The Dean of Bradford has added his name to the growing chorus of outrage at the decision of Raise Your Banners to invite antisemite Gilad Atzmon to perform for them in Bradford on Friday. Atzmon flirts with Holocaust Denial, Holocaust Deniers and is an antisemite and as such should have no place on a progressive platform. This is not a question of Palestine and Israel, nor is it an attempt to stifle freedom of speech. It is simply us, as anti-racists, demanding that a racist and antisemite should not be given a platform. The fact that Atzmon, and his supporters in Raise Your Banners, use information obtained from the BNP to attack us should be reason enough to shun him.
Anyway, I will go into this in more detail later but for now I would like to post a comment sent to me by David Ison, the Dean of Bradford:
“The Cathedral authorities were completely unaware of the nature of this musician, and in any case did not invite him. Our premises were hired by Raise your Banners (who have been here before, uncontroversially) who booked for a concert but told us nothing of the nature of the concert of the performers. We were not aware of any issues with this until we were contacted a few weeks ago by the Council for Christians and Jews expressing concern about anti-Semitism in the Cathedral – a concern which we completely share, as the Cathedral is committed as a Christian organisation to truth, justice and equality.
“We do not countenance or give permission for any form of racism or fascism, including anti-Semitism, to be given hospitality at Bradford Cathedral. Having asked for more information about Gilad Atzmon, it has only been in the last few days that we have received clear evidence of the nature of his public statements. In the event, the concert in the Cathedral had already been cancelled due to poor ticket sales; but it seems to be taking place in a smaller venue in Kala Sangam which is not connected with the Cathedral and over which we have no control.
“I am writing to the authorities at Kala Sangam to ensure they are aware of the issues raised by hosting a concert with this musician.”
Dean of Bradford