Gilad Atzmon and Yaakov Shapiro Condemn Israel and Zionism

  • May 8, 2015


Flyer advertising the event

On May 6 in New York City, an anti-Israel event featured Gilad Atzmon, an Israeli-born anti-Semite based in London, and Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro, Spokesperson for the anti-Israel group “True Torah Jews.” The stated goal of the event, titled “Judaism versus Jewish Identity Politics: Religion versus Tribalism,” was to help “unravel the tangled web of secular Jewish politics, right and left.”

In his remarks, Atzmon claimed that there have been concerted efforts to silence his views, but that the efforts were “not from Zionist bodies, but actually from Jewish left bodies,” such as Jewish Voice for Peace. He stated that JVP’s stance took him “by complete surprise” because he had always worked towards “opposing Israel.”

Atzmon claimed that there are three categories of Jews:

  1. Jews who follow the Torah and see Judaism as the core of their identity
  2. Those who identify as Jews because they have Jewish heritage
  3. Those who identify politically as Jews

Atzmon, who referred to himself as “a devoted self-hater,” stated that the first two categories of Jews are “innocent” because religious Jews “have never been involved in any collective genocidal attempt against another people,” and that having “a Jewish mother doesn’t make you into a war criminal.”

According to Atzmon, the third category of Jews are “guilty” because they have supposedly been “at the center of too many disasters,” including the Bolshevik Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, and the “Nakba.” He added that in the U.S. there was “Jewish influence within the neo-conservative school” and that America is “paying the price for those wars,” which he stated were not “rabbinical wars.”

After Atzmon concluded his initial remarks, Rabbi Shapiro spoke, echoing much of what Atzmon said, and adding his religious anti-Zionist ideology to the discussion. Like Atzmon, he spoke against the creation of Israel and called its formation “a historical anomaly.” But, rather than focusing on the various categories of Jews that Atzmon did, Shapiro instead spoke only about secular Jews and religious Jews.

According to Shapiro, Zionism was created by secular Jews who wanted to destroy Orthodox Judaism because they allegedly “absorbed the attitudes of the anti-Semites and looked at the Jews themselves with the same disgust and loathing that the anti-Semites did.” He continued and stated “the reason the Jews were disgusting is because they looked like me and they acted like me. And they blamed the religious Jews for anti-Semitism.”

Shapiro added, “When Gilad says ‘the Jews do this and the Jews do that,’ he’s talking about one type, those are secular Jews…The Jews that stole our identity. Nevermind the Palestinians say they stole our land. They stole our Jewish name, they stole my identity, they are not real Jews!”