Gilad Atzmon – Gilad Shalit: The Grand Illusion

Posted: 02/09/2009 by editormary in Newswire, Opinions and Letters, Palestine, Religion, War, Zionism
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A Discourse Analysis

A few days ago, Noam Shalit, the ‘father of’ slammed the Hamas for holding his son for no real reason. Miraculously, he managed to forget the fact that his son Gilad was actually a combatant soldier who served as a post guard in a concentration camp and was captured in a fortress bunker overlooking Gaza.

Father Shalit called upon Hamas to: “stop holding us as hostages of the symbols of yesterday’s wars”. He also claimed that the Hamas is engaged in no less than ‘imaginary resistance’. Seemingly, these are some very bold statements from a father who is supposed to be very concerned with his son’s fate.

Gilad Shalit saga is no doubt an exemplary case-study of Israeli identity. In spite of the fact that Gilad Shailt is a soldier who was directly involved in the Israeli military crime against a civilian population, the Israelis and Jewish lobbies around the world insist upon presenting him as an ‘innocent victim’. The leading slogan of the Shalit campaign reads ‘Gilad Shalit, Human being, JEW’. And I ask myself is he really just an ordinary a ‘human being’ as the slogan suggests or rather a chosen one as implied by the ‘Jew’ predicate? And if he is just a human being, why exactly did they add the ‘Jew’ in? What is there in the ‘Jew’ title that serves the Free Shalit campaign?

Apparently the usage of the predicates ‘Human being’ and ‘Jew’ in such a proximity is rather informative and meaningful. Within the post-holocaust Jewish and liberal discourses ‘human being’ stands for ‘innocence’ and ‘Jew’ stands for ‘victim’. Accordingly, the Shalit’ campaign slogan should be grasped as ‘FREE Gilad Shalit the innocent victim’.

One may wonder at this stage, what does it take for a combatant soldier serving as a post guard in a concentration camp to become an ‘innocent victim’? Apparently, as far as Israeli discourse is concerned, not a lot. It is really just a matter of rhetoric.

It is rather notable that within the Israeli militarized society, the soldier is elevated, his blood is precious in comparison to ordinary Jewish citizens. Israelis adore their military men and grieve every loss of their armed forces with spectacular laments. Considering the IDF being a popular army, the Israeli love of their soldiers can be realized as just another fashion of their inherent self-loving. The Israelis simply love themselves almost as much as they hate their neighbors. In Israel a death in action of an IDF combatant would receive far more attention than a death of a civilian who was subject of so called ‘terror’. Similarly, in Israel an IDF POW would gather the ultimate media attention. Ron Arad, Ehud Goldwasser and Gilad Shalit are household names in Israel, the names and faces are familiar to all Israelis and others who are interested in the conflict. Considering Israel being in a constant state of war, the collective-over caring concern for the military man is rather enigmatic or even peculiar.

Within the Israeli narrative, the soldier is grasped as an innocent being that is ‘caught’ in a war which he is doomed to fight against his will. The Israeli combatant ‘shoots and sobs’. Within the Israeli deluded mindset and historical narrative, the Israelis ‘seek peace’ and it is somehow always the ‘others’ who bring hostility and violence about. This outright self-deception is so imbued within the Israeli self image, something that allows the Israelis to launch and initiate one war after another while being totally convinced that it is always the ‘Arabs’ who attempt to throw the Israeli into the sea.

In that sense, the Israeli ‘War Against Terror’ should be realized as a battle against the terror within. The constant battle against the ‘Arabs’ is an outlet that resolves the Hebraic self-imposed anxiety which the Israeli cannot handle or even confront. In that very sense throwing white phosphorous on women, the elderly and children acts as a collective Valium pill, it brings peace to the Israeli mind, it smoothes the terror within. Killing en masse resolves the insular Israeli collective state of fear. This explains how come 94% of the Israeli Jewish population supported the last genocide in Gaza. The consequences are devastating. The total majority of the Israeli Jews not only say NO to ‘love thy neighbor’, they actually say YES to murder in broad daylight.

In their deluded mindset the Israelis are pushed into ‘no choice’ wars ‘against their will’ in spite of the fact that they are ‘innocent victims’. In fact, this delusion or rather cognitive dissonance stands at the very core of the Israeli unethical existence. The Israeli is submerged in a self-notion of blamelessness, it is somehow always the other who carries the guilt and the fault (i). This total discrepancy between Israeli self-perception i.e., ‘innocence’ and Israeli manifested practice i.e., barbarism beyond comparison, can be realized as a severe form of detachment on the verge of collective psychosis.

The case of Shalit embodies this discrepancy very well. Time after time we are asked by Israeli officials and Jewish lobbies to show our compassion to a combatant soldier that was serving as post guard in the biggest jail in history. An American right-winger, for instance, would probably have enough decency in him not to demand our compassionate empathy towards a USA marine that was injured while serving as a post guard in Guantànamo Bay. Similarly, not many would dare demand our compassionate empathy towards a German platoon who performed a role similar to Gilad Shalit’s in an East European concentration camp in the early 1940’s. Moreover, could anyone imagine the kind of Jewish outrage that would be evoked by an imaginary campaign by a right-wing, white supremacist slogan that reads “Free Wolfgang Heim, Human Being, Aryan”?

As much as I understand Noam Shalit’s deep concerns regarding the fate of his son, I must advise him with the hope that he takes it into consideration. His son Gilad is not exactly an innocent angel. If anything, like the rest of the Israelis, he is an integral part of the Israeli continuous sin. He was a soldier in a criminal army that serves a criminal cause that launches criminal wars. I honestly suggest to Mr. Noam Shalit to consider changing his rhetoric. He should drop his righteous preaching voice and replace it with either dignity or a desperate call for Hamas’ mercy. You either acknowledge your son’s deeds and be proud of it as a nationalist militant Jew, alternatively, you may beg for Hamas’ kindness. If I were in his place, I would probably go for the second option. Noam Shalit better drop the word hostage of his vocabulary. Neither he nor his son are Hamas’ hostages. If anything they are both held hostage by a Jewish nationalist project that is going to bring the gravest disaster on the Jewish people. They are both prisoners of a criminal war against ‘thy neighbors’, the Palestinian civilian population.

Considering the crimes against humanity repeatedly committed by Israel, all that is left for the Jewish state is just rhetorical spin that indeed becomes more and more delusional and ineffective. Thus, it didn’t really take me by surprise to find out that Noam Shalit is not just a concerned parent, he is also a profound post-modernist polemicist . “Resistance against what? Against whom? “ wonders father Shalit, trying to dismiss the Palestinian cause altogether. You Hamas are taking us “hostages of symbols that at best belong to yesterday’s wars, to yesterday’s world, which has since changed beyond recognition.”

Mr. Shalit, I would like you to tell us all what has changed ‘beyond recognition’ (except the landscape of Gaza)? Please enlighten us all because as far as we can see, you yourself still live on stolen Palestinian land, making the Biblical call for plunder into a contemporary devastating reality. As far as we can see, your sons and daughters are still engaged in murderous genocidal practices as they have been for the last six decades.

Mr. Shalit, I suggest that you wake up and the sooner the better. Nothing really changed, at least not in the Israeli side. The only change I may discern is the cheering fact that you and your people do not win anymore. Yes, you manage to kill children, women and old people, yes, you have managed to drop unconventional weapons on civilians dwelling in the most populated area on this planet and yet, you fail to win the war. Your military campaigns achieve nothing except death and carnage. Your murderous genocidal actions attained nothing but exposing what the National Jewish project is all about and what the Israeli is capable of. Your imaginary power of deterrence is melting down as I write these words and Hamas rockets keep pounding Southern Israel. Yet, the Jewish state has secured itself a prominent position as the embodiment of evil. If there is a ‘change beyond recognition’ to be detected is the fact that after Gaza we all know who you are and what you stand for.

[i] Amalek, Spanish Inquisition, Nazis, Poles, Communists, Arabs, PLO, Hamas, Venezuela, Iran and now Turkey

  1. Whew! Finally an article that’s not about Tony Greenstein.

  2. LanceThruster says:

    Gazan children – human beings – victims of IDF high explosives

  3. Gilad’s telling the truth hurts the racist and ruthless Jews, the supporters of the state of Israel that want ethnic-cleansing of its Arab population altogether, almost at all costs, defying Geneva Convention, International Law that safeguards Human Rights. United Nation’s referendums are continuosly overthrown by this state taht pretends to have peace process. Israel is becoming world’s champion of war-crimes. World, take notice!

  4. Erich Kronberger says:

    Gilad Atzmon … brother , brotherhood is the answer. Thank You.

  5. AL KHANSA ( Sandra B) says:

    “stop holding us as hostages of the symbols of yesterday’s wars”.

    AnIteresting statment from Schalit considering I will use the word Jews..hold the world to hostage for the Holocause of WW2, even after over 60 years.

    “Ponders the effectiveness of major doses of prozacin the israeli water supply.”
    Or peprhaps the needs something stronger to recover from this collective psychosis they suffer from.

  6. ioana says:

    One reason Israel doesn’t win anymore is that it doesn’t conceive its enemy anymore. One reason the Israelis lament over the Shalit “hostage” instead of the war prisoner Shalit is that they don’t admit any (other) combatant. In their minds, they melt Hamas along with the Palestinians in a fuzzy notion of a nightmarish and subhuman element which they have to eliminate. They perceive these remnants of Palestine as a nuisance. They are amoral and racist because they have reduced anything and anyone non-Jewish to its adjective: strange. They live on stolen land, but the theft has been removed from their memory; therefore, they don’t have anymore a cognitive relation to the victims. For them, “Jew” is an equivalent of “human being”; the rest of the world has a descriptive function, and any opposition from outside is unconceivable. They wage their wars blindfolded: not against the Gaza Strip, but against its government; still, not against its government, either, because they don’t recognize it; perhaps then against all of the Palestinians, because they sustain Hamas, but most surely against the rockets! That’s it, the rockets are inanimate, so they can fight them without any compunction.
    However, as long as “the rest of the world” conceives the notion “Jew” as necessarily positive, it won’t be able to produce a rational approach to the Israeli drifting.

  7. […] Gilad Atzmon, Palestine Think Tank […]

  8. […] Gilad Atzmon in his latest article Gilad Shalit: The Grand Illusion explains the racist and hateful mindset of Israeli […]

  9. Shaukat says:

    Since the occupation of Muslim-majority Palestine in 1948 by Europe’s unwanted Jews – the new Jewish generations has been raised on hatred toward Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims at large. They’re projected the Jewish children as “murderers”, “rioters”, “suspisious”, “backward”, and “unproductive”.

  10. amos zukerman says:

    Shlit senior reminds me how my father explained the meaning of the Yiddish word CHUTZPAH, He used to tell the story about the man who was on trail for killing his parents, pleading with the judge for mercy on account of him being an orphan. We are yet to hear Shalit say one word about the appalling conditions in Israeli Gulags, or about the shoot to kill tactics, or the tortures, and it goes on and on

  11. sk says:

    Here is another characteristic case of Chutzpah.

  12. oin says:

    boycott israel,spread the message….

  13. Excellent article… truly highlights the Israeli psychological blindness towards the atrocities committed by them and in their name, on a daily basis. Their collective unawarness, while extremely frustrating and disappointing, is not in the least bit surprising. When an entire ‘state’ is based on a bunch of lies and historical distortions, and when that same state is run by propaganda, you can expect nothing less from its people.

    Shimon Peres recently appeared on Australian television in an exclusive interview with Dateline His outrageous claims and arguments make me wonder whether he has reached a point where he now believes the blatant lies coming out of his mouth, or if he is just a very well-trained liar. These are the kind of people leading Israel, and these are the kind of people hammering untruths into the minds and souls of their citizens, and these are the kind of people that will eventually lead the world to see Israel as the terrorist state that it is.

  14. Tarik says:

    Yes, truly astonishing how the Israelis manage to convince themselves that THEY are the victims!

    But please, the comparison with a Guantanamo guard is unfair. At least the prisoners in Guantanamo were foreigners in Afghanistan taken POW while fighting for the reactionary and cruel Taliban. The Palestinian prisoners are just civilians in their own country who have been displaced, rounded up and lately even bombarded.

    I do hope Hamas treats Gilad Shalit humanely to teach the Israelis another lesson.

  15. […] Posté par dodzi le mars 9, 2009 Palestine Think Tank/Info-Palestine […]

  16. RO says:

    A few facts (I did checked them…):
    1. Gilad Shalit is not treated as a POW. Hes prison is not monitored by Red Cross officials etc.
    2. Gaze strip, on the other hand, is free (for now) from Israeli troops. And Israeli prisons are monitored by the Red Cross and other civil rights organizations.
    3. Comparing Gaza strip to a consentration camp or to Guantanamo Bay is odd. For starters there are no guards watching the “prisioners”, they (the Gazans) have their own police and diplomats who travel quite freely in and out of Gaza, and don’t forgat: neither prisioners in German consentraion camps nor the prisioners at Guantanamo Bay couldn’t and didn’t shelles nearby villages and towns…
    4. The map on the right hand is not really accurate – My home town “Rishon Le Zion” (est. 1882) is not there, therefor I suggest caution in reading the other data presented (although I can’t say it’s completly false).
    5. Don’t forget that in exchange for Gilad the Hams are asking the release of people who mainly killed women and children not exactly freedom fighters.

  17. RO – I think you also need to check your facts before making claims. Although there is falsity in all your five points, I will focus only on point three as it is the most outrageous and disturbing. Please read the below article, which describes the living situation; the occupation; the blockade and other factors of life in Gaza.

    Please do not undermine the human crisis that is taking place on a daily basis in the strip.