Posts filed under ‘Gilad Atzmon’

Either Gilad is 70 or Tony is a fool

Oh dear, ploughing through this tedious nonsense is no fun at all. So, I’m doing it slowly, and now I’m taking a break to see what Tony has to say in his published piece.

Heres my summary:

1) Mary wrote a story. Mary always gets it wrong. I’m going to put it right.

2) I have impeccable credibility as an anti-zionist Jew, and I am happy to diss Israel.

3) Gilad is a bad, bad man and I am going to prove that by giving lots of out of context quotes, and wildly misrepesenting his writings.

4) Using these tactics, I am going to libel Gilad and Mary as anti-semites, whilst baffling people by admitting that my tactics are not new.

5)  I am also going to kick up a big fuss at Indymedia, because they have no idea how to run an effective site. I am going to demand that they censor Atzmon and then I am going to call my article “There are no gatekeepers”, so that there is no doubt that I do not understand the term gatekeeping.

6) Next I will show that I am better for Palestine than Atzmon and Rizzo.

7) I will end by saying that Atzmon is entitled to express his opinions (which I have already said I am trying to censor), ” but not “in the name of the Palestinians” erm like I myself do.

Thats it – start to end in 7 easy steps.

Hurrah for that!

According to ‘our Tone’:

Even the very term gatekeeper is derived from Atzmon’s assertion that Jews are holding back support for the Palestinians.”

Those who have done any media studies will no doubt be amazed that Gilad managed to invent the term ‘gatekeeping’ some 16 years before he was born, when he was apparently using the alias Kurt Lewin.

“In human communication, in particular, in journalism, gatekeeping is the process through which ideas and information are filtered for publication. The internal decision making process of relaying or withholding information from the media to the masses.”

Thats what I thought it meant till Tone told us what it really meant.

In fact, when I saw Tone’s DEMAND for CENSORSHIP, I thought he was ‘gatekeeping’! Now I find that it wasn’t like that at all. Gilad doesn’t look 70 and I have to say, Tone makes him sound a lot more omniscient than I would have expected.

Tone boasts how he saw off the ‘anti-semitism libel’ used against those who lobbied for the academic boycott, by speaking out as a Jew. Of course, this would only actually work if people believed that Jews could not be anti-semities, and yet, Tone is devoting a large part of his life to asserting that Jews CAN be anti-semitic. Tone is shooting himself in the foot here. He complains, “according to Gilad Atzmon this was just another example of how it is ‘Jews and only Jews who engage in racially orientated peace campaigning

Now, I’ve looked at the article with that quote, which our Tone so kindly linked to, and his name isn’t in it. So, he links to something that doesn’t back up his claim. Either he thinks thats Atzmon directed the quote at him, or his link is duff.

Here’s a bit more of the quoted article:

During my years in Europe I have come across groups of people who call themselves ‘Jews for Peace’, ‘Jews for Justice in Palestine’, ‘Jews for this’ and ‘Jews for that’. I have recently heard about ‘Jews for Boycott of Israeli Goods’. Occasionally I end up asking myself what stands at the core of this racially orientated separatist peace-loving endeavour. I may as well admit that though I have come across many German peace activists, I have never come across an Aryan Palestinian Solidarity group or even Caucasian Anti-War campaigners. It is somehow Jews and only Jews who engage in racially orientated peace campaigning.

Now, maybe Tone knows of an ‘Aryan Palestinian Solidarity group’ or a ‘Caucasian Anti-War campaign’ and chose not to mention it, or maybe there isn’t one. Maybe there aren’t groups that Tone can point to, in order to  dispute Atzmon’s claim? Maybe one day Tone will help us to sort it out. But, to be really honest, I’m not holding my breath. I don’t think that he has an understanding of Atzmon’s article, let alone a devastating critique of it. But, if there is a devastating critique, someone would surely do us all a service by putting it to us, rather than demanding the banishment of the author. Cos now that Tony’s pointed us to the article, we’ve read it and we have to make sense of it.

And, when Atzmon writes this in the same article:

While observant Jews can easily list more than a few positive qualities they identify with, they for instance follow Judaism, they practice Jewish laws, they follow the Talmud, they follow Kosher dietary restrictions, etc., emancipated secular Jews have very little to offer in terms of positive characteristics to identify with. Once you ask a secular Jew what makes him into a Jew you may hear the following: “I am not a Christian nor am I a Muslim.” OK then, but what is it that makes you into a Jew in particular? You see, he may say, “I am not exactly an American, French or British. I am somehow different.” In fact, emancipated Jews would find it hard to list any positive quality that may identify them as Jews. As it seems, emancipated Jews are identified by negation. They are made of the very many things they are not.

we have to stop and think, is this true? Now instead of Tone and his mates assuring us that Atzmon is wrong, and that there are plenty of positive qualities associated with being a secular Jew, there seems to be a big resounding silence. I can’t imagine what a secular Jew might feel makes up her identity, butI do know that as an atheist, I don’t align myself with any racially orientated peace campaigning – and nor do I imagine that I might ever join a group of ‘ex-christians against the war’ or even ‘christians against the war’. Atheism doesn’t seem to draw me to other atheists particularly. I don’t define myself by the religion I was baptised into and then rejected. That isn’t necessarily to say it hasn’t affected my whole way of thinking though, maybe it has.

Now, I’ve hung around discussion of the whole Israel/Palestine issue for many years. And, along with all the strawmen arguments, and deafening roars of “anti-semite” and “holocaust denier’, this is one of the issues that keeps cropping up. Its clearly an issue that Gilad is trying to make sense of . Perhaps if someone pointed out to him that are many positive qualities associated with being a secular Jew he would understand, and refine his thought accordingly. A sort of process of dialectics if you like. It might help some of us to us understand why so many secular Jews accept that Jewish people have a right to someone elses land.

We do know that religion is used to justify the dispossession – that the bible apparently says God gave the land to the Jewish people. We also understand that christian-zionists believe the same thing. But how do secular Jews justify what is a real problem, the practical horrors of taking that land forcibly? I still have no idea. We also know that there are religious Jews who do not believe that the dispossession of the Palestinians is justified in their holy book. And likewise, we know that there are secular Jews who do not think that zionism is right. Despite all the claims that we harbour anti-semitic beliefs, often unwittingly, it seems to me that most on the left do understand that there are many differences amongst Jews, that they are not all some kind of mono-thought clique.

There is no doubt in my mind that the so-called left has to learn to deal with the ‘anti-semitic libel’, as well as the fact that there are real anti-semites out there. But we see time and time again that different people see anti-semitism in different places. We see that there is no easy way of dealing with the claim, because the accuser is always so certain that they are right and there is no need for discussion, that we are incapable of understanding the issues. If we do not jump when the accusation is made, then very quickly we have our anti-racist practices brought into question.

That is the worst type of gatekeeping, when censorship is DEMANDED, and any delay to think about it is immediately seen as a sign of anti-semitism. “Hypocrites, why not get rid of your anti-racist guidelines, they are meaningless” is clearly designed to put pressure on the editors, and to affect the outcome. Joining in the discussion and convincing people through rational debate would seem to me to be a much healthier form of gatekeeping. It would help move it all along, and educate these stupid fools who don’t understand in the process.

TONY GREENSTEIN IS A GATEKEEPER!

And, until he allows  us some rational debate, we are still faced with the choice of either being anti-semites ourselves, or with joining in with the lynch-mob mentality that Mr. Greenstein likes to pursue so rigorously.

I’d like to make my own mind up in an arena which is respectful, and understanding.

THE GATEKEEPERS APPEAR TO WANT THAT TO BE IMPOSSIBLE.

PS – having said that – a reasonable debate seems to be happening here

At comment #34 Stephen Marks, who clearly doesn’t have a lot of fondness for Atzmon makes some good points.

Why does Greenstein perpetually engage in this discussion, whilst demanding that Indymedia does not even refer to it? Why does he link to the alleged ‘anti-semitic’ texts all over the web, if his real concern is that anti-semitism is useful to the zionists? Shouldn’t he just shut-up and let us work it out for ourselves?

In Atzmon’s words:

my views are receiving more and more attention, by the way, a lot thanks to Greenstein… and guess what, he is doing it all for free.

Shukran Comrade Greenstein

Tone will keep pressuring us until we do what he wants. 

In the meantime,his mate will slag us off whatever we do.*sigh*

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November 20, 2007 at 7:45 pm 15 comments

Lets smear it for the boys now

Another email on the CC list. Again the strawman that I have defended Shamir, along with the smear that I must be an Ulster Loyalist cos I didn’t bother to refute Elf’s ridiculous abuse. I didn’t deny being a ‘piece of shit’ either, so I can guess what that means – entire email in comments – ftp

Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2007 19:56:52 -0800 (PST)
From: tony greenstein <tonygreenstein@yahoo.com>
To: freethepeeps@aktivix.org

Cc: roland@rantam.net, ‘Moshe Machover’ <moshe.machover@kcl.ac.uk>, ‘deborah maccoby’ <deborahmaccoby@hotmail.com>, ‘charlie pottins’ <charlespottins@aol.com>, ‘Diana Neslen’ <d.neslen@dsl.pipex.com>, ‘David Rosenberg’ <davros58@yahoo.co.uk>, ‘MARK ELF’ <markelf@btinternet.com>, ‘Michael Karlmanovitch’ <michael@paydaynet.org>, ‘sofia mcleoad’ <sofiahmacleod@blueyonder.co.uk>, Steve Cohen <raysteve@cohen70.freeserve.co.uk>, ‘tony greenstein’ <tonygreenstein@yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: “Personal abuse is entirely Atzmons forte.”

What I find interesting is that ftp hasn’t denied Mark’s suggestion that he is an Ulster Loyalist. Now I know that I’d be pretty quick off the mark denying such an accusation. But no doubt ftp considers it a badge of pride.

And speaking of badges of pride, another one is ftp’s admission of knowing Israel Shamir, the advocate of alliances with white supremacists who argues that Auschwitz was an ‘internment camp’. Yet that doesn’t stop ftp defending him too. Despite pretending that he was just an innocent moderator unaware of what the issues were (asking e.g. for a definition of anti-Semitism) it is clear that ftp is extremely well aware of the politics of Atzmon and his supporters.

November 19, 2007 at 1:04 pm 4 comments

‘you stand for defending racism’

[Imc-uk-features] Anti-Semitism is not the way to support the Palestinians – why Indymedia needs to take a stance

tony greenstein tonygreenstein at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 10 18:08:05 PST 2007

Ftp says ‘I stand for justice for Palestinians. I stand against bullying.’
  No ftp you stand for defending racism. What Mark Elf writes to you is his own concern. At least he does it in his own name. I accept no responsibility for the fact that some people feel angry at your defence of Atzmon. Like the Daily Mail and others of that ilk, who present their racism and attacks on asylum seekers as being a defence of free speech, you portray your defence of Atzmon and now Israel Shamir as one of standing up to bullying, free speech etc.

Racism, by its very nature, targeting people because of some inborn, genetic quality, is a denial of free speech and ultimately the right to life. But like the Melanie Philips of this world you believe the freedom to be a racist is the most important one and that it would be wrong to prevent Gilad Atzmon targeting Jews who support the Palestinians (because they are his major targets).

Ftp is right though to compare the criticisms of Atzmon with those of his and Atzmon’s friend Gilad Atzmon. As Atzmon put it in an e-mail to me, Israel Shamir is ‘a unique and advanced thinker’. Since some people have called for a discussion then maybe one should look at what Shamir actually believes and writes and see if he was indeed, as ftp suggests, another victim of a cruel witch-hunt.

In an article ‘Who needs Holocaust’, in the days when Atzmon was relatively sane Shamir wrote:
‘Gilad reiterated: It was the RAF that repeatedly dismissed the necessity of bombing Auschwitz.
Another go of Zionist propaganda. The camp was an internment facility, attended by the Red Cross (as opposed to the US internment centre in Guantanamo). If it were bombed, the internees would die – or as a result of the bombing, or due to starvation for the supplies would not arrive. Indeed, would Gilad advise to bomb Guantanamo? This idea of “bombing Auschwitz” makes sense only if one accepts the vision of “industrial extermination factory”, and it was formed only well after the war.’
http://www.israelshamir.net/English/Who_Needs.htm

There is no doubt that Shamir is a holocaust denier. Auschwitz was ‘an internment facility’ not an ‘industrial extermination factory.’ In fact he is far worse than that. One of the key proponents of the academic boycott, Sue Blackwell, criticised Shamir for his racist views. He responded by posting personal details about her to Martin Webster, someone who was one of the key figures in post-war British fascism and a founder of the National Front.
Israel Shamir, who ftp believes is another victim of the Atzmon style witchhunt, is also explicit in calling for an alliance with the white supremacist right. Ftp is clearly well aware of this. Maybe he defends the following views too?

http://www.israelshamir.net/English/antiSemit.htm
‘For as long as Richard Perle sits in the Pentagon, Elie Wiesel brandishes his Nobel Prize, Mort Zuckerman owns the USA Today, Gusinsky bosses over Russian TV, Soros commands multi-billions of funds and Dershowitz teaches at Harvard, we need the voices of Duke, Sobran, Raimondo, Buchanan, Mahler, Griffin and of other anti-bourgeois nationalists. If we accept their exclusion from discourse, Jewish bigotry will be tolerated while anti-Jewish bigotry is removed. Then, the middle ground for Joe Public will be ‘a little bit of Jewish bigotry’, or ‘Zionism lite’, in the words of my dear friend Bob Green.’

In other words in order to combat Jewish racists we need anti-Semitic racists such as David Duke, the ex KKK leader and Nick Griffin. Problem is that BNP leader Griffin today says he is anti-Muslim and pro-Zionist! And that is exactly where this nonsense of fighting racism with racism leads. As to freedom of speech, maybe ftp should tell that to the victims of Duke’s comrades.

But if ftp is consistent then the Moderators of Indymedia should also invite Israel Shamir to contribute a guest article, and while they are at it, perhaps Mahler of the German NPD and David Duke, to say nothing of Nick Griffin and Pat Buchanan (Nixon’s old chief of staff).
  Mind, Shamir is also on record as defending Avigdor Liebermann, Israel’s deputy Prime Minister, leader of the openly transfer party, Yisrael Beitenu because he is a Russian! Maybe ftp would like to invite Liebermann to also contribute an opinion piece to Indymedia (which normally excludes opinion pieces but since it has opened its pages to Atzmon why not other racists too?).

Shamir writes: ‘Even less substantiated is Makdisi’s weird claim that YB is a “racist party” and for them, “non-Jews are not welcome”. As a matter of fact, the YB is the least Jewish nationalist party in the Knesset outside the Arab block, as it is the party of the Russian, heavily non-Jewish community in Israel. ‘
http://www.israelshamir.net/English/Oops.htm

Clearly ftp is well aware of the background to Atzmon and his politics. He has also clearly read his articles which, for some strange reason, target Jewish anti-Zionists and cite Zionists like Ber Borochov to justify his views of Jews who don’t live in Israel. To be blunt he is not only anti-Semitic but a Zionist too.

But ftp saysIt worries the shit out of me that Indymedia might just give them their first taste of blood in this new kill.’ as if Atzmon is a fox being run to ground. Racists are in the habit of presenting themselves as the victims. The right-wing press does that all the time and that is what ftp is doing on Indymedia and it would appear that his fellow moderators are happy to go along with this. The question I would ask is why not scrap the guidelines re discrimination? They are clearly observed now in the breach and one person, who has formed links with racists, is prepared to use a ‘block’ to keep it that way. Ftp has got into bed with racists and the question is whether his fellow moderators are happy to allow Indymedia to be run by someone with sympathies if not worse with racists? There was a time when those with radical inclinations fought racism, not worried about if racists were excluded. It’s not as if they don’t have enough media outlets in the world.
In defence of the accusation that Atzmon is more concerned with his own ego than the Palestinians, ftp says of me that:

‘He castigates Atzmon for not backing the boycott. And it wasn’t long ago that we had Indymedia’s resident zionist, gehrig calling us anti-semitic because we carried articles supporting the boycott. The boycott according to gehrig is anti-semitic because it affects Jews disproportionally. Not Israelis mind, Jews.’

Precisely. It is true that Zionists accuse supporters of the Boycott of Israel of being anti-Semitic. What more idiotic way can there be of meeting this accusation than to adopt genuinely anti-Semitic beliefs as one’s own? Of course Zionists label supporters of the Palestinians as anti-Semitic. It is an accusation that has little credence today, certainly in my own trade union UNISON, which at its last conference supported the boycott. But Atzmon is determined to prove Zionists like gehrig right by demonstrating that being a supporter of the Palestinians means being anti-Semitic. And then Atzmon ‘proves’ he’s not an anti-Semite by opposing the boycott!! Well that is where anti-Semitism leads. To support for Zionism.

I shall repeat my proposal again. If Atzmon, contrary to the usual norms, is allowed to post an opinion piece on Indymedia, why have I been refused the same rights? Or is it the position that the rights of racists are superior to those of anti-racists?

Tony Greenstein

_______________________________________________________
Response:

you portray your defence of Atzmon and now Israel Shamir as one of standing up to bullying, free speech etc.

I don’t recall defending Shamir. I recall saying I met him before his banishment.  I don’t think I’ve even touched on what he says.

Racism, by its very nature, targeting people because of some inborn, genetic quality, is a denial of free speech and ultimately the right to life. 

Yes, thats what I think racism is too. I don’t see that in the article.  It all seems to be smoke and mirrors with Mr. Greenstein

But like the Melanie Philips of this world you believe the freedom to be a racist is the most important one and that it would be wrong to prevent Gilad Atzmon targeting Jews who support the Palestinians (because they are his major targets).

He isn’t targetting an inborn, genetic quality though, he’s targetting a behaviour, which he says can be changed. Me and Melanie in the same line, never thought I’d see the day….

Greenstein, having introduced the strawman that I defend Shamir’s views, goes on to quote Shamir. Its outside of my remit – but I don’t think he understands what Shamir means in the second quote – shutting down one extreme, whilst leaving the other to sprout its extremities ad naseum does skew the debate. I am not responsible for Atzmon’s thoughts, and Atzmon is not responsible for Shamir’s thoughts. I am against guilt by association.

But if ftp is consistent then the Moderators of Indymedia should also invite Israel Shamir to contribute a guest article, and while they are at it, perhaps Mahler of the German NPD and David Duke, to say nothing of Nick Griffin and Pat Buchanan (Nixon’s old chief of staff).

Another misunderstanding of the open publishing concept then. Nobody invited Atzmon to post, and Atzmon didn’t post the article. Nobody invites any individual to post – but anyone is free to post. The mods then have to deal with posts which breach guidelines. When there is disagreement about whether a post breaches the guidelines, then they have to use consensus decision making to sort it out.

I shall repeat my proposal again. If Atzmon, contrary to the usual norms, is allowed to post an opinion piece on Indymedia, why have I been refused the same rights? Or is it the position that the rights of racists are superior to those of anti-racists?

I’ll say it again. Nobody prevents Greenstein from posting an opinion piece. However if it breaches the guidelines, it is liable to hiding. The hidden Greensteins were complaints about moderation, not news or critical analysis for the newswire.

November 19, 2007 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

A letter from America

[Imc-uk-features] From Lenni Brenner re Gilad Atzmon

BrennerL21 at aol.com BrennerL21 at aol.com
Sat Nov 10 12:27:38 PST 2007

11 10 07
To: Indymedia
From: Lenni Brenner

Hi Comrades,

Tony Greenstein has alerted me to the fact that Indymedia has run material by
Gilad Atzmon. I second Tony’s demand that Indymedia stop printing Atzmon’s
material.

Atzmon, an Israeli who broke with Zionism, now calls himself an ex-Jew.
Indeed he devotes much of his writing to denouncing leftist anti-Zionist Jews.
Worse yet, he denounces us because we fight both Zionists and anti-Semites.

In a 3/3/07 CounterPunch article, “From Esther to AIPAC,”

He cites “Marc Ellis… Adi Ofir… Lenni Brenner… Shraga Elam…
Finkelstein,” who write on the holocaust. He insists that

“Though they may be critical of different aspects of the exploitation of the
Holocaust, they all accept the validity of the Nazi Judeocide and its
mainstream interpretations and implications. Most of the scholars, if not all of them,
do not challenge the Zionist narrative, namely Nazi Judeocide…. not a
single Holocaust religion scholar dares engage in a dialogue with the so-called
‘deniers’ to discuss their vision of the events or any other revisionist
scholarship.”

Does Indymedia believe that we should “dialogue with the so-called ‘deniers’
to discuss their vision of the events or any other revisionist scholarship”?
Should Indymedia “dialogue” with David Irving?

As with everyone else on the Brit left, I’m sure you are concerned about the
fact that the British National Party has won some local municipality seats.
You know them. Monday they are Nazis, Tuesday they are anti-Muslim, Wednesday
its back to hating Jews, Thursday is for kicking Paki ass, etc. Therefore no
one, repeat, no one in Britain, atheist leftist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, who
genuinely wants to build a united front in the streets against the BNP wants any
part of “dialogue” with holocaust deniers, who are nothing more than
intellectual fronts for neo-Nazism.

Jews are like anyone else. Atzmon isn’t the 1st to freak out and he won’t be
the last. Back in the 50s, I was hospitalized with an infected liver. Across
from me was an elderly Jew. He was quite until his family visited him. He would
greet them with a Nazi salute and a hearty “Heil Hitler!” They didn’t know
what set him off, but something offended him and this was his way of punishing
them. Similarly, when Israelis break with Zionism, some go over to leftism,
others convert to Islam or Christianity and some, as with Atzmon, develop their
own mad form of fanaticism.

I am best known for my book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, which
exposed Zionist collaboration with Hitler and Mussolini. It received favorable
reviews from publications as different as the London Times and Moscow’s Izvestia.
I work in a field with other serious scholars, Zionist, anti-Zionist, Jew and
gentile. Whatever our differences, we are of 1 mind when it comes to holocaust
deniers/revisionists: We have nothing to discuss with Nazis, holocaust
deniers or ex-Jewish crackpots who want us to discuss anything with such vermin.

No mincing words, no evasions, no hypocrisy. You have read Atzmon calling for
such a mad dialogue. Do you agree with us? Yes or no? Are you ready to
totally disentangle yourselves from him? Yes or no?

For 1 democratic, secular bi-national Palestine/Israel in a socialist world,

Lenni

BrennerL21 at aol.com
http://www.smithbowen.net/linfame/brenner

November 19, 2007 at 12:21 pm Leave a comment

I stand aside from the decision

I had blocked the proposal that we ban Atzmon from Indymedia. Support appeared to be growing for a ban without further discussion, and I believed that such a decision needed to be made in a refective and informed manner, not just a knee-jerk response. However, in light of the fact that it was clear that Greenstein appeared to be unwilling to let Indymedia follow its usual process, and was constantly seeking to up the ante for ever increasing demands. I felt that in the absence of space for a reflective discussion, my block could result in the whole project being damaged by Greenstein and his goon like tactics, so I decided to stand aside from the decision, thus dropping my block. It was up to the collective to decide the matter without me. I also decided that I would instead focus on exposing the tactics of the hunters of Atzmon, which were causing such disruption to a project that they said they supported. – I wrote to the list – ftp

[Imc-uk-features] Choice under pressure: Reflection vs Censorship

freethepeeps at aktivix.org freethepeeps at aktivix.org
Fri Nov 9 18:12:42 PST 2007

A few years ago, Gilad Atzmon wrote an article about the demonisation of Israel
Shamir (1). I met Shamir in a village outside Nablus, when he came to
interview a family whose house was under threat of demolition, because their
son, who by all accounts had a learning disability, had attempted a suicide
bomb. He got to his target, because he was employed in building the settler
road that passed the back of the house. I had quite a long chat with Israel,
and I was impressed by his passion for justice. This was before his banishment
from the Palestinian solidarity movement by a group whose behaviour Atzmon
claimed amounted to “modern Jewish secular intolerance.” He described the
process:

The liberal Zionist cell, as we are going to read, cannot really take it. They
demand the cleansing of Shamir. They insist upon ruining his intellectual
career or at the very least, his reputation. They would use any possible
manipulative strategy to have him thrown out of DYR, which is the first step
towards sending him beyond the pale.

He asserted that his readers that the episode was “a glimpse into the
abusive, assertive and violent world of Zionist lobbying.”

I received a private email today. This is the text:

As a hitherto supporter of Indymedia I am writing in total support of Tony
Greenstein’s attribution of anti-Semitism
Some political positions are so clear that they require no reflection to
asceratain their meaning. Nazism is one such position. What you have published
is another. To talk of “Judaic world view” (ie attributing to all Jews the same
view – the conspiracy theory) and refering to the “unpopularity” of Jews in
Nazified Europe (a form of holocaust minimisation which virtually coincides
with denial) as well as “their holocaust”( the holocaust was perpetrated ON
Jews – and others. The perpetrators were the Nazis)…all this is
clear,unarguable anti-Semitism. Just as “kill the Yids” is
clear,unarguable,anti-Semitism. But yet you claim a) it is open to
interpretation b) even if it were anti-Semitic you need a “consensus” as to
what to do if anything – a somewhat unique position on fighting racism c) in
the meantime you feel quite prepared to print this junk (which incidenetally in
identifying anti-Semitism with Palestinian liberation puts you in antagonism to
all progressive Palestinian thought). Of course you can continue to use your
energy going down this obnoxious path. Or else you can print an apology. steve
cohen

It was the first email to arrive after Tony Greenstein’s call to several email
lists to write to us.

The last time that happened to me was when I was on a list for ‘alternative
Christmas Carols’, when a group of us sang carols with words updated to reflect
the current situation in Palestine. Someone got hold of the list and sent it to
a Hasbabrah warrior in the States. She put a call out for people to write to
us, and within a short space of time my inbox was deluged with some of the most
rancid and racist struff I have seen.

The tactics feel exactly the same. The fact that I’ve only had one so far may
suggest that Greenstein et al have a lot less support than their zionist
counterparts.

And now the same group that went for Shamir are gunning for Atzmon. They are
demanding that we kick him out. We’re a minor site(for them), so we’ve had to
wait our turn. They’ve held a picket outside Bookmarks to protest against Gilad
(where apparently he came out and played a socialist anthem on the sax),
lobbied to have him barred from Scottish PSC and the SWP. Attacks and counter
attacks have ranged across the net, taking in the Guardian, Counterpunch and
AMIN along the way. To date they have been unsuccesful. It worries the shit out
of me that Indymedia might just give them their first taste of blood in this
new kill.

AMIN by the way is the Arabic Media Internet Network, and one of the group,
Deborah Maccoby wrote(2) there in January, 2007 that:

No doubt Atzmon will present this article as yet another vicious “defamation”
of him by a “Jewish Gatekeeper”. He will claim I and other practitioners of
“Jewish Power” – ie the Jewish world conspiracy – are trying to silence
him and his allies. But we’re not trying to silence them; we simply want to
reply to their attacks and defend ourselves. Our very efforts to defend
ourselves become, in their twisted and deluded thinking, proof of our sinister
“Jewish Power”. I will end by asking readers of both articles to decide who is
doing the defaming, and I appeal to Palestinians and their supporters to resist
this attempt to divide and undermine the Palestinian solidarity movement from
within.

Well, now a choice is being demanded of us. Now there is no pretension of
debate and self-defence, and according to Steve Cohen’s email, Atzmon’s writings “
require no reflection to asceratain their meaning.” Greenstein is right.

Greenstein is clear however, that if the claim is ever levelled against him,
we should “reflect to ascertain the meaning”, because the anti-semitism term is
often abused in order to defame opponents.

He castigates Atzmon for not backing the boycott. And it wasn’t long ago that
we had Indymedia’s resident zionist, gehrig calling us anti-semitic because we
carried articles supporting the boycott. The boycott according to gehrig is
anti-semitic because it affects Jews disproportionally. Not Israelis mind,
Jews.

If we boycott Zimbabwe, is it discriminatory because it disproportionally
affects the largest ethnic group? Once again Israel is Jewish when it wants to
be, and not when it doesn’t feel like it. Now they are actually debating only
giving citizenship to Jews who support the state. But hey I’ve seen several
activists who happen to be Jewish deported from Israel and barred from
returning, so I’m not that surprised really.Those who oppose the state are not
“proper Jews”. Thats what a group of Betar activists told a pro-Palestinian
activist of Jewish origin outside Marks and Spencer in Manchester a few years
ago. They jumped up and down in a huddle chanting it at him. When the cops got
closer the chant changed to “We want peace!”.

Whilst Greenstein has certainly pulled out all the stops in his last email, I
don’t think that his argument in support of his viewpoint is any more
persuasive than the arguments that gehrig puts up. That gehrig would in fact
put up against Greenstein for supporting a boycott that disproportionally
affects Jews. All of them appear to be highly honed in proving that every point
of view that they do not agree with is racist against them.

Its no wonder that its so difficult to sort it out. When it involves Palestine,
this is what you know to expect. Its impossible to meet all their demands,
they’re contradictory and each protagonist is 100% certain that their way is
the only way. Debate is impossible in such rigidly controlled and threatening
circumstances.

Atzmons reaction to it all appears to rail against it – to fight against the
restrictions, to push the boundaries, to stick his tongue out and go
BLAHBLAHBLAH at the censors, at those who push us into pens and control every
aspect of our deep concern for the nightmarish situation in which the
Palestinains live and die every day. To paraphrase a recent comment on a
Fitwatch demo noted: “The woman in black was gagging to be arrested. Theres
always one at every demo.” And if you watch the video, theres no doubt that the
more the cops tried to control her, the more she rails, challenges and gives it
back. Needless to say the end result was predictable, the controllers won. She
was arrested and dragged off, with the cops getting their little pokes in when
she was forced into the van.

She’ll be back, and so will Gilad. Because they are brimming with anger at the
injustice that so many people live every single day. They care passionately
about justice. They believe it has to stop.

I have sleepless nights over all of this, all the time it gets worse and worse.
Whatever we’ve been doing up until now to support the Palestinians, hasn’t
worked. And theres no way to discuss it, or change strategy, because the halls
are monitored, the guards are on the perimeter all the time, and their guns are
cocked.

If they do to Gilad the exact opposite of what they told the readers of AMIN
they intended to do, who will be next? Who is going to read the texts and
listen to the arguments, and read the articles and check it all out? How much
time is it going to take? How much pain is it going to cause?

The easy way is to do what we’re told without question – to click the button
they demand , to delete the person they want deleted now. Gilad it seems made a
self fulfilling prophecy when he warned how they treated those who had lost
their approval.

I’ve been reading their stuff endlessly for the last few days. Theres mountains
of the stuff to get through. Greenstein’s stuff is turgid and unreadable. Most
of the rest of their stuff is fixated with the issue of anti-semitism. The
stuff that stimulates and makes me think that there are ways out of the rut,
tends to be Gilads stuff, even though it takes constant rereadings to get to
what he trying to say, and the stuff on Mary Rizzo’s blog.

They’ve demanded I make a choice, and I have.

This debate is being monitored on Peace Palestine (3), which Greenstein
describes as Rizzos “anti-semitic list”.

There she says:

This is why it becomes of vital importance for activists first of all to ask
themselves two things: At whose service are we? How effective are we? If we are
turning the light on about the atrocities of Zionism, Colonialism and
Imperialism, we are of service to those who are VICTIMS of these criminal
philosophies and the actions that derive from them. In order to turn on the
light, we have to be able to communicate, to be allowed the liberty to declare
that there is a mindset, a worldview and an ideological position behind all of
these things. This is the analytical element of activism. Things aren’t born
from a vacuum, they have a history, they have some kind of meaning. We have to
be willing to reject the “news” that is often filtered through to us, and we
have to appeal to the Humanist part of our commitment, and this means a certain
kind of approach. If our primary interest (as activists for justice and peace
in Palestine) is anything but justice for the victims of Zionism, we are not of
service to Palestinians. It couldn’t be put any simpler.

Indymedia has a choice to make.

Put up or shut up.

Sadly, I think I know which way its going to go. Its been that kind of year.

I stand aside from the choice. The collective needs to sort it out.
I stand for justice for Palestinians. I stand against bullying.

ftp

(1)http://www.gilad.co.uk/html%20files/Londonelders.html
(2)http://www.amin.org/look/amin/en.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=7&NrArticle=38731&NrIssue=1&NrSection=3
(3)http://peacepalestine.blogspot.com/2007/11/gatekeepers-lose-another-one-indymedia.html

November 13, 2007 at 9:53 am Leave a comment

Decontextualised quotes

[Imc-uk-features] Re removing Atzmon’s Hunters of Goliath

tony greenstein tonygreenstein at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 8 19:19:10 PST 2007
Since there are those on the collective who doubt whether references to a ‘Judaic’ world view’ or ascribing the Nazi holocaust to the ‘unpopularity’ of their victims are anti-Semitic or more generally racist and chauvinist, I enclose some more of Atzmon’s equally non-racist quotes for the collective to ponder about.

‘it is Zionist interests that America is serving. American Jewry makes any debate on whether the ‘Protocols of the elder of Zion’ are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy. So far they are doing pretty well for themselves at least. Whether the Americans enjoy the deterioration of their state’s affairs will no doubt be revealed soon.
http://www.gilad.co.uk/html%20files/onanti.html
American Jewry makes any debate on whether the ‘Protocols of the elder of Zion’ are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy. So far they are doing pretty well for themselves at least. Whether the Americans enjoy the deterioration of their state’s affairs will no doubt be revealed soon.

http://www.labournet.net/antiracism/0507/ongilad1.html
In June, Gilad distributed an article by his friend Paul Eisen, entitled “The Holocaust Wars”. It is a long defence of the neo-Nazi, Hitler lover, and Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel

Gilad described “Holocaust Wars” as a very important text, and defended Eisen when the controversy erupted. The document was originally published in December on the website of Israel Shamir, whom Gilad described as a “unique and advanced thinker”. His independent thinking includes describing Auschwitz as a labour rather than as an internment camp. http://www.israelshamir.net/English/Who_Needs.htm

G: Mr Greenstine, True I circulated Paul Eisen’s paper. I do believe that argumentative texts must be circulated as widely as possible. I am sure that in case you have a counter argument to suggest Paul will be delighted to address it. By the way, my take on the subject is slightly different than Paul’s one and yet, i found Paul very attentive to my criticism. Furthermore, Let me assure you that if I ever see a great text written by yourself I ll be the first to circulate it. This is my way, that is what i believe in. T: Not that this should be any surprise given your association with Israel Shamir, who makes a habit of supporting and defending white supremacists. These statements were made in e-mails to me (Tony G)

The idea that Zionists have taken over America might sound bizarre in the first instance but we must remember that this kind of strange scenario does happen. Last month I heard Israel Shamir’s observation regarding this very issue. In a very open manner he said that no one would be surprised to hear that during different phases of the British Empire the world was governed by a very close group of ‘Eton’ graduates. “Some times” he added, “great empires are taken over by very marginal groups”. We might have to acknowledge that this is the case with America. American foreign policy is dictated by a very marginal group of Zionist activists, even by the state of Israel itself. Good news for Israel, quite an amazing achievement for a microscopic state. But is it good news for the American people? Is it good news for the world?
http://www.gilad.co.uk/html%20files/protocols.html

The J word, the J people and the J spot-Gilad Atzmon
The J’s are the ultimate chameleons, they can be whatever they like as long as it serves as some expedient.
http://www.gilad.co.uk/html%20files/jspot.html

On Anti-Semitism
Gilad Atzmon 20.12.2003
I would suggest that perhaps we should face it once and for all: the Jews were responsible for the killing of Jesus who, by the way, was himself a Palestinian Jew. But then two questions should be asked:
1. How is it that people living today feel accountable or chased for a crime committed by their great great great ancestors almost 2,000 years ago? I assume that those Jews who get angry when blamed for killing Jesus are those who identify themselves with Jesus’s killers. Those who would commit this murderous act today. Those Jews are called Zionists and they are already advancing into their sixth decade of inhuman crimes against the Palestinian people and the Arab world. Zionism, for those who do not know, is a repetition of the darkest age of the Jewish Biblical era. 2. Why is it that the Jews who repeatedly demand that the Christian world should apologise for its involvement in previous persecutions, have never thought that it is about time that they apologised for killing Jesus?

Tony Greenstein

November 12, 2007 at 6:35 pm Leave a comment

gatekeepers

Another post goes up on Peace Palestine – the title does not reflect the situatioaccurately, as the matter appears to be far from resolved – ftp

Thursday, November 8, 2007
The Gatekeepers lose another one! Indymedia UK rejects censorship demand

Some who read this might ask themselves what it’s all about. Why should a board that is focused on issues of Palestine and opposition to militarism, interventionism and occupation publish frequently about “internal issues” relating to publishing and activism? I believe the response is very simple. There are many news and analysis sources that one can refer to in order to learn more about the issues, to understand them better and to decide what kind of involvement one chooses to have in his or her approach. There are many forums where one can discuss, and in the recent years, there has been a great deal of networking between activists, in order to organise and participate in information and action campaigns. This often means that things become personalised, we get to know one another, and we start to see cracks in some reasoning that without deeper analysis might have seemed unimportant. We not only refine our ideas, but we are called upon to come to our own conclusions on the spectrum of ideas that we are presented with and the genuine dedication to the cause. We also end up being involved in clashes that end up being extremely aggressive.

This blog has been active for three years, and I am happy that I’ve been able to present the situation in all of its complexity (despite limited time, given that I’m heavily involved in several other editorial, internet and street activist projects). Peacepalestine has documented major events, but also, the vicissitudes of the activist world itself, and more specifically, that of the group I believe I have belonged to all my life, the “movement” that is dedicated to the Palestinian people and their liberation, from a humanist, radical left progressive perspective. Included in the values of this “group” is the importance of service, ie, we are here not for ourselves, but to render service in any way we can to the people of Palestine. We may not always get it right, but Palestinians remain the absolute priority. Another important value is that of conservation of freedom – freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of belief, because radical views have almost always been the first to have been sacrificed to Power. There is an enormous need for those who have power to crush those who don’t have power, but are part of “the masses”. Yes, there is a weapon we have, and we tend to forget how important it is: to quote a punk band, Anti-Flag, “You’ve got the guns, We’ve got the numbers”. We actually have MORE power than those who are the oppressors, we just need to put it to good use, once we remember that we are the ones who can decide to think and act according to our morals. If we want to be VERY left, we call it “Change from Below”.

This is why it becomes of vital importance for activists first of all to ask themselves two things: At whose service are we? How effective are we? If we are turning the light on about the atrocities of Zionism, Colonialism and Imperialism, we are of service to those who are VICTIMS of these criminal philosophies and the actions that derive from them. In order to turn on the light, we have to be able to communicate, to be allowed the liberty to declare that there is a mindset, a worldview and an ideological position behind all of these things. This is the analytical element of activism. Things aren’t born from a vacuum, they have a history, they have some kind of meaning. We have to be willing to reject the “news” that is often filtered through to us, and we have to appeal to the Humanist part of our commitment, and this means a certain kind of approach. If our primary interest (as activists for justice and peace in Palestine) is anything but justice for the victims of Zionism, we are not of service to Palestinians. It couldn’t be put any simpler.

As to being effective, obviously, we are not making many inroads. There are many reasons for this, and in the coming days I will analyse a few more of them, but for the moment, one of the greatest obstacles is precisely getting our message across. There are a lucky few who are courageous, some amazing sites that never compromise, all isn’t lost. In fact, there is actually more than a little reason to be cheerful.

Everyone who is a habitué of this blog knows that Gilad Atzmon is the major featured writer. Obviously, I like what Gilad writes, and I believe that he is a genuine (one of the most genuine, and in 27 or 28 years of activism, I’ve met my share) supporter of Palestinians. His dedication is without shadow of a doubt, and besides, he comes with a new and interesting approach.

While many believe politicians have a lot of influence, they really don’t know much about the issues. While some journalists are very good at what they do, they ultimately, (most of them) are serving someone before they are serving the cause they support, be it their editor or advertisers or political parties. Philosophers are in a completely different position. They have total intellectual autonomy. Gilad has been attacked, (and naturally, anyone who supports his ideas and believes that they are worthy of widespread dissemination is attacked just as much) by certain sectors of the “movement”. There have been calls by some in this extremely marginal group of people (both in number and in relevance) to have Gilad Atzmon banned, boycotted, picketed, harassed, and most frequently, CENSORED. The latest had been documented here, here and here. Well, the demands of Tony Greenstein, acting for Moishe Machover, had been rejected by IndyMedia UK. Here is the letter from one of the moderators, explaining to Tony that not only was Tony’s diatribe going to be “hidden” (something that Tony had asked to be done to Gilad’s article, if they couldn’t out and out censor it), but that his proposition was rejected.

I’ve stopped keeping count of the various humiliating defeats Tony and his cronies have had in trying to 1) tell Palestinians who is good for them and who is bad for them, 2) tell other activists that certain “elements” had to be silenced (yes, there have been even attempts to have me voted off a discussion forum! Not even a political party!!!) 3) determine priorities for the movement that are not essential to the Palestinian Rights Campaign, ie, the focus on Fighting Anti-Semitism as one of the major issues, if not the determining one, 4) convincing everyone that the tunnel vision to which he is a victim is the only correct approach to discussion of the Israel-Palestinian problem, and this vision dictates the precise direction which any discussion must go, as well as the certification of all those who are dedicated to the Palestinian struggle into the parametres he has set, which obviously have major intellectual and ethical holes in them.

The utter irony of it all lies in this: the aggression aimed towards Gilad (which it is necessary to mention, is always unprovoked. Gilad uses his capacity to think and write, others use theirs to publish and disseminate and comment on, and Tony and Co. turn it into a highly charged battle against the PERSONS, to which the persons involved at times feel they would spend time responding to) began with an analysis of a group of people that were attempting to smear, defame and silence others by their “demerits” or “affiliations”. It was a classic example of a lobbying measure used by a group of people who identify themselves as “Anti-Zionist Jews” to silence other Anti-Zionists who, oddly enough, were all of Jewish origin, but refuse to identify themselves primarily as Jews and act under that name. It was a classic example of gatekeeping. I would say that the paper that Gilad wrote on it then, almost three years ago, is just as valid today as it was then. It seems they just can’t win. It seems they just can’t move on and start getting their energies committed to Palestinian people!

For your pleasure, edification and information:

[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 (http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/static/editorial.html) (which I note you quote) state:

“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

http://peacepalestine.blogspot.com/2007/10/gilad-atzmon-open-comment-to-jsf.html&#8221;

If you click on the link, it takes you to the exact same text that appears underneath, and it is signed:

“ATB
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:

http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-features/2007-October/thread.html#start

and

http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-features/2007-November/thread.html#start

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.

ATB
ftp
___________________________________________________________
Comments:

In Minnesota where I live Zionists pressured St. Thomas College, to uninvite Bishop Desmond Tutu for an anti-Zionist speech. When it was made public, he was invited back. The school is demoting the professor who invited him, now Tutu refuses to speak there until her position is reinstated.

Regards.
Renegade Eye | Homepage | 11.08.07 – 8:27 pm | #
__________________________________________________________________

This is all very interesting. Thank you for not stopping to monitor the very people who are supposed to “show us the way” to a better world. With people like that on our side, who needs enemies?

Good Luck to Gilad, to you and to the other courageous bloggers, writers and sites.
Harry Potter | 11.08.07 – 8:39 pm | #
_________________________________________________________

So we know about Greenie and the credit card, we know as well all about Greenie and the photo copy machine, we know about Greenie being violent towards his brothers but now a new chapter in his criminal career opens up…

Pepas and Papes

Please welcome
Greenie the Shop Lifter
http://www.geocities.com/buggerr…e/ greenfine.pdf

Greenie what else do you have in your Pandora box?

Seemingly our Zio enemies are very good detectives.

So far on record you had been charged as a thief, robber, credit card fraudster, you had been banned from university for vandalism, you had been banned from other universities for anti Semitism. Greenie tell us the truth, do you think that you are the right person to fight the Jewish tribal causes. Can’t you see that it doesn’t make much sense?

However, leaning more and more about you explains why the only person who sticks to you and your astonishing record is my current protagonist Emperor Moish’le Machotosser.
Hans Christian Underdog | 11.11.07 – 8:35 pm | #

November 12, 2007 at 5:57 pm Leave a comment

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