Introduction by Gilad Atzmon. In the following article, German author and commentator Evelyn Hecht-Galinski exposes Jonathan Scheiner and the Jüdische Allgemeine as Hasbara operators. [Gilad Atzmon]
Introduction by Jeffrey Blankfort. A very rough and important article. The author, Evelyn Hecht-Galinski (born 1949, Berlin) is a Jewish-German activist, an outspoken critic of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians. She is a daughter of Heinz Galinski, a former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. In a highly publicized interview with German radio, Hecht-Galinski described the Central Council as the "mouthpiece of the Israeli government in Germany," criticized "Israel’s criminal actions". [Jeffrey Blankfort]
Yet again we have evidence of how the Jüdische Allgemeine (JA) deals with any criticism of Israel. In JA on April 4th, 2013 you can find a peculiar article titled “Self-hatred and Saxophone“(1), writhen by Jonathan Scheiner.
Scheiner’s article consists of false accusations that indicate that not only has he failed to consider Gilad Atzmon`s writings on music, politics and philosophy but that he also has probably not read Gilad Atzmon`s book. So straightaway, let me recommend each reader and interested person read Gilad Atzmon’s new book: “The Wandering Who”, published in 2012 by Zambon Verlag.
In the first paragraph Scheiner writes “Gilad Atzmon is yet to be denied an entry permit to Germany“ and only then does he mention Atzmon’s current European jazz tour. This alone reveals Scheiner’s true face. Is it not the Israeli regime that punishes critics of Israel with the denial of an entry permit? Think of Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein or even Gilad Atzmon - all denied entry to Israel. Is there any other lobby except the Jewish one which creates such ‘shit lists’ against its critics?
Jonathan Scheiner admits that Gilad Atzmon is an exceptional saxophonist, one of the greatest jazz artists of our time and that it is no surprise that Atzmon’s current world tour, as he travels from Argentina to Germany with his Orient House Ensemble, is indeed very successful.
But after the praise for the genius musician comes the usual poison - a totally misleading comparison between Atzmon and Richard Wagner - an attempt to equate Wagner’s loathing of Jews with Atzmon’s loathing of Zionism and Jewish politics.
So, let us ask ourselves why Gilad Athmon lives in exile in London and why he criticizes Israel. Did he not experience events during the first Lebanon War that opened his eyes and made him a harsh critic of Israel? So would it not have been terrible if, after all he had witnessed, Gilad did not act as he does? Do not all us critics of Zionism and Israel reflect on our experience and draw a lesson from it? Scheiner writes, “His anti-zionism rather often turns to ordinary hatred of Jews.” Here, Scheiner clearly positions himself at the forefront of Hasbara as, in the usual way, he conflates and confuses terms like ‘anti-Zionism’, ‘antisemitism’ and now even the new notion of “hatred of Jews“. And this false portrayal is made deliberately in an effort to silence Israel’s critics. Once again, the JA is proved to be Israel’s “Stürmer”.
I totally agree with Gilad Atzmon when he asks: Why should any Jewish person feel shame for other Jews, actions or thoughts he or she has nothing to do with? Jewish collective fear is far better understood as Jewish projection. And I have a suggestion for Jonathan Scheiner, who was born in France. Why does he not write an article about the French Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim, known not only for his attacks on critics of Israel but also for his actions against gay marriage (2). And who resigned this week after being exposed as a plagiarist?
I also want to use this opportunity to oppose the hypothesis that discussion on Judaism is irrelevant to Palestinian resistance. The occupation, colonialism and violation of human rights in Palestine are intrinsically inherent to Jewish politics. The state of Israel is based on Jewish laws and Jewish symbolism. Israel paints Stars of David on the tanks that are used in its operations against Palestinians. Jewishness is at the heart of the Jewish State. And, if this is not enough, the Palestinians are asked to recognize the Jewish state, something many of them just cannot accept.
Can it really be dismissed that Israel’s policies are based on Jewishness? No, it cannot. The Jewish state attempts to speak on behalf of all Jews worldwide and with this in mind, we are constantly warned about growing antisemitism. Israeli Presidents then call on Jews from the Diaspora to return home to the Jewish state. From a Zionist perspective this should be realised as a call for all Jews to return to their Erez Israel, as promised by God himself.
I consider this to be a very dangerous path which could lead to the social exclusion of Jews. On the one hand, more and more Jewish centres and synagogues are being built, on the other hand the Jews of the world are asked by the Israelis to immigrate to the Holy Land. Thus, antisemitism and criticism of Israel are considered inseparable and are lumped together. All Jewish citizens of the whole world should resist these unspeakable tribal ideas which can only cause a sense of false solidarity. But it is shocking how many Jewish people are taken in by this kind of propaganda and blindly identify with Israel. Over and over again, fear of the hostile Gentiles around is generated creating an environment threatening to Jewish people and to Israelis.
Why do we not disseminate the fact that, despite intensive work by the Israeli Lobby, about 60 per-cent of the German population consider the Israeli regime a threat to world peace? Nor did this change after Chancellor Merkel’s recent speech in the Knesset, proclaiming the German commitment to Israel’s security.
I ask myself, how is it possible that this Jewish state, an ethnocratic country treating citizens of varied religions and ethnicities differently, continues setting up settlements, robbing land, arresting at will and killing inhabitants, disregards human rights and International Law, is respected and treated as a friend? The Zionist regime has to be restrained. One cannot allow Israel to continue with its criminal policy - not for strategic reasons, nor because Israel is massively supported by the USA. We simply must now react and boycott this state.
Gilad Atzmon says just that, so why attack him in such a way?
Who now does not understand that the struggle against Zionist Israeli injustice has many facets? Of course, one sees ideological differences in the many activists who struggle for freedom for the Palestinian people but always with the common aim to end the occupation. Only together we are strong. For this reason, I hope that the second Solidarity Conference in Stuttgart serves as a platform for various and different opinions, and that this includes those of Gilad Atzmon.
But finally Gilad can speak for himself as in this comment ranslated by Elisabeth Lauck from the Freiburger Friedensforum (Freiburg Peace Forum):
"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?
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…
17 April, 2013
Translated from German by Elisabeth Lauck-Ndayi
(2) FAZ of 11.04.13, "Meditationen aus fremder Feder"