Tony Greenstein | 06 April 2016 | Post Views:

I am not a Jew anymore.  I despise
the Jew in me. I absolutely detest the Jew
in you.

This blog was set up in 2007 to combat the
pernicious influence of Gilad Atzmon, who operated on the fringes of the Palestine
solidarity campaign.  To me and others anti-Zionist Jews it was clear that Atzmon
was, without doubt, anti-Semitic. 
Unfortunately this wasn’t at all clear to many others in the movement.

The Socialist Workers Party in particular
couldn’t see the light and for a long time defended Atzmon.   See for example Time to say goodbye Why does the SWP not break its links withholocaust-denier Gilad Atzmon? 

The anti-Semitic Jazzman

What was decisive in breaking the influence of Atzmon over many in the Palestine solidarity
movement was the joint call by Ali Abunimah, Omar Barghouti, Joseph Massad and
other Palestinians for the movement to dissociate itself from Atzmon.  Granting NoQuarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of GiladAtzmon

I had many long arguments with many
people who just didn’t seem to get it.  Not just common and garden fools like Roy Ratcliffe of Exeter PSC, who composed lengthy treaties proving that the Eart was flat and Atzmon was an anti-racist  but people who had a much higher intellectual calibre.
example Richard Falk, the distinguished professor and UN representative in Gaza, provided a  blurb for Atzmon’s book The Wandering Who.  In an email to me of 18
December 2011 Richard wrote ‘I appreciate some of the points and arguments that
are made. Nevertheless, having re-read Atzmon’s book and his responses to
comparable lines of criticism I am not prepared to alter, much less renounce,
my endorsement…. Atzmon may have pushed his basic argument too far, but it
seems to me a valid inquiry that can lead to debate and discussion, but is not
appropriate to denounce, and to go further, and denounce those who endorsed the
reading of the book.’  
I found it frustrating that people like Richard Falk could not see what was in front of their eyes, but he was not alone.  The primary reason for the difficulty in persuading people that Atzmon was an anti-Semite was because of the determined efforts of the Zionist movement to equate all support for the Palestinians and opposition to Zionism as anti-Semitic.  It had indeed blurred the distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, such that people could no longer tell the difference between the two.
As I wrote at the height of the controversy in Seamy Side of Solidarity ‘Like the boy who cried wolf, the charge of “anti-semitism” has been made
so often against critics of Zionism and the Israeli state that people
now have difficulty recognising the genuine article.’
Falk had written that Atzmon’s book was “A
transformative story told with unflinching integrity that all (especially Jews)
who care about real peace, as well as their own identity, should not only read,
but reflect upon and discuss widely.”

Ramzy Baroud, Editor of the Palestine
wrote in the blurb of Atzmon’s book, 
The Wandering Who that “Gilad
Atzmon decided to open Pandora’s Box, and ignite a debate that has been
frustratingly dormant for too long. His experiences are most authentic, views
are hard-hitting, and, at times, provocative. It must be read and discussed.”  
Ramzy Baroud is not stupid yet he too did not get it.
Professor John J. Mearsheimer of The Israel Lobby saw The Wandering Who as Essential
to an understanding of Jewish identity politics and the role they play on the
world stage.
The idiotic Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo
splutterd that Atzmon’s book was “A pioneering work that deserves to be
read and Gilad Atzmon is brave to write this book!”

Lauren Booth, Cherie Blair’s brain dead
sister-in-law, wrote that
It is more than an academic
exercise. It is a revelation!”
Booth is clearly easily satisfied!
Eric Walberg of Al Aharam Weekly believed
that ‘’In his inimitable
deadpan style, Atzmon identifies the abscess in the Jewish wisdom tooth –
exilic tribalism – and pulls it out. Ouch!” 
Jeff Blankfort an anti-Semite from the USA who used to
be on the left, described Atzmon’s  book
as “A brilliant analysis that makes what appear to be contradictions in Jewish
identity based political behavior not only comprehensible but
One suspects Blankfort would have difficulty predicting a restaurant menu.

And Professor James Petras, who believes that the Israeli tail wages the American dog, 
wittered on about how “Atzmon has the courage – so profoundly lacking
among Western intellectuals”

Karl Sabbagh wrote that ‘Atzmon’s insight
into the organism created by the Zionist movement is explosive.
  Quite how a vacuum can be explosive is best left to better minds than Sabbagh.
The unknown and best forgotten academic Dr. Makram Khoury-Machool wrote that  “Having known Gilad for 25 years, I read the
book in English, I heard it in Hebrew and reflected on it in Arabic. Gilad
Atzmon is astonishingly courageous”
 Makram Khoury-Machool has the ability to speak and read in 3 languages yet he is incapable of thinking in even one of them.
To the Israeli lecturer Oren Ben Dor, for whom the Holocaust is god’s just revenge on the Jews, preordained in the thicket of his academic prose, Atzmon’s book was ‘A
fascinating achievement”.
To Kim Petersen of the anti-Semitic Dissident
Gilad Atzmon is someone who encompasses what it
means to be an intellectual.”
Thus demonstrating above all that she is no intellectual.
For Dr. Kevin
Gilad Atzmon is the Moses of our
in other words another false Messiah.
What these and other eulogies to the Atzmon’s ego demonstrate is not merely the stupidity of so many academics, whose use of long words and complicated phrases is designed to mask their own superficiality, but how Atzmon
managed to pull the wool over peoples’ eyes.
It was that which I found most frustrating.
David Taube of Harry’s Place and Mike Ezra excuse Atzmon’s anti-SemitismMany Zionists too were fascinated by Atzmon
because he was repeating many of their tropes, not least that Zionism and
Judaism were inextricably linked.  
People like Mikey Ezra and David Taube of Harry’s Place were fascinated.  Taube described a jaunt that he and Mikey Ezra had
gone on with Atzmon:

‘Last week, Mikey invited me for a
drink with Gilad Atzmon.  Mikey’s
thoughts on Gilad and his worldview follow, below. 

‘Gilad was, I have to
say, utterly charming and a delightful drinking companion….
Is Gilad Atzmon a racist? Not in the
narrow sense of being preoccupied by genetic differences between people
certainly. He is rather, I think, a ‘cultural essentialist’: if such a term

You get that?  A cultural essentialist, not a racist!
But with his latest tweet, there can be no
doubt about Atzmon’s anti-Semitism.

‘1.        I
am not a Jew anymore.  2.  I indeed despise the Jew in me (whatever is
left).  3.  I absolutely detest the Jew in you.’

Arthur Topham – holocaust denier for whom Atzmon gave ‘expert’ evidence – KKK leader David Duke who wanted to give evidence was refused entry  into Canada

Last November Atzmon gave expert witness testimony
(!) on behalf of Arthur Topham, an anti-Semite and holocaust denier, to a
Canadian court.   Despite this Topham was
convicted of racial hatred and is awaiting sentence.  

I have previously posted a compendium of Atzmon’s
anti-Semitic sayings.  It can be found
at:  A Guide to the Sayings of Gilad Atzmon, the anti-Semitic jazzmanAccording to Atzmon, I am a Zionist because he too, like the Zionists, argues that any Jew who is politically active as a Jew must be a Zionist.

It is somewhat ironic that Atzmon is a fierce opponent of BDS.  For him it is a Jewish enterprise.  Atzmon makes a nasty, vicious attack on Omar Barghouti, who is facing the possibility of Israeli reprisals and deportation, despite being a long-standing Israeli resident.  In Omar Accomplished His Job, Omar Is Free To Go Atzmon says that 
BDS was an Israeli controlled
opposition maneuver.  
Israel, BDS presented the ideal front on which to fight. Instead of battling
for a Palestinian Right Of Return, that is ethically solid and backed by UN
resolutions, the solidarity movement was reduced to an internal Jewish debate
over the “Right to BDS.”
I just hope that Ramzy Baroud, Karl Sabbagh and co. have the honesty to admit that they made a mistake.

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Tony Greenstein

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