“a little personal project going on that I find pretty bad.”

November 12, 2007 at 3:37 am Leave a comment

[Imc-uk-features] ‘Anti-semitism’ and the Greenstein/Atzmon bunfight

yossarian yossarian at aktivix.org
Thu Nov 1 12:13:31 PDT 2007

freethepeeps at aktivix.org wrote:

Indymedia is not the first group that has been asked to side with Tony
Greenstein in the Greenstein/Atzmon spat. Both PSC and the SWP have taken time
to consider the issues, and have elected not to reject Atzmon. Any in depth
reading of the stuff that he writes, will make it clear that he is not singing
from the same hymn sheet as the racists, and genuine anti-semites.

I’ve spent much of today grappling with this text :
http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/26272 which takes a fairly in
depth look at some of the Atzmon thesis, from a critical and oppositional
perspective. The author resists the temptation to label Atzmon an anti-semite
(or ‘self-hater’) although he notes that he sails close to the wind.

“Unlike Eisen, Atzmon however opposes all racialist explanations based on
allegedly biological traits or collective dispositions. Thus he indignantly
rebuffs the charges of racism or anti-Semitism that his arguments have
provoked. While Atzmon’s conclusions are not based on biological racism
and while there is reason to doubt that his motives are anti-Semitic per se,
some of his conclusions are similar to those of anti-Semites.”

With a background in psychology, he offers some interesting ideas about why that
may have happened.

However much startx might like to take soundbites and decree that there is no
need for discussion, my view is that Atzmon is attempting to open up a debate
about the problems faced by the Palestinian solidarity movement, and that his
ultimate concern is one of justice for the Palestinians.

Ultimately, if Indymedia is what its mission statement says it is, then there
must be a serious attempt to understand where Atzmon is coming from, before a
decision is taken to banish him from the site. The impulse for a kneejerk
reaction to a dodgy accusation needs to be resisted and replaced with an
informed decision.

Hi,

Against my better judgement I just spent two hours doing research on
this Gilad guy, and an hour writing this email, because I’ve got nothing
better to do. I took a look around his site, read the article that FTP
suggested above and checked out some commentary on him, including the
SWP statement.

A few things:

I doubt that we should ever do something just because the SWP did it.
Having watched the operation of the party at close range over a period
of years, the ideological knots they often tie themselves into gives me
little confidence in their ability to think clearly.

This article on Atzmon’s website I actually find quite disturbing:

Although he probably means the title to come across as sarcastic
(“Protocols of the Elders of Zion (Verse 2)” ), the article does display
some pretty profound leaps of logic which recapitulate for a modern
audience the main arguments of the original, fraudulent document, which
he describes elsewhere on the site as “irrelevant”.

Coupled with his seeming classification of all politically-involved
Jewish people as crypto-zionists (I get this from the article FTP
mentioned), his arguments that there is a Zionist plan to dominate the
world do seem to me to be disturbing. The basic conclusions of the
article, after a quick recapitulation of Zionism’s undoubted complicity
with European colonial history, are as follows:

I) “Zionism is a very singular political method aimed at perfecting the
transformation of world disasters and human pain into Jewish gain,”
II) “Zionist lobbies have managed to comprehensively dominate the major
sources that control American public opinion: both in culture, in media
and in finance”
III) “America is about to lose its sovereignty…After so many years of
independence, the United States of America is becoming a remote colony
of an apparently far greater state, the Jewish state.”

Note: these are all direct quotes.

I am happy enough for people to analyze the institutional role of AIPAC
and other lobby groups when it comes to US foreign policy formation, in
fact I think that’s quite a legitimate thing to do. However, he skips
over that part completely – he doesn’t do much intellectual heavy
lifting, he just takes it as a given that “Zionists” control the media,
US foreign policy, culture, and finance, and that they want to take over
the world. No evidence is cited for any of this, it’s just all stated as
fact.

Now, to me, this is all pretty clear stuff. While all of his writing
seems to be couched in the language of liberal humanism, I find it
pretty creepy that he managed to fit most of the standard Nazi
propaganda lines about the Zionist World Conspiracy into only ten
paragraphs of smooth prose. I’m not saying the guy is a Nazi, that he
has affiliations with right-wing groups that I can find, but I don’t
think he should be on our site, because it looks to me like he has a
little personal project going on that I find pretty bad.

Yossarian

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Entry filed under: freethepeeps, Gilad Atzmon, Indymedia.

yes to informed decisions ‘preferring the approach of the SWP!!!’

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