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Tel Aviv University
[TAU, Cohn] Moshe Zuckermann, May 31st, Berlin: "Israel supplies what anti-Semites can exploit"

TAU Prof. Moshe Zuckermann

Email: mzucki@post.tau.ac.il

Professor Moshe Zuckermann in an interview:

"Die meisten Antisemiten in der Welt heute halten Israel für sehr gut, weil Israel sie genau in ihrem Ressentiment mehr oder weniger abfüttert, also abfedert. Israel liefert heute nicht wenig von dem, was Antisemiten, die ohnehin schon vom Ressentiment beladen sind, dann verwerten können."
"Most anti-Semites in the world think Israel is very good, since Israel feeds their very resentment, approvingly. Nowadays Israel supplies what anti-Semites can exploit."

The article below is based on the event:

Public Solidarity - Publish With Impunity

Moshe Zuckermann 31 May 2013 in Berlin

Book Launch and Panel Discussion with Arnold Schölzel (JW - Junge Welt) and Moshe Zuckermann (Author) in the Junge Welt gallery in Berlin: Against the Zeitgeist II

A German version of this article can be found here http://www.israel-nachrichten.org/archive/3654

TAU Moshe Zuckermann - self-proclaimed super-intellectual do-gooder and visionary regarding Israel's future - strikes again

Editorial by Esther Scheiner, Israel Nachrichten

On May 31st, at the Ladengalerie Junge Welt, a daily paper with Marxist-leftist orientation, he presented the second volume of his trilogy "Wider den Zeitgeist" (Contrary to the Spirit of the Times). For two hours Zuckermann answered questions by the host – who was revealed as the perfect stooge - in a monologue, although the public's questions raised the suspicion of having been distributed in advance.

The main subject, according to the author, was "anti-Semitism". Zuckermann handled the subject on two levels: the general level, and a second level, developing on the background of "suspected anti-Semitism of the left-wing party". He reached astounding inferences.

He said that since the time of the second Intifada, or as a consequence thereof, the political Left in Israel has completely broken down. The supporters of peace talks with the Palestinians were practically paralyzed as a result. Following this paralysis, he concludes, the Germans were no longer able to show solidarity simultaneously with the Palestinians and the Israelis, so they had to choose sides. In Zuckermann's eyes however, this declaration of solidarity became – as he says – a "fetish": solidarity without a critical look at Israel's "realpolitik", uncritical and on the background of the German-Israeli history, which in consequence became ever more instrumentalized.

Zuckermann went as far as to use a sentence that supposedly explains everything: "Just because of the crimes the Germans committed against Jews in the course of the 20th century". A sentence, a statement, expressed in a way that can only come from somebody for whom the Holocaust is a subject worthy of no more that a footnote in history!

For Zuckermann, the notion of anti-Semitism is meaningless; he goes so far as to reduce it to a question of economic situation, of mental state and of political manipulation. As a consequence, any attribution is permissible as to who is an anti-Semite in the eyes of Jews: anyone who is critical about Israel and Zionism. 

To give his thesis a supposedly scientific structure he describes the procedure as following: "... and this [connotation] is now fix not only with a very strong polemic, but also using pseudo-sciences, which supports creating any pseudo-scientific criteria in favor of anti-Semitism. And then in a second step they “verify” whether those who have already been targeted, match this definition ... And then you only have to gather the fitting arguments. So the definition of the target and the arguments are matching each other ... And let me tell you, but you would not let me tell you, but in case you would let me tell you, that's nothing to do with science!"

And so it seams clear, Zuckermann postulates largely that all connotations in our eyes are anti-Semite as a homemade hysteria based on pseudosciences!

The fact that modern anti-Semitism likes to hide behind the more marginal concepts of anti-Zionism and criticizing Israel, is an open secret. Here again Zuckermann has been trying - successfully before his faithful audience – to refute this. "I do not want to repeat it again, as I repeatedly stated on these premises: those are three pairs of shoes! They can be interconnected, but are neither so from the outset nor by nature. It is possible to criticize Israel without being Anti-Semitic; it is possible to criticize Zionism while approving of an Israel that is different from the purely Zionist country. It is also possible to be an anti-Semite while approving of Israel and Zionism". Such crude trains of thought, however, will only be understood and approved by someone who can also easily internalize the following sentence: "Most Anti-Semites in the world think Israel is very good, since Israel feeds their very resentment, absorbing the blow. Nowadays Israel has been supplying much of what Anti-Semites, who have been burdened with resentment, can exploit".

Translated into simple everyday language, this means only one thing: Israel is to be blamed for the existence of Anti-Semitism!

At this point it seems definitely expedient to make a short stop in order to learn something about Professor Zuckermann's life. He was born in 1949 in Tel Aviv to Polish-Jewish parents, with whom he emigrated to Germany when he was eleven. In 1970, when he was 21, he returned to Israel. He is a Professor of History and Sociology at Tel Aviv University, and since 2010 he has been the scientific head of the private Sigmund Freud Foundation in Vienna. I am absolutely incapable of understanding what qualifies this prototype of the self-loathing Jew, of all people, to be the scientific head of an institution with a profoundly Jewish character. Freud was nothing but a Jew who struggled with himself and his faith. A Jew who never denied his roots deeply anchored in his orthodox parental home, not even when he wrote in 1918: "By the way, why have none of the religious Jews created psychoanalysis, why did we have to wait for a godless Jew?" During the course of his life, a kind of defiant pride in his Jewish identity can be increasingly felt.

Nor does Zuckermann tire of making a pseudo-scientific analysis of Anti-Semitism during the discussion that follows, introducing the term Anti-Anti-Semitism, which he considers to be a state filled with the same resentment as Anti-Semitism. The dialogue that follows reaches the conclusion that the fundamental problem begins to be visible and palpable when the individual is no longer perceived in his historic, social, psychological and cultural concreteness, only serving as an argument for something else.

Zuckermann equates Anti-Anti-Zionism with Racism, thereby getting near the substance of UN resolution 3379, in which Arab States demanded that Zionism be defined as Racism.

Zuckermann sets an additional focus by projecting Israel's future policy regarding Palestine.

His present ideal objective, as he emphasizes, is the two-state solution, that must "somehow take into consideration the desires and ideas of both sides". The Jewish-Israeli collective, which wants its own State and self-determination, and the Palestinian collective, as a self-determining collective, collective subject."

Stating that the peace process is stagnating, he finds, as expected, the culprit without any problems: "Above all, I believe, because the Israelis are not interested in it – and I am about to analyze the reason why – but also because in the meantime the Palestinians have geared themselves up for the fact that the Israelis do not want to and have therefore become ‘indifferent". Here Zuckermann denies verifiable facts, dismissing the fact that the Palestinians were time and again those who torpedoed the talks. Even better, he finds a second culprit for the quandary: "There were times when America's word would have counted, which apparently is not the case now, among other reasons because the Americans absolutely do not want it.  For if the Americans wanted to press peace between Israelis and a Palestinians home in the sense of the Two-State Solution, they could force Israel to act. Within just one week they could bring them to do so, afterwards taking a whip to the Palestinians". As long as American interests are not damaged, he says, they [the Americans] could not care less about what happens in the Near East, nor would they interfere if they [the Israelis and the Palestinians] were to bash each other's heads.

Is that the language of a scientist, objectively attempting to explain abroad the political state in his homeland? If we reduce his statements to their minimal contents, those would be:

a.         Only the Israelis prevent peace

b.         The Israelis' alleged best friend is deceiving them

c.         The Palestinians are only victims

To go by those statements, reflecting his distrust of the sincerity of Israeli and American policy, he presumes to present another vision which is the height of cynicism.

Provided an Israeli Government (such as he has not seen for many years and does not see now) would accept the two-state solution to its full extent, he warns that this would only be possible at the price of civil-war like conditions.

And as if that were not enough, Zuckermann has a last oracle for his public.

Without the two-state solution the structure takes on a life of its own insofar as the area "from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan" (the expression is reminiscent of statements made by Hamas and PLO, in which this very territory is defined as the future national – obviously judenfreies - territory of the Palestinian State!) sees the development of an "objective bi-national structure". On the ground of the higher birth rate of Palestinian women, he expects a shift in population numbers. In the best case, so he forecasts, it would be identical for both peoples, at worst, the Jewish population would become a minority in its own country. The political nightmare scenario evoked by Zuckermann culminates in the following sentence: "We [the Israelis] are the minority, but we keep up the claim that the State remains a Zionist State". This means that Israel must inevitably become a true Apartheid State.

With this prophecy, which Zuckermann is careful not to name as being the most likely, but only as a possibility he speaks of, he takes his place in the ranks of those who openly call Israel an "Apartheid State". Among those can also be found the head of the SPD party Sigmar Gabriel, and Lutz Herden, head of the "Politics" column in Jakob Augstein's private newspaper "Der Freitag".

The last option, the acknowledgment of the new reality and its integration into political everyday life, is in his opinion, inconceivable to 99.9% of Israel's Jewish population.

After all this would mean to take leave of Zionism.

Editorial by Esther Scheiner at Israel Nachrichten.

Israel Nachrichten is a German online newspaper run by Dean Grunwald from London, created to provide authentic information about Israel and to fight disinformation in the media. 

(Esther Scheiner has made Aliyah from Austria five years ago. In Austria she once worked as a teacher of economics and later as a psychoanalyst working with refugees from Bosnia. After coming to Israel she started a blog in German, after learning how the image of Israel is affected by smear campaigns from the media and NGO groups, to give her friends in Europe an idea about the daily life in Israel.  http://estherstagebuchauszichronyaacov.blogspot.co.il)



Publish With Impunity
Buchvorstellung und Podiumsgespräch mit Arnold Schölzel (JW) und Moshe Zuckermann (Autor) in der junge welt Ladengalerie in Berlin: Wider den Zeitgeist II
Buchvorstellung und Podiumsgespräch:
Die Diskussionsrunde:
Wider den Zeitgeist IIDer zweite Band der Essays von Moshe Zuckermann versammelt Aufsätze aus den vergangenen Jahren und reicht von der Adorno-Rezeption im Nahen Osten über Refexionen zum autoritären Charakter und eine Analyse des Verhältnisses von Zionismus und Kritischer Theorie bis hin zur Auseinandersetzung mit Marx’ Kulturbegriff.

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    1.  M.Z. is a communist who knows how to
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