Thursday, September 22, 2011

John Mearsheimer supports anti-Semitic author

"We have heard the comparison between Israel and Nazi Germany. I don't like this comparison because I really think that Israel is far worse than Nazi Germany."

Those are the words of Gilad Atzmon, a little known expatriate Israeli who divides his time between working as a jazz musician and campaigning against the Jewish community in all its manifestations. He has written that he not only opposes Israel and Zionism, but any Jewish collective enterprise, including even "Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist networks". In fact, he describes himself as someone who is proud of being a "self-hating Jew".

History teaches us that the most universally inspiring Jews, I mean, those who contributed something to humanity rather than merely to their own people or even just themselves, were motivated by some form of self hate. The first names that come to mind are Christ, Spinoza and Marx.

Of the Holocaust, Atzmon has written that he not only doubts it occurred as historians and survivors describe, he thinks that what did occur was justified.

It took me years to accept that the Holocaust narrative, in its current form, doesn’t make any historical sense. Here is just one little anecdote to elaborate on: If, for instance, the Nazis wanted the Jews out of their Reich (Judenrein - free of Jews), or even dead, as the Zionist narrative insists, how come they marched hundreds of thousands of them back into the Reich at the end of the war?

. . . (I)f 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?

I think that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled to start to ask the necessary questions. We should ask for some conclusive historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative that is sustained by political pressure and laws. We should strip the holocaust of its Judeo-centric exceptional status and treat it as an historical chapter that belongs to a certain time and place

65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz we should reclaim our history and ask why? Why were the Jews hated? Why did European people stand up against their next door neighbours? Why are the Jews hated in the Middle East, surely they had a chance to open a new page in their troubled history? If they genuinely planned to do so, as the early Zionists claimed, why did they fail? Why did America tighten its immigration laws amid the growing danger to European Jews? We should also ask for what purpose do the holocaust denial laws serve? What is the holocaust religion there to conceal? As long as we fail to ask questions, we will be subjected to Zionists and their Neocons agents’ plots.

He not only doubts that the Holocaust actually occurred, and thinks that whatever did happen to the Jews of Europe was justified, he goes on to argue that opposition to those who think like him is the manifestation of an irrational intolerance of non-Jews which is at the core of the Jewish identity. (Read here.) Elsewhere, Atzmon has described the Nazi's treatment of Jews as an understandable response to Jewish aggression against Germany.   (Read here.)

In spite of all this, Atzmon objects to describing his views as Holocaust denial, not because he believes what historians say about the subject, but because he dismisses the idea itself.

I ... find the notion of ‘holocaust denial’ to be meaningless, and on the verge of idiotic.

When put on the spot in an interview, Atzmon has said that he cannot be sure the Holocaust occurred because he "is not a historian".

Atzmon distinguishes himself from most anti-Zionists in that he admits that anti-Zionism is motivated by hatred of Jews, which he rationalizes in the following manner:

Unlike Uri Avnery and Norman Finkelstein who . . . argue that anti-Semitism is exaggerated, I actually believe that resentment towards Jewish politics is rising rapidly and constantly. However, I do differentiate between the Judeo-centric notion of anti-Semitism and political resentment towards Jewish ideology. I do not regard anti-Jewish activity as a form of anti-Semitism or racial hatred because Jews are neither Semites nor do they form a racial continuum whatsoever. The rise of hatred towards any form of Jewish politics and Jewish lobbies is a reaction towards a tribal, chauvinist and supremacist ideology.

Thus Atzmon argues that he and others like him cannot be bigoted against Jews because the belief in Jewish ethnicity itself is a manifestation of Jewish racism. By this twisted logic, Jews are inherently racist and those who hate them are inherently anti-racist.

Atzmon has also written at length that he believes anti-Semitic stereotypes to be accurate reflections of essential truths about the nature of Jews, even while disparaging the importance of real history.  He writes:

Fagin is the ultimate plunderer, a child exploiter and usurer. Shylock is the blood-thirsty merchant. With Fagin and Shylock in mind Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum. However, it is also obvious why the HET [British Holocaust Education Trust] is so thrilled by Anne Frank. On the face of it, and for obvious reasons, Frank is there to convey an image of innocence. And indeed not a single moral system could ever justify the ordeal this young girl went through along with many others. Yet, Anne Frank wasn’t exactly a literary genius. Her diary is not a valuable piece of literature. She wasn’t an exceptionally clever either. [sic]

In that spirit of valuing bigoted myths over historical facts, Atzmon actually goes so far as to defend the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" as revealing essential truths about the Jews. (Read here.)

You may be wondering why I am boring you with a detailed examination of the thoughts of an obvious crank who would only find support for his deranged and cynical bigotry among others of similarly fringe views. You may be interested to learn that among Atzmon's supporters is Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago's Program on International Security Policy. Mearsheimer provided the following blurb for the back cover of Atzmon's most recent book, the contents of which are reportedly consistent with his previous hateful work:

‘Gilad Atzmon has written a fascinating and provocative book on Jewish identity in the modern world. He shows how assimilation and liberalism are making it incredibly difficult for Jews in the Diaspora to maintain a powerful sense of their ‘Jewishness.’ Panicked Jewish leaders, he argues, have turned to Zionism (blind loyalty to Israel) and scaremongering (the threat of another Holocaust) to keep the tribe united and distinct from the surrounding goyim. As Atzmon’s own case demonstrates, this strategy is not working and is causing many Jews great anguish. The Wandering Who? Should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike.’

When I read that quote on the website of Atzmon's literary agent, I doubted it's veracity.  I had trouble believing that a distinguished professor at one of the world's greatest universities would link himself to a hatemonger like Atzmon.  So I sent Professor Mearsheimer an email quoting the blurb and asking him to verify it's accuracy.  I also gave him an opportunity to amend it or add to it.  Here's what he wrote back:

The blurb below is the one I wrote for "The Wandering Who" and I have no reason to amend it or embellish it, as it accurately reflects my view of the book. 

Professor Mearsheimer has certainly reached the heights of achievement in his field and respect for this would be appropriate, regardless of whether one agrees with his opinions.  Moreover, this world is increasingly filled with gratuitous ad hominem attacks, arbitrarily flung at ideological adversaries to divert attention from substantive arguments.  In this instance, however, Mearsheimer is using his authority as an expert in his field to promote the work of a flagrant bigot and distorter of history.  If denunciation in the strongest terms is not appropriate in response to this grossly misguided act, when would it be?  Mearsheimer, in praising Atzmon, lends his name and that of his university to the promotion of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.  That is simply inexcusable.


the_last_name_left said...

"Israel is far worse than Nazi Germany."

What an ignoramus.

Anybody saying such things is simply expressing their own ignorance, or their wilful malevolence.

Simply to indulge such comparisons betrays a malevolence and hostility. Why do they have to always use Nazism as the measure? When challenged, such people will often respond that communism (by which they really mean Stalinism) was "just as bad" if not "much worse" than Nazism. But if so, why don't they ever use Stalinism as the measure of supposed Israeli evil instead of Nazism? Even if they did, the comparison is still simply ridiculous if one concludes anything other than Israel is nothing like either Nazism or Stalinism. Such comparisons can only reasonably work in Israel's favour - but that is never the point, and it's a conclusion that is never reached.

This Atzmon guy revolts me and worse he has some cachet amongst the left. Shameful. The socialism of fools. We don't need any of this rubbish to make legitimate criticism.

Atzmon asks 'why Jews didn't hang around for the Red Army?' Well, if they did flee an advancing Soviet army, the reason would be obvious : most everyone else did with very good reason. For Stalin, anyone who had contact with the West - even as a POW - was suspect, and frequently sent to the Gulag upon return. A smashed and broken Nazi Germany would certainly be a preferable destination over the Gulag. There's nothing odd about that.

Atzmon also engages in the fallacy over Holocaust denial laws - he fails to understand or communicate the point of such laws : they outlaw the denial of Nazi crimes because such denial rehabilitates Nazism. They do not criminalise investigation of the Holocaust.

"the belief in Jewish ethnicity itself is a manifestation of Jewish racism. By this twisted logic, Jews are inherently racist...."

lol - this is like saying any ethnic group is "racist" because it recognises its own ethnicity.

Moreover, it's akin to saying something like "blacks are racist".....a construct which depends on racial stereotyping to have any meaning.

Personally I find the entire obsession with the Israeli/Palestine conflict to be objective anti-semitism. Why is I/P so important to all the critics? Why is it 'the most important issue of our time'? I don't believe it for a moment. Why isn't Sri Lankan conflict considered to be as important? Or the Kurdish insurgency in Turkey, or Tibet, or.....whatever? I just don't get it, unless anti-semitism is the underlying motivation (even if it's unconscious).

Mearsheimer seems clueless to the way he is exploited. So much so one has to wonder if it is really ignorance, or quiet acquiesence.

Anonymous said...

Uh-oh. Looks like Mearsheimer is the target of yet another arm of the massive Israel Lobby, Adam Holland! Obviously, Holland is merely dredging up facts to smear the innocent, brave man. Truly, is there any limit to Zionist perfidy?

Great post as usual, Adam; I await the alleged 'defense' his supporters will throw up (literally and figuratively, if you'll excuse the crude humor).

Jacob Arnon said...

Mearsheimer's behavior shows that by embracing anti=Zionism you embrace and anti-Jewish ideology. He has denied it the past, but his embrace of Atzmon's book speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

Why do jews think the universe revolves around them?

Do you think jews are immune from doing anything wrong?

Shut-up Adam.

Rebecca said...

Congratulations on the shout-out from Atzmon himself! He certainly is in command of a fine vocabulary of vituperation, worthy of the best output produced by the Nazis or Stalinists in their day.

James said...

Hmmm, no mention of the Bolshivek Jews who murdered 20 million Ukraniain Christians. How does that fit in with Jewish piety?

the_last_name_left said...

Ah, here comes the stuff about "Bolshevik Jews......murdering Ukrainians"

Nevermind Stalin and the Doctor's Plot etc. Just blame Jews, eh?

Bolshevism before Stalinism was fiercely opposed to anti-semitism - as it was against any racism.

Perhaps you know things changed following Lenin's death, which happened very soon after the revolution.

If you care to look at how many Jews Stalin subsequently destroyed you'll recognise the bankruptcy of your case. Silly boy, James. What about Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinoviev......there goes your argument.

Oh, and don't forget communism is generally atheist and internationalist. Your crudity speaks only of yourself.

the_last_name_left said...

Atzmon's own page on the subject has contributions from Holocaust deniers.

Fine company to keep.

Guardian had a piece on Atzmon too:

Gilad Atzmon, antisemitism and the left

the_last_name_left said...

"Soon Israelis will see the absurdity of this Zionisat notion of an ever expanding GREATER Israel from Nile to Euphrates"


Well, if Israel had wanted to do it, they likely had the power to do it, but haven't.


Surely that counts for something?

And if they really desperately wanted to do it, but haven't been able to.......then they are not as powerful as the suggestion makes which case, what is the substance to the threat and fear that they will?

The most obvious answer is an objective anti-semitism.


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