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One Gilad For Another

This is a cross-post from Ben Cohen of the Z-Word blog

Writing in the execrable Counterpunch, Gilad Atzmon, along with an apparently “adorable” friend of his, dreams of being taken hostage:

“In my dreams I was also held hostage, and very much like in the case of the above dream, I was quick to announce my support of liberation movements and resistance. In my hallucination I was similarly ignored or dismissed.”

By way of Jacques Lacan, Atzmon goes on to say: “The hostage dream is our reaction to our repetitive failure to attain a real comprehensive bond with our subject of solidarity.”

I’d like to suggest something to Atzmon: put yourself in a real situation where you will be able to test the response of your captors.

Here’s how you might go about it. Propose to Hamas that they release the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who turned 23 today, his fourth birthday in captivity, in exchange for you. If you have no means of contacting Hamas directly, perhaps you might try through the good offices of the Turkish Prime Minister, who quoted you approvingly at the last Davos Summit and who, in turn, you described as “rather courageous” before launching into one of your standard tirades against Zionist financial power.

Everybody wins. Gilad Shalit gains his freedom. Gilad Shalit’s family can return to some semblance of normality. The negotiators can hold their heads high. Hamas get to appear magnanimous and keep a hostage at the same time. And you get an opportunity that most human beings would envy: to establish whether the shards of consciousness that compose a dream can be reassembled in a woken state.

Will your Hamas captors welcome you with open arms? Or will they view you with suspicion? Will they chain you to a radiator? Will they beat and spit on you and then refuse you medical attention? No-one can say for sure. But perhaps you’ll be allowed to send a letter through the Red Cross letting us know how it all turned out.

Only hurry. Once more, rumors of an imminent Shalit release are circulating. If they turn out to be true, what an extraordinary chance you will have wasted.

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