Lieberman and the Jewish Political Continuum

Following Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman’s address at the UN last week, Aluf Benn wrote in Haaretz:

During the past few weeks, Netanyahu invested a great deal of effort in trying to convince the leaders of the world that he is serious about peace with the Palestinians. He asked them to ignore the resumption of settlement construction, and convinced Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas not to quit the negotiations.

Now comes Lieberman, Israel’s most senior diplomat, and tells all those leaders that… Netanyahu is faking. Even worse: the foreign minister is implying that Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state is merely cover for the expulsion of Arab citizens.

Netanyahu, Barak and many other Israelis are often ‘outraged’ by FM Lieberman. I guess that Israelis grasp that their senior diplomat exposes the Israeli ploy: when Israelis talk peace — what they really mean is war with no end. When Israeli government spokesmen insist that Lieberman “misrepresents Israeli Government’s policies” — what they really mean is that he fails to repeat the Israeli official lies. As it stands, Lieberman’s UN speech few days ago, conveys not only Israeli cabinet vision, it is also a devastating glimpse into the Israeli mindset, worldview and spirit. Lieberman is a transparent image of the Israeli desire for racial and cultural homogeneity. Many Israelis claim to detest him and his ideas: but my guess is that they grasp that Lieberman is actually their true mirror. Otto Weininger wrote in “Sex & Character” that people hate in others that which they detest in themselves. Many Israelis ostensibly oppose Lieberman because he reminds them of the bigot whom they can’t stand in themselves. Some people do not like to look in the mirror; others are devastated when the mirror gazes back at them with pity.

“We, the Israelis are united”, Lieberman told the UN assembly , “now we have a stable coalition, stable government and we have the support of a majority of Israel’s citizens.” Lieberman is obviously correct: the Israelis are now more united than ever. In fact, there is no political opposition in Israel except from the Arab parties. Yet, “we are not ready to compromise our national security or the vital interests of the State of Israel” Lieberman continued.

This says it all : unlike the rest of humanity who regard the concept of peace as a means towards reconciliation and harmony, for Lieberman — and in fact for every Israeli politician I can think of — the word ‘peace’ only translates as ‘security for the Jews’

Lieberman is no fool. Unlike the Israeli so called ‘peace camp’ who rally for Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 lines, the Israeli Foreign minister knows that occupation alone is not the root of the problem. He also understands that a further Israeli withdrawal won’t significantly change anything. Rather, Lieberman fully understands that the right of return is actually at the heart of the Palestinian cause, yet he is not willing to discuss it. Instead, Lieberman insists that “recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people” is of the essence, because he basically wants Israel to be a ‘Jews only’ club. And it is crucial to admit here, that this point is also totally vital for Israelis and Zionist Jews around the world too.

But here, there is a shocking twist: whilst we understand that Zionists insist on operating within a ‘Jews only’ club — the Jewish anti Zionists are apparently not much different. For some reason, the Jewish opponents of Israel also insist on operating in what seem to be just more Judeo-centric tribal dissident political cells. It is pretty obvious that the ‘Jewish boat to Gaza’ was a Jews only vessel. I can only assume that ‘Jews for Peace’, ‘Jews for Palestine’, and ‘Jews against Zionism’ are then, all simply different exercises in a Jewish national and tribal politics that is also racially orientated, or, at the very least ethno centric. For some reason ‘Political Jews’ do not like to mix with others, whether it is the Likud party, ‘Yisrael Beiteinu or ‘Jews for Peace in Palestine’.

Lieberman was actually totally honest in the UN when he admitted: “we should focus on coming up with a long-term intermediate agreement, something that could take a few decades.” It is completely obvious that the Israelis are not ready for peace. It may, indeed, take decades before they encompass the notion of harmony and reconciliation. One may also wonder at this stage, if the Jewish left is any different? How many years will it take before ‘Jews for Peace’ understand that solidarity with Palestine is a universal humanitarian cause? Is not 200 hundred years of Jewish assimilation ((On September 29, 1791, France became the first country in the world to emancipate its Jewish population. By 1796, Britain, and the Netherlands had granted the Jews equal rights with gentiles. Napoleon also freed the Jews in areas he conquered. By the beginning of the 20th century Jews were emancipated throughout Europe. And yet, for some reason, Jewish left has failed to assimilate. It operates as an exclusive political cell. )) enough time for Jews to join the battle for humanism as ordinary participants? I myself would love to believe that even a day is more than enough. Clearly the facts suggests otherwise.

Lieberman admits that “the guiding principle for a final status agreement must not be land-for-peace but rather, exchange of populated territory”. This idea obviously appeals to most Israelis — because it emphasizes and expresses the true meaning of a Jewish affinity towards segregation.

Embarrassingly enough, this affinity toward isolation is also inherent within the Jewish left. On the one hand, we have the Global BDS Movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction for Palestine), a movement driven by a universal and ethical call to boycott Israeli Goods — yet on the other hand we have also the J-BIG (Jews For Boycotting Israeli Good) who rally for the exact same cause — but would accept Jews only. For some reason, even the ‘good Jews’ ( those who oppose Israel and Zionism ) refuse to share political space with the Goyim. One may also wonder at this stage, how can anyone ‘boycott as a Jew’? What is implied by this ethno centric political call? Do they really refuse to buy Caterpillar boots or Motorola phones — ‘as Jews’? I was a Jew for the first four decades of my life, and I somehow, never managed to do a single thing solely and exclusively ‘as a Jew’.

Along the years I have challenged a few secular Jewish anti Zionists : I ask them why do they insist on operating politically as Jews — especially considering the fact that they claim to be secular, or even atheist? What do they actually mean then, when they say, ‘as a Jew I support X or oppose Y’. I have never yet heard an answer that was decent enough to report.

I am afraid that Lieberman is brave enough to provide an answer : He does speak ‘as a Jew,’ and it seems he is at least consistent and coherent, though somewhat deluded. Expressing it as ‘historical truth’, he speaks of “almost 4000 years during which the Jewish People were born in the Land of Israel, while developing the corpus of ethical and intellectual treasures that have been instrumental in giving rise to Western Civilization.” Lieberman goes on to claim that “2000 years of forced exile, and interim conquest by Byzantines, Arabs, Mamelukes, Ottomans and others, cannot, and never will, impair the unbreakable bonds of the Jewish People to its homeland. Israel is not only where we are. It is who we are.”

Evidently, Lieberman regards the Bible as a historical text. He believes in a Jewish continuum. He seems to consider that the Old Testament’s ‘eye for an eye’ is the spiritual foundation of Western Civilization. He is obviously wrong : he is probably not familiar enough with Athens. Lieberman also fails to realize that Jesus’ preaching for universal brotherhood was actually an attempt to counter, revise and amend Hebraic tribalism.

Yet, Lieberman is at least crystal clear in his vision. He believes in an ‘eternal bond’ between ‘spirit’ and geography: Israel is not ‘just where we are’ — it is also ‘who we are’. This statement is actually crucial for an understanding of what is assumed by Zionists to be a ‘magical’ power inherent within their world view.

However, Lieberman is clearly misinformed — a brief reading of Shlomo Sand’s The Invention of the Jewish People would help him trace his Khazarian ancestors. And yet, Lieberman is at least articulate . His identity assumes meaning, because it cements Jewish contemporary existence with Talmudic supremacy. It sets out to frame the ‘here and now’ within an historical context. It bonds the current robbery of Palestine with a very similar Biblical tale of plunder. I guess that these facts alone explain why Lieberman is a major political player in the Jewish state. It also explains why the Israeli government followed and approved his demand for a ‘Loyalty oath’ to the Jewish state.

If we want to understand Jewish political identity; If we want to understand the depth of Israeli belief in racial supremacy (or alternatively why nine brave Jews insist on breaking the siege on Gaza in a ‘Jews only’ yacht), Lieberman is a key figure. It is actually Lieberman the right wing hawk who helps us to understand the insular ‘Jews for Palestine’, J-BIG, and J- Street.

Lieberman is becoming more and more popular amongst Jews and Israelis. He is a key member in the Israeli coalition. Jewish anti Zionism, on the other hand, is far from being popular amongst the Jewish masses. If we talk in terms of numbers, it is not even marginal. True, it is loud, occasionally verging on noisy, but it is far from being clear about what it is trying to achieve. It is inconsistent and still apparently founded on a misleading myth of ‘Jewish universal and ethical tradition’. The truth of the matter though, is devastating: There is no coherent Jewish secular value system; instead, there are just different modes of Jewish political exceptionalisms.

For some peculiar reason, the Jewish left refuses to intermingle within the rest of the solidarity movement. Instead of grasping, once and for all, the true dynamic meaning of universalism, pluralism and ethics, it is there to exchange symbolism. ‘We want to show’, they seem to be saying, ‘that there are some good Jews around’.

I guess however, that Jewish leftists are too intellectually lame to grasp that such a statement is actually the ultimate form of anti Jewish racism : because it says to the world that ‘the rest of the Jews’ are indeed, little more than reactionary Zionists.

It refers to ‘the rest of the Jews’ then, as a non ethical collective.

I do realize that many of us detest Lieberman, but the truth must be said — the Israeli Foreign Minister is an eloquent glimpse into contemporary Jewish politics and identity politics.

Gilad Atzmon, now living in London, was born in Israel and served in the Israeli military. He is the author of The Wandering Who and Being in Time and is one of the most accomplished jazz saxophonists in Europe. He can be reached via his website. Read other articles by Gilad, or visit Gilad's website.

11 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on October 11th, 2010 at 7:55am #

    No cultist wants company of another diff cultist. Mosheic cultists [to whatever degree so] join us goyim only if they can use or deceives us!
    My guide is foolproof: if u’r a jew; deems self jewish in whatever wise and for whatever reason, u’r my enemy! tnx

  2. 3bancan said on October 11th, 2010 at 9:18am #

    “the Israeli ploy: when Israelis talk peace — what they really mean is war with no end.”

    The genocidal zionazis have a monopoly over the political decisions of Western countries and believe they are above International Law:

  3. mary said on October 11th, 2010 at 9:40am #

    Blackmailing now. What truly vile people.

    11 October 2010

    Israel offers building halt if Jewish state recognised

    Mr Netanyahu entered new peace talks with the Palestinians in September Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has offered to renew a partial freeze on settlement building, if the Palestinians recognise Israel as “a Jewish state”.

    A Palestinian spokesman has rejected the condition.

    Israel has been under international pressure to renew its partial freeze on settlements in the occupied West Bank.

    Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians had been under threat of collapse over the issue.

    Palestinian officials have said they will pull out of the talks if the freeze on building in the West Bank, not including East Jerusalem, is not renewed.

    Palestinian officials have argued in the past that recognising Israel as a Jewish state would compromise the rights of 20% of the Israeli population that is not Jewish, and cancel the right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel.

    Speaking at the opening of the winter session of the Israeli parliament, Mr Netanyahu said: “If the Palestinian leadership will unequivocally say to its people that it recognises Israel as the national state of the Jewish people, I will be ready to convene my cabinet and ask for another moratorium on building.”

    A senior Palestinian negotiator said the Palestinians had long ago recognised the state of Israel and that the real issue threatening the talks was illegal Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

    The BBC’s Wyre Davies, in Jerusalem, says Mr Netanyahu’s offer, in a speech to the Knesset, is an attempt to wrest back the initiative in arguments over the settlement freeze.

    Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Mr Netanyahu was “playing games” with his offer, and that there was no connection between Jewish settlements and the national character of Israel.

    “I don’t see a relevance between his obligations under international law and him trying to define the nature of Israel,” he said.

    “I hope he will stop playing these games and will start the peace process by stopping settlements.”

  4. hayate said on October 11th, 2010 at 11:40am #

    “But here, there is a shocking twist: whilst we understand that Zionists insist on operating within a ‘Jews only’ club — the Jewish anti Zionists are apparently not much different. For some reason, the Jewish opponents of Israel also insist on operating in what seem to be just more Judeo-centric tribal dissident political cells. It is pretty obvious that the ‘Jewish boat to Gaza’ was a Jews only vessel. I can only assume that ‘Jews for Peace’, ‘Jews for Palestine’, and ‘Jews against Zionism’ are then, all simply different exercises in a Jewish national and tribal politics that is also racially orientated, or, at the very least ethno centric. For some reason ‘Political Jews’ do not like to mix with others, whether it is the Likud party, ‘Yisrael Beiteinu or ‘Jews for Peace in Palestine’.”

    This is where I think Atzmon is strongest in his writing, in his critiques of Jewish exceptionalism and attitudes. This “Jews inside and given extra slack, goys outside and not to be trusted” mentality is as much a problem in progressive/left Jewish predominant orgs and discussion boards as it is in rabid pro-zionist ones.

  5. Rehmat said on October 11th, 2010 at 6:52pm #

    Well Israel has Avigdor Lieberman and American has his equivalent, Senator Joe Lieberman. The later, too, wants the US to invade almost every Muslim country which doesn’t submit to Israeli agenda.

    On June 15, 2010 – the Wall Street Journal (listed as an Israel Hasbara Committee member) published an Israeli propaganda crap,written by Zionist Jew Senator Joe Lieberman, chairman Senate Homeland Security Committee. In the ‘opinion’ Joe Lieberman claims that America’s real enemy is “violent Islamist extremism”. I am sure, ‘Mr. Israel’, cannot be so ignorant of the fact that since the creation of the UNcountry – most of terrorist acts against the US were carried out by the Jewish extremists and not the ‘Islamist extremists’. To name a few Jewish terrorism; Lavon Affair (1954), President John F. Kennedy’s assassination (1963), USS Liberty attack (1967), Operation Trojan (1986), Pan Am 103 bombing (1988), 9/11 (2001), AA Flight 587 (2001), Bali bombing (2002 & 2005), Madrid train bombing (2004), USS Cole bombing (2000), Nigerian underwear bomber (2009), Time Square hoax (2010) and unlimited other false-flage operations……

  6. Leigh1940 said on October 11th, 2010 at 9:06pm #

    I agree with a lot of this, but I think you’re too hard on the guys on the progressive left. While there were statest Zionists on the Jewish boat, people like Yonatan Shapira have been clear for ages that they’re campaigning for a single state. That’s why almost all their campaigning activities are shared with Palestinians and foreigners; the boat was the one exception and drew attention to Jewish disapproval of the situation in Gaza much more clearly than the scattered Jews on the previous boats. They typically plan and hold weekly protests with the Palestinians, learn Arabic, have parties and picnics with Palestinian friends, mix with another race in ways that Europe and the US can learn from. That’s precisely the division on the Israeli political left. Some of the weekly Jewish protesters are statest Zionists and therefore hold the protests in order to save Zionism from current Israeli policies. But others are very genuine about living as Jews in a majority Palestinian state.

  7. Dustbin said on October 13th, 2010 at 10:23am #

    The good people of the world should line up and thank FM Avigdor Lieberman’s for his address at the UN last week like Professor Gabriella Shalev, Israel’s UN Ambassador, before him. Such noble sons of Israel can always be a the ready to assures the we dummies of the world that the religious edifice erected by God’s chosen people in Palestine is not the greatest moral joke of the last hundred years and that Israel is in fact not the Ugly Head of Semitism. The Ugly Head of Semitism is after after all nothing but myth. Any percolating thoughts to the contrary all serve myth, myth, myth. Who cannot know that the direct orders for the massacres of Palestinians never ever ever happened and that evil assertions of ethic scrubbings and occupations of Palestinian lands is just a big, big, big lie. The words of that artless ‘skunks like Ahmadinejad arguing to the contrary (for instance,) are bad – bad- bad. The orthodoxy that the Jewish State blessedly plopped in Palestine is true and good, true and good, true and good. To argue otherwise is silly and presents racist and uninformed views on historical events. Avigdor Keep doing god’s good work. L’Chaim.

  8. mary said on October 13th, 2010 at 1:18pm #

    What a charmer!

    Far-right MK Aryeh Eldad called Wednesday for the assassination of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and to use his current visit to Lebanon as the opportunity to do so.


  9. mary said on October 14th, 2010 at 5:46am #

    Meanwhile another convoy of committed people is heading for Gaza. I believe George Galloway is one of them.

    Aid Convoy Set to Sail for Gaza
    October 14, 2010

    After a tense ten day stand off in Syria, the Viva Palestina aid convoy to Gaza has now been cleared to sail.

    The convoy started out from London on Saturday 18th September and drove down through France, Italy, Greece and Turkey before arriving in the port of Latakia, Syria, on Saturday 2nd October. In Latakia, the convoy has been joined by two other convoys. One came from Morocco and Algeria, the other originated in Doha and came through the Gulf states and Jordan.

    There are now 147 vehicles about to board two ships together with 380 people from some 30 countries stretching from New Zealand and Australia to Canada and the United States carrying aid worth some 5 million dollars. This includes 40 people who were on the Mavi Marmara flotilla which was attacked by Israeli commandos murdering ten human rights activists from Turkey.

    Over the last ten days in Syria, the convoy has taken on medical supplies urgently needed in the besieged Gaza Strip. Simultaneously negotiations have been conducted with the Egyptian authorities to allow passage into the port of Al Arish and then on to the Rafah Crossing. The support of the Syrian authorities and others has been vital in the successful negotiations.

    Last night word finally came through that the Egyptian authorities would allow the ships to dock, unload and passage through to the Rafah Crossing and Gaza would be guaranteed.

    The ships will now sail past the place where the Mavi Marmara was attacked and flowers will be laid in memory of the victims. When the convoy reaches Gaza the soil from the graves of some of those who were murdered will be used to plant trees as a memorial to the Mavi Marmara victims.

    The convoy hopes to reach Gaza this Saturday or Sunday.

    Please circulate
    Best wishes,
    Siamak Alimi

    Bristol Gaza Link Association

  10. hayate said on October 14th, 2010 at 7:45am #

    Thanks for posting that, Mary.

    It doesn’t appear the ziofascists cant do much about this convoy since they will be going through Egypt. That must be raising some israeli blood pressure. 😀

  11. Mulga Mumblebrain said on October 14th, 2010 at 10:04am #

    Mary, never forget that for these Judaic Nazis killing is a holy act. They have murdered hundreds of Palestinian and Lebanese leaders, and almost certainly others who got in their way,like JFK, and tens of thousands of civilians. Their Torah is a text-book of genocide and murder, their religious festivals of Passover and Purim ‘celebrate’ massacres of total innocents and, as the Yesha Council of Rabbis and Torah Sages declared in 2006, as Israel was destroying Lebanon in an orgy of murder and destruction (and they now have the unspeakable gall to order the Lebanese not to have Ahmadinejad as an honoured guest)killing civilians is, for them, an holy act, a mitzvah or good deed. That is what the reality of Israel really is, but it is kept from Western publics by the media sewer and by the never-ending use of the vicious slander of ‘anti-semitism’ applied to people who dare criticise the Holy People when they murder children with white phosphorus, by vile creatures like the unspeakable Howard Jacobson, now enthroned as yet another ‘Jewish genius’ after his years of whining at not being awarded the Booker Prize that his gigantic ego so craved.