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Free Palestine

Permission to examine “Jewishness”

Free Palestine

In-fighting is characteristic of progressive movements.  On the right things are much easier.  They want a “survival-of-the-fittest” society, small government, low taxes, no safety- net, no brown-skinned people crossing our borders,  the right to unlimited profits un-hampered by any oversight or regulations, the right to claim foreign natural resources and to take advantage of cheap foreign labor, and when foreign leaders are not easily subjugated, the right to wage war in the name of “freedom” and “liberty” and “democracy” while waving the flag.   The program is quite simple and so agreement is easily found.

Problems occur when someone like Sarah Palin is put in a position of high visibility, and has to be coached on information she should have learned in high school, or when they have to decide whether Mormon candidate Mitt Romney qualifies as Christian.  But issues like these are relatively manageable, and all they need is a common adversary to embrace unity over their minute differences.   For example it’s easy for them to agree that Obama is a Socialist, even though he more closely resembles a Reagan Republican, because he’s a member of the Democratic Party and they want to beat him.

On the left, however, where activists become active because they actually care about humanity and the planet; care about universal values of peace, justice, human rights, environmental sustainability, and the like, all hell breaks loose on a regular basis.  This is because there are many varied perceptions as to what qualifies as fair, just, and balanced, and many varied opinions as to  how to achieve these things.  It often seems that shades of meaning have monumental ramifications, and degrees to the left, in increments, often translate to irreconcilable differences.

I played a concert with saxophonist/author Gilad Atzmon in Geneva, New York last night, a benefit for the Deir Yassin Remembered scholarship fund.  (Put into perspective, two Jews playing a concert, unpaid, to raised money to send Palestinian kids to college.)   This morning we happened to meet before breakfast in the hallway of our motel.  He said,  “I have to show you something.  You won’t believe this.”  We entered his room, he opened his lap-top, and set his browser on a link to a sort of a treatise, a declaration, prepared by Ali Abunimah and signed by various activists, entitled “Palestinian Writers, Activists, Disavow Racism and Anti-Semitism of Gilad Atzmon”.   What has Gilad Atzmon done to inspire this very extreme action?  He has examined, and written about, the issue of “Jewishness”, about HIS “Jewishness”, and about mine.

Why is this objectionable?   Some explanation is required.  Zionists have long sought to equate Zionism with Judaism.  As usual, the right wing has a simplistic ideology:  By equating these two “ism’s”, Zionists are able to justify the position that opposition to Zionism means “Anti-Semitism”.  Supporters of the liberation of Palestine strenuously object to this, and rightly so.  But it seems that many have adopted an equally simplistic view to combat it:  Since Zionism and Judaism are NOT the same thing, and since Zionism is the direct cause of the problem, Judaism and Jewish culture are placed out of bounds, taboo, don’t touch them.  We don’t want to be called “Anti-Semites”, and we need our Jewish allies in the movement.

The problem with this simplistic view is that it in this case simplicity is not elegant.   The reality is that Judaism and Zionism are indeed two different things.   But paradoxically, while Judaism specifically forbids Zionism (according to the interpretation I personally accept), Zionism is also clearly rooted in Judaism and in aspects of Jewish culture which are also clearly rooted in Judaism.

It is important to make the distinction between Judaism and Jewish culture because many Jews, and among them many Zionists, are secular and even anti-religious, and yet embrace their Jewish identity as central to who they are.   It is also important to make the observation that Jewish religion informs secular Jewish culture, even if unconsciously so.  Up until about 1780 there were no secular Jews.  There was only Orthodox Judaism, and that influence remains, this even among the significant population who are atheists identifying as Jews and embracing Zionism.   I am personally a product of that culture.  As both Zionism and Jewish identity are embraced both by large numbers of religious Jews and large numbers of anti-religious Jews, we are left with the problem of what to call their Jewish commonality.  Thus  “Jewishness”.

On the religious end of the spectrum, we find Orthodox Jewish Zionist rabbis and Orthodox Jewish Anti-Zionist rabbis, both groups spending much of their lives in study of Jewish holy books, and both groups, when they are not studying, pointing their fingers at each other and shouting “Torah Ignoramus!”  This is a debate that the uninitiated are not permitted to enter, and initiation consists of life-long dedication to study of Jewish holy texts.   There is no choice but to allow them this ongoing fight.

On the secular end of the spectrum are less religious Jews, members of Reform and Reconstructionist synagogues who may or may not be atheists, members of atheist synagogues- yes you read that right- there are “Humanist” synagogues that hold  “services” to serve their “Jewishness” rather than God, and finally many Jews who are not members of synagogues at all.   Many secular Jews are strongly Zionist and place a very high value on their Jewish identity.   So, there is a wide variety of religious belief and observance among Jews, and yet what they all have in common is the valuing of Jewish identity- of “Jewishness”.  The difference between the religious and the secular is that the religious understand the origin of the components of cultural Jewishness, and the secular most often do not.

When I was seven years old a little girl in my 2nd grade class told me, “My daddy said you killed Jesus.”  I told her I had never killed anyone.  I was upset enough about this accusation that I told my parents about it, and they were duly horrified.  For many years I attributed this to “classic Anti-Semitism”.  I had experienced the misfortune, at a very tender age, of having been victimized with this horrible accusation, which has been leveled against Jews since the dawn of Christianity.

So imagine my astonishment when, many years later, in 2006, I read about  Swedish peace-worker Tove Johansson’s experience.  She was escorting Palestinian school-children past crowds of hostile Jewish settlers in Hebron, when the settlers began chanting “We killed Jesus, we’ll kill you, too.”  They smashed a bottle over her face, causing severe injuries.  There are also various other accounts of Jewish settlers proudly taking responsibility for the murder of Jesus, something that I had always assumed was a false accusation, leading me to investigate.  I found in the writing of Jewish-Israeli scholar Israel Shahak that there is actually a Talmudic mandate for this claim.    I also found that while it seems that relatively few Jews are aware of Shahak’s writing, many of those who are hate him passionately, although none have ever presented me with an actual argument confronting his claims.

I came to support the Palestinian cause after first having come to an awareness of some dramatic problems in the Jewish culture in which I was raised.   I grew up in a Reform synagogue where many atheist Jews, and some who had religious beliefs, attended to affirm their Jewish identity, to raise their children with Jewish identity, and to support Israel.    I was presented with the idea that it was a privilege to be a member of a universally despised people, who were hated for no reason at all, and who were more intelligent and moral than others.  And I was told that Israel had never harmed anyone, that the Arabs just hated Jews for no reason, just like everyone hates Jews for no reason.

Having come to believe in God as a young adult, I had to go back to re-examine the Judaism, or more accurately, the “Jewishness” I was raised with, and clearly identified idolatry: the worship of the twin idols of Jewish identity and Israel.  And I began to move away from what I identified as the Jewish identity cult.  Even with that awareness,  I was so completely indoctrinated in Zionist propaganda,  that I did not question the things that I had been told.   For example, I did not question the story  of Jews who wanted to be friendly neighbors to the Arabs, and of Arab leaders who, in 1948, made radio broadcasts of orders for their people to get out temporarily, while they intended to drive the Jews into the sea.   Why should we let them return when they wanted to annihilate us like Hitler?

I understand that Jewish activists for Palestine come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, and that there are those who do not have the same needs as I do.  I know there are those who would like to support Palestine while embracing their Jewish identity and some who additionally wish to embrace Jewish religion at various levels of observance.  But that’s not me, and I will not allow Ali Abunimah and a list of bullies to tell me that I have no right to intellectual inquiry into my religion and culture.   Of course, their objections are targeted at Gilad Atzmon, not me.  But when they say it about him, they are, by extension, saying it about me, and those like me- those of us who have to struggle to come to terms with having been lied to all our lives.

When I finally came to understand the depth of the criminality of Zionism, and I came to that realization in my middle age, my response was not, “Oh my God, let’s fix this while we protect Judaism and Jewish identity from those who would like to make a connection.”  Not at all.  My response was a more natural and obvious one:  “Oh my God!  What kind of sickness do I come from?”   I have the right to ask that question, and to search for answers.   I have the right to talk to the seven year old victim of “Anti-Semitism” who still lives inside me, and help him to understand his experience.

Back in the 80’s in an interview on the American television show 60 Minutes, Mike Wallace confronted Meir Kahane, the infamous Brooklyn rabbi, now deceased, who became an Israeli Knesset member and an advocate for the expulsion of all Arabs from all of historic Palestine (both “Israeli Arabs” and Arabs living in the occupied territories), about a law he proposed.

Wallace:  “You proposed a law for the Knesset to pass against Arabs that’s really astonishingly identical to the Nuremberg laws of the Nazis under Adolf Hitler.”

Kahane:  “Mr. Wallace, one of the problems of Jews is that they wouldn’t know a Jewish concept if they tripped over one.  I merely quoted from the Talmud.  Most Jews think Judaism is Thomas Jefferson.  It’s not.”

I was raised in a “Jewishness”  which presumed to be something very different from what it was.   And in that pretense it had me donating to plant trees in Israel, and receiving Israel bonds as bar mitzvah presents.  It had me joining Zionist youth groups and becoming president of one, and it had me living and working in Israel during my 20’s, all while believing a system of lies.  I have the right to examine the cult that lied to me, the cult that I have survived and left.

I think I speak for everyone who supports the Palestinian cause, including both Atzmon and his detractors alike, when I say that I believe that the first priority for all of us is to stop Zionists from killing the next Palestinian child.  How to accomplish this?  I think if any of us knew, we would lie, steal, cheat, do whatever it might take.  But we don’t know.   Does placing limits on parameters of acceptable ideology help to accomplish this goal?  Does censorship, censure, expulsion, ex-communication?  These are the things that this edict against Atzmon is attempting to accomplish.   Does it actually accomplish anything or is it just divisive?  Are the Zionists enjoying watching a split among the pro-Palestine camp?

Clearly requiring certain parameters is reasonable.  For example, there are those who sympathize with both the cause of white supremacy and with the Palestinian cause.  Those people would do the most good for Palestine by staying as far away from the cause as possible, and they should be shunned and avoided.  But that’s not who Atzmon is, or who I am.    There is no racism here.  There is simply examination of the religion and culture that produced Zionism.

Abunimah puts words in Atzmon’s mouth:

“…one cannot self-describe as a Jew and also do work in solidarity with Palestine, because to identify as a Jew is to be a Zionist.”

I fail to see how this attitude can be attributed to Atzmon when he openly speaks of the Neturei Karta Orthodox Anti-Zionist Jews.  But again, a simplistic interpretation would be lacking.  The fact of the existence of Anti-Zionist Jews should not be taken as evidence that Zionism is not connected with Judaism, Jewish culture, or “Jewishness”.    The Neturei Karta also believe in exile from this land and return to it, just not at the present time under present circumstances.

I understand that from the Palestinian point of view, many consider inquiry into “Jewishness” superfluous.  They just want Zionism to end, and this is reasonable.  But why won’t it end?  The UN passed Resolution 194 64 years ago, and re-ratified it numerous times.  Why have the refugees not been allowed back?  There have been various “peace processes”.  Why is there no peace?  American administrations have been pressuring to end settlement expansion for decades.  Why are settlements still expanding?  What is behind the almost super-human capacity for Zionist belligerence?  for Zionist disingenuousness?   Why is it that the world governments look the other way and pretend it isn’t going on?  And how is it possible that America is fighting wars for Israel?   How is it possible that for all of my life I’ve been listening to my people whine over the holocaust while failing to admit that any crimes were committed in Palestine?   How deep is a cult that was able to hide from me, one of its children, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine for most of my life?

For those who want to insist that Zionism is some bizarre aberration that grew out of an otherwise healthy Jewish culture and religion, that’s fine for them.  Having been lied to all my life, I wanted to know what Kahane meant when he sneered at me and told me I wouldn’t know a Jewish idea if I tripped over it.   And now I know.   Certainly I have the right to free inquiry, and to the expression of ideas, and so does Gilad Atzmon.

If there are those who dislike Atzmon’s ideas, they are free to write their own and express disagreement.  They are free to state that Atzmon does not represent them.  But to organize a list of those who agree to disavow him is disgraceful, and in my opinion does not serve the cause.  There should be a retraction and an apology.


29 Responses to Permission to examine “Jewishness”

  1. fool me once... March 16, 2012 at 1:51 am #

    Hi Rich, really enjoyed reading that. Real nice flow. I linked your article to a mailing list that was carrying the Abunimah piece about Gilad – got a reply soon after, stating the excellence of your post and they have posted it to their groups facebook page. So, well done.

  2. Michael March 16, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    yes! we (even Gilad Atzmon) can too talk about Zionism and Jews.

    The Jews (notice I did not say all Jews) but Jews created the Jewish state which is a racist, belligerent enterprise that continues everyday against Palestinians. And it’s not only Israeli Jews! a majority of the Diaspora Jews supports this racist, genocidal, ethnic-cleansing, apartheid operation. So I think that it’s a fair and important question: why the hell do “Jews” do this?

  3. KimN March 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Rich, Thank you! once again for your clear thinking and writing. I knew you and atzmon were doing a concert and wondered if you would have time to respond to this issue, so i am happy and amazed that you did so so well and so quickly.

    I agree that a vendeta against Gilad Atzmon is an extreme step designed to head off any charge of anti-Jew by zionist supporters of all things Israel. The “petition” against Atzmon is a step which can do more harm to people struggling for justice for Palestinians than a difference of opinion.
    I have only one small demure: I winced at the reference to “whining about the holocaust.” I do get irriated at people who constantly use the holocaust as some sort of rationale for Israeli crimes or who make of it another religion! Yet aside from that, I feel we all need to respect the fact that the shoah and holocaust in general were so horrible that speaking, writing abt them is not “whining” – at least give the benefit of the doubt that there is a sincere horror and sadness in the one who speaks of it.

    • aemathisphd March 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      Boy are you ever in the wrong place.

    • ariadna March 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

      Yes, one can be described as “whining” about the holocaust as indeed about anything else.
      Don’t confuse the object (the holocaust) with the subject (the person talking) and that person’s motives (often ulterior), approach, or form of expression.
      What you are doing is another form of censoring, saying in effect “this topic is so uniquely sacred that a set of rules have to be followed about not only how to talk about it but how to talk about those who talk about it.

  4. TomHayes March 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Rich writes “For those who want to insist that Zionism is some bizarre aberration that grew out of an otherwise healthy Jewish culture and religion, that’s fine for them.”

    The “whatever” tone of this statement flies in the face of perspectives worthy of serious consideration. It is not unreasonable to think that the “ish” on the end of the cultural label “Jewish” is a pointer to foundations of culture. Foundations like the oft repeated quotation of Rabbi Hillel(30 BCE), “What is hateful to thee, do not unto thy fellowman; this is the whole Law.” Zionism has clearly divorced itself from this Jewish law. The majority of European Rabbis were opposed to the Zionist program from its inception but most of those Rabbis were butchered by the Nazis. It is not unreasonable or “off topic” to suggest that Zionists took advantage of the ensuing leadership vacuum to promote their Gun-Metal Messiah. Nor is it a stretch to take the position that Zionism, in its concrete expression, is an extreme form of assimilation with the most odious tropes of European culture rather than an organic expression of a culture that reveres the “do not unto thy fellow man” life context. The fact that Rich was inculcated in his early life with pleasant fantasies regarding the realities of Zionist expression does not logically imply that Zionism or its expression are organic in any way to Jewish culture. Those denial fantasies he alludes to are more properly attributed to the fact that nobody, regardless of their ethnic origin, wants to believe that their child (Israel in this case) is a bully, a thief, or a murderer.

    • aemathisphd March 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      That is the single smartest post I’ve read at this place. Kudos.

    • Jay Knott March 17, 2012 at 1:26 am #

      Tom Hayes – ‘It is not unreasonable… to take the position that Zionism, in its concrete expression, is an extreme form of assimilation with the most odious tropes of European culture rather than an organic expression of a culture that reveres the “do not unto thy fellow man” life context’.

      Quite right. And it’s not unreasonable to take the exact opposite position, that those nice fuzzy bromides are overwhelmed by justification for genocide in the Old Testament. And that Zionism is, just a tad, influenced by that. And that Zionism was on a mission before Nazism. The difference is that the first reasonable position is the dominant ideology, and the second is utterly suppressed.

      • aemathisphd March 17, 2012 at 2:26 am #

        Well, Jay, you and I have danced around this bit already, but here goes again…

        National Socialism was quite unique in that in placed a single people, the Jews, at the bottom of a Social-Darwinistic hierarchy of humanity and then subsequently blamed all of the world’s ills on those people.

        Zionism doesn’t do that. Nor did Stalinism. Nor, for that matter, do most kinds of fascism. Nazism was pretty unique in this sense.

        Are there supremacist ideologies? Sure, and Zionism is one of them. So is National Socialism. But just because two ideologies happen to share some aspects does not make them equivalent.

        • Jay Knott March 17, 2012 at 3:43 am #

          ‘aemathisphd’ – “Zarathustra is no cyclone or whirlwind; and if he is a dancer, he will never dance the tarantella”. I don’t ‘dance around’ different ‘supremacist ideologies’ being ‘equivalent’, I contrast how different views of Jewish history are treated in the West today. I’m trying to defend our freedom to defend differing hypotheses; you’re taking advantage of your privilege to defend one of them.

        • ariadna March 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

          “[The Nazis] placed a single people, the Jews, at the bottom of a Social-Darwinistic hierarchy of humanity…. Zionism doesn’t do that.”

          So you are saying Zionism is superior to the Nazi ideology because Zionism is an equal opportunity supremacism insofar as placing ALL non-jews at the bottom.

          • aemathisphd March 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

            Yes, that’s precisely what I’m saying.

            Many ideologies are bad because they’re supremacist; Zionism is one of them. National Socialism is worse because it singles out and victimizes a single group. That’s my point.

          • ariadna March 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

            Interesting rationale, aemathisphd.
            So, by extension, the American soldier who ‘singled out’ family members in a village for massacre is worse than an army of trained killers (US in Afghanistan) dispensing victimization without favoritism….

          • aemathisphd March 18, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

            Yes, are you not able to see that?

          • ariadna March 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

            No I can’t see that at all.
            I guess I lack your judeocentric vision of Hell wherein supremacists who despise Jews boil in sulphur cauldrons whereas supremacist jews who despise all non-Jews get separate Hell accommodations with air conditioning. And thick walls of course. There have to be Walls.
            I have to say it does have consistency; it hangs together well.
            But it is hard to sell it outside the Wall.

          • aemathisphd March 19, 2012 at 4:13 am #

            Lot of assumptions and straw men in that comment. Are all you people this bad at logic?

          • ariadna March 19, 2012 at 11:58 am #

            “All you people” are who exactly?
            All non-Jews, self-hating jews and who else? “most people contributing to this site”?
            You must be projecting asking me to respond for “all of us people.”
            We don’t designate a coriphaeus to sing out the refrain for “all of us people.”

    • ariadna March 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      Got it! The Europeans made them do it. Zionists are victims of the European “the most odious tropes of European culture.” Long live victimology!

  5. Enrique Ferro March 16, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    Bah, Rich, if you dig in ALL religious traditions and certainly holy texts you find loads of things which are unacceptable from a modern point of view, more or less based upon the respect of human rights and a secularist religious tolerance. Obviously so, as each religions, at least each of the mainstream religions, claimed to be the only true one, so they sometimes took to the edge the disqualification of their rivals -as politicians do nowadays, don’t forget that religions used to play the ideological basis for politics.
    Fundamentalists of any ilk pass their time to select those passages in order to obliterate “the other” and impose their fanatic rule.
    I know this is not the intention of Gilad or for that matter of yours when you stress Talmudic or Torah vicious fragments, but you fall into the trap some Islamophobes or Antisemites or whatever anti- or -phobic madness manipulate to vent their hatred and racism in the pursuit of their totalitarian agenda.
    IMHO, if we are going to struggle for peace and justice we’d rather leave those nasty things dormant as we don’t belong there, and focus on a positive perspective in order to isolate Zionism and Imperialism.
    Gilad is a gifted jazzman and writer, but he enjoys to play the “enfant terrible” and to shock his audience. I think he makes a mistake when he pushes his Jewish introspection along those tortuous avenues. But I also thing Ali Abunimah and others, who are otherwise serious and committed activists for the Palestinian rights, make a mistake in taking him on his word, instead of beholding it all ass will-o’the-wisp in the middle of a moonless night.

    • Gilad Atzmon March 17, 2012 at 4:02 am #

      After all these years, Enrique, you really understand very little…
      Israel is the Jewish State..It is not the Judaic state and it is not the state of the Jews… We better start to understand what Jewishness means ,,,,

    • Gilad Atzmon March 17, 2012 at 4:05 am #

      And by the way, Ali Abunimah didn’t make a mistake in taking me on my word. Cos Abunimah admitted to an academic friend that he didn’t read me. He was basically guessing ,,, and this is indeed very embarrassing…

  6. Ken O'Keefe March 17, 2012 at 3:34 am #

    Rich, you can write about Jewishness like I can write about America, my scorn for my birth nation is massive and valid, just like your scorn is for Jewishness. Castigated as we may be, our perspectives are more than relevant, especially as we sit perched on the verge of full scale World War III. What we have in common is not a desire to harm or persecute those among our origins, it is a desire to see them awaken to their humanity, to co-create a better world. It is amazing and tragic that more who feel this way are not more outspoken, but let there be no doubt, so, so many of us feel this way. I know Gilad personally, a good man, a moral man, and like so many before him quite likely not appreciated as he should be in his time. But we shall see. I am hopeful. TJP

    • etominusipi April 5, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

      well spoken, Ken.

  7. Enrique Ferro March 18, 2012 at 2:42 am #


    I find this discussion highly distracting, when there are loads of matters far more important to take into account.

    Gilad is a gifted musician and writer, I highly value his merits, but I find his politics a bit more obscure.

    I don’t care how he or others cope (s) with his or their Jewishness. There is nothing new about that, without seeking to compare, everybody knows Spinoza’s plight as he faced the Jewish establishment in Amsterdam. I may even feel sympathy for that leaning to provocation, I was raised in a Catholic country, and I’m well aware of many friends who after a strong Catholic education turned out to be radical atheists and anticlerical as a reaction (I don’t speak of myself, because my family was of the leftist side…). However Gilad IMHO seems to conflate Jewishness and Zionism, which is precisely what the Israeli establishment does. I’d like some clarification about that.

    Political clarifications I’d like to have, especially considering the following Gilad has, and therefore what might be an outlandish position of a well-intentioned maverick may turn into a political sway on many, are his positions on BDS, as he has been the subject of criticism on this subject-matter.

    On the other hand his refusal to take the Zionist entity as a colonialist state is all the more intriguing. It seems his notion of colonialism is partial as he affirms that Israel is not colonialist for it doesn’t exploit the indigenous population. Right, but there is another kind of vicious colonialism, called settler colonialism, or of population, which seeks to cleanse the indigenous population and replace it with an overseas population (see the US to begin with). And that is exactly what Israel is. It is not just an academic discussion, it involves strategy and political action. Now if Israel is not a settler state, what is it?

    Another troubling position of his is his denial of Israel as an Apartheid state. On which grounds? And what does that mean?

    I don’t think labels are productive. And I don’t question Gilad’s integrity, I’m persuaded of his good faith as far as his Jewish introspection is concerned, and I may even live with his despondent conclusions, even though I think he is touching there like Spiderman a dark side, but that is not my major concern, it should probably be his.

    My major concerns are political: BDS, Israel as a colonial and Apartheid state, and the political and strategic implications of an analysis which deny these definitions.

    Enrique Ferro

    • ariadna March 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

      Your arguments suffer from the disingenuous rhetorical shticks you use.
      1. The whole world know that Gilad is a first-rate, world-renowned musician, but this discussion happens NOT to be about his musical talent. Your repeated description of him as a “gifted musician,” “gifted jazzman” purports to show your objectivity in giving him his due in music and impart the presumption of objectivity to all else you have to say about him.
      2. You find this discussion “highly distracting” because there are “loads of matters far more important to take into account.” Presumably this places you at a higher remove, able to distinguish better what’s important and what not.
      3. You describe Gilad as a “well-intentioned maverick,” and cite his large “following” leaving the impression that perhaps swayed by and drunk on his popularity he does not realize the harm he may be doing.
      4. The worst shtick is also one of the oldest rhetorical tricks. Cicero used it famously in one of his Catilinaria when he says he does not want to talk about the cries of the mothers, he does not want to mention the panic in the city, he does not want to mention… etc.
      To paraphrase an American politician, Mr. Ferro, I know Cicero, I’ve read Cicero, and Mr Ferro, let me tell you, you are not Cicero.
      When you say “I think he is touching there like Spiderman a dark side, but that is not my major concern, it should probably be his” you are using a cheap Cicero trick.

      • etominusipi April 5, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

        congratulations Ariadna – a highly effective deconstruction of what my eccentric aunt Madge, who suffered from an intermittent jargon aphasia, might have described as the supercilious divagations of an inconsequential nincompoop.

    • Warren Metzler March 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

      Enrique, how can you deny that Jewishness, people having the opinion that part of their basic context (world view) for life involves being a Jew, may very much be the ground from which Zionism sprung?

      If it is true, isn’t a recognition that defining oneself as a Jew can motivate one to eventually operate as a Zionist doing dirty nasty things to many Arabs, all under the intellectual cover of protected Jews from another holocaust?

      If it isn’t true then on to other things. But when hardly anyone other that Gilad has explored this question in depth, why castigate him for looking to see if there is a link, and if there is find way out of that link?

      • aemathisphd March 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

        That Zionism springs from Jewishness is a statement that could only be true if anti-Semitism did not exist.

  8. Chester March 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    “In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.”

    Who wrote this? No, not Gilad Atzmon. Karl Marx.

    Someone should tell the “marxist” AZZs.