In Radio Interview Atzmon Refuses to Answer a simple question 'Did the Holocaust Occur' -
'I'm not a historian' he replies!
You may recall that I covered the strange story of an Atzmon interview with Sammi Ibrahim of Unity FM a month ago. I was asked to wait to develop my point until after the break but I was left hanging on. Having now had a chance to listen to the recordings of the interviews on Atzmon’s own site I heard a few more things that I had missed. When Sammy asked me to call back Atzmon responded, though it was cut off immediately after that ‘If he comes back I’ll’ You can fill in the words yourself!
But more interestingly I missed the questioning of Atzmon by Sami, 4:44 into the second tape, Atzmon is asked if the holocaust occurred. Does he respond with a direct answer? Of course not. If he thought it did occur he would have not problem answering but instead he resorted to saying he wasn’t a historian.
Now this is really plumbing the depths, even for Atzmon. Do you have to be a historian to for example believe that there was a Nakba and that Palestinians were expelled by Israeli settlers? Or to believe in the slave trade, the murder of 10m Africans in the Belgian Congo?
It is of course absurd. You don’t need to be a historian to have an opinion as Atzmon himself amply demonstrates. What this proves is that Atzmon is indeed someone for whom there is doubt about the holocaust and I would argue that it goes much further and that this is a paper thin device for holocaust denial.
Unfortunately Sami Ibrahim, not being a professional interviewer, failed to land the killer punch. Instead of asking what why the Palestinians deserved to be visited with the consequences of what happened in the holocaust he should have asked a much simpler question:
'Why Gilad Atzmon do you believe that supporting the attempts of neo-Nazis to pretend the holocaust never happened ('free speech') helps the Palestinians?'
'Why GA do you compare the silencing of neo-Nazis to the silencing of Palestinians? Surely the obvious comparison is between the suffering of the Jews of Europe and that of the Palestinians'
And when I complained about what had happened when Atzmon bottled it, I received a promise it would be looked into and then... nothing.
I instead received an e-mail today saying that unless I took down my original blog article then presumably nothing would be done. I’ve amended the article to make it clear that Sammy Ibrahim does not run the station, but I have no intention of rewriting history.
Confrontation with Atzmon on Unity FM
SI: Tony I’m coming to an advert, sorry, just one second Gilad, I’m coming to an advert. Can you call back Tony Can u call back to me tony I’m doing an advert.
GA: If he comes back I’ll.... (25:44 to end of first tape)
SI: [4:24] But my question to you is did you question the holocaust?
GA: I believe, I believe that....
SI: Did the holocaust take place?
GA: I do not address this question because I’m not a historian. I’m very concerned with the fact that in many European countries we cannot address the issue openly. I’m very concerned with the fact that even in this country we cannot discuss this issue openly. Just 10 minutes ago we heard Tony (Greenstein) equating people asking questions about the past with earth flatteners [flat earthers – TG!]
I don’t like this form of discourse where certain parts of our past are excluded. As you probably know, for many years, we couldn’t discuss the Nakba, it was a big struggle and to deal with this issue openly, I think we are doing very well on that front, and I think that we must be able to address major ethical and historical questions to do with world war 2.
SI: What did the Palestinians do in WW2 to deserve the Nakba?
Re: Atzmon on Unity FM Radio tonight
From: Studio UnityFM
To: tony greenstein
Before taking this any further, I would first like for you to remove the blog you have regarding Unity FM radio station because Sami is not the person in charge of it nor does he run it. If there is something going on between you and Sami or Atzmon then please don't involve Unity FM in your disagreements. I would really appreciate it, then we can go on to the next step.
I look forward to your response.
On Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 2:45 AM, tony greenstein <email@example.com> wrote:
Hussein & Sami
I am surprised that after more than a month I have received no feedback on what happened when Atzmon was interviewed and I was barred from continuing to question him. Especially when in the 2nd session you said there were no callers when I was on the line.
I know now that Atzmon threatened to walk out if he was subject to the debate he goes on so much about so I am repeating my offer - to come on to the programme and explain why anti-Semitism has no place in Palestine solidarity.
Thank you for your email. I will have a look into this and deal with it accordingly, meanwhile, if there is anything else please feel free to contact us.
On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 6:16 PM, tony greenstein <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I don't know whether anyone else tried to phone in but I did and got in briefly before being interrupted for the adverts and then wasn't brought back despite the presenter Sami's promises to do so as it was decided by Sami to turn it into an interview rather than a phone in programme. In short it was a disgraceful showcase for Atzmon's pernicious views.