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Obama, AIPAC & The Rest of US

March 7, 2012

AIPAC

Yesterday at AIPAC annual conference, the American president had to go out of his way to appease his Jewish crowd. He used every trick in the book, he even peppered his talk with some Yiddish sporadic words and he did it all just to justify his decision not to launch a World War as yet.

One should ask, how come a lobby of a small state that practices the most appalling racist expansionist politics and practices has managed to gain so much political power in the USA.

As it happens, more and more academics and political commentators indeed ask themselves the exact question – they wonder what is it in American culture and political system that allowed it to happen? I am also interested in a very similar quest. I actually try to identify the different elements within Jewish culture and identity politics that have led to the rise of AIAPC into the dominant force within American politics and foreign policy.

In my latest book, The Wandering Who, a book that both Zionist and  Jewish Anti Zionist Zionists (JAZZ) are desperate to stop, I explore those themes. I for instance, elaborate on the significant role of the ‘Book of Esther’, in shaping Jewish Lobbing in the West and beyond. The Book of Ester is an Old Testament text that preaches lobby culture and  tribal infiltration into foreign administrations.

I also explore the Exilic nature of Judaism. I maintain that Judaism, as we know it, was founded in Babylon in conditions that, from Jewish perspectives, were very similar to 19th century Europe and the birth moment of Zionism. In both cases it was the fear of assimilation that led towards the invention of an isolationist and separatist cult.

Seemingly the exilic nature of Judaism transcended itself into Jewish secular and nationalist politics- rather than being concerned with the ‘here and now’, the Diaspora Zionist Jew explores his or her aspiration towards a different place and different time i.e. Zion.  Unlike other migrant lobbies in the West that are engaged in issues to do with the interests of their respective migrant communities (in terms of social rights, religious freedom, education and so on), the Jewish Lobby is actually solely concerned with the interest of a remote state and a remote community. This fact alone, explains the uniqueness of AIPAC. It also means that it is unlikely that any other political lobby would ever compete successfully with AIPAC except another Jewish Lobby.

Yet one may wonder whether AIPAC’s hegemony over American foreign policy is ‘good for the Jews’. In fact, more than a few commentators including myself are convinced that that it is actually a total disaster. It doesn’t take a genius to notice that the domination of Jewish elite in the USA is similar to the condition of German Jewish elite in late 1920’s Weimar Republic. In fact Jewish history is saturated with similar occurrences in which Jewish elite’s overwhelming influence led to the birth of rapid growing of anti – Jewish sentiment.

Israeli historian Shlomo Sand points out that in between the 1st and early 19th century Jews didn’t engage in writing history. Not a single Jewish historical text saw daylight in that period. According to Sand, the Rabbinical Jew didn’t need history text. The Bible provided a sufficient explanation.  The meaning of it is clear, there is an element of Jewish cultural denial to historical thinking. Such an interpretation  may help us to grasp the surprising fact that Jewish communities in the West are not at all alarmed by the growing influence of the Jewish lobbies in West and AIPAC or CFI in particular.

In fact, the complete opposite is correct. Jewish communities are often in the press boasting of their Lobbying victories. Jewish communities also invest a lot of energy silencing any attempt to point at the growing danger entangled with the emergence of Jewish power. This is far from being new.  Jewish history is saturated with attempts to shoot the messengers and whistle blowers: Jesus found himself nailed to the wood, Spinoza was excommunicated, Bernard Lazare was largely ignored, Otto Weininger was dismissed, Mordechai Vanunu is locked behind bars again and as my followers know, I am also chased by the like of Alan Dershowitz, and the Jewish Anti Zionist Zionists (JAZZ).

Like many other commentators on Middle East current affairs, I also don’t have any doubt that we are facing a volatile situation. Considering its influence and its open advocacy to attack on Iran, AIPAC is a grave threat to world peace. In the open it pushes for another war that can easily escalate into a nuclear global conflict. AIPAC clearly endangers American interests and American people but it is also very dangerous for Jewish communities all over the world.

If America loves itself and cares for its future, it must immediately find within itself the means to dismantle the power of this lobby. America owes it to its people, to world peace but also to its Jews who largely have nothing to do with this appalling warmongering genocidal campaign.


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


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