When I wrote an article 'Gilad Atzmon – Now an Open Holocaust Denier' a number of people took exception to my argument. He isn't open about it they said and to an extent they were right. But my intuition was that Atzmon nonetheless had crossed the rubicon. This was confirmed when he took part in a Sunday Times debate with David Aaronovitch and greeted Michel Renouf, hostess to all the best deniers, at the event. I don’t usually publish holocaust denial stuff on the blog but in this case I will make an exception for Gilad Atzmon.
People often apologise for Atzmon, who is undoubtedly talented when it comes to blowing his own trumpet (or sax), by saying he is a contrarian, simply saying things to provoke, writes before he thinks etc.
In fact only yesterday I was having a discussion with an academic who should know better, who explained away Atzmon thus:
And it is true that some people, unwilling to admit they are wrong and in a desire to save face, say things which in the cold light of day they regret they had said or written. After all, nowhere is it more true than on the Internet that one writes in haste and repents at leisure.
I know that you sincerely believe that Gilad Atzmon is an anti-Semite. However, I think you are wrong. I think he simply gets carried away with his anger at the way that the thought-police try to control what people say about Zionism and Zionists. I suspect that he writes quickly and does not put enough effort into editing. Indeed, I suspect that the personality traits which enable him to improvise jazz are at play when he writes -- his writings are like solo improvisations. As a result, he has published material which, I suspect, he wishes, deep down, he had expressed more carefully. Many people, when attacked in public, rather than engaged privately, come out with all guns firing and I suspect that, at this stage, he just enjoys annoying those who attack him.’
And maybe this was once true of Atzmon too, about whom I have consciously tried to say as little as possible recently, not least for fear of inflating his already super-sized ego. However there are occasions when one has to speak out.
It would be invidious to have to point to the various Atzmon mistakes/flaws in the article below. For example the myth that Jews were turned into soap hasn’t been recently acknowledged, as Atzmon suggests in footnote 1, but has been know to be a myth virtually since the end of the War. In his monumental Destruction of European Jews, published in 1961, Raul Hilberg devotes considerable space to the myth, which was widely believed by the Poles, some of whom boycotted soap on this basis. The ‘soap’ myth is the staple of the ‘humour’ of holocaust deniers, so it is no surprise that Atzmon finds it amusing too.
But the key to Atzmon’s ‘thinking’ is his footnote 3 which counterposes the death marches, as the war ends, to the annihilation of the Jews. It is a bizarre argument. He thinks these two phenomenon are counterposed. Suffice to say that at least 2/3 of those forced to undergo these horrendous ordeals died. There is no contradiction between the forced marches and the annihilation of the Jews. One such march, from Budapest to Vienna, was aimed at providing labour for the Nazi war effort by digging trenches but most were either turned back or died en route. And where else could they go but Germany, given the fact that the Soviet Union had already entered the Greater Reich and its annexed Polish parts?
The reference to the ‘Zionist holocaust narrative’ is instructive. The extermination of European Jewry is a ‘narrative’ i.e. story, not a historical fact.
I have been informed that Atzmon is no longer a contributing editor at Mary Rizzo’s Palestinian Thinktank. If true, it means that even his closest political collaborators have now abandoned him as a hopeless case. Likewise his last anti-Semitic rant, Tribal Marxism for Dummies produced such an adverse reaction that it seems to have been deleted entirely from the PT site. It would seem that Atzmon has done an 'Indymedia' and packed his bags.
Indeed PT seems to be, and I haven't looked at it in any depth before the brick bats start coming, a much better site and indeed less reactionary with an article carrying the speech by Amira Hass of Ha'aretz, accepting the International Women's Media Foundation award for her fearless journalism.
It seems that Atzmon is destined to pass his days in the company of out and out holocaust deniers and anti-Semites like The Hon. Michelle Renouf. Still there is one small nugget of truth in Atzmon's latest diatribe. It is true - he is a Proper Zionist Jew!
After all I am a Proper Zionist Jew
By Gilad Atzmon
I am a Holocaust survivor.
Yes, I am a survivor, for I have managed to survive all the scary accounts of the Holocaust: the one about the soap (1), the one about the lamp shades, the one about the camps, the mass shooting, the one about the gas (2) and the one about the death march (3). I just managed to survive them all.
In spite of all these fear inflicting stories, that were purposely installed in my soul since I opened my eyes for the first time, I have become a functional and even a successful human being. I somehow survived the horror against all odds. I even manage to love my neighbour. In spite of all these fearful, traumatic indoctrination I miraculously managed to master my cheering alto saxophone rather than the sobbing violin.
In fact, I have already decided that in case the Queen, or any other member of the Royal Family should ever consider to make me into a ‘Sir’ for my bebop achievements, or even for facing Zionist barbarism with my bare pen, I will immediately change my surname from Atzmon to Vive, just to become the first and only Sir Vive.
I am also totally against Holocaust denial
I clearly resent those who deny the genocides that are taking place in the name of the Holocaust. Palestine is one example, Iraq is another and the one that is set for Iran, is probably too scary to contemplate.
The Holocaust is a relatively new religion (4). It lacks mercy or compassion, instead it promises revenge through retribution. For its followers, it is somehow liberating because it allows them to punish whoever they like as long they gain some pleasure. This may explain why the Israelis ended up punishing the Palestinians for crimes that were committed by Europeans. It is rather clear that the newly emerging religion is not just about ‘eye for an eye’; it is actually an eye for thousands and thousands of eyes.
A month ago, while visiting in Auschwitz, Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak left a note in the official visitors book: ‘a strong Israel is both the comfort and the revenge’(5). No one could summarise the aspiration of the religion any better. The Holocaust religion doesn’t offer redemption. It is a crude violent manifestation of sheer collective brutality. It cannot resolve anything, for aggression can only lead to more and more aggression. In the Holocaust religion there is neither room for peace or grace. Take it from Barak, revenge is where they find comfort.
To deny the danger posed by the Holocaust religion and its followers is to be complicit in a growing crime against humanity and against every possible human value.
I am also in total support of the Jewish National Project
Some believe that after 2000 years of ‘phantasmic Diaspora’ Jews are indeed entitled to an imaginary ‘national home land of their own’. The Zionists apparently meant it sincerely. The Jewish state is now realistic enough to have turned the entire Middle East into a ticking bomb.
Reviewing the Israeli record of crimes against humanity in the last six decades doesn’t leave much room for speculation. We are dealing here with a pathological sinister society. Hence, as much as some of us may agree that Jews should enjoy a hypothetical right for a land of their own, planet Earth is certainly not the ideal location for such an affair.
Hence, I would urge NASA to join in and to make a special effort to find a suitable alternative planet for the Zionist homeland in outer space or even in another galaxy. The Galactic Zionist project would signify the immediate move from ‘promised land’ to ‘promised planet’. I would enthusiastically stress that rather than searching for ‘a land with no people for a people with no land’, what we really want is a ‘lonely planet’. It can even be a ‘desert’ for they claim to know how to make the desert bloom. In a planet of their own the galactic Zionists wouldn’t need to oppress anyone, they wouldn’t ethnically cleanse either, they wouldn’t have to lock the indigenous people in concentration camps, for there won’t be any indigenous people around to abuse, starve, murder and cleanse. They wouldn’t have to pour white phosphorous over their neighbours for there won’t be any neighbours. I would highly recommend NASA to search for a planet with very low gravity just to make it light for people to wander around. After all, we want the new galactic Zionists to enjoy their futuristic project as much as the Palestinians and many others may enjoy their absence.
So here I am, a proper Jew after all: I am a survivor, I oppose Holocaust denial, I support the Jewish national aspiration. Even the chief Rabbi of Britain cannot ask for more than that.
(1) Acknowledged recently to be a ‘myth’ by the Israeli holocaust museum Yad Vashem
(2) A historical fact protected by European Law.
(3) A slightly confusing narrative. If the Nazis were interested in annihilating the entire European Jewish population as suggested by the orthodox Zionist holocaust narrative, then it is rather ambiguous as to just what led them to march what was left of European Jewry, into their crumbling Nazi fatherland at a time when it was clear that they were losing the war. The two narratives i.e. ‘annihilation’ and ‘death march’, seem to oppose each other. The issue deserves further elaboration. I would just suggest that the reasonable answers I have come across may severely damage the Zionist holocaust narrative.
(4) The Israeli Philosophy professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz was probably the first to define the holocaust as the ‘new Jewish religion’.