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May-08-2013 22:00printcomments

In Bed With Bibi

It is time our progressive humanists engage in a preliminary ethical investigation.

In bed with Bibi
Learn more about Gilad by visiting his Website

(LONDON) - Once again we see a familiar pattern: our united 'progressives' -- a veritable synagogue, a collective of great humanists -- lend their support to the oppressed.  This time it is the ‘Syrian people’ whom they wish to liberate and their enemy is obviously Bashar Al-Asad.

It is a pattern we know only too well by now. Ahead of the ‘War Against Terror’ we witnessed years of intensive progressive Feminist and Gay’s rights groups campaigns for women’s rights in Afghanistan.  The Progressive type also disapproves of the current state of the Iranian revolution. Too often he or she would insist that we must liberate the Iranians.  This week, once again, we see a united front made by Tariq Ali, Ilan Pappe, Fredric Jameson, Norman Finkelstein and other very good people. They clearly want us to ‘liberate the Syrians’.

They campaign openly to topple Bashar al-Asad’s regime.  They call the ‘people of the world’ to pressure the Syrian regime to end its oppression of and war on the ‘Syrian people.’ “We demand,” they say, that Bashar al-Asad leave immediately without excuses so that Syria can begin a speedy recovery towards a democratic future.”

So here we are. Ali, Jameson, Pappe, Finelstein & Co, in light of recent Israeli attacks on Syria, will you be kind enough, gentlemen, to tell us whom you support? Is it Asad or Netanyahu you side with?


One may wonder how it can happen that our progressives, in spite of their good will and humanist credentials, have managed once again to end up in bed with Bibi?

The answer is actually embarrassingly simple. The progressive philosophy is the latest and most advanced form of ideological choseness. Calling yourself a progressive obviously entails that someone else must be a ‘reactionary’. It is a self-appointed elitist standpoint that is inherently intolerant and supremacist.

Progressiveness is a precept devoted to the Tikun Olam (fixing the universe) ideology.  It is premised  on the idea that those who uphold progressive ideas ‘know better.'  They know what is right and who is wrong. The Progressive knows how to differentiate between the Kosher and the Taref.  The progressive voices in this case  somehow turn a blind eye to the embarrassing fact that it is actually the Syrian army, largely Sunnis, that is fighting the so-called ‘Syrian rebels’ who are a motley gathering of foreign mercenaries.

Perhaps our progressive interventionists could do with reading Robert Fisk more often -- after all, Fisk may as well be the only reliable English-speaking reporter in the region. “The word ‘democracy’ and the name of Assad do not blend very well in much of Syria.” Fisk reports, but he continues,   “I rather think that the soldiers of what is officially called the Syrian Arab Army are fighting for Syria rather than Assad. But fighting they are and maybe, for now, they are winning an unwinnable war.”

Bearing that in mind, I would expect progressive intellectuals, amongst them respected historians and political scientists, to be slightly more sophisticated and ponder a bit more before providing Israel with a moral green light to launch a new global conflict.

I would tend to believe that it is about time our progressive humanists engaged in a preliminary ethical investigation. They should find out, once and for all, what is it that constitutes moral grounds for any form of intervention. I believe that before you preach 'Tikun Olam' and  claim to 'fix the world' in the name of  the usually cited ‘civil society’ and ‘international law,’ you may want to consider fixing yourselves first.

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Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel in 1963 and had his musical training at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem (Composition and Jazz). As a multi-instrumentalist he plays Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxes, Clarinet and Flutes. His album Exile was the BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. He has been described by John Lewis on the Guardian as the “hardest-gigging man in British jazz".

Gilad Atzmon's essays are widely published. His novels 'Guide to the perplexed' and 'My One And Only Love' have been translated into 24 languages.

As a member of the Blockheads, Gilad has also recorded and performed with Ian Dury, Robbie Williams, Sinead O'Connor and Paul McCartney. Gilad has also recorded with Robert Wyatt, the Water Boys and many others. Learn more about Gilad by visiting his Website

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