Posts filed under ‘Jews Against Zionism’

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

Forwarding the Elf emails to the CCs

Here I make a mistake, and quote the same email twice. Email in its entirety in comments – ftp

Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2007 08:55:33 +0000
From: freethepeeps@aktivix.org
To: freethepeeps@aktivix.org
Cc: roland@rantam.net, ‘Moshe Machover’ moshe.machover@kcl.ac., ‘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: “Personal abuse is entirely Atzmon’s forte.”

Two more from Mark – I reckon that’s one Greenstein thesis thats been
disproved.
He was quick with the abuse – I’ll publish where and when I like. I don’t jump
when told.

November 19, 2007 at 11:14 am 1 comment

Greenstein to me and CC list

I decided to send Elf’s email to Greenstein’s CC list.

Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2007 02:18:49 +0000

From: freethepeeps@aktivix.org

To: roland@rantam.net

Cc: ‘Moshe Machover’;moshe.machover@kcl.ac, ‘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: Bullying tactics

Keep them coming – here’s Mark Elf’s abuse as he forgot to CC you guys in:
(C+P of Elf’s email)

Greenstein replied thus:

Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 19:11:36 -0800 (PST)
From: tony greenstein
To: freethepeeps@aktivix.org, roland@rantam.net
Cc: ‘Moshe Machover’ , ‘deborah maccoby’ , ‘charlie pottins’ , ‘Diana Neslen’ , ‘David Rosenberg’ , ‘MARK ELF’ , ‘Michael Karlmanovitch’ , ‘sofia mcleoad’ , Steve Cohen , ‘tony greenstein’
Subject: RE: Bullying tactics

Unfortunately not everyone is as polite as me when it comes to being told they are part of some hidden Jewish conspiracy.

I don’t know whether you are a loyalist or not though clearly that would explain where you are coming from (they’re also big supporters of Israel, but that’s also quite compatible).

If I cc people into an e-mail it is because I am under the impression that they might be interested in the topic, not that we are in league with each other. Anyone who knows Steve Cohen and myself will know that we’ve been at loggerheads for 20+ years over the question of Zionism, but I acknowledge that Steve is a damned fine fighter for justice for refugees and asylum seekers in this country.

By buying into Atzmon’s ‘gatekeeping’ a phrase you now use yourself, you have demonstrated that Indymedia’s guidelines about racism, homophobia etc. might as well be torn up because you will block any effective action by your fellow moderators.

Tony Greenstein
________________________________________________________________

Notes from me:

1) Steve Cohen was not on the CC list.
2) Nowhere in the first email did I tell anyone “they are part of some hidden Jewish conspiracy.” I replied to his CC list, which was not hidden.
3) Gatekeeping is a regular term – Atzmon didn’t invent it and doesn’t have exclusive rights to its use
4) Greenstein, like Rance and Elf does not address the questions in my original email to the CC list.

November 19, 2007 at 10:32 am Leave a comment

I write to Greenstein’s CC list

Having thought about Cohen’s email, I fear that the debate is about to come highly personalised. Anyone who reads Atzmon differently is opening themselves up to attack by a group who seem to think that they have a right to bulldoze Indymedia into submission in this new battle in their war of attrition. The collective has struggled with similar claims before – some of us agree with Greenstein that it is all too often used as a tool to smear political opponents with, others appear to automatically accept the claims. I decided to write to them – ftp

Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 22:14:17 +0000
From: freethepeeps@aktivix.org
To: tony greenstein
Cc: Roland Rance , Moshe Machover , deborah maccoby , charlie pottins , Diana Neslen , David Rosenberg , MARK ELF , Michael Karlmanovitch , sofia mcleoad
Subject: Bullying tacticsHi all

This is off list. I presume from the cc’s on Tony’s email that you are working
together as a group on this one.

This is the text of an email I received today:

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”

Besides the fact that the dude could do with learning to use paragraphs, it
reminds me of the time I got deluged with emails after Deborah Fink’s Christmas
Carolling list was published on a zionist site, with an invitation to harrass
the addressees. I received many emails asking me if I was really a Jew, and
offering the nastiest and most racist filth imaginable.

I thought afterwards that I should have kept them all and published them. This
time I’m keeping them and may well choose to publish them at some stage. Then
others can judge for themselves whether it is a reasonable tactic to set
supporters onto individuals that you do not agree with. Personally I think it
stinks. It certainly seems to be exactly the same tactic that the zionist woman
used.

So, now its a demand that all Atzmon posts are removed from Indymedia? Thats
kind of ironic, considering the fact that Deborah Maccoby had this to say in
AMIN:

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.

Is this call for censorship a negation of what Deborah told the readers of
AMIN? Is it the case that you have no desire to debate with Atzmon, you just
want to shut him up? Even when the article in question doesn’t mention you? Are
you seeking to “divide and undermine”, or what?

Are you supportive of the claim that we should just take your word for it and
realise that when you demand, there is no need for reflection or to ascertain
the meaning? That we’d better jump, do what you say, and apologise? Are you
supportive of the claim that what Atzmon says is the same as “kill the Yids”?

I is not a happy bunny.

ftp

November 13, 2007 at 9:34 am Leave a comment

Rollcall time

Tony replies – and just look at the CC list -its like a rollcall from The Protocols of the elders of London – ftp

[Imc-uk-features] Re a letter allegedly sent to me which was posted instead to Rizzo’s anti-Semitic PEPA site

Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 06:44:41 -0800 (PST)
From: tony greenstein
To: freethepeeps@aktivix.org, imc-uk-features@lists.indymedia.org
Cc: Roland Rance , Moshe Machover , deborah maccoby , charlie pottins , Diana Neslen , David Rosenberg , MARK ELF , Michael Karlmanovitch , sofia mcleoad

Dear FTP,

Thank you for this, which is the first real response after 2 or more weeks after having submitted my original complaint. Unfortunately it is not clear where posts that complain about an article go, nor did or even do I understand where such posts go and where the threads can be found or indeed how one posts a reply to such a thread. So maybe I can make a few comments on this:

1. I can assure you that I have received nothing in my inbox. The first time I knew there was such a letter was went onto Mary Rizzo’s pepa. So if you sent it I didn’t receive it, I can assure you.
Well, it was sent to you as a cc – I’ve checked my sent email, and the email
that I received from the list, and you are definitely cc’d on both.

2. Given the nature of the complaint, the least that could have been done is that my response, which was hidden could have been placed up alongside the article complained about rather than relegated. The effect is a political choice that an anti-Semitic article stays up in public view and the criticism of it is hidden from most readers of IndyMedia.

3. I am absolutely certain of the fact that the article is anti-Semitic. So are most people in e.g. Jews Against Zionism, people like Moshe Machover, a retired anti-Zionist Israeli academic in this country from Matzpen, the first such organisation in Israel. It is not simply what is written in the article which I’ve highlighted (it is a long article, much of it unremarkable and indeed unoriginal either) but the cumulative weight of what Atzmon has written, of which this is an example e.g. the essay ‘On Anti-Semitism’ his use of the term Elder to describe his anti-Zionist Jewish critics (and the fact that his first ever criticism of us was in an article entitled the The Protocols of the London Elders of Zionism). Or maybe his statement in the ‘Dialectic of Negation’ (all on his site) which states that maybe the reason for the lack of success of Palestine solidarity groups is the presence of Jews in their ranks or his statement in his ‘Esther to Aipac’ article that
 those who believe there was a holocaust ‘dare’ not challenge holocaust revisionists (deniers).

4. You don’t understand the practice on the Guardian’s CIF. I would have preferred not to link to Eisen’s piece. That is taken as read. However the editors insist that if you refer to something then you have to provide a link so others can see what it is you are criticising. But until this all happened I was under the impression that IndyMedia was different. I have put stuff up about the Police attack on the Lebanon 2 years ago, including a secret tape recording of the Brighton Police Commander Kevin Moore justifying to me that response, including the allegation that we were, yes ‘anti-Semitic’. It was incidentally people like me, i.e. Jewish anti-Zionists who were most vociferous in forcing the police to back off. Which is a particular reason why, if we allow people like Atzmon, to then pollute the discourse with anti-Semitic remarks, then it hands a free gift to the police or people like Richard Littlejohn etc. who are eager to portray support for the Palestinians as anti-Semitic.

The Guardian/Indie etc. are liberal papers of the ruling class in this country. One expects them to have a different attittude to printing stuff from the far-right. Something like Indymedia I would have expected to take a position not that far removed from the old anti-fascist position of ‘No Platform’ for overt racists and fascists.

5. I have no doubt, based on previous antics of Atzmon, including the nature of the allegations made and use of language that ‘knuckles’ is Atzmon. I am no expert in IP numbers etc. but I do know that it is possible to disguise them. I say that having received an abusive set of e-mails re an assault case I’m involved with the Police from staff in EDO who have faked IP addresses. I suspect Atzmon has simply written the pieces and if, as he says, there is a S American IP address, he has had it remailed by a member of Eisen’s DYR.

6. Well you say that ‘There is a discussion going on, that has caused quite a major upset in the collective. That is not ‘giving up’, is it?’ No I agree. But I would also have hoped that whilst that discussion was going up, where there is a prima facie case that something is racist, (it is a legal term for where there is a case even though it has not yet been proved) that the article is taken down or hidden. It’s similar to when BSE was about. Should precautions have been taken as soon as the danger was there or not until it was proven scientifically, by which time many others have been infected. I see Atzmon’s writings as a political form of BSE.

7. You quote Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak Greenberg. No I haven’t heard of him, but looking at the article I note it comes from that bastion of tolerance viz. the University of Bar Ilan in Tel Aviv. Perhaps you are not aware of Bar Ilan? It is a religious university, which has validated the College of Judea & Samaria on the West Bank. It is a university which refuses to allow Arabs to live on campus. In any case what Greenberg was arguing for was in the context of a religious world view. Atzmon’s argument was entirely different and uses this religious metaphor in order to draw current political conclusions, hence his use of the term Israelite, as if Jews today are the offspring of the ancient 12 tribes. Note ‘the similarities to the Israelite of our time are rather concerning.’

This is not dissimilar to the use by the Nazis of medieval beliefs about Jews, including their role in trade, in order to paint the assimilated Jews of Germany as the equivalent of money lenders etc. But yes, I think Greenberg’s essay was equally reactionary. He writes from a Zionist viewpoint, regretting the fact that Jews are becoming integrated into modern society and looking back to the days when anti-Semitism kept them apart. Zionism and anti-Semitism are 2 sides of the same coin. Both deny that Jews have any valid place in the diaspora and I could quote you far worse things than Greenberg that Zionists use to describe Jews who live outside Palestine/Israel. It is a fact that anti-Semites used to regularly quote Zionists philosophers such as Jacob Klatzkin to ‘prove’ that Jews were strangers and outsiders. E.g.:
  ‘Instead of establishing societies for defence against the anti-Semites who want to reduce our rights, we should establish societies for defence against our friends who desire to defend our rights. J Klatzkin in B Matovu ‘The Zionist Wish and the Nazi Deed’, Issue Winter 1966-7, cited in Uri Davies, Utopia Incorporated, p.17.
  or from the same writer:
  ‘Galut can only drag out the disgrace of our people and sustain the existence of a people disfigured in both body and soul – in a word, of a horror. At the very worst it can maintain us in a state of national impurity and breed some sort of outlandish creature in an environment of disintegration of cultures and of darkening spiritual horizons. The result will be something neither Jewish nor Gentile – in any case, not a pure national type…. some sort of oddity among the peoples going by the name of Jew. The Zionist Idea, Arthur Hertzberg p. 322/323.’ Klatzkin was one of the foremost Zionist theoreticians of his day, a founder of the Encyclopaedia Judaica and an editor of the Zionist official weekly Die Welt.

Incidentally if you were to read similar articles by people like Moses Hess in the book The Zionist Idea, by a liberal Zionist Arthur Herzberg, you would come across stuff which, if you didn’t know, you would think was written by anti-Semites. That was why the founder of Zionism, Theodore Herzl could say of them that ‘the anti-Semitic countries will be our friends and allies.’ (Diaries pp.83/4).

What can I say other than I would be opposed equally to the nonsense above being posted uncritically as an article on Indymedia? There is reams of this stuff from Zionists. The irony is that in his attacks on Jews in the diaspora, Atzmon is merely repeating much of this nonsense, which is why I and others consider that he is not only anti-Semitic but is also someone who shares the Zionist view of diaspora Jews.

You ask ‘Erm, did I say you personally abused him? No! And you’re surely not now going to
deny that you have a beef against the man, nor that you have tried to get him banned from other groups on other occasions, are you?’ The implication in all the posts I’ve read on this dispute, and it is implied in your own, is that my altercation with Atzmon is personal. You yourself say I have ‘a beef against the man’. I’ve never spoken to him and I’ve refused to meet him. On a personal level he may be sweetness and light. Actually many Nazis were highly cultured and disapproved of the gutter anti-Semitism of their more uncouth colleagues. But the suggestion that this is a personal matter is unsustainable. Not only me, but people like Mike Rosen, David Rosenberg, Moshe Machover, Roland Rance and Debbie Maccoby have also sustained considerable personal abuse from Atzmon because of our political criticisms of what Atzmon says.

8. You say that you do not ‘fully understand what Atzmon means by the “real meaning of
their Holocaust” – perhaps he will contribute to the discussion and explain it.’

I suspect Atzmon doesn’t either. However from reading what he does say it would appear that the ‘real meaning’ is derived from his previous assertion that the Holocaust was a result of their unpopularity, i.e. the Jews. Not only is this factually untrue, anti-Semitism was not popular in Germany and there was mass revulsion at the SA pogrom on Krystalnacht, but it would be a tautological irrelevancy. Let me explain. No one doubts that homosexuals were unpopular in 1930’s Germany and most other countries in the West. Were they murdered because of that unpopularity? I would suggest that the unpopularity was a manifestation of the fact that sexual relations were seen as being an integral part of reproducing the labour force, procreation and in that sense ‘unnatural’. It was because homosexuality was seen as running counter to the family morality of capitalism that gays were persecuted and murdered. So was it their ‘unpopularity’ that was to blame? No the latter was a
 product of the political and social factors that led to it. Otherwise it becomes a tautology.

Likewise even if Jews were unpopular, and it could be argued that in White Russia that was true, it wasn’t that that led to their extermination, but factors such as the emergence of those economies from feudalism and the use that was made of a visible minority by the regimes and movements in power.

9. You ask what I meant when I quoted Boaz Evron, a noted Israeli journalist, that ‘Zionist propagandists and fundraisers use the holocaust is best described by Israeli writer Boaz Evron: holocaust awareness is “an official, propagandistic indoctrination, a churning out of slogans and a false view of the world, the real aim of which is not at all an understanding of the past, but a manipulation of the present”. I am making much the same point that e.g. Norman Finkelstein does in The Holocaust Industry. Instead of the holocaust being used to draw anti-racist and anti-imperialist lessons, that racism is wrong whoever it is directed against, Zionism uses it in order to justify barbarities such as the present day siege of Gaza. I didn’t quote this article in my reply to you, but you clearly found it on the web. My latest article in Weekly Worker (of which I’m not a member!) compares this hunger siege to the statements by those like Hans Frank, Nazi Governor general of
 Poland’s Generalgovernment that they would implement a policy of ‘death by hunger’ and indeed some 50,000 of Warsaw’s Jews did die from starvation.

I detest the way Zionists use the calamity of the holocaust to justify their present policies but unfortunately people like Atzmon are playing right into their hands when they themselves use anti-Semitic imagery in ‘support’ of the Palestinians. It is utterly counterproductive and that is why I am asking Indymedia, of all groups, to take his stuff down. I don’t care if he abuses me in the postings I’ve googled on Indymedia, that is of no account, though I’m not sure why they are there anyway. His ‘supportive’ articles, are damaging to any notion of Palestine solidarity.

I don’t know your name, since I assume ftp refers to the collective, but I have tried to respond in a measured way since I want to take at face value your statements that you are in the process of discussion. That is fine, there should be discussion and I would freely accept I may have been intemperate. But I would also ask that rather than keep Atzmon’s stuff up, and I would suggest all his contributions on these lines (I was not aware he’d posted so much before) that they are taken down pending a decision one way or another because Indymedia, which is a valuable resource, should not sully its own reputation with this stuff.

regards

Tony Greenstein

November 12, 2007 at 9:09 pm Leave a comment

Saying NO to the hunters of Atzmon

There has been a long running war of attrition by a group who operate under the banner of Jews against Zionism against Gilad Atzmon, who describes himself as “an Israeli born, ex Israeli, Ex Jew, Hebrew speaking Palestinian”.The war began after Gilad wrote an article, provocatively entitled The Protocols of the Elders Of London, which railed against the way some JAZ members had treated Israel Shamir.

In the essay, Atzmon outlined the behaviours that some members the group had employed against Shamir, and identified some of the leading protagonists.  Since then the protagonists appear to have been out to get Atzmon, and those that they associate with him. They are using exactly the same tactics that Atzmon described:

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.

In October 2007, I found myself inadvertantly involved in the conflict,  as a fairly long term admin of Indymedia uk, a site which is part of the global Indymedia network, and is closely aligned to the anarchist and anti-capitalism movements in the UK.

I spent about 6 months in Nablus, as an ISMer during 2002/3, and since my return to London have had involvement with a number of groups who form part of the spectrum that makes up the Palestinian solidarity movement in the UK. I have met some of the protagonists, and have heard others speak at public meetings. I have been involved in campaigns with some. I have also tried to keep update with developments in Palestine, and to read progressive articles on the situation. In doing so, I became aware of the campaign being waged against Atzmon by the protagonists, and following on from that began reading articles by him.

I have never met Gilad, and it was only after the campaign came to Indymedia uk that I have had an exchange of emails with him. I guess that I didn’t really understand the full implications of the protagonists’ campaign until Tony Greenstein contacted Indymedia to demand that an article by Atzmon, which had been sitting on the Indymedia uk site without any comments or complaints for about 2 months. Prior to this he had left comments under the article itself.

This contact turned out to be the first shots in a new battle in the war of attrition that  Tony Greenstein and his JAZ friends have been conducting against Atzmon.  I intend to use the blog to archive as much relevant documentaion of this particular battle as possible, so that it is easily accessible. I have a feeling that it might be useful to the next group or organisation that gets dragged into this war, and when that happens I hope they find this, and make use of it. It also gives me an opportunity to explain where I stand on matters, and to give my side of the story. I believe that there is every likelihood that Greenstein and his friends will seek to drag my name through the mud, will label me an anti-semite, will suggest that I am a holocaust denier, and many other horrible things.

At the end of the day, Tony Greenstein, like myself, Atzmon, and the rest of the cast of characters that you will meet as you refight the battle scene by scene, are all human, are all fallible, and all make mistakes. Some of us are aware that we have shortcomings, and try to reflect on our behaviour and to change it when we realise that we are doing destructive and hurtful things. That’s how I try to live to my life, and I think Gilad attempts to do so to. We don’t always get it right. I’ve yet to see any signs that Tony Greenstein does anything except rampage destructively and blindly through life, attacking anything and everything that he does not agree with. I think it sad that he does not realise how horrible the archive of efforts make him look.

So, let me be clear. I am against fascism and Nazism. I am against all forms of racism and discrimination. This includes any form of Judeaphobia, which I prefer to the term anti-semitism, because it seems to me that the charge of anti-semitism has been so abused that it is no longer a useful term. Essentially it has become a term that is used to attack opponents of “Zionism in practice,” the implementation of an ideology from a long ago era, which has resulted in the dispossession, incarceration and deaths of many Palestinians. Many Jewish people have died as a result of it as well.

In fact Greenstein himself noted in his first email:

On most occasions accusations of anti-Semitism, especially by Zionists against those supporting the Palestinians are a form of defamation. In this case they are unfortunately true.

I think the way in which Mr. Greenstein has conducted himself throughout his war of attrition makes it impossible to accept him as a neutral arbiter, and therefore I don’t think his judgement can be trusted. I think it is necessary for each individual who wishes to pronounce on the alleged antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon to read his arguments in their entirety and to make up their own minds.

I am aware that Atzmon is extremely provocative at times, and is quite capable of being offensive. I suspect he has regrets about the way that he has worded things, and I know of at leat one ocassion where he has edited his text, when he realises that it might be misread. He has also touched on some very sensitive subjects and not always in the most sensitive way.

He has discussed the issue of the pro-Israel lobby in terms that have caused some to accuse him of repetition of one of the canards of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It is an issue that is impossible to discuss without having that accusation thrown at you, as the rather conservative academics Walt and Mearsheimer have come to discover. However, W+Ms work has forced the issue into the open, and as I have said in one of the emails relating to this discussion, I think that it has to be possible to reflect on the power of the pro-Israel lobby. It makes no sense to me to say that because some forgery from 1903 claimed that Jews were involved in a conspiracy to run the world (I have to admit I’ve never read the damn thing), that there can never be any study of the power structures of Zionism, which include organisations like AIPAC, the ADL and the AJC.

However, here Atzmon can be seen as extremely provocative and offensive:

Let’s review some current typical Zionist arguments:

a. The ‘Elders of Zion’ syndrome: Zionists complain that Jews continue to be associated with a conspiracy to rule the world via political lobbies, media and money.

Is the suggestion of conspiracy really an empty accusation? The following list is presented with pride in several Jewish American websites.

Jews in Bush’s Administration:

Ari Fleischer
White House Press Secretary

Josh Bolten
Deputy Chief of Staff

Ken Melman
White House Political Director

David Frum
Speechwriter

Brad Blakeman
White House Director of Scheduling

Dov Zakheim
Undersecretary of Defense (Controller)

Paul Wolfowitz
Deputy Secretary of Defense

I. Lewis Libby
Chief of Staff to the Vice President

Adam Goldman
White House Liaison to the Jewish Community

Chris Gersten
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and
Families at HHS

Elliott Abrams
Director of the National Security Council’s Office for Democracy, Human
Rights and International Operations

Mark D. Weinberg
Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Public Affairs

Douglas Feith
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Michael Chertoff
Head of the Justice Department’s criminal division

Daniel Kurtzer
Ambassador to Israel

Cliff Sobel
Ambassador to the Netherlands

Stuart Bernstein
Ambassador to Denmark

Nancy Brinker
Ambassador to Hungary

Frank Lavin
Ambassador to Singapore

Ron Weiser
Ambassador to Slovakia

Mel Sembler
Ambassador to Italy

Martin Silverstein
Ambassador to Uruguay

Jay Lefkowitz
Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy
Council

Let me assure you, in Clinton’s administration the situation was even worse. Even though the Jews only make up 1.9 per cent of the country’s population, an astounding 56 per cent of Clinton’s appointees were Jews. A coincidence? I don’t think so.

We have to ask ourselves what motivates American Jews to gain such political power. Is it a genuine care for American interests? Soon, following the growing number of American casualties in Iraq, American people will start to ask themselves this very question. Since America currently enjoys the status of the world’s only super power and since all the Jews listed above declare themselves as devoted Zionists, we must begin to take the accusation that Zionists are trying to control the world very seriously. It is beyond doubt that Zionists, the most radical, racist and nationalistic Jews around, have already managed to turn America into an Israeli mission force. The world’s number one super power is there to support the Jewish state’s wealth and security matters. The one-sided pro-Zionist take on the IsraeliPalestinian conflict, the American veto against every ‘anti-Israeli’ UN resolution, the war against Iraq and now the militant intentions against Syria, all prove beyond doubt that 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 (in fact Zionists) do control the world. 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.

The bit that I have quoted in bold is the bit that is usually quoted. Because that is one of the things that the protagonists do, they quote partially and out of context, and then the thing looks pretty damn rancid. In the context of the full article, I do not think it is intentional anti-semitism – and this is what I find when I trace back the more outrageous snippets that are constantly lumped together by his attackers. The fact that the out of context snippet could then be abused out of context by genuine anti-semites does not, in my view, invalidate the article. I find that when I try to understand the whole context the statements make some sort of sense. Sometimes the articles require several readings before I feel I’ve come to understand them – maybe I’m just really obtuse – and I haven’t found a way of judging Atzmon’s writings without some effort.

Now, to be honest with you, I do not know enough about the realities of American Lobbying (presumably only a very few lobbyists and politicians know the real truth of their own actions), so I cannot say that I agree with Atzmon’s thesis that the pro-Israel lobby is running the world by virtue of the power that they exert through powerful organisations such as AIPAC, the AJC and the ADL exert in Washington. I do know that the AJC ran an ad in the Financial Times:

The advert AJC posted in the FT showed a map of Europe, Africa and Asia centered on a blacked-out Iran and indicated the current and projected range of Iran’s missile capacity. It asked the question: “Suppose Iran one day gives nuclear devices to terrorists. Can anyone within range of Iran’s missiles feel safe?”

I can understand why Atzmon believes the Israel-Lobby is controlling the USA, but I don’t know if he is right or wrong. Perhaps now there will be a fuller public debate of the issue, so that it is possible to start deciding for oneself if Atzmon is close to correct, or way off beam on this one. It also seems to me that the Lobby is starting to target Europe for its activities, so we may discover more along the way.

I think that Atzmon should have the right to express his views on the matter, and that those views should be judged within the full context in which they are made.

In order to prevent this post becoming impossibly long, I’m not going to go through any of Mr. Greenstein’s long lists. Some of the other allegations are discussed in emails to follow.

Many of the emails I post are from the Indymedia UK features list, which is a publicly archived list where moderation decisions are made. Some are emails between myself and Mr. Greenstein and his fellow attackers. I actually don’t care whether they want them published or not. They weren’t private except for one sent to me by the editor of Jews sans frontieres and it is my view that it  is indicative of the tactics this group is willing to employ, and brings into question Tony Greenstein’s claim that his war of attrition is political and not personal, and that “personal abuse is entirely Atzmon’s forte.”:

Its one thesis of his that is patently untrue.

Here is the email from Mark Elf – sent to me (Sat, 10 Nov 2007 00:45:17 +0000 (GMT) ):

You “presume from the cc’s on Tony’s email that you are working
together as a group on this one.” Are you fucking mad? When you are cc’d into an email promoting viagra or penis enlargement, do you presume that you are working as a group with the sender?

You useless piece of shit. And you complain of bullying tactics whilst betraying a woeful ignorance of racism.

What a wanker you are, whoever you are, ftp.

FTP is a loyalist slogan by the way. It stands for Fuck the Provos. Since you host sectarianism (at best) you might think it a happy coincidence.

You useless wanker, honestly. I can’t believe what you claim to believe. I was going to copy all the other cc’s on this list but, since there are some on the list I don’t know, it wouldn’t be right. It would look like bullying, you wanker! Sorry to be repetitive but there’s nothing worse than an idiot who thinks they’re clever.

What a fuckwit. I’m trying to get my head around this. I blog but I don’t do much surfing. You run or speak for a site that claims to want to “free the people.” I take that to mean all people. You host an article by Gilad Atzmon that states that Israel should have learned from what it was that made Jews unpopular enough to get millions of Jews killed by the nazis. Atzmon’s beef used to be that non-religious people who identify as Jews are zionists since they are asserting, not an identity but, supremacy. But now apparently whatever it was that Israelis have to learn was what it was that made Jews unpopular enough for even those Jews who had converted to Christianity or other religions or who never claimed that they were Jewish, to be killed. So there you have a Christian sitting in church with his or her yellow star. Suddenly they are yanked out of the church by the gestapo and marched off to a concentration camp. They did something to make themselves unpopular?
And the colonial settler State of Israel should learn something from that?

Maybe the last of the colonial settler states has learned that it’s a jolly good idea to have people like Atzmon compare it to the Jews who perished in the holocaust no matter what they did, no matter how they behaved, no matter what they claimed to be, because then they can say that anti-zionism is antisemitism.

But then all that (not so) subtlety is going to be lost on a wanker who believes that people cc’d into an email must be working as a group with the sender.

There are two more specifics in your email that I would like to address since you have written to me out of the blue to complain of my bullying tactics.

You have pasted a copy of an email from a Steve Cohen. Cohen, you might know, is a Jewish surname. Not all people with that surname are Jews but it’s a safe bet usually that someone with that name is Jewish. That does not mean that other Jews are responsible for the email he sent nor are people who are cc’d by someone that also has a Jewish surname.

You quote Deborah Maccoby too. Another Jewish surname. You suggest that Tony Greenstein and all of those he cc’d are responsible for her email and are responsible for any hypocritical departure from what she said regarding “silencing” or not. Individuals who are Jews can still write as individuals.

I have to say that you are not only defending this “free the people” site’s duty to post antisemitic (arguably, you say) articles but you have given vent to it on your own account, at least twice in yoru ludicrous email.

I’m not seeking a reply from a useless piece of shit but just in case you do reply, keep it “off list” you big bully.

And I say that this is unacceptable behaviour. I’m not prepared to keep quite about Mark Elf’s abuse, I don’t respect it as a form of political action, and I have already informed him it will be published. Since I made it clear to them that I would publish what I like, when I like, the emails have stopped rolling in, so presumably they realise that this kind of action isn’t actually acceptable.

I say that it is time Moshe Machover, Tony Greenstein, Deborah Maccoby, Mark Elf and friends take a time for reflection, that they think long and hard about whether their war of attrition is serving any useful purpose, about whether it is in the best interests of the Palestinian solidarity movement that they act in this manner, and that they try and understand how it appears that the ideological mindset they seem to have adopted, seems to allow them to justify using using the exact same methods of intimidation that the zionist lobby uses to attack those that do not agree with the implementation of ‘Zionism in practice’ and the horrors that entails for Palestinians.

I also say that anyone who is, like I was, dragged into the war of attrition, should be aware that the group has used the same tactics as are commonly used by the zionist lobby in the past, and should be on the look-out for them happening again.

If the group cannot find a more reasonable way of dealing with groups that they say they are supportive of, if they do not stop hounding and attempting to banish and silence their political adversaries, then I say they can FUCK OFF! I want nothing to do with them. Hopefully others will take the same line.

Read on through the documents and make your own mind up about what is going on here.

To comment you have to register. This is to prevent anonymous trolls and to encourage everyone to take responsibility for what they say, and how they say it.

This post has gone on long enough. I’m aware that there is loads more I need to clarify, and once all the stuff is posted, I will write more.

November 11, 2007 at 10:42 am 5 comments


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