Monday, 28 November 2011

Atzmon & Friends Declare War on the Palestine Solidarity Movement





Abandon BDS - It's the Jews Who Are the Enemy - Gilad Atzmon

For the past 6 years, a number of us have been warning about the danger posed to the Palestine Solidarity movement by Gilad Atzmon, an ex-Israeli jazz player, and the small group of people around him. Four years ago we introduced a motion at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign AGM to formally dissociate ourselves from Atzmon and the Deir Yassin Group, led by holocaust denier Paul Eisen. Unfortunately PSC dismissed our fears and the motion was heavily defeated. Today they are having to face up to the consequences of that decision.

Atzmon has just brought out a book The Wandering Who? which brings all his ‘ideas’ and quack philosophy together in one work, well nearly all of them. For an excellent analysis of Atzmon's spurious use of philosophy, see Gabriel Ash's article Commentary on the “Philosophical Thinking” of Gilad Atzmon.

It has attracted support from a number of academics and the less discerning Palestinian intellectuals. This is a support that some are going to regret.

At the heart of Atzmon’s dense prose is a very simple idea. The cause of the Palestinians' dispossesion lies in the nature of Jews per se rather than Zionism. Israel behaves as it does, not because it is a settler-colonial state sponsored by the West, but because it is a ‘Jewish’ State, the manifestation of the Jewish spirit and Jewishness.

The rise of Atzmon is the product of the Zionist movement which is now rubbing its hands with glee at the confusion and disruption which Atzmon's acolytes are causing. As every Palestine solidarity activist will confirm, for years Zionists have attacked supporters of the Palestinians and opponents of Zionism as ‘anti-Semitic’ – they even invented a ‘new anti-Semitism’ and tried foisting a false definition of anti-Semitism, the EUMC Working Definition, in place of the commonly understood usage of the term.

It is the classic case of the boy who cried wolf. As I warned in the Big Questions programme, when Zionists associate Jews with Israel’s atrocities, they must bear the blame for the resultant anti-Semitism.

It is not surprising that some activists have taken the message and inverted it. Instead of challenging the Zionist argument that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are the same, they have drawn the conclusion that if the price of supporting the Palestinians is being anti-Semitic then that was a price they would pay. Yet this is a false choice that Zionism wants people to adopt. Zionism historically is a product of anti-Semitism and has welcomed anti-Semitism. Without anti-Semitism there would be no Zionism. As the founder of Political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, wrote in his Diaries (p.6):

‘In Paris..., I achieved a freer attitude towards anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all, recognise the emptiness and futility of trying to 'combat' anti-Semitism.’

In his new book, The Wandering Who? Atzmon spells out the implications of his argument:

‘Zionism is not a colonial movement with an interest in Palestine,… (it is) a global movement that is fuelled by a unique tribal solidarity of third category members. To be a Zionist means to accept that, more than anything else, one is primarily a Jew.’

Zionism is no different from being Jewish. This is exactly what the Zionists also say. Atzmon merely adds his own conspiracy theory.

In an interview with Silvia Cattori, Atzmon expands on his thesis:

The “Left” likes the colonial paradigm because it locates Zionism nicely within their ideology. It also leads us to believe that the colonial/post-colonial political model provides some answers and even operative solutions; following the colonial template, we first equate Israel with South Africa, and then we implement a counter-colonial strategy, such as the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions).
… BDS has not in fact, led to any metamorphic change within Israeli society. If anything, it has led to further intensified radicalisation within the right in Israel. Why has the BDS not worked yet? The answer is simple: It is because Israel is not at all entirely a colonial entity… its power and ties with the West are maintained by the strongest lobbies around the world. So, if the Left wants to stop Israel for real, then it must openly question the notion of Jewish Power and its role within Western politics and media.’


The Palestinians are ‘victims of a unique global political identity, namely the third category people who transformed the Holy Land into a Jewish bunker.’ (WH p.21)



Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

It couldn't be clearer. Israel is a product of Jews, as Jews, not Zionism or colonialism. Atzmon is arguing that because Israel is not a settler-colonial state, BDS will not work, indeed it is counterproductive, because it will only lead to a further strengthening of the Right in Israel. Yet a moment’s thought and one will recall similar arguments against imposing sanctions on South Africa by Thatcher & Regan. It would strengthen the Right. We should rely on White liberals. It would hurt the victims.

That is why 170 grassroots Palestinian organisations came together in 2005 to form the BDS National Committee.

Despite protestations, Atzmon has never supported BDS, hence why many suspect his bona fides and motives. In an interview with Mary Rizzo he explained that:
‘interfering with academic freedom isn’t exactly something I can blindly advocate. … I am against any form of gatekeeping or book burning. But it goes further, I actually want to hear what Israelis and Zionists have to say. I want to read their books. I want to confront their academics.… I believe that the best way around it is to support freedom of speech categorically…’
When BDS activists disrupted the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra Atzmon’s sent me the following e-mail (Thursday, 22 September 2011, 17:00):
‘We loved your opposition and we also loved your Jewish campaign against the Jewish philharmony is never boring you :)’
and later the same night Atzmon explained his hostility to the Albert Hall action. We weren't PS activists, 'merely anti-Zionists.':
‘Do you really think that BDS enthusiasts are blind to your Judeo centric actions and motivations? How are you going to protect Pls artists from similar Zionist actions... tragically, you are not Pls solidarity campaigners, you are merely anti Zionists.’
Maybe ¼ to 1/3 of those taking part in the IPO disruption were Jewish or affiliated to J-Big. Yet here we have an example of how Atzmon seeks to divide the movement between its Jewish and non-Jewish supporters.

It is however a fact that a major factor in the impetus of the Boycott movement has been its support by Jewish people. In the words of the J-Big slogan, they kosher the movement.

An article in the Jewish Chronicle 'Named: boycott ringleaders', 15/06/2007, by Bernard Josephs and Nicole Hazan, shortly after UNISON, Britain's largest public sector trade union voted to support a boycott of all Israeli produce, highlighted the role of Jews in the Boycott movement. In the same edition, the account of the Board of Deputies meeting noted concern about the role of Jews in the BDS movement.
'The JC today identifies the key players in the escalating British campaign to boycott Israel. Our investigation shows that many are Jewish or Israeli, and that they justify their stance as part of the struggle for Palestinian rights and ending Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories. A high proportion are deeply involved in UCU, the University and College Union, which last month sparked an international outcry by voting to facilitate a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Anti-boycott figures suggest that the campaign has been fuelled by a well-organised mix of far-left activists and Islamic organisations. In reality, the main proponents are a loosely knit collection of academics and trade unionists linked to groups such as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Jews for the Boycotting of Israeli Goods, and Bricup, the British Committee for Universities of Palestine. Prof Bresheeth told the JC that a boycott was not an easy decision. “I am Jewish and an Israeli, and I don’t wish harm on either side. But how long can this occupation go on?” Bricup has a large number of Jewish supporters, among them husband and wife Hilary and Steven Rose. Hilary, a professor of social policy at Bradford University, is Bricup’s co-convenor alongside Prof Jonathan Rosenhead. Her husband, an Open University biology professor, is the organisation’s secretary. They have been active in the boycott movement since 2002.'
It is no coincidence that Atzmon has targetted Jewish anti-Zionists at the same time as there has been an unprecedented outburst of Jewish opposition to Zionism and support for BDS. In the United States, Jewish Voices for Peace, which has now adopted BDS, has over 100,000 supporters.

Worse than Hitler? Absurd Exaggerations Can Only Harm the Case Against Zionism

Zionism is bad enough as it is without needing to exaggerate. It has expelled approximately one million Palestinians, holds another 3.5 million under a military occupation and treats its own Arab citizens as temporary guests. To say Israel is 'as bad as Hitler' is to weaken not strengthen the Palestinian cause. Everyone (bar holocaust deniers) knows that Israel hasn't begun exterminating Palestinians. That isn't to say that a significant section of the religious sector in particular wouldn't like to do so. But Israel's program is expulsion/transfer not extermination.

Atzmon is on record as stating that “to regard Hitler as the wickedest man and the Third Reich as the embodiment of evilness is to let Israel off the hook’ because Nazi Germany… (at least) were trying to take towns and land intact.’ Beyond Comparison This is but one example of Atzmon's ignorance. The Nazis did indeed destroy Belgrade (& Warsaw). They intended to destroy Moscow. They intended to starve to death 30 million Russians. Is Israel really worse than this? These absurd comparisons are ahistorical, factually wrong and designed to discredit those who adopt them. As someone who isn't shy to compare Israeli behaviour to that of the Nazis, it is important to get it right when you make such comparisons, not to wield them widely as a form of abuse.

Nor is Israel uniquely evil. At the same time as Israel was murdering some 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza in 2008/9, the Sri Lankan military were murdering an estimated 20,000 Tamils and setting up concentration camps to further brutalise the survivors. Was the Sinhalese government of Sri Lanka also 'worse than Hitler'?

The Sinhalese majority are Buddhist. Is Buddhism therefore merely a cover for genocidal intent and racist barbarities? And was Protestantism in Northern Ireland responsible for the sectarian outrages against Catholics in what was termed by Prime Minister Lords Craig and Craigavon ‘A Protestant Parliament for a Protestant People’?

Was there something especially cruel about American settlers or Australian convicts which led them to exterminate the indigenous population? Isn't this argument rather reminiscent of that of Zionist Daniel Goldhagen's execrable 'Germans: Hitler's Willing Executioners' which placed the blame for the holocaust on the cruelty of Germans as Germans?

As my ‘Guide to the anti-Semitic jazzman Gilad Atzmon’ demonstrates, Gilad Atzmon is deeply anti-Semitic. He subscribes to every myth and libel that has ever been written about Jews, from the world Jewish conspiracy theory, to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to the holocaust itself. No relic from the medieval sewer is too filthy for Atzmon to grasp at. The Bolsheviks were funded by Jewish capitalists in order to foment revolution! According to the young Atzmon the medieval Blood Libel may be true:
“It seems I didn’t learn the necessary lesson because when we studied the middle age blood libels, I again wondered out loud how the teacher could know that these accusations of Jews making Matza out of young Goyim’s blood were indeed empty or groundless.” [Wandering Who, p.185, Epilogue]
Atzmon’s and Friends Set Out to Destabilise the Palestine Solidarity Movement

Historically the Zionist movement has sought to associate anti-Zionists and supporters of the Palestinians with ‘anti-Semitism’. Atzmon is determined to prove the truth of such allegations. Some people have suggested that Atzmon, like his friend Israel Shamir, is an Israeli state agent. One thing is clear. He is worth his weight in gold to Israel’s hasbara. If he isn’t being paid by Shin Bet then he has a good case for unpaid wages, because every time he opens his mouth the Zionist find it difficult to contain their glee.

The work of PSC Branches and activists, up and down the country, has been disrupted by Atzmon and his supporters. Everywhere they seek to divert effort from BDS and solidarity work to ‘the Jews’. Everywhere they fail, but not without causing significant disruption.

Harry’s Place, the notoriously racist anti-Muslim site, which shares a common agenda with the English Defence League, is besides itself with glee at the work of Atzmon. For example in an article Gill Kaffash, The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Camden Council and Gilad Atzmon the utterances of Gill Kaffash, the newly resigned Secretary of Camden PSC, are spelt out.

Yet the increasingly deranged Lauren Booth, who all of us respected at the time of the Iraq War for speaking out against her war criminal brother-in-law, is happy to supply the Zionists with further copy. In Palestine Solidarity Campaign in unholy alliance with Israeli mouthpiece and UK Zionist website Booth has this to say:
‘Gill Kafesh, until recently the popular secretary of the Camden branch of the PSC, was “asked to resign by a small group, who made the decision at a special meeting” this autumn. On Harry’s Place, Kafesh is listed as (guess what?) “a supporter of Holocaust denial”. She denies the slur.’
She may well deny ‘the slur’. Nonetheless it is true. In an article ‘My Life as a Holocaust Denier’ Paul Eisen recalls that when he ‘came out’ as a holocaust denier he was disowned by most people ‘but there were some who openly and repeatedly demonstrated their solidarity e.g. Dan McGowan, Henry Herskovitz, Gilad Atzmon, Sarah Gillespie, Israel Shamir, Francis Clark-Lowes, Gill Kaffash, Amjad Taha, Randa Hamwi Duwaji, Cambridge PSC, Rosemary Ernshaw, Fr. Michael Prior RIP, Ernst Zündel; Ingrid Rimland.’

In fact some of those on it – Rosemary Ernshaw and Fr. Michael Prior – were never supporters of Eisen and holocaust denial. Others like neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel and his wife Rimland certainly were. But also there is one Gill Kaffash. When I first saw this article, written in January 2008, I filed it away knowing that it made a number of false claims about people.

However in correspondence on 28th April 2011 Gill Kaffash, in an e-mail to activists stated that ‘Gilad Atzmon is very clear what he means by Jewishness. Come and hear him’. Debbie Fink took exception to the term ‘Jewishness’. In her response of 2nd May Kaffash complained that no one had explained to her why Atzmon was anti-Semitic. So on the same day I posted her an e-mail explaining that Eisen was a self-declared holocaust denier and cited Atzmon's holocaust denial comments and the relevant quotations. On 7th May I reminded Kaffash that she had requested an explanation as to why Atzmon was anti-Semitic and yet she had gone unusually quiet. And so it was to be. When push comes to shove she has nothing (worthwhile) to say.

On 10th April 2011 I wrote to PSC Executive, referring them to e-mail discussions on the Brighton & Hove PSC list when Francis Clarke-Lowes had declared himself to be a holocaust denier. It should be pointed out that the reaction of local members of PSC to Lowe’s utterances were uniformly hostile. On 20th April Lowes was expelled by the officers of Brighton Branch, without any dissent by members.

I have had a number of disagreements with PSC Executive, as readers of this blog will confirm! However the reaction of PSC Executive and their Secretary Ben Soffa to the situation was quick and decisive. Frances Clarke-Lowes was unceremoniously expelled and although he has a right of appeal to the PSC AGM in January there is no doubt whatsoever that that decision will be upheld. In short there is no room at the Palestine Solidarity inn for holocaust or genocide deniers.

Equally welcome was the PSC Executive statement amending PSC's aims to make what was previously implicit, holocaust denial, explicit.

In Bradford there has also been considerable disruption and diversion of energy as a result of the local Raise Your Banners group, once considered on the left, hosting Gilad Atzmon. It was originally booked at the Bradford Cathedral, but owing to slow sales of tickets was moved to a smaller venue. Nick Lowles, editor of the Searchlight anti-fascist magazine, which has previously been extremely supportive of Zionism under Gerry Gable, came out with an extremely fair report of this debacle. PSC distances itself from Raise Your Banners See also GILAD ATZMON: Supporting Holocaust Deniers and spreading hatred of Jews

In Liverpool a Palestinian activist, Nahida, who was once the mainstay of the group, changed almost overnight when she married a sinister Dutchman. Jewish conspiracies took over her life and it was with difficulty that the branch reclaimed its website, which had posted links to her anti-Semitic website (‘Spiders Web’). Nahida wrote that ‘‘With my usual frankness I attempted to defend Atzmon and Eisen, explaining that in the writing of either men, I did not find any evidence supporting the allegations thrown against them i.e anti-Semitism or denial of the Holocaust.’ I commented on the blog explaining why both Atzmon and Eisen were anti-Semitic.

In Birmingham the Chair of Birmingham PSC, who interviewed me a number of times for Unity FM, a Muslim radio station, also became a convert to Atzmonism and holocaust denial. He was soon removed as an officer of the branch.

In Exeter the local Friends of Palestine group at the University held a meeting at which Atzmon was the star speaker. Exeter has been a problem branch for some time, with Roy Ratcliffe one of the most dedicated of Atzmon supporters. See Gilad Atzmon Finds Someone to Defend Him (Roy Ratcliffe)

Naturally Atzmon and friends have fed off the disruption caused like vultures feeding off carrion. In a ‘review’ of David Landy’s new book 'Jewish Identity & Palestinian Rights - Diaspora Jewish Opposition to Israel', Atzmon wrote of how
‘In the last few months in the UK, more and more exiled Palestinians and solidarity activists have been kicked out from PSC and other solidarity organisations, thanks to relentless pressure from the so-called ‘Israel Critical Jews’. Francis Clark- -Lowes, former Chair of the National PSC was thrown out of the PSC a few months ago due to demands mounted by the infamous Jewish activist Tony Greenstein. Admired Palestinian poet and writer Nahida Izatt was also cleansed . This time it was no Israeli or a ‘Zionist’ who barred her from her local Palestinian solidarity group - it was a Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist Greg Dropkin who had been harassing her and other intellectuals for years. A similar fate was awaiting Gill Kaffash, an admired London activist, who was asked to resign from being Camden PSC’s Secretary. Sammi Ibrahem, Palestinian activist and radio journalist, originally from Gaza, was Chair of Birmingham PSC – at least he was, until he too was expelled due to Jewish ‘anti’-Zionist pressure.
The ‘Shoah – Palestinian Holocaust’ site , which is run by Atzmon or his devotees, in an article of 23.9.11. Palestine Solidarity Campaign PSC surenderd to Zio-Nazi Harry Place and J lobby pressure we are treated to a series of e-mails describing the plight of the hard pressed anti-Semite and holocaust denier facing expulsion and ostracism in the Palestine solidarity movement.

In his own contribution ‘PSC has made it’ of 23.9.11. Atzmon takes pleasure in the disruption and divisions he is causing. We are told that ‘UK PSC is now approved by the notorious UK hard core Zionist Jewish Chronicle (JC).’ And why? Because PSC had “amended its statement of purpose expressly to include a denunciation of Holocaust denial.” Atzmon purports to being ‘puzzled’.

Atzmon does not even know what holocaust denial can mean. ‘Can one deny’ he asks, 'a historical chapter?' In the course of many e-mails and what purports to be a discussion between Atzmon and myself, one thing I have learnt is that not only is Atzmon far more stupid than he gives himself credit for, but he also has a terrible memory, probably caused by imbibing certain substances. Yet even Atzmon can’t, I asked myself, be that stupid or forgetful.

After all when he performed for the SWP, he actually denied that he was a holocaust denier! He wrote on 21.6.05. that ‘This is to confirm that I am not a Holocaust denier, I have never denied the Nazi Judeocide and I do not have any intentions to do so. For me racism and Nazism are categorically wrong and it is that very realisation that made me into a devoted opponent of Israel and Zionism.’ Even more relevant than Atzmon’s coke ridden brain cells is the simple fact that of course it is possible to deny the holocaust. Just as it is possible to deny the Nakba, the Armenian Genocide and many other similar massacres. Indeed the deniers of the Nakba bear a distinct resemblance to holocaust deniers. Both use outright denial, despite the overwhelming evidence, to justify their barbarities.

Atzmon seems to think it is a sign that PSC has sold out that the Jewish Chronicle reported the fact that PSC had amended its statement of aims on its website to include: "Any expression of racism or intolerance, or attempts to deny or minimise the Holocaust have no place in our movement." Strange that when I would have thought that such an obvious anti-racist statement should have been welcomed.

The fact that PSC has admittedly come under pressure, because of the views held by a tiny minority of its members, doesn’t mean it has caved into Zionist demands. The fact is that holocaust denial is death to Palestine solidarity and PSC are more than aware of this fact. Likewise the fact that the Jewish Chronicle mentioned that ‘the move has been welcomed by Jewish anti-Zionists such as Tony Greenstein.’ should be welcomed. What would be worrying would be if the Zionists were attempting to 'prove' that Atzmon's views represented anyone but himself and a small coterie around him. In particular, it would be worrying if it was seriously suggested that PSC somehow endorses Atzmon. It doesn't and won't.

Putting on his best mask, Atzmon assures that although not a member of PSC ‘I would like the PSC to be strong and effective.’ Yes Gilad, and kosher pigs really do fly!

But the most hysterical and vitriolic of all the contributions comes from one Lauren Booth on 26.11.11. In her article Palestine Solidarity Campaign in unholy alliance with Israeli mouthpiece and UK Zionist website Booth raises a call to arms by the Atzmonites as they realise that the bluff of their supporters has been called. She seems to have been particularly riled by the dissociation by PSC from any support or involvement in the Bradford concert by Atzmon. Booth wrote [Three people in this marriage. The PSC, the JC and Harry’s Place], (26.11.11.)

‘This week, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) revealed itself to be ethically compromised at the highest level.
In recent months it has become clear that the central office of the PSC is increasingly pandering to the whims of Israeli hasbara – or propaganda – activists, joining with the likes of the rabid Zionist site Harry’s Place in efforts to silence some of this movement’s most outspoken and popular thinkers.’

As if this were not bad enough the next section is entitled ‘Sarah Colborne dives into the Zionist sewer. Sarah, who was one of those who was on board the Mavi Marmara, whose testimony at the following press conference was moving to anyone who watched it. She was clearly traumatised by what had happened. It is quite outrageous to describe her as a Zionist. Normally this term of abuse is reserved for Jewish anti-Zionists because they are Jewish. For opposing anti-Jewish racism, Ms Colborne has been branded a Zionist. Thus proving the very point we have been making.

It used to be the case that the National Front and Greater Britain Movement would attack 'Zionists' when they meant 'Jews'. 'Zionist' was a code word. Today they don't bother doing that. Instead they leave the really heavy anti-semitic lifting to Gilad Atzmon and his useful idiot, Lauren Booth.

According to Booth, ‘this is not the first but the most recent in a shameful spate of expulsions and harassment of pro-Palestinian activists by the national office of the PSC.’ The problem, apparently, is that ‘They [PSC] are attempting to create a pro-Palestinian organization that does not hurt Zionist sensibilities.’ And the result? They have ended up ‘In bed with the Islamophobic Zionist Harry’s Place’.

I mention this because I, more than anyone, have been critical of PSC because of its diplomatic orientation and its refusal to condemn Abbas and the Palestinian Authority or clearly come out against Histadrut or make a firm commitment in favour of a one-state, secular and democratic Palestine. However there is nothing that Booth, the paid scribe of Iran's Press TV mentions that is at all critical of PSC's political positions. Booth's venomous attack is based on a core racist commitment.

Booth alleges that ‘Sarah Colborne and others have chosen to align with those whose interests lie in silencing debate on the precise nature of apartheid Israel and its root causes.’ It’s a strange accusation, not least because it is untrue. There are many criticisms that can be made of PSC, but this is not one of them.

Apparently the Jewish Chroniclereported gleefully on PSC’s amended mission statement’ which condemned holocaust denial in its own right. I'm pleased it did. That means that whenever anyone doubts PSC's viewpoint on anti-Semitism and the holocaust, they can refer back to the article. One wonders what Booth’s objection could possibly be. But no doubt the erudite half-sister of Cherrie Blair can tell us how holocaust denial is helpful to the Palestinian cause.

The question is what next to do. There is no doubt that the effect of the Zionist libel that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are one and the same has built support for Atzmon, who openly proclaims his anti-Semitism. It is also the case that Atzmon's supporters tend to be Islamists, who have no tools of analysis bar Islam and are therefore prey to Atzmon's subjective analysis. It also represents the despair of those who want to see the liberation of the Palestinians and see no end. There is a natural resentment against British Jews who support the horrific attacks of Israel on the Palestinians (& increasingly even Jewish citizens of Israel - witness the raft of Acts attacking basic democratic rights in Israel).

As Israel Shahak, the former Hebrew University Professor of Chemistry and survivor of Belsen-Bergson and the Warsaw Ghetto remarked, 'The Nazis made me afraid to be a Jew, and the Israelis make me ashamed to be a Jew." To be Jewish at the time of the attack on Gaza indeed made one feel ashamed, when innocent children and civilians were being butchered on the altar of Zionist expansionism. Ashamed at the fact that what was being done was being done in all of our names. But Gaza probably heralded a new stage in the struggle. Certainly in Britain, which contains one of the most devoted Jewish populations, the attendance at the Zionist war meeting in Trafalgar Square (4,000) was a fraction of previous turnouts.

If Atzmon were successful, it would only be to ensure that those Jews breaking from Zionism had second thoughts in view of the hostility to them of the Palestine Solidarity movement. Because the logic of Atzmon and Booth's position is to picket not the Israeli Embassy but the local Jewish kindergarten.

PSC needs to take decisive action to root out, once and for all, those who evince sympathy for racism - of whatever description. And that includes the expulsion of Kaffash and Atzmon's most devoted supporters. This isn't a call for a witch-hunt. It is natural that people will occasionally refer to 'Jews' rather than 'Zionists'. After all that is how Israel justifies its actions. The blurring of the distinction between being Jewish and Zionism is the effect of constant propaganda in this society. But those who evince sympathy with Hitler's aims and fascism or deny that extermination was among his 'achievements' have no place in the Palestine solidarity movement.

It is no accident that nearly all of the far-Right and fascist parties in Europe [bar Hungary's Jobbik and Germany's NPD] are both racist and anti-Semitic and pro-Zionist. Anti-Muslim hatred is more important than anti-Semitism. [See Israel's anti-Semitic Friends]

But there is also a crying need for greater internal education within PSC so that these issues don't continually blow up. E.g. how many people realise that the first Zionists were non-Jewish imperialists or that the descriptions that the Zionists used about Jewish people were even more anti-Semitic than the anti-Semites or that they myths about Zionism, such as that Herzl was converted to Zionism by the Dreyfuss Trial are just that - myths.

But there is also one more thing that can be done. But only Palestinians can do it. Too many Palestinian intellectuals - e.g. Ramzy Baroud and Samir Abed Rabbo - have given comfort to Atzmon and supported his initiatives. Their stupidity beggars beliefs. These are people who are the most privileged Palestinians. They above all should understand that historically Zionism has always been helped by anti-Semitism. Even today, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj al-Amin Husseini, and his support for Hitler, is used to justify Israel and Zionism. The Mufti's stupidity did more to help the Zionist cause than anything the current Netanyahu cabinet could manage. To visit Yad Vashem, the Zionists' propagandistic holocaust memorial museum, one would think that next to Hitler, the Mufti was the major war criminal of Nazi Germany rather than the most minor and pathetically ineffectual individual that he actually was.

Yet Baroud, Rabbo and Makram Khoury-Machool seem determined to learn nothing and forget nothing. I have personally written to a number of progressive and leftist Palestinian intellectuals, such as Joseph Massad (from whom I've heard nothing whatsoever) but it is fair to say that people are keeping their heads down, hoping that things will blow over.

Yet if history teaches one thing it is that racism doesn't go away of its own accord. There is a need for a forthright stance that makes it clear that no one benefits from anti-Semitism in the Palestine solidarity movement as much as the Zionists themselves. Indeed there is no better article on the subject than Joseph Massad's article Semites and anti-Semites, that is the question in Al Ahram of 9.12.04. which is subtitled 'Today the real victims of Western anti-Semitism are Arabs and Muslims.

Tony Greenstein

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

"But there is also a crying need for greater internal education within PSC"
Who the fuck are you to promote those Idea's all you care about is your selfish Narcissistic "pseudo left" desires.
Get back to your hole and leave us alone.

Tony Greenstein said...

I assume that like most of Atzmon's supporters, our anonymous friend doesn't believe in education?

Gert said...

Rather sorry to read this sad stuff about Lauren Booth. I don’t know great deal about her but thought that the erstwhile Press TV program ‘Remember the Children of Palestine’ (now ‘Remember Palestine’, with a different presenter) was really quite interesting. But friends of Atzmon, Eisen et al must be exposed and expelled from any genuine Palestine solidarity movement.

I’ll be reading Joseph Massad’s article shortly. Never seen it before... (I do believe in education, you see?)

Anonymous said...

You write as though Zionists had principles. They don't.

Zionists will attack supporters of the Palestinian people as being "antisemitic" no matter what.

One thing for certain though: the more you appease them, the more they will demand. You could save yourself a lot of trouble by subcontracting anti-Zionism to the Jewish Chronicle or Harrys Place.

If you ostracise Gilad Atzmon the sayanim will only smell blood and go for others, especially if they can get Anti-Zionist Zionists to do the dirty work for them.

I thought the PSC had something to do with supporting Palestinians. But it seems to expend more energy on bowing to the demands of the Jewish lobby.

Personally I think Gilad Atzmon is a good bloke with a lot of courage and integrity, and it annoys me to see his name dragged through the mud.

The term "antisemite" is so overworked now that it is meaningless. In fact it might even be worn by a badge of honour. Until you've been called an antisemite by Harrys Place you have done fuck all to deserve being called an anti-Zionist.

Evildoer said...

Well, the list of endorsers on the back of the The Wandering Who may indeed suggest that education serves no purpose, at least in some cases.

Brian Robinson said...

Great piece, Tony, one of your best.

I'm glad you mentioned Shahak, because Deborah Maccoby makes a powerful point in highlighting the contrast between his real scholarship and Atzmon's superficial and populist rubbish in her
comment on an amazon co uk page:
QUOTE:

http://amzn.to/u8MZyv


Deborah H. Maccoby says:

I agree with the reviewer that this [Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, by the late Prof Israel Shahak] is a book very much worth reading. But I disagree that Shahak is exposing "the real nature of Judaism".

In the beginning of Chapter 4, Shahak writes: "A great deal of nonsense has been written in the attempt to provide a social or mystical interpretation of Jewry or Judaism 'as a whole'. This cannot be done, for the social structure of the Jewish people and the ideological structure of Judaism have changed profoundly through the ages...."

Shahak's critique is aimed against the era of what he calls "classical Judaism", the mediaeval era, which he writes lasted from
about 1000 CE up to the Enlightenment and Emancipation and is a strong influence upon the Orthodox Jews who have such power in Israel.

In the Foreword to the book, Norton Mezvinsky writes: "This is not a happy book of Jewish apologetics. It is rather a bitter
critique of both classical rabbinic Judaism and the Zionist nature of the State of Israel, written by a proud, erudite, courageous Jew who loved the prophetic tradition in Judaism and the positive aspects of Jewish history."

This book makes an interesting comparison with Gilad Atzmon's "The Wandering Who", which puts forward the mystical idea of an
unchanging negative "Jewish spirit" or ideology.

In contrast to Atzmon's book, Shahak's book can be respected even by those who disagree with it.. It is written by someone who -- unlike Atzmon -- is deeply learned in Jewish history. In great contrast to Atzmon's book, "Jewish History, Jewish Religion" is not at all antisemitic.

END QUOTE and by the way see DM's review of Atzmon's book on amazon uk at http://amzn.to/th3ayY

---

Friends & comrades keep writing to me that some of us are allowing Atzmon and his chums to waste too much time on them. Their aims are to distract, divide and demoralise us. Spending hours and hours responding to them takes Palestine-solidarity activists away from more productive work.

I see that argument, but I don't think it's the whole story. Your article here is one of a number that identify precisely just why the Atzmon line is so perniciously destructive of support for justice for Palestinians.

Atzmon's crude antisemitism is not really a serious problem for Jews, beyond its crass offensiveness. This isn't 1930s/40s Europe, it's not Czarist Russia, it's not even early 20th century USA.

It's a problem, even if not yet as widely recognised as it should be, for Palestinian solidarity as you've very clearly demonstrated, but it's also a problem because of the people who do not recognise antisemitism (which is a form of racism) when it stares them in the face.

It's about people who are bigoted and worse.

An educated Palestinian said...

I will sum it up, that once you JEWS started to push your nose into our cause, trouble started and that the result.
That's the basic problem.

Tony Greenstein said...

Last first as it were!

'Educated Palestinian' seems to be anything but educated. Or rather it's the wrong Islamist education. Don't worry, the Talmud had its scholars who did nothing but study it all their lives. Quite useless. Proved nothing. Based on a by-gone age.

But he says once Jews started to push their noses into his cause, whoever s/he is, then that is when the problem started.

Obviously he knows little about the Palestinian cause then because Zionism began colonising in earnest from 1904 (the 1st Aliya wasn't a Zionist colonisation but traditional settler planter).

But do tell me oh educated one. When Palestinians ask people like myself to speak for a motion at a trades union conference or a demonstration etc. because they want to show that the Zionist allegations of 'anti-Semitism' is false, should we agree? Is that pushing one's nose...

It seems that our educated one has drunk at Atzmon's poisoned well for too long.

'educated Palestinian' may well be educated but to what purpose? He speaks like a gutter bigot.

Brian- thanks for the comments. Yet it is a distraction but I have a feeling that Atzmon in seeking to break into the big time with his ideas has actually tempted fate once too often and is beginning to look as if he and his supporters are punch drunk.

Lauren Booth's attack on PSC was not only vile in its own right, but a measure of desperation that can only backfire, leaving her isolated.

It is a pity because, as Gert says, she did useful things as a broadcaster on Palestine. That is before she too drank from Atzmon's poisoned chalice.

Yes I've read Debbie M on Israel Shahak and it is my feeling exactly. If Shahak had been alive be wouldn't have given an ignoramus like Atzmon the time of day. He was a true scholar, painstakingly so. A wonderful man who I had the great privilege to meet once. A character and utterly principled.

Atzmon is a charlatan compared to him. An utter imbecile by way of comparison.

What is to be regretted is that people like Lauren Booth, who have much to contribute, have been waylaid by this clown and sacrificed their reputation as a result.

I don't always agree with Sarah Colborne. She is in Socialist Action and I'm not, but no one should take away from her her dedication to the cause. She risked her life as it turned out on the Mavi Marmara but didn't broadcast it from every hilltop as Atzmon would have done. To say that she has entered the Zionist sewer is a disgrace but I blame Atzmon, not his mentally enfeebled supporters.

To the last Anonymous comment. Yes the term 'anti-Semitism' has been overused and abused. Read my piece again about the boy who cried wolf. Just because it is false 99 times out of a 100 it doesn't mean it is always wrong.

Having, for once, netted a genuine anti-Semite the Zionists are now running with the ball. Sticking by Atzmon means you place your loyalty to Atzmon above that of the Palestinians.

Of course the Zionists have no principles (or the wrong ones). Of course they are racists who are using Atzmon cynically. We expect that. But to stand with Atzmon with his attacks on the 'Judeo-centric' protest at the Albert Hall, his talk of 'swindling' Jews, his blaming of the holocaust on the victims is to stand against the Palestinians.

Atzmon may well be the sayanim you speak of. I know if I was in Shin Bet I'd be proposing to reward him if he isn't already on the payroll. He is causing division with the movement, not least with his attacks on Jewish anti-Zionists.

The fact is that Jewish anti-Zionists, who like a small minority of whites in South Africa, have broken with the colonial concensus, are bitterly attacked by Zionists as 'self-haters'. Why would Atzmon want to join in the attacks and also accept the term 'self-hater' when nearly all Jewish anti-Zionists reject this racist term.

Gert said...

The problem with allowing anonymous commenters is that many like to play games with their moniker and pretend to be someone else. Over at HP I had one vile creature persistently signing in as ‘Gert’s daughter’, telling the others ‘she’ had warned ‘dad’ to get rid of his ‘Nazi porn’. This for being fairly moderately pro-Palestinian… It shows the absolute puerility of so many Israel supporters.

Anonymous said...

"Having, for once, netted a genuine anti-Semite"

My understanding of the original meaning of the word "anti-Semite" is someone who hates Jews because they are Jews. I.e. a racist.

It is hard to make that charge stick against the Jewish leader of a multi-ethnic jazz band (which includes another Jewish member).

You are an intelligent person, though you have an unpleasant tendency to insult the intelligence of people who disagree with you.

If you believe Atzmon is an anti-Semite then you have either not read The Wandering Who or else you are wilfully misinterpreting it.

Yes he calls himself a self-hating Jew and he says he hates the Jew in himself.

I won't insult your intelligence by asking if you have heard of irony. I am sure you have. One way of defusing an insult is to embrace it.

Just like fans of Tottenham Hotspur (myself included) call themselves "yids" and fans of Brighton and Hove Albion are happy to be the "gay" football club.

Every Jew who is critical of Israel gets dubbed "self-hating". Embracing the term is an appropriate way of countering the charge - it only works if you have a sense of humour, though.

Unfortunately, that is where most people on the left are in deficit.

I am still unable to find out where Atzmon claimed Jews were responsible for the holocaust. Perhaps you could enlighten me.

Finally, if you allow the Zionists to destroy Atzmon don't imagine they will stop there.

They will be after you next - if they consider you as much a threat as he is, that is.

If not, then maybe you are safe.

Bert said...

Gert writes..........
"friends of Atzmon, Eisen et al must be exposed and expelled from any genuine Palestine solidarity movement."

I bet you will get the next medal for the "Liberal freedom of speech fighter" and the open minded intelectual of the year.
double standards they call it, you are a real Hypocrite.

An educated Palestinian said...

Correction, so you will not push it to your Jewish implementation

I will sum it up, that once you JEWS started to push your nose into the "Palestine Solidarity Movement", trouble started and that the result and that's the reality.
That's the basic problem.

abraham Weizfeld said...

Tony Greenstein should be congratulated on his diligence is maintaining the true voice of Jewish anti-Zionist thought. Both the Zionist ideology and the sectarian racist antisemites of the populists are seeking to destroy Jewish identity. Note the suppression of the Jewish Bund,expelled from the Russian Social-democratic Party in 1903 by both the factions of Marxism. Socialist theory requires a new appreciation of national identity that is differentiated from nationalism.

Tony Greenstein said...

I agree with Gert on the absolute puerility, 5th form public school humour minus the humour, of Zionist trolls.

Gert is criticised by Bert for having the temerity to call for the expulsion of Atzmon and crewe from the PS movement. It is a call I wholly support and I've done my best to get implemented.

But apparently it won't win Gert or me a medal for "Liberal freedom of speech fighter" 'and the open minded intelectual of the year.
double standards they call it, you are a real Hypocrite.;

Not so at all Bert. If the PS movement is a free-speech for neo-Nazis and conspiracy theorists then you are right. But if the purpose of the movement is to build, in the most effective way possible, a movement in support of the Palestinians then Atzmon and his anti-semitic baggage has to go and go quickly.

Our 'educated Palestinian' (who is probably a Zionist who thinks that most Palestinians aren't educated) tells us that 'once you JEWS started to push your nose into the "Palestine Solidarity Movement", trouble started and that the result and that's the reality. That's the basic problem.'

Indeed the smell of Zionist provocateur comes over quite strongly. However some of us don't need to push our noses into anything. I was a co-founder of PSC. We have helped build the PS movement from scratch and we are an integral part of it. That is something that genuine ZIonists find most difficult to handle, which is why they make pretensions to be educated.

Anonymous says that his understanding of 'anti-Semite' is 'someone who hates Jews because they are Jews. I.e. a racist.'

Not so. There many Nazis who individually didn't hate Jews but nonetheless they had to go. Just as there were many Zionists, I would say Moshe Dayan was one, who didn't hate Palestinians but nonetheless were total racists as he advocated transfer and implemented it to.

Baron von Mildenstein, first head of the Gestapo's Jewish desk, Referat 112 (a dedicated Zionist) before Eichmann, didn't hate Jews. But he was a racist. Jews and Aryans just did not mix - they were like oil and water. Hence the need for separation and their own state. But he didn't hate them. The more intelligent anti-Semites such as Eduard Drumont and Houston Stewart Chamberlain professed no personal animus but they lost no time in theorising about the 'Jewish Spirit' (as Atzmon does).

So know anti-Semitism or any form of racism isn't just about hate. Many Zionists are quite sincere. We don't hate the Palestinians but nor do we wish to live with them.

Tony Greenstein said...

Contrary to the assertion that I have not read The Wandering Who or are else 'wilfully misinterpreting it.' all I can say is you're wrong. I have read it and I will be reviewing it too. I'll be blunt. It is a book without a single piece of useful information. It is an utterly worthless book that tells you nothing.

Certainly there are some long philosophical words and junk philosophy, which Gabriel Ash has debunked. But everything links back to the machinations of a Jewish conspiracy. Indeed there are distinct comparisons with Mein Kampf as Elisha Davidson has pointed out in an Amazon review.

I fully understand when someone calls themselves 'queer' that they are using the weapon of the oppressor against him. I've never been happy with e.g. trying to appropriate certain words such as 'nigger' or 'kike' because they are so godamned awful.

But when Atzmon calls himself a 'self hating Jew' (previously he has denied being Jewish any longer) he goes beyond this. Firstly there is no section of anti-Zionist Jewry which agrees with him. This is a filthy racist expression which, as Israel Shahak points out, was used by the Nazis against German anti-fascists. 'self-hater' is probably what Atzmon in fact is but for most of us it's not something to reclaim.

Anon says that he is unable to find out where Atzmon claimed Jews were responsible for the holocaust. 'Perhaps you could enlighten me.' Of course I will. You will find it on pp. 175-6 of the Wandering Who. Atzmon says:

'65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz we should be able to
ask – why? Why were the Jews hated? Why did European people
stand up against their neighbours? Why are the Jews hated in the Middle East... Why did America tighten its immigration laws amid the growing danger to European Jews?'

It is pretty clear. Jews were exterminated because they were hated. Just like the Palestinians are discriminated against and expelled murdered because everyone, even other Arabs, hate them. Recognise the argument? I've seen it often enough on Zionist sites.

Anon says that if I allow the Zionists to destroy Atzmon it won't stop there. That's right. I won't allow the Zionists to destroy this racist creep. We'll do so instead.

Indeed I'm told that they will be after me next. Oh but they have, but unlike Atzmon I make no concessions to racism so they had to back off. I don't 'borrow' like Atzmon from the pro-Zionist BNP you see.

joe90 kane said...

Anonymous says,
Yes he calls himself a self-hating Jew and he says he hates the Jew in himself.
- My understanding is that Atzmon has nothing against people who are Jews, so how he can hate the Jew inside himself I don't know. It's Atzmon's self-invented 3rd category Jew, who is Jewish, whom he depsises, and which, according to him, has nothing to do with Jews or those who practice Judaism.

I know this is all psuedo-intellectual Atzmonic racist gibberish, but unless Atzmon is being his usual inconsistent self, he can't be a self-hating Jew.

He has professed to have already expunged his own "Jewishness" but, like any good antisemite, it now seems like he's going after the Jew inside himself too. I get the feeling Atzmon will only be truly at one with his zionist inner-self when he returns to the hardline zionist homeland he pretends to be an exile from, in true zionist fashion.

Anybody who supports Palestine solidarity shouldn't have a problem supporting Palestine BDS, anti-racism and rejection of Holocaust denial. That Atzmon and his brainless cohorts can even have a problem with such basics shouldn't come as much of a surprise given the recent neologism they seem to be trying to promote of "anti-zionist zionists".

George Orwell would love it.

Welcome the new newspeak where love is hate and war is peace. Where those who run Ahava out of London town, and protested at the Jerusalem Quartet concert in the Whigmore Hall, and protested during an the Israeli Philharmonc Orchestra concert at the Albert Hall are actually zionists pretending to be anti-zionists.

Being a passanger and humanitarian aid worker aboard the MV Mavi Marmara doesn't protect anyone from being accused of being a zionist either.

Atzmon is a poisonous Mcarthyite snake. The minute you accuse him of what he is, which is a racist, he immediately detects the presence of zionism, just in much the same Joe Mcarthy detected anti-Americanism the minute one of his victims refused to cooperate with him. His accusations have nothing to do with his concerns for Palestinians or Palestine solidarity. He's more interested in Jews anyway as that's all he goes on about. See the title of his new book for instance.

I don't know if the BNP has anything on their website which Atzmon can use as mud to throw at me - in the same way he got together with the zionist loons at Harry's Place and tried to get mud off them on prominent anti-zionists to use agianst them because they refused to massage his fat empty racist ego.

Gert said...

If I understand ‘Bert’ well we should allow Holocaust deniers into the Palestine solidarity movement on the basis of free speech? Now apart from the sheer obnoxiousness of Holocaust denial, those so inclined should feel free to peddle their filth wherever they please but not in a movement which would be badly compromised by association with that kind of douche bags.

‘Bert’ should perhaps also read the Joseph Massad article linked to near the end of Tony’s article because it explains well why some Palestinians adopt the Holocaust denial cockamamie. That rationale in and by itself is a good enough reason to shun Palestinians (or their supporters) who believe the Holocaust didn’t happen (or was of negligible scale), or like the schmuck Atzmon: that the Jews deserved European hatred (see the quote above). I’m sad to say that this seems to extend to Ramzy Baroud, whom I’ve otherwise heard make intelligent comments re. I/P.

Sh*t for brains ‘Bert’, that’s a large part of your problem… You’d make a good Zionist on that basis alone.

Bert said...

Gert

You are a double standart Hypocrite and the more I read your fascist views, the more I understand that you should get also the medal of the Fascist of the year.
your way of trying to shut up everyone and I mean Everyone, makes you a twin of Mister Liberman.
You should get elected to his party.
Zionist need persons like you you fit tho their way of thinking.

Anonymous said...

joe90 kane said...

"when he returns to the hardline zionist homeland he pretends to be an exile from"

The little intelectual became a NAZI.
next time you are going to suggest to transfer......or a chamber.

Ernie Christ said...

"Nor is Israel uniquely evil. At the same time as Israel was murdering some 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza in 2008/9, the Sri Lankan military were murdering an estimated 20,000 Tamils and setting up concentration camps to further brutalise the survivors. Was the Sinhalese government of Sri Lanka also 'worse than Hitler'?"

Well, quite. And the Sri Lankan massacre is merely one of many far, far greater tragedies than anything committed by the Israelis in the last few decades. Which rather begs the question: why are there so many Palestinian Solidarity/anti-Israel movements in the UK, and nothing at all devoted to, say, protesting Chinese occupation of Tibet, or Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus, or slaughter of Sri Lankans, etc etc etc...? Could it possibly habve anything whatsoever to do with (whisper it) anti-Semitism?
I am not suggesting you're anti-Semitic Tony, merely that there must be a reason that Palestinian solidarity is the cause of the day for so many people (most of whom have totally ignored, for yet another example, the mass murders in Syria which are still ongoing. Where is the protest? Why do people in the UK only care about what the Israelis do? I am yet to hear an answer to that.

On the subject of Atzmon you are of course correct in your assessment of him - the man is a revolting Nazi pig - however, like most in the Palestinian Solidarity movement who condemn him, you seem to be primarily concerned with his impact on Palestinian Solidarity politics. And yet his anti-Semitism has nothing whatsoever to do with Israel - he is merely promulgating Nazi rhetiroc as he hates Jews. Do you think his writing would be different if Israel was dismantled tomorrow and every Jew left the area? He doesn't want Jews to live in Palestine, he doesn't want Jews to live in Europe - he doesn't want them to live, full stop.

Paul Eisen said...

Tony,

You've changed the caption on my photo from "Jewish Neo-Nazi" to "Jewish Holocaust Denier"

Why the change?

Paul

Anonymous said...

Gert That's for you and your tovarishch Greenstein
"the small group of so-called anti-Zionists Jews are like a cancer within the movement, writing vile accusations on blogs and in emails about people and phoning people up, insisting to control who speaks or performs in public."

Tony Greenstein said...

I see Bert is ranting about Gert being a fascist. I think that really means that Bert doesn't like what Gert writes and that is the most suitable form of abuse.

And anon insists that "the small group of so-called anti-Zionists Jews are like a cancer within the movement". I think that means we are more effective than all the Atzmonites put together whose only activity is worship of the deity Atzmon.

Can't imagine what 'vile accusations on blogs and emails' are being referred to but I stand by them anyway!

As for 'insisting to control who speaks or performs in public.' this is another fantasy. We called on anti-racists not to share a platform with Atzmon other than to oppose him, but that is different.

Re Ernie Christ's point. There are Palestine solidarity groups active, as opposed to ones over Tibet, Cyprus and Sri Lanka (in fact there are groups active over the latter) because Tibet has normally been a right-wing American cause. When I went last to the USA I saw no anti-war posters outside San Francisco (the Gulf War 1991) but I did see Tibetan ones.

Israel is the lynchpin of US imperialism in the Middle East and the US has killed far more than Assad and the rest put together e.g. 1 million plus in Iraq alone. So now of course it has nothing to do with anti-Semitism.

The same argument was made with respect to South Africa. There's lots of countries with worse human rights records said the defenders of apartheid, as if they cared. The reason is that apartheid and racist settler states like Israel, South Africa or Nazi Germany are in a class of their own.

You say Atzmon's anti-Semitism has nothing to do with Israel? On the contrary it has a lot to do with it. Not only was he born there to an Irgun family, where he imbibed racism from an early age but the framework of his ideas rests on a Zionist foundation. He accepts the existence of the Jewish nation/race and accordingly attributes certan characteristics to them.

Yes my concern is primarily over Atzmon's effect on the PS movement. Jews today are privileged and don't experience the main form of racism - state racism. Police violence, swoops in the early hours of the morning for illegal immigrants don't affect Jews. But Atzmon's anti-Semitism is dangerous to a movement which needs to retain a high degree of political coherence.

Paul Eisen asks why I changed the caption on his photo from Jewish neo-Nazi to holocaust denier. Fairness. Paul knows I bend over backwards to be fair and although he has supported open neo-Nazis like Zundl and declared his love for Hitler (via others) I've seen no evidence that he is a fully paid up Nazi party member. On the other hand it is quite clear that he is a holocaust denier.

Gert said...

Being called a fascist for opposing someone like Atzmon who (among many other things) seems to believe to the Jews ‘had it coming’, presumably because of that awful Jewishness that he can’t abide, is the height of absurdity.

Ernie:

I take it you man the barricades for the Tamils and Tibet? No? Didn’t think so. It’s standard Ziotroll trope: ‘why not protest Tibet etc.’, yet I’ve yet to encounter the first Ziobot who takes a remote interest in these injustices, Zionism being a distinctly ethnocentric affair; ‘Israel uber alles’ in short.

joe90 kane said...

Anonymous says ,
The little intelectual became a NAZI.
next time you are going to suggest to transfer......or a chamber.

- Just to remind Anonymous, it's zionists who promote the idea that Israel is where Jews belong, not Nazis. And Atzmon is, after all, a zionist. He believes what zionists consider to be a Jew, even quoting Chaim Wiezmnann in his 'Not in My Name' as an unimpeachable authority on the subject.

Atzmon has recently admitted he is still a Jew, having previously confessed to have got rid of his Jewishness. Being a believer of zionism, the only logical course of action for this self-confessed zionist self-hating Jew is to return to Israel from his self-enforced exile.

How apt you get two antisemitic solutions to the supposed Jewish Problem confused. I am not confused myself. I am merely taking Atzmon at his own word, which is never an easy task admittedly given he's such a liar and spouts mostly incomprehensible gibberish, and applying the appropriate traditional antisemitic zionist remedy.

Anyway, here is Deborah Maccoby's excellent book review of Atzmon's pathetic racist drivel where she pulls a few threads together, and then some, on Atzmon's hardline zionist background and upbringing and his obsession with anti-zionist Jews -
A book that must be exposed for what it is,
Amazon UK
14 Oct 2011


I may be a "little intellectual" but I make no claims to be anything other than what can be read in my comments. It's Atzmon and his band of brainless chumps who make pompous and bombastic claims for which there is no evidence for.

See the following excellent blog article and thread which skewers Atzmon's pretentious intellectual claims and those of his sympathetic critics and supporters -
Commentary on the “Philosophical Thinking” of Gilad Atzmon
Jews sans frontieres
26 Nov 2011

Paul Eisen said...

Tony,

Why do you think, just because I acknowledge that Adolf Hitler was deeply loved by many Germans, do you conclude that he is loved by me?

Paul

Tony Greenstein said...

Paul,

you posted virtually the same message 3 times.

Because Hitler wasn't deeply loved by the Germans. How could he have been? And if he had been he would have put the matter to a vote. Fact is Nazi Germany was a terror police state but to you it was benign.

You never seem to mention the thousands of workers and trade unionists who perished in places like Dachau and Sachsenhausen in the most terrible of conditions. All that matters is that Hitler was apparently loved. So loved that no one will admit to it now.

You befriend Zundl and his miserable wife, proud Nazis. That is in itself enough reason. You doubt the holocaust happened because the overwhelming evidence is with the holocaust deniers. Yet you can only say this by discounting all eye witness testimony of survivors like Hajo Meyer.

You disregard the voluminous Nazi documents such as the situation reports on the final solution in the wake of Operation Barbarossa or the admissions of all leading Nazis at Nuremburg whose defence was not that it didn't happen but that they didn't know.

Or maybe you'd like to tell me where all of my father's family who were left in Poland disappeared to and countless other Jewish families.

Hitler was foisted on the German people by the right-wing parties and industrialists and army. It was because the Nazis were losing support in 1932 (from 37% to 34% July-November). Their 'love' disappeared with little things like the 'euthenasia' campaign - which you and the revisionists never mention because it led directly to the final solution.

Anonymous said...

joe90 kane said...
" Just to remind Anonymous, it's zionists who promote the idea that Israel is where Jews belong, not Nazis. And Atzmon is, after all, a zionist."

I said you are a little Intelectual, but I must say the reading your pearls, makes you a smaller little intelectual.
If Atzmon is a Zionist (as you say) and you say the Zionist promote the idea that Israel is where Jews belong.
HOW COME HE CHOSE TO LIVE IN THE UK ????
where is your brains.......
While you are the Nazi who suggests, that he will move from where he chose to live (as you did), well that's what the Nazi's thought in the first place and then as you would choose, to use your chambers.......

Anonymous said...

Mr Eisen did not write that Hitler was loved by Germans in general, he wrote that he was DEEPLY loved by MANY Germans.

This is undoubedly the case, beyond all question.

So why do you deny it?

Tony Greenstein said...

Anon writes that 'Eisen did not write that Hitler was loved by Germans in general, he wrote that he was DEEPLY loved by MANY Germans.'

Apparently this is undoubedly the case, beyond all question. I assume that there is evidence of this deep love by millions till the war's end? Even the SS, his own personal bodyguard, under Sepp Dietrich were showing signs of rebellion by the war's end.

And in fact your quote is incorrect. What Eisen wrote was the following:

'Ernst Zundel was once involved in the publication of a book called The Hitler We Loved and Why, but Ernst Zundel was not the only German who loved Hitler and is probably not the only German who still loves Hitler. Millions of Germans loved Hitler who for twelve years impacted on them as no German has or probably ever will, and, though they never say so, must, deep down still cherish his memory.'

He used the term millions and, despite not saying so, still treasured his memory. I think that's pretty good evidence as to where Eisen's sympathies lie.

Anonymous said...

"Apparently this is undoubedly the case, beyond all question. I assume that there is evidence of this deep love by millions till the war's end?"

Again this is a misrepresenation of what has been said.

Opinion turned against Hitler after the invasion of Russia came unstuck.

Before then he had huge support among large sections of the German population. It probably peaked in the period between the Battle of France and Operation Barbarossa.

Where Paul Eisen is wrong is in suggesting that he is still cherished. I have lived in Germany for 16 years and find no evidence of this. There is, however, a growing fascination and a growing interest. That is why it is time to stop imposing legal restrictions on what can be said about the period.

A more interesting question is which sections of the German population loved Hitler and why.

As someone who *claims* to be a marxist you should know the answer to this.

The answer is not the usual glib leftist one ("racists" or "antisemites").

Anonymous said...

"I think that's pretty good evidence as to where Eisen's sympathies lie."

Hopefully his sympathies are with being honest, even when the truth is unpalatable.

It is also an unpalatable truth that Stalin commanded the deep affection of many Russians.

joe90 kane said...

What happened to Germans who admitted in public that they didn't love the Fuhrer?

Come to think of it, what happened to people whom the Fuhrer publicly admitted to not loving?

A Fuhrer's love is funky kinda love indeed.

I hear he went right off his own Germanic kind of people in the end. They let him down so he reckoned they deserved to perish. Nazi love is weird love.


From what I can make out of Anonymous latest incoherent and pointless comment it seems he disagrees that Atzmon is a zionist when its absolutely clear that Atzmon agrees with zionists about the place of Jews in the world.

You don't actually need to live in Israel to be a zionist just like you don't have to be Jewish either. And if you follow Atzmon's unattributed plagiarism of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Mein Kampf you'll realise he ascribes an important role to Jews outside Israel in the current era of Jewish global domination.

It's that old racist conundrum - claiming minorities huddle together in ghettos and don't want to assimilate, but at the same time, they are also taking over and controlling the rest of society for their own benefit.

I mean, according to the Atzmon solidarity campaign, Jews are responsible for the global economic crisis and are responsible for the US attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq - but they are unable to control the London-based PSC and can't stop Atzmon performing in Bradford.

You have to laugh at the enormity of his ego.

Tony Greenstein said...

There is no evidence that Hitler had huge support from the German population between the invasion of France and Operation Barbarossa. Ian Kershaw in 'Popular Opinion etc.' suggests that people were very wary and afraid of what might happen and reprisals.

The fact is that any dissent led to a concentration camp so it is hardly possible to measure except that the Nazis worked very hard to instil any enthusiasm for anti-Semitism via films and so on.

No I did not misrepresent Eisen. I quoted from him! I oppose outlawing opinions, including holocaust denial opinions. Bans usually achieve their opposite.

As a Marxist it is quite clear who 'loved' Hitler i.e. gave him some support - junkers, farmers, peasants in some areas, Protestants more than Catholics and the middle class and professions, plus the industrialists.

Despite what is taught in the American syllabus of post-war Germany, the working class never supported Hitler and continued up till November 1932 and even in the unfree elections of March 1933 to support the KPD and SPD.

I very much doubt then that Eisen is being honest, except about his own sympathies, since truth is certainly not something he deals in.

Stalin was not Hitler. He didn't seek to wipe out whole 'races'. Nor was he responsible for anywhere as near as many deaths as Hitler, despite the revisionist rewriting of history. Stalin is remembered fondly for seeing off Hitler and providing the basics of a society not based on profit. Unfortunately the productive process was not democratic and there was an equal lack of democracy politically but only apologists for Hitler pretend that he is sanitised by reference to Stalin - Noltke & co.

Anonymous said...

First of all I am not an apologist for Hitler. However, I am a supporter of the truth, even when it does not suit "anti-fascists".

The Nazis got 37% of the vote in 1932 and their organizations such as the SA attracted a mass movement of activists.

Once again, Mr Greenstein has misrepresented what I wrote. I did NOT say that Hitler had huge support, I said that Hitler had huge support among sections of the German population. Among other sections support covered the full spectrum from hostility through passive acceptance to active support.

I will now introduce marxism and class analysis into the discussion, if that isn't too upsetting for Mr Greenstein.

Hitler had mass support within the (numerically very large) German middle class, and especially the lower middle class. These people had been largely ruined by two economic crises in the 1920s, first the great inflation of 1923, which wiped out their savings. Secondly, the unemployment that followed the crash of 1929 meant they could not even be absorbed by the proletariat. They faced utter ruination.

The rural middle classes were hardest hit.

The Nazis offered them hope. Not least because they promised to eliminate the Jews and thereby eliminate competition for many "aryan" small businessmen, officials, academics etc.

(Plus the Nazis promised to tame the organized working class etc ... but this isn't the time to go into that.)

Of course you will find exceptions. In my home city (Mannheim) I don't think the Nazis ever got more than 25% of the vote because most middle classes voted for the Catholic Centre Party, the party of Reichkanzler Müller, who was a local boy. And of course the Nazis got some votes among the working class and the unemployed etc.

But their bedrock support was the "aryan" middle class. And here, Hitler was adored as a saviour.

Read Detlef Peukert for more on this.

"What happened to Germans who admitted in public that they didn't love the Fuhrer?"

Well I think we all know the answer to that. The mayor of my village was executed for refusing to give the Hitler Gruss, for example.

That does not alter the fact that many German people loved Hitler. You can create a climate of fear but you cannot create a mass movement of activists without a broad base of support. And that is what Hitler did.

Anonymous said...

"I mean, according to the Atzmon solidarity campaign, Jews are responsible for the global economic crisis"

Joe90, I never found that claim in anything Gilad has written. Could you please provide a reference?

Anonymous said...

By the way the SA had 700,000 members in January 1933, on the eve of the Nazi seizure of power.

To pretend this was not a mass movement is just a lie that does not help anyone.

Anonymous said...

"Despite what is taught in the American syllabus of post-war Germany, the working class never supported Hitler and continued up till November 1932 and even in the unfree elections of March 1933 to support the KPD and SPD."

This is undoubtedly true except the first sentence.

My children studied history in a German school. I have seen their text books. There is no suggestion that the working class supported Hitler in large numbers.

The main change in the working class vote was a shift from SPD to KPD.

However, that does not alter the fact that the middle class was numerically very large and that the majority of middle and lower middle class voters voted for Hitler.

How else can you explain that he got more than a third of all votes cast in the last free election (at the end of 1932)?

Gert said...

Seems to me that Hitler’s regime was a fairly banal dictatorship, trivial only in its differences with many other despots. It’s essentially a pyramid scheme with an elite that ‘loves’ the Dear Leader because of giant carrots and big sticks designed to keep the faithful faithful, while most of the population simply fears said regime and complies or else. A terror state, in short. And yes, there are always some numbskulls in the population who can’t see that… And in the territories conquered by such states there are always opportunistic collaborators who’ll declare undying love for the new regime because they benefit from doing so.

What’s sad about Paul Eisen is that I can’t find fault with the Remember Deir Yassin site. It’s even endorsed by Zochrot. Sadly, it’s now impossible to refer to it because of a Holocaust denier’s endorsement of it.

Anonymous said...

joe90 kane said...
"You don't actually need to live in Israel to be a zionist"
The more you write, the more you expose your little brain.
So someone who believes as you claim "it's zionists who promote the idea that Israel is where Jews belong" and you claim that Atzmon is a Zionist.
He Lived in Israel, you claim he is a Zionist, so why did he exiled to the UK, to explore sunny London ??, you fool, he Exiled, as he despise Zionism and Israel.
So you claim that he promotes "Israel is where Jews belong", but he himself exiled.
No wonder that you and you small brained friends are just falling apart and even the PSC are mocking you.
Keep on with the pearls, just makes it clear that Atzmon is making a joke out you all.

Anonymous said...

Uhhh, look who is the Audience of Atzmon in his last gig "the Red Leicester Choir A socialist choir"
Uhhh your Socialist friends are most of the Audience.
This is what they write:
Raise Your Banners 2011

Last weekend, a fair slice of Red Leicester went to the Raise Your Banners festival of political song in Bradford. We sung with many other socialist choirs at the Cathedral, went to some fantastic workshops, and had the opportunity to go to gigs by Seize the Day, Sisters Unlimited, Gilad Atzmon, Peggy Seeger and many others!
http://redleicesterchoir.com/2011/11/30/raise-your-banners-2011/

You should invite the Nazi RED Choir to sing for you a Hanuka song by wagner.
Socialist my Ass you are all Racist Nazis.

Anonymous said...

There is a new leader to the PSC....
"To some extent the PSC - belongs to the old world.
The old Red Commissar is dead and so are the other Talmudic forms of excommunication.
Instead, the PSC should communicate with the masses and proclaim far and wide that same, vital, humanist message:

WE ARE ALL PALESTINIANS"

Instead of suggesting what is 'right' and who is 'kosher', the PSC should come up with a single, short, incisive but inclusive statement.

"WE ARE ALL PALESTINIANS"

we are indeed, all Palestinians. So, like Palestinians, we also need to be liberated.
engaged mainly in restricting the discourse and stifling freedom of speech, thought and expression. The organisation that was founded to fight for the rights of the expelled Palestinians, has itself, started to expel and abuse its most notable and dedicated activists and thinkers.

Hip Hip Hurray ......

Tony Greenstein said...

When people start using phrases like 'talmudic mode of excommunication' I know they are talking anti-Semitism. Why not Catholic excommunicatvion?

Anon thinks he's on to a winner because if Zionist is someone who believes in living in Israel then Atzmon can't be one as he moved away. Firstly at least 10% and probably more of Israeli Jews have migrated, but that doesn't mean most of them aren't Zionists.

Secondly there are Zionist organisations in this country and Zionists who are members, yet they don't move to Israel. People like Alan Dershowitz for example. So my dear anon, u r 2 clever by half!

I.e. not at all.

To the German anon. I don't disagree with what you say. The SA was a mass movement, at least until the night of the long knives. And clearly, as I said, the middle classes, peasants and also professionals voted for Hitler. In Bavaria in particular they voted primarily for the Catholic Centre Party.

And yes within the working class votes shifted from the SPD to the KPD, though the latter's 3rd position, imposed by Stalin, meant that they termed the SPD 'social fascist' and thus equated them with the Nazis.

I have previously taught, for many years, German EFL students and nearly all of them, when asked, said that Hitler was voted into power by 'the poor'. I therefore take it that they learnt t his at school. Maybe the text books have changed as I haven't taught them for about 10 years now.

Another anon doubts that Atzmon says the Jews caused the crisis. He doesn't say it outright but his focus on Greenspan, who he virtually accuses of engineering the crisis, shows that. Suggest you read 'wandering who' or just do some homework"!

joe90 kane said...

Throughout the whole of the Weimar Republic period the KPD was the only party to always increase its vote at every successive election. This is one of the reasons why Hitler became such an attractive option for the German establishment afraid of the growing influence and increasingly organised working class.

Hitler's popularity got a boost from the 'Battle of France' where he scored yet another seemingly quick, cheap and relatively bloodless victory. The mood turned once the German people realised Britian was not going to make peace terms under any circumstances and there was going to be a prolonged struggle. Hitler's strategy was always to try to make others pay for his wars, not the German people, because that is what led to revolution at the end of World War I.

Once Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa the German people realised it was do or die. They had to get behind the Fuhrer if they didn't want to be over-run by the Red Army. The cynical Hitler left them no option but to "support" him.

Under the Nazi terror propaganda state there is not much objective evidence for popular moods and opinions, naturally. Plebscite returns show an increasing support for Hitler's prefered choices, which show the effectiveness of his terroristic regime. People wouldn't know if voting papers had been secretly marked or not, and anyway, no public opnion was allowed to be expressed which Hitler hadn't approved of beforehand.

If the Fuhrer had've been sure of his people's deep love for him he wouldn't have needed a terrorist dictatorship to keep himself in power. Hitler was never honest at anytime with anyone, not even with the German establishment who could never have imagined his Nazis would eventually set up parallel structures which would take over the functions of the state when it suited.

Anything German people felt for Hitler after WWII was influenced by the complete destruction of the German organised left. It shouldn't come as a surprise if Germans of post-WWII might have feelings for the Fuhrer and his Third Reich given that most who despised him had been eliminated and their organisations and institutions crushed. In a way, that was the real Nazi victory. The elimination of the organised German left-wing movement.

Sorry I don't have the references to hand, but Prof Richard Evans discusses these issues in relation to Robert Gelatelly's claims about the popularity of Hitler made in 'Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany' (2001).

ps
The stupid Anonymous says,
"No wonder that you and you small brained friends are just falling apart and even the PSC are mocking you.
Keep on with the pearls, just makes it clear that Atzmon is making a joke out you all."

- My local PSC is the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

You won't hear antisemitic Atzmon mention the Scottish PSC much because they refused to flatter his worthless antisemitic ego and told him he wasn't wanted and never to come back.

Scotland stands in solidarity with all anti-racists and those who reject Holocaust deniers such as Atzmon.

We aren't interested in exploiting the pain and suffering of Jewish People or that of the Palestinian People in order to flog tawdry vile antisemitic books at the end of low-grade videos shot in Bradford -
Israel Shamir admires the BNP, Hitler and Gilad Atzmon
Why the Campaign of solidarity with Palestinians must never admit the extreme right
02 Mar 2007
Scotish PSC

joe90 kane said...

Here's the reference I had in mind, where Prof Evans discusses the claims of Gelatelly and others, that devices such as Hitler's plebsicites can be used to prove the Fuhrer was popular - in his The Third Reich in Power pbk, 2006, p108 ff.

Anonymous said...

"I have previously taught, for many years, German EFL students and nearly all of them, when asked, said that Hitler was voted into power by 'the poor'."

That is partly a reflection on the class of student that attends EFL school in Brighton.

It is what the well-to-do in Germany *want* to think. They would find it difficult to admit that "the sort of people who voted for Hitler are, er, people like us".

That said, the middle and lower middle classes voted for Hitler precisely because they were financially ruined or staring into the abyss. They WERE poor but (especially in an economic crisis on the scale of 1930-33) you don't have to be working class to be poor!

The decision to join a movement one of whose main aims was to throw Jews out of business was therefore a "rational" one, i.e. it was not based on "racism" like the left - which has abandoned dialectical materialism in favor of a soppy politically correct liberalism - would have us believe. No, the aryan middle classes turned on the Jews as a way of eliminating competition and cashing in on their business. There are plenty of examples of Nazi party officials acquiring Jewish businesses on the cheap in the thirties.

The racism - which drew on traditional east European antisemitism - provided ideological cover, though of course, the reality is that Jews DID have economic wealth and influence out of proportion to their actual numbers (that is what made them such an attractive target).

Gilad Atzmon is not a marxist but he does appreciate that treating Hitler as simply being an antisemitic "monster" explains nothing. The fact is that broad sections of the German population, and in particular the numerically strong rural middle classes, were keen supporters of his movement.

This is NOT because Germans are by nature racist (as Jewish ideologists such as Goldhagen say) but because of economics. In another country in another era it could be other economically strong minorities who are on the receiving end.

If marxists want to be respected and have a voice in the working class, they should face such facts.

Jean Barrot was right when he wrote that the worst product of fascism was antifascism. It has led marxists away from class analysis and down the dead ends of liberalism, multiculturalism etc.

Anonymous said...

greenstein and tovarishch joe90
See how your arguments are poor, no wonder Atzmon makes a joke out of you you write
"Secondly there are Zionist organisations in this country and Zionists who are members, yet they don't move to Israel. People like Alan Dershowitz for example. So my dear anon, u r 2 clever by half!"

How can yuou compare as Atzmon despise Israel and Zionism, show me one proof, that even contradicts or show the opposite in his writings, show me one place were Atzmon dose not despise,dose not citisize, dose not show his objection to anything that concerns Israel or Zionism.......
Show your readers any argument...... (bet you will delete this comment as you have none) .
your comparison Atzmon to people like Dershowitz, or Israelis that left Israel and are still Zionist, just proves why Atzmon pushes you out of every activity of the PSC in the UK .

Anonymous said...

joe90 kane said...

"My local PSC is the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign."

Remind the readers joe90 kane, that your PSC... posted the winning entry from Iran’s notorious Holocaust cartoon competition of 2006 on its website.

Well that's not Antisemite and Holocaust DENIAL, Thats art for the SCOTTISH PSC and freedom of speech.

jock mctrousers said...

" Jean Barrot was right when he wrote that the worst product of fascism was antifascism. It has led marxists away from class analysis and down the dead ends of liberalism, multiculturalism etc." Anonymous

Yes! Yes! Yes! Well maybe... I can think of a few worse things I have to admit, but it's high on the list. Hence we have crypto-zionist frauds like Searchlight's 'Hope Not Hate' pushing a line like we have to bury our differences with the Tories and New Labour to unite against the imminent threat of a Fourth Reich posed by a few hundred football hooligans and some occultist nerds...