Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Squaring off Zionism: Four Perspectives

Exclusively for the Spanish newspaper Diagonal, two heavyweights of pro-Palestine intellectual activism, Khalid Amayreh and Gilad Atzmon, enter the polemic between the Spanish thinkers Santiago Alba-Rico and Raúl Sánchez-Cedillo about the State of Israel’s historical responsibility in the Middle East tragedy
Introduction: Nailing the Nail, by Manuel Talens

As I am one of those who thinks that Zionism is a form of racism and I refuse to accept the false deduction that any attack against the institutional apparatuses of the State of Israel has something to do with anti-Semitism (but with politics indeed), I usually like Alba-Rico’s materialistic texts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and not only due to the limpid and beautiful writing that characterizes his style, but also for ideological correlation. I liked therefore his piece “Israel is the Danger” (Diagonal, N.º 35, 19-07-2006). Several weeks later, I read with uneasiness Raúl Sánchez-Cedillo’s replica, “The danger is infinite war and fanaticism” (Diagonal, N.º 38, 14-09-2006), a compendium of crypto-Zionist same-old-stories usually repeated by decaffeinated left-wingers to turn things to their sophisms’ advantage. The dialectical confrontation of both thinkers deserved a dignified debate, I told to myself, and without thinking twice I requested the collaboration of two important writers of the Palestinian resistance’s theoretical environment: one of them is Gilad Atzmon –– an ex-Jew, a musician, a novelist and a ferocious enemy of Zionism from a non-Marxist stand –– and the other is Khalid Amayreh, a respected Palestinian writer and journalist who regularly collaborates with Middle East International and Al-Ahram. Both gladly accepted the challenge so I started the motor of Tlaxcala –– the network of translators for linguistic diversity, to which I belong –– and translated both Alba-Rico’s and Sánchez-Cedillo’s texts into English in order to make them accessible to my guests. Later I translated into Spanish for Diagonal the reflections they remitted me. As well, other Tlaxcalans are translating the whole group of essays into French, Italian and German (other languages will follow) so that in a few days the multilingual versions can be consulted on www.tlaxcala.es as well as on other alternative websites. Readers can find below “Israel is the Danger” and “The danger is infinite war and fanaticism”. Afterwards I give the floor to Khalid Amayreh’s “Zionism must be Dissolved for Peace” and to Gilad Atzmon’s “Spin is the Danger” so that both authors keep nailing the nail of an unconditional and necessary defence of Palestinians totally devoid of any Zionist (i.e. racist) obstacles. The debate is served. Come and inform yourself, friendly reader, and participate in it if you wish.

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