Hope Not Hate refuse to be bullied

Nick Lowles writes at Hope Not Hate.

GILAD ATZMON: Supporting Holocaust Deniers and spreading hatred of Jews

Our decision to ask Raise Your Banners to withdraw its invitation to Gilad Atzmon has caused a lot of controversy from his small, but very vocal, band of supporters. In all the years of writing this blog I don’t think I have received as many abusive and angry emails as I have over this issue, though it must be stressed that many of the emails are from the same two or three people.

I’m sticking to my position – namely that Gilad Atzmon flirts with Holocaust Denial, has supported Holocaust Deniers and is a racist antisemite. I will not be bullied or threatened into silence. HOPE not hate stands for decency, tolerance and equality. I will speak up against racism and antisemtism just as I will campaign against fascism and anti-Muslim prejudice.

Gilad Atzmon supports Holocaust deniers and claims that the established history of the Holocaust is misleading. He attacks Jewish identity in a way that would clearly be recognised as racist if it were about any other minority identity, and claims that because of how Jews behave, in the future people might think Hitler was right about Jews. He tells crude antisemitic jokes and mocks any concerns about antisemitism.

Much of the criticism against our position stems from those who believe that we are part of some Zionist plot which seeks to silence criticism of Israel. Nothing can be further from the truth. To me, this has nothing to do with the Israel/Palestine conflict but merely opposition to a man who makes racist and antisemtic comments.

If David Irving or Nick Griffin voiced Atzmon’s opinions then the Left would be up in arms – and rightly so. Virtually no-one on the left supports Atzmon though most prefer to stay silent than speak out publicly. Even the most strident anti-Zionist Jews in Britain believe Atzmon is antisemitic. The Socialist Workers Party, who used to have an association with Atzmon, have long since distanced themselves from him and even the leadership of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign have let it be known in the last few days that they want no public connection with him. I, however, am not going to stay silent. Wrong is wrong, from whatever quarter it comes from.

Let’s put aside the Israel/Palestine question (after all I have never once vocalised my opinion on this subject though my detractors are quick to accuse me of being part of a co-ordinated Zionist conspiracy) and let’s look at what Gilad Atzmon actually says:

Atzmon’s racism and antisemtisim

Atzmon targets “Jewishness” in his writings and not just Zionism or Israel. He writes about Jewish traits – as though every Jewish person is the same – in a way that is clearly racist. If someone wrote such generalised abuse of African-Caribbean’s then we would be rightly outraged. He claims not to be attacking all Jews, but then writes about Jewish identity and behaviour in a way that effectively treats Jewish people throughout the world as though they are one homogeneous group. We rightly attack the English Defence League for blaming all Muslims for the actions of a few so why should we turn a blind eye to Atzmon’s racism.

Here are a few of Atzmon’s thoughts:

“ Jewishness means supremacy and chauvinism and chosenness, and when it comes to Jewishness I am not a Jew because I am not a follower of Judaism…I deal mainly with Jewishness. What is Jewishness? Jewishness is different forms of tribally or racially oriented supremacy.”

 

“every single Jewish political discourse… is either already supremacist or on the verge of becoming supremacist.”

 

The idea of “Jewish supremacism” is most commonly associated with American neo-Nazi and former Klan leader David Duke, who wrote a book of that name. Duke has expressed his admiration for Atzmon’s writings.

Flirting with Holocaust Denial

Atzmon’s views border on Holocaust Denial. He certainly disputes the accepted Holocaust narrative and in doing so heaps praise on holocaust revisionists. Here are a few of his writings on the Holocaust (and these are separate quotes).

“It took me many years to accept that the Holocaust narrative, in its current form, doesn’t make any historical sense. Here is just one little anecdote to elaborate on:

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?”

“When I was young and naïve I was also convinced that what they told us about our ‘collective’ Jewish past really happened. I believed it all, the Kingdom of David, Massada, and then the Holocaust: the soap, the lampshade, the death march, the six million.

As it happened, it took me many years to understand that the Holocaust, the core belief of the contemporary Jewish faith, was not at all an historical narrative for historical narratives do not need the protection of the law and politicians”

“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?”

Again, if Nick Griffin wrote such things we would be outraged. Why are people not outraged with Atzmon saying them?

Support for Holocaust Deniers

Atzmon has been linked to several leading Holocaust Deniers. This should tell us something about his politics.

“The Holocaust religion is also maintained by a massive global financial network…this new religion is coherent enough to define its ‘antichrists’ (Holocaust deniers), and powerful enough to persecute them (through Holocaust-denial and hate-speech laws)…The Holocaust religion is, obviously, Judeo-centric to the bone…This new Jewish religion preaches revenge. It could well be the most sinister religion known to man”.

 

“If you look for instance at the Jewish academics looking into the notion of the Holocaust, the history of the Holocaust, the research is really lacking. I think that the Holocaust must be looked again and again and again and again and as it happens, actually the only people who are doing it are actually Revisionists.”

 

“the [Nazi] death marches were actually humane.”

 

Atzmon also distributed a Holocaust Denial article, “The Holocaust Wars”, written by Holocaust Denier Paul Eisen, which Atzmon has described as a ‘great text’. This great text is notorious for its defence and espousal of amongst others Ernst Zundel, the convicted Holocaust denier.

Another of Atzmon’s associates is the infamous Nazi Israel Shamir, another Holocaust denier with links to many white supremacist and Nazi groups. Atzmon has described Shamir as a ‘unique and advanced thinker’.

Here are a few more interesting Aztmon quotes.

 

* Antisemitic caricatures

 

“Some Jews are rather unhappy with Charles Dickens’ Fagin and Shakespeare’s Shylock, who they regard as ‘anti Semitic’…On the other hand, the British Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) has managed to plant Anne Frank within the British curriculum…Fagin is the ultimate plunderer, a child exploiter and usurer. Shylock is the bloodthirsty merchant. With Fagin and Shylock in mind, the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians seems to be just a further event in and endless hellish continuum.”

 

* In the future, people may think Hitler was right

Atzmon argues that the Middle East conflict may lead some people to conclude that Hitler may have been right about the Jews. For example, in the apocalyptic scenario of nuclear war between Iran and Israel:

“I guess that amongst the survivors of such a nightmare scenario, some may be bold enough to argue that ‘Hitler might have been right after all.’”

* Crude racist jokes

At a recent talk in Norway, Atzmon told this joke:

“Nobody speaks about throwing the Jews to the sea.

 

["Nobody?"]

 

Nobody.

 

["Never?"]

 

“No no. No. And it’s not fair on the sea as well. I never thought of that one”

 

[laughter]

Atzmon called a chapter in his latest book “Swindler’s List”.

And finally, somebody noticed that Atzmon says on his website that he has played with Paul McCartney, and decided to wind him up: This is the email he sent with the reply from Atzmon:

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Gilad Atzmon <giladatzmon@mac.com>
To: xxxx xxxxxxxxx <xxxxxxxxxx@yahoo.co.uk>
Sent: Sunday, 13 November 2011, 10:33
Subject: Re:

Send me his foreskin, once you chopped it .we ll look after it and re install it once he realizes what he is involved with :)

Sent from my iPhone

On 13 Nov 2011, at 11:06, xxxx xxxxxxxx <xxxxxxxxxx@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> Paul McCartney is to be made honoury jew at this meeting for is marriage to two jews and his support for Israel. Apparently he has given millions.

Question to the Dean of Bradford: Is Atzmon an antisemite or is he not?

Harry’s Place reports that the Dean of Bradford has reversed his clear opposition to Gilad Atzmon’s antisemitism.

Read the whole piece on Harry’s Place here.

“We’re seeing a Palestine Solidarity Campaign organiser persuading a senior Anglican churchman to attack a leading anti-racist campaigner (Nick Lowles of Hope Not Hate)  in order to defend an outspoken antisemite.”

Does the Church of England have a particular responsibility to be careful to avoid hosting an antisemitic event?

The following is from Atzmon’s new book:

While the Holocaust “was not at all an historical narrative,” the “accusations of Jews making matzo out of young Goyim’s blood,” may be true (page 175, 185).

Jews caused the recent credit crunch, which the author calls “the Zio-punch” (page 22).

The American media “failed to warn the American people of the enemy within” because of money (page 27).

“[M]ore and more Jews are being pulled into an obscure, dangerous and unethical fellowship” (page 21).

If Iran and Israel fight a nuclear war that kills millions of people, “some may be bold enough to argue that ‘Hitler might have been right after all’” (page 179).

The “new Jewish religion…could well be the most sinister religion known to man…” (page 149).

Extracts via this piece by Alan Dershowitz.

You’re All ‘Zionists’ Now

This is a cross-posted from the CST.

By Mark Gardner.

Raise Your Banners & Karl Dallas: You’re All ‘Zionists’ Now

Anti-Zionists usually deflect accusations of antisemitism by saying that they only criticise Zionists, not Jews. The ‘proof’ is usually provided by far left Jewish anti-Zionists: eagerly using their ‘Jewishness’ to all the better abuse the rest of the Jewish (ie ‘Zionist’) community, and the Jewish (ie ‘Zionist’) establishment in particular.

Now, the ex-Israeli Jew, Gilad Atzmon, threatens to destroy this long standing modus operandi.

Where Jewish anti-Zionists are disgusted at being vilified as ‘self-haters’, Atzmon wears the insult with pride, saying he is ‘a proud self-hating Jew’.

Where most Jewish anti-Zionists generally try to avoid abusing or diminishing the Holocaust, Atzmon does the opposite, even promoting Holocaust revisionists anddeniers.

Where Jewish anti-Zionists try to decouple notions of ‘Jewishness’ from Zionism, Atzmon’s unique selling point is precisely his attack on ‘Jewishness’: rather than Zionism and Israel. Indeed, anti-Zionists who promote their ‘Jewishness’ are Atzmon’s pet hate: because (he claims) they epitomise the secular and psychological depths of ‘Jewish identity politics’.

Unsurprisingly, Jewish anti-Zionists have reacted furiously to this cuckoo in their nest. They have condemned Atzmon every bit as loudly as the rest of their co-religionists whom they so commonly denigrate. For example, it now emerges that the Jewish Socialist Group first raised concerns about Atzmon playing in Bradford as long ago as last April.

Unfortunately, however, Gilad Atzmon is also a world class jazz musician and much of his audience, after decades of being told to hate those damned Zionists, is wide open to the harsh ‘truths’ that he claims to be revealing. Consequently, Atzmon’s anti-Jewish identity riff is drowning out the cacophonous discord from the Jewish anti-Zionists.

Take, for example, Tuesday’s Twitter message from one of the Raise Your Banners Bradford music festival performers, Karl Dallas, (also an activist within Bradford Palestine Solidarity Campaign), who tweeted:

Extraordinary Zionist virulence twds Raise Your Banners, Bradford, cos we’ve invited anti-Zionist Israeli jazzman Gilad Atzmon to play Fri.

The “extraordinary Zionist virulence” has been from many places: including local trade unionists, anti-racists, the mainstream Jewish community, and Jewish anti-Zionist groups. The concerns were not about anti-Zionism, nor premised upon the Zionist identity of the complainants.

This use of the word ’Zionist’ is the kind of stupid, debased, self-serving language that you get after so many decades of fervid distrust and hatred against the mythical Zionist bogeyman. If veteran Jewish anti-Zionists – some of whom have likely campaigned against Israel even at the expense of their own familial relationships – are now to also be branded as Zionists, then we have reached (yet) another absurd new low.

 

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