Interview with Gilad Atzomon, writer, activist and saxophonist
“The game is over for Israeli militarism. In spite of that they are still killing quite a few, but their power of deterrence really belongs to the past. They do not [have] a future in the region. It is over.”
The recent Israeli war on Gaza is Tel Aviv’s second in four years. Israeli regime waged a 22-day war on the densely-populated Palestinian enclave in 2008, killing more than 1,400 Palestinians, including at least 300 children.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Gilad Atzimon, writer, activist and saxophonist, to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Amidst all the mainstream media coverage of the conflict, have you been reading what’s been happening in Gaza?
Atzimon: Yes I am following it closely. Unlike most of our friends, actually I monitor Israeli press and it is shocking to see how confused they are, how divided they are. It is very clear that quite a few of them want to see blood, they want to see Palestinians, they want to see invasion, they want to see a lot of Palestinians, and they want to see Palestinian civilization.
Press TV: But wait a minute, the Israeli left is against it and they are on the streets demonstrating against it.
Atzimon: I do not know what is left out of the Israeli left but on the other hand some people within the right and I would even include Benjamin Netanyahu, are very worried of the escalation.
We have to remember that this war was initially a limited election operation. Usually before an Israeli election the serving Prime Minister decides to kill some Palestinians, it is very good, it is very good, it is realized as an electoral asset.
And what happened there. We could see that they met serious resistance, they see Palestinians defiance.
Press TV: Why is it serious, with three, four, five, single digits of Israeli casualties compared to Palestinians?
Atzimon: It is not the number of casualties. What has been proven is that the Palestinians, Hamas and other factions in the region were accumulating a lot of ballistic weapons and it is true that these missiles do not inflict a lot of damage on Israel, it is true that Israel found a way to deal with it – the Iron Dome is so efficient that is almost legitimate to rocket Israel. … It can’t really hurt you.
In spite of that, the Palestinians are now capable of delivering the message, the necessary message to the people in Tel Aviv and I actually regard those rockets as a peaceful message. It is a message to stolen land and what it says, we are here surrounded by barbed wires but we did not forget orchards, we did not forget our cities, we did not forget our villages, we are tired of this oppression.
Press TV: I’m not sure if the relative of the Israelis who died would say that.
Atzimon: By the way it is very clear that quite a few Israelis are not capable to interpret this message appropriately, but I will tell you something else. Israel is regarded by itself and by world Jewry as the Jewish national shelter.
When I see these pictures of Israelis lying under the cars when they hear the siren, it does not look like a shelter. It looks like the most dangerous place for Jews ever. And I think that the Palestinians have managed to come up with a tactic with very limited sources that deliver this message and it is actually, I find it adorable. They proved again that they can take penalty, which is very painful for us to watch, and are united while the Israeli society is not united.
Everything, all reports from Gaza suggests that the Palestinians in spite of the Israeli bombardment, in spite of the targeting of Hamas and targeting of civilians, the Palestinians in Gaza are united and this is adorable.
Press TV: Well then Netanyahu who you are going to paint him like a dove in the situation… People like Lieberman and others, what are they going to be saying in your scenario if they understand it the way you are?
Atzimon: By the way, I did not paint Netanyahu as a dove. Netanyahu does not want to engage in a land invasion or postponed it for a while because he realizes that from his own political perspectives this is an unpredictable domain. He does not know what is going to happen.
I think that as Sharon’s son and as I wrote about it the other day, Sharon’s son’s ideas are actually totally consistent with the Zionist philosophy, with Jabotinsky’s, Iron Wall, you just said it basically the Israeli army is too wiped out, Gaza too oblivion.
This is totally consistent with the Zionist philosophy, devastatingly enough it is also consistent with the Israeli secular interpretation of the Old Testament.
You know, you can find verses in the Old Testament that tell you wipe them all, do not leave a single breathing species and unfortunately in Israel…
Press TV: You might get charged with anti-Semitism if you say any Jewish doctrine to wipe out the whole society…
Atzimon: I did not say that there is a Jewish doctrine. I said that there are definitely Old Testament verses. It is actually not Judaic. This is what is so interesting about Judaism. Religious Jews do draw their religious inspirations not from the Bible, but from the Talmud. Now the Talmud is devastating enough, but for different reasons.
Press TV: As are all older elements from big religions.
Atzimon: For sure. In different religions you also find some devastating ideas. What is so frightening about Israel is that Israel and Zionism, the philosophy has managed to drain out the spiritual context from the Bible and from Judaism and they managed to turn God into a state agent. If I’m regarded as an anti-Semite fro saying it, I can live with it.
Press TV: I think you have a view about just in terms of pure quantitative death numbers, illustrate your point.
Atzimon: No this is very crucial point and it is a very devastating point.
As we know in 1948, 750, 000 Palestinians were expelled and massacred on their land, from their land and the world was laughing–yes, 750,000 expelled, you know obviously massacres was on a smaller scale. 67 Israelis invaded huge territories and the world was applauding.
In 1982, I was a soldier. I remember the figures that we spoke about, 20,000 Lebanese who lost their lives and I did not hear much condemnation from world leaders, but it was the beginning of something. Even in this country I think that the PFC, I don’t know that I am that impressed with the PFC anymore – it was formed by the way by a few Jews, actually.
And in 2006, Israel was actually defeated. It could not mobilize as much power as it wanted because it started to see some condemnation. I think around five or six thousand Lebanese, Hezbollah lost their lives.
In Operation Cast Lead, Israel murdered 1,400 people, the numbers are going down; and they ended up with the Goldstone Report and serious condemnation and now in this operation from day one they can see that they cannot mobilize their destructive power.
The game is over for Israeli militarism. In spite of that they are still killing quite a few, but their power of deterrence really belongs to the past. They do not [have] a future in the region. It is over.