Nov 8, 2009

The Wandering Who?

A nation is a group of people united by a common mistake regarding its origin and a collective hostility towards its neighbours. --Karl W. Deutsch

Gilad Atzmon is one of my favorite bloggers. An alto sax playing jazz musician of Jewish descent, he sheds light on the murky darkness that surrounds Zionist politics in both Israel and within the halls of American power. It is impossible to understand global events without understanding the central role that Zionism plays within it, and Gilad challenges all of the Zionist's most cherished sacred cows, from the Diaspora to the Holocaust, to the very existential definition of what it means to be Jewish. Gilad would be called a "self-hating Jew" by Zionism, which really means that he hates what being Jewish has come to represent, mainly due to the Zionist attempt to turn a spiritual book into a real estate sales brochure.

As an American who was raised on ideals of personal freedom and democracy, and a Christianity more concerned with feeding the poor than bombing the infidel, I feel his pain. I have become a "self-hating American", who hates what his country and his religion have come to represent.

As a gay man, I've noticed the many parallels between the Jews and the Gays - often the subject of gosporn posts. We are a "People" who were once despised, but grow politically more powerful every day. We both have a mythical story about when we consciously became a people: Stonewall for the Gays and the flight from Egypt for the Jews. We both have our own "temples", ghettos, peculiar customs and ways of dress (ha!). We both have experienced periods of walking in the wilderness and persecution, even rubbing triangles in the same WWII concentration camps. We both have survived in spite of all that, even flourished. Like Jews we were once homeless, but with Provincetown, Key West and Palm Springs (all religious signifiers, BTW) and especially San Francisco and Manhattan, gays certainly now have turf.

And that makes me worry. Because I don't want my People to follow too closely in the footsteps of those Peoples who have gone before. I don't want "wars for the homos", or the equivalent of gay Zionism. I don't want to have to become a "self-hating queer".

Highly Recommended: Gilad Aztsmon's book review of The Invention of the Jewish People, by Shlomo Sand: The Wandering Who?


Devin said...

What a fascinating article Michael! I will indeed check out his blog -I agree about the self-hating American part -I guess I started to do this when I realized pretty much everything we are told in school, growing up and by the media is utter bullshit! If there is such a thing as national karma -I am really worried for our future (haha as if i am not worried anyway!) because we have done everything we have done to other nations and peoples with such sheer and horrific hypocrisy! I wonder what all the people that glorify war in this country would think if Iraqis-Vietnamese-Iranians-Chileans-Hondurans-i mean hell you name it-did to us -what we have done to them?
would they still be unable to see why we are so hated? sometimes I think they are so dense they would!
Interesting parallels between the Jews and Gays also-I am glad to see someone else who is not all on board with everything that could happen now that we are more "mainstream" -I sure as hell never want to see a gay type of Zionism! I think some things about our integration into modern society-at least in some parts-is really kind of sad -haha we were "assimilated" into consumer culture just like goin "Borg"
best as always to you and Varen!!

Devin said...

Oh -michael-in regards to the excellent post below "a mess in texas" -man that is one built guy btw:-) I often wondered if Egyptair 990 which went down on Samhain 1999 over the Atlantic was a mind control op or a ritual for sept 11? the ritual part came largely from 9 times 11 =99 (minus the zero for the flt #) the plane was a 767 named "Tuthmosis III who was I guess the pharaoh who ruled Egypt when it was at its greatest extent as an empire.
the pilot that started the fuck up in the cockpit really seemed to display elements of mind control -he just kept on repeating shit when the other pilot finally got into the cockpit to right the plane which of course sadly failed! as 767s were also used in the actual sept 11 attacks could extra knowledge about the stresses these planes could take have been gained? this particular 767 took a helluva beating before it finally broke apart.
just days earlier on 25 october 1999 golfer Payne Stewarts private plane had that mishap also where the cabin supposedly depressurized and all died and it continued flying on auto pilot until running out of fuel
I must sound like a raving paranoid-but I always think that with major events and political assassinations that there must be some sort of "testing" to see that things go right.
Right now Xdell at the Xspot blog on my list is talking about the Lennon murder and Mark David Chapman-I had often wondered if Lennon's murder was a test run for the attempted hit on the "Gipper" on 30 march 1981 -as Lennons was just a short time earlier-with yet another "Lone Nut" in america's mixed bag of lone nuts!!
well I dont want to wear out my welcome and i am sure you have had enough of my paranoid theorizing for one day!! love and hugs to you and Varen-I hope your lives are going beautifully and the weather is wonderful -man still in the eighties here -send me cold and snow someone:-)
o one more thing-haha sorry! remember April Glaspies "Go ahead and invade kuwait-we dont care and wont do anything" meeting with Saddam? haha those Bushes or Bushii i should say -they'll get ya every time!! S Hussein must have been like "What the fuck? they told me they didn't care!" surprise surprise!-ATB!!!

Esperanto Grrl said...

If you mean the transformation of homsexuals from a persecuted minority into a group with extensive political and economic power that is occasionally misused, unfortunately this is already happening in some places: a lot of great documentaries have been made the past few years about the trend of gentrification, particularly in New York City neighborhoods...where wealthy gays often push out the poorer black residents.

As for the gay/Jew comparisons, I can see it. Gays and Lesbians can expect a huge degree of discrimination in many parts of the United States, but there are many all-gay communities where one can go to be free of prejudice. Both Jews and Gays reached an identical conclusion: the only way to be protected from prejudice is to carve out a place of your own in the world.

As for Israel, it's every bit as much of a scrappy underdog as it ever was. It is still surrounded on all sides by a numerically and financially superior Arab world that has no real interest in Israel's continued existence.

Well, it is true that Israel often treats badly its Arab minority, who, like Mexicans in the United States, often work terrible jobs and are financially disadvantaged...and while all that is a tragic social problem, Israel has been brought up on more human rights violations than any other nation in the United Nations.

Israel? Really?

More than the USSR? More than the Khmer Rouge regime of Kampuchea/Cambodia? More than the friggin Republic of the Congo where over 200,000 died in the 1990s? More than Pinochet's Chile?

Even Israel's greatest detractors know that Israel is a Western-style parliamentary democracy with no official state religion.

Unlike say, Iran, Jews are free to be secular as they like, something that cannot be said of its neighbors, including Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon. And one thing is for sure, the gay nightlife is much livelier in Tel Aviv than it is in Tehran.

I would never say that anyone that opposes the policies of Israel is an anti-semite. I am not saying that at all! I am, however, saying that historic opposition to Israel cannot be understood without the social force of Anti-Semitism. How else to account for that frankly mindblowing U.N. statistic? In that respect, Israel is every bit a discriminated against little member country as one would think.

Michael said...

Hi Devin,

I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said "When I consider that God is just, I fear for my country". So same as it ever was, only worse.

EG - I'm afraid comparing Israel to countries who are "even worse" is not a winning argument. I have also decided that "bringing democracy" is code for "raining bombs of death from the sky" - in other words, an excuse for invasion. Lucky Iraq had democracy brought to it, and over a million Iraqis have died. Apparently Iran is next, even though their democracy is at least as legit as the U.S. - remember the 2000 elections. And the U.S. was perfectly happy with Iran when it was a military dictatorship run by the Shah. Equally happy with Saudi Arabia now. All that aside, this post was just a warm up. I have a major article in the works on the role the Jews are playing in the global consciousness from a Jungian perspective.

All the best, Michael

Esperanto Grrl said...

I am not bringing up Iran or Lebanon for the purpose of saying they are far worse. I am bringing it up for the purpose of a greater point here:

1) Israel really isn't that bad;

2) It's been brought up on more human rights violations than any other country in the United Nations.

Your point here with this article, as I understand, is that Israel and the Jewish people aren't a scrappy underdog facing crushing prejudice from its enemies anymore, but have metamorphosed into a bully. How does that jibe with the fact that as long as the U.N. existed in the latter half of the 20th age of horrors and pogroms, totalitarianism, genocide and ethnic cleansing, it is Israel that receives more censure and condemnation than any other country within the halls of the UN?

This cannot be understood without the historical force of anti-semitism, which cuts the "Israel used sympathy to become a bully" argument.

As for the Shah of Iran...sure, he was oppressive and corrupt. He was extravagant and murderous, from an illegitimate dynasty. But he was sincerely interested in reform and progress, all of which has stunted now. His demonization in certain quarters is something I'll never quite understand.

One of the reasons I've always opposed the presence of religion in spheres like science education and politics is the idea that yes, It Can Happen Here. One of the most terrifying transformations, which took a single generation, was the transformation of Iran from the most forward moving nation of the Middle East into the Middle Ages.

Michael said...

Actually, Israel is that bad. And so was the Shah. You're justification for both regimes shows something you probably don't want to see. Iran may have chosen a different course than you would like, but it is THEIR CHOICE. Americans really hate that, being the total self-righteous pricks we are.

See ya, Michael

Devin said...

I enjoyed the comments here too Michael -and loved the Jefferson quote!! I also loved how you said Iranian democracy is every bit as legit as ours here in the US of Amnesia-as a matter of fact haha I would like to make that thought "my own" haha as the tranked and boozed out Paula Abdul might say:-)
I enjoyed Esperranto Grrls comments too and am doing my best to see both sides of the story as they say
I very much enjoyed her comment about rich homosexuals kicking out poor folks in Manhattan -one of the first things I ever read that really let me down about modern gays in the US was how in San Francisco wealthy yuppie homosexuals had done the same thing to an area there.
To talk about Israel, Anti-Semitism, and its relation to ths USA is both gutsy and tricky!
My best commenter in the way that he comments a lot at my place and challenges some of the things I write and always backs what he says up with humor and intelligence is Jewish (not necessarily pro Israel in everything-especially Israel's right wing-but enough that he sees anti-semitism where i see anti-zionism) -and I have noticed myself shying away from this subject as I don't want to offend him haha hows that for cowardice?
but your last statement couldn't be more true about so many here in the US self-righteous dumbasses who think (and this is unbelievable to me-as so many stats would tell us otherwise) that we are number one in everything, can do no wrong, Gods chosen country, and on and on and on-and you cant break thru the fucking barrier talking to these people-even when you bring up KNOWN facts about how we incarcerate more folks per capita and as a whole than any other nation on earth-how's that for a free country-and so on
The Shah was really a piece of work as they say -I still wonder why some of these loons still cooperate with the US when they have seen how we will discard them like a used condom when we are done with them (maybe with less respect!)
we didnt even let the KingofKings in for his cancer TX-haha a friend in need eh??
all the best as always to you and Varen!!

Michael said...

Hi Dev, thanks so much for the comments here and also the other ones. I become fascinated with the whole Jewish/Zionist thing because the whole meme stream says to stay out of it, don't question, don't look. If you say anything bad, you might be branded an anti-semite. So of course I do, going where angels fear to tread. But if I didn't at least try to look at things with my own two eyes, I'd still be a frustrated closeted homo. I still don't know what role the Jews are playing in these times, but I DO know it's pivotal, so maybe a good thing to at least examine.

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