ProMosaik e.V. interviewt Paul Eisen

Liebe Leserinnen und Leser von ProMosaik e.V.,
Shalom, Salam, 
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?
Paul Eisen:
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
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.
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 word
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.
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….
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
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?
Eisen: By doing what I do. That’s it.