslims in Britain, which discusses the reactions of the police to the demonstrations against “the Israeli slaughter in Gaza last year”, Fahad Ansari notes:
“What is clear is that despite tens of thousands of people from all religions and backgrounds attending the demonstrations and being involved in aggressive behavior that followed, all but two of those arrested were Muslims. What is also clear is that the trouble at the Gaza riots was nowhere near the scale of violence witnessed at the G20 protests, where a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland was looted, yet only 20 people were charged for offences committed at that demonstration. The police response to Muslim protesters has been wholly disproportionate and seems intentionally designed to deter Muslims from protesting or demonstrating in future.”
In the April edition of Australia/Israel Review, there is an attempt by Bren Carlill, in an article headlined “A job well done” about the assassination of Mahmoud Mabhouh in Dubai, to justify Israel’s “apparent disregard” for what Carlill describes as “legal niceties” in its pursuit of security. (Note that the disregard is only “apparent” in Carlill’s view.) But of course, if you dispense with the rule of law and make security the highest good, you can resort to almost any expediency and come up with a rationale that speciously justifies it. You have to remember, though, that you can’t reasonably complain if the other side does likewise — unless you maintain that you and your rights are intrinsically superior to all others.
He goes on to claim that “any Israeli government that disregarded prohibitions against targeting civilians, and other laws of war, would … rightly be voted out” — as if Israeli governments didn’t get away with such violations all the time. Does he really think that all those Israelis who supported the attack on Gaza last year (nearly 90 percent of the population, according to Israeli public opinion polls) were worried by the deaths of 1,000+ Gazan civilians, or would have been concerned if another 1,000, or even 10,000, civilians had been killed? Besides, at the end of the day Israel would have claimed, regardless of the toll, that the civilians weren’t actually “targeted”. There would have been yet more of that trademark ballyhoo about the civilians having been warned to evacuate certain areas in advance of the attacks.
The reality is that Israel can kill as many civilians as it likes, whenever it likes, and then say the deaths were “inadvertent” or “accidental” — or come out with the usual nonsense about Palestinian “terrorists” being responsible for the deaths through their alleged use of civilians as “human shields”. (I haven’t seen any evidence of Palestinian fighters using civilians in this way. I have, however, seen evidence of Israeli soldiers using Palestinian civilians as human shields.) It is not for nothing that Israel’s critics often focus on its “culture of impunity”.
It is axiomatic, in the Zionist narrative, that the victims of Zionism are always responsible, directly or indirectly, for their own suffering. And anyway, non-Jewish suffering cannot be compared with Jewish suffering, which is indisputably more poignant.
This article was published in Challenge Weekly, New Zealand’s Christian newspaper, on November 30, 2009. It’s typical of the articles on Israel that are published by Challenge, and contains a routine reiteration of the Christian Zionist crackpot eschatology that Challenge apparently espouses. Note how it (1) continues to portray Israel – the aggressive nuclear-armed superpower of the Middle East – as the party under threat, and (2) ignores the fact that Israel’s settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are illegal under international law (and were once acknowledged to be illegal even by the United States). Although Challenge, as an evangelical Christian newspaper, has a limited readership, I think the opinions expressed in its pages, on the subject of Israel/Palestine, are a reflection of the opinions of most New Zealanders. Like most Westerners, New Zealanders avidly follow sport, gossip and other trivia, and let the “authorities” do their thinking for them on serious world issues.