From the river to the sea,
Palestine will be free!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

SHLOMO SAND'S The Invention of the Jewish People-Book Review by Gilad Atzmon

http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/shlomo-sands-the-invention-of-the-jewish-people-book-review.html

From 2008, reposted now that it is out in English. The ending paragraphs are below.

Once again I may say it, we are not and never been against Jews (the people) nor we are against Judaism (the religion). Yet, we are against a collective philosophy with some clear global interests. Some would like to call it Zionism but I prefer not to. Zionism is a vague signifier that is far too narrow to capture the complexity of Jewish nationalism, its brutality, ideology and practice. Jewish nationalism is a spirit and spirit doesn’t have clear boundaries. In fact, none of us know exactly where Jewishness stops and where Zionism starts as much as we do not know where Israeli interests stop and where the Neocon’s interests start.

As far as the Palestinian cause is concerned, the message is rather devastating. Our Palestinian brothers and sisters are at the forefront of a struggle against a very devastating philosophy. Yet, it is clearly not just the Israelis whom they fight with rather a fierce pragmatic philosophy that initiates global conflicts on some gigantic scale. It is a tribal practice that seeks influence within corridors of power and super powers in particular. The American Jewish Committee is pushing for a war against Iran. Just to be on the safe side David Abrahams, a ‘Labour Friend of Israel’ donates money to the Labour Party by proxy. More or less at the same time two million Iraqis die in an illegal war designed by one called Wolfowitz. While all the above is taking place, millions of Palestinians are starved in concentration camps and Gaza is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. As it all happens, ‘anti-Zionist’ Jews and Jews in the left (Chomsky included) insist upon dismantling the eloquent criticism of AIPAC, Jewish lobbying and Jewish power posed by Mearsheimer and Walt (15)

Is it just Israel? Is it really Zionism? Or shall we admit that it is something far greater than we are entitled even to contemplate within the intellectual boundaries we imposed upon ourselves? As things stand, we lack the intellectual courage to confront the Jewish national project and its many messengers around the world. However, since it is all a matter of consciousness-shift, things are going to change soon. In fact, this very text is there to prove that they are changing already.

To stand by the Palestinians is to save the world, but in order to do so we have to be courageous enough to stand up and admit that it is not merely a political battle. It is not just Israel, its army or its leadership, it isn’t even Dershowitz, Foxman and their silencing leagues. It is actually a war against a cancerous spirit that hijacked the West and, at least momentarily, diverted it from its humanist inclination and Athenian aspirations. To fight a spirit is far more difficult than fighting people, just because one may have to first fight its traces within oneself. If we want to fight Jerusalem, we may have to first confront Jerusalem within. We may have to stand in front of the mirror, look around us. We may have to trace for empathy in ourselves in case there is anything left.


No comments: