Greenstein piles up the pressure

November 12, 2007 at 6:48 pm 1 comment

This email is cc’d to Indymedia. the to list is:, sa discuss , indie sa – the aim presumably being to get more people to pile on the pressure – indie sa and sa discuss presumably are groups that specialise in the area of anti-semtism – ftp

[Imc-uk-features] Indymedia – happy to host Atzmon

A couple of weeks ago I posted a request to Indymedia, which prides itself on being a counter-culture/ anarchist media outlet in Britain and world wide, to take down or hide an overtly anti-Semitic, indeed nakedly racist and chauvinist article by Gilad Atzmon, the jazz player. Not only did Indymedia fail to reply to my request, but a letter purportedly sent to me was in fact sent to the anti-Semitic PeacePalestine site.

The anonymous ‘features collective’ seems to have great difficulty finding anything anti-Semitic or racist in the term ‘Judaic world view’. They equally fail to see anything wrong with saying that the ‘real meaning of their Holocaust’ is that ‘the Jewish state and the sons of Israel are at least as unpopular in the Middle East as their grandparents were in Europe just six decades ago’.

No doubt gays, gypsies, Poles and others should also blame their demise on their ‘unpopularity’. No doubt the fact that Zionists have, for so long, accused supporters of the Palestinians of being anti-Semitic, has meant that even those who consider themselves anti-racist now have difficulty recognising anti-Semitism when it is staring them in the face. Clearly the UK Indymedia Collective are incapable of making the distinction. I am therefore copying the letter that I have written to them in response to their ‘reply’.

Although Indymedia purports to oppose racism and imperialism, indeed it has guidelines to this effect, it is also clear that they are prepared in this instance to turn a blind eye to anti-Semitism. I can only ask that people e-mail the list addresses below.

imc-uk-contact at, imc-uk-features@

Tony Greenstein

Dear Anonymous Moderator of Indymedia,

I note your comment about ‘It doesn’t help if you think you have the right to be rude to Indy volunteers’. Presumably you believe that it is polite that I should read a letter addressed to me on the anti-Semitic list of Mary Rizzo since you haven’t bothered to actually send me the letter below. However I’m not interested in the question of etiquette.

What you are saying is that my response to Atzmon’s overtly anti-Semitic article has been hidden but that you are quite happy to carry his article. Fine. But don’t pretend that that is not a political decision. And if you are going to be honest then you should drop your guidelines. The last time I looked they stated:
‘Articles and/or comments may be hidden for the following reasons:
Discrimination : posts using language, imagery, or other forms of communication promoting racism, fascism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia or any other form of discrimination.
It would be more honest if you were to delete this guideline rather than pretending to something you are unable to achieve.

It is clear re ‘knuckles’ that this is Atzmon using an alias. In much the same way that Atzmon has posted other material in other places using similar aliases such as ‘Yocheved’.

Yes I have said that the accusation of ‘anti-Semitism’ is used to defame and intimidate anti-Zionists and supporters of the Palestinians. However it is also the case that on occasion an accusation of anti-Semitism is actually true. I accept that one of the consequences of Zionists labelling their opponents as ‘anti-Semitic’ is, unfortunately, to drain the term of much of its meaning, but that is no excuse for you to give up on trying to make a clear distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

You state that ‘I think that it would be a bad move on our part to automatically take your side on this matter. It is better in the long run, for all of us, if the kneejerk response to calls of anti-semitism is relaced with an informed decision.’ At no time have I asked you to take ‘my’ side in this matter or make an uninformed decision nor to make a ‘knee jerk’ response. You have after all had two weeks to make a decision, but by your own admission ‘it isn’t going to be a quick process.’ It is clear that you are incapable of making such a decision since you clearly do not understand anti-Semitism or, more generally, racism even when it stares you in the face.

You give 2 reasons for not taking Atzmon’s overtly anti-Semitic article down.

1. When I cite Atzmon as stating that ‘Within the Judaic worldview, history and ethics are often reduced into a banal single binary opposition principle
” you complain that I don’t add his qualification, viz. that ‘it isn’t just the Israelis who personalise conflicts
.’ Leaving aside Atzmon’s conflation of Jews and Israelis, this is a further example of the problem. The term I object to is the reference to ‘the Judaic worldview’. Judaic in my dictionary means relating to Jews or Judaism. It is inherently anti-Semitic to talk about a Judaic or Jewish worldview and the idea that there is such a thing as a Jewish or Arab etc. world view is inherently racist. Such expressions were integral to the idea of the world Jewish conspiracy and a common ingredient of writers such as Henrich Class, Houston Chamberlain and Gobineau. Clearly you are unable to recognise the clearest formulations of racism. Atzmon’s qualifier was therefore meaningless.

2. Your second example is Atzmon’s statement that “the Jewish state and the sons of Israel are at least as unpopular in the Middle East as their grandparents were in Europe just six decades ago’. You state that there are ‘other ways of reading the text’ and suggest that my criticism is personally motivated. Far from it. Personal abuse is entirely Atzmon’s forte.
Atzmon’s statement, which is in any case false, is made in the context of what he describes as ‘the real meaning of their Holocaust’. And what is this ‘real meaning of the Holocaust’? It is the unpopularity of the Jews who were exterminated.

Forgive me, but I thought the Nazi holocaust had something to do with the rise of fascism and its Nazi variant. Perhaps Atzmon’s racist nonsense also holds for the extermination of up to half a million gypsies, 3 million Poles and thousands of gays? By the same token they too were all ‘unpopular’ and by the same ‘logic’ were also therefore responsible for their own demise.

Clearly your search for consensus is going to be a meaningless activity since you appear to be incapable of understanding the most vile racist statements. In the circumstances it is probably a good thing that you are publicly displaying Atzmon’s article and hiding my response because that at least illustrates where the collective stands on the matter.
Tony Greenstein

>> [Imc-uk-features] A response to Tony Greenstein’s hidden article

From one of the moderators of the Indymedia board
Wed Nov 7 04:38:01 PST 2007
Dear Tony
Your article of last night has been hidden, as it is essentially a complaint about moderation, and our editorial guidelines ( (which I note you quote)
“Concerns about editorial guidelines or queries about moderation are dealt with on the imc-uk-features list. These issues are not dealt with through the newswire, and newswire posts on these topics will be hidden.”
In your email to contact, you stated:
“On most occasions accusations of anti-Semitism, especially by Zionists against those supporting the Palestinians are a form of defamation.”
ie you advised that claims of anti-semitism are not to be taken at face value, as the term is often misused in order to defame critics – especially those who support Palestinians.
You then go on to say:
“In this case they are unfortunately true.”
ie you claim that we can trust you to have got it right.
However, there is a glaring error in your email:
“In most ‘Knuckes’ contributions like the above Atzmon purports to suggest that he is not Atzmon. However in a post at 00.04 of 23.10.07. he forgets his alias and both writes in the first person and signs off as Atzmon:”
Yet, the comment is clearly entitled:
“Gilad Atzmon – an open comment to JSF”
and the opening lines are:
“Gilad Atzmon’s open comment to JSF”
If you click on the link, it takes you to the exact same text that appears underneath, and it is signed:
Gilad Atzmon”
So, rather than ‘knuckles’ forgetting his alias, it appears to be knuckles posting the text from Peace Palestine.
In other words, it would appear that you are capable of making mistakes, or getting the wrong end of the stick, so to speak. At best your evidence is extremely circumstantial, and disputable.

Now, you have DEMANDED that Indymedia do what you say – which is, in any case not even our usual practice, ie to delete the post from our server, so that it would be unreadable to anyone, as would the comments.
However, in the full awareness that there is a high level of antagonism between you and Gilad, that this has been going for several years and that you have several times attempted to have him banned from places, I think that it would be a bad move on our part to automatically take your side on this matter. It is better in the long run, for all of us, if the kneejerk response to calls of anti-semitism is relaced with an informed decision.
So, contrary to your claim that the collective has done nothing about your demand, there has been a debate about the issues that you have raised.
You can read the archived discussion at:
You have already used the comments section to make your objections to the article known, and the list is an open one.
You offer up 2 partial quotes from the article:
The first is this:
“‘Within the Judaic worldview, history and ethics are often reduced into a banal single binary opposition principle

What you don’t quote is the qualification:
“But let’s face it, it isn’t just the Israelis who personalise conflicts. Thanks to the Neocons and their tremendous current influence within the Anglo-American political realm, we are all subject to some oversimplification and personalisation of almost every Western conflict”
In other words, it is all of us who are subject to this behaviour.
The second is this:

“the Jewish state and the sons of Israel are at least as unpopular in the Middle East as their grandparents were in Europe just six decades ago’.”
which you assert means that Atzmon blames the Jews for the Holocaust.
However, if it is true that there was rampant anti-semitism in Europe 6 decades ago, then there is some truth in the claim that Jews were unpopular – to say that someone is a victim of racism does not automatically imply that it is their fault.
It does appear that there are other ways of reading the text, and I have doubts about how objective a participant in a long running and mean-spirited dispute can be about their foes words.
That is why it is not as simple as you would like to it to be. We cannot just take it as gospel that you are correct and the article is anti-semitic. It is your interpretation, and there are reasons to be cautious about it.
We are still looking for consensus as how we should deal with claims of anti-semitism as a collective, and to be honest with you, it isn’t going to be a quick process.
BTW, It doesn’t help if you think you have the right to be rude to Indy volunteers, and it was out of order to single out someone, who tried to assist you, for attack in an article on the newswire.
If you wish to make a response to the collective, the right place to do it is through this list. However, it would be good if you could try and be civil in your posts, as incivility just tends to cloud issues.


Entry filed under: freethepeeps, Indymedia, Tony Greenstein.

Decontextualised quotes Talking to a brick wall?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. freethepeeps  |  November 15, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Looking at this again – no email was sent to PePa, Mary Rizzo would have read it on the list which is publicly archived. Greenstein was CC’d into the email


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