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Fri

06

Aug

2010

Gilad Atzmon: British Jews Support Israeli War Crimes
Friday, 06 August 2010 01:34
by Gilad Atzmon

Gilad Atzmon (Hebrew: גלעד עצמון‎, born June 9, 1963) is a jazz musician, author and anti-Zionist activist who was born in Israel and currently lives in London.
"Anti-Semite is an empty signifier, no one actually can be an Anti-Semite and this includes me of course. In short, you are either a racist - which I am not - or have an ideological disagreement with Zionism... which I have."
He was born a secular Israeli Jew in Tel Aviv, and trained at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. His service in the Israeli military convinced him Israel had become a militarized state controlled by religious extremists. In 1994, Atzmon emigrated from Israel to London, where he studied philosophy. Atzmon is an anti-Zionist who critiques Jewish identity issues and supports the Palestinian Right of Return as well as the establishment of a single state in Israel/Palestine. He is a signatory to the "Palestinians are the Priority Petition" which states “full and unconditional support of the Palestinian people is a condition sine qua non for activists to adopt.
The Jewish community in Britain seems to be over the moon. A survey that was published a few days ago suggests that British Jews are nothing but  ‘peace lovers’. The Guardianwas also quick to report that  77% of “British Jews favour a 'two-state solution' in Israel”.

In practice, this actually means that at least 77% of British Jews believe that millions of dispossessed Palestinians should continue to dwell in refugee camps and never be allowed to their  homes, cities, and villages. I am actually far from impressed with British Jewry’s inclination towards peace. 

Professor Dan McGowan pointed out recently that  Israel and Palestine are in fact  “one country with one water system, one electrical grid, one monetary system, one telephone system and one postal system.  It is already one state, although half the population has lesser rights or none at all.” Bearing McGowan’s insight, I wonder what drives 77% of British Jews? Why don’t they really welcome Palestinian people to return to their land and enjoy exactly the same civil rights British Jews celebrate in the UK?

But a further question must be raised here. What is it that qualifies British Jews or any other Diaspora Jews to interfere or engage so closely with the fate of millions of Palestinians? 

As it happens the Survey provides us with more devastating news. At the time we were devastated to find out that 94% of the Israelis supported the IDF's murderous tactics at the time of Operation Cast Lead.  As this new survey clearly reveals, the lack of ethics in British Jewry is far more concerning. Eighteen months after the massacre in Gaza and a year after the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict found Israel guilty of numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity, nearly three quarters (72%) of British Jews agreed that Israel's action in Gaza in 2008 and 2009 was "a legitimate act of self-defence".  I believe that in practice this means that 7 out of 10 British Jews support Israeli war crimes and somehow dismiss the finding of a  UN Fact Finding Mission. This is pretty scary.

The study, which was carried out by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, (JPR) found that  Jews in Britain strongly identify with Israel, with nine out of 10 having visited the country.  JPR's executive director, Jonathan Boyd, said: "Fundamentally, we found that most Jews feel a strong sense of connection to Israel, and for many it forms an important, and even central part of their Jewish identity.”

For many years I have argued that within the Jewish secular discourse there is no ideological or spiritual dichotomy between the Israeli, the Jew and the Zionist. It is probably impossible to determine where the Zionist ends and the Jew starts. And yet, the notion that in Britain there is a minority community, the overwhelming majority of whom, support war crimes is pretty shocking, especially considering the devastating fact that every political party in this country is bankrolled by different  shades of the ‘Friends of Israel.’

In comparison I wonder how the British public would react if they find out that 72% of the Muslim community supported the killings in Mumbai, 7/7 or 9/11.  I guess that we all know the answer.

Update:

In comparison, please review Key findings from a 2007  survey by the centre-right think tank, Policy Exchange, of more than 1,000 Muslims living across the UK. It reveals an image of a real pluralist and liberal community.  Only '7% admire organisations like al-Qaeda that are prepared to fight the West. 13% of 16 to 24-year-olds agreed with this statement compared with 3% of over-55s.

"36% of 16 to 24-year-olds believe if a Muslim converts to another religion they should be punished by death, compared with 19% of over-55s." and yet, this is still far less alarming than the relentless attempt of Zionists to silence every Jewish convert to universalism or humanism

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