Jewish people are just that, people, and far from chosen

In his new book, The Wandering Who, Gilad Atzmon, who was born in Jerusalem, describes his experience of being raised in a society that preferred to disregard the Palestinians in their midst.

“Supremacy was brewed into our soul, we gazed at the world through racist, chauvinistic binoculars. And we felt no shame about it either,” Atzmon writes.

The subject of Jewish supremacy is one that few non-Jews dare touch and those that do are, if not anti-Semitic, then sure to be branded as such. As often proves to be the case, the most courageous voices tend to emerge from inside Israel itself. None is more reliable than that of the Haaretz columnist, Gideon Levy:

On Saturday, the prayer was once again read in the synagogues. “You have chosen us from among all the nations” was once again heard all over the land. The idea that we are a special nation was once again specifically expressed, as is often the case in prayers and in the Torah, and not only on Yom Kippur.

But the idea that we are members of the chosen people is planted far deeper, and not only in Jewish tradition and among those who observe it – modern and ostensibly secular Israel believes in it with all its heart. There are not many other ancient Jewish ideas as deeply implanted in the contemporary Israeli experience as the idea that the “Jewish people,” however it is interpreted, is better than any other nation. If you scratch beneath the skin of almost any Israeli, you’ll discover that he really is convinced of that: We’re the best; the “Jewish genius” is the most successful; the Israel Defense Forces is the most moral. Nobody will tell them different, we’re simply the best in the world.

This is not only unnecessary and groundless arrogance, it’s also an extremely dangerous idea that enables Israel to behave as it does, with blatant disregard of the world’s feelings. Nor does it lack benighted ultra-nationalist and racist foundations. It’s good and well that a nation considers itself successful. The Jewish people have many reasons for that, of course, and many accomplishments of which to boast, as does the State of Israel, which is a kind of wonder, almost a miracle. But among all these, prominent in its absence is an equally important national trait: modesty. It is hard to accuse the Israelis of having it.

At the basis of Israeli arrogance lies the idea that this really is a special nation with special traits that are shared by no other nation. You can see that among Israeli travelers abroad; you can hear it from anyone who comes into contact with foreigners; you can sense it in the deeper currents of Israeli policy. The Americans are “foolish,” the Indians are “primitive,” the Germans are “square,” the Chinese are “strange,” the Scandinavians are “naive,” the Italians are “clowns” and the Arabs are … Arabs. Only we know what’s good for us, and not only for us but for the entire world. There is nothing like Israeli ingenuity, there is nothing similar to Jewish intelligence, the Jewish brain invents new ideas for us like no other brain, because we’re the best, bro.

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6 thoughts on “Jewish people are just that, people, and far from chosen

  1. brodix

    The Jews do seem to be better at living tragedy, than learning from it. Maybe they should study the Greeks.

  2. dickerson3870

    RE: “This is not only unnecessary and groundless arrogance, it’s also an extremely dangerous idea that enables Israel to behave as it does, with blatant disregard of the world’s feelings.” ~ Gideon Levey

    MY COMMENT: That’s why I sometimes refer to the Dissociative State of Israel.


    (excerpt) Dissociation is an altered state of consciousness characterized by partial or complete disruption of the normal integration of a person’s normal conscious or psychological functioning.[1] Dissociation is most commonly experienced as a subjective perception of one’s consciousness being detached from one’s emotions, body and/or immediate surroundings.[2] Van der Kolk et al.[3] describe dissociation as a “compartmentalization of experience.” Under normal conditions, consciousness, memory, emotions, sensory awareness, affect, etc., are integrated; with dissociation, in contrast, these traits are discretely compartmentalized to greater or lesser degrees.
    Dissociation describes a wide array of experiences that can affect any aspect of a person’s mental functioning.[4][5][6][7] Although some dissociative disruptions involve amnesia, other dissociative events do not.[8] At one end of a continuum, dissociation describes such common events as becoming lost in thought while driving a vehicle and not recalling parts of the journey. At the other end of the continuum are a cluster of dissociative disorders, such as dissociative amnesia, that can occur in response to severe psychological trauma such as rape or military combat. In such cases of abuse or trauma, dissociation can be regarded as a coping mechanism to help with an overwhelming experience.[9]…

    SOURCE –

    P.S. ALSO SEE: Avraham Burg: Israel’s new prophet ~ By Donald Macintyre, The Independent, 1 November 2008
    Avraham Burg was a pillar of the Israeli establishment but his new book is causing a sensation. It argues that Israel is an “abused child” which has become a “violent parent”. And his solutions are radical, as he explains to Donald Macintyre.
    LINK –

  3. Óscar Palacios

    The label of “anti-semite” is usually directed at critics of Zionism and/or Judaism and/or Israel. However, the very fact that radical Jews consider themselves as “the chosen people”, means that, in a way, they are “anti-non-semites”. “Racism”; that’s what this attitude is called by most of us, “unchosen” people.

  4. Miriam

    Atzmon indeed is a man of insight, courage and humanity…highly respect his book Wandering Who?

    …and speaking of Dissociative State…..I suggest reading Avigail Abarbanel’s forthcoming on this topic, and more at her website–

    Further I’d like to share a link that ADL over paid used car salesman, Abe Foxman, offered today as “proof” of anti Semtism in the Arab Press…instead of looking in the mirror and understanding that violent, brutal racist Israeli govt and settler hatred and brutal actions/behaviors are what stimulate some very creative, apt and thoughtful OpEd political cartoons; But, alas there seems little interest in “self reflection”…only in demonization of Palestinians, and by extension, all Arabs (and Islam) and much more war.
    Here’s a link to his collection of so-called ‘anti-Semitic” cartoons…truly a worthy collection of the other’s narrative and insight…if one is only willing to be truthful.

  5. Laurie K

    The meaning of the term Anti-Semitism has changed. It now means seekers of justice for Palestinians.

  6. Observer

    Great book from Atzmon — a great read.

    However, I think it must be very tiring being Atzmon — he has such a solid wall of opposition. I don’t know how he puts up with the constant annoyance of his detractors.

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