The Jewish State and Gilad Atzmon

BY Christopher Bollyn
Book Review: The Wandering Who? – A Study of Jewish Identity Politics by Gilad Atzmon, Zero Books, 2011

Zionism has failed for various reasons. Zionism could never have prevailed. It has been entangled with an endless list of sins from day one.
– Gilad Atzmon, The Wandering Who?

Gilad Atzmon is a gifted and articulate Israeli dissident who presents a rather grim but realistic prognosis of Zionism and the Jewish state in his book, The Wandering Who? – A Study of Jewish Identity Politics.  Atzmon’s critique of Jewish identity politics, Zionism, and Israel is timely reading given the collapse of the Israeli government over a controversial law that would redefine the State of Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people.”

The fundamental question about the proposed “Jewish state” law is this: Will it promote peace? Given the violent reaction to the proposal of the bill it seems obvious that it will not solve any of the pressing political problems in Palestine and would only exacerbate the very real tension between Jews and Palestinians in the Holy Land if it were adopted into law.

According to Atzmon, it is precisely the ethno-centric notion that Israel should be “the Jewish state” which prevents it from being a normal and peaceful nation:

Israel is the Jewish state and Jewishness is an ethno-centric ideology driven by exclusiveness, exceptionalism, racial supremacy and a deep inherent inclination toward segregation. For Israel and Israelis to become people like other people, all traces of Jewish ideological superiority must be eliminated first. For the Jewish state to lead a peace initiative, Israel must be de-Zionised – it should first stop being the Jewish State.

I happened to meet Gilad Atzmon when our paths crossed in Portland, Oregon, in September. I had the chance to talk to him and wanted to ask him if he was related to Menachem Atzmon, the key Israeli defendant in the 9-11 tort litigation. Gilad was quick to answer and said that he is indeed related to Menachem Atzmon.

Menachem Atzmon is a former Likud party co-treasurer who, along with Ehud Olmert was charged with illegal campaign financing in Israel. Although Atzmon had been working with Ehud Olmert, Atzmon was convicted while Olmert was not. Olmert, the former mayor of Jerusalem and prime minister, has since been convicted and sentenced to prison on other charges involving accepting illegal funds.

Atzmon went on to head an Israeli security company called International Consultants on Targeted Security (ICTS), which is based in Holland. ICTS happens to be the parent company of Huntleigh USA, the former American company that managed passenger screening operations at Boston’s Logan Airport on 9-11. ICTS was the key defendant in the 9-11 tort litigation but was excused from the process by a decision of the federal judge Alvin K. Hellerstein. It should be noted that there was a blatant conflict of interest in Judge Hellerstein’s management of the 9-11 tort litigation. While Judge Hellerstein was overseeing the tort litigation, his son, Joseph, was living in Israel (on an illegal settlement) and working in a law firm that represented the parent company of ICTS.

Gilad not only confirmed that he was related to Menachem Atzmon, but added that he is also related to Nathan Friedman-Yellin (a.k.a. Nathan Yellin-Mor) the Zionist activist from Grodno who worked closely with Avraham Stern and migrated to Palestine in 1941 to found LEHI, the radical Jewish terrorist group also known as the Stern Gang.

After Stern’s death, Yellin-Mor became the political leader of LEHI along with Yitzhak Shamir (operations) and Israel Eldad (propaganda). Yellin-Mor was one of the planners of the assassination in Cairo of Lord Moyne, the British minister of state in the Middle East, in November 1944. Yellin-Mor was also found guilty of “leadership of a terrorist organization” after LEHI assassins murdered the Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte, who was serving as United Nations emissary in Jerusalem in September 1948. Although Yellin-Mor and LEHI member Matityahu “Matty” Shmuelevitz were found guilty on January 25, 1949, and Yellin-Mor was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment, both terrorists were pardoned shortly after the trial.

TERRORIST ASSASSINS Nathan (Friedman) Yellin-Mor (center) and Matty Shmuelevitz (left) in 1949 after being pardoned for having murdered the Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN special envoy to Palestine, in September 1948. Yellin-Mor then joined the first Knesset (government) of Israel. Shmuelevitz shares the family name with the mother of Rahm Emanuel.  Emanuel’s father, Benjamin (Auerbach) Emanuel, was also a member of the terrorist LEHI group and married Marsha Smulevitz. There is a resemblance in the face of Matty and Rahm Emanuel. Shmuelevitz went on the be the chief-of-staff for Menachem Begin.

Matty Shmuelevitz served as the “director general” of Begin’s office.  I would guess that Matty is the man on the far left in this photo from 1983.  At this point the plans for 9-11 had already begun and the stage was being set in the United States for the biggest false-flag terror attack in history.  If Rahm Emanuel is related to Matty Shmuelevitz, as I suggest, then we can understand the role Emanuel played in setting the stage during the Clinton administrations, when he served as a special advisor to the president.

So, when Gilad Atzmon says that Zionism has “been entangled with an endless list of sins from day one,” he knows what he is talking about. He does not hide the fact that he was raised in a family that is tied to Jewish terrorism. As he says in the opening lines of his book:

My grandfather was a charismatic, poetic, veteran Zionist terrorist. A former prominent commander in the right-wing Irgun terror organization…

His family’s relationship to Zionist terrorism gives Gilad Atzmon’s perspective an authenticity that is lacking in much of the literature about Zionism and Israel. Atzmon is more than just another critical Israeli who grew up during the time of the Six-Day War (1967), the Yom Kippur War (1973), and the invasion of Lebanon (1982) – his ancestors are among the key terrorists behind the creation of the state of Israel and, as we now know, one of his relatives played a key role in the false-flag terrorism of 9-11.

Atzmon’s insights about Israel and Jewish identity politics come from a dissident who was raised in a family of dedicated Zionists. This is why I think his critique of Zionism is one of the essential books of our time. Most Americans have very little, if any, understanding of what Zionism means in reality although their government is the most important financier and political supporter of the “Jewish state.” This lack of understanding is intentional, of course. The history of Israel is not taught in our universities and our controlled media presents an utterly false image of what Zionism is all about.

If the history of Zionism were taught at our universities, Atzmon’s book would certainly be on the reading list because it is the voice of an honest and articulate Israeli dissident:

As a young Israeli I believed in the Zionist ethos, I regarded myself an inherent part of the Jewish modern revival project. I saw myself as part of Jewish history, and Jewish history as an extension of myself. As a young Israeli growing up in the post-1967 era, I saw myself and the people around me as an evolving collective consciousness, fighting a revolutionary battle for historic justice…

As a young secular Israeli Jew, I believed enthusiastically in the possibility of transformation of the Jewish character into a ‘civilised, authentic humanist collective’. I believed myself to be one. I then grasped, through a long and painful process that Israel wouldn’t bring about a humanist Jew. It was entangled in a colossal sin and it was far too arrogant to save itself from its doomed circumstances.

Although the U.S. government is the primary supporter of the state of Israel and the assembled members of Congress gave twenty-nine standing ovations to its extreme right-wing prime minister, most Americans, Jews and Gentiles alike, function with “an imaginary Israel” in their mind, something that they want to believe in, but which bears no resemblance to reality. As I often say about naïve apologists for Israel: They simply do not understand the nature of the beast.

This is why I find the following extract from Atzmon’s book to be the most important. It explains in plain English the essence of “the Jewish state”:

One may be left perplexed on learning that just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz (1945) the newly-formed Jewish state ethnically cleansed the vast majority of the indigenous population of Palestine (1948). Just five years after the end of World War Two, the Jewish state brought to life racially-discriminatory return laws in order to prevent the 1948 Palestinian refugees from coming back to their cities, villages, fields and orchards. These laws, still in place today, were not categorically different from the notorious Nazi Nuremberg Laws.

These are the essential facts about “the Jewish state” that need to be taken into consideration when we discuss the state of Israel. The well-written Atzmon critique is contained in a small book of about 200 pages yet he manages to deftly handle all of the main issues of Jewish identity politics and Zionism with intelligence and humor.

There is one point where Atzmon and I do not agree. In several places he says, “I do not believe in Jewish conspiracies; everything is done in the open.” I, on the other hand, think that a great deal of Zionist planning is done in secret societies, like the B’nai B’rith, the parent organization of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Hillel. The Zionist planning of the false-flag terrorism of 9-11, for example, was clearly done behind closed doors in a secret society where oaths of secrecy have been sworn.  Such secret societies exist for a reason and secrecy is the most important aspect of such organizations.

I asked Gilad about this statement and told him that my reading of Zionist history revealed that secret societies like the B’nai Moshe, B’nai B’rith, and others, played key roles in creating the Zionist fervor in Eastern Europe in the late 1800s and beyond. One source in particular, the Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel, by Raphael Patai, Herzl Press, 1971, has many articles about these secret societies.

He wrote back agreeing that this “could be an open subject to debate.”

Sources:  Atzmon, Gilad, The Wandering Who? – A Study of Jewish Identity Politics, Zero Books (UK), 2011 .

“Begin’s legacy:  ‘Yehiel, it ends today’ – The day that Menachem Begin announced he would resign as prime minister,” by Shlomo Nakdimon, Ha’aretz (Israel), February 22, 2012 

“Bollyn meets Gilad Atzmon” by Christopher Bollyn, September 23, 2014

“Gilad Atzmon Confirms Shaul Eisenberg Connection to ICTS” by Christopher Bollyn, November 6, 2014 


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