29 September 2011

Jonathan Cook Ill-Informed Defence of Gilad Atzmon – A Response

Far be it from me to defend the Guardian or its Comment Is Free section. Having been banned from posting articles by its former editor, Matthew Seaton, because I insisted that comparisons could and should be made between Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and the Nazi treatment of the Jews, I have no axe to grind. It is particularly cowardly since Israeli papers like Ha’aretz have no such inhibitions in describing how Israeli Rabbis such as Yitzhak Shapira in a book Torat HaMelech call for the extermination even of Palestinian children and for death camps to be established. Arabs to the Ovens Killing Non-Jews is Kosher and a Symbol of Israeli Academic Freedom!

Indeed the way that CIF has bowed quite nakedly to the all too familiar behind-the-scenes Zionist pressure politics, dressing it up as ‘community standards’, with ‘moderators’ (censors) defacing discussions with multiple deletions, makes a mockery at times of their commitment to free debate.

Only yesterday, in response to the article by Andy Newman that Cook criticises, a comment of mine was deleted (the moderators never give reasons) yet the replies to it remain undeleted!! The articles which I did post, which covered both Atzmon himself, the Jewish National Fund and the way that anti-Semitism is misused, came under sustained Zionist criticism and proved too much for the liberal notion of free debate.

Jonathan Cook is an extremely able, articulate and concise writer on Palestine and living in Nazareth himself he is able to describe at first-hand the repression that Israeli Arabs experience,. However his attack on Andy Newman’s article in the Guardian on Gilad Atzmon was both misinformed and misplaced. Instead of doing what he normally does, and researching his articles thoroughly, he shot from the hip, defended Atzmon and criticised Newman’s article without bothering to undertake even the most elementary research.

I sent an e-mail a day ago to Becky Gardiner and Brian Whittaker of CIF concerning Andy Newman’s article. I have a number of criticisms of the article yet, on balance, it struck the right note. I wrote that:
‘To put it mildly the article went on a detour, failed to mention the most obvious problem concerning Atzmon's politics - namely his espousal of holocaust denial - and associated with the left someone whose relationship to it is at best tangential, Alison Weir. The organ donor/theft accusations don't sit particularly well as this accusation stands or falls on its own merits. It is no more anti-Semitic than accusing China or Iran of executing people for their organs and blood - which they clearly do….

…. I have written extensively on Atzmon, http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2011/03/guide-to-sayings-of-gilad-atzmon-anti.html and indeed all the articles on him on Andy Newman's Socialist Unity site are written by me. I also think that his [Atzmon’s] attempt to rehabilitate holocaust deniers is somewhat of more relevance than the organ theft controversy, which has nothing to do with the medieval blood libel anyway.

I previously wrote a number of articles for CIF before falling out with Matt Seaton on account of the pressure on him not to allow any connection to be made between Zionism and Nazism…. the fact is that where there are such similarities I have documented them thoroughly e.g. the Lubavitch Magazine Fountains of Salvation that called for death camps for Palestinians which cited from Israel's largest daily newspaper Yediot Aharanot
Andy's article was unfortunately weak and it would appear, from the letter today from Alison Weir, factually mistaken….’

Andy Newman’s Article
The article by Andy Newman does, unfortunately, have major weaknesses. Not least of which is that it targets the alleged support of Atzmon by the Left. With the exception of the thoroughly opportunist SWP, who have now broken from him, although leading member Richard Seymour is of the opinion that the SWP owes no-one any explanation for why they promoted him in the first place I am hard put to to think of any left-wing group that has defended him. I have written a number of articles in the widest read British socialist publication, Weekly Worker, paper of the Communist Party of Great Britain, criticising Atzmon [e.g. Time to say goodbye, Anti-semitic conspiracist, 'Anti-Zionist' holocaust denier, and Blind eye to anti-semitism ] as well as in Tribune, Labour Briefing, What’s Next etc.

Perhaps it is the canard that the Left supports Atzmon, when the opposite is true, is why the increasingly right-wing Guardian Editor Jonathan Freedland, was so happy with it?

However Andy Newman’s article is to be welcomed. It quite correctly singles out the article "Tribal Marxism for Dummies” for criticism. Apart from a wholly gratuitous attack on Professor Moshe Machover, an Israeli Marxist and one of the founders of Matzpen, the anti-Zionist Socialist Organisation in Israel, which led even his anti-Semitic co-fellow Mary Rizzo to part company with him, it invents the novel idea of there being a ‘Jewish’ Marxism. Apparently ‘While Marxism is a universal paradigm, its Jewish version is very different. It is there to mould Marxist dialectic into a Jewish subservient precept.’

The article, which Cook would have done well to consult and think about, is dripping with venomous anti-Jewish attacks that have nothing whatsoever to do with support for the Palestinians. Quite the contrary. It is incomprehensible that Jonathan Cook, an extremely intelligent and able writer, cannot see what is staring him in the face. Atzmon specialises in quoting Zionism’s founding fathers to attack Jews. If Cook had consulted my Guide to the Sayings of Gilad Atzmon and the section ‘Borrowing Jew Hatred from Zionism – Why Atzmon Remains a Zionist’ he might have understood.

Atzmon quotes for example the address of Max Nordau, Herzl’s Deputy, to the First Zionist Congress in 1897, that “The emancipated Jew … becomes an inner cripple, and externally unreal, and thereby always ridiculous and hateful to all higher feeling men, as is everything that is unreal.” in support of his own anti-Semitism yet one of the facets of Zionism has been its Jewish self-hatred which was turned on the Palestinians.

As Jacques Kornberg notes re Theodore Herzl, founder of Political Zionism: ‘Herzl's anti-Jewish sensitivities surfaced - indeed sometimes exploded - well after he had become the keeper of Jewish sovereignty. He would employ terms such as “Jewish vermin," Mauschel, against his Jewish detractors.' ["Mauschel," a corruption of Moses, was a German epithet for the haggling Jewish trader; it corresponded to the English "Kike." "Mauschel"- Herzl's hostile piece on the Rothschilds was written after he had spurned Herzl’s pleas to finance Zionist diplomacy. Theodore Herzl: A Reevaluation, Jacques Kornberg, The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 52, No. 2 (Jun., 1980), pp. 226-252.

Likewise Pinhas Rosenbluth, Israel’s first Justice Minister, described Palestine as “an institute for the fumigation of Jewish vermin” [Joachim Doron, Classic Zionism and Modern Anti-Semitism: Parallels and Influences (1883-1914), Studies in Zionism 8, Autumn 1983] and Herzl when visiting a synagogue in November 1894 wrote that:
‘I took a look at the Paris Jews and saw a family likeness in their faces: bold, misshapen noses, furtive and cunning eyes.’ Complete Diaries of Theodore Herzl, p. 11

Unfortunately Andy Newman’s introduction of organ theft and Israel’s alleged role in it detracted from the article and true or false, has nothing to do with medieval blood libels. Likewise the suggestion that ‘The Jews have always regarded themselves as a nation without a home’ is nonsense on two counts – the religious concept of ‘La’am’ referred to a religious people, not a nation and secondly Jews always considered where they lived their home, which may explain Cook’s intemperate attack.

But overall, given that Andy Newman was limited to 800 words, then the article was certainly something that I would have expected Jonathan Cook of all people, to have criticised constructively and researched first.

Instead it would appear that Cook really has other fish to fry, as in the subtitle, ‘The Dangerous Cult of the Guardian’. Many of his criticisms of the Guardian and George Monbiot, its pro-nuclear ‘environmentalist’ are clearly true but Monbiot was spot on re the Srebenica massacre, particularly in respect of Living Marxism¸magazine of the defunct Revolutionary Communist Party, now Spiked, which deservedly lost a libel action against ITN for alleging that pictures of concentration camp inmates in Bosnia were faked. Spiked today is a vehemently Zionist web magazine.

There is indeed a good argument for saying that the liberal press help manufacture consent in a capitalist society and that the Guardian/Observer are primus inter pares in that respect with war-mongering Islamaphobes like Nick Cohen writing for it. Cohen in particular is obsessed with Islamism yet never seems to mention Israel’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who strides the land with his overtly racist and neo-fascist views.

I have no doubt that the Guardian has become increasingly restrictive publishing people like Noam Chomsky. I have given, in my own small way, an example of how I was excised from Comment is Free because I would not toe the line over the now discredited EU Monitoring Committee’s draft definition of anti-Semitism’s that all comparisons between Israel and Nazism are anti-Semitic. Even Europe’s Federal Rights Agency, which has succeeded the EUMC, has now abandoned this definition.

Where Cook has gone wrong is in his attack on Andy Newman’s article as an example of the Guardian thought-police in action. In the 40 years I’ve been a reader of the Guardian it has been the only paper that has at least recognised that there was a Palestinian case. I can remember my parents dropping it for the Daily Telegraph precisely on that score!

When Cook says that ‘I have no idea whether Atzmon has expressed anti-semitic views – and I am none the wiser after reading Newman’s piece.’ then my first reaction is to say that he should have taken the trouble to find out first. Newman’s citing of Atzmon’s Tribal Marxism for Dummies should have given him some clues. Cook could also have found numerous other examples such as Atzmon’s ‘On anti-Semitism‘American Jewry makes any debate on whether the 'Protocols of the elder of Zion' are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews (in fact Zionists) do control the world…’ The ‘(in fact Zionists)’ was added later. Hitler said that the Protocols must be true because what they said is true. Atzmon says that the Protocols are true but it it is irrelevant if they are a forgery. As Oscar Wilde noted, that is a distinction without a difference.

In the same essay Atzmon justifies as ‘rational’ attacks on synagogues and Jewish graves. ‘If Israel is the state of the Jewish people and the Jewish people themselves do not stand up collectively against the crimes that are committed on their behalf, then every Jewish person, Jewish symbol and Jewish object becomes an Israeli interest and a potential terrorist target. It is up to the Jewish people to take a stand against their Jewish state and to disassociate themselves from their zealous national movement.’ Atzmon also states in ‘'NOT IN MY NAME– An analysis of Jewish righteousness’ that ‘Jews cannot criticise Zionism in the name of their ethnic belonging because such an act is in itself an approval of Zionism.’ You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

The examples of Atzmon’s anti-Semitism, not least his repeatedly vicious attacks against Jewish anti-Zionists as fifth columnists in the Palestine solidarity movement, render him a political leper. His The Protocols Of The Elders Of London is a good example as any.

It is true that Andy’s example of why Counterpunch is anti-Semitic wasn’t the bestexample . More relevant is the fact that Counterpunch has repeatedly published articles by Israel Shamir, an open and dedicated holocaust denier who described Auschwitz as an ‘internment facility, attended by the Red Cross…. This idea of "bombing Auschwitz" makes sense only if one accepts the vision of "industrial extermination factory.’

In an e-mail to me (12 June 2005) Atzmon declared that ‘I regard Shamir as a unique and advanced thinker.’ He is certainly unique. Who else could criticise the BNP for not being anti-Jewish enough?
‘I do not feel at ease accusing you and your comrades of betraying the Britons and joining with the Jews, but if I'd keep mum, stones won't.’
Shamir’s advanced thought manages to combine support for paedophillia with anti-Semitism and homophobia! Does Jonathan Cook really wishes to be associated with the kind of bigot who can write the following?
‘The Americans over-simplify the question of sex with minors, when they present it as something monstrous. This is not so…. Indeed, almost all cases of alleged abuse are homosexual; the alleged victims should sue the gay rights organizations rather than the Church. But the Church is not allowed even to utter these words…. (homophobia) may stand next to the taboo on “being less than fond of Jews” (anti-Semitism)…. two secondary offences have been created, “racism”, an antisemitism spill-off, and “paedophilia”, a homophobia spill-off.’
Counterpunch, which Cook believes is a paragon of journalistic virtue, also behaves like the worst of the capitalist media. On June 18 2005 it carried an article ‘The Gag Artists Who's Afraid of Gilad Atzmon?’ by Mary Rizzo. I asked for a right of reply since it attacked me. And you know what? Counterpunch didn’t just refuse, it didn’t even respond to my requests. Today it carries repeated articles by Julian Assange’s sidekick Israel Shamir (who reportedly betrayed dissidents in Belorussia to the regime through his access to Wikileaks documents). It was those wicked left-wingers from the Marxist Archive and What’s Next and other socialist sites, not the Guardian incidentally, who carried my rejoinder ‘Why Palestinian Solidarity Activists Must Reject Anti-Semitism - A Reply to Mary Rizzo’s Who’s Afraid of Gilad Atzmon’ . So simply factually Jonathan Cook has got it wrong regarding Counterpunch. The Guardian has allowed Atzmon a reply to Andy Newman’s article.

Andy is criticised for not having read the turgid prose of Atzmon’s new book ‘The Wandering Who?’. Well I have. In it Atzmon informs us that ‘Zionism is not a colonial movement with an interest in Palestine, as some scholars suggest. Zionism is actually 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.’ Anti-Semitic? Perish the thought. Atzmon vehemently rejects the idea that Israel is a settler-colonial state. It owes its existence not to Christian Zionism or imperial interests. It’s the Jews and Jewishness.

And developing his version of the international Jewish conspiracy, Atzmon has a section entitled ‘The Organism’ where we learn that ‘
It is of course possible that there is no decision-making process at all. It is more than likely that ‘Jews’ do not have a centre or headquarters. It is more than likely that they aren’t aware of their particular role within the entire system, the way an organ is not aware of its role within the complexity of the organism. No single operator within the collective is fully familiar with the collective’s operative mode but is only aware of his or her personal and limited role, function or duties within it… the Zionist movement… transformed the Jewish tribal mode into a collective functioning system. Looking at Zionism as an organismus would lead to a major shift in our perspective of current world affairs. The Palestinians, for instance, aren’t just the victims of the Israeli occupation, they are actually the victims of a unique global political identity, namely the third category people who transformed the Holy Land into a Jewish bunker.’
You would have to wear blinkers and ear muffs not to recognise the provenance of these remarks. That Professor Richard Falk has allowed his name to be sullied by association with this garbage is unfortunate. That Professor John Mersheimer has done so is less surprising given his belief that the USA supports Israel against its own imperial interests.

Jonathan Cook puts inverted commas around Atzmon’s “antisemitic writings” as if there is any doubt about them. If the above quotes are not sufficient, perhaps Atzmon’s essay on ‘Truth, History and Integrity’ might persuade Jonathan Cook that he has made a serious error of judgement. Atzmon makes it clear that the extermination of European Jewry by the Nazis was a politically inspired fiction:
‘If, for instance, the Nazis wanted the Jews out of their Reich (Judenrein - free of Jews), or even dead, as the Zionist narrative insists, how come they marched hundreds of thousands of them back into the Reich at the end of the war?’ ‘If the Nazis ran a death factory in Auschwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them at the end of the war? We should ask for some conclusive historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative...’
It is true that the Guardian and Andy Newman did indeed put their own spin on what Atzmon represents. He isn’t an example of the Left. Even the SWP have now abandoned him, albeit refusing to explain why they initially supported him. Far more worrying is that some marginal sections of the wider Palestine solidarity movement still don’t get it. People like blogger Sameh Habeeb ex-Palestine Chronicle editor. The real danger is that Atzmon’s argument that Israel is not the product of a world imperialist system but of Jews as Jews will divert support for BDS (which Atzmon does not support) into retrograde anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism today is a marginal prejudice. Atzmon’s attempt to blame the current economic crisis on Jews is absured and farcical since there is no social base in the West today for anti-Semitism. The Jews’role has been taken by Muslims and asylum seekers. That is what Jonathan Cook fails to perceive

Tony Greenstein

By Jonathan Cook

September 28, 2011 "Information Clearing House" -- There could be no better proof of the revolution – care of the internet – occurring in the accessibility of information and informed commentary than the reaction of our mainstream, corporate media.

For the first time, Western publics – or at least those who can afford a computer – have a way to bypass the gatekeepers of our democracies. Data our leaders once kept tightly under wraps can now be easily searched for, as can the analyses of those not paid to turn a blind eye to the constant and compelling evidence of Western hypocrisy. Wikileaks, in particular, has rapidly eroded the traditional hierarchical systems of information dissemination.

The media – at least the supposedly leftwing component of it – should be cheering on this revolution, if not directly enabling it. And yet, mostly they are trying to co-opt, tame or subvert it. Indeed, progressive broadcasters and writers increasingly use their platforms in the mainstream to discredit and ridicule the harbingers of the new age.

A good case study is the Guardian, considered the most leftwing newspaper in Britain and rapidly acquiring cult status in the United States, where many readers tend to assume they are getting access through its pages to unvarnished truth and the full range of critical thinking on the left.

Certainly, the Guardian includes some fine reporting and occasionally insightful commentary. Possibly because it is farther from the heart of empire, it is able to provide a partial antidote to the craven coverage of the corporate-owned media in the US.

Nonetheless, it would be unwise to believe that the Guardian is therefore a free market in progressive or dissident ideas on the left. In fact, quite the contrary: the paper strictly polices what can be said and who can say it in its pages, for cynical reasons we shall come to.

Until recently, it was quite possible for readers to be blissfully unaware that there were interesting or provocative writers and thinkers who were never mentioned in the Guardian. And, before papers had online versions, the Guardian could always blame space constraints as grounds for not including a wider range of voices. That, of course, changed with the rise of the internet.

Early on, the Guardian saw the potential, as well as the threat, posed by this revolution. It responded by creating a seemingly free-for-all blog called Comment is Free to harness much of the raw energy unleashed by the internet. It recruited an army of mostly unpaid writers, activists and propagandists on both sides of the Atlantic to help brand itself as the epitome of democratic and pluralistic media.

From the start, however, Comment is Free was never quite as free – except in terms of the financial cost to the Guardian – as it appeared. Significant writers on the left, particularly those who were considered “beyond the pale” in the old media landscape, were denied access to this new “democratic” platform. Others, myself included, quickly found there were severe and seemingly inexplicable limits on what could be said on CiF (unrelated to issues of taste or libel).

None of this should matter. After all, there are many more places than CiF to publish and gain an audience. All over the web dissident writers are offering alternative analyses of current events, and drawing attention to the significance of information often ignored or sidelined by the corporate media.

Rather than relish this competition, or resign itself to the emergence of real media pluralism, however, the Guardian reverted to type. It again became the left’s thought police.

This time, however, it could not ensure that the “challenging left” would simply go unheard. The internet rules out the option of silencing by exclusion. So instead, it appears, it is using its pages to smear those writers who, through their own provocative ideas and analyses, suggest the Guardian’s tameness.

The Guardian’s discrediting of the “left” – the left being a concept never defined by the paper’s writers – is far from taking place in a fair battle of ideas. Not least the Guardian is backed by the huge resources of its corporate owners. When it attacks dissident writers, they can rarely, if ever, find a platform of equal prominence to defend themselves. And the Guardian has proved itself more than reluctant to allow a proper right of reply in its pages to those it maligns.

But also, and most noticeably, it almost never engages with these dissident writers’ ideas. In popular terminology, it prefers to play the man, not the ball. Instead it creates labels, from the merely disparaging to the clearly defamatory, that push these writers and thinkers into the territory of the unconscionable.

A typical example of the Guardian’s new strategy was on show this week in an article in the print edition’s comment pages – also available online and a far more prestigious platform than CiF – in which the paper commissioned a socialist writer, Andy Newman, to argue that the Israeli Jewish musician Gilad Atzmon was part of an anti-semitic trend discernible on the left.

Jonathan Freedland, the paper’s star columnist and resident obsessive on anti-semitism, tweeted to his followers that the article was “important” because it was “urging the left to confront antisemitism in its ranks”.

I have no idea whether Atzmon has expressed anti-semitic views – and I am none the wiser after reading Newman’s piece.

As is now typical in this new kind of Guardian character assassination, the article makes no effort to prove that Atzmon is anti-semitic or to show that there is any topical or pressing reason to bring up his presumed character flaw. (In passing, the article made a similar accusation of anti-semitism against Alison Weir of If Americans Knew, and against the Counterpunch website for publishing an article by her on Israel’s role in organ-trafficking.)

Atzmon has just published a book on Jewish identity, the Wandering Who?, that has garnered praise from respected figures such as Richard Falk, an emeritus law professor at Princeton, and John Mearsheimer, a distinguished politics professor at Chicago University.

But Newman did not critique the book, nor did he quote from it. In fact, he showed no indication that he had read the book or knew anything about its contents.

Instead Newman began his piece, after praising Atzmon’s musicianship, with an assumptive reference to his “antisemitic writings”. There followed a few old quotes from Atzmon, long enough to be intriguing but too short and out of context to prove his anti-semitism – except presumably to the Guardian’s thought police and its most deferential readers.

The question left in any reasonable person’s mind is why dedicate limited commentary space in the paper to Atzmon? There was no suggestion of a newsworthy angle. And there was no case made to prove that Atzmon is actually anti-semitic. It was simply assumed as a fact.

Atzmon, even by his own reckoning, is a maverick figure who has a tendency to infuriate just about everyone with his provocative, and often ambiguous, pronouncements. But why single him out and then suggest that he represents a discernible and depraved trend among the left?

Nonetheless, the Guardian was happy to offer its imprimatur to Newman’s defamation of Atzmon, who was described as a conspiracy theorist “dripping with contempt for Jews”, despite an absence of substantiating evidence. Truly worthy of Pravda in its heyday.


Is Atzmon and his presumed anti-semitism more significant than AIPAC? Is Herman more of a danger than the military-industrial corporations killing millions of people around the globe? And is Assange more of a menace to the planet’s future than US President Barack Obama?

Reading the Guardian, you might well think so.

28 September 2011

Zero Books Authors Distance Themselves from the Decision to Publish Gilad Atzmon’s New Book ‘The Wandering Who?’

Richard ‘Lenin’ Seymour makes it clear that the SWP owes no-one an apology for its previous relationship with Atzmon [or indeed for anything!]

I received a message earlier today regarding Atzmon’s new book The Wandering Who? It informed me and others that ‘a group of authors published by Zero Books have criticized the publisher & distanced themselves from the decision to publish Atzmon’s conspiracy text.’

In response to criticism (see below) Richard Seymour of the Leninology blog and the SWP, made it clear that the ‘revolutionary party’ that the SWP claims to be is not answerable to anyone – and this much is true. The membership has no control, the leadership has no accountability and it can therefore lurch from one appalling mistake and piece of opportunism (John Rees accepting £10,000 cheque from a union busting capitalist in the Middle East for a trade union conference) to Martin Smith, its Secretary, promoting Gilad Atzmon despite his overt and acknowledged anti-Semitism and dabbling in holocaust denial.. At the time Jews Against Zionism and other anti-racists held a picket of the SWP’s meeting (June 17 2005)

In fact the only admission obtained from Seymour was in passing and related to what Seymour termed ‘The SWP's long-since aborted relationship with Atzmon’ and anyway ‘nor do I owe you any explanation for it.’ It is true I’m not personally owed an explanation, but perhaps the Palestine solidarity and anti-racist movements might be owed one?

It’s also untrue to talk about the SWP’s ‘long aborted’ relationship with Atzmon. I defy Richard Seymour to point to one article, one word, one syllable even, in Socialist Worker or their site, which states unequivocally that they have terminated their relationship and why. Instead they hope that people forget and like good Stalinists are intent on pretending it never happened or was a very long time ago (in fact about a year).

The statement they reproduced on their site (now gone!), is a rebuttal of the idea that Atzmon was either an anti-semite or a holocaust denier. The reasons? Firstly he was an Israeli born Jew who served in the IOF and now lives in Britain and secondly he was a good jazz player!

It is interesting that one of the reasons why Seymour and fellow authors have distanced themselves from Atzmon was on account of his essay ‘On anti-Semitism’ which was published in March 2003. It contains all you need to know about someone who believes Jews control the White House and that it doesn’t matter if the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion are true or not. ‘American Jewry makes any debate on whether the 'Protocols of the elder of Zion' are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews (in fact Zionists) do control the world.’ The bracketed ‘in fact Zionists’ was added at a later stage after the essay came in for much criticism. However the meaning is unchanged.

It was on June 17, 2005, over 2 years later that the SWP hosted Atzmon at Bookmarks to talk about Otto Weininger, about whom Hitler is alleged to have said that there was only one good Jew, and he killed himself. The idea of Atzmon giving a favourable lecture to the SWP faithful on Hitler’s favourite Jew, a misogynist to put it mildly, is beyond parody.

In fact another of Atzmon’s gems (‘The Learned Elders of Zion’) a parody on the infamous anti-Semitic forgery the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which is aimed at anti-Zionist Jews) is dated 9.11.06. showing that they took it straight from Atzmon’s site. In fact it was printed on the Truth Seeker conspiracy site, which regularly publishes holocaust denial articles, on June 12th 2005. And I have a file with the article dated 5.6.05. In other words the article was published nearly 2 weeks before the said meeting yet it didn’t ring any bells with the SWP.

It’s understandable that Richard ‘Lenin’ Seymour doesn’t want to answer for the SWP. Quite frankly, who can blame him? Nonetheless this rank piece of opportunism refuses to go away.

And having conducted a search of the Internet it would seem that Seymour has a habit of acting as the SWP's loyal subversive as when he closed down all discussion on his blog over the SWP's debacle in Respect and more serious charges that he acted as an apologist for the Serbian state and denied the appalling genocide in Srebenika (along with Spiked Magazine). It was a 'mere' massacre.

Tony Greenstein

Disappeared Statement by SWP 21 June 2005

Gilad Atzmon and Marxism 2005

There has been some controversy surrounding our invitation for the musician Gilad Atzmon to perform at Marxism 2005.

One or two small groups are claiming that Gilad is an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier. We would like to state the following:

Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli born Jew who served in the Israeli Defence Force and who now lives in “self-exile” in Britain. He is an internationally acclaimed jazz musician whose album Exile won BBC Best Jazz Album of 2003.

The SWP would also like to make it clear, that we would never give a platform to a racist or fascist. Our entire history has been one of fierce opposition to fascist organisations like the National Front and the British National Party. We played a prominent role in setting up the Anti Nazi League in the mid-1970s and Unite Against Fascism two years ago. One of our members, Blair Peach, was killed on an anti-fascist demonstration in west London in 1979.

Our founding member, Tony Cliff, was Jewish and, like many of his generation, lost many members of his family in the Holocaust. Nazis in the British National Party and National Front have targeted our members for attack. In the last three weeks we have helped initiate two vigils in response to anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish cemeteries in Manchester and east London. Across the country our members are involved in campaigns to defend asylum seekers, oppose police brutality and defend communities from scapegoating.
We have a record of opposing fascism, anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, that is second to none.

The SWP does not believe that Gilad Atzmon is a Holocaust denier or racist. However, while defending Gilad’s right to play and speak on public platforms that in no way means we endorse all of Gilad’s views. We think that some of the formulations on his website might encourage his readers to feel that he is blurring the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti Zionism.

In fact we have publicly challenged and argued against those of his ideas we disagree with.
We do not believe that Gilad should be “banned” from performing or speaking. “No Platform” is a principle that the left has always reserved for fascists and organised racists. Where other disagreements occur, the left, with the same vigour, has defended the right to freedom of speech, debate and the clash of ideas.

Statement from Gilad Atzmon carried by the SWP
Gilad Atzmon has made the following statement refuting the allegations:

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.

For me, Zionism, being a racist expansionist movement, is no different from Nazi ideology. In my writings, I try to suggest some alternative philosophical and ethical realisation of historical narratives and current world affairs. This of course applies to the Holocaust. I would argue that atrocities should be realised in ideological terms rather than in measurable positive terms.

Occasionally I question the impact of the Holocaust as a “means of justification”. I try to scrutinise its role within western politics and discourse. In fact, I am not interested in the debate concerning the scale of Jewish casualties. As we all know, it wasn’t only Jews who died in that bloody war and it isn’t the number that makes the difference.

For me the Holocaust isn’t a question of quantity but rather a moral lesson, it is search into the essence of being amongst others. These ideas make me very unpopular among Zionists and their supporters.

I may mention as well that I am a jazz musician and a novelist. I am not a politician; I have never been a member in any political party. I am acting independently. I am not associated with any political body and I do not intend to be associated with one in the foreseen future. I deeply believe in an open intellectual exchange in which people with many different and opposing views can hear and be heard. I do believe that we must learn to listen to our opponents. Unless we do that we will never win. I would argue that any form of discourse is acceptable as long as it doesn’t bridge the elementary ethical barrier i.e. endorsing violence and discrimination.

Those who try to stop me from appearing in Marxism 2005 next month and Bookmarks later this week are in fact reactionary forces who aim to shatter the most intrinsic notion of intellectual life. They fight against freedom of speech, freedom of interpretation and ideological diversity. They are trying to forcefully implant their obscure views in the very core of British left discourse.

It is devastating to find out that those calls are expressed under the banner of British Jewish left (Anti Zionist Jews, JPUK etc). I would rather prefer to believe that, after such a long history of Jewish suffering, left Jews would position themselves at the forefront of the battle against discrimination and defamation. No doubt many Jews do and I am very thankful for that.

I use this opportunity to call my opponents to attend the coming events and to engage themselves in a fruitful dialogue with me and everybody else.

Peace, Gilad Atzmon

Correspondence Below:

E-mail 1: TG to RS and others

Yes but it's not before time. This has been known for 3 months. [in fact 2 months]

It seems to have taken Andy Newman's Guardian CIF piece to stir them into action.

I was originally informed of this by one David Taube of Harry's Place back at the beginning of August. I knew nothing of zero books but he made

The book itself is just a rehash of the old themes. It is so undialectical that I am surprised that anyone takes it seriously. As it is, those like Prof. Mersheimer who have contributed a blurb stand to discredit themselves as as result. It is really a shame that otherwise intelligent people are taken for fools like this.


This was more than Richard Seymour, who was on a list of about 20 people could take. He responded with a mixture of vitriol and denial, coupled with righteous indignation that anyone should try to hold him or his organisation, the SWP, to account for having promoted an open anti-Semite and holocaust denier. His response to political criticism? Shut your mouth!

E-mail 2: RS to TG and others

Sent: Tuesday, 27 September 2011, 18:00
Subject: Re: Gilad Atzmon, antisemitism and the left | Andy Newman | Comment is free | The Guardian

The completion and timing of this statement has nothing to do with Andy Newman's piece. It has been in the works for some time, pending further information from Zero. Get your facts right, Tony. Or, as I would prefer, keep it shut.


E-mail 3: TG to RS and others

Richard Seymour,

Yes I'm sure you would prefer that I get my mouth shut. That way you can avoid being tempted into providing explanations as to what happened to the statement from Atzmon on the SWP website and why, to this day, you have not explained why the SWP maintained a relationship with Atzmon for some 3-4 years. It is a serious matter when an organisation that calls itself Marxist and revolutionary socialist deliberately promotes someone who is nakedly anti-Semitic. What kind of bloody Marxist organisation is that?

Martin Smith should be expelled. Instead he is or was your National Secretary and is still a Central Committee member.

I remember challenging Sabby Sagall outside the founding meeting of Independent Jewish Voices as to why he was giving out leaflets advertising an Atzmon give, in February 2007. He looked bemused and kept quiet.

Honesty comrade, being able to own up to mistakes and admit you got it wrong, rather than pretend nothing has happened.

Your explanation below is not good enough. If you are saying it is a coincidence that the article from Andy appeared yesterday and the statement today, which I doubt, then that begs some questions. Why did it take you so long to get your act together, when Atzmon's book has been widely publicised for nearly 2 months? What further information did you require from Zero that required you to keep quiet? You may have written the statement and collected the statements before but the timing of its release? Was that a coincidence?

Why also did David Taube, not exactly a political bedfellow, write to me and no doubt others on August 6th, i.e. nearly 2 months ago, to inform me of the fact that a left-wing publisher Zero books, was printing Atzmon. When did you learn of this yourself? Recently or before then? If so why did u keep silent. What is the organisational relationship of the SWP with Zero? Is it similar to what Pluto Books used to be?

It would seem that you have very good reason for wanting me to keep silent, but sorry comrade, socialists believe in free and open discussion. Or had you forgot?


Tony Greenstein

E-mail 4: RS to TG and others

Tony, Listen, you poor, pompous sap. The SWP has nothing to do with Zero Books, which is an imprint of John Hunt Publishing (all of which is very easy to find out with a quick Google search). The impresario behind Zero, Tariq Godard, would be highly amused to be accused of having any association with the SWP. The SWP's long-since aborted relationship with Atzmon has nothing to do with this, and nor do I owe you any explanation for it.

Nor, while I'm at it, do I owe you an explanation for why Zero authors released our statement when we did. We do not answer to you. No one answers to you, unless you happen to own a pet dog. You may wish to reflect on the fact that it is this sort of self-important bluster on your part that has been responsible for such calamities as the humiliation of Jews Against Zionism at the PSC annual conference and its subsequent disintegration.
I have nothing else to say to you, buffoon, on this or any related matter. All future missives will be deleted on arrival.

Yours etc.,

Gilad Atzmon, antisemitism and the left
Andy Newman
Andy Newman Guardian 25th September 2011

The Palestinian cause is hindered, not helped, when the left fails to notice or confront anti-semitism

Gilad Atzmon is a world renowned jazz musician, and a former soldier in the Israeli army, so his advocacy of the Palestinian cause is guaranteed to draw attention. Indeed, a small leftwing publisher, Zero Books, has commissioned Atzmon to write a book on the Jews as part of an otherwise entirely credible series by respected left figures such as Richard Seymour, Nina Power and Laurie Penny.

The trouble is that Atzmon has often argued that the Zionist oppression of the Palestinians is attributable not to the bellicose politics of the Israeli state, but to Jewish lobbies and Jewish power. Atzmon's antisemitic writings include, for example, a 2009 article – Tribal Marxism for Dummies – in which he explains that while "Marxism is a universal paradigm, its Jewish version is very different. It is there to mould Marxist dialectic into a Jewish subservient precept". Atzmon argues that it is merely a "Judeo-centric pseudo intellectual setting which aims at political power" and that "Jewish Marxism is there to … stop scrutiny of Jewish power and Jewish lobbying".

This is a wild conspiracy argument, dripping with contempt for Jews. Sadly, Atzmon's status as a celebrity advocate of the Palestinian cause means that he has been feted by some on the left. The Socialist Workers party, for example, used to invite him to attend their public events, and Indymedia has robustly defended Atzmon, even banning people who object to him.

Sadly, the left does not have an unblemished record on opposing antisemitism. In 2009, for example, the respected American leftist publication Counterpunch published an article by Alison Weir of the organisation If Americans Knew defending the unsubstantiated and implausible claims made by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet about Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinians in Gaza to harvest their organs.

Weir implied, with no evidence, that Israel is at the centre of international organ smuggling. She then explicitly argued that the medieval "blood libel" – that Jews kill Christian children – has a basis in fact. Elsewhere, more than 3 million people have watched on YouTube the antisemitic film Zeitgeist: the Movie, despite its recycling of paranoia about a Jewish plot for world domination.

Sometimes well-meaning people fail to recognise antisemitism when they encounter it, because they are not attuned to the linguistic codes in which it is expressed, or are unaware of the cultural themes of anti-Judaic prejudice being drawn upon. Anti-Judaic bigotry predates modern racism, and is embedded in our culture. In pre-capitalist Europe Christians were prohibited from usury – lending money for interest. Medieval Jewry thus played a social role as financiers. The enduring negative stereotype of Jews as "greedy" therefore derived from medieval opposition to finance capital. As Martin Luther wrote in 1543: "[The Jews] let us work in the sweat of our brow to earn money and property while they sit behind the stove, idle away the time, fart, and roast pears … with their accursed usury they hold us and our property captive. … Thus they are our masters and we are their servants, with our property, our sweat, and our labour."

Luther may have little direct influence on modern antisemitism, but the identification of Jews as trying to control the world through money still has widespread currency, and informs the idea of a "Jewish lobby" that dictates American support for Israel.

The 19th century saw anti-Judaic feeling given a gloss of pseudo-science, with the birth of modern racialised antisemitism. This made an important difference because it created a racial category for the Jews. Whereas medieval anti-Judaism had regarded Jewishness as a question of faith, and therefore believed that Jews stopped being Jews if they accepted Christ, in the 19th century Jews came to be seen as aliens in Europe.

The Jews have always regarded themselves as a nation without a home, and it should come as no surprise that in response to such antisemitism Jewish political nationalism arose across Europe in the 19th century, or that Zionism then gave expression to the aspiration for a Jewish nation state. The actually existing Israel is founded upon displacement of another people, and there will never be peace and security until the Palestinians achieve justice. However, the cause of the Palestinians is hindered, not helped, by association with antisemitism.

It is incumbent upon the left and the Palestinian solidarity movement to both be aware of the conscious effort of far-right antisemites to infiltrate the movement, and to vigorously oppose and exclude antisemites. We would not hesitate to condemn racists, homophobes or sexists, and must be equally robust in opposing anti-Jewish hate-speech.

See also my own article ‘The Seamy Side of Solidarity’ in CIF in February 2007

Zero Authors' Statement on Gilad Atzmon

posted by Lenin

We are writing to express our concern that Zero Books, a vibrant, radical publisher, has made a terrible error of judgment in publishing a manuscript by the Jazz musician Gilad Atzmon. The book, entitled The Wandering Who?, is a discussion of ‘Jewish identity’ in the light of global issues such as Israel-Palestine, and the financial crisis. But the nature of Atzmon’s political engagement on ‘Jewish identity’ makes him at best a dubious authority on such matters. His central concern is to describe and oppose “Jewish power”, as he sees it. Thus, in one piece complaining about the presence of Jews in the Clinton and Bush administrations, he argues:

“Zionists complain that Jews continue to be associated with a conspiracy to rule the world via political lobbies, media and money. Is the suggestion of conspiracy really an empty accusation? ... we must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously … American Jewry makes any debate on whether the 'Protocols of the elder of Zion' are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy.”[1]

This ‘control’ is, Atzmon argues, quite extensive. “Jewish power” is such that legitimate research into the Nazi judeocide (by which he means Holocaust denial) is impossible. The established history of the Holocaust is a “religion” that “doesn’t make any historical sense”. But Jewish power has “managed to prevent the West from accessing one of the most devastating chapters of Western history”.[2] Moreover, he blames the global economic crisis on Zionism and Jewish bankers:

“Throughout the centuries, Jewish bankers bought for themselves some real reputations of backers and financers of wars [2] and even one communist revolution [3]. Though rich Jews had been happily financing wars using their assets, Alan Greenspan, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States, found a far more sophisticated way to finance the wars perpetrated by his ideological brothers Libby and Wolfowitz...”[3]

Elsewhere, he relates that Marxism is merely an expression of Jewish tribal interests, “a form of supremacy that adopts the Judaic binary template”.[4] Thus, Jews are held responsible by Atzmon for war, financial capitalism and communism. Being born to an Israeli Jewish family, he does not identify the problem, as he sees it, in terms of blood or DNA. Rather, he identifies a “Jewish tribal mindset”, a “Jewish ideology”, as the animus behind Jewish attempts “to control the world”. Yet, racist ideology has never been reducible to its ‘biological’ variants. It has often taken a ‘cultural’ form, predicated on an essentialist reading of its object (Islam, ‘Jewishness’) which is held to represent a powerful, threatening Other.

Atzmon’s assertions are underpinned by a further claim, which is that antisemitism doesn't exist, and hasn’t existed since 1948. There is only “political reaction” to “Jewish power”, sometimes legitimate, sometimes not. For example, the smashing up of Jewish graves may be “in no way legitimate”, but nor are they “’irrational’ hate crimes”. They are solely “political responses”.[5] Given this, it would be impossible for anything that Atzmon writes, or for anyone he associates with, to be anti-Semitic. This shows, not only in his writing, but in his political alliances. He sees nothing problematic, for example, in his championing of the white supremacist ‘Israel Shamir’ (“the sharpest critical voice of ‘Jewish power’ and Zionist ideology”[6]), whose writings reproduce the most vicious anti-Semitic myths including the ‘blood libel’, and for whom even the BNP are insufficiently racist.[7]

The thrust of Atzmon’s work is to normalise and legitimise anti-Semitism. We do not believe that Zero’s decision to publish this book is malicious. Atzmon’s ability to solicit endorsements from respectable figures such as Richard Falk and John Mearsheimer shows that he is adept at muddying the waters both on his own views and on the question of anti-Semitism. But at a time when dangerous forces are attempting to racialise political antagonisms, we think the decision is grossly mistaken. We call on Zero to distance itself from Atzmon’s views which, we know, are not representative of the publisher or its critical engagement with contemporary culture.

Robin Carmody, Dominic Fox, Owen Hatherley, Douglas Murphy, Alex Niven, Laurie Penny,
Nina Power, Richard Seymour & Kit Withnail. (Others to follow).
[1] Gilad Atzmon, ‘On Antisemitism’, Gilad.co.uk, 20th March 2003

[2] Gilad Atzmon, ‘Zionism and other Marginal Thoughts’, Gilad.co.uk, 4th October 2009; Gilad Atzmon, ‘Truth, History and Integrity’, Gilad.co.uk, 13th March 2010

[3] Gilad Atzmon, ‘Credit Crunch or rather Zio Punch?’, Gilad.co.uk, 16th November 2009

[4] Gilad Atzmon, ‘Self-Hatred vs. Self-Love- An Interview with Eric Walberg by Gilad Atzmon’, Gilad.co.uk, 5th August 2011

[5] Gilad Atzmon, ‘On Antisemitism’, Gilad.co.uk, 20th March 2003

[6] Gilad Atzmon, ‘The Protocols of the Elders Of London’, Gilad.co.uk, 9th November 2006

[7] See Israel Shamir, ‘Bloodcurdling Libel (a Summer Story)’, IsraelShamir.net; and Israel Shamir, ‘British Far Right and Saddam : responses of Robert Edwards and LJ Barnes of BNP’, IsraelShamir.net, January 2007

The Prawer Plan – Blueprint for Ethnic Cleansing of the Bedouin

The Internal Transfer of the Arabs of the Negev
If you ever want to judge the naked racism of Zionism and see how its use of ‘security’ ‘terrorist’ and other apologia for its actions is just a facade, then its treatment of the Bedouin of the Negev is as good an example as it gets. Al Arakib, a village in the Negev which is ‘unrecognised’ by the Israeli state (Jewish towns and villages are always recognised) has been demolished over 20 times.

Now the Prawer Plan has been drawn up which aims to ‘relocate’ the Bedouin on a fraction of the land they have been occupied, which itself is a fraction of their original land (15%).

Below are 2 articles on this exercise in internal transfer.

Tony Greenstein

Unilateral decision ignores rights of Bedouin residents to land ownership

15 September, 2011

Haifa– On Sunday, September 11th, the Israeli government approved the Prawer plan, which aims to relocate 30,000 Bedouins from their unrecognized villages in southern Israel to settlements recognized by the state. The Prawer report, which was intended to be based on the 2008 Goldberg Commission report, does not grant legal status to unrecognized Bedouin villages as in accordance with Goldberg and the residents’ wishes, but unilaterally decides to remove indigenous residents from their ancestral lands. The first edition of the Prawer report designated 183,000 dunams for Bedouin relocation. The new edition of the Prawer report, and the version officially adopted on Sunday, designates only 100,000 dunams for Bedouin relocation.

This decision neglects to consider the rights of the Bedouin citizens of Israel. The Bedouins living in the Negev demand the protection of 600,000 dunams of land- only 2% of the Negev. The adoption of Prawer is a continuation of a long history of discrimination against Bedouin citizens that has existed since the creation of Israel. Insensitivity towards the Bedouin population has included expropriation of 85% of their ancestral lands, a lack of basic infrastructure in unrecognized villages and multiple village demolitions. Meanwhile, more than 60 individual Jewish farms in the Negev were recognized through legislation by the Israeli government in 2010 alone.

The Prawer plan takes the neglect of the Bedouin Israeli community to a new level. While the Prime Minister’s office claims that this decision aims to bring better integration of Bedouins in Israeli society, it involves forcibly moving two-thirds of the Bedouin population in the Negev to cramped towns which cannot support the traditional agricultural lifestyles of the Bedouin community.

Mossawa warns that this recent development has the potential to instigate violence amongst the local Arab population. Sunday’s decision sparked a large protest outside the Prime Minister’s office and more demonstrations against the Prawer plan are being organized throughout the country. Mossawa views the decision to adopt Prawer as one more attempt by the government to eliminate the culture and way of life of Israel’s Bedouin community.
For more information: Jafar Farah at TheMossawaCenter@gmail.com or +972 (0)4 855 5901

Mossawa Center - The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens
Tel: +972.4.8555901/2 Fax: +972.48552772
http://mossawacenter.org bill.mossawamedia@gmail.com

Published 11.9.11 Joseph Dana

The approval of the ‘Prawer Plan’ concerning Bedouins in the Negev desert demonstrates that Israel’s principle of divide and rule, which has been perfected in the West Bank and Gaza, also applies to citizens of Israel living inside 1948 boundaries.

Bedouin resident in the village of Al Arakib after it was destroyed by Israeli forces (Photo: Activestills)

Perhaps the most violent component of Israel’s control over non-Jewish inhabitants since the founding of the state has been the (unequal) distribution and allocation of resources. In Area C of the West Bank, the area designated for full Israeli military and civilian control by the Oslo accords which makes up the majority of land in the occupied territories, Israel has demonstrated its ability to control the Palestinians of the West Bank through the allocation of resources such as water, electricity and building permits. In the West Bank village of Susya, for example, Palestinians are forced to purchase water at rates close to 10 times higher than an Israeli living in Tel Aviv. Their wells are destroyed by Israel’s civilian administration due to lack of permits which are almost impossible to obtain and many living structures are deemed illegally built and subject to demolition.

The deprivation of resources leaves Palestinians helpless in the face of bureaucratic measures which even Kafka could not have imagined. The point of this system is clear, make Palestinian life in area C villages so unbearable that they their only option is to move into cities in Area A, under Palestinian Authority control. The unclaimed land is then expropriated by Israel using out of date Ottoman laws. This amounts to an effective use of the classic colonial practice of divide and rule given the fragmented nature of Area A cities in the West Bank and the settlements which form almost natural barrier between them.

Interestingly, this is not just happening to West Bank Palestinians. Something similar is taking place to non-Jewish citizens inside Israeli territory. This morning, Israel authorized the controversial “Prawer Plan” concerning the resettlement of Bedouins in the Negev Desert.

Authored by Ehud Prawer, head of the Policy Planning Department at the Prime Minister’s Office, the report contradicts an earlier report on how to resolve settlement issues in the Negev desert. The first report, penned by former Justice Eliezer Goldberg, demanded that Israel make every attempt to respect Bedouins living in the Negev, noting in particular the need to allow them to remain in their villages and homes.

The Prawer report, which has been criticized by the Israeli civil liberties outfit, the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, has proposed that as many as 30,000 Bedouins be removed from their homes and villages, against their will and for little reason. Removal has been approved by the government according to a report in today’s edition of Haaretz (Hebrew).

The decision to evacuate as many as 30,000 Bedouins and relocate them to large Bedouin towns such as Rahat, Khura and Ksayfe with some financial compensation has been called by some a “declaration of war on the Bedouin.” It is actually a long time coming if the experience of the Bedouin village of al Arakib is any indication. The village has been destroyed almost 30 times by Israel in an effort to make way for a new Jewish National Fund forest in its place.

During the height of the hopeful J14 tent protests this summer, demands for better Bedouin rights could be heard filling conversations even in the heart of Tel Aviv’s Rothschild boulevard tent encampment. However, hope has taken a backseat in recent days as many of the tent protesters’ demands for Bedouin rights have been dropped, ignored or simply disappeared.

Israel policies of divide and rule, based on classical colonial principles, are not limited to its occupied populations. The adoption of the Prawer plan by the Israeli government has shown that Israel uses this mechanism of control to subjugate all non-Jewish inhabitants under its control from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea regardless of the status of their citizenship.

Shin Bet Urges Halt to funding Judeo-Nazi Yeshivah

Yeshiva Od Yosef Hai - A Nest of Zionist Terrorists Headed by Advocate for Genocide Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira
An interesting story. Od Yosef Hai Yeshivah (Jewish study seminary) based in the Yitzhar settlement in the West Bank, is suspected of carrying out terrorist ‘price tag’ attacks on Palestinians.

Not that they have had done to them what the army normally does – demolish buildings without warning and put people in administrative detention without trial for years. After all these are Jews.

So we have the absurd situation of, one the one hand, the Army having an 11 year old demolition order it has done nothing about, Shin Bet urging an end to its government funding and at the same time the Religious and other Ministries providing the settler zealots with abundant funding.

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, no stranger to this blog, is the head of the Yeshiva. Among his literary accomplishments is Torat HaMelech which justifies the murder even of Palestinian children and babies. Truly what Yeshoyahu Liebowitz called a Judeo-Nazi style settlement.

Below is an article in Ha’aretz on this and another one on who funds this vile organisation.

Tony Greenstein

Shin Bet says it has accumulated information on the involvement of Yitzhar's yeshiva students in illegal, subversive and violent activities against Arabs and the security forces.
By Chaim Levinson and Amos Harel

The Shin Bet security service is urging the Education Ministry to immediately halt funding to the Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva in the settlement of Yitzhar, near Nablus, saying it has received intelligence information that senior rabbis in the yeshiva are encouraging their students to attack Arabs.

The army's GOC Central Command, Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi, recently issued restraining orders that forbid several students affiliated with the yeshiva to enter the West Bank. This decision was based on what security sources termed well-founded suspicions that these students had been involved in attacks on Arabs, including "price tag" attacks on Arab property (so called because they seek to deter the army from razing houses in the settlements ) and the torching of mosques in nearby Palestinian villages.

The head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, was filmed in the past accompanying some of his students to a nearby Arab village; the students then threw stones while the rabbi looked on. Shapira is the author of the controversial work "The King's Torah," which, among other things, discusses circumstances under which Jewish law might permit the killing of non-Jews.

Od Yosef Hai is a general name for several different institutions, among them a yeshiva high school, a yeshiva gedola (post-high school yeshiva), a kollel (yeshiva for married men) and the publishing house that issued "The King's Torah," among other works.

The institute gets funding from four different line items in the state budget. In 2009, the Education Ministry gave it NIS 468,000 for the yeshiva high school and NIS 847,000 for the yeshiva gedola. The yeshiva also got money from the Social Affairs Ministry for a project to rehabilitate ultra-Orthodox drop-outs (NIS 707,000 in 2009), plus NIS 156,000 to operate a dormitory.

In January, following a complaint by the Reform Movement, the Education Ministry and the deputy state prosecutor for special assignments, Shai Nitzan, decided not to transfer funds to the yeshiva gedola.

In April, after political pressure was applied, the yeshiva received a letter saying funding would be restored, but it has not yet received the money.

The Shin Bet recommendation to withhold funds came about a month ago, Haaretz has learned. In the weeks since then, Shin Bet and Education Ministry officials have had two meetings on the matter, but the ministry has apparently not yet decided how to respond. Od Yosef Hai, for its part, is preparing to petition the High Court of Justice if its funding is halted.

The Shin Bet said it has "accumulated a lot of information about the involvement of students at Od Yosef Hai and Dorshei Yehudcha [the yeshiva high school] in illegal, subversive and violent activities against Arabs and the security forces. The information indicates that the yeshiva's rabbis and leaders are aware of some of these activities, but do not prevent them, and even enable students to take part in them."

Rightists rush to place 'Jewish terrorists' on fringe, but Yesh Din has found out some interesting facts.
By Akiva Eldar

Right-wing spokesmen, including some elected officials, rushed to place Yaakov "Jack" Teitel in the fringe group alongside Yigal Amir, Eden Natan Zada, Eliran Golan, Asher Weisgan, Danny Tikman and a few other "political/ideological" murderers.

True, they acknowledge, there are among us several lunatic rabbis who agitate to violence. Really, just a handful; even a toddler could count them.

The more stringent will note that unlike the Hamas government, our government does not pay the salaries of rabbis who advocate the killing of babies.

Is that so? Not really.

For example, government ministries regularly transfer support and funding to a yeshiva whose rabbi determined that it is permissible to kill gentile babies "because their presence assists murder, and there is reason to harm children if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us ... it is permissible to harm the children of a leader in order to stop him from acting evilly ... we have seen in the Halakha that even babies of gentiles who do not violate the seven Noahide laws, there is cause to kill them because of the future threat that will be caused if they are raised to be wicked people like their parents."

Lior Yavne, who oversees research at the Yesh Din human rights organization, checked and found that in 2006-2007, the Ministry of Education department of Torah institutions transferred over a million shekels to the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in Yitzhar.

The Ministry of Social Affairs has allocated over 150,000 shekels to the yeshiva since 2007, scholarships for students with financial difficulties studying there. And what can they learn with the help of public funding from the head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira? According to selected items published last week in the media, the boys can learn that Teitel is not only innocent, but also a real saint.

Their spiritual leader stated in his book, "Torat Hamelekh" that "a national decision is not necessary in order to permit the shedding of blood of an evil kingdom. Even individuals from the afflicted kingdom can attack them."

A brochure distributed in Judean and Samarian communities stated that "needless to say that nowhere in the book does it state that these remarks are aimed only at gentiles in ancient times."

"The commandments in the book do not suffice only with gentiles; you can also find in them approval to attack leftist professors: every citizen in the kingdom opposing us who encourages the fighters or expresses satisfaction with their actions is considered a pursuer and his killing is permissible," wrote the rabbi and adds, "and also considered a pursuer is someone whose remarks weaken our kingdom or have a similar effect."

Not long ago, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced that he would ask European Union countries to halt their support for the Breaking the Silence organization because he was displeased with their publications.

The minister surely has reservations about the rabbi's publications.

He is invited to approach his colleagues at the Ministry of Education and at the Ministry of Social Affairs.

24 September 2011

Disruption of BBC Proms and Israeli Philharmonic was a 'Jewish Campaign

Dr Khouri-Machool (C) Paul Crofts

The Racist Backwash from Freiburg’s ‘Free Speech for
Holocaust denier’s’ Conference
The Political Vacuity of Palestinian Functionary Samir Abed-Rabbo

At the same time as we were planning the disruption of the BBC Proms Concert featuring the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra on September 1st, Gilad Atzmon and his supporters were planning a conference in Freiburg, Germany, whose purpose was to conflate those who are the victims of the denial of the Nakba, the Palestinians, with those who deny the holocaust, i.e. neo-Nazis.

The disruption of the IPO’s performance outraged pompous reactionaries like the Telegraph’s Norman Lebrecht but it also brought the issue of a cultural boycott to the fore.

Another reactionary, Gilad Atzmon, was also none too pleased at what happened. The difference though is that Lebrecht is an open Zionist. Atzmon pretends to be a supporter of the Palestinians. It is unfortunate that Palestinian intellectuals, Samir Abed-Rabbo and Makram Khoury-Machool have been taken in by a racist charlatan.

Atzmon’s commitment to the Palestinian cause is best example by his denunciation of the Academic Boycott as ‘book burning’. In an interview in 2007 with Mary Rizzo, Atzmon made his views crystal clear:
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 asked Atzmon yesterday whether he still stood by this statement. He refused to answer. But still feeling sore about the Freiburg Flop, Atzmon let me know his views on the disruption of the IPO. Apparently it was all a ‘Jewish campaign’. J-Big was in fact one of four groups involved and perhaps ¼ to 1/3 of those who took part in the protest were Jewish and members of J-Big. That apparently makes it a ‘Jewish campaign'. And there are still those who say Atzmon isn’t anti-Semitic! I have therefore printed the e-mails at the bottom of the article.

Atzmon has posted his own video of interviews with the panel speakers and organisers of his conference, though he is careful not to include any audience shots (one presumes there was an audience). It is a remarkable piece of disinformation. Less than 10 minutes of concentrated bile. Clearly the campaign to inform people about Freiburg had its effect.

Zionism and anti-Semitism

If the history of Palestine teaches one anything it is that, in the words of Lucien Wolf, President of the Anglo Jewish Association, ‘
‘The characteristic peril of Zionism is that it is the natural and abiding ally of anti-Semitism and its most powerful justification.’['The Zionist Peril' Jewish Quarterly Review, October 1904]. The German Anti Zionist Committee, described what it termed ‘National Zionism’ as anti-Semitism’s ‘twin in Jewish garb.’
Zionism was a separatist reaction to the pogroms against the Jews in Czarist Russia that took on the ideas of the oppressor and claimed them as its own. Most Jews gravitated to the revolutionaries and socialists. The whole basis of Zionism was that Jews did not belong outside Palestine, that they were asocial and had developed unhealthy characteristics as a result of not living in their ‘homeland’. These were also the ideas of the German volkish movement, such as the Pan German League of Heinrich Class, which metamorphosed into the Nazi Party.

If you didn’t know that the descriptions below were those of a Zionist, you would assume that they were the utterances of an anti-Semite. Pinhas Rosenbluth, Israel’s first Justice Minister, described Palestine as “an institute for the fumigation of Jewish vermin” [Joachim Doron, Classic Zionism and Modern Anti-Semitism: Parallels and Influences (1883-1914), Studies in Zionism 8, Autumn 1983].

Theodore Herzl, the founder of Political Zionism, expressed his true feelings when visiting a synagogue in November 1894:
‘I took a look at the Paris Jews and saw a family likeness in their faces: bold, misshapen noses, furtive and cunning eyes.’
Complete Diaries of Theodore Herzl, Marvin Lowenthall, p. 11
As Jacques Kornberg wrote:
‘Herzl's anti-Jewish sensitivities surfaced - indeed sometimes exploded - well after he had become the keeper of Jewish sovereignty. He would employ terms such as “Jewish vermin," Mauschel, against his Jewish detractors.' ["Mauschel," a corruption of Moses, was a German epithet for the haggling Jewish trader; it corresponded to the English "Kike." "Mauschel" meant speaking impure German, with a Yiddish accent. "Mauschel"- Herzl's hostile piece on the Rothschilds after they had spurned his pleas to finance Zionist diplomacy - was an anti-Semite's dream]. Theodore Herzl: A Reevaluation, Jacques Kornberg, The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 52, No. 2 (Jun., 1980), pp. 226-252.
The obvious lesson to be drawn is that without anti-Semitism, not just the holocaust, Israel would never have been created. Indeed the first Zionists were Christian Evangelists and an odd assortment of anti-Semites.

Freiburg’s Twisted Message

For most people, the true equation is between the Jewish victims of the Nazis and the Palestinian victims of the Israelis and between the perpetrators of the holocaust and the perpetrators of the Nakba and successive crimes. That is why the phenomenon of Israelis identifying with the Nazi is a continually recurring one, as this blog has often documented. It is a comparison that Palestinians themselves have made on many occasions as have a number of Jewish survivors of the holocaust itself.

But to equate the perpetrators of the Nazi genocide with the victims of Israel’s murderous actions is, apart from anything else, an insult to the thousands of Palestinians who have died as a result of the Zionist presence. Yet Atzmon makes it clear that is primary concern is not the Palestinian fight for freedom:

“i am fighting against all the disgusting laws and persecutions of those so-called holocaust deniers - a categorization I don't accept. I think the holocaust, like any historical episode, must be open to research, to examination, to discussion and debate.”
What he wants to debate is whether the holocaust happened at all:
‘I am left puzzled here, if the Nazis ran a death factory in Auschwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them at the end of the war? Why didn’t the Jews wait for their Red liberators?’
There is plenty of research to do about the Nakba, but not about whether it happened at all. As Haneen Zoabi, the MK for Balad said in an article in Electronic Intifada concerning the Nakba: “It’s not a narrative. It is not a political attitude. It’s a historical fact,”.

The Role of the Intellectual

It is unfortunate when a few Palestinian academics, whose ego outweighs their intellect, sit down and offer comfort to someone who combines in one person Zionism and anti-Semitism. At Freiburg there were 2 such Palestinians – Samir Abed-Rabbo, a Professor of International Law and Makram Khoury-Machool. Both are on the Right politically.

When one thinks of an intellectual standing against the current, one thinks of Edward Said, Noam Chomsky or indeed Hannah Arendt. Said, with his book Orientalism, stood the world on its head and showed how the West views a distorted image of the Orient. Chomsky became virtually a non-person in the USA because of his critique of US imperialism and Hannah Arendt, with her book ‘Eichman in Jerusalem’ brought upon herself the fury of the Zionist establishment. But such intellectuals are a minority.

More common are those who acted as court historians and apologists for the establishment.

A good example of the latter was Martin Heidigger who was the Nazi appointed Rector of Freiburg University, ironic given the location of Atzmon’s conference. Neo-con Irving Kristol is another example of the poacher turned gamekeeper. Zionism has produced a whole host of sub-intellectuals willing to justify its every action. People like Robert Wistrich of the Hebrew University. Up till now the Palestinians have largely been free of this phenomenon.

Gilad Atzmon could only look on in anger as his conference was stripped of any anti-racist pretensions. In retaliation, he has produced a short video, The Enemy Within, which consists of a series of soundbite interviews with the speakers at his Boundaries of Open Discussion Conference in Freiburg. The video is meant as a reply to his critics.

Even the title of Atzmon’s magnus opus ‘the enemy within’ should alert all but the wilfully blind. Its antecedents included the nationalist right in Germany, with their ‘stab in the back’ legend providing the explanation for defeat in WW1, McCarthyism and its 5th column of communists and Thatcher and the miners. To Atzmon Jewish anti-Zionists are the enemy within.

What is less easy to understand is how those who might be thought of as Palestinian intellectuals should sign up to Atzmon’s racist garbage and conspiracy theories. In his new book, ‘The Wandering Who?’ Atzmon argues that:
Zionism is not a colonial movement with an interest in Palestine…Zionism is actually 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. (p.19 - my emphasis)
Zionism, of course, has always claimed that to be a Jew is to be a Zionist. For Atzmon, Zionism has nothing to do with colonialism or imperialism, it is about being Jewish. The implication is obvious – the fight is against Jews outside Israel not against Israel or Zionist institutions. That is why Atzmon is opposed to BDS. We are then treated to the following insight:

The Organism and Atzmon’s World Jewish Conspiracy Theory
'It is of course possible that there is no decision-making process at all. It is more than likely that ‘Jews’ do not have a centre or headquarters. It is more than likely that they aren’t aware of their particular role within the entire system, the way an organ is not aware of its role within the complexity of the organism.
No single operator within the collective is fully familiar with the collective’s operative mode but is only aware of his or her personal and limited role, function or duties within it. This is probably the Zionist movement’s greatest strength. It transformed the Jewish tribal mode into a collective functioning system.

Looking at Zionism as an organismus would lead to a major shift in our perspective of current world affairs. The Palestinians, for instance, aren’t just the victims of the Israeli occupation, they are actually the victims of a unique global political identity, namely the third category people who transformed the Holy Land into a Jewish bunker.'
You don’t have to be an Emeritus Professor of Law (‘a pioneering work that deserves to be read and Gilad Atzmon is brave to write this book! - Samir Abed-Rabbo) or even a Distinguished Service Professor at Chicago University (‘Gilad Atzmon has written a fascinating and provocative book on Jewish identity in the modern world - Prof. Mersheimer) to recognise this for the utter garbage it is. A child of 9, let alone a political science or law professor, would recognise these tropes and tripe.

Being Jewish means being an unknowing part of a much larger (metaphysical?) Jewish organism. Anyone with a couple of brain cells to rub together would recognise this as an updated version of the old International Jewish Conspiracy Theory. It is new wine in a very old bottle. One can only assume that the good professors didn’t actually read the book whose blurb they contributed to. If they did read it then it goes to demonstrate the merit of the old adage that the higher you go in academia, the more you know about less and less.

The Enemy Within Atzmon’s masterpiece begins with a rogue’s gallery – Mich Levy and Sarah Kershner of the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network followed by Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi and myself from Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods.

It consists primarily of 3 questions to the panel speakers and organisers. To describe them as loaded questions would be an understatement.

The first question was ‘what is your message to the Jewish anti-Zionists?

Alan Hart didn’t seem to have a message. We were ‘beyond reason’. Ken O'Keefe questions the motivation of those opposed to this conference. Since he received numerous e-mails spelling out the reasons he should withdraw, none of which he replied to, it would appear that he has difficulty reading. Sameh Habeeb simply does angry.

Evelyn Hecht-Galinski's message was that the conference is a wonderful, peaceful intellectual event. Organiser Annie Saureland is simply tired and exhausted.

Samir Abed-Rabbo claimed that critics should have participated in the conference. But that would have meant accepting that a racist conference was legitimate. Gaby Weber simply played innocent.

The second question 'is it really down to Jewish aZs to decide about the future of Palestine' is what one would call a leading question in legal parlance. It is of a kind with the 'When did you stop beating your wife' question. The question contains its own answer. All the panellists, unsurprisingly, responded that it was for the Palestinians to decide.

O'Keefe, who makes no pretension to be an intellectual, responds that 'it's not up to the Jewish people or the American people...' Clearly he accepts there is a Jewish people. It’s what’s called tilting at windmills Ken.

Abed-Rabbo claimed that anyone who claims to be a friend of Palestine has the right to participate in the debate (but what the debate is he doesn't explain!). Presumably ex-KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, who never loses an opportunity to praise Atzmon, is also welcome to join in. Words mean little to the Law Professor. As a Marxist I’ve always held that law is a cloak for class interests and at times of crisis, as with the USA and Guantanamo, the mask slips. Or as in Chile the constitutional government is itself overthrown. In times of crisis, law means what our rulers want it to mean. Is any common and garden racist, Zionist or fascist welcome to participate in this debate? The good professor doesn’t expand.

Ibrahim El-Zayat affirms the question’s proposition, also without questioning its assumption. Gaby Weber, still looking frustrated and weary, comments that the 'so-called Palestine solidarity movement in Germany is no solidarity movement'. Apparently the banning of neo-Nazi supporters is ‘the beginning of the end’. But of course this was the conference’s real agenda. And Atzmon, relieved by the fact that the Conference took place at all, has now made a similar attack on Britain's PSC.

Atzmon's third question ‘Do you have a message to Tony Greenstein’ might be flattering in another context. What is clear is that the campaign about Freiburg has severely rattled the Palestinians’ anti-Semitic supporters. Khoury Machool's comment about not knowing me is correct. Alan Hart's is a lie, since he had corresponded with me only a few days before. But what do you expect from an ex-BBC reporter? Annie Sauerland expressed her happiness that I attended the conference and spoke! Clearly she was away with the fairies or engaging in a form of wish fulfilment.

Abbed Rabo, the only one to even try to confront the elephant in the room described my comments as 'baseless, I read them, I took the time to investigate them'. And that’s it. One gets the feeling that Abbed Rabo is used to inquiring into things he has made his mind up about. But what did he investigate? The accusation that Atzmon is a holocaust denier is proven beyond doubt. His comments above in 'Truth, history and integrity' article led to Hajo Meyer, a survivor of Auschwitz, withdrawing as a speaker. And to complete the pantomime we have Atzmon providing an on camera answer to his own questions!!

Atzmon also seems to have perfected the art of contradicting himself, which is perhaps a clue to his character. In his book, (above) he says that to be a Jew is to be a Zionist. Yet in his video he states that 'I would love to see more Jews involved in this movement'. There are no end to Atzmon’s contradictions, such as his claim never to deal in ‘race’.

Nonetheless, I would expect a prominent Palestinian academic to understanding of the background to Zionism. After all, you can’t oppose something you don’t understand. It’s hardly a recipe for success. Atzmon seems surprised by the fact that Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first President, believed that:
' ‘There are no English, French, German or American Jews, but only Jews living in England, France, Germany or America.’ In just a few words, Weizmann managed to categorically define the essence of Jewish-ness. It is basically a ‘primary quality’. You may be a Jew who dwells in England, a Jew who plays the violin or even a Jew against Zionism, but above all else you are a Jew. And this is exactly the idea conveyed by the third category.' (pp. 16-17)
For Atzmon, what Weizmann has to say is confirmation of his own belief that there 3 different categories of Jews, of which the 3rd, who are defined by ‘Jewishness’, are Zionists. This includes those who organise against Zionism! What is most surprising is that Atzmon, who emphasises the influence of his Revisionist Zionist grandfather, is surprised by Weizmann's remarks. It suggests that his book is less than honest about Atzmon’s own motivations.

The idea that Jews are not part of the nations they live with is a fundamental axiom of Zionism. It provides a potential wedge, a possible point of conflict between the interests of Zionism and the interests of Jews living outside Israel. Yet neither Abed Rabbo nor Machool Khoury are even aware of the dichotomy.

What is more worrying is that some Zionists are picking up on this, e.g. the blog 'Exposing anti-Semitism' mixes bile with fact, e.g. the attempts to paint Maha Rahwanji of Brent PSC and PSC Executive as anti-Semitic. The site also homes in on Gill Kaffash who, from the correspondence I have had with her, is clearly a devoted Atzmonite and willing to excuse anything he says or does. From what she has said, it is clear that she is willing to go along with holocaust denial and in my opinion should be expelled from PSC.

Atzmon poses the issue in terms of Jewish anti-Zionists. What however is needed is for prominent Palestinian activists, who privately are scornful of Atzmon and the damage he is doing, to speak out. Atzmon is a much bigger fish than Israel Shamir was and his ability to do damage is correspondingly much greater. Atzmon's anti-Semitism is not harmful to Jews. It does however have the potential to harm the Palestinian cause, especially when so-called intellectuals of the Palestinian Right, like Machool and Abed-Rabbo, cannot distinguish between Atzmon's flattery and the message behind it.

Makram Khoury-Machool is an academic but largely unknown. Samir Abed-Rabbo is a former advisor to the Palestine mission at the UN. Both are clearly intelligent people which makes their behaviour that much more culpable. When Atzmon asks a question beginning 'should aZ Jews....' it smacks of the old colonial divide and rule.

In South Africa the ANC was based on the struggle of the Black working class. The Communist Party was prominent in its work. The Palestinian national movement is not based on the working class but a refugee population. The Palestinian Communist Party and the Left were always weak and are now weaker than ever. The ANC chose the road of struggle and pioneered BDS, the PLO sought an imperialist solution to a problem created by imperialism. Their whole strategy and that of Oslo, now widely accepted to have been a disaster but at the time welcomed by most Palestinians, rested on ‘the peace process’. The latter relied on the Arab regimes, themselves the junior partners of imperialism. The results have been predictable. The ANC was never that dependent on surrounding states. The Palestinian struggle has always has been a much more difficult one to achieve. Not least because within Mandate Palestine Israeli Jews consist of about 50% of the population compared to South Africa where the Whites were about 10%. The reaction of Hamas and the PA to the Arab Spring was to repress demonstrations against Mubarak, who had done his best to support Israel’s siege of Gaza.

A number of people have suggested, some quite forcefully, that Atzmon displays all the symptoms of an agent provocateur, a state agent. None of us will know until the files are opened (or leaked) but there will always be suspicions as to his purpose. A supporter of the Palestinians wrote to me today arguing that:
‘Just as Shamir made sense twelve years ago as an agent, so too does Atzmon. There is something that simply does not ring true about the history. It's just that someone raised in a Jabotinsky Revisionist household does not do a complete 180 very often.’
I think that the jury is out on this one but those who play footsy with Atzmon are going to look very foolish if it transpires, as it has with his friend and colleague Israel Shamir, that he has links with foreign intelligence services. But we should also keep in mind an old saying that 'You cannot hope to bribe or twist (thank God!) the British journalist. But, seeing what the man will do unbribed, there's no occasion to.'

Tony Greenstein

E-mails Between Tony Greenstein & Gilad Atzmon

Re: Behind the rhetoric - a common and garden racist

From: Gilad Atzmon
To: tony greenstein
Sent: 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 :) we are here on air in a minute.. Be brave tony'le ...

On 22 Sep 2011, at 19:47, tony greenstein wrote:
…. I'm glad that you have finally been honest about the disruption of the BBC Proms and the IPO. It was a 'Jewish campaign'. How interesting. I'm sure activists involved in BDS will be more than interested to hear of your views.
What was that about not being an anti-Semite?
tony greenstein

From: Gilad Atzmon
To: tony greenstein
Sent: Thursday, 22 September 2011, 22:17

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 ..
and you don't even understand the difference between the two..

From: tony greenstein
To: Gilad Atzmon
Sent: Thursday, 22 September 2011, 23:34

Ah, you're a BDS enthusiast now are we? It's not the opinion of BDS activists. I assume you still believe the academic boycott to be book burning? And I'm sure you recall your interview with Silvia Cattori,

'The "Left"... 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). Yet, whilst I fully support all of those actions, they seem to be in some regards, not entirely effective at all. '
I can't imagine why you would supported something that's so ineffective.
And what is the point of raising the question of the vulnerability of Palestinian artists? Is that a reason not to disrupt the performances of the IPO? Such a strategy leads to doing nothing for fear of retaliation. Indeed it is reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher's opposition to sanctions on Apartheid in South Africa. It would hurt the Black Africans most of all.

So what, apart from waging a war against Jews, especially those in the Pls Solidarity movement, do you advocate?

Yes I am an anti-Zionist. But there is no contradiction between that and being pro-Palestinian (although they are not the same). Your problem is that you aren't anti-Zionist which therefore means that you see the reason for the Palestinian plight as being Jews per se, not Zionism.

There also no contradiction between being anti-Semitic and being a Zionist, as you well know.

Why don't you try being honest for once instead of hiding behind vacant prose? Just admit that you find it difficult to support BDS for all the reasons you have given.

Tony Greenstein

From: Gilad Atzmon
Sent: Thursday, 22 September 2011, 23:34

You are certainly a book burner... In case you didn't gather it by now, I am an author.. Very big difference between the two as far as I can tell..

Sent from my iPhone

From: tony greenstein
Sent: Thursday, 22 September 2011, 23:46

Ah yes, Atzmon the author. Any fool can write a book, the question is what it contains. In your case not much from what I've seen.

But don't dodge the question. Do you stand by your previous remarks about the academic boycott being akin to book burning? Simple, isn't it?

tony greenstein