Interview with Gilad Atzmon on recent news by Alimuddin Usmani
Alimuddin Usmani: On the 10th of February, Syrian anti-aircraft units managed to use an old Soviet anti-aircraft missile built in the sixties to shoot down an Israeli F-16.
What is the significance of this military incident?
Gilad Atzmon: I do not know much about the type of anti air missiles the Syrians used. It seems that the Israelis were also perplexed by Syrian anti air capacity. But what we do know is that the Israeli F-16 wasn’t in Syria’s air space. It was well within Israel, in fact not too far from Haifa’s sky. This means that Syria possesses the ability to impose a no fly zone over northern Israel. This is undoubtedly a positive development. It may even restrain Israeli aggression.
AA: According to Israeli minister Bennett, "Israel must act systematically against the Iranian octopus".
GA: The reference to Iran as an octopus is new to me. I have seen the octopus imagery used to portray the idea of Jews having domineering powers. The image I am referring to is one of octopuses decorated with a Star of David and holding the planet in their hands. I do wonder what led Minister Bennett to use such a metaphor. Is it the fear of being encircled and eventually squashed by mighty Iran or maybe Bennett was simply projecting, attributing his own characteristics to the Iranians. This question can remain open. I can say with certainty that since Bennett is a religious Jew, he won’t eat calamari any time soon and he probably doesn’t even know what he misses.
What is fascinating about the incident is that for years we have seen Israeli politicians vow to attack Iran. We have seen Jewish leaders worldwide push for military actions and sanctions against Iran. The facts are undeniable: Israel feels surrounded and Bennett seems to admit it by employing the octopus metaphor.
AA: Recently a French-Syrian woman was forced to quit a song show due to some comments she made a while ago on Twitter criticizing the French government’s stance on terrorist attacks.
What is you take on the above?
GA: This farce highlights the duplicity at the core of so-called multi culturalism and ‘diversity.’ We love and care for the ‘other’ but only so as long as the other conceals his or her otherness. We love Muslims as long as they pretend to be Jews. I see this form of progressive ‘diversity’ as an anti humanist oppressive force.
AA: Ahed Tamimi, a young Palestinian activist was arrested on the 19th of December for slapping an Israeli soldier who was standing outside her home. She is still in prison, awaiting a trial. What is your opinion about this girl?
GA: I am afraid that my linguistic abilities fall short in describing my admiration for this Palestinian teenager. I am not impressed by the Palestinian solidarity movement. And now many see the solidarity movement as a controlled opposition apparatus, largely dominated by Jewish organisations and outlets (JVP, IJAN, Mondoweiss etc.). This has led to a discourse of the oppressed shaped by the sensitivities of the oppressors. Instead of talking about the Right of Return we have been subject to a barrage of notions, ideas, tactics and political tools that are set to limit the resistance and in practice, facilitate recognition of the Jewish State and its right to exist (to read more http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2015/5/16/the-jewish-solidarity-spin). Ahed Tamimi represents uncompromising resistance. She wants her land to be free, and I don’t doubt that her wishes will come through
AA: Tell us something about your next gigs.
GA: I am on my way to Barcelona. I am writing to you while seated in a plane. Tonight I will be talking about my new book Being in Time. I will probably be asked about Catalan independence in light of my post political theory although I have nothing to say about it. I do not really understand the Catalan situation nor do I know how or where to locate it within my criticism of the current global dystopia, I hope that by the end of the night I will have learned more about Catalonia. A lot of my ideas were born out of intense exchanges with the many people I have encountered while being on the road. It is the differences that spark thinking and originality, concepts that are seriously lacking in the monolithic tyranny of correctness that is imposed on us.