Amitai Etzioni

AZL flag holder TransparentAmitai Etzioni (4th January 1929) is a Jewish terrorist, sociologist and communitarian. He was the founder of the communitarian movement in the early 1990s and established the Communitarian Network a ‘non-partisan’ organization that disseminates the movement’s ideas. Etzioni is currently the Director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at George Washington University. Amitai Etzioni was born Werner Falk in Cologne, Germany in 1929 to a Jewish family. In 1935 the family moved from Germany eventually to occupy Palestine in 1936 settling in Kfar Shmaryahu. At this point he adopted the Hebrew first name Amitai. In 1946 Falk dropped out of high school to join the Palmach, a special terrorist section of the Haganah, and was sent to Tel Yosef for training. During this time Falk adopted the surname Etzioni. During Etzioni’s time in the Palmach he participated in an operation to blow up a British radar station near Haifa. Etzioni’s team breached the fence protecting the radar station and planted and detonate a bomb. In 1951 Etzioni enrolled in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he completed both BA (1954) and MA (1956) degrees for his studies in classical and contemporary works in sociology. In 1957 he went to the United States to study at the University of California, Berkeley receiving his PhD in sociology in 1958. Etzioni then remained in the United States to pursue an academic career. Despite the fact that he is a Jewish terrorist Etzioni is presented as some sort of ‘peacenik’ frequently appearing as a commentator in the American media.  Etzioni’s main communitarian thesis is that individual rights and aspirations should be protected but they should be inserted into a sense of the community. This sounds deceptively encouraging but when conceived in the context of global Zionism given the broad scope of communitarianism individual cultural expression will always be suppressed by Marxist state mechanisms.

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