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Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Redress's 'Exclusive' about Zionist Whistleblowers is Wishful Thinking

It's Gilad Atzmon Wots Done It!

Over the past week or so, an article entitled ‘Britain’s Jews in crisis over national loyalty, identity and Israel’ has appeared on the Redress site, run by one Nureddin Sabir, who describes himself as the ‘London, UK, Editor of Redress Information & Analysis.' It claims that:
In recent weeks Redress Information & Analysis has been approached by a number of existing and former employees and volunteers of prominent Jewish bodies, all pointing to an acute internal crisis within their institutions.
Apparently these whistleblowers have winged their way to Redress, a one-man operation with no visible base or address, to spill the beans on the ‘worst crisis in living memory as their [British Jews’] loyalty to the United Kingdom and support for basic universal principles of human rights and common decency come under growing scrutiny.' Note the dual loyalty charge - a favourite of Atzmon.

Redress is an anti-Semitic site that portrays itself as pro-Palestinian. It primary agenda these days is providing a platform for Gilad Atzmon, the anti-Semitic ex-Israeli jazz musician. On googling Atzmon’s name there are 88 occurrences in the past 2 years on the site and he has written extensively before then too. That is why I persuaded UNISON to ban any links to the site from their international pages.

For example on 7 October Atzmon penned an article Who is a Jewin which he defended the Iranian dictator Ahmedinajad. In the course of the article, he wrote that ‘Regardless of the truthfulness of the holocaust, it is a basic fact that the suffering of the Jews in Europe had nothing to do with the Palestinian people.’ This, of course, is a give away. The ‘basic fact’ of the Palestinian peoples’ oppression and dispossession has nothing to do with another fact - the Holocaust, other than that Zionists use the latter to justify the former. Only Atzmon and fellow holocaust deniers, such as his friend Michelle Renouf, would question the ‘truthfulness’ of the holocaust.

So what is the truth about this ‘exclusive’? It is no secret that during the attack on Gaza, certain more liberally inclined members of the Jewish establishment – people like Colin Shindler and Rabbi Tony Bayfield, the Reform chief rabbi, were extremely unhappy about the Israeli State’s open bloodlust and its attacking civilians with phosphorous bombs. In this they reflected their own constituency, which made its feelings known by boycotting the Board of Deputies rallies in Trafalgar Square and Manchester. According to police estimates, and indeed just by looking, you can see that both rallies had, at most, 5,000 people attend them. Contrast this with the 25,000+ support for Israel’s previous attacks on the Lebanon.

But is this a serious crisis or part of an ongoing tendency? There is no evidence to support the former. True that Zionist Federation activist Jonathan Hoffman has come under a lot of stick recently, but that is merely symptomatic. There has been no break-away as there was with the Masorti synagogue some 40 years ago. There is a declining community numbers wise, most young people aren’t interested in Zionism and Israel is no longer a ‘socialist ideal’ as it appeared to me and others when we were young.

It is equally true that the Jewish Chronicle is going through yet another crisis, as epitomised in the appointment of its down-market editor from the Express, Stephen Pollard. Circulation is hovering around 30,000 in contrast to its heyday of around 100,000, but that too is a sign of the times, as well as a declining Jewish population and the plain fact that the paper is, well, totally boring and reads like a propaganda tract.

But the real reason for Redress’s ire is an article ‘Anti-Israel attacks spread across web’ in the Jewish Chronicle that Mark Elf found in the course of researching his own article.

It was a typical Jewish Chronicle article which was as fallacious and mistaken as everything the JC prints these days. It cites Redress as somehow the mainstay of an anti-Zionist campaign across the web. It then portrays Gilad Atzmon, its regular writer (having got kicked off Mary Rizzo’s ThinkPalestine blog) as an active and prominent anti-Zionist, whereas Atzmon is an anti-Semite and is involved in no Palestine solidarity work. He is increasingly marginalised as his long-time political partner, Mary Rizzo, has had enough of him and his ego, as have most others. In short the JC's is a nasty little article seeking to smear supporters of the Palestinians and opponents of Zionism with anti-Semitism, hence the fascination with Gilad Nobody. And of course there is the usual, obligatory quote from Mark Gardner of the Zionist Community Security Trust thugs, who only see anti-Semitism when they want to see it.

Clearly Sabir took exception to all this publicity. It’s hard to understand why since the blog goes virtually unnoticed amongst all the genuinely popular and well –researched blogs like Mark’s Jewssanfrontieres and this one! The article was by the Jewish Chronicle’s new Political Editor Martin Bright, ex of the Observer. Bright it was who picked up on our story on Socialist Action’s takeover of Palestine Solidarity Campaign a few months ago. Bright is apparently the first non-Jewish journalist to occupy such a role. He is also well known for his contacts with Special Branch and MI5, in other words he relies on spooks and the secret state for some/much of his information. As such he is probably an excellent choice as Political Editor!

So the question is who did write the article. And for this detective work, hats off to Mark Elf once again. The article on Redress’s web site is dated 26th December, i.e. Boxing Day. Now have a look at the same article on Gilad Atzmon’s web site and notice the date, Christmas Day, 25th December. After having stuffing himself with turkey and xmas pudding, Atzmon decided wouldn’t it be fun to run a spoof hoax. After all, if it was a genuine Redress exclusive, it is unlikely that Atzmon would run it on his own site first.

Unfortunately it did take in quite a few people. Some whose minds were distracted by the events in Egypt perhaps didn’t look at it as closely as they should have done. After all, if there was a crisis as was suggested in the leadership of British Jewry then we would be likely to know about it first. And if there were indeed whistleblowers from the Board and other Anglo-Jewish institutions, and we all know that there are major difference between the very rich members of the Jewish establishment and the petty-bourgeois businessmen who run the Board, why on earth would they go to a one-man outfit Redress? It doesn’t take many brains to work out that it is an anti-Semitic Atzmon front. Why give your opponents in the Jewish community a stick to beat you with? If you were going to go anywhere it would be the Guardian or Independent or even The Times. It makes no sense.

If I may declare a personal note. Redress is the dishonest little blog that a couple of years ago ran the ‘Petition in support of pro-Palestinian activists’ It was an attack on me for my criticisms of the anti-Semitism of ‘two outstanding personalities who are also great fighters for the implementation of freedom and liberty to all the subjugated peoples of the world, Gilad Atzmon… and Mary Rizzo…’ As is normally the case with these people, it refused to carry any right of reply.

It is not unlike Atzmon to write a petition in support of himself! And now he’s writing his own exclusives too!

It is no coincidence that at a time when most of us are doing our best to put pressure on the Egyptian regime not to do Israel’s dirty work, by sabotaging the Gaza Freedom March and Viva Palestina, Sabir is more concerned with his own petty vendettas against those who have slighted him. But it is clear that although Sabir has the motive, he is unlikely to have written an article that appeared a day previously on Atzmon's site.

21 comments:

Deborah Fink said...

I don't think Rabbi Tony Bayfield and the Reform synagogue boycotted the BoD's pro-war rally. I seem to be remember being surprised that they supported it. It was Rabbi Danny Rich and the liberals who boycotted it.

Tony Greenstein said...

Yes you're probably right Debbie. What I was really referring to was the letter, in The Observer, from various liberal Zionists wringing their hands over Gaza and very uncomfortable at the atrocities taking place (although of course they didn't describe them as such).

Anonymous said...

5000? Don't be ridiculous Tony.

Just back to where the fountains start, it is 4500 -- and the Square was full. It was more like 17,000.

JOnathan Hoffman

Anonymous said...

You know what, the part of Atzmon's quote where he basically begged the question on the Holocaust, would probably be considered antisemitic by most people.

I agree there.

But at the same time, why is questioning the Holocaust, by definition, antisemitic?

I know in reality, its safe to bet most who do, could be antisemitic as well.

But what about 'the New Historians' - they are also called revisionist. And quite often labeled anti-Zionist, and Zionists love to say that anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism.

If Holocaust revisionism is perceived as being caused by antisemitism, then wouldn't those who question Israel's founding and it's history - and basically criticize Israel and blah blah, also be considered to have been motivated by the same antisemitic blob?

I think my point is, you sound just like right-wing Zionists in the way you bash Atzmon.

That does not mean you're wrong, but just imagine in a couple hundred years, do you think people will still fling the antisemite card around when people try to question the Holocaut?

Just think of the literature written about the Native Americans and colonialism in America, that came out mostly in the 70s. When we learned how many had died (more than first thought).

I think in practical terms, its understandable to think someone is antisemitic if they question the Holocaust.

But really, that would mean functionally, that they are interested in Jewishness yea?

I mean, Zionists always ask people why they focus on Israel so much as opposed to Darfur and Sudan. The common point is, 'why the Jews'? Followed by, 'you're an antisemite!'

You sound like a Zionist. I asked Levi from JewSansFrontiers to explain Atzmon a bit to me, cuz I didn't think he was that important and because lots of Zionists hate him too (and I usually assume that means the person in question is doing something right).

Anonymous said...

Oh and let me also add, that the article you mentioned is Atzmon defending Ahmedinejad's comments on the hypocrisy of 'the Holocaust Industry' (Norman Finkelstein).

He wasn't defending the guy's human rights record. He wasn't defending the police State which Iran is.

Again, you sound just like those Zionists who rely purely on rhetorical melo-drama and 'point-scoring'.

Do YOU care about the plight of the Palestinians? Is it out of principle?

Anonymous said...

and um, i just read Atzmon's page and he actually singles you and Mark Elf out.

So this is also personal?

My interest in this is mainly this piece you wrote. And also, because based on his YouTube videos, I just didn't see what was so bad about Atzmon. I did see this one video where David Aronoseomthing was quoting from Atzmon.

The guy really doesn't like Atzmon and there was this debate where he kept calling Atzmon an antisemite.

But in the video, as David A. quotes Atzmon, you see these pictures of the I-P conflict. It's basically countering David A. - putting context in, while the act of David A. reading Atzmon was inherently OUT of context.

I consider this very important because as I get more invested emotionally into this conflict I really want to know what peoples (and mainly Jews) thoughts are on antisemitism (WHAT IS IT!!) and how anti-Zionism (in this case, Atzmon) can become antisemitism.

Tony Greenstein said...

Jonathan

sorry. 5,000 on the bomb Gaza demonstrations last January included the London demo. The Police estimate, which you normally take as gospel, was 4,000 according to the BBC. Still even 5,000 people prepared to demonstrate in favour of war crimes in Gaza was 5,000 too many. Imagine 5,000 demonstrating in favour of the mass murder of British Jews. Horrific isn't it?

Tony Greenstein said...

Questioning, or more accurately, denying that there was an attempt to exterminate all Jewish people, in essence means wishing to do the same again. So it is anti-Semitic for the same reason that denying the genocide of the Armenians by the Turks (something Zionists have always lent a helping hand towards) is anti-Armenian racism.

More specifically, Holocaust denial arose specifically in those sections of the fascist Right which were pro-Nazi. They realised that noone bar the most atavistic and murderous would ever support their movement so that is why they decided upon the ploy of holocaust denial. All the original holocaust deniers were fascists of one stripe e.g. Richard Verall (Harwood) the author of the very first such attempt, ‘Did 6 Million Really Die?’

It is of course confusing that the term revisionist is applied both to these ‘historians’ and genuine historians like Ilan Pappe, Zeev Sternhall, Simha Flapan, Benny Morris and others who have nothing to do with anti-Semitism (though Morris has degenerated into a visceral anti-Arab racist with neo-Nazi overtones).

I think it is wrong to label the holocaust deniers as revisionist historians. Firstly they are none of them historians. Arthur Butz’s Hoax of the 20th Century, the first serious tome on the subject, was by a Professor of Electrical Engineering at some obscure university in the southern States of America. Even their one historian, David Irving, repeatedly argued at the libel trial he brought, Irving v Penguin that he wasn’t a holocaust historian.

I said holocaust denial is motivated by a desire to reestablish a fascist and Nazi Europe, not that it was caused by anti-Semitism. That is too crude.

Tony Greenstein said...

Your problem is that you really haven’t come to grip with the fundamentals, hence your query about those who question Israel’s founding and history and criticise it as being motivated by anti-Semitism. That seems to betray an enormous confusion that I don’t have time to deal with, other than in passing.

Quite simply. Anti-Semitism is a form of racism, anti-Jewish racism. It has nothing to do with criticism of a state. Indeed a century ago, if you had said that all Jews should go off and form their own state you would have been considered, rightly, an anti-semite. Since you hold that Jews represent some form of alien collectivity, apart from those they live amongst.

Anti-Zionism rejects the idea of a ‘Jewish’ State. States are not religious, they do not pray or hold beliefs. They are, in a Marxist sense, instruments of coercion. Hence in Iran, an ‘Islamic’ State religion is used to legitimise repression of mainly Muslims. The ‘Jewish’ State uses religion to justify, not repression of Jews so much as repression of the other, the Palestinian. Hence why many Jews oppose Zionism because their Jewish identity is not the same as support for anti-Arab or Palestinian racism.

You mention that Zionists ask people focus on Israel as opposed to Darfur and Sudan., 'why the Jews'?’ Again this shows naivety. Did anyone ask why people focussed on Apartheid in South Africa? After all there were many atrocities and far worse ones committed in Black Africa. Wasn’t it anti-white racism? Or maybe the idea of a state based on racial supremacy trumped the evils done by other states.

It is a stupid point which appeals to the stupid. I never question someone’s motivation for supporting Cuba Solidarity as opposed to Palestine. That is their, individual choice. No more no less.

Atzmon is quite easy to understand. He doesn’t like what Israel does to the Palestinians. I think we can accept that. But he blames this not on imperialism, not on Zionism, not on colonialism, not on any political cause, but on Jews. And in that explanation he comes to find himself on the same ideological side as the Zionists, for whom Israel too is explicable only by Jews. He may reach different conclusions but he accepts the same ideological framework, hence why most of his attacks are not on Zionism, which he does not recognise other than as a loose term of abuse, but on Jewish anti-Zionists. And Zionists too devote inordinate energy to us, for the same reason as racists like Atzmon.

I don’t quite know which article you are referring to, but if it is the one attacking Moshe Machover then it is clear that it is anti-Semitic in its own terms. Ahmedinajad didn’t just criticise the hypocrisy of the holocaust industry. No one disagrees with that. What he did was question whether the holocaust actually happened, a very different thing and that of course plays into the hands of the Zionists who, if holocaust denial didn’t exist, would have to invent it.

But Atzmon has gone further in supporting the Iranian regime, as has his mentor Israel Shamir.

You are referring to the debate of Atzmon vs Aaronovitch, organised by the Sunday Times. Of course the right-wing in this country have every interest in painting Atzmon as some kind of representative of anti-Zionists, because it is then easy to brand anti-Zionism as anti-Semitic. In fact Atzmon does nothing whatsoever in terms of support for the Palestinians, except for the odd charity gig. He has no clout. The point is that he walked all over Aaronovitch because the latter is such a right-wing hypocrite. If you are going to criticise Atzmon’s anti-Semitism, which should be criticised, then you don’t do it from the perspective of supporting a war which killed more than a million people. If you criticise one form of racism, anti-Semitism, you don’t hold hands with another form, of racism, anti-Muslim racism, which Nick Cohen, also on the platform, supports.

To answer your last question. Anti-Zionism cannot become anti-Semitism other than by rejecting anti-Zionism.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the detailed response. I do recall coming across a thread here in which you were more specific in your analysis of Atzmon's beliefs.

I understand your point about the history of Holocaust denial.

Let me ask you another question though, is it acceptable to to question how many people died? Can someone ask questions about the widely accepted account of the Holocaust *without* being called antisemitic? Or 'deniers'?

I get the connection between denying and Nazism, but do you really think all the people out there who are skeptical - are closet-Nazis?

I think anti-Zionism certainly opens the door to lots of questions dealing with Jewish identity and power.

You have 'the Holocaust Industry' for example. This doesn't question the account, but deals with the exploitation of the Holocaust.

Then you have the Israel lobby. There's also a book I'm beginning to read now, by Albert Lindemann, called 'Esau's Tears'.

What is antisemitism? Do you believe Jews are a 'race'? Or that antisemitism is a form of 'racism'? Like an antisemitic person would 'hate on' Jews in the same way a anti-Black person would hate on Blacks?

Maybe these questions seem weird. But I don't care. This is an important issue IMO.

So antisemites 'racialize' Jewish identity? Like they chalk up something a Jew does to DNA?

That then, I would agree is a form of racism.

What do you think of Kevin MacDonald then?

Can you critique his work or link me to your writings if you've already done so?

Check out this review of Esau's Tears, by him.

http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/LindemannReview.htm

What do you think?

I mean, you wrote a lot in your reply but for such a big problem, you described antisemitism as "simply" [such and such].

But if Jewishness is an identity, that is borne out of socialization, then it's not inherent right?

Tony Greenstein said...

To respond to the latest batch of queries:

i. It's perfectly acceptable to query how many Jews (& others) were murdered/exterminated. It has been done by many people who don't deny there was a holocaust. E.g. Raul Hilberg, in his ground breaking book 'The Destruction of European Jews' estimates it at 5.1 million. But the question is why the numbers are being challenged? If it is to show there was no deliberate attempt at extermination then yes its part of the holocaust denial agenda, if it is because people genuinely wish to find out, as accurately as possible how many died that is another matter entirely.

Anti-semitism is a form of racism directed at Jews. Hatred, discrimination, the belief that they do not belong where they live and should go to Israel for example, are all forms of anti-Semitism. Or the belief that all Jews form one nation/race is another example. Or the world conspiracy theory which underpins anti-Semitic groups, again focussing on the machinations of one single Jewish nation/race is anti-semitic. So you see that Zionism also shares a lot in common with anti-semitism ideologically.

But no, Jews are not a race.

Racism isn't simply a matter of DNA. That is an extreme biological version and yes, many Zionists invest much energy in 'proving' that all Jews have more in common DNA wise than they do with non-Jews.

There is religious and cultural racism, racism based on colour or immigration/origin. racism takes many forms.

Everything I know about Kevin MacDonald, a professor of psychology at California State University is that he is a white supremacist and racist who subscribes to a version of the Jewish conspiracy theory, that being Jewish is part of a group evolutionary strategy to compete for resources etc.

I think what he argues for is complete twaddle. There are very good social, political and economic reasons why Jews may be concentrated in certain professions and areas, not least anti-Semitism. It has nothing of course to do with Zionism.

Yes if something like Jewish identity is born our social and historical experiences, the political environment Jews found themselves in, then it isn't inherent. The ZIonists consciously aimed to create a 'New Jew' in Palestine who wouldn't be the typical stereotype of the physically weak, supplicant, fearful etc. Jew of the diaspora. These were in any case racist stereotypes but the Zionists proceeded on the basis that if they engaged in colonising another peoples' land then they would quickly adopt the characteristics of a persecutor. In that they were right!

goodwin sands said...

Kevin MacDonald voluntarily gave testimony on David Irving's behalf as part of the Irving trial in 2000, which should tell you all you need to know about him.

Tony is right, you have to look at the motivation for asking the question.

There are really two groups asking the question "how many Jews were killed by the Nazis." One is the historians, and after study after study they have settled on a number around six million. (Hilberg's number is considered low.) Among historians this number is considered quite valid.

Then there are the faux historians of the Holocaust - a movement that started among neo-Nazis and self-declared anti-Semites - whose central argument is that the Holocaust was to a large degree a Jewish fraud, and who assert, contrary to the facts, that the figure of six million is the center of a hot dispute.

At first, when Holocaust denial was purely of the right, the culprits of the fraud were "Judeo-Bolsheviks." But there has been an effort among anti-Semites of the left (and here I include Gilad Atzmon) to retell the narrative with the culprits being "the Zionists" to make it more palatable among those anti-Zionists who are sloppy on the topic of Jews and Zionists.

The linkage between the two sides can be seen in the fact that they repeat the same bogus arguments; the arguments in the pro-Holocaust denial essay Atzmon sent out with his imprimatur a few years back uses exactly the same arguments about "the gas chambers couldn't work like that" that Ernst Zündel used in the 1990s.

A more recent example of Atzmon trying to spin the "there has a conspiracy to mislead you about the Holocaust" line is here:

http://www.pacificfreepress.com/news/1/5241-stealing-and-reclaiming-arbeit-macht-frei.html

I think anyone with clear eyesight and even the most rudimentary knowledge of the Holocaust denial movement can see exactly what Atzmon is doing here: "I will repeat the arguments of the Holocaust deniers intended to undermine the historicity of the Holocaust, I will not repeat their refutations even when I know them (the reconstructed gas chamber is clearly identified as such), but if you ask me to actually take responsibility in any way what I wrote I will wave you off by saying 'I am not interested in discussing history' -- but of course I will only declare that *after* I have delivered the payload of Holocaust denial rhetoric, which is the intent of the piece."

Distributing the Holocaust denial essay was really the turning point for Atzmon, who had long been playing games flirting with anti-Semitic rhetoric but with this one was so obviously so far over the line that only the Mary Rizzos of the world could continue to stand by him. And Atzmon has spiraled downward since then, as that recent article shows, and as he feels the need to say increasingly outrageous things in order to recapture the attention he's lost as a center of controversy.

Tony Greenstein said...

Goodwin is right to divide those debating numbers into two categories - those who are interested in knowing, for the sake of historical accuracy, just how many Jews were murdered. Just as historians today argue about how many were killed in the slave trade and numbers here diverge between about 7 and 14 million.

Hanna Arendt I believe settled on a figure of about 4.9 million but it is question of motivation. If your purpose is to suggest that there was no deliberate and planned extermination, that those Jews who died were 'merely' the victim of typhus, malnutrition, cold etc. then you can accept 3-400,000 without any problem but not a figure that runs into millions.

I think Jeff Blankfort, an Atzmon devotee, put it best on 23/24.6.05 in a long correspondence we had:

'Now, while it may have been the intention, stated or not, of many of the Nazi leaders to exterminate all the Jews, the fact that close to a million who were in the hands of the Third Reich survived, would seem to indicate that (1) either that was not the plan or (2) it was the plan but the Germans were very inefficient in carrying it out.... while the answer might have been number (2) the evidence for number (1) seems to be closer to the truth.

....

I do not believe there was any official Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews because had there been, there would not have been close to a million left alive. The absence of such a plan does not in my mind, mitigate in any way the proven crimes of the Nazis...'

Where I don't agree with Goodwin is his statement that there is a Holocaust of the right and left, with Atzmon belonging to the latter.

There is nothing 'left-wing' about Atzmon. Quite the contrary. In his attacks on the Bund and class-war, his description of the latter' program is 'theft'. Goodwin appears to have missed the following essay, also obtainable on the Redress list as well as Atzmon's own: http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/gilad-atzmon-swindlers-list.html

In the said article he writes:
'For the last 60 years, Moses’s call for theft has been put into a legal praxis. The Israeli looting of Palestinian cities, homes, fields and wells found its way into the Israeli legal system....

Bundists believe that instead of robbing Palestinians we should all get together and rob whoever is considered to be the rich, the wealthy and the strong in the name of working class revolution. … On the face of it, robbing the rich, confiscating their homes and grabbing their wealth is seen as an ethical act within the progressive discourse.

Robbery cannot be the way forward, whether it is Palestinians, Iraqis, world banking or even the Tsar himself that is being robbed. Robbing involves a categorical dismissal of the other…. The Jewish nationalist would rob Palestine in the name of the right of self-determination, the Jewish progressive is there to rob the ruling class and even international capital in the name of world working class revolution. I better stay out of it.'

What Atzmon is saying here is quite simple. He dismisses any colonial explanation of Israel saying that is too simple, it lets Jews off the hook. Israeli and Zionist theft of land has nothing to do with how colonialism has always behaved but because it was the Jewish component of being Israeli that caused it. Presumably the Protestants of Ulster and the American settlers also shared the same Jewish characteristics.

But either way there is nothing 'left' in this. And since the comparison with the term 'left' is wrong, the subsequent comparisons between him and the right are therefore irrelevant.

Tony Greenstein said...

I wouldn't place so much emphasis on his 'Stealing and Reclaiming Arbeit Macht Frei'. His statement that 'Some historians debate as to the original function of the ruined gas chambers. I would save myself from commenting on the subject. First, I am not a historian.' http://www.pacificfreepress.com/news/1/5241-stealing-and-reclaiming-arbeit-macht-frei.html
i.e. raising doubts about what the purpose of the gas chambers were, is not new with Atzmon.

E.g. in his Holocaust politics in the service of Anglo-American hegemony he also wrote:
'I am not a Holocaust scholar nor am I a historian. My primary interest is not the story of Auschwitz nor the destruction of European Jewry…. I do not wish to enter the debate regarding the truth of the Holocaust.'

Yes Atzmon is still in the business of making hints as to what his real opinions are whilst decrying responsibility because he is not a historian. As if you need to be a historian to know that the slave trade, holocaust, rwandan genocide etc. occurred.

So I don't accept there's been any recent turning point. Rather people have got wise to Atzmon, because of the effort of those of us who have made the arguments loud and clear to those who might have been dazzled by Atzmon. He is, as Goodwin says, history.

As should be now known, although they won't comment publicly, and her site says absolutely nothing, Rizzo and Atzmon are no longer a piece.

joe90 kane said...

It's always good to hear from Goodwin Sands.

I'd just like to point out that some people have been saying that they have been unable to leave comments on the anti-Palestine Sick Tank. It looks like they have been deliberately prevented from making comments critical of the non-entities, or 'editors' (as they like to call themselves) who run this website.

Once upon a time, the crime of 'gatekeeping' was Mary Bizarro's personal paranoid antisemitic obsessesion. How times change, or don't. Now she is openly censoring criticism as well as supporting anti-Palestinian dictatorships which are engaged in physically attacking Palestinian solidarity in Egypt.

This should come as no surprise to those familiar with Mary Bizarro's wierd interpretation as to what constitutes 'solidarity' - which has always involved attacking those involved in Palestinian solidarity who don't agree with her antisemitism.

I could go on.

All the best

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarifications Tony, your second response to me was illuminating and I'm thankful you took the time to go through my questions.

I bought 2 books of MacDonald (Culture of Critique, and A People That Shall Dwell Alone).

He has some videos on YouTube as well.

I haven't read either book yet (just got them). But does he talk about 'Jewish DNA'?

There's a YouTube vid in which he talks about 'Jews' (I'm assuming he means European Jews?) having a higher IQ and blah blah.

The part of his analysis that intrigued me was the non-racial stuff though (I guess he does have a racial perspective?). Like he spoke about the cohesiveness of the Jewish community and how political they were because of how badly they were treated.

His review of Lindemann's book (Esau's Tears) was basically an affirmation (from his - MacDonald's) of his views (save for one thing, if I recall).

I don't know.

There are some radio interviews on YouTube where the interviewers seem racist and White Supremacist (like they talk about how 'you know, we wouldn't have bent to the will of a Muslim country if it weren't for our current ME' or stuff like that).

But I don't consider MacDonald to be a supremacist (just based on those interviews).

Although, if we talk about 'white interests' as opposed to 'black interests' - couldn't we agree that in MacDonald's case, his camp is more reactionary? Or 'exclusionary' maybe.

Basically, he says all groups have interests, why shouldn't 'Whites' as well? And it doesn't have to be motivated by racism per se.

I think you could make the same argument in I-P that a right of return would change Israel and the Jewish citizens wouldn't want to give up their majority.

(I don't agree w/ either really.)

I know what you meant about 'racism' btw even tho Jews aren't a race.

I figured grouping Jews together as some monolith, and implying there is something 'inherent' to Jewishness (like 'deceptiveness') would be obvious antisemitism.

I think the group evolutionary stuff sounds interesting though.

The DNA stuff bothers me though. My perspective is that these identities are man-made.

And that the community builds it up and keeps it going.

Also, on the issue of antisemitism, I do think Lindemann is correct when he says that often the material written on antisemitism is basically shallow.

Just think of 9/11 and how we wondered 'why' 'the Muslims' hated us?

It doesn't make the ends acceptable, but it is important to understand why. (again, it in no way makes anything done to the victim, acceptable)

Goodwin Sands said...

If Mary Rizzo is preventing some comments from going through, and letting through posts like this

http://palestinethinktank.com/2010/01/05/deconstructing-simon-wiesenthal/#comment-14362

from Mark Weber, the head of the Holocaust denial organization IHR, or this

http://palestinethinktank.com/2009/09/07/2-views-on-norman-finkelsteins-putting-zionism-off-limits-in-the-debate/#comment-14370

which destroys itself in its first four words, then one can only conclude that however it is that Mary conceives the mission of her site, criticism of Mary Rizzo does not fit into it but Holocaust denial does, and that should cause anyone who is not an avowed anti-Semite to walk away.

Goodwin Sands said...

I should also add that, youre quite correct, Tony, Atzmon is not of the left, but it is the language of left he's exploiting in order to smuggle into left discourse the forms of anti-Semitism which by their nature belong and began on the right.

Tony Greenstein said...

I don't confess to know a lot about Kevin MacDonald. But if he argues there are white interests, or Jewish interests etc. then he is a racist. Society isn't divided into 'races' but classes. The poor and the rich. We are pretty much snowbound here in Brighton, UK and the great worry is for the homeless. It's not a great worry for New Labour or investment bankers however since homelessness is the price we pay for capitalism. So where is the 'white' interest in all of this, other than to describe the colour of snow?

To respond to Goodwin. I'm glad we are agreed that Atzmon is not of the left, because it was the major disagreement I had with Steve Cohen, who was as dedicated and since an anti-racist as I've ever met, although we didn't see eye to eye on Zionism.

To me, if you are on the Left then that means that you subscribe to the notion of class, material forces, change in the way society is run, production for use not profit etc. If you are on the Right then race and nation is a key category. And the right of the rich and powerful to remain that way should not be tampered with. And those who talk of nationalisation or social control of wealth production are merely spouting the 'politics of envy' or as Atzmon puts it, are engaged in theft.

Atzmon has at times used radical rhetoric and talked of colonialism etc. but in such a way as you instantly knew these were just words being bandied around. Indeed when he has argued the point it was always been that Zionism is not a colonial movement and nor is Israel a settler colonial state. On this Rizzo agrees 100%.

Thanks for the references. Having skimmed them I would say this. Mark Weber is a well-known holocaust denier and what Rizzo has done is in effect to allow the posting on her site of an article from the Journal of Historical Review. Because the site is moderated, she therefore had to give positive approval to the posting of an article from the leading journal of holocaust denial. Whilst, of course, at the same time as censoring my own comments. The inferences to be drawn from that are inexorable!

The debate over Finkelstein is different. I have also tackled Finkelstein over his support for 2 states as being 'practical'. Finkelstein is politically schizophrenic - he is both the hardest and sharpest anti-Zionist critic, as with the Joan Peters 'From Time Immemorial' book and his savaging of Daniel Goldhagen's 'Hitler's Willing Executioners' as well as The Holocaust Industry. And then he rolls over into suggesting that the Palestine question is really one of human rights. It is the effect of Noam Chomsky's politics - yes he is still a Judah Magnes bi-nationalist Zionist, at a time when virtually all other adherents have long since passed away.

Goodwin Sands said...

Actually my concern with the second link was not about Finkelstein (whom I tend to put him in the same category as Galloway, unable to make a point without undoing it thirty seconds later) but rather the open embrace of the 'Khazar' displacement racial theology whereby Ashkenazi Jews are derided as 'impostors' and 'not Jews.' It's a ridiculous position, racist to the core, which derives from the racist Christian far-right in the US and their version of British Israelism - but has been taken aboard by people like Atzmon and his few remaining minions for its usefulness in attacking Jews.

Anonymous said...

I've never been able to determine what Chomsky thinks about BDS, because sometimes he seems supportive and then other times he does not.

I recently saw a YouTube video of him in which he responded to a Jewish activist (who is from Jews against the Occupation or some organization with a similar name) about BDS.

He said there are 'worse' (i put in quotes because really, I don't see the point in comparing. people will care about issues that intellectually or emotionally connect w/ them) conflicts than Israel.

that struck me as a thing a Zionist would say.

in fact, chomsky has often said similar things but in reverse (when he's being apologetic about a crime of a group the US doesn't like)

so when he did that one and only appearance on buckley's show in the late 60s i think, he was basically defending the vietcong in a 'relative' sense.

at other times he's basically used soft language on murderous actions of groups who are recognized to be enemy entities by the US and it's allies. not necessarily because he supports them, but because he sees an overall point in not focusing on their crimes as opposed to the US

i agree cuz while Palestinian violence has been terroristic often, they are still the oppressed and they are fighting against colonialism - that would be the overall character of their resistance. however i still concede there are many instances when innocent israelis have died

but chomsky bringing up 'other worse conflicts' seems like a very asinine point to make to a Jewish activist who is from a group with a name along the lines of "jews against the blah blah bad Zionist thing blah blah"

sure, there are probably worse things, but OBVIOUSLY we're especially responsible for this conflict right?

i mean, CHOMSKY has even made that argument

he often says that HIS critics deride him for criticizing the US so much - and not let's say...China

and he says, that he as an AMerican should criticize things he has a stake in and may be responsible for

i agree

yet, he makes that lame comment about Israel

and then that stupid notion of 'academic freedom'

illan pappe basically summarized my feelings on the people in the west quibbling over BDS due to 'academic freedom'

he said, 'dont give us that bullshit about academic freedom when a few miles from your finest universities, students cannot go to school, teachers are locked up in jail, etc.'

i mean really, it seems like chomsky was to treat israel with kid gloves even NOW after all that's happened in the past 8 years alone

and finkelstein IMO is self-destructive. like a defeatist i guess? when will there be another march like the Gaza March? why leave like that?

its about the Palestinians, it's their call - but he left. so what happens next?

its a shame, i guess Fink will wait til the next massacre to possible set his ego aside again? (sorry for the rant)