One Democratic State Conference in Munich Plays Host to Atzmon’s Supporters
Roger Tucker’s One Democratic State Group
Tucker is incredible and it is so
great to see him on deLiberation…’ – Gilad Atzmon
Click to see Tucker’s ‘great’ views’ concerning holocaust agnosticism!
The past 12 months have been the best of years and the worst
of years for Gilad Atzmon. I have
written virtually no articles recently concerning someone who is now widely
acknowledged as a holocaust denier and anti-Semitic. There is no need to rehearse the arguments as
they are covered in my article A Guide to the Sayings of Gilad Atzmon.
2011 was, Atzmon believed, going to be a good year. His book ‘A Wandering Who’ was published in
the Autumn and it carried blurbs from John Mersheimer and Richard Falk amongst
others. However it quickly became clear
that the theme of the book, namely that Zionism and its creation the State of
Israel, were a product of a timeless Jewish identity stretching back 2000
years, was little more than an echo of Zionist propaganda. The question of Atzmon also began to cause serious disruption within the British Palestine Solidarity Campaign and its branches and the Zionists were quick to exploit any perceived support for him.
In his book Atzmon explain Israel not by reference to
settler-colonialism, imperialism or the wider forces operating in society but because of
something innate to being Jewish – the Jewish Spirit and the Judaic god. Jewishness in a word. As he stated in his book http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/review-wandering-who.html
‘Zionism is not a colonial movement with
an interest in Palestine, … To be a Zionist means to accept that, more than
anything else, one is primarily a Jew.’
At the same time, people began to be aware of an affair
which had been rumbling beneath the surface.
In Brighton PSC back in April 2011 Frances Clarke-Lowes, a former
national Chair of PSC and Brighton PSC, came out as an open holocaust denier. He was quickly expelled by Brighton PSC and at the PSC AGM in January national PSC expelled him too. Despite the shrill protests of a handful of
his supporters, FCL was expelled by an 80% majority, and most of the minority
voted as they did because of either a belief in ‘free speech’ or else because
they were members of a dotty Maoist group that sees North Korea as the only
socialist state in the world.
Three years ago a group of us had tried to ensure that PSC put a distance between itself and Deir Yassin Remembered, a group run by open holocaust deniers – Paul Eisen, Daniel McGowan and Israel Shamir. At that time all the unaffiliated members of its Executive, like Lea Tsemel and Michel Warshawski left. However the PSC Executive at the time didn’t share our fears and we were heavily defeated. This time around the groundwork had been done and PSC Executive itself was in the forefront of ensuring that the movement was not associated with Atzmon and company. Its Aims and Objectives made it clear that holocaust denial and anti-Semitism was
incompatible with membership of PSC.
At the PSC AGM the guest speaker Omar
Barghouti of the Boycott National Council spoke out explicitly against the
dangers of anti-Semitism within the solidarity movement and praised the British
movement for being the strongest in the world e.g. the Co-op,
the 5th largest supermarket chain in Britain has recently changed its policy,
as a result of work by activists, and is now refusing to have anything to do
with settlement goods now or Israeli companies that source West Bank products). http://www.azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/first-co-op-next-step-tescos.html
Atzmon found the removal of his holocaust denial friends
from the wider Palestine solidarity movement hard to take and he set up his own
‘deLiberation’ site (presumably it is opposed national liberation). It is filled with articles such as ‘I’m So
Glad We’ve Got Gilad’ by Francis Clark-Loweshttp://www.deliberation.info/im-so-glad-weve-got-gilad/.
The response of deLiberation was swift. An article ‘Ali Abunimah and Gilad Atzmon at the OK Corral’ by one Roger Tucker
was published. Atzmon gushed that this was ‘Indeed a great article. It points at the
differences between Abunimah and myself. Tucker is incredible and it is so
great to see him on deLiberation…’ The
article was also printed on Tucker’s One Democratic State site.
To those like Samir Abed-Rabbo, who accept Atzmon’s denial that he is a holocaust denier at face value, despite all the evidence to the contrary, here is another example of those he works with. In ‘The Holycause: Walking the Third Rail,‘ by Roger
the subtitle is an alleged quote from Professor W. D. Rubinstein
of Australia in September 1979: “If
the Holocaust can be shown to be a myth, the strongest of all weapons in
Israel’s propaganda armory collapses.” W. D. Rubinstein, “The Left,
the Right and the Jews,” Quadrant (Australia), Sept 1979, p.27.
The obvious implication is that if the holocaust can be ‘proved’
to have never happened, then bang goes Israel’s legitimacy. Out of
curiosity I clicked the link and lo and behold I was taken to an article by one of the most prominent holocaust deniers, Mark Weber on the Institute of
Historical Review site.
The quote itself seems to be manufactured. I have Rubinstein’s book, admittedly not the
Australian version, but it would be strange if the two editions were different. The date of publication is
cited as 1979 whereas it was published in 1982. There is indeed a section on holocaust denial
but the quote doesn’t appear, certainly not on the page given. There is a small section, pp. 87-89 on holocaust
denial but Rubinstein, like the good Zionist he is, is more interesting in
smearing the Left than challenging the far-Right. His concern is supporting Israel not opposing
racism. But regardless if the
quote is in the Australian edition then it is clearly an attempt to paraphrase
the arguments and rationale of holocaust deniers. That is because Rubinstein gives 2
explanations for holocaust denial – Israel’s expulsion of the Palestinians in
1948 and a financial motive to do with repaying reparations to Germany. It isn’t, as Weber suggests, the view of
Rubinstein himself but this is a good example of the dishonest methodology of the holocaust deniers.
But Tucker makes his own views
crystal clear. ‘I am an agnostic
regarding the Holocaust. I don’t know what actually happened; I doubt there’s
anyone alive who does [it is a common feature of holocaust deniers that they
discount all witness evidence from those who actually were in Auschwitz – TG].
However, I am certainly dubious about the three major assertions of the
prevailing dogma, which consist of the following:
Six million Jews (more or less) died
or were murdered – they don’t specify – by the Nazis, mostly in the
Most of those who died in the
camps were gassed to death using Zyklon B (or diesel fuel, as some
These events occurred as the
result of an official Nazi policy of extermination, commonly referred to
as the Final Solution.
Clearly Tucker is no agnostic as these are the same themes
that all holocaust deniers espouse.
In the past few days it has become clear that Atzmon’s
supporters are trying to break out of the ghetto. A conference has been called, restricted to
50 activists only and from which the public is barred, in Munich by the One
Democratic State group. http://www.onedemocraticstate.org/pdf/Munich-Conference.pdf
It is organised nominally by the One Democratic State in Palestine (Texas,
the Palestine Committee in Munich, Germany but it appears that the real work behind the scenes is
being done by Gabi Weber, who organised Atzmon’s Freiburg Conference last
September. It features as a speaker Atzmon
supporter Oren Ben Dor from Southampton University and is moderated by 2
right-wing business professors – Samir Abed-Rabbo from the USA and Makram
Khouly from Britain.
Germany is, because of the holocaust unique. It has a political system where all major
political parties support Israel. The
Palestine Solidarity movement is weak there, and of course that is a
consequence of the holocaust. To hold
such a conference in Munich of all places smacks of a determination to ensure
that support for Palestine in Germany remains confined to the margins.
Below there is a short clip from the Stuttgart Conference
that Atzmon gate-crashed a few years ago and the reaction of Ali Abunimah, who
was in the chair. Today it would appear
that Atzmon no longer has to gatecrash its conference.
There is a lesson here. A legitimate organisation with lots of support, Deir Yassin Remembered, was taken over by a variety of conspiracy kookies, holocaust deniers and supporters of Israel Shamir. It cause people like Geoff Halper and many others to leave. In many ways that was where Atzmon came in. There is a clear and obvious danger that the One Democratic State group is likewise being taken over. If that is the case then it will consign itself to being irrelevant. One can only hope the lesson is learnt in time and that the Atzmonite cuckoos are removed.
Abrahm Weizfield of ACJC writes that: ‘ACJC Note:The
Conference announced as a ‘One Democratic State in Israel/Palestine’ is
not to be associated with the One State Solution movement that has
sponsored previous international conferences. The
common denominator of the organizers and the speakers is being soft on
Atzmon, actively defending him, or being a total
Atzmon nutcase like the main organizer, Gabi Weber. Other than the
Texas organization, headed by Atzmon’s friend, and the main site, which
is of an organization that didn’t exist before the conference, and
looks like a front for Weber, all the sites that promote this are
various shades of reactionary. This smells of rotten fish to high
The speakers list includes Oren Ben Dor, an Israeli lecturer in the philosophy of law at Southampton University, who is an ardent Atzmon supporter.’
Samir Abed-Rabbo, who also seems to be one of the organisers and spoke at Atzmon’s FreiburgConference last year, despite asking for proof of Atzmon’s holocaust denial seems unable to respond when presented with evidence. His only retort to the well substantiated allegations that Atzmon is an anti-Semite and holocaust denier is in the e-mail below.
From: Samir Abed-Rabbo Sent: Thursday, 17 May 2012, 15:03 Subject:
Re: [JPLO-OLPJ] In Opposition RE: } Final Call to attend The
International Movement for One Democratic State in Israel/Palestine,
Munich Conference on June 30/July 1
ODS movement does not belong to you, me or any one in particular.
We members of the ODS movement will not allow you or anyone else to tell
to do, how to behave, what to believe in, how to express ourselves, and
associate with. We are committed and principled individuals who have
struggling for justice and peace for decades and we know our A, B. Cs
comes to the Palestine Question. Our ideals are published and well
documented. How dare you and others lecture and attack us and our
movement and accuse us of being ant-Jewish or being hijacked by
You would have been right if you debate(d) the issues publicly
with whom you disagree with and leave us and our movement out of your venomous
attacks. But instead, you and your cohorts decided to subject us to Israel’s favorite
practices: detention without due process and collective punishment. This
simply will not work and I advise you not to waste our time and energy with these irrational attacks. We have
better things to do!
I know Dr. Weber and Mr. Atzmon and I spoke directly with
them on the issues that you raise in your venomous attacks. I am convinced of
their integrity and commitment to universal human rights. Both are not anti-Jewish
and not holocaust deniers and are committed to universal human values including the right to freedom of expression- these
values are obviously alien to you and your cohorts. In fact and simply put, I
will not exchange the morals and ethics of one of them with those of a million of you!
And that is it. Abuse aplenty from the professor but nothing of substance. Prof. Abed-Rabbo lists in his CV that he was ‘Senior Trade Consultants, Amana International Trade Consultants, Brattleboro, VT, USA. Amana brokered business between American and Saudi companies. I left Amana to become the Dean of the Jerusalem School of Economics and Diplomacy.’ As someone heavily involved in trade with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates, it is clear that his politics reflect his business activities.