PCN — “Disavowal” of Gilad Atzmon ? The Truth be damned!

Disavowal: “…a mental act that consists in rejecting the reality of a perception.”


by William A. Cook


“For me to be Jewish is, above all, to be preoccupied with overcoming injustice and thirsting for justice in the world, and that means being respectful toward other peoples regardless of their nationality or religion, and empathetic in the face of human suffering whoever and wherever victimization is encountered” (Gilad Atzmon, “On Jewish Identity,” 1/15/2011).

Strange that the US Palestinian Community Network, in an article titled “Granting No Quarter: a Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Anti-Semitism of Gilad Atzmon,” by Ali Abunimah, would seek to silence the voice of a man who, as the quote that opens this article attests, publically proclaims, to all the world in his new book The Wandering Who, that he stands for “justice, human dignity, equality and social and economic rights,” the very principles that the US PCN proclaims in that very article: “…we stand with all and any movements that call for justice, human dignity, equality, and social, economic, cultural and political rights.”

Perhaps Mr. Abunimah failed to read Mr. Atzmon’s book. Perhaps he failed to see the contradiction he penned. Perhaps he felt forced to respond to outside pressures that necessitated he “reject the reality of the perception” expressed by Mr. Atzmon and propose “disavowal,” an action that Nahida suggests might be related “to the Talmudic concept of excommunication in which “the Talmud forbids coming within six feet of a person who has been excommunicated“? (from “Disavow with no mercy,” Nahida exiled).

Strange also, is it not, that this imposition of an action on the members of the PCN, reflects a Medieval form of punishment or, perhaps, a tribalistic one, a concept (a perception perhaps) that Mr. Atzmon suggests is a tool of the Zionists’ strategy to control the masses, a perception that the PCN abhors in its condemnation of Atzmon.

Atzmon’s politics rest on one main overriding assertion that serves as springboard for vicious attacks on anyone who disagrees with his obsession with “Jewishness”. He claims that all Jewish politics is “tribal,” and essentially, Zionist. Zionism, to Atzmon, is not a settler-colonial project, but a trans-historical “Jewish” one, part and parcel of defining one’s self as a Jew. Therefore, he claims, 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. We could not disagree more (PCN, Ali Abunimah).

Had Mr. Abunimah read Atzmon’s book he would have realized that this is not what Atzmon’s work claims. Atzmon begins by narrowing his subject: 

Atzmon distinguishes among those who follow the Judaic religion; those who regard themselves as a human being who happens to be of Jewish origin; and those who put their Jewishness over and above all other traits. Chaim Weizman, the first Israeli President and a Zionist, identified being a Jew as a ‘primary quality’ above citizenship, occupation, head of household, indeed “Jewishness becomes the key element and fundamental characteristic of one’s being.” Vladimir Jabotinsky wrote “…the nucleus of his spiritual structure will always remain Jewish, because his blood, his body, his physical racial type are Jewish” (“A Letter on Autonomy,” 1904). It is this identifying principle that Atzmon sees as corrosive, not only to Judaism, but to the safety and security of the Jewish people, their friends and their neighbors. “…probably then and there I left Chosen-ness behind to become an ordinary human being” (6). (A Review of the Wandering Who, Cook).

Does Atzmon’s analysis that focuses on the Zionist strategies to enforce its goals translate now into anti-Semitism? When did Zionism become a synonym for Jew? Is it not “an international political movement that originally supported the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine (Eretz-Yisra’el) and continues primarily in support for the modern state of Israel.” (New World Encyclopedia). When did it become anti-Semitic to analyze a political party? Indeed, Atzmon’s criticism of Zionism focuses on its corrosiveness to Judaism itself, a concern that has been present in Jewish history since the inception of Zionism:

Throughout its history the Zionist movement has faced hostility from both within and without as well as considerable (sic) ambivalence among Jews with regard to the centrality of the Jewish State. …In the Jewish world, the ultra-Orthodox and the Reform movement have opposed Zionism as challenging tradition and assimilationism, respectively. …In recent years the Reform movement joined the Zionist Organization and has actively endorsed immigration to Israel. In Israel itself, the term “post-Zionism” has become popular in certain circles seeking to suggest that the movement is obsolete and at the same time to “demythologize” its achievements. (Encyclopedia of Judaism).

The PCN attacks Atzmon because in their view he appears “to reaffirm and legitimize Zionism” by “adopting anti-Semitic or racist language.” That conclusion is based on a misreading of his views as we have established above. How can a critique of Zionism’s strategies “legitimize” what it claims to be? Does it not do the opposite? By elucidating the coercive strategies used by the Zionists to control those opposed to its goals, does he not add insight as to how Zionism helps maintain and further the “imperialism and colonialism” PCN finds as the causes of the destruction of the Palestinian homeland, “expelling its people, and sustaining the systems and ideologies of oppression, apartheid and occupation.” In short, shouldn’t PCN embrace Atzmon as a man willing to place his own life in danger in his effort to aid the Palestinian cause?

Atzmon’s analysis reveals strategies used by the Zionists to control their population. He points specifically to the Zionist lobbies that tell the assimilated Jew “You will never escape who you are so why not be proud of it and work with us.” Indeed, this very assertion undermines a moral foundation as it forces the American Jew to succumb to that “primary quality” of Jewish-ness above loyalty to his nation. “First they are Jews and only then are they humanists” (35). Zionism, as Atzmon notes, has used Jewish ‘separatism’ and its resulting ‘insecurity in relations with his fellow beings’ to coerce obedience and commitment. This tactic has been characteristic of the Zionist power since the Mandate period.

This is not anti-Semitism; it is historical analysis based on personal experience that unveils a political movement that has as its principle goal the creation of Greater Israel, the full colonization of the lands of Palestine bereft of its indigenous peoples, a perception that PCN should give serious thought to as should we all.

You can now order Gilad Atzmon’s New Book on Amazon.com  or Amazon.co.uk

William Cook : A Review of The Wandering Who

The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT, VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, technicians, or the Veterans Today Network and its assigns. LEGAL NOTICE - COMMENT POLICY

Posted by on March 18, 2012, With Reads Filed under Veterans. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

9 Responses to "PCN — “Disavowal” of Gilad Atzmon ? The Truth be damned!"

  1. ricohernan  March 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I am glad people are coming to Gilad’s defense because the accusations they make, including 2 signatories on Gordon Duff’s article, laid into him something chronic via facebook.

  2. Jim W. Dean  March 20, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Paul, Your attempt at censoring here at Veterans Today is denied. We let you post here don’t we? That shows you how tolerant we are. Your bias here is just reeking, and your claim to truth is the usual subjective kind that we so ofter see in all zealots, Left or Right, religious or non-religious. They are a dime a dozen and you embarrass yourself here, and VT…a little bit.

    Let me get this straight. Do our writers have to submit images prior to publication to commissar Sheridan? I think that would shame VT more Paul…so we will stick with what we have. And it is why you will never be an editor here.

  3. Prof. William A. Cook  March 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Salwa, As the author of the article to which you commented, I can only tell you this: VT lets the author approve or disapprove of comments. I don’t know how much leeway they provide if some approved comment runs counter to VT policy on hate speech for example. But it is difficult for me to justify non approval since I firmly believe in the right of anyone to speak freely.I feel, perhaps simple-mindedly, that an idiot will be seen as such by those who read a comment that deserves that recognition and anyone placing such in the comment page deserves the recognition. I will not find a request to remove a comment much to my liking.

  4. Salwa  March 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Is there a way to edit or cancel a comment? How?

  5. DaveE  March 19, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Whoever invented the idea, way back when, of equating race with a belief system in the form of “Judaism” was an evil genius. That is, you are BORN into this religion and you can’t escape. Anyone who challenges your beliefs is therefore a racist. It seems like Judaism’s authors knew from the git-go how to brainwash people and hold them captive to their twisted ideology and invented the perfect foil for anyone who dares to challenge them.

    Coupled with the fact that the primary tenet of this so-called “religion” is that a certain RACE has been hand-picked by “G_d” himself for Earthly power and control, the very essence of Judaism, straight out of the Torah. Another master-stroke of demonic genius. Divinely inspired, sanctioned and encouraged racism, justification for anything and a “we can do no wrong” superiority complex. How can “G_d’s” Chosen be wrong, after all? Is “G_d” himself ever wrong?

    Ethnic Jews (whatever that means) cannot choose their parents, of course. But why is it that all the other religions are CHOSEN by their followers EXCEPT Judaism, which one effectively must be BORN into and cannot escape, even if they want to? I can choose to be a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. but not the Jews. They are forced into their “religion” by the act of being born. Sounds like the ultimate con, to me.

    This does no even take into account the lies and invented history used to brainwash a loose collection of peoples into believing they are a “race” bound, tied and shackled to their “religion” of superiority and separatism.

    Of course, anyone who openly talks of these falsehoods (like me) is also a racist, since the race and the “religion” are joined at the hip. Brilliant. Pure genius. The ultimate mind game.

    As for me, to clarify the record, I am anti-Judaism. I encourage every thinking Jew (and Christian, for that matter) to do the same. You don’t have to wear a suit that is so ugly unless you WANT to do so.

  6. Paul V. Sheridan  March 19, 2012 at 9:41 am

    This discussion/article is an intellectual, political and ethical train wreck . . . but the most indicative of that status/reality is the use of that “The World Stopped Nazism . . . ” garbage-brained poster.

    How very trendy; so adept at feel-goodery that I want to vomit . . . that level of checkout-counterish gibberish has no place at VT.com.

    Where and when will we see a poster that states: “THE WORLD FINALLY STOPPED BOLSHEVISM!” ?

    That garbage-brained poster used above would have one believe that we (“the world”??) attained victory at the end of WW2. How pathetic that use of that poster confirms that people just don’t get any of this . . . let’s try that one again:


    We lost WW2 . . . and we will continue losing if we don’t get the truth straight in our minds and thoroughly exposed . . . try and get this through your head.

  7. Sami Jamil Jadallah  March 19, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Meanwhile and from Jerusalem, Haaretz claims American Evagelical Chrisitians compare Bibi Netanyahu to Moses and David… well, I guess G-d is making up for HIS/HER mistake some 3,000 years late…

    Published 01:28 19.03.12
    Latest update 01:28 19.03.12

    Waiting for the Messiah: Netanyahu addresses Evangelical Christian gathering in Jerusalem
    Head of Christians United for Israel, largest pro-Israel lobby in U.S., compares PM to Moses and King David.

  8. Debbie Menon  March 19, 2012 at 2:41 am

    If it were “disavowal” being used by fellow Jews to discredit him, I would think that they were aiming to “ostracize” him from the Jewish community, which is probably the greatest punishment a Jew or community of Jews can visit upon another but, these PCN people who signed the letter are not Jews but are predominantly Muslim,they cannot ostracize him from the Islamic community because he is not a Muslim, and Muslims do not practice ostracization, anyway, they just chop off your head for apostasy instead.

    Perhaps they meant to “ostracize” him from the Palestinian movement, their own racist sensibilities being offended by a Jew who sympathized and identified with them in politics if not in religious faith.

    At best all they can hope to do is to “discredit” him by personal attack of his motives or his morals. And by attempting to do so, they are sorting out these friends from those friends, and identifying themselves for whose friends they are, which is an important thing in this world of today when we really do not know who are friends of whom, people do not carry ID Cards or wear uniforms, everyone lies, and no one can be measured or judged except by what they actually do.

    Gilad Atzmon may be legitimately charged for any number of “wrong” things, bad, objectionable or offensive personal characteristics and traits, and he probably snores, chews with his mouth open, etc…. but racism and bigotry are not among them.

    “Disavowal” in any use in this situation seems to me, as a wordsmith, to be simply a careless choice of words.

    They really ought to clean up their editing and do a bit more rewriting before they publish this kind of stuff.

    And, they ought to clean up their ranks before they go about shooting their very best allies in the back!

    I dunno.

    This all seems like good mole-hill material here out of which we could make mountains if we wanted to waste the time.

  9. daquamarine  March 18, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    When a person or group shows the same symptomology as other persons or groups, it looks suspiciously like shared DNA, in an energetic sense. The same lack of erudition in the attacks and unreasoned sloppiness bears all the markings of the insanity of the Zionists. This is a simple matter of walking and talking like a duck, IMO.

    There is an upside to all of this and that is former ‘sleepers’ are outed. The profound differences between the decent and the sane, on the one hand, and the criminal and repugnant on the other, is stark. It is like two different species are arising now. They seem the same until the speaking begins.

    I am happy to count myself among the decent with the editorial staff here at VT. Gilad is a fine human and what music I have heard of his I have enjoyed immensely. He is a healer and with the medicine that provides for a healthier terrain to prevent future revisitation of the same sickness thee will be healing crisis’s in the interim. He is funny, smart and fearless. Have I said that I really like him?

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