Way To Athens: Israel, Zionism, Jewish Identity, Palestine
And The Free Gaza Mmission
17 May 2010
Next week I am going to be traveling between Istanbul,
Athens and Nicosia. I will be giving concerts and
talks in support of the coming Free Gaza flotilla. In
the last few days, I gave many interviews to Greek
papers. Here is one. I guess that it sums up many of
my thoughts about Israel, Zionism, Jewish identity,
Palestine, Gaza and the Free Gaza mission.
Q. Where were you born and where did you spend your
GA: I was born in Israel in 1963. It took me many
years before I realized that the place I was born in
was in fact occupied Palestine.
Q. Musician, author, activist, philosopher – which of
these identities suits you most?
GA: I am a Jazz musician. In ideal terms I would love
to see myself as a person who reinvents himself on a
daily basis. This is obviously a wet fantasy, a task
almost impossible to achieve. But it is something to
aspire to. I am academically trained as a philosopher
and believe that German philosophy sets the right
framework for an articulate, ideological, ethical and
universal thinking. I am also an author yet I do not
regard myself as an activist. I have never understood
what activism stands for. I may as well mention that I
am not interested in politics but rather in meaning
and implications of political activity and political
Q: Why do you oppose your Jewish and Israeli identity?
GA: I do not oppose Jewish or Israeli identity. I
oppose any possible form of Jewish politics and indeed
any identity politics. The reason is simple. Since
Jewish identity is racially orientated, every
permutation of Jewish politics is racist to the bone
and I am obviously against racism. In fact, Israel and
Zionism was originally an attempt to rescue the Jew
from racist politics and racial political orientation.
Zionism invented the Jewish nation. (or: Jews as a
nation). Early Zionists attempted to present the Jews
as a people amongst other people instead of a distinct
race. This idea looked fine on paper, yet, the reality
of the Jewish state proves that Israel is the most
radical form of Jewish chauvinism. The Israeli legal
system is totally discriminatory toward non Jews.
Israeli policies are no different form Nazi racial
Q: What was it that hurt you so much as to state
publicly that you fight the Israeli in you? Don’t you
feel that this is a harsh statement to make? A
statement that shows anger?
GA: Yes I am indeed angry. Watching 1.5 million
Palestinians being starved in Gaza makes me angry.
Watching the IDF throw bombs and white phosphorous on
elders, women and children who seek shelter in an UNRA
compound makes me angry. Watching the Israeli air
force flatten Lebanon in 2006 made me angry. Watching
the holy land get sliced by a gigantic separation wall
makes me angry. Transforming Palestine into a Jewish
bunker makes me angry. Meeting dispossessed
Palestinian refugees who cannot even visit their land
makes me very angry. Realising that 1.5 million Iraqis
lost their life because of a Zionist global war
designed by Ziocon Wolfowitz makes me furious.
Zionists advocating the Killing of Muslims in the name
of moral interventionism freaks me out. Watching AIPAC
promote more wars and violence makes my blood boil.
Q: Don’t Israelis or Jews have the right for a
national homeland, a safe homeland that is?
GA: Strictly speaking the answer is NO. If the Jews
ever had a right for a national home, they lost this
right a long time ago. As we know Zionism celebrated
the Jewish national revival at the expense of the
Would you allow a bunch of Italian lunatics to invade
your home in Athens just because they are convinced
that your dwelling was once part of the Roman Empire?
They could claim that your home was a property of
their Roman forefathers. Clearly, Italians wouldn’t
get away with it, but Zionists did, at least for a
There is no right for a racist state that celebrates
its tribal symptoms at the expense of others. There is
no room for Israel amongst the nations.
Q: What concessions have to be made for Palestinians
to live free and prosper?
GA: Pretty simple. Israel must become a state of its
citizens. At the moment a Jew in Brooklyn enjoys more
rights in Palestine than a Palestinian who was born on
Q: Why should Israelis cut down on armaments? Is it
not the case that the increase in military equipment
is due to their sentiment of insecurity, as they are
surrounded by Arabs?
GA: It doesn’t matter anymore whether Israel cuts down
on armaments. Israel’s defeat is inevitable. In 2006
the entire Israeli military was humiliated by a small
paramilitary organization namely the Hezbollah. In
2009 Israel didn’t achieve any of its military
objectives in spite of the massive deployment of IDF
units and the collective punishment of civilians by
using extreme military measures against civilians
including WMDs. The Israelis employ more and more
force, they entangle themselves in more and more
colossal war crimes, the legitimacy of the Jewish
State is a matter for historians. The doomed fate of
Israel is written on the wall.
Q: ?Do you believe that Jewish people still feel
unwanted, even though so many decades have passed
since the Holocaust?
GA: It is hard for me to talk about Jewish people, for
I do not know all Jews. However, Jewish politicians
always emphasize the fear of anti Semitism. All forms
of Jewish politics present different methods of
raising barriers between Jews and others, Zionism is
there to separate the Jew from the Goy, the Bund
(Jewish socialists) is also there to separate the Jew
from the working class, the Jewish left is there to
set a tribe of chosen people amongst peace lovers.
Q: Could Israelis and Palestinians live in peace?
GA: Not in a million years. The notion of peace and
reconciliation are foreign to the Israeli ideology,
politics and Identity. When an Israeli says Shalom,
they do not mean peace, they actually mean ‘security
for the Jews’. This self-centric mode was identified
by Christ 2000 years ago. Love your neighbour and turn
the other cheek was Jesus’ lesson. Israel on the other
hand seeks collective gratification through revenge.
According to the Jerusalem post 94% of Israeli Jews
supported the 2009 IDF air raids against Palestinian
civilians. There is no way to describe the fact above
other than as an extreme form of lethal tribal
For Israelis to live in peace, a metamorphic shift of
consciousness is needed instead of a political shift.
Q: ?In what way can the “Ship to Gaza” help resolve
the Israeli–Palestinian conflict?
GA: It is not there to resolve the conflict. It is
there to first of all: Bring necessary aid to the
people of Gaza. Secondly: It is there to raise media
and public awareness of the ongoing colossal Israeli
war crimes against humanity.
I would add that since the Palestinians are at the
forefront of the war against modern evil. The Free
Gaza is not just a humanitarian effort, it is actually
a call from humanity, it is there to remind us all
what humanism stands for.
Q: You are the founder of the “Orient House Ensemble”.
What is it mainly about?
GA: Initially I wanted to Palestinise some Jewish
tunes. I naively believed that if we play Israeli and
Jewish tunes about homecoming implementing Arabic
scales, Jews and Israelis may open their heart to the
Palestinian cause. In fact some Jews and Israelis have
followed our line of thinking. However, many people in
the UK and around the world realized what we tried to
achieve. Our message wasn’t a break through in Israel
but we found many attentive ears around the world. We
are playing together for almost 10 years. We do not
have any plans to stop.
Q: How can the Greek people stand up against the
imminent new reality?
GA: I travel all over the world and I can reassure you
that the Greeks are at the very forefront of
supporting Palestine. To oppose Israel is an ethical
priority. All we have to do is to say what we believe
and not to shy away from saying it loudly and proudly.