Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A group of people whose single-minded aim is to take away the Jewish right of self-determination has decided that Gilad Atzmon's nutty anti-semitic rantings is too crazy - even for them.

From the "US Palestinian Community Network," quoted in Electronic Intifada:
For many years now, Gilad Atzmon, a musician born in Israel and currently living in the United Kingdom, has taken on the self-appointed task of defining for the Palestinian movement the nature of our struggle, and the philosophy underpinning it. He has done so through his various blogs and Internet outlets, in speeches, and in articles. He is currently on tour in the United States promoting his most recent book, entitled, The Wandering Who.

With this letter, we call for the disavowal of Atzmon by fellow Palestinian organizers, as well as Palestine solidarity activists, and allies of the Palestinian people, and note the dangers of supporting Atzmon’s political work and writings and providing any platforms for their dissemination. We do so as Palestinian organizers and activists, working across continents, campaigns, and ideological positions.

Atzmon’s politics rest on one main overriding assertion that serves as springboard for vicious attacks on anyone who disagrees with his obsession with “Jewishness”. He claims that all Jewish politics is “tribal,” and essentially, Zionist. Zionism, to Atzmon, is not a settler-colonial project, but a trans-historical “Jewish” one, part and parcel of defining one’s self as a Jew. Therefore, he claims, one cannot self-describe as a Jew and also do work in solidarity with Palestine, because to identify as a Jew is to be a Zionist. We could not disagree more. Indeed, we believe Atzmon’s argument is itself Zionist because it agrees with the ideology of Zionism and Israel that the only way to be a Jew is to be a Zionist.

Palestinians have faced two centuries of orientalist, colonialist and imperialist domination of our native lands. And so as Palestinians, we see such language as immoral and completely outside the core foundations of humanism, equality and justice, on which the struggle for Palestine and its national movement rests. As countless Palestinian activists and organizers, their parties, associations and campaigns, have attested throughout the last century, our struggle was never, and will never be, with Jews, or Judaism, no matter how much Zionism insists that our enemies are the Jews. Rather, our struggle is with Zionism, a modern European settler colonial movement, similar to movements in many other parts of the world that aim to displace indigenous people and build new European societies on their lands.

...Indeed, we regard any attempt to link and adopt antisemitic or racist language, even if it is within a self-described anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist politics, as reaffirming and legitimizing Zionism.

...As Palestinians, it is our collective responsibility, whether we are in Palestine or in exile, to assert our guidance of our grassroots liberation struggle. We must protect the integrity of our movement, and to do so we must continue to remain vigilant that those for whom we provide platforms actually speak to its principles.

When the Palestinian people call for self-determination and decolonization of our homeland, we do so in the promise and hope of a community founded on justice, where all are free, all are equal and all are welcome.

Until liberation and return.
I don't know if it is worth fisking the absolute stupidity and purposeful lies seen here - for example, the ridiculous idea that Zionism is colonialism, or the myth that Palestinian Arab nationalism would accept Jews as equals, or even the sheer hypocrisy of stating that "Palestinians," who have enjoyed peoplehood for a few decades at most, have a greater claim for self-determination than the 3000 year old Jewish nation (which these signatories deny even exists.)

The people who signed this are attempting to put on a "moderate" facade on their sheer hate by distancing themselves from a Holocaust denier and anti-semite, but their excuses are hardly more moral than Atzmon's sickening rhetoric. It is equally anti-semitic to deny Jewish peoplehood and Jewish self-determination.

And who signed it? A score of Arab academics and thinkers, whose signatures to this letter show that there is no relationship between being an intellectual and being a moral human being. They include Ali Abunimah, Joseph Massad, Omar Barghouti and a host of prominent Palestinian Arab professors and activists who cloak their hate in big words and lofty-sounding concepts - that only apply to their own people.

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