Top

Tribalism, Racism And Projection – Part 2

February 19, 2012

David the 'anti racist'

2nd part of two – In this part  I explore the misleading role of Jewish politics (both  Zionist and anti Zionist) within the ‘anti racist’ campaign.

To read the 1st part click here.

Racism is a big word with some very bad connotations.  Being accused of racism is one of the most hurtful and potentially damaging labels around. And yet, how many ‘racists’ really think in ‘biological determinist’ terms? How many ‘racists’ out there really think in terms of ‘genes,’ or even ‘skin colour’? I guess not that many.

While acknowledging that racism had a significant cultural, and politically lethal impact between the late 19th century and the middle of the last century, in today’s politics, the word ‘racism’ is often misused, mistakenly used, or in some cases, consciously used to mislead and even to silence.

Though discrimination against minority groups is unfortunately common and totally unacceptable, it is not necessarily always motivated by crude racism. Islamophobia, for instance, is commonly regarded as a contemporary manifestation of racism but I would challenge such an understanding. Islamophobia, I contend, is not driven by racism, but rather, it is actually a crude symptom of intolerance — xenophobia manifested as hatred, bigotry and discrimination. My English Muslim convert friends are often subjected to abuse by Jewish campaigners (both Zionist and‘anti’ Zionists) and the English Defence League — but not because of their ‘genes’, ‘biology’ or the colour of their skin, but rather because they are ‘different’; because they challenge Western value system and because they oppose Israel and its lobbies. Clearly, they are perceived by some as a ‘public enemy’ but that reaction cannot always be understood solely as ‘racism’ per se.

Similarly, it is beyond doubt that it is not easy to be black in ‘multi cultural’ Britain. Being a jazz musician I see first hand how my black friends are often treated in this country and I see plenty of evidence of institutional anti-black bigotry. I read about black youngsters being stopped and searched by police between one to four times a day. This is unacceptable and clear evidence of discrimination.

But is this really always about racism? Is it driven solely by ‘biological determinism’? Is it really about ‘genes’, ‘blood’ or ‘skin colour’?  This is indeed an open question and obviously I would not rule out the possibility of anti- black (biological) racism. However, I tend to believe that in contemporary multi ethnic societies, most cases of anti-black bigotry and discrimination are various manifestations of deep, thuggish xenophobic feelings mixed with some examples of deep, and sinister cultural intolerance. In other words, often enough, the contemporary bigot is not concerned at all with biological matters but rather with social constructs and culturally driven symbolism(1).  This is surely a matter of serious concern, and in some case it is driven by murderous inclinations and it must be dealt with, but it isn’t necessarily (biological) racism per se.

But if it is not racism, what is it then?  I reiterate, that these are better understood as different forms of deep cultural and political intolerance within the context of some severe and troubled ethnic interrelations.

So one might ask, why do we restrict our understanding of what fighting ‘racism’ means, when it is actually more likely to be forms of intolerance, ethnic tension and cultural discrimination which we should be protesting against?

I suggest that the confusion here between ‘deep intolerance’, ‘cultural discrimination’ and ‘racism’ is actually no coincidence – rather it is there to serve a clear Zionist political cause. Peculiarly enough, it is there to maintain a clear racial orientation and segregation at the heart of the multi-cultural discourse.  In many cases, those who ‘oppose’ racism must be able to think in racial categories first, otherwise their opposition would be in vain.(2)

Paradoxically then, ‘anti racism’ which many of us identify with, may in some cases evolve into a racially driven discourse. Often, it can even jeopardise the process of natural integration and the shift towards harmonious social relationships (3).  It may even dismantle true self-reflective and mirroring process amongst both the victim and the aggressor.

For within a public discourse controlled by ‘anti-racist’ ideology, the victim of any racist slur is immediately redeemed. He or she does not have to self-reflect on his or her actions, for there is not much he or she can do about their ‘biologically determined conditions’.  Zionists and Hasbara campaigners(4), for instance, tend to dismiss any possible criticism of Jewish politics and Israeli actions as ‘anti-Semitism’. By so doing, they basically ‘switch off’.  They are able to ignore their surrounding reality by referring to any possible criticism of their actions as just another example of blind, ‘racially’ driven hatred towards Jews.  Instead of taking the criticisms on board and examining them by means of self-reflection, Jewish political discourse has evolved into an insular and window-less discourse.

In the following video Israeli veteran MK  Shulamit Aloni admits that tossing ‘antisemitism’ is an old Zionist trick: 

Equally, the so-called ‘racist’ or ‘aggressor’ can also dismiss the anti-racist call because his or her criticism is largely ignored. The ‘aggressor’ knows that in most cases, the issue is not actually about ‘race’ per-se but rather about some acute political, cultural and ideological issues, so this enables him or her to ignore the issue altogether. In spite of the fact that within the contemporary anti Zionist discourse no one criticises Jews for being Jews or employing any racially driven ideology or terminology, Israeli Hasbara and Zionists agents attempt to silence Israel’s political critics by tossing the anti-Semitic label in the air. This tactic obviously fails to silence Israel’s critics but it certainly maintains an abyss of mutual deafness between Zionists and their critics. So we are left with two parallel discourses that have lost all hope of any future exchange.

I believe that this fact alone emphasises how grave is the prospect of peace.  Anti-racist politics is in constant danger of erecting walls of deafness that maintain intellectual, political and ethnic segregation at the heart of our public discourse. Rather than promoting hope, integration, tolerance, harmony, assimilation and dialogue – anti-racism could easily promote deafness and insularity exactly where attentiveness and exchange are most needed.

It took me some time to realise that in many cases it is Zionist and Jewish lobbies that maintain and promote the ‘anti-racism’ political discourse, and they do so for two main reasons:

  1. Being submerged in a racially driven discourse themselves, they are bound to think in terms of racial political categories.
  2.  Racism/anti racism is convenient because it removes any responsibility from the victim. If Jews are hated just for ‘being Jews’, then the Jew is ethically flawless.

The implications of all this are grave – as long as Jewish identity politics  and Zionism are shielded by categorical definitions of ’anti-racism’, Jews can avoid any form of self-reflection.

But Jews and Zionists are not alone here: the Left also is interested in an anti-racist discourse because it maintains the Left’s relevance as being in the vanguard of progressive ‘ethical insight’. The Left has set itself up as the defender of the weak, and this is indeed adorable. Through the years the Left has sided with the ‘blacks’, with the ‘Zionists’, with the ‘Jew’, with the ‘Iraqi,’ and even with the ‘Palestinian’. But for some reason, the Left has failed to side with the leading contemporary anti-imperialist force — the Muslim. The Left has also failed to recognise that in Europe, the Muslim is the real oppressed working class and the Left clearly failed to side with the democratically elected Hamas or the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. I suggest that the Left’s failure to side with the Muslim is symptomatic of a deep and inherent Western intolerance: the Left is not racist, but it is fundamentally soaked with cultural and ideological intolerance — possibly a state of mind related to the practicality and pragmatism of being ‘a progressive’ (5).  I guess that some people may feel very ‘special’ just because they believe in equality

Naturally, the ’cause’ of ‘anti racism’ binds together some elements within the Left with the Zionists and the Hasbara campaign. Arguably, so-called ‘anti racist’ politics has become just another symptom of the Zionification of the Western political discourse with the supportive Left seen as a mere Zionist instrument.  This may explain why the UK’s leading anti-racist campaign group Hope not Hate(6) is an offshoot of the  Zionist Searchlight Magazine,  it also explains why the same  Zionist Hope not hate attempts to censor the freedom of speech of Muslim leaders in Britain. It explains why the alleged ‘anti’ racist Harry’s Place  (closely affiliated with Hope not hate) won the UK section of the Islamic Human Rights Commission’s  ’Annual Islamophobia Awards’ in 2006.  In Germany the ‘anti’ racist Antideutsche –Anti Fa coalition is openly pro-Israel, pro-Zionist and also anti Islam My guess is that these rabid Zionist and pro Zionist campaign groups planted themselves at the heart of the so-called Left just to make sure that from there they would be better able to fight Israel’s enemies. But it goes further. In the last UK Palestinian Solidarity Campaign’s AGM, two Jewish campaigners who openly operate within an exclusive  ‘Jews only’ political cell (J-BIG) proposed a motion against racism. I guess that the absurdity of the situation is clear and doesn’t need further elucidation.

So, as we can now see, some of the leading supremacist and intolerant forces within our contemporary political discourse have managed to locate themselves directly at the very heart of the ‘anti-racist’ call.  Furthermore, as it becomes clear that Israel and its  lobbies are the driving force behind Islamophobia, it is pretty astonishing to find out that Zionist bodies also dominate the ‘anti-racist’ discourse.  The meaning of it is pretty simple – racism and its opposition has gradually become an internal Jewish affair.

The conclusion is simple. It’s time for us to move on, to admit that racism and biological determinism have no significant role in today’s public and political discourse. We must  re-think and redefine exactly what it is that leads towards social discrimination and cultural intolerance. Racism in its crude form largely belongs to the past. Our multi-ethnic universe is not inherently racist and therefore anti-racism cannot be a universal call.   In many cases, ‘anti racist politics’ is actually there to divert the attention from some institutional discriminatory policies and ideologies.

It is increasingly obvious that the anti-racism campaign, in its current form, is there to serve some clear political interests, and is largely controlled by racially driven Zionists, Jewish lobbies and Jewish pressure groups. It is there to silence any criticism of the Israeli lobby, Israel, Jewish politics and Zionism.

I began this paper by asking why should any Jew feel guilty for crimes that are committed by other people whom he or she does not know and with whom he or she is not affiliated? The answer should by now be obvious: Rather than liberating the rest of humanity from racism, Zionists, Hasbara campaigners and Jewish ‘anti’ Zionists should first emancipate themselves from their own racially-driven ideologies – And stopping projecting their own tribalism onto their surrounding reality would certainly be a good place to start.

Notes

  1. I tend to believe that clashes between ethnic and political groups in Britain are fuelled by social tension and demography rather than by hatred towards skin colour.
  2. One cannot contemplate over the meaning of anti X without obtaining first a certain comprehension of X
  3. Minority groups engaged in varied discourses of victimhood (for instance), may miss some opportunities to integrate into wider social, ethnic and political structures.
  4.  Hasbara-Israeli propaganda
  5. Which is in practice not different from Jewish secular sense of ‘choseness’.
  6. According to its official website HOPE not hate is “Searchlight’s campaign to counter racism and fascism.”http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/about-us/


Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel in 1963 and had his musical training at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem (Composition and Jazz). As a multi-instrumentalist he plays Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxes, Clarinet and Flutes. His album Exile was the BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. He has been described by John Lewis on the Guardian as the “hardest-gigging man in British jazz”. His albums, of which he has recorded nine to date, often explore political themes and the music of the Middle East.

Until 1994 he was a producer-arranger for various Israeli Dance & Rock Projects, performing in Europe and the USA playing ethnic music as well as R&R and Jazz.

Coming to the UK in 1994, Atzmon recovered an interest in playing the music of the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe that had been in the back of his mind for years. In 2000 he founded the Orient House Ensemble in London and started re-defining his own roots in the light of his emerging political awareness. Since then the Orient House Ensemble has toured all over the world. The Ensemble includes Eddie Hick on Drums, Yaron Stavi on Bass and Frank Harrison on piano & electronics.

Also, being a prolific writer, Atzmon’s essays are widely published. His novels ‘Guide to the perplexed’ and ‘My One And Only Love’ have been translated into 24 languages.

Gilad Atzmon is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Visit his web site at http://www.gilad.co.uk


Latest from Gilad Atzmon

  1. » The Banality of The Guardian of Judea
  2. » The Un-Controlled Opposition
  3. » The Rabbi And The Congressman
  4. » We Better Move On...
  5. » Not So Happy Christmas For Israeli Stooge MacShane
  6. » The Sycophantic Palestinian Solidarity Movement
  7. » Concealment & Truth In Palestine And Beyond
Bottom