Liebe Leserinnen und Leser von ProMosaik e.V.,
es freut uns sehr, Ihnen heute ein Interview unserer Redaktion mit dem britischen Blog-Publizisten jüdischer Abstammung Paul Eisen zu den Themen Judentum, Israel und Antizionismus zu präsentieren.
Wir möchten Paul Eisen dafür danken, dass er unsere Fragen beantwortet hat. Wir möchten ihn als einen pessimistischen, kämpferischen und denkenden Menschen sehen und ihm auch für seine mutigen Aussagen danken. Er ist noch viel pessimistischer als wir hinsichtlich der möglichen Veränderung der israelischen Gesellschaft hin zur Empathie und zum Frieden mit dem palästinensischen Volk.
Der Redaktion von ProMosaik e.V. hat Paul jedoch mitgeteilt, dass er immer noch auf Gottes Hilfe hofft, damit sich etwas in der israelischen Gesellschaft bewegt, in der die Stimmen für den Frieden sehr wenige sind. Die Stimmen für den Frieden werden aber auch von der Maschinerie der zionistischen Medien zum Schweigen verdonnert und einfach marginalisiert…
Daher sind wir von ProMosaik e.V. doch noch optimistisch und hoffen, dass die Israelis heute auf Erich Fried „HÖRE ISRAEL“ hören werden.
Was uns in seinen Äußerungen auch sehr gut gefallen hat, ist die Suche nach sich selbst und die dauernde Suche nach seiner jüdischen Identität, die er pflegt, indem er das tut, was er tut.
Er schreibt… Und ich finde, dass Schreiben und Denken Menschen verbindet und großartige Brücken zwischen Kulturen und Religionen bauen kann.
Dr. phil. Milena Rampoldi
Redaktion von ProMosaik e.V.
Anbei unsere Fragen an Paul Eisen und seine Antworten an unsere Redaktion:
ProMosaik e.V.: How can Israeli society change at this turning point?
Frankly, I can’t see how Israeli society can change much, and certainly not at this point in time. Israeli society always had extremely problematic features and now these are way out of control.
ProMosaik e.V.: How many voices are there in Israel for justice and peace?
Paul Eisen: Very few. The Israeli Peace movement was always rather limited in its vision with very few voices really seeking true justice for Palestinians and now, even those rather limited voices are much diminished and marginalised.
ProMosaik e.V.: Why do many Jews raise their voice against Israel?
Paul Eisen: Do many Jews raise their voices? I’m not sure many do. Also, those that do, while opposing the Zionist form of Jewish supremacism, will still covertly promote other forms of Jewish supremacism. The Jews who I think truly stand for justice I could probably count on the fingers of one hand.
ProMosaik e.V.: Why are Zionism and Judaism so different?
Paul Eisen: I really don’t think they are so different though of course, they’re not exactly the same thing. First we have to distinguish (as best we can) between Judaism which proposes itself as a religion and Jewishness which is a kind of ethnicity. I say ‘kind of ethnicity’ because unlike other ethnicities, Jews are not necessarily bound together by racial, linguistic or even cultural ties. I believe that what binds Jews together is a sense of ‘specialness and a belief in a shared history (often imagined) and even a shared destiny (definitely imagined).
But back to Zionism. I believe that Zionism, though formally a modern phenomenon, comes from deep within Jewish history and identity. The ‘Zionism is not Judaism’ slogan is mainly designed to throw non-Jews off the track.
Finally Jewish identity is very hard to define. Are Jews a race, a religion, an ideology, an ethnic group? They are all these things and the ambiguity surrounding their identity is a prime factor in the success of Jewish power.
For a fuller investigation of all of this do read my essay Jewish Power. It’s 10 years old but I still stand by every wordhttp://pauleisen.blogspot.co.uk/2005/03/jewish-power.html
ProMosaik e.V.: Why does the West stay silent?
Paul Eisen: Because the west is totally dominated by Jewish power. The powers that be in the west are, quite simply, terrified of the Jews. But this is now changing. Jewish power is now beginning to be confronted in the west. Of course, I’m pleased about this. I’ve spent 10 years telling non-Jews about Jewish power. Now they know so i don’t have to tell them any more. What I do now feel I could do is to urge non-Jews to confront Jewish power as intelligently, as peacefully and even as compassionately as they can.
ProMosaik e.V.: What can we do against dehumanization of Palestinians by Israeli media?
Paul Eisen: Probably nothing. The Israeli propaganda machine like Israel itself probably just has to be defeated. It is my hope that this can be done ideally by non-military means but if that’s possible then at least with as little bloodshed and pain as is possible – but I don’t have a lot of hopes.
ProMosaik e.V.: How to deal with right-wing Israelis who ask to kill all Palestinians?
Paul Eisen: May I caution you against distinguishing too much between so-called left and right-wing Israelis. Like pretty much all Jews, they tend to work together though they don’t always know that they’re doing it. In effect, the left Israelis condone the genocidal impulses of the right Israelis.
Still, there clearly are very many noticeable lunatics in Israeli government and elites. What to do with them? God knows. I hope they’re brought to justice and held accountable for their terrible crimes.
ProMosaik e.V.: What is the difference from a Jewish perspective between Anti-Semitism and Antizionism?
Paul Eisen: The conventional Jewish perspective is that they are the same. Jews say this because it helps them to get away with their shocking behaviour. My perspective is that both are entirely legitimate responses to various forms of Jewish bad behaviour. Of course, if anti-Semitism means that you hate all Jews just because they are Jews, then this legitimate response has got way out of hand. But if you mean opposing an out-of-control and abusive Jewishness – then I’m all for it.
ProMosaik e.V.: A question about Germany and Israel (Germans are guilty … they feel guilty because of the holocaust… and are blind now… they do not see that Israel is the same as the JEWS in a traditional and religious sense….)
Paul Eisen: There is no doubt that Germany in the 30s and 40s carried out a huge assault on European Jews and in this much violence and injustice took place. But Germans behaved towards Jews no worse than Jews have behaved and, in some ways, some kind of assault on Jews was justified.
My own feeling is that the world’s attitude to Germany which is largely because of Jewish attitudes to Germany are very important and wrong. Germans have had a very hard deal.
ProMosaik e.V.: Should we perhaps explain the groups in Israeli society, distinguishing the religious, orthodox, and right-wing components of Israeli society?
Paul Eisen: Do you know, I’m not sure it matters all that much. The last terrible four weeks watching the horror of Gaza has left me convinced that Israeli society is a terrible and probably irredeemable state. Of course, there are very many perfectly decent Israelis but their decency has been overwhelmed but what I now see as a peculiarly Jewish kind of evil.
ProMosaik e.V.: How do you define your pessimism?
Paul Eisen: I am pessimistic but I will never completely close off the possibility that people can change. I sense at the same rime I’m not abandoning the hope for God.
ProMosaik e.V.: But I love voices like Gideon Levy or the rabbis of Neturei Karta….
Paul Eisen: I don’t disparage these people. Gideon Levy is a brave and moral man. The fact that he doesn’t see things exactly as I do is not important. Neturei Karta the same. I once referred to them as ‘Jews in fancy dress’ but I regretted the remark soon after. I suppose what I was saying is that they seem so far from real Jewish life as to make them less relevant. I feel the same when people quote horrible passages from the talmud. Sure they exist and sure those attitudes permeate Jewish identity. But the fact is like me, most Jews have never read the damn thing.
ProMosaik e.V.: how do you see yourself as a Jewish person?
Paul Eisen: I’ve been trying to work this out since I was three years old. I don’t other than to say that despite everything, I still choose to remain a Jew.
ProMosaik e.V.: How do you relate yourself to your own Jewishness?
Paul Eisen: By doing what I do. That’s it.
THANK YOU PAUL!