Monday, 5 December 2011

Review - Atzmon - The Wandering Fool


A Worthless Book - Devoid of All Originality

[this Review has been posted to Amazon[

Introduction
In the blurb for Atzmon’s The Wandering Who? are listed five professors: William Cook, James Petras and Samir Abed-Rabbo, as well as John Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science at Chicago University and Richard Falk, Professor of International Law at Princeton. The latter two have probably torpedoed their reputations permanently. The first three had no reputation to lose. It would seem that stupidity can be a useful attribute if you want to be a professor.

Mearsheimer co-authored with Stephen Walt, an article then book ‘The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy’ whose main theme was that the US was acting against its own interests because of the power of the Israel lobby. Mearsheimer was careful not to talk of a Jewish lobby, ascribing most of the Lobby’s power to Christian Zionists in the USA. Having written that ‘Gilad Atzmon has written a fascinating and provocative book on Jewish identity in the modern world.’ Mearsheimer has literally shot his bolt.

Richard Falk’s endorsement is the most puzzling. He is the UN’s Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Territories, banned by Israel from entering the Gaza Strip. He was a thorn in the side of those who bombed children with white phosphorous and left behind cluster bombs for them to play with. To describe Atzmon’s virulently anti-Semitic book, as ‘a transformative story told with unflinching integrity that all (especially Jews) who care about real peace, as well as their own identity, should not only read, but reflect upon...’ shows that Falk has either not read Atzmon’s book or that he genuinely doesn’t understand that blaming the victims of genocide for their own demise is racist.

Were the Jews of Europe Hated by their Neighbours?
Perhaps Falk and Mearsheimer could set their students the following essay: ‘why is the following text a classic example of racism and anti-Semitism.’ ‘65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz we should be able to ask … Why were the Jews hated? Why did European people stand up against their neighbours? Why are the Jews hated in the Middle East… Why did America tighten its immigration laws amid the growing danger to European Jews?’ (175-176)

Our good professors might draw their students’ attention to the way the Jews of Europe are elided together with the Zionist settlers of Israel, to say nothing of the notion of a single European people. Did the Jews of Poland colonise others’ territory? Were the Dutch Jews so hated that the workers of Amsterdam reacted with a 3 day general strike to protest the attacks on them, broken only by fierce military repression and the deportation of the strike leaders to Mauthausen, where they died.

Did the Danes who in October 1943 rescued almost the whole Jewish community, 8,000 people, by transporting them by boat to Sweden, ‘stand up’ against their Jewish neighbours? Or the Bulgarians who refused to allow a single deportation? Or the Albanians? Or the French and Italians, 75% and 85% of whose Jews survived the holocaust, mainly through hiding out with non-Jews?

The Bund
Atzmon devotes much of his venom to the anti-Zionist Bund, who are ‘not fundamentally different from Zionism.’ [122] In the 1938 local council elections in Warsaw, they obtained 17 out of 20 seats, compared to just one for the Zionists. Isn’t the real comparison between the pogromists the Jews of Russia and Poland faced and the mobs who chant ‘Death to the Arabs’ in Israel?

Marek Edelman, a Bundist and last commander of the Jewish Resistance in the Warsaw ghetto paid tribute to the Palestinian resistance in the second Intifada. [Palestine's partisans, Paul Foot, Guardian, Wednesday 21.8.02.] This was why the Israeli Embassy in Poland didn’t even send the lowest clerk to Edelman’s funeral in 2009, although the President of Poland found time to attend.

Atzmon’s refers to the closing of America’s borders as the holocaust approached (in fact it was in 1924). But this wasn’t aimed at just the Jews. Is this any different from immigration controls and the deportation of asylum seekers in the West today? Does the US now welcome refugees from persecution?

Atzmon is a good example of ‘blame the victim’ racism. In what way is Atzmon’s pretentious work of ‘philosophy’ ‘transformative’ [Falk]? Atzmon does not fish in an empty sea. The reason why his book has achieved a certain resonance has less to do with what he’s written and more to do with the wider context.

Jewish Identity?
As most Palestine solidarity activist will confirm, accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ are standard fare. It is no surprise that some people, rather than challenging the underlying premise, take their accusers at their word. If it is anti-Semitic to support the Palestinians then some people will say that if they have to choose they will bear the cross of anti-Semitism.

The Wandering Who? is purportedly about Jewish identity. In reality it is about Atzmon’s own confused identity. Is he Jewish, Christian, ex-Jewish or just Artie Fishel, a spoof character and ardent Zionist who is Atzmon’s alter ego? What the book doesn’t describe, except by way of caricature, is the real identity crisis of today’s diaspora Jews. Instead he feasts on a Jewish Chronicle feature on David Rosenberg and Julia Bard and their agonising over whether to have their 2 boys circumcised.

Judging by Atzmon’s description of them, one would assume that they were convinced Zionists. In fact they are members of the non-Zionist Jewish Socialists Group. Their dilemma was that of many young Jews – whether it is better to keep the parents quiet and to make a symbolic bow to Judaism. It was a dilemma that I also faced. Circumcision in religious folklore is the covenant between god and man. To Atzmon ‘It is a peep into the strange and inconsistent world of the Jewish tribal left…. (it) presents Zionism in a new light.’ In fact it says nothing about Zionism. It is also practised by Muslims and many non-Jews, including the Royal Family! In focussing on Jewish circumcision Atzmon plumbs the depths of pathological anti-Semitism.

Whether it is the economic crisis ‘Credit Crunch or Zio Punch’ or Swindler’s List, which conflates Jewish socialism (the Bund) and confiscation of the assets of the rich, with Israel’s theft of Palestinian land, it is the Jews who are responsible. You could be forgiven for thinking that Alan Greenspan and Paul Wolfowitz single handedly brought about the credit crunch in order to enhance the power of Israel and international Jewry.

‘The Jewish nationalist would rob Palestine in the name of the right of self-determination, the Jewish progressive is there to rob the ruling class and even international capital in the name of world working class revolution.’

The conflation of [Jewish] socialism and colonialism is merely absurd. Socialism seeks to create a society where there are no poor or wealthy, but that involves the confiscation of the assets of the rich. Colonialism is an extension of that theft. But according to Atzmon ‘The Judaic God’ is an evil deity who, via Moses, leads his people to plunder, robbery and theft. What Moses and Joshua did over 3 millennia ago explains Israel’s behaviour today. Given that Britain was the world’s largest empire and also a Christian state, one wonders why Atzmon converted to a religion whose god is also evil? God was always on the side of the colonist, whatever their religion. Atzmon’s sojourn into ‘Jewish identity’ has a purpose - to portray the Jews of Europe and Israel as one seamless whole.

Identity is not fixed
Atzmon tries to associate his work with the late Israel Shahak, a Professor at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, who personally uncovered the existence of over 300 Arab villages whose remains had been obliterated by the Zionist colonisers. Shahak was a child survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and Belsen-Bergen concentration camp. Shahak’s saying ‘‘The Nazis made me afraid to be a Jew, and the Israelis make me ashamed to be a Jew.’ is featured at the beginning of the book. But that wasn’t a rejection of being Jewish but a rejection of what Israel was doing in the name of Jews. Shahak was not a Jew-baiter.

Shahak’s argument was too sophisticated for Atzmon. He didn’t argue that Zionist barbarities were intrinsic to being Jewish, rather that the settlers were using long forgotten passages in the Talmud in order to justify their Judeo-Nazi practices (Leibowitz).

In ‘Jewish History, Jewish Religion The Weight of Three Thousand Years’ Chapter 3 (thanks to Debbie Maccoby for this source) Shahak wrote how
A great deal of nonsense has been written in the attempt to provide a social or mystical interpretation of Jewry or Judaism 'as a whole'. This cannot be done, for the social structure of the Jewish people and the ideological structure of Judaism have changed profoundly through the ages.’
For Shahak, the Jews and Jewish identity have ‘changed profoundly. If Jewish identity tells us anything it is that there is no one Jewish identity. In the last 150 years Jews have moved from being feudal moneylenders and petty traders to a Jewish proletariat and now a largely professional, middle-class part of the white community. The first questions anyone genuinely interested in Jewish identity would ask would be will the Jewish communities outside Israel survive, what is their material basis, is Zionism or opposition to Israel enough? Atzmon asks none of these questions. It is fortunate that Shahak is now dead because he would have sent Atzmon away with a flea in his ear. Atzmon’s absurd statement (Chapter 1) that ‘Israel and Zionism were just parts of the wider Jewish problem.’ completely misunderstands and distorts Shahak’s main argument that Zionism has resurrected an old Jewish identity based on classic rabbinical Judaism.

Shahak mapped the contours of change. Atzmon focuses on a fixed, unchanging and essentialist notion of Jewish identity. It matters not whether he defines race by reference to biology, religion, spirit, behaviour, culture. Racism takes many forms. For example his definition of Zionism as a ‘global network with no head, it is a spirit – spirit, unfortunately, cannot be defeated.’ [88] could be the words of Julius Streicher, Alfred Rosenberg, and Theodor Fritsche.

Anti-Semitism
When Atzmon writes that ‘It is more than likely that ‘Jews’ do not have a centre or headquarters… that they aren’t aware of their particular role within the entire system, the way an organ is not aware of its role within the complexity of the organism.’ who can doubt that Atzmon’s ‘organismus’ is the old world Jewish conspiracy?

As Gabriel Ash explainsSubstituting "Jewish ideology” for “the Jewish spirit and Jewish consciousness” is the only thing that makes Atzmon's take on Jewishness “ground breaking.” Everything else is derivative.’

One explanation for Atzmon’s politics lies with his leftist hating, Irgun loving grandfather. Atzmon has married the hostility of his revisionist Zionist background to the left with the anti-Semitic contempt that Zionism reserves for Jews outside Israel (‘Negation of the Diaspora’):

When Atzmon proclaims that ‘Zionism is not a colonial movement with an interest in Palestine, … To be a Zionist means to accept that, more than anything else, one is primarily a Jew.’ [21] he is advocating that supporters of the Palestinians should abandon any anti-Zionist analysis. The real target should be those who control Israel – the world Jewish communities. Atzmon argues that there is no such thing as Zionism inside Israel, it’s a Diaspora Jewish obsession. What is needed is not BDS (which Atzmon has never supported) but a campaign against your local Jewish community! Instead of picketing Ahava or disrupting the Jerusalem Quartet, we should demonstrate outside a Jewish kindergarten.

Perhaps the only concession to the truth in the entire book is when Atzmon declares that ‘At a certain stage, around 2005, I thought to myself that I might be King of The Jews.’ [54] One suspects that Atzmon is just another in a long line of false Messiahs.

Atzmon justifies his anti-Semitism by noting that ‘Early Zionist ideologists were pretty outspoken when it came to the ‘Diaspora’ Jewry.’ [58] He cites Hashomer Hatzair’s description of Jews as ‘a caricature of a normal, natural human being, both physically and spiritually’ and Ber Borochov, founder of ‘Marxist’ Zionism: ‘The enterprising spirit of the Jew is irrepressible. He refuses to remain a proletarian.’

Atzmon believes that ‘Emancipated Jews are identified by negation - they are defined by the many things they are not.’ This is a familiar Zionist theme. But it is untrue. Jewish anti-Zionists are not merely defined by that which they oppose but also by a long tradition of Jewish opposition to racism and fascism.

Atzmon’s hero is Otto Weininger, about whom Hitler apparently remarked that he was the only good Jew, which is why he went and killed himself. A racist and misogynist, Weininger ‘helped me grasp who I am, or rather who I may be’.[90] There is a lot of truth in this! There is a turgid passage about what percentage there is of the masculine and feminine in an individual. The analogy is with the percentage of Jewishness in someone. His conclusions? ‘With contempt, I am actually elaborating on the Jew in me.’ [94]

The chapter ‘Truth, History & Integrity’ is named after an essay of the same name. But he omits 3 paragraphs including the statement that ‘if the Nazis ran a death factory in Auschwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them at the end of the war? Why didn’t the Jews wait for their Red liberators’? Likewise in ‘Esther to Aipac’ he omits the sentence that ‘no one goes as far as revisionism, not a single Holocaust religion scholar dares engage in a dialogue with the so-called ‘deniers’ to discuss their vision of the events or any other revisionist scholarship.’ But Atzmon still can’t resist a nod in the direction of holocaust denial. He writes that:
‘65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled to start asking questions. We should ask for historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative that is sustained by political pressure and laws.’
Those who doubt that Atzmon is anti-Semitic should ponder his statement that ‘If there are some remote patches of humanism in Jewish culture, these are certainly far from being universal.’ [113] Likewise his statement that ‘Jewish ideology and political discourse openly opposes revision and revisionism.’ [180] But there is no such thing as ‘Jewish ideology’. Jews support many different ideologies. It is often remarked that there are more Jews in Parliament than their percentage of the total population would merit, but at the time of the Gaza invasion, it was a Jewish MP Gerald Kaufman who made by far the most effective speech comparing his grandmother, who the Nazis murdered in her bed, with Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.

It would appear that Atzmon started out young. At high school he ‘wondered out loud how the teacher could know that these accusations of Jews making Matza out of young Goyim’s blood were indeed empty or groundless.’ [185] Like his friend Israel Shamir, he is attracted to medieval anti-Semitism. On Jewish identity Atzmon has nothing to say.

Tony Greenstein

This review for Amazon can be found here

I would also recommend two other reviews by Deborah Maccoby and Gabriel Ash. Gabriel Ash’s review, which I mention in a previous article, appeared first on jewssanfrontieres blog.

20 comments:

Levi9909 said...

Many of Atzmon's critics have been challenged with the question "have you read the book?" I suspected that Atzmon's book was simply a rehash of articles he has been posting on the internet over the last 7 years or so and, having now read it, I was right.

There is hardly anything he says in one place that he doesn't contradict elsewhere in the same book. For example in his three categories of Jews he says the first two are ok, eg, religious and people who just happen to be Jewish and only the "third category" is the bad group of Jews. But he then claims that the root of all Jewish evil is the Jewish religion as per the Torah. He also repeatedly refers to "the Jews" and "world Jewry" as if all Jews are connected by a command structure though he navigates his way through this one by claiming Jews to be part of an organism which he pretentiously calls an organismus. He does that latter because he likes to claim he has some background in German philosophy, which I find highly unlikely. He tries to explain the not necessarily self-conscious behaviour of "third category" Jews by so mangling Lacanian psychoanalysis as to make it, literally into psychobabble.

He also, when he lists some bad Jews, includes David Aaronovitch and Nick Cohen; bad people for sure but they're not Jewish. Since the publication of the book, Atzmon has now gone on record suggesting that Richard Seymour of :Lenin's Tomb and Andy Newman of Socialist Unity are both Jewish when neither are. It ought to be clear to anyone knowledgeable about antisemitism that Atzmon takes it upon himself to decide who is a Jew.

Atzmon's basic issue with Jews is the persistence of the identity and he tries to make much of the zionist struggle against assimilation. He seems to suggest that this is what makes even anti-zionist Jews problematic. The problem here is that the people he has attacked most on the internet, Michael Rosen and Tony Greenstein, are themselves assimilated and do not have Jewish children, How does Atzmon resolve this dilemma? Easy, he doesn't mention them or anyone who undermines whatever there is of his thesis in his book. By the way, his use of the term "anti-zionist zionist" is itself taken from a zionist, the late Steve Cohen, who used to go to convoluted lengths to describe himself as an anti-zionist zionist.

The book reads a little like Hitler's Mein Kampf. It builds a patchwork picture from unconnected and often bogus narratives whilst portraying the author's none too original, and sometimes downright plagiarised, odysey to "enlightenment". For example, his "witticism" that "an antisemite is someone the Jews hate" is taken from the founder of the antisemitic Adelaide Institute, Fredric Toben.

contd...

Levi9909 said...

His self-portrayal as courageous victim pops up in a pack of lies about how it was that various parties began condemning his racism back in 2005. Prior to that Atzmon had been considered a good egg by the anti-zionist left and he was invited to give a talk at the SWP's Marxism 2004. It was there that he made an antisemitic speech that was immediately condemned by those in attendance. .Subsequently Atzmon published "The Protocols of the Elders of London". In it he attacks various Jewish activists for condemning fascist activist, Israel Shamir, who Atzmon has described as a "unique and advanced thinker". The activists who condemned Shamir only did so after Shamir's own antisemitism was denounced by two Palestinian activists, Hussein Ibish and Ali Abunimah. Atzmon never mentioned them in any of his defences of Shamir. But again to mention Palestinian denunciations of antisemitism would not fit his thesis.

Towards the end of the book, Atzmon lists a group of Israelis who he praises. One such is Israel Shamir, who is not Israeli except by settlement. Another is Shlomo Sand who is actually a zionist and whose work has no bearing on the legitimacy or not of the State of Israel.

The book indeed says more about Atzmon than it does about anything he purports to be writing about but it does so inadvertently. He wants to portray himself as an enlighetened intellectual, albeit one who is opposed to the "Jewish invention" known as human rights. He has portrayed himself, and not for the first time, as a liar, a racist and a buffoon.

Tony Greenstein said...

Thanks Mark, very helpful. Just one minor correction. My children are of course Jewish according to the Law of Return!

In fact my daughter Eleanor does consider herself half-Jewish.

Levi9909 said...

Hmm, what I actually had in mind regarding how you and Michael Rosen don't fit Atzmon's thesis is that when you said in a post that "assimilation.... is good", Michael Rosen said that you shouldn't say it is good, you should simply remain neutral. Atzmon ignored your comment and lifted a small bit of Rosen's out of context to redefine zionism as secular Jewish opposition to assimilation. The post and Rosen's comment were at my blog. Atzmon's ludicrous redefinition of zionism was on Counterpunch.

Evildoer said...

Great review. It is sad when good reviews have to be written on worthless books.

BTW, in the quote from yours truly, I think you need to add after

"the Jewish spirit and Jewish consciousness”

a parenthesis, such as
(Wilhelm Marr's expression).

Otherwise the sentence is not clear.

Anonymous said...

Levi9909 said...
"Atzmon takes it upon himself to decide who is a Jew".
Well...... and who is a Jew ???, Is Greenstein a Jew ???
He says NO (an Atheist).
So ......
What makes you a Jew.....
So what's your issue smart guy.

Anonymous said...

"my daughter Eleanor does consider herself half-Jewish."
If her mother is Jewish,
If not, well she is like Atzmon
"Atzmon takes it upon himself to decide who is a Jew."
As she is NOT.
and if she is not Jewish, well Greenstein
"My children are of course Jewish according to the Law of Return"

You are again an Ignorant !
As they are not..............
Yo

Tony Greenstein said...

It seems anonymous is getting his knickers in a twist over a definition of what is Jewish.

According to the Orthodox you have to have a Jewish mother. Not according to Reform or Liberal.

And about 1,200 years ago not according to the Orthodox either. It used to be through the father, hence why the Patriarchs took non-Jewish partners.

I'm an atheist yes. A Jewish atheist but I don't suppose our thick anonymous Zionist will get that either.

Mark - have a look later at the points you made. I'm not aware that I said assimilation is good. Like Mike Rosen I'm neutral on it and I'm quite happy for there to be an amalgam!

Gert said...

Excellent review of a cow pad of a book. Unbelievable that people like Mearsheimer and Falk fall for this antisemitic tosh, what on Earth were they smoking??? Just the excerpts listed in one review are enough to reach for the sick bags.

And why anyone can think that the Palestinian cause can be helped by ascribing ‘(Evil) Jewishness’ to Zionism is really beyond. There’s no end to human stupidity.

I can only hope it goes the same way as Alan Partridge’s magnum opus: straight to the pulpers!

Anonymous said...

"My children are of course Jewish according to the Law of Return"

No wonder you deleted my comment.

Give me some arguments and evidence regarding the Law of Retuen......
Are your kids Jewish according to the Law of return.
NO they are NOT.

Tony Greenstein said...

I deleted your comment because, like most Zionist ignoramuses, you were abusive.

Are my children Jewish according to the Law of Return? Yes of course. The Law of Return uses the same definition.

According to Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_nationality_law

'In the 1970s the Law of Return was further expanded, and it was defined that the spouse of a Jew, the children of a Jew and their spouses, and the grandchildren of a Jew and their spouses would also be covered under the Law of Return and thus be eligible for an Oleh's certificate provided that the Jew on behalf of whom they request the certificate did not practice a religion other than Judaism willingly (he or she may, however, be a non-observant Jew).;

That should be clear, even to a Zionist propagandist. The definition of a Jew under the 1935 Nuremburg was also someone possessing at least 1 Jewish grandparent (2nd degree mischlinge). 2 Jewish grandparents (1st degree mischlinge).

Or take this article by a chareidi:
http://www.chareidi.org/ATCOTU/snjrutlor.html

'Should Non-Jews "Return" under the Law of Return?' by Mordecai Plaut

Did you know that more non-Jews can immigrate to the State of Israel than Jews under the Law of Return?...

According to the official figures of the Absorption Ministry, in 1997 just over half of the immigrants from the former Soviet Union were halachically Jewish, but this probably does not fully account for the widespread forgery that is known to take place.

Or again from Wikipedia:
'The Jewish Ancestry Amendment

The 1970 amendment was induced by the debate on "Who is a Jew" (until then the law did not refer to the question). There are several explanations for the decision to be so inclusive. One is that the Law of Return attempts to provide sanctuary as a citizen in Israel to anyone who would be persecuted under the Nuremberg Laws. As the Nuremberg Laws did not use a halakhic definition in its definition of "Who is a Jew", the Law of Return definition for citizenship eligibility is not halakhic, either. The Law of Return provides sanctuary to anyone covered by the definition under the Nuremberg Laws, but does not automatically presume that the person is halakhicly Jewish for the purposes of laws governing personal status.'

I suggest that before you become abusive in future you actually find out the facts about what you are pontificating about!

Anonymous said...

I think your comment that -
Atzmon focuses on a fixed, unchanging and essentialist notion of Jewish identity. It matters not whether he defines race by reference to biology, religion, spirit, behaviour, culture. Racism takes many forms.-
is very important. The EDL claim they are not against Muslims as a race, some anti-semites that its nothing to do with genes but an ageold exclusivist conspiracy (and in fact Hitler said similar things near the beginning of Mein Kampf).
Atzmon ventriloquises the thoughts of Churchill and Hitler- but he himself is the dummy.
Condolences on your recent loss. To die old is not a tragedy, whereas the death of a child ripples out through generations, yet it can remind us suddenly how much of our past is irretrievably lost.
David Hillman

Levi9909 said...

This is what you and Roland wrote:

when Jews were freed from the ghetto walls by Napoleon and discrimination gradually ended, more and more Jews assimilated to the majority communities. We welcome that.

It was that that Michael Rosen picked up on. As I recall both you and Roland pointed out that Rosen had made too hefty an assumption about what you were saying. The point is that whether or not you were saying that assimilation is good or neutral Atzmon took one part of a comment out of context to build a whole counterpunch article redefining zionism.

Anonymous said...

"The law since 1970 applies to those born Jews (having a Jewish mother or maternal grandmother), those with Jewish ancestry (having a Jewish father or grandfather) and converts to Judaism (Orthodox, Reform, or Conservative denominations—not secular—though Reform and Conservative conversions must take place outside the state, similar to civil marriages)."

For you abuse means, that you cannot accept questions you don't have answers, or you don't want your readers to know your lack of knowledge.

That is the LAW OF RETURN.
Your Kids are NOT Jewish based on this law, Only if they convert, as they are NOT JEWISH.

Anonymous said...

To spare your time looking for all kind of information instead of the original Law as statead, in the Kneset page (translated into English) .
Makes it clear.
Purposes of this Law, "Jew" - those born of a Jewish mother or converted,

http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=iw&u=http://www.knesset.gov.il/laws/special/heb/chok_hashvut.htm&ei=JtndTuLmHvTc4QSJmbGQBw&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCUQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%25D7%2597%25D7%2595%25D7%25A7%2B%25D7%2594%25D7%25A9%25D7%2591%25D7%2595%25D7%25AA%2B1970%26hl%3Den%26prmd%3Dimvns

Your arguments would be answered by Levi in the same way.

Greenstein takes it upon himself to decide who is a Jew.

Tony Greenstein said...

Thank you David for your kind comments. Yes I think this definition of 'race' is key. 'Race' is an artificial political construct. It doesn't exist, so you can and racists do, define it as they wish.

Mark, yes I don't think we quite conveyed the meaning intended. What I meant was that I welcome the free assimilation of Jews to the majority, as opposed to the Zionists for whom assimilation is equivalent to death in a gas chamber (which they've said). But I also welcome Jews who freely decide not to assimilate. In other words what I welcome is the exercise of free will as opposed to any form of compulsion. Hope that's clear!

The problem with anonymous Zionists is that they tend to be thicker than normal Zionists (if that is possible!). So it is with this particularly obtuse Zionist, who is obsessed by the idea that my kids want to go to Israel. Believe you me, I would move heaven and earth to prevent this! However they are entitled to go to Israel under the Law of Return.

Since Wikipedia isn't an acceptable source, how about the Jewish Virtual Library. Is that kosher enough?

Before I lay out the evidence, which even thicko will have to concede proves the point (or maybe he prefers mangled google translations?) let us set out the context. The majority of Jews in the US are Conservative or Reform. Many of them are therefore not halachically Jewish.

But Israel can't afford to offend them. They are the bulk of Jewry outside Israel, they live in the one state that has given Israel consistent support and their alienation, which is already under way would be hastened.

THAT IS THE REASON THAT THE LAW OF RETURN HAS BEEN LEFT DELIBERATELY AMBIGUOUS.

Hence, to eliminate any doubt, the Law of Return was amended in 1970.

Note that in (a) 'the rights of an oleh under any other enactment, are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew'. I am Jewish. I had 2 parents, both of whom were Jewish. My children therefore had 2 Jewish grandparents. I assume our Zionist fool isn't going to contest this.

And just in case there is any doubt then (b) makes it clear that the grandparents don't have to be alive.

So yes, their grandparents had to be halachically Jewish but not my kids.

Can I suggest that in future our stupid Zionist goes back to arguing black=white or that Israeli soldiers are the most moral in the world or some such nonsense?

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Immigration/Text_of_Law_of_Return.html

Law of Return (Amendment No. 2) 5730-1970*

Addition of sections 4A and 4B

1. In the Law of Return, 5710-1950,** the following sections shall be inserted after section 4:

"Rights of members of family"

4A. (a) The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law, 5712-1952,*** as well as the rights of an oleh under any other enactment, are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew, except for a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion.

(b) It shall be immaterial whether or not a Jew by whose right a right under subsection (a) is claimed is still alive and whether or not he has immigrated to Israel.

....
Definition

4B. For the purposes of this Law, "Jew" means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion."


Amendment of section 5

Anonymous said...

BTW they cannot enter Israel as their father "acts against the Jewish people"
So send them to another place.........

Mooser said...

You know what you guyses problem with Atzmon is? You don't like Jazz! When a guy is blowing, riffing, wailing, all that intellectual hoo-hah and music theory doesn't mean squat! The only question is, can the man BLOW? Can the man WAIL!
When you can improvise like Atzmon, you can talk. Til then just sit there, like the squares you are!

Levi9909 said...

I remember the discussion and I remember you, Roland and Michael Rosen all agreeing that assimilation or not should simply be a free choice. Anyway, the point is that Atzmon lied by lifting one part of Rosen's comment and building a whole redefinition of zionism around it. He effectively does the same in his book.

Anyway, he is Elias Davidsson's review of the book at Palestine Portal:
http://www.palaestina-portal.eu/Stimmen_Israel_juedische/davidsson_elias_atzmon_the_wandering_who.htm

Tony Greenstein said...

Atzmon only functions by deliberately lying about and misrepresenting peoples' positions. Whether it is the Bund or Matzpen or J-Big. And on these shifting sands he builds his thesis.

Wolfowitz and Greenspan are the personification of the capitalist crisis which they have engendered. But he doesn't believe in conspiracy theories.

Elisha Davidson's review is very good. It is similar to the one he has done on Amazon and I may put it up as a contribution to the debate because I have no doubt that Atzmon is beginning to feel the pressure.

It makes the professors who blurbed on Atzmon look even more foolish