Category Archives: holocaust

Gilad Atzmon – Anatomy of an Unresolved Conflict

According to Hegel, attaining ‘self-consciousness’ is a process that necessarily involves the other. How am I to become conscious of myself in general? It is simply through desire or anger, for example. Unlike animals that overcome biological needs by destroying another organic entity, human desire is a desire for recognition.

In Hegelian terms, recognition is accomplished by directing oneself towards non-being, that is, towards another desire, another emptiness, another ‘I’. It is something that can never be fully accomplished. “The man who desires a thing humanly acts not so much to possess the thing as to make another recognise his right. It is only desire of such recognition, it is only the action that flows from such desire, that creates, realizes and reveals a human, non biological I.” (Kojeve A., Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, 1947, Cornell Univ. Press, 1993, p. 40). Following this Hegelian line of thinking, we can deduce that in order to develop self-consciousness, one must face the other. While the biological entity will fight for its biological continuity, a human being fights for recognition.

In order to understand the practical implications of this idea, let us turn to the ‘Master-Slave Dialectic’. The Master is called the Master because he strives to prove his superiority over nature and over the slave who is forced to recognize him as a master.

At first glance, it looks as if the master has reached the peak of human existence but as we shall see, this is not the case. As has just been stated, it is recognition that humans fight for. The master is recognised by the slave as a master but the slave’s recognition has little value. The master wants to be recognised by another man, but a slave is not a man. The master wants recognition by a master, but another master cannot allow another superior human being in his world. “In short, the master never succeeds in realising his end, the end for which he risks his very life.” So the master faces a dead-end. But what about the slave? The slave is in the process of transforming himself since, unlike the master who cannot go any further, the slave has everything to aspire to. The slave is at the vanguard of the transformation of the social conditions in which he lives. The slave is the embodiment of history. He is the essence of progress.

A Lesson in Mastery

Let us now try to apply the Hegelian Master-Slave Dialectic to the notion of Jewish ‘chosenness’ and exclusivity. While the Hegelian ‘Master’ risks his biological existence to become a master, the newborn Jewish infant risks his foreskin. The chosen infant is born into the realm of mastery and excellence without (yet) excelling at anything. The other awards the chosen baby his prestigious status without the requirement of facing any process of recognition. And in fact, the ‘chosen’ title is given to Jews by themselves (allegedly God) rather than by others.

If, for instance, we try to analyse the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the Hegelian mechanism of recognition, we realise the impossibility of any dialogue between the two parties. While it is more than clear that the Palestinian people are fighting for recognition, which they declare at every possible opportunity, the Israelis avoid the whole recognition issue altogether. They are convinced that they are already fully recognised in the first place. They know who they are – they are born masters who happen to live on their ‘promised land’. Israelis refuse to join the dialectic ‘meaning transformation’ game and instead divert all their intellectual, political and military efforts into demolishing any sense of Palestinian recognition. The battle for Israeli society is to suppress any Palestinian symbol or desire, whether material, spiritual or cultural.

Strangely enough, the Palestinians are managing quite well in their fight for recognition. More and more people out there are now beginning to understand the just nature of the Palestinian cause and the level of inhumanity entangled with the entire concept of Zionism and Jewish politics in general. More and more people out there find the Palestinian people and their spokesmen very easy to empathise with. Even the Hamas who were despised by most Western political institutions are now managing to get their message across. The Israelis, on the other hand, are falling behind in such manoeuvres. The average Western listener finds them almost impossible to sympathise with. While a Palestinian will call you to share his pain and misery, talking straight to your heart, the Israeli spokesman will demand that you to accept his views. He will insist on selling you a ready-made fantastic historical narrative; a repetitive tale that starts somewhere around Biblical Abraham, continues with a series of Holocausts and leads eventually towards more current bloodshed. It seems as if the Israelis, the masters, always present the same faceless story. Can Abraham and the Holocaust justify Israeli inhuman behaviour in Gaza? Not really, and the reason is simple, Abraham and the Holocaust and historical narratives in general do not evoke genuine emotional feelings. And indeed, the Jewish political world is so desperate to maintain its narrative that the last Holocaust has now been transformed into a legal narrative. The message is as follows: “beware, if you doubt my narrative you will end up behind bars.” This is obviously an act of desperation.

Following Hegel, we learn that recognition is a dynamic process; it is a type of understanding that grows in you. While the Palestinians will use all their available, yet limited, resources to make you look at their faces, in their eyes, to carry you into a dynamic process of mutual recognition, the Israelis would expect you to accept their narrative blindly. They would expect you to turn a blind eye to the clear fact that as far as the Middle East is concerned Israel is an aggressor like no other. Israel is an occupying regional super power, a tiny State heavily engaged in exploring different nuclear, biological and chemical arsenals. It is a racially orientated apartheid state that bullies and abuses its minorities on a daily basis. Yes, the Israelis and their supportive Jewish lobbies around the world want you to ignore these facts. They insist upon being the victims, they want you to approve their inhuman policies referring to Jews endless suffering.

How is it that Jewish politics has become aggressive like no other? It is simply the fact that from a Jewish political perspective, there is ‘no other’. The so-called other for them is nothing but a vehicle rather than an equal human subject. Israeli foreign affairs and Jewish political activity should be comprehended in the light of a severe lack of a ‘recognition mechanism’. Israeli and Jewish politics, left right and centre, is grounded on locking and fixing of meaning. They would refuse to regard history as a flux, as a dynamic process, as a journey towards ‘oneself’ or self-realisation. Israel and Israelis view themselves as if they are external to history. They do not progress toward self-realisation because they have a given, fixed identity to maintain. Once they encounter a complex situation with the surrounding world, they would then create a model that adapts the external world into their chauvinist self-loving value system. This is what Neo-conservatism is all about; this is what the fantasmic yet sickening newly emerging Judeo-Christian discourse is all about.

As sad as it may sound, people who are not trained to recognise the other are unable to let them be recognised. The Jewish tribal mindset: left, centre and right, sets Jews aside of humanity. It does not equip the followers of the tribal mindset with the mental mechanism needed to recognise the other. Why should they do it? They have done so well for many years without having to do so. Lacking a notion of an other, indeed transcends one far beyond any recognised form of true humanist thought. It takes one far beyond ethical thinking or moral awareness.

Instead of morality, every debate is reduced into a mere political struggle with some concrete material and practical achievements to aim for.

Hegel may throw some further light on the entire saga. If indeed one becomes aware of oneself via the other, then the ‘Chosen subject’ is self-aware to start with. He is born into mastery. Accordingly, Israelis are not practicing any form of dialogue with the surrounding human environment since they are born masters. In order to be fair to the Israelis, I have to admit that their lack of a recognition mechanism has nothing to do with their anti-Palestinian feelings. As a matter of fact, they cannot even recognise each other – Israel and Israelis have a long history of discrimination against its own people (Jews of non-European descent such as Sephardim Jews are discriminated against by the Jewish elite, those of Western descent). But are progressive Jews any different? Not really. Like the Israelis and similar to any other form of tribal chauvinist ideology, they are continuously withdrawing into self-centred segregated discourse that has very little to engage or grab the interest of anyone besides themselves. Consequently, like the Israelis who surround themselves with walls, the Jewish progressive cells have already set themselves into cyber ghettos that are becoming increasingly hostile to the rest of humanity and those who supposed to be their comrades.

Historic Materialism

If one cannot establish relationships with one’s neighbour based upon recognition of the other, there must be another way of establishing a dialogue. If one cannot form a dialogue based upon empathy with the other and the rights of the other, one must pursue another mode of communication. It seems as if the alternative ‘chosen’ dialogical method reduces any form of communication into a materialistic language. Almost any form of human activity, including love and aesthetic pleasure, can be reduced to a material value. The Chosen political activists are well practised in using this method of communication.

Recently the Israeli ultra-Zionist author A B Yehoshua has managed to upset many American Jewish Ethnic leaders at the American Jewish Committee conference by saying: “You [Jews in the Diaspora] are changing jackets … you are changing countries like changing jackets.” Indeed, Yehoshua came under a lot of pressure following his remark, he was very quick to regret his statement. However, Yehoshua’s insight, while far from being original, is rather painfully truthful.

It is quite apparent that some politically orientated Diaspora Jews are engaged in an extremely fruitful dialogue with any possible core of hegemony. Yehoshoua’s criticism was fairly spot on. Following Yehoshua, once it is clear that a new country is becoming a leading world super power, it won’t take long before a wave of liberated assimilated Jews would try to infiltrate into its governing elite. “If China ever became the world’s foremost super power,” he warned, “American Jews would migrate there to assimilate rather than in the US.” (http://www.amin.org/eng/uncat/2006/june/june30-1.html).

A decade ago, at the peak of the legal battle between major Jewish institutions and the Swiss Bank, Norman Finkelstein stood up and said that very little remains of the Jewish Holocaust apart from various industrial forms of financial bargaining for compensation. According to Finkelstein, it was all about profit-making. Without any criticism intended by me about financial compensation, it appears as if some people are quick to translate their pain into gold. (It is important to mention that pain as well as being transformed into gold, can be transformed into other values such as moral or aesthetic ones). However, the possibility of transforming pain and blood into cash stands at the heart of the Israeli false dream – that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially the refugee problem, is resolvable. Now we know where this assumption originates. The Israelis, as well as Jewish leading institutions, are fully convinced that if they were happy to come to a financial settlement with the Germans (or the Swiss for the matter), the Palestinians would be equally happy to sell their lands and dignity. How do the Israelis arrive at such a strange conviction? Because they must know better than the Palestinians what the Palestinians really want. How? Because the Israelis are brilliant, they are the Chosen People. Moreover, the chosen subject doesn’t even try to engage with the human in the other. Sixty years after the Nakba, the mass the expulsion of the indigenous Palestinians, the vast majority of Israelis and world Jewry do not even start to acknowledge the Palestinian cause, let alone do they show any form of empathy.

When you talk to Israelis about the conflict, one of their most frequently used arguments is the following: “When we (the Jews) came here (to Palestine), they (the Arabs) had nothing. Now they have electricity, work, cars, health services, etc.” This is obviously a failure to recognise the other. It is typical of the chauvinist colonialist to impose one’s own value system on the other. In other words, the Israelis expect the Palestinians to share the importance they attach to the acquisition of material wealth. “Why should the other share my values? Because I know what is good. Why do I know what is Good? Because I am the best.” This arrogant and completely materialistic approach obviously lies at the heart of the Israeli vision of peace. The Israeli military calls it ‘the stick and the carrot’. Seemingly, when referring to Palestinians they actually have rabbits in their minds. But, as bizarre or even tragic as it may sound, the Israeli born, ultra-left Mazpen movement was not categorically different. They obviously had some revolutionary dreams of secularisation for the Arab world. They obviously knew what was good for the Arabs. Why did they know? Shall I let you guess? Because they were exclusively and chauvinistically clever. They were the Marxists of the chosen type. Hence, I wasn’t overwhelmingly surprised that as time went by, the legendary ‘revolutionary’ Mazpen and the despised neo-conservatism actually united into a single catastrophic message: “We know better what is good for you than you yourselves do.”

Both Zionists and Jewish leftists have a “New Middle East dream”. In Peres’s old fantasy the region turns into a financial paradise in which Israel would stand at the very centre. The Palestinians (as well as other Arab States) would supply Israeli industries (representing the West) with the low cost labour they need. In turn, they, the Arabs, would earn money and spend it buying Israeli (Western) goods. In the Judeo progressive dream the Arabs leaves Islam behind, they become Marxist cosmopolitan progressives (East European Jews) and join the journey towards a world revolution. As much as Peres’s dream is sad, the Judeo Marxist version is almost funny.

As it seems, within the Zionist dream, Israel would establish a dual coexistence in the region where the Palestinian people would be the eternal slaves and the Israelis their masters. Within the Judeo progressive cosmopolitan dream, Red Palestine will establish a dual coexistence in the region where the Palestinian people would be the eternal slaves of a remote Euro-centric ideology. If there is a big categorical difference between the two Judeo centric ideologies, I just fail to see it.

However, according to Hegel, it is the slave that moves history forward. It is the slave that struggles towards his freedom. It is the slave who transforms himself and it is the master who eventually vanishes. Following Hegel, we have good reason to believe that the future of the region belongs to the Palestinians, the Iraqis and nation Islam in general. One way of explaining why Israel ignores this understanding of history relates to the conditional detachment of the exclusive ‘chosen’ state of mind.

Welcome to Cuckoo land

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian doctor who lives and works in the occupied West Bank, referred to Israel as “trying to be David and Goliath at the same time” (Dr. Barghouti was speaking at a debate at the House of Commons, 22 Nov. 2000). According to Dr. Barghouti, this is impossible. He also claimed that “Israel is probably the only State that bombs a territory it occupies.” He found this very strange and even bizarre. Is it really strange to be David and Goliath simultaneously? Is it really strange to destroy your own property? Not if you are insane. The lack of mirroring (again, seeing oneself through the other) can lead people, as well as nations, into strange dark corners. The lack of a framework which would allow you to discern your own image through the other, the lack of a corrective mechanism, appears to be a very dangerous state of affairs.

The first generation of Israeli leaders (Ben-Gurion, Eshkol, Meir, Peres, Begin) grew up in the Diaspora, mainly in Eastern Europe. Being a Jew living in a non-Jewish environment forces one to develop a sharpened self-awareness and imposes a certain kind of mirroring. Moreover, early Zionism is slightly more developed than other forms of Jewish tribal politics for the simple reason that Zionism is there to transform the Jews into ‘people like other people’. Such a realisation involves a certain amount of necessary mirroring. However, this was not enough to restrain Israeli aggressive acts (e.g., Deir-Yassin, Nakba, Kafer Kasem, the ’67 war, etc.) but it was more than enough to teach them a lesson in diplomacy. Since 1996, young leaders who were born there have led Israel into the state of ‘chosenness’ (Rabin, Netanyahu, Sharon, Barak, Olmert). Whilst in their earlier years they were imbued with an intense traditional Jewish anxiety, as they grew up this was overtaken by the legacy of the 1967 ‘miracle’, an event that turned some of the ‘chosen’ ideologies into a messianic extravaganza. This fixation with absolute power exacerbated by Jewish anxiety coupled with ignorance of the ‘other’ leads to epidemic collective schizophrenia, both of mood and action; a severe loss of contact with reality that gives way to the use of excessive force. The recent “Second Lebanon War” was an obvious example for that matter. Israel retaliates with machine guns in response to children throwing stones, with artillery and missiles against civilian targets following a sporadic uprising, and with a total war to a minor border incident. This behaviour should not be explained by using political, materialist or sociological analytical tools. Much greater understanding could be gained by situating the conflict within a philosophical framework, which allows a better understanding of the origins of paranoia and schizophrenia.

The Israeli Prime Minister, representing both ‘David and Goliath’, can talk about the vulnerability of Israel, Jewish pain and Jewish misery in one breath and about launching a massive military offensive against the whole region in the next. Such behaviour can only be explained by seeing it as a form of mental illness. The funny/sad side of it is that most Israelis do not even realise that something is going terribly wrong. Being a born master leads to the absence of a ‘recognition mechanism’. Inevitably it leads toward blindness. This lack of a recognition mechanism results in a split psyche, being both ‘David and Goliath’ at one and the same time. It seems that neither Israel nor Israelis can any longer be partners in any meaningful dialogue.

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Khalid Amayreh – Jews and the GAZA HOLOCAUST

In June, 1942, in reprisal for the assassination of the Nazi commander Reinhard Heydrich, the Germans carried out a murderous rampage of murder and terror throughout Czechoslovakia. The small Czech village of Lidice bore the brunt of the German revenge, with the SS killing all the men, deported all women and children and razed the village to the ground.Similarly, in March 1944, thirty-three German soldiers were killed when members of an Italian resistance group set off a bomb close to a column of German troops who were marching on via Rasella in Rome. Adolph Hitler got furious and ordered that within 24 hours, ten Italians were to be shot for each German soldier that had been killed. Herbert Kappler, the local German commander, quickly compiled a list of 320 civilians who were to be assassinated as vengeance. On March 24, the victims were transported to the Ardeatine caves where they were summarily executed by the SS.Numerous other ‘pacification operations’ were carried out by the Nazi armies against civilians throughout Nazi-occupied Europe, in which men, women and children were brutally killed to avenge the death of German occupation soldiers by local resistance fighters.

Now what is the difference between these Nazi atrocities and what Israel, the “only democracy in the Middle East” is doing in the Gaza Strip, where “the most moral army in the world” is slaughtering babies as young as six-months’ old? I know that many Jews, especially Zionist Jews, have developed almost instinctive knee- jerk defensive reactions to any comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany. However, the truth must be proclaimed aloud, irrespective of how many Zionists will get angry.

Israel claims that it doesn’t murder innocent civilians deliberately. But this is a big, obscene lie, of which even most Israelis are aware. Mistakes happen a few times, but when the wanton slaughter of children occurs each day and every day of the year, it means it is policy.

In addition, when the number of victims, especially innocent victims, as in Gaza, even intent itself becomes irrelevant.

In the final analysis, murdering knowingly is murdering deliberately, regardless of the prevarication and the verbal juggling.

Hence, Jews around the world, especially those who support Israel, should be willing to bring themselves to recognizing that what their wonderful state is doing to these helpless Palestinians is a virtual holocaust or at least a holocaust in the making.

How else can any honest person relate to these phantasmagoric images that keep coming from Gaza, haunting the conscience of every human being?

True, Israel had not introduced gas chambers in Beit Hanun and Khan Younis or Rafah. But we have F-16s raining down bombs and death on sleeping children and women and innocent civilians.

If Jews who support this satanic entity are not willing to call the spade a spade and recognize a holocaust as a holocaust, then they should be viewed as active accomplices in this wanton rampage of murder and terror.

This is not a war. Calling the current Israeli onslaught on Gaza a war is like fornicating with words. Wars occur between armies and states.
What is happening in Gaza is actually a merciless and brutal rampage of murder and terror waged by a Wehrmacht-like army against a blockaded, beleaguered and starved people who want to survive and be free, very much like Jews did under the Nazi occupation of Europe.

Indeed, when Israel murders a hundred Palestinian, mostly innocent civilians, for every Israeli killed, there is a name for that, it is massacre.
It is conscionable that honest people around the world, including many conscientious Jews who can’t bear watching the heinous crimes Israel is committing in their collective name, must call the spade a spade. A holocaust, after all, doesn’t become lesser when perpetrated by Jews. There is no such a thing as a kosher holocaust or kosher massacres.Vilnai

Now, once again, human decency is being affronted and insulted by this reptile terrorist Matan Vilnai, Israel’s deputy defense minister, who has gone as far as threatening the thoroughly tormented Gazans with a holocaust.

Speaking to the Israeli army radio Friday morning, 29 February, Vilnai said “the more Qassam rockets fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, the Palestinians will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our power to defend ourselves.”

Well, if Israel thinks that carrying out a holocaust against its victims in Gaza and Rafah and Khan Younis can be justified, then why blame Hitler for effecting a holocaust against his own respective enemies? Is Vilnai vindicating the holocaust?
I think Jews should realize that this criminal state, with its manifestly intransigence and bellicosity, is forcing them to make a moral judgment. In the face of evil, and Israel is a clear embodiment of evil, one can’t be neutral. It is either one stands with evil or stands against it.Today, people around the world, including millions of Jews, are watching the pornographic slaughter in Gaza live on their TV screens. And no amount of spin, lie, or hasbara will make the images of mutilated babies look innocuous.

Finally, the people of the world will not be duped by the propagandistic lies about so-called rocket attacks on Israeli towns, which are meant first and foremost to create an artificial equation between the wanton extermination of Gazans and the mainly psychological discomfort experienced by some Israeli citizens as a result of the fall of these nearly innocuous fire-crackers, fired by some desperate Gazans in order to deter Israel from killing more of their children.

This is because Israel knows very well how calm and peace can be restored for both the people of Gaza and Israelis across the border: Lift the criminal siege on Gaza, allow Gazans to access food and to travel, allow them to export and import, and stop these daily massacres. And then not a single Qassam will be fired onto Israel.

Israeli Holocaust against Palestinians continues: 27 massacred today

Heavy missiles, rockets, bombs, Apaches, F16 planes are being used against the innocent Palestinians.

Anna Goldman reports from Gaza Strip,
Gaza Strip, 1st, March 2008, (PCAS) – The last few hours witnessed a very dangerous stage in the Israeli war of Holocaust against Palestinians. On the early hours of today, Saturday, 27 children and freedom fighters have been killed by the new Nazis.

Vice Israeli defence (War) minister, Matan Vina, threatened of new Holocaust in the Gaza Strip. The call was quickly implemented on the ground as conveys of tanks invaded the northern-eastern area of Gaza Strip.

A Salya family which is comprised of 7 members was bombed by Nazis’ Helicopter (American Apache) leaving 1 woman and 1 child dead. They were exposed to an air raid while having their breakfast!

About 27 freedom fighters and civilians have been killed by Israel – a father and his son, as well as two children – during an Israel Holocaust ground incursion in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabaliya before dawn Saturday.

Two of the dead Palestinian children have been identified as Jacqueline Abu-Shbak, 12, and her brother Iyad Abu-Shbak.

Some names of victims are identified as the follows:

Iyad ashram, 26 years old

Musbih abu Ali, 22 years old

Basam ubaid, 45 years old

His son, 15 years old

Hamza Al jamal, 40 years old

Iyad abu shbak, 14 years old

Abdalah abd rabu, 40 years old

An Israeli air strike on the Al-Farta neighborhood of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday afternoon left four Palestinians injured.

Muawiya Hassanain, the director of ambulance and emergency services in the Palestinian health ministry said that Beit Hanoun hospital received four people with shrapnel injuries caused by an Israeli missile.

This round of Israeli war against Palestinians came after Palestinian freedom fighters stopped firing some old home-made rockets. These rockets killed 1 Israeli only, while Israel retaliated and killed 57 persons!

In less than 3 days, the Israeli war of Holocaust killed 57 Palestinians and injured 250 most of them Children including 3 babies. The Israeli-Nazi holocaust comes in time of siege imposed in Gaza Strip.

Heavy missiles, rockets, bombs, Apaches, F16 planes are being used against the innocent Palestinians.

http://www.freegaza.ps/ for more pictures, reports, news, analysis.

Gilad Atzmon – Send Them To Gaza: Gimmicks and Education

The Tory leader David Cameron seems to be struggling these days. After calling government funding for school visits to the former Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz a ‘gimmick’, he’s facing demands for an apology.

In a speech on Friday, Cameron accused Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government of being “obsessed with short-term gimmicks”, including a recommendation for schools to make “trips to Poland”.

The British government announced this month it would give 4.65 million pounds to the Holocaust Educational Trust set up in 1988 to educate young people about the Holocaust. It wouldn’t take a genius to guess that the Jewish political institutions in Britain were very quick to tear Cameron apart for his comment.

Henry Grunwald, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: “The Board of Deputies does not get involved in party politics, but we are surprised and disappointed that David Cameron should in any way have used the word ‘gimmick’ in connection with visits to Auschwitz.”

Karen Pollock, the Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said, “We do not want to be involved in party politics. But you should not use visits to Auschwitz to score political points.”

Seemingly, both Pollock and Grunwald do not like to get involved in ‘party politics’. For that purpose they have some very dedicated agents such as Lord Levy, David Abrahams, the Tory Friends of Israel and the Labour Friends of Israel.

The Conservative party was very quick to understand the message. It immediately surrendered to the ‘non-political’ pressure. Within hours, the Tory spokesman said: “School trips to Auschwitz are a brilliant idea.”

Trying to quell the storm, the Conservative spokesman said, “Cameron was not criticising the visits, but rather the fact that the government funding did not cover their entire cost.”

Very much like Grunwald and Pollock, I would refrain from interfering with British politics, yet I may suggest that Cameron was absolutely correct. The trips to Auschwitz are indeed a gimmick. As far as I can see, the educational value of these trips is counter-effective.
Unlike Karen Pollock from the Holocaust Educational Trust, who said, “Students use their experience to raise awareness of the lessons of the Holocaust in their schools and local communities, challenging prejudice and racism today,” I am convinced that trips to Auschwitz are there to divert the attention from crimes that are committed on a daily basis in before our very eyes and in our names. The trips to Auschwitz are there to silence ethical awareness. They are there to shutter the possibility of self-reflection.

It is indeed rather easy for the British government to spend some money trying to teach young students how bad the Nazis were 63 years ago. Yet, it is far more challenging for the British government and British educational institutes to confront British wrongdoing in the past and in the present.

Instead of sending British youngsters to Auschwitz, I would suggest spending governmental funds on student trips to Gaza concentration camp. This would have a far greater educational value in so as far as challenging ‘racism and prejudice’. Clearly it is in Gaza where millions of Palestinians are starved by the Jewish state while the West keeps silent.

Britain bears some direct responsibility for the Palestinian tragedy. Firstly, the Palestinian disaster was set by the British Empire. It may have started with the Balfour Declaration, but it matured into devastating ethnic cleansing in 1948, three years after the liberation of Auschwitz. Secondly, whichever way we decide to look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Palestinians are the last victims of Hitler and the genocide in Gaza is a Shoah in the making.

If Karen Pollock is truly concerned with ‘racism and prejudice’, Gaza is the place to send the British kids to, so they can come home and ask their grandparents: ‘Grandpa, what did you do when it all happened 60 years ago?’ We have to send our kids to Gaza so they can come home and ask their parents: ‘Mum, what can we do to help the Palestinians?’

If Karen Pollock still wants to increase our kids’ ethical awareness, yet she might not be convinced that Gaza is the place to do so, she may also want to consider sending our youth to Basra or Baghdad. At the end of the day, the genocide of the Iraqi people, in which one and a half million Iraqis have died so far, is a war crime committed also by the current British Government.

But on second thought, there is no point in sending young British students to Baghdad; they can go there as soon they finish school. They can then participate and contribute to this very contemporary Holocaust that is being committed by Britain and America in the name of democracy and neo-conservative ideology, all they have to do is just join the British armed forces.

Omar Barghouti – Never Aganist!! European Collusion in Israel’s Slow Genocide

The European Union, Israel’s largest trade partner in the world, is watching by as Israel tightens its barbaric siege on Gaza, collectively punishing 1.5 million Palestinian civilians, condemning them to devastation, and visiting imminent death upon hundreds of kidney dialysis and heart patients, prematurely born babies, and all others dependent on electric power for their very survival.

By freezing fuel and electric power supplies to Gaza, Israel, the occupying power, is essentially guaranteeing that “clean” water — only by name, as Gaza’s water is perhaps the most polluted in the whole region, after decades of Israeli theft and abuse — will not be pumped out and properly distributed to homes and institutions; hospitals will not be able to function adequately, leading to the eventual death of many, particularly the most vulnerable; whatever factories that are still working despite the siege will now be forced to close, pushing the already extremely high unemployment rate even higher; sewage treatment will come to a halt, further polluting Gaza’s precious little water supply; academic institutions and schools will not be able to provide their usual services; and the lives of all civilians will be severely disrupted, if not irreversibly damaged. And Europe is apathetically watching.

Princeton academic Richard Falk considered Israel’s siege a “prelude to genocide,” even before this latest crime of altogether cutting off energy supplies. Now, Israel’s crimes in Gaza can accurately be categorized as acts of genocide, albeit slow. According to Article II of the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the term is defined as:
“[A]ny of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; …”

Clearly, Israel’s hermetic siege of Gaza, designed to kill, cause serious bodily and mental harm, and deliberately inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about partial and gradual physical destruction, qualifies as an act of genocide, if not all-out genocide yet. And the EU is suspiciously silent.

But why accuse Europe, in particular, of collusion in this crime when almost the entire international community is not lifting a finger, and the UN’s obsequious Secretary-General, who surpassed all his predecessors in obedience to the US government, is pathetically paying only lip service? In addition, what of the US government itself, Israel’s most generous sponsor that is directly implicated in the current siege, especially after President George W. Bush, on his recent visit, gave a hardly subtle green light to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to ravage Gaza?

Why not blame the Palestinians’ quiet Arab brethren, particularly Egypt — the only country that can immediately break the siege by reopening the Rafah crossing and supplying through it the necessary fuel, electric power and emergency supplies? And finally, why not blame the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, whose subservient and visionless leader openly boasted in a press conference its “complete agreement” with Bush on all matters of substance?

After Israel, the US is, without a doubt, the guiltiest party in the current crime. Under the influence of a fundamentalist, militaristic, neo-conservative ideology that has taken over its helms of power and an omnipotent Zionist lobby that is unparalleled in its sway, the US is in a category by itself. It goes without saying that the PA, the UN, as well as Arab and international governments maintaining business as usual with Israel should all be held accountable for acquiescing, whether directly or indirectly, to Israel’s crimes against humanity in Gaza. It is also true that each one of the above bears the legal and moral responsibility to intervene and apply whatever necessary pressure to stop the crime before thousands perish. But the EU commands a unique position in all this. It is not only silent and apathetic; in most European countries Israel and Israeli institutions are currently welcomed and sought after with unprecedented warmth, generosity and deference in all fields — economic, cultural, academic, athletic, etc. For instance, Israel was invited as the guest of honor to a major book fair in Turin, Italy. Israeli government-funded films are featuring in film festivals all over the continent. Israeli products, from avocados and oranges to hi-tech security systems, are flooding European markets like never before. Israeli academic institutions are enjoying a special, very lucrative, association agreement with the relevant organs in the EU. Israeli dance groups, singing bands and orchestras are invited to European tours and festivals as if Israel were not only a normal, but in effect a most favored, member of the so-called “civilized” world. Official Europe’s once lackluster embrace of Israel has turned into an intense, open and enigmatic love affair.

If Europe thinks it can thus repent for its Holocaust against its own Jewish population, it is in fact shamefully and consciously facilitating the committal of fresh acts of genocide against the people of Palestine. But Palestinians, it appears, do not count for much, as we are viewed not only by Israel, but also by its good old “white” sponsors and allies as lesser, or relative, humans. The continent that invented modern genocide and was responsible for massacring in the last two centuries more human beings, mostly “relative humans,” than all other continents put together is covering up crimes that are reminiscent in quality, though certainly not in quantity, of its own heinous crimes against humanity.

In no other international affair, perhaps, can the European establishment be accused of being as detached from and indifferent to its own public opinion. While calls for boycotting Israel as an apartheid state are slowly but consistently spreading among European civil society organizations and trade unions, drawing disturbing parallels to the boycott of South African apartheid, European governments are finding it difficult to distinguish themselves from the overtly complicit US position vis-a-vis Israel. Even European clichés of condemnation and “expressing deep concern” have become rarer than ever nowadays. Moreover, Israel’s relentless and defiant violation of Europe’s own human rights laws and conditions are ignored whenever anyone questions whether Israel should continue to benefit from its magnanimous association agreement with the EU despite its military occupation, colonization and horrific record of human rights abuse against its Palestinian victims. If this is not complicity, what is?

Morality aside, sinking Gaza into a sea of darkness, poverty, death and despair cannot bode well for Europe. By actively propping up an environment conducive to the rise of fanaticism and desperate violence near its borders, Europe is foolishly inviting havoc to its doorstep. Instead of heeding — or at least seriously considering — calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions against apartheid Israel, adopted by virtually the entire spectrum of Palestinian civil society, it may soon have to reckon with uncontainable forces of irrational and indiscriminate violence and its resulting chaos.

It seems European elites are currently determined never to oppose Israel, no matter what crimes it commits. It is as if the bellowing — and increasingly hypocritical — slogan upheld by Jewish survivors of European genocide, “Never Again!”, is now espoused by European elites with one difference: the two letter, ‘s’ and ‘t’, are added at the end.

Omar Barghouti is an independent Palestinian political analyst and founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (www.PACBI.org)
Source: http://www.miftah.org/Display.cfm?DocId=15978&CategoryId=5

In Spanish On Rebelion: http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=62211

Gilad Atzmon – "Public Lapidation" round one

Once again, rabid Zionists have united with the so-called ‘Jewish anti-Zionists protagonists’. This time, they insist upon believing that I am a Holocaust Denier.

It all started when a site that specialises in texts known as “Holocaust Denial” linked to an Iranian paper that reported that the German Lawyer Sylvia Stolz, who acted as attorney for Ernst Zundel and has been sentenced to serve three and a half years in prison for doing so, quoted me in her defence.

According to the Iranian paper “Stolz has reportedly read a newspaper article to the court about the appearance of world renowned Israeli artist, Gilad Atzmon in Bochum.” http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=38848&sectionid=351020604

In order to set things straight, I have to mention that the newspaper item read by Mrs Stolz was highly misleading. It was not at all representative of what I had said. At the time, this was immediately pointed out by the Festival organiser who invited me and moderated the meeting. Indeed, the organiser felt that the paper misrepresented almost everything possible.

This is the text of the letter he had written to the newspaper.

“Dear editorial staff of Ruhr Nachrichten,
I usually do not write letters to the editors and as an organizer I can live with bad critics. However, as the subject is rather delicate, I felt I had to comment the article containing big mistakes as regards content and strongly falsifying Gilad Atzmon’s political tendency.

Firstly, concerning the big mistakes:

“According to him the true enemy was not Hitler but Stalin”. You have left out an important piece of information, notably whose enemy Stalin had been. Atzmon argued that America’s true enemy had not been Hitler but Stalin. As long as Hitler had communism under control, America did not believe it to be necessary to get involved in the war. Atzmon uses the same argument for all wars led by the USA until the present time. Atzmon also refers to Hitler as a criminal. Atzmon neither denies nor plays down the Holocaust.

The following statement is wrong, too: “[…] the Germans [should] stop feeling guilty and responsible”. In fact, Atzmon encourages the present generation of Germans not to feel guilty any longer but he does not deny the Germans’ responsibility in general. On the contrary, he believes the Germans to be extremely vigilant today concerning any kind of potential racist or fascist tendencies.

Regarding the discussion about the number of murdered Jews during the Holocaust, it is very difficult to resume the contents of this debate with only a few sentences. Atzmon criticises that publicly doubting the number of 6 million is being penalized, while even the Holocaust museum Yad Vashem itself mentions various studies that state numbers of 5.1 million or even 5.29 or 5.5 million. Atzmon emphasises that this abstract number has become a kind of fetish, as if the Holocaust were more harmless if there had been only half of the number of murdered Jews. Atzmon does not accuse Bush, Blair and Sharon of being criminals of war in order to minimise Hitler’s own crimes of war.

Surely, the language barrier posed a problem during the discussion last Sunday. Suddenly, an audience that mainly expected to attend a concert preceded by a reading, was confronted by a political discussion. Had we known this beforehand, we would have organised a professional bilingual interpreter’s service for the evening.

We were aware of the fact that Gilad Atzmon’s novels are provoking and up to a certain extent such a provocation was intended. He criticised harshly Israel’s politics and shows that due to this historical victimhood, the United Nations mostly tolerate Israel’s racist and nationalist action towards the Palestinians and that criticism is nipped in the bud with the allegation of anti-Semitism.

It is true, that the ambiance after the discussion was not very favourable to the concert. We ourselves had several discussions in the lobby of the concert hall with members of the public who wanted to leave the event. Two of the women who had left returned however later and continued to speak with Gilad after the concert in a small group. This discussion was far less controversial than the momentarily heated one before the concert. They all said goodbye heartily and shook hands.

Maybe it would have made sense if Thorsten Hoops had seized the occasion to verify the ideas he got during the discussion. Such delicate subjects demand greater care from journalists than writing about a concert, which one can certainly resume in a competent way even if one does not stay until the very end.”

In the Bochum event I shared with my audience my usual critique of the common WW2 narrative as well as my different reading of the Holocaust as a meaningful event rather than a mere legal account.

My detailed take on the issues can be found in the following links:

Rearranging the 20th Century: Allegro Non Troppo

Rearranging the 20th Century: Deceptive Cadence

Interview: It Ain’t Necessarily So

What I find very interesting is to discover how this news made the rounds. It seems that on a few leftist lists and on a rabid settler’s site, this news item based on falsity, bad translation and distortion of facts is the “hot” topic of the day. It seems that a few anti-Zionist Jews and some radicals who steal land from Palestinians are sharing their tactic today. They are circulating the news from a site that specialises in what they call Holocaust Denial. It’s a site I don’t read, and won’t even link to, but they obviously do and have. Yes, the rabid Zionists such as Arutzsheva, Seven Plaut and the Jewish anti-Zionists Tony Greenstein and Shraga Elam count on a denial site when it comes to me. I wonder if they suddenly trust Neo Nazis and Holocaust deniers as serious, trustworthy truth-tellers and legitimate sources of information. I wonder how they feel just having demonstrated what kind of navigation they engage in. Since they take the report in the Holocaust Denial site as correct, truthful and precise, how do they know that this site’s account on other things is categorically false? Where do they draw the line, if they draw one? It is probably just too much to expect Zionists (whether they know themselves to be or not) to be consistent. Once again we happen to learn that intellectual integrity is not a common trait amongst Jewish ethnic activists whether they are settlers or leftist cyber stalkers.

Gilad Atzmon (double bill) Letter @ Bush / Brighton Bis

Letter to George W Bush
Why don’t you Bomb Yourself and Save Us All
President Bush had tears in his eyes during an hour-long tour of Israel’s Holocaust Memorial on Friday and told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the U.S. should have bombed Auschwitz to halt the killing. AP

This is what President Bush said today at the end of his formal visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.

You see Mr. President, it couldn’t work out, because at that time Hitler was working for America, killing ‘red Communists’.

At the time, America and Britain had an armistice with Nazi Germany in mind.

You simply couldn’t just admit that Hitler was a butcher? No one makes peace with industrial mass murderers.

As if this is not enough, at the time your country’s military intelligence didn’t really buy the story of Nazi Germany’s involvement in mass liquidation. Consequently, your country didn’t open its gates to Jewish refugees.

However, if you are truly shocked by Nazi inhumanity and regret your country’s impotence at the time of the war, now is the time to act.

You can always save the Palestinians.

You can, for instance, just threaten to bomb Tel Aviv, Haifa or Jerusalem…

This will be enough to liberate the Palestinians in Gaza Concentration Camp.

In case you are still motivated by a genuine humanist call, you may consider bombing yourself, and saving the rest of the Iraqi people from the genocide you apparently inflicted on them.

Mr President, it is never too late to save humanity from yourself and your ilk.

Letter to the Editor of The Argus, the newspaper that did the smear piece on Atzmon.
Crowd to hear speaker were no racists
Thanks to a story in The Argus on Monday, and Jean Calder’s comment piece (The Argus, December 29), last night I was able to hear an interesting talk by Israeli jazz musician Gilad Atzmon. Some people attending arrived clutching the article from Monday’s paper.
Unfortunately, because one man stuck up threatening posters at the Brighthelm, I had to hear the talk standing up in the kitchen of a private house while Mr Atzmon’s talk was relayed by TV from a crowded upstairs room. It turned out that the protester had originally been invited to debate with Mr Atzmon.

Much of the talk was the fascinating story of Mr Atzmon’s life as a Jewish person growing up in Israel in the 1970s. He told us that all he wanted to do as a teenager was play the saxophone, so when he was conscripted into the Israeli Defence Forces his “job” was to play in the army band.

Then he recounted his horror at what he saw when taken on a tour of a camp for Palestinian prisoners run by the Israeli Defence Forces in Lebanon in the 1980s. He called it a concentration camp. He said that as a child the only Palestinians he knew were the ones that cleaned his parents’ house and that they were taught nothing about Palestinians as people at school.

His experiences in Lebanon made him question his whole upbringing and he eventually decided he could no longer live in Israel.
I can understand why some may find him offensive. He described his grandfather’s Zionist militia, who apparently took part in more than 50 massacres of Palestinians in the 1940s, as Jewish nazis – not a term I feel comfortable with. And his sarcastic, humorous speaking style is mocking of everything whether it be jazz, Marxists, leftists or religious tradition, which can make people feel uncomfortable.
But I am certain that Mr Atzmon and all the people crowded into that small house last night would be the first to oppose all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and nazism. What a shame that it is so easy to prevent proper public discussion on such important issues.
Dave Jones, Springfield Road Brighton