Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gilad Atzmon is facinating

Into the Mentality of the Occupier/Oppressor

What is an intellectual? Some say it is the educated lot in the ivory towers of academia. Sure, many of those professors are intellectuals, but many of them are also challenged outside their field. Intellectuality is a concept that transcends university degrees.
So how to define an intellectual? An intellectual is someone who thinks beyond the strictures imposed by upbringing, education, societal norms, dominant media, etc. to arrive in agreement with other conclusions or to form one’s own conclusions. It is more than simply thinking outside a box or applying critical thinking to issues and challenges because intellectuality also demands honesty and integrity.
Gilad Atzmon is someone who encompasses what it means to be an intellectual. He is someone seemingly unbound by a specific group or milieu. Atzmon turned away from the Zionism of his father and the – what he calls — Nazism of his fellow Jews in Israel. Atzmon recalls the plight of captured Palestinian freedom fighters at the Ansar internment camp during his time in the Israeli military: “The place was a concentration camp. The inmates were the ‘Jews’, and I was nothing but a ‘Nazi’.” He has discarded the scoundrel’s refuge of patriotism. He has rejected what is morally anathema inculcation, propaganda, mendacious narrative, and supremacism of Jewish “culture.” Atzmon realizes that we all are human beings; we all possess 23 pairs of chromosomes.
Atzmon exposes a twisting of history, a narrative that lies about who the Jewish people are, lies about a historical and contemporary dispossession, occupation, and oppression carried out by his kinsfolk. That is an exceedingly difficult dilemma for most people to recognize, acknowledge, and overcome. It is especially difficult to fight because when such a colossal crime is denied, whether consciously or through gullibility, by the masses of one’s kinsfolk (Atzmon states: “Israel is largely supported by world Jewry institutionally, financially and spiritually.”), it estranges one from one’s tribe.
Atzmon has written The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politicswherein he answers the titular question. Atzmon is interested in identity: who are the Jews? He differentiates “between Jews (the people), Judaism (the religion), and Jewish-ness (the ideology).” Jews, Atzmon notes, do not form an ethnicity. He describes Jewish society as an amalgam. It is assimilationist for Jews and separatist from Goyim.
The Jews and the Jewish state come first for Zionists. Atzmon details how financial, economic, and political control are sought. He cites “the first and prominent Zionist prophet Theodor Herzl” as to “what political Zionism is all about: getting superpowers to serve the Zionist cause.” The abject speech by US president Barack Obama rejecting Palestinian statehood is a prime example of serving Zionism.
He cuts through the hasbara: “For most Israelis, shalom doesn’t mean ‘peace’, it means security, and for Jews only.”
When it comes to history, Atzmon seeks truth even when it is ugly. Like any good scientist or historian, Atzmon believes a theory or narrative that has been disproven is one that should be disregarded for a superior explanation. Historical revisionism for Atzmon is part of the search for the closest approximation to the truth. When a clearer picture emerges of history, then amending the narrative to reflect the new facts and clearer picture is demanded.

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