A religious conflict is one in which the actions and rhetoric of the conflict is dominated by religious ideologies, argumentation and symbolism. This doesn’t mean that all or even most of the people involved in the conflict are religious or religiously motivated. It is likely that the majority of Israelis oppose the relentless assaults by messianic settlers on Al Aqsa mosque that led to the recent escalation. Yet these assaults by hard-core religiously motivated Jewish activists have now shaped the conflict. And this does not apply only to the Israelis. It seems that Al Aqsa mosque has become the symbolic unifier for the Palestinians. And this unification has been a positive development for the Palestinians. While it appeared for a while that Israel had managed to break the Palestinians and their ability to struggle as one people, the current Jewish assault on Al Aqsa has united the Palestinians and Arabs and not just the Muslims.Read More
Those who were naive enough to buy into the idea that the Israeli Palestinian battle is a ‘political conflict’ must revise their perception of this matter. The images of religiously motivated Israelis and Palestinians stabbing each other with knives and screwdrivers reveal a simple and undeniable truth -- we are witnessing a colossal religious and ethnic conflict. Unlike ‘political disputes,’ religious and ethnic disputes are rarely resolved, at best; such disputes can be temporarily suppressed. The current conflict in Israel is violence at the most personal level. Tragically, this phenomenon is a persistent theme throughout Jewish history.Read More
By Gilad Atzmon
Is the fact that half of the Scots want to split from Britain and the news that hundreds of young Muslim Brits are fighting with Jihadi militant groups in Syria connected?
Of course they are. These two social phenomena are intrinsically linked, yet in the intellectual desert in which we live, no one dares to address the subject. The boundaries of our curiosity are limited by our deference to political correctness and Zionist sensitivities.
From a political perspective, Jihadi enthusiasm amongst young Western Muslims is an outcome of the emergence of tribalism in the West; but isn’t the call for Scottish independence driven by a similar tribal urge? From both a philosophical and dialectic perspective, Jihadi identification and the Scottish call for independence are the antithesis of the New Left and its corrosive Identity (ID) politics that have been spread in our midst for too long.
The Dictator-A Film Review by Gilad Atzmon
On the face of it, Baron Cohen’s The Dictator is a horrid film. It is vulgar, it isn’t funny and if it has five good jokes in it, they appear in the two minute official trailer. In short, save your time and money – unless of course, you are interested in Jewish identity politics and neurosis.
Similar to Cohen’s previous work, The Dictator is, once again, a glimpse into Cohen’s own tribal morbidity. After all, the person and the spirit behind this embarrassing comedy is a proud self-loving character who never misses an opportunity to express his intimate affinity to his people, their unique comic talent and their beloved Jewish state. But let’s face it, Cohen isn’t alone, after all, he has created The Dictator together with a Hollywood studio. So, it’s reasonable to say that what we see here is just one more Hollywood-orchestrated effort to vilify the Arab, the Muslim and the Orient.
I guess that Arab rulers, regimes and politics are an ideal subject for a satirical take, still, one may wonder what exactly does Sacha Baron Cohen know about the Arab World? As far as the film can tell, not much. Instead, Cohen projects his own Zionist and tribal symptoms onto the people of Arabia and their leaders.
In the film, Cohen plays General Hafez Aladeen, the Arab ruler of the oil-rich North African rogue state Wadiya. On the face of it, he is the satirical version of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, but in reality, Aladeen’s actions are no less than a vast amplification of the crimes committed by Israel and its war criminals such as Shimon Peres, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni.
Two weeks ago I published a review of Eric Walberg’s invaluable new book Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games. I was left with a few questions which Eric was kind enough to address.
Gilad Atzmon: Hello Eric; thanks for finding the time to talk. I would like to begin if I may, with a few short questions: firstly, what is self-hatred?
Eric Walberg: Buddhism is based on the annihilation of the self. Islam – on the total submission of self. It’s at the heart of Christian beliefs too. (I don’t know about Judaism.) Self-hatred has respectable roots.
GA: I totally agree with you. However, I wonder, are you a self-hater? I ask because in your writing, you seem to be deeply familiar with that kind of intellectual adventure.
EW: In some way, I like Woody Allen’s riposte “I may be self-hating but not because I’m a Jew.” The self is constantly prompting us to do terrible things, so a bit of self-criticism is not such a bad trait.
GA: Considering the increasing power of Jewish lobbies, what do you think should be the role of the Jewish self-hater?