By Gilad Atzmon
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a fascinating speech yesterday at the memorial ceremony of Theodor Herzl in Jerusalem (27.6.2013). ‘The Jew’, stated Netanyahu, is the saver and the liberator of humanity. He and she are the true meaning of progress as conveyed by the notion of ‘Tikkun Olam’ (fixing the world). ‘The Jew’, according to the Israeli PM, is the emblem of philosophical, ideological, spiritual, scientific and aesthetic innovation.
In his attempt to describe late 19th Century Jewish life in Vienna, Netanyahu said “they (the Jews) rose and flourished in science, art, medicine, philosophy, music, journalism, business, economics – Jewish prosperity can not be described. Freud, Mahler, Schnitzler, Schoenberg, Wittgenstein who came from a Jewish home, Stefan Zweig…”
But then, like Herzl, Netanyahu accepts that in spite of all their greatness, European Jews were doomed – they were despised and were eventually subject to a horrendous fate. According to Netanyahu and his mentor Herzl, antisemitism is engraved in the Goy’s mind. “People are willing to believe everything about the Jews,” he says.
Netanyahu draws his conclusion – The Jewish State is essential. “The Jewish state was founded in accordance with Herzl’s vision. It indeed united the Jewish genius”. But then he is forced to admit that actually, “Tikkun Olam is not protecting you (the Jews) … because the biased belief against us continues.”
Netanyahu is indeed coherent and consistent, but there is one small detail he may fail to see. It’s more than likely that the so called ‘Goyim’ i.e. the rest of Humanity, are not that interested in the Judeo-centric notion of ‘Tikkun Olam’ – those ‘progressive’ and ‘moralist’ ideologies that are mainly concerned with: the primacy of Jewish suffering (holocaust religion), plundering oil from Muslims in the name of democracy (Neoconservatism), stealing from the rich in the name of Marx (Marxism) or stealing from the poor in the name of Milton Freidman (free market).
Netanyahu, Herzl and probably most Jewish ideologists always fail to detect the growing fatigue of ‘Tikkun Olam’ and its messengers. Zionists and Anti Zionists alike would do themselves and the rest of us a great favour once they gather that rather than ‘fixing the world,’ they better consider fixing themselves and their Jewish universe first.
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, 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.”