‘preferring the approach of the SWP!!!’

November 12, 2007 at 3:57 am Leave a comment

[Imc-uk-features] ‘Anti-semitism’ and the Greenstein/Atzmon bunfight

freethepeeps at aktivix.org freethepeeps at aktivix.org
Fri Nov 2 02:36:00 PDT 2007

Quoting yossarian :

Coupled with his seeming classification of all politically-involved
Jewish people as crypto-zionists (I get this from the article FTP
mentioned),

That is simply a misrepresentation of his position. Elsewhere he notes:

“As far as self perception is concerned, those who call themselves Jews could
be divided into three main categories

1. those who follow Judaism.

2. those who regard themselves as human beings that happen to be of Jewish
origin.

3. those who put their Jewishness over and above all of their other traits.

Obviously, the first two categories specify an harmless group of people. We do
tend to respect religious people, as they are generally expected to be living
inspired by their beliefs and are expected to abide by some sort of a higher
spiritual code. Needless to say, we have no problem with the second category as
well. One cannot choose one’s origin. We agree that people must be
respected and treated equally regardless of their origin or their racial and
ethnic belonging.

However the third category is largely problematic. Clearly, its definition may
sound inflammatory to some. And yet, bizarrely enough, it is a general
formulation of Chaim Weizmann’s view of the Jewish identity as expressed
in his famous address at the First Jewish Congress: “;There are no
English, French, German or American Jews, but only Jews living in England,
France, Germany or America.”[1]” –

It is the 3rd category to which you referring. In the Farber article this is
made clear. Although Farber accuses Atzmon of reductionism, and of
“commit[ting] an anti-Semitic reduction of Jewishness”;, he does qualify
this:

“Since Atzmon does not posit a racial hierarchy, we cannot know whether his
reductionism is anti-Semitic. He might, for example, be inclined to make
similar pejorative evaluations of non-Jews who do not share his own
perspective.”

Quoting yossarian :

I) “Zionism is a very singular political method aimed at perfecting the
transformation of world disasters and human pain into Jewish gain,”
II) “Zionist lobbies have managed to comprehensively dominate the major
sources that control American public opinion: both in culture, in media
and in finance”
III) “America is about to lose its sovereignty…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.”

Note: these are all direct quotes.

I am happy enough for people to analyze the institutional role of AIPAC
and other lobby groups when it comes to US foreign policy formation, in
fact I think that’s quite a legitimate thing to do. However, he skips
over that part completely – he doesn’t do much intellectual heavy
lifting, he just takes it as a given that “Zionists” control the media,
US foreign policy, culture, and finance, and that they want to take over
the world. No evidence is cited for any of this, it’s just all stated as
fact.

Now, to me, this is all pretty clear stuff. While all of his writing
seems to be couched in the language of liberal humanism, I find it
pretty creepy that he managed to fit most of the standard Nazi
propaganda lines about the Zionist World Conspiracy into only ten
paragraphs of smooth prose. I’m not saying the guy is a Nazi, that he
has affiliations with right-wing groups that I can find, but I don’t
think he should be on our site, because it looks to me like he has a
little personal project going on that I find pretty bad.

Again, elsewhere he does back up his claims about control of foreign policy:

“Is the suggestion of conspiracy really an empty accusation? The following list
is presented with pride in several Jewish American websites.

Jews in Bush’s Administration:

Ari Fleischer
White House Press Secretary

Josh Bolten
Deputy Chief of Staff

Ken Melman
White House Political Director

David Frum
Speechwriter

Brad Blakeman
White House Director of Scheduling

Dov Zakheim
Undersecretary of Defense (Controller)

Paul Wolfowitz
Deputy Secretary of Defense

I. Lewis Libby
Chief of Staff to the Vice President

Adam Goldman
White House Liaison to the Jewish Community

Chris Gersten
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and
Families at HHS

Elliott Abrams
Director of the National Security Council’s Office for Democracy, Human
Rights and International Operations

Mark D. Weinberg
Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Public Affairs

Douglas Feith
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Michael Chertoff
Head of the Justice Department’s criminal division

Daniel Kurtzer
Ambassador to Israel

Cliff Sobel
Ambassador to the Netherlands

Stuart Bernstein
Ambassador to Denmark

Nancy Brinker
Ambassador to Hungary

Frank Lavin
Ambassador to Singapore

Ron Weiser
Ambassador to Slovakia

Mel Sembler
Ambassador to Italy

Martin Silverstein
Ambassador to Uruguay

Jay Lefkowitz
Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy
Council

Let me assure you, in Clinton’s administration the situation was even worse.
Even though the Jews only make up 1.9 per cent of the country’s population, an
astounding 56 per cent of Clinton’s appointees were Jews. A coincidence? I
don’t think so.”

Furthermore, the 3 conclusions that you highlight, are conclusions about
Zionism, not about Jews. I am sure it is not your claim that zionism is an
embodiement of Jewishness. Atzmon most certainly is not.

There is no doubt that Atzmon is against zionism, nor that he is critical of
the power structures of the ideology or its state apparatus.

Personally, I am in agreement with many of the points that Farber makes – and am
more inclined to buy his line about anti-zionist jews having a part to play in
overturning the claims of zionism – and also with his own critique of Jewish
anti-zionists – ie that there is not enough outreach to non-jewish groups, and
that there is an inexplicable lack of an “Abrahamic Fellowship Against Zionism
and Theocracy in the Mideast”

Sadly I find myself preferring the approach of the SWP on this matter, to yours:

“The SWP does not believe that Gilad Atzmon is a Holocaust denier or racist.
However, while defending ‘s right to play and speak on public
platforms that in no way means we endorse all of Gilad’s views. We think
that some of the formulations on his website might encourage his readers to
feel that he is blurring the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti
Zionism. In fact we have publicly challenged and argued against those of his
ideas we disagree with.

We do not believe that Gilad should be “banned” from performing or
speaking. “No Platform” is a principle that the left has always
reserved for fascists and organised racists. Where other disagreements occur,
the left, with the same vigour, has defended the right to freedom of speech,
debate and the clash of ideas.”

ftp

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Entry filed under: freethepeeps, Gilad Atzmon, Indymedia.

“a little personal project going on that I find pretty bad.” “Mind Benders”

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