From kneejerk impulse to informed decision?

November 12, 2007 at 3:14 am Leave a comment

[Imc-uk-features] ‘Anti-semitism’ and the Greenstein/Atzmon bunfight (was: please remove this anti-Semitic article)

freethepeeps at freethepeeps at
Wed Oct 31 10:45:07 PDT 2007

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 :The New Pro-Palestinian Jews — Beyond Tikkun and Atzmon 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.




Entry filed under: freethepeeps, Gilad Atzmon, Indymedia.

‘over my dead body’ yes to informed decisions

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