Tribalism, Racism and Projection – Part 1


 Why Do They Do What They Do?

   … by  Gilad Atzmon


First part of two – In this paper and the one to follow, I expose the misleading aspect that is, unfortunately, inherent to some ‘anti’ racist ideologies. I will elaborate on the role of anti racism in maintaing both Zionism and the Left discourse.

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ― Anaïs Nin 

It doesn’t take a genius to see that people who are identified as Zionist and Jews are, somehow, over represented in many blunders in today’s world affairs.

The pro-war, Neocon think-tanks were overwhelmingly saturated with Zionist Jews, and the ‘moral interventionist’ advocates within the media are also largely Zionist Jews.

The ‘brains’ behind the so-called Bush doctrine i.e. The ‘War Against Terror’, were Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby.

And if that were not enough, at the heart of the financial turmoil we also find Jewish persons, and financial institutions that are clearly recognizable as Jewish – such as the Lehman Brother, Goldman Sachs, Alan Greenspan, Bernie Madoff, and many others.

Here one must ask an obvious question – why should any Jew anywhere in the world be concerned in any way with these facts? Why should any Jewish person be concerned with actions or ideas that he or she probably has nothing to do with?

Why should my Jewish neighbour, also subject to the financial turmoil and with no connection whatsoever with Madoff, Wolfowitz, David Aaronovitch or Lord ‘cash point’ Levy, be at all concerned  with current financial or imperial blunders for which he has no responsibility?

Why should my Jewish musician friends who have no ties to Israel, AIPAC, CFI, CST, Nick Cohen or Alan Greenspan feel guilty for crimes or actions taken by others just because they also happen to be Jewish?

Would a Frenchman or an Irishman in America feel threatened or potentially discriminated against because of revelations that a few of their expatriates had been involved in a major colossal scandal?

Young Jews are Breaking Ranks

So, the question I raise here is a simple one: why should any Jew feel guilty for crimes that are committed by other people – people he or she does not know and is not affiliated with?

And the answer is equally simple – Jewish individuals have no reason to assume responsibility for actions committed by other Jews.

But the truth of the matter is, that many Jews are extremely concerned about the current blunders: some feel guilty, and many – potentially at least – feel threatened. I would say that such a reaction merits our attention.

Amongst my other sins, I regularly monitor the Jewish media, and it is obvious to me that Jewish institutions are put on alert by any scandal that is even mildly associated with Jewish protagonists or institutions.

Jewish media outlets give the impression that every blunder associated with a Jew is highly likely to turn itself into a wave of vile anti-semitism. We are left to wonder then whether the Jewish fear of anti-Semitism is actually justified, or whether it is simply driven by a ‘fantasy of destruction’.

In my latest book The Wandering Who I contend that Jewish fear of anti-Semitism is largely self-inflicted and has very little to do with the surrounding reality. Jews tend to regard themselves as a tribe and most Jews are subjected to a degree of cultural and racially driven indoctrination.

Zionist Settler Ladies Training to Defend Their Stolen Land

On the one hand, the religion of Judaism teaches its followers that  “all of Israel are responsible for one another” (1) (Kol Yisrael areivin zeh l’zeh); while on the other hand, the non religious, secular, emancipated Jews who identify politically, ideologically and socially as Jews they also operate within Jewish ethno-centric settings.

Even within the Palestinian solidarity movement we find Jews who operate within ‘Jews only’ cells such as JBIG (Jews for Boycott Of Israeli Goods) and IJAN (International Jewish Antizionist Network).

Somehow, they also feel primarily ‘responsible for one another.’

This reading of contemporary Jewish communities may reveal why many Jews are alarmed by crimes committed by other Jews – Jews whom they don’t even know.

I can think of three reasons for such a situation:

  1. Projection: Because some Jews regard themselves as a racially exclusive tribe, they tend to believe that others – non Jews – will also regard them as such. In other words, many Jews project their own ethno-centric symptoms onto the Goyim i.e. They think the Goyim are as racially driven as they are.
  2. Guilt: Because some Jews tend to regard themselves as a racially exclusive tribe, they feel guilty for not stopping those members of the tribe who are involved in some major blunders.
  3. Conjunction –- both 1 and 2.

It is increasingly clear then, that at the heart of the Jewish fear of anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish bigotry we find Jewish racial orientation, manifesting itself in various forms of projection and guilt.

Though it is clear that Jews do not actually form a race, there is little doubt that Jewishness – and especially Jewish secular discourse – is racially, or at least tribally driven.

No Subtle Message Here

Not many people are aware of the racial tension between different Jewish communities such as Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews. In Israel the blood donation of Black citizens with Ethiopian background is disposed of for ‘medical reasons.

Israel legal system is saturated with discriminatory racist and supremacist laws against the Arab and non-Jewish population.

To a certain extent then, the fear of anti-Semitism inherent to the Zionist and Jewish secular political discourse is fueled by the belief that the ‘other,’ i.e. the Goy, may well be equally driven by a similar racist ideology.

Some Jews, it must be said, might offer reasons to reject the above explanation: they might argue that Jewish history (i.e. that endless chain of Shoas), proves that ‘the sons of Israel’ would be justified in being on a constant state of alert. Jews, they might say, should be constantly aware that their neighbours might turn against them at any given moment.

I suggest that we are dealing here with a ‘chicken and egg’ situation: while some Jews would agree among themselves that anti-Semitism is largely an ‘irrational disease’.

A few historians such as Bernard Lazare were brave and honest enough to ask why and how exactly, Jews have managed to bring so much pain on themselves.

Editing:  Jim W. Dean


Gilad Atzmon’s New Book:

The Wandering Who?

A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics  or



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Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli-born British jazz saxophonist, novelist, political activist and writer. Atzmon's album Exile was BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. Playing over 100 dates a year,[4] he has been called "surely the hardest-gigging man in British jazz." His albums, of which he has recorded nine to date, often explore the music of the Middle East and political themes. He has described himself as a "devoted political artist." He supports the Palestinian right of return and the one-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His criticisms of Zionism, Jewish identity, and Judaism, as well as his controversial views on The Holocaust and Jewish history have led to allegations of antisemitism from both Zionists and anti-Zionists. A profile in The Guardian in 2009 which described Atzmon as "one of London's finest saxophonists" stated: "It is Atzmon's blunt anti-Zionism rather than his music that has given him an international profile, particularly in the Arab world, where his essays are widely read." His new book The Wandering Who? is now availble at