Filtering by Category: Philosophy
Gilad Atzmon: "Ethics and morality are far more crucial than some UN decision"
It is a huge pleasure for me to share with you the transcript of a Q&A by email which I did recently with Gilad Atzmon. I first discovered Gilad the jazz musician years ago when I myself was still playing jazz guitar (btw - I recently reviewed his latest album here), and only later did I learn of his political activism. Having since read as much of his writings as I could find, I now consider him to be one of the most intelligent, well-informed and insightful political activists ever. What I most love and respect in Gilad are his absolute commitment to the truth and his equally forceful determination to speak that truth to power; I can only begin to imagine the vitriolic hatred which Gilad elicits from the Zionist crazies which he relentlessly denounces.
VS: Two leading intellectuals have recently made strong arguments for the so-called "right to exist" of Israel. Norman Finkestein's argument is simple, yet powerful. He says the international community, via the UN General Assembly and the World Court, has already decided what the solution of the conflict should be: two states in the 1967 borders, side by side, with refugees either back or compensated. He points to the fact that all the countries in the world agree on that except the Israel, the USA, and some small south Pacific Islands. He does not claim that this is the best solution, but he says that this is the only doable one. He therefore dismisses the "One State" solution as unachievable.
GA: In general, I am trying to avoid any discussion to do with discourse resolution. I avoid it for a few reasons. I do not live in the region and it is not down to me to decide for the Palestinian what country, political setting or resolution they should follow. However, I may use the opportunity to suggest that the Two State Solution doesn't address the Palestinian cause. It is impractical for the Israelis will never let refugees into their shtetle state. But most importantly, the right of return or the right to live on your land is not a subject to international community decisions or laws. It is actually a moral right. And as far as I am concerned as an individual, ethics and morality are far more crucial than some UN decisions that are made by Zionised politicians and corrupted diplomats.
Here is a glimpse into the surreal world of Judeo-ethics. It is also an exceptional example of lame Jewish logic.
The French Jewish ‘philosopher’ Bernard-Henri Lévy is convinced that Roman Polanski should be freed from jail. Polanski was recently arrested in Switzerland for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-oldgirl in 1977. Lévy thinks that Polanski should evade justice, you want to know why? Easy, because he is a ‘Holocaust survivor’.
1 “What can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about, we must pass over in silence.” (Ludwig Wittgenstein 1918)
1.1 Humanism and ethics are ends worth fighting for.
1.2 Western politics and political discourse (on the other hand) are concerned with power and hegemony.
1.3 Hence, humanism and ethics are foreign to the Western political discourse and vice versa.
2 The Palestinian liberation struggle is grounded on humanist and ethical arguments since it is based on moral rights, namely ‘the right of return’ and ‘liberation’.
2.1 Since the Palestinian liberation struggle is a humanist cause, Western politicians and political discourse are foreign to the Palestinian struggle.
(Cartoon by Khalil)
"I say this as the child of a German Jewish-born father who escaped in time. His mother did not. I say it as a half-Jewish German child chased around a British playground in the second world war and taunted with "he's not just a German, he's a Jew". A double insult. But I say this too as a Christian priest who shares the historic guilt of all the churches. All Christians share a bloody inheritance." Paul Oestreicher - The Guardian Monday 20th February 2006 (Paul Oestreicher is a chaplain at the University of Sussex)
"What about freedom of expression when anti-Semitism is involved? Then it is not freedom of expression. Then it is a crime. Yet when Islam is insulted, certain powers raise the issue of freedom of expression." Amr Moussa, Arab League Secretary General
“There is a myth that we love freedom, others don’t: that our attachment to freedom is a product of culture; that freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law are American values, or Western values…Ours are not Western values, they are the universal values of the Human spirit”. Tony Blair, a speech given at a joint session of the United States Congress, summer 2003
A talk in Bookmarks, London’s Marxist bookshop, 17.6.05
Today I am going to talk about a man who has been removed from our intellectual discourse. Considering his immense influence in the first half of the 20th century, his complete disappearance must raise some questions. Wittgenstein regarded him as a major influence, James Joyce drew upon him in the writing of Ulysses. The man inspired Robert Musil and Herman Broch. I can easily trace his thoughts in Lacan and Heidegger. Freud was debating with his ideas and even Hitler mentioned him, admitting that “there was one decent Jew but even he killed himself”. Otto Weininger was one of the most influential intellectual figures in the first four decades of the 20th century and yet, I assume that not many in this room are familiar with his thoughts or have even heard his name before. I assume that I should tell you why. Ladies and Gentleman, Otto Wenienger was a racist, an anti Semite and a radical misogynist. He didn’t like Jews or women but guess what, he was a Jew himself and as far as historical research can reveal any truth at all, he was an effeminate one.