Alimuddin Usmani: Alain Soral recently stated that Jews who are brave and honest enough to delve into Jewish tribalism understand that Soral is far from anti Semitic. Soral said that he is trying to get the Jews to understand that by acting as a racist and brutal community, the Jews will eventually bring disaster on themselves.
What is your opinion of Soral’s statement?
Gilad Atzmon: I have no doubt that Soral’s ‘issue’ with ‘the Jew’ has nothing to do with ethnicity or race. Soral is critical of Jewish culture and politics and his thoughts on the subject are both valid and timely.
We’ve been trained to believe in the value of a consistent critique and continual revision of politics and culture. However, it seems that many Jews believe that Jewish politics and culture are beyond criticism. For some bizarre reason, a number of major institutions of the Left agree that Jewish culture and politics are not open to evaluation. I guess this affirms that, at least in the eyes of the Left and the Jews, the chosen people are actually chosen for real.
Alimuddin Usmani: Hezbollah’s military capacity is superior to Hamas. Is the Shia world more efficient in promoting a meritocratic society and in building a cognitive elite?
Gilad Atzmon: This is interesting. To start with, I do not entirely agree with the premise of your question.
From both a military and a political perspective, Hamas performed extremely well in the last round of violence. It invested in technology and developed the military force and strategy that allowed Hamas to win a decisive victory on the ground. But you are correct as a general matter. The Sunni elite and the traditional Palestinian elite are clannish by nature and dominated by a nepotistic culture. These cultures have a number of prestigious families that pass titles and leadership positions from father to son.
As I recently explored in my Manhattan talk, the Palestinian traditional elite is a subservient elite. This can be understood by reviewing Palestinian history. Palestine has been under occupation for the last two millennia and the its elite served to keep its people in line. This characteristization of the Palestinian aristocracy as a subservient elite may explain the political paralysis that is embedded within the attitude of the western Palestinian elite. It certainly explains why Ramallah has become world’s NGO capital. But I am about to contradict myself.
Obviously this explanation covers only a part of the picture. The situation in Gaza is clearly different. When Gaza was turned into a prison by Israel, Gazans were pushed into adopting a new meritocratic order, influenced by Islam. Through Islamic education Gazans have been building a new cognitive elite. They found which people were scientifically and technologically advanced, those who were fit to fight and lead in battle, those who are made for politics, Islamic education, and so on.
Now let’s zoom out and review the situation in the region. As Islam is reinstated, Sunnis are also becoming a seriously efficient fighting force, a force neither Israel nor the West can match.
But you are correct in pointing out that the Shia reached this stage first. To a certain extent, the Shia have been experimenting with this strategy for years. In a way similar to the Rabbinical universe, the Shia have been searching for talent and investing effort into bringing this talent up. Both Hassan Nasrallah and ex- president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are exemplary results of this method. Both leaders started as grassroots combatants who were pushed to the top once they were identified as uniquely gifted persons.
Alimuddin Usmani: Each time you debate Lee Kaplan on Press TV, he insists on calling you a “Tokyo Rose,” a generic name given by Allied troops in the South Pacific during WW II to Iva Tour, the English-speaking female broadcaster of Japanese propaganda.
However this comparison seems inapt. Iva Tour was an American, born in Los Angeles to Japanese immigrants; who sailed to Tokyo and worked for Japan. Her history indicates that she never broke with her tribal inclinations. In contrast, you were born in Israel in a Jewish nationalist environment and later broke with this ideology.
Why does Lee Kaplan have so much difficulty in categorizing you?
Gilad Atzmon: Jews find it very difficult to deal with club members who resign. I am not the first one. Jesus was nailed to the wood. Spinoza was excommunicated. Uriel Da Costa was asked to lie down at the doorstep of the synagogue and endure the entire community spitting on him: humiliated and exhausted, he committed suicide. In recent time we saw the harassment campaign waged against Israel Shamir. And then the war against Gilad.
It is pretty simple, there is nothing that threatens the Jew more than assimilation. Both Zionism, and the so-called ‘anti’ Zionist Bund existed to defy assimilation. Even the contemporary ‘anti Zionists;’ such as JVP, Mondoweiss and Max Blumenthal fight assimilation. The anti Zionist argument is simple, you do not have to drift, you can stay in our progressive ghetto and be a ‘good Jew.’
I suspect most gentiles do not know that Yeshu, the name Jews call Jesus, is actually an abbreviation for Yamach Shemo Ve-zichro (May his Name be eradicated) – a uniquely Jewish vile epitaph reserved for the biggest evil enemies of the Jewish people such as Hitler and Stalin. When you think about it carefully, Jesus did indeed commit the ultimate anti Semitic crime – he preached to his Jewish brothers to love their neighbors.
But there is an interesting twist to this philosophy. The Left uses similar tactics on those who dare to develop an independent humanist attitude. Let’s look at the cases of Dieudonne and Soral, both former heroes of the Left. Look at the abuse hurled at them after they began to think independently. What we see from the Left is a humiliating manifestation of the most radical form of Talmudic herem culture. And the Left pays a heavy price for its tribal rules.
The historical evolution of Fascism could have resulted in a continual development in socialist thinking that drifts from cosmopolitanism into localism and nationalism. The Left could have treated fascism as a ‘reformist’ movement. Such an approach towards fascism would have allowed the Left to sustain its ideology and place at the core of an evolving populist and dominant movement. It would sustain the bond between the Left and the working people. Instead the Left has turned its back on Fascism, it executed the Rabbinical herem model. Rather than endorsing socialism within each nation separately, the left treated Fascism as heresy. The outcome was clear, the masses and the working class turned their back to the Left. This very interesting dilemma is apparent in the writing of a number of Left thinkers, including Wilhelm Riech and George Orwell.
To your question: it makes sense due to the nature of Jewish tribalism, Jews cannot cope with criticism, mirroring or assimilation. It follows that some of the greatest humanists, Jesus, Spinoza, Marx, etc. were Jewish dissenters. I do believe that Jewish tribal harassment campaigns bring the best out of the Jewish ‘self hater.’ It is simple for me. I can easily deal with my detractors and the names they call me. In fact, it refines my thought, ideological and critical model. It provides me with a deeper insight into Jewish tribal collective paranoia.
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.”