Reported by Gilad Atzmon
Israel’s deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely attacked U.S. Jewry in an interview with i24 News on Wednesday. Hotovely referred to American Jews as “people that never send their children to fight for their country, most of the Jews don’t have children serving as soldiers, going to the Marines, going to Afghanistan, or to Iraq. Most of them are having quite convenient lives…”
PM Netanyahu was very quick to condemn his deputy minister. This is understandable, after all Jews being reluctant to fight American wars doesn’t fit nicely with the embarrassing fact that America has been fighting Israeli wars for a while. The pro-war Neocon school is largely a Zionist gathering and the Jewish American Lobby has been pushing for the escalation of immoral interventionist conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Iran.
Haaretz writes today that “the U.S. military stopped recording the religion of recruits decades ago, but until then Jews served in slightly greater proportion than their percentage in the general population.” It would be fascinating to find out what the current figures are.
Atzmon’s album Exile was BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. Playing over 100 dates a year, he has been called “surely the hardest-gigging man in British jazz.” His albums, of which he has recorded nine to date, often explore the music of the Middle East and political themes. He has described himself as a “devoted political artist.” He supports the Palestinian right of return and the one-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
His criticisms of Zionism, Jewish identity, and Judaism, as well as his controversial views on The Holocaust and Jewish history, have led to allegations of antisemitism from both Zionists and anti-Zionists. A profile in The Guardian in 2009 which described Atzmon as “one of London’s finest saxophonists” stated: “It is Atzmon’s blunt anti-Zionism rather than the music that has given him an international profile, particularly in the Arab world, where his essays are widely read.”
His new book The Wandering Who? is now available at Amazon.com