Introduction by Gilad Atzmon: The following is a brave attempt to locate my criticism of Jewish identity politics and the Israeli Lobby at the heart of contemporary political discourse. Shabana Syed, wrote a very courageous article.
Shabana Syed for Salem-News.com
"...it’s also obvious to every person who reads me that there is not a drop of racism, bigotry or anti Semitism in any of my writing." - Gilad Atzmon
(LONDON) - Gilad Atzmon the famous ex Israeli musician, philosopher writer whose new book “The Wandering Who?” has caused fury amongst pro Israel groups is no stranger to controversy; a few months ago he caused a stir when Sheikh Raed Salah a respected figure amongst Arab Israelis visited the UK and was arrested for no other reason except that the Israel lobby in Britain demanded it, Atzmon wrote: “Welcome to the United Jewish Kingdom”.
His words may have astonished a few but were prophetic, considering the current political and economic climate against a background of the power of pro Israel lobbies in Britain and America.
AIPAC’s control of American Congress is well known; America is suffering one the worst economic crisis, yet Congress has voted to continue the 3 billion aids package to Israel.
When Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stood in Congress in May to say that Israel will never go back to the 1967 borders, he received 29 standing ovations and according to ABC’s Jonathan Karl, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before a joint meeting of congress had all trappings of a State of the Union address by a president with sky-high approval ratings.”
Instead of dealing with constituents who are facing economic disaster 81 Congress members took a free all expenses paid holiday to Israel this year. Alison Weir founder of “If Americans Knew” wrote: “This is an extraordinary situation. No other lobby on behalf of a foreign country comes anywhere near to controlling such wealth or taking so many of America’s elected representatives on a propaganda trip to their favorite country.”
The power of the pro Israel groups is Britain is not so visible as political commentator Peter Oborne attempted to reveal in a Dispatches documentary “Inside Britain’s Pro Israel Lobby”.
A report by Rajeev Syal in The Observer stated that Britain's most active pro-Israeli propaganda organisation Bicom “which flies journalists to Israel on fact-finding trips and organises access to senior government figures - has received nearly £1.4m in two years from a billionaire donor whose father made a fortune manufacturing arms in Israel.” It was also revealed that the billionaire was the pro Israeli Poju Zabludowicz.
In Britain any criticism of Israel is muzzled and suppressed through howls of “anti Semitism”. The BBC has already been caught many times propagating the hasbara propaganda; when Israeli commandos attacked the Mavi Mara in international waters killing 9 Turkish peace activists the BBC’s Panorama programme on the subject was slated by many for its pro Israel biased approach.
Atzmon’s book aptly named “The Wandering Who?” looks at these powerful lobbies and examines Jewish identity politics and the Jewish Diaspora’s relationship with Israel”. The book has caused a similar stir as Salman Rushdie’s ‘Satanic Verses’, only this time around it is not a “bunch of bearded Muslim extremists against free speech”, but rather the most powerful and richest controlling group, therefore the media has ignored ‘calls for a book burning’.
Atzmon is the subject of a vicious smear campaign which hasn’t hindered or subdued him, he is one of a few writers who breaks the norms and political taboos and ‘says it like it is’. He neither tip toes or sugar coats the facts even though as he puts it “you will have to face an orchestrated smear campaign, you will be then called ‘anti Semite,’ a ‘new historian’ and even a ‘holocaust denier”.
It has been easy for pro Israel supporters to stifle and suppress critical discourse against Israel, however in the case of Gilad Atzmon their attempts to silence him is causing them a massive problem, as the terms used to silence most critics won’t stick on Atzmon. How can one call Atzmon who was born a Jew and brought up in Israel, served in the Israeli army, had a relative who died in the holocaust, “anti Semitic or racist?”
According to ‘The Community Security Trust’ which monitors anti Semitism and was also one of the pressure groups that was behind Teresa May arresting Sheikh Salah, the book is “utterly contemporary cultural racism”.
Another critic Ben Cohen in New York Jewish Week argues that Atzmon is an anti Semite who “traffics in anti Semitic tropes – for example describing the “credit crunch as a ‘Ziopunch’, or declaring that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an accurate reflection of the global power of American Jews..”
Atzmon who lives in Britain is not only famous for his music but also one of the most prominent advocates of Palestinian rights, his life philosophy stems not from any form of ‘tribalism’ but from a deep belief in humanity. His book has received critical acclaim and been endorsed by prominent academics like Professor John Falk, Professor John J Mearsheimer and Professor William A Cook.
Mearsheimer has also been the subject of a smear campaign after he endorsed Atzmon’s book as ‘Essential to an understanding of Jewish identity politics and the role they play on the world stage.’
Defending his book Atzmon writes “it’s also obvious to every person who reads me that there is not a drop of racism, bigotry or anti Semitism in any of my writing. In my entire writing career I have never criticized Jews as people, ethnicity or race. Nor do I criticise Judaism. What I do is to scrutinize Jewish ideology and culture and I argue that if Israel defines itself as the ‘Jewish State’ and drops bombs on civilians from airplanes decorated with Jewish symbols, then it is our moral duty to question what this ‘Jewishness’ is all about.”
He also examines the baffling question of “what it is that leads Diaspora Jews to identify themselves with Israel and affiliate with its politics.”
The book also explains the workings of Zionist groups and the Machiavellian methods used to acquire power and control, and if we examine the recent political scandals that have been unfolding, the picture becomes clearer.
The ‘Phone hacking Scandal’ earlier this year revealed to what extent Murdoch, who is aligned to the powerful Jewish lobbies in UK and US, controlled the British political establishment. Gordon Duff Senior editor at Veterans Today wrote: “Who is Rupert Murdoch, though born in Australia is an Israeli citizen and Jewish. Why is this important? Murdoch is now admitted to have controlled the political systems in Britain and America for two decades. He has had the power to choose national leaders, make policy, and pass laws at will.”
It was said that he was the 24th member of the British Cabinet encouraging the then Prime Minister Tony Blair to invade Iraq. He was heavily involved in dictating the policies he expected from David Cameron for his electoral support, and when the scandal was exposed, Cameron had to answer many questions one of them being, why he had employed as director of communications Andy Coulson who had been part of Murdoch’s News International Corporation. The scandal also led to the resignation of two top terrorism police officers.
The recent scandal involved Liam Fox the British Defense Secretary and his companion Adam Werrity, who with no official capacity had accompanied Fox on Official government business as his adviser. It was also revealed that Fox and Werrity had been funded by the Israeli lobby and of course Poju Zabludowicz the billionaire behind Bicom.
It is also interesting to note that Netanyahu and Ehud Barak believe the biggest threat to world peace is Iran, and Fox and Werrity’s agenda had been to push for conflict with Iran.
Fox is just one of the many British MP’s who along with nearly the whole of the British Cabinet and are the ‘Israel first brigade.’ Atzmon affirms “ with 80% of our leading party’s MP's being Conservative Friends Of Israel’s (CFI) members, we have good reason to believe that treachery is now institutional amongst UK elected politicians.”
Craig Murray, former Ambassador and Human rights activist in the Daily mail warns:
“By working closely with an unofficial aide with extraordinary access but no security vetting and murky funding sources, Fox had potentially compromised national security…..Let us hope that Fox’s fall will remind future Defense Secretaries that there is only one country whose interests they should seek to defend – and that is this one.”
The current political scenario may explain why this government imprisoned Palestinian activist Sheikh Salah for no particular reason and took an unprecedented step to quickly amend Britain’s Universal Jurisdiction law so that Israeli war criminals who committed crimes against humanity in the 2006 Gaza war will not face arrest when they visit Britain.
Also it may explain why when it came to security at London Olympics 2012 Cameron has pushed aside Britain’s capable M15 and bought in Israel’s Mossad to train British operatives a fact that was revealed in Israel’s Daily YNet in May this year
If we look at Atzmon’s statement “Welcome to United Jewish Kingdom” against the background of all the facts surfacing and the contents of his book, maybe it is not an illusion when you enter Britain and see the Olympics 2012 logo proudly displayed and yes you will be forgiven if for a moment you think it spells “Zion”.