Political music festival featuring antisemite Gilad Atzmon sponsored by the Art’s Council, The Co-Operative and National Lottery Fund.

Raise Your Banners is a “festival of political song” held annually in Bradford and is sponsored by the Art’s Council, The Co-Operative and National Lottery Fund. It was started 16 years ago in celebration of the great Wobblie (IWW) union organiser and songster Joe Hill. However this year it’s featuring Gilad Atzmon. Maybe the organisers don’t know about Atzmon’s politics but seeing that they link to his website, maybe they do. As it’s a festival of poliitical music they can’t use the old argument that they’re hosting Atzmon for his music and not his politics.

You may have liked to have gone to see Peggy Seeger perform but unfortunately it’s sold out. Still you can always go to the workshop “Songs to Counter the Zionist Bullies”.

18 Responses to “Political music festival featuring antisemite Gilad Atzmon sponsored by the Art’s Council, The Co-Operative and National Lottery Fund.”

  1. Argaman Says:

    Plus another workshop session on the West Bank. Can’t these people ever give it a rest?

  2. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Argaman, if these people ever gave it a rest, they be admitting they were wrong. Which is why we have to keep going, however dispiriting this may be. There are people out there who need to be reminded that there is very much another side to the argument.

  3. Gil Says:

    ‘… a constituency of people… for whom political song is a powerful means of giving encouragement and hope to millions of people.’

    But nothing about Syria’s oppression of its people, the killings in Iran, or the countless other sufferers in the world. Nothing about ‘Islamist Bullies’ who are actually terrorising millions worldwide.

    BTW, Richard, on the links page I could not see a link to Atzmon’s website.

  4. Absolute Observer Says:

    Seeing it is a political event, I am sure the other performers will refuse to perform with an antisemite.
    I am sure those in attendance will protest Atzmon’s presence there.
    Not to do otherwise will indicate that Jew-hatred is now officially part of the progressive movement.
    Something that only antisemites will take pleasure from.

    • Thomas Venner Says:

      What if they don’t know who he is? If I didn’t take an active interest in these sorts of things and read websites like this one, I’d have probably never heard of Gilad Atzmon. If this is a general “political music” festival and not something specifically centred around Israel/Palestine, there’s a strong chance that many, if not most, of the other performers in attendance, will know nothing of Gilad Atzmon or his reputation, other than perhaps a vague knowledge of his “anti-Zionist” status. Unless the people organising it are anti-Semites as well, then obviously *they* don’t know who he is particularly well, otherwise they wouldn’t have invited him. Perhaps someone needs to get in touch with the organisers and performers and explain the situation.

      • Bill Says:

        I think there is a reasonable expectation to vet the guy, just a little.

        He’s not being brought in because he’s a jazz saxer. Otherwise we’d be seeing Candy Dulfer and heaven forfend Kenny G there. He’s being brought in because he’s an “anti-zionist.” Now admittedly a Google search shows one topic on the front page with antisemitism listed. But the wiki article does have some content on his “anti-jewish” statements. It’s pretty much there for all to see, including how antizionists don’t like this guy.

        But yes, at minimum someone should send the quote about how little antisemitism he thinks is in Mein Kampf.

      • Paul M Says:

        You give them way, way too much credit, Thomas. It’s a political music festival whose first workshop is “Songs to Counter the Zionist Bullies” and first concert is Atzmon. There’s no-one there singing songs against Palestinian, Syrian, Iranian, Turkish, Taliban, Sudanese, Zimbabwean, Chinese, North Korean, Russian or any other species of bully. Therefore we can draw some conclusions about the nature of their politics. They know enough about Atzmon to know he’s political — do you really intend to offer them the lifeline of pretending not to know what his politics are? Even if it were true, what kind of excuse is that, for an event dedicated to “the vision of equality for all the world’s peoples”? Would you excuse their ignorance if they’d invited a choir from, say, the EDL? To me, it sounds more like “equality for all the world’s peoples except Israelis” — or in fact, given Atzmon’s politics, except Jews.

        Contemporary anti-Zionism in Britain has become absolutely reckless. It has not the slightest intention of denying itself any line of attack at all against the evil Zionist Entity. It doesn’t have to, because it’s convinced itself that it can’t be antisemitic — antisemitism is just something that Zionists fling about to “stifle criticism”.

        You want to explain the situation to the festival’s organisers? I’ll bet you a steak dinner for two that there’ll be no investigation and no second thoughts. There will be self-righteous declarations that they abhor all forms of racism, that they don’t have an antisemitic bone in their bodies, that Atzmon’s only sin is speaking truth to power, and that you’re just a Zionist out to suppress anyone who thinks you shouldn’t eat Palestinian babies.

  5. Absolute Observer Says:

    Atzmon defending Holocaust denial intermeshed with some classic conspiracy theory.


  6. Isca Stieglitz Says:

    I have joint e-mailed, (a polite e-mail), all of the sponsors, but doubt I’ll get a reply – we’ll see.

  7. Bradford TUC call on music festival to withdraw invitation to Gilad Atzmon « Engage – the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism Says:

    […] Not Hate and Bradford TUC have now called for the organisers of Raise Your Banners to withdraw the inivitation to Gilad Atzmon. Bradford TUC is joining up with the HOPE not hate campaign in calling on the […]

  8. Jonathan Says:

    This is why I won’t live in Europe.

  9. maasanova Says:

    Hilarious. Why is Gilad Atzmon being labeled as an anti-semite? Can you give me one reason why he is being labeled an anti-semite besides saying “go look at his website for his politics?”

    Is it because he decided to denounce his Jewish identity and join the rest of humanity, or does he in fact still identity himself as a Jew?

    You are doing your readers a great diservice if you cannot even give them one reason why you are trying to affect this man’s ability to put food on his table and feed his family.

  10. Troll Archive Says:

    And one wonders why Maasonova has problems identifying Atzmon’s antisemitism. Maybe the answer lies here,

    “maasanova Says:
    January 18, 2010 at 9:36 pm
    Just curious, was it considered racist when Judea called on all of the Jews of the world to unite and crush the German people with an economic boycott of Germany?”

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      And as I pointed out at the time, in the 1930s, Oswald Mosley used the phrase “Perish Judea” (or, after a time, just “PJ”), just to indicate his lack of antisemitic intent. However, no-one else uses the phrase Judea, either back then or now: except for maasanova. I’m curious as to how he(?) arrived at his blogging monicker, which might just translate as “new master”. Is that of him or by him?

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