Archive for the ‘Gilad Atzmon’ Category

A Labour candidate has rejected accusations of antisemitism – WalesOnline

A Labour council candidate has rejected allegations that he is anti-semitic, saying he had engaged on social media with an individual he now regrets having linked with.

Mike Sivier, a former editor of the Brecon and Radnor Express who is standing for Powys County Council in a ward near Llandrindod Wells, said he was a victim of guilt by association.

The charity Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) has called for Mr Sivier to be deselected by Labour because of statements made by him and after he linked to a notorious antisemite.

Mr Sivier took up the cause of Ken Livingstone when the former London Mayor said Hitler had reached an agreement with Zionists in the 1930s. Mr Livingstone was suspended by Labour for bringing the party into disrepute.

In an article published on its website, CAA accuses Mr Sivier of defending far-left antisemites and quoting a far-right holocaust denier.

The article says: Concerning the late Tam Dalyells comment that Tony Blair may have been unduly influenced … by a cabal of Jewish advisers, Mr Sivier suggests that this may have been entirely justified.

He has defended some of the antisemitic tweets of Naz Shah, despite that MP accepting that what she had said was indeed antisemitic.

He has asserted that the Socialist Workers Partys omission of Jews from a list of victims of the Holocaust may have been politically correct and defended NUS President Malia Bouattias reference to the Zionist-led media. He regularly accuses Jews and others who point to antisemitism in his party of acting in bad faith.

Mr Sivier explicitly states that he believes that there is a conspiracy by Jews: … it is a conspiracy, have no doubt about that, and those who would defend them in the UK.

The article also points out that Mr Sivier linked to the work of Gilad Atzmon, an individual so antisemitic that he has been disowned by those on the left that are no strangers to antisemitism themselves.

The article states: Gilad Atzmon has taken antisemitism to a new level, asserting that Jewishness is toxic. He has written that With Fagin and Shylock in mind, Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum and said at a British University event that the burning down of a synagogue … is a rational act.

The post itself featured on the website Redressonline, a website so antisemitic it features Mr Atzmons work on a regular basis. Mr Sivier quoted directly in his own piece from the editors supplementary comments to Atzmons post.

Mr Sivier responded: I am not antisemitic at all. I am being accused of guilt by association. I had no knowledge of the antisemitic material written by Gilad Atzmon when I linked to one of his statements.

I cannot be held responsible for all the writings of someone I linked to. Of course I regret linking to Atzmon.

Mr Sivier said he had never endorsed statements made by Naz Shaw which the MP herself acknowledged to be antisemitic.

The candidate said he had not been threatened with disciplinary action by the Labour Party and read out a message of support he had received from Sandra Davies, leader of the Labour group on Powys County Council.

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A Labour candidate has rejected accusations of antisemitism – WalesOnline

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May 3, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Gilad Atzmon: Being in Time | Archives | Veterans Today

By Gilad Atzmon on September 14, 2011

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

I will begin my talk with an unusual confession. Though I was born in Israel, in the first thirty years of my life I did not know much about the Nakba, the brutal and racially driven ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population in 1948 by the newly born Israeli State. My peers and myself knew about a single massacre, namely, Deir Yassin but we were not at all familiar with the vast scale of atrocities committed by our grandparents. We believed that the Palestinians had voluntarily fled. We were told that they had run away and we did not find any reason to doubt that this had indeed beenthe case.

Let me tell you that in all my years in Israel, I have never heard the word Nakba spoken. This may sound pathetic, or even absurd to you but what about you? Shouldnt you also ask yourself when was the first time you heard the word Nakba? Perhaps you can also try to recall when this word settled comfortably into your lexicon. Let me help you here I have carried out a little research amongst my European and American Palestinian solidarity friends, and most of them had only heard the word Nakba for the first time, just a few short years ago, whilst others admitted that they had only started to use the word themselves three or four years ago.

But isnt that a slightly strange state of affairs? After all, the Nakba took place more than six decades ago. How is it that only recently it found its way into our symbolic order?

The answer is, in some respects, quite a straightforward one: to be in the world means to be subject to changes and transformations. It entails grasping and reassessing the past through different present realisations. History is shaped and re-shaped as we proceed in time. Accordingly, we seem to understand the Palestinian expulsion and plight through our current understanding of Israeli brutality: In the light of the destruction Israel left behind in Lebanon in 2006, followed by our witnessing of the genocidal crimes performed in Gaza in Operation Cast Lead, and observing the footage of the IDF execution of peace activists on the Mavi Marmara we have subsequently, managed to amend our picture of the scale of the 1948 Palestinian tragedy. As we grasp more fully what the Israelis are capable of we are also able to re-construct our vision of Israels original sin i.e. the Nakba. We are able to empathize more deeply with the expelled Palestinians of 1948 via our current evolving comprehension of Israel, the Israeli, Israeli-ness, Jewish nationalism, global Zionism, and the relentless Israeli lobby.

The meaning and significance of it becomes clearer the past is far from being a precisely sealed off set of events with a fixed meaning, pre-decided for us by a fixed viewpoint and then closed off from further debate. Instead, our understanding of the past is shaped and transformed, constantly, as we progress and grow in knowledge and experience. And, as much as our current reality is shaped by our world vision our past too, is shaped, re-shaped, viewed and re-viewed by the narratives we happen to follow at any given time.

This is the true meaning of being in time; this is the essence of temporality, and this is what historical thinking is all about. People possess the capacity to think historically to be transformed by the past but also to allow the past to be constantly shaped, and re-shaped, as they proceed towards the unknown.

Deir Yassin Remembered

But here is an interesting set of historical anecdotes that deserve our attention: Indeed, one may be left perplexed on learning that just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945 the newly-formed Jewish state ethnically cleansed the vast majority of the indigenous population of Palestine (1948). Just five years after the defeat of Nazism the Jewish state brought to life racially-discriminatory return laws in order to prevent the 1948 Palestinian refugees from coming back to their cities, villages, fields and orchards. These laws, still in place today, were not categorically different from the notorious Nuremberg race Laws. One may also be totally perplexed to find out that Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum, is located on the confiscated land of a Palestinian village Ein Karem, next door to Deir Yassin, which is probably the ultimate symbol of the Palestinian Shoa.

One may wonder what is the root cause of this unique institutional lack of compassion that has been exhibited and maintained by Israel and Israelis for decades. One might expect that Jews, having been victims of oppression and discrimination themselves, would locate themselves at the forefront of the battle against evil and racism. One might expect the victims of discrimination to resist inflicting pain on others.

Yet, some deeper and far more general questions come to mind here how is it that the Jewish political and ideological discourse fails so badly to draw the obvious and necessary moral lessons from history and Jewish history in particular? How is it that in spite of Jewish history appearing to be an endless tale of Jewish suffering, the Jewish State is so blind to the suffering it inflicts on others?

On the face of it, what we see here is a form of alienation from historical thinking. Israeli historian Shlomo Sand has noted that Rabbinical Judaism could be realised as an attempt to replace historical thinking: instead of history, the Torah provided Rabbinical Judaism with a spiritually-driven plot. It conveyed an image of purpose and fate. However, things changed in the 19th century. Due to the rapid emancipation of European Jewry together with the rise of nationalism and the spirit of Enlightenment, assimilated European Jews felt bound to redefine their beginnings in secular, national and rational terms. This is when Jews invented themselves as people and as a class: like other European nations, Jews felt the urge to posses a coherent narrative about themselves and their history.

Inventing history is not a crime people and nations often do it. Yet, in spite of the rapid process of assimilation, Jewish secular ideology and politics failed to encompass the real meaning of historical thought and historical understanding. Indeed, the assimilated secular Jew was very successful in dropping God and other religious identifiers. And yet, at least politically, the assimilated Jew failed to replace divinity with an alternative Jewish anthropocentric secular ethical and metaphysical realisation.

Temporality and Alienation

I only recently understood that the Jewish Identity political discourse is not only foreign to history; not only is it actually antagonistic towards historical thinking, but it is also detached from the notion of temporality.

Temporality is inherent to the human condition: To be is to be in time. Whether we like it or not, we are doomed to be hung between the past that is drifting away into the void, and the unknown that proceeds towards us from the future.

Through the present, the so-called here and now, we meditate on that which has passed away. Occasionally we hope for forgiveness; and sometimes we are cheered by a pleasing memory. At other times we become angry with ourselves for not having reacted appropriately at some moment in our past. And from time to time we may recall a sensation of love.

In the present we can also envisage the future, and in the awareness of that presence we may sense the fear of the unknown. But we can also experience waves of happiness and optimism when the future seems to smile at us.

More often than not, we draw lessons from the past. But far more crucially important and interesting perhaps, is the idea that an imaginary future can easily re-write, or even re shape the past.

I will try to elucidate this subtle idea through a simple and hypothetical yet horrifying war scenario:

For instance, we can easily envisage a horrific situation in which an Israeli so-called pre-emptive attack on Iran could escalate into a disastrous nuclear conflict, in which tens of millions of people in the Middle East and Europe would perish.

I would guess that amongst the few survivors of such a nightmarish imaginary scenario, some may be bold enough to say what they really think of the Jewish state and its inherent murderous tendencies.

The above is obviously a horrific fictional scenario, and by no means a wishful one, yet such a vision of a possible horrendous development should restrain Israeli or Zionist aggression towards Iran.

But as we know, this hardly happens Israeli officials threaten to flatten and nuke Iran all too often.

Seemingly, Israelis and Zionists around the world fail to see their own actions within a historical perspective or context. They fail to look at their actions in terms of their consequences. From an ethical perspective, the above imaginary scenario could or should prevent Israel from even contemplating any attack on Iran. Yet, what we see in practice is the complete opposite: Israel wouldnt miss an opportunity to threaten Iran.

My explanation is simple. The Jewish political and ideological discourse is foreign to the notion of temporality. Israel is blind to the consequences of its actions; it only thinks of its actions in terms of short-term pragmatism. Within the Jewish political discourse the time arrow is a one-way road. It goes forward, yet it never turns the other way. There is never an attempt to revise the past in the light of a possible future. Instead of temporality, Israel thinks in terms of an extended present.

But Israel is just part of the problem. The Jewish lobby is also blinded to the immanent disaster it brings on Diaspora Jews. Like Israel, the lobby only thinks in terms of short term gain. It seeks more and more power. It never looks back , and neither does it regret.

To sum up,the notion of temporality is the ability to accept that the past is elastic. The notion of temporality allows the time arrow to move in both directions. From the past, forward, but also, from the (imaginary) future, backward. Temporality allows the past to be shaped and revised in the light of a search for meaning. History, and historical thinking, are the capacity to re-think the past. Ethics isbounded with temporality, for ethics is the ability to judge and reflect on issues that transcend beyond the here and now. To think ethically is to produce a principled judgment that stands the test of time.

Looking at the Past

To a significant extent then, the ability to revise ones perspective on, and understanding of the past, is the true essence of historical thinking it allows us to reshape our comprehension of the past through an awareness of an imaginary future perspective, and vice versa. To think historically becomes a meaningful event once our past experienceallows us to foreseea better future.

Revisionism then, is imbued in the deepest possible understanding of temporality, and therefore inherent to humanity and humanism. And it is obvious that those who oppose proper and open historical debateare operating not only against the foundations of humanism, but also against ethics.

And yet, in Israel some lawmakers insist that commemoration and historical debate of the Nakba should become illegal. And, interestingly enough, Jewish anti Zionists also oppose any attempt to deconstruct or revise Jewish past. I, for instance, have been criticised recently for being an anti Semite for suggesting that Zionism is not colonialism. In case you do not know, this conference was under severe pressure mounted by some leading Jewish anti Zionists who insisted on preventing any discussion about the history of Jewish suffering.

But I guess that it is pretty clear by now that my philosophical outlook is not very flattering to Jewish political and ideological discourse. Yet, the truth must be spoken: Jewish political discourse openly opposes any form of revisionism. Jewish politics is there to fix and cement a narrative and terminology.

Though the Zionist ideology presents itself as a historical narrative, it took me many years to grasp that Zionism, Jewish identity politics and ideology were actually crude, blunt assaults on history, the notion of history and temporality. Zionism, in fact, only mimics an historical discourse. In practice, Zionism like other forms of Jewish political discourse, defies any form of historical discussion. Thus, those who follow the Zionist and Jewish political ideologies are doomed to drift away from humanism, humanity and ethical conduct. Such an explanation may throw light on Israeli criminal conduct and Jewish institutional support for Israel.

Self-Reflection Is Overdue

Inventing a past,as Shlomo Sand suggests, is not the most worrying issue when it comes to Israel and Zionism. People and nations do tend to invent their past.

However, celebrating ones phantasmic past at the expense of others is obviously a concerning ethical issue. But in the case of Israel the problem goes deeper. It is the attempt to seal the yesterdays that led to the collective ethical collapse of Israel and its supporting crowd.

However, as much as I enjoy bashing Israel and Zionism, I will also have to ask you to self-reflect. Sadly enough, Israel is not alone. As tragic as it appears to be, America and Britain also managed to willingly give up on temporality. It is the lack of true historical discourse that stopped Britain and America from understanding their future, present and past. As in the case of Jewish history, American and British politicians insist on a banal, binary and simplistic historic tale regarding WWII, The Cold War, Islam, and the events of 9/11. Tragically, the criminal Anglo-American genocide in Iraq and Afghanistan, AKA The War against Terror, is a continuation of our self-inflicted blindness. Since Britain and America failed to grasp the necessary message from the massacres in Hamburg and Dresden, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, there was nothing that could stop English-speaking imperialism from committing similar crimes in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

And what about you, my dearest Germans. What about your past? Are you free to look into your past and to re-shape your understanding of it as you move along? I dont think so. Your history, or at least some chapters of it, are sealed by some draconian laws. Consequently, your younger generation do not attempt to grasp the true ethical meaning of the holocaust. Clearly, Germans do not understand that the Palestinians are actually the last victims of Hitler, for without Hitler, there wouldnt be a Jewish State. Your young generations fail to see that the Palestinians are certainly victims of a Nazi-like ideology, which is both racist and expansionist. Let me also advise you, if any of you feel guilty about anything to do with your past, it should be the Palestinians whom you should care for. The fact that Germany is detached from its past clearly explains German political complicity in the Zionist crime. It certainly explains why your government provides Israel with a nuclear submarine every so often. But it also explains why you may remain silent when you find out that Yad Vashem is built on Palestinian land stolen in 1948.

But it isnt just Israel, Zionism, Britain, America and Germany. Let us look at ourselves, the supporters of Justice in Palestine. Even within our movement, we have some destructive elements who insist that we shouldnt dare to touch our past: in the last month, Caf Palestine Freiburg and the organizer of this conference were subjected to relentless attack by some established elements within the Jewish anti Zionist movement. They were demanding that the conference should drop me because I am a holocaust denier. Needless to say, I have never denied the Holocaust or any other historical chapter. I also find the notion of holocaust denial to be meaningless, and on the verge of idiotic.

However, I do indeed insist, as I did here today, that history mustremain an open discourse, subject to changes and revision, I oppose any attempt to seal the past, whether it is the Nakba, Holocaust, the Holodomor or the Armenian genocide. I am convinced that an organic and elastic understanding of the past is the true essence of a humanist discourse, universalism and ethics.

I clearly dont know how to save Israel from itself, I do not know how to liberate Jewish anti Zionists from their Judeo centric ideology; but as far as America, Britain, Germany, the West, and us here today are concerned, all we have to do is to revert to our precious values of openness.

We must drift away from a restrictive, monolithic Jerusalem, and reinstate the ethical spirit of pluralist Athens

You can now pre-order Gilad Atzmons New Book on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

Here is the original post:

Gilad Atzmon: Being in Time | Archives | Veterans Today

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May 1, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Gilad Atzmons attack against me the merchant of JVP …

Two days ago, Gilad Atzmon published a piece on his blog, titled the questions that Jonathan Ofir prefers to avoid. These were questions he sent to me when he wanted to interview me over a year ago. At that point I didnt know much about Atzmon, only read a few quotes, andrecall beingwarned in advance by a friend, but I had given him a chance, when he approached. Then came the questions.

Atzmons questions referred to my piece To my fellow Israelis: We can stop this. Among them:

Do you really believe that the Jews or the Israelis can stop it now?

Have Jews ever stopped themselves voluntarily?

Obviously, I agree with you that Israel and Zionism are engaged in horrendous crimes.But as far as I can tell, Jewish Bolsheviks were engaged in crimes of an even greater scale.

According to Yuri Slezkin, Jews were Stalins willing executioners. Neocons, a Jewish American political school have inflicted greater disasters than Israel or Zionism.

Is it possible that Zionism is just one symptom of a disastrous Jewish political continuum?

Can you imagine a peace loving Jewish political existence?

Can you point at such a body in Jewish history?

I did a bit more background check, saw a video of a talk. The point of the questions appeared to be that Jewishness was the problem, and if I didnt concede to it, I wouldprobably be regarded as an anti-Zionist Zionist or Zionist gatekeeper as Atzmon likes tosay.I saw where it was going, and I realized that I would lose any way I answered. I politely backed out. I got admonished for lack of intellectual integrity. At that point I already knew that a distance had to be kept, and that anything I did or said would likely be held against me.

But a few days ago, Michael Lesher wrote on Facebook that he was going to be doing a talk in New York on Sunday April 30 at which Atzmon would also be speaking. I thought it merited warning (and Lesher admitted to not actually knowing Atzmon), so I described my experience in the comments, and noted I hadnt spoken about the issue publicly before.

Atzmon came on the thread:

You Jonathan .. I also didnt write about it publicly but i probably should.. I will just publish the questions you were not willing to answer so everyone knows what you are and who you work for.. correction .. by now everyone knows …

After another person expressed support for what I write in general, Atzmon wrote:

The tribe . my dear,, spreading the myth of the good J (the banal AZZ mantra zionism is bad but Js are good ..)..

Then Atzmon published the piece called the questions that Jonathan Ofir prefers to avoid, and shared the link on the thread, writing:

You asked for it,, now eat it.

Now it gets even more interesting. Atzmon writes:

You see Jonathan out of your cyber ghetto we really do not appreciate this gatekeeping project you subscribe to we are not afraid of any form of criticsm ,, we are not afraid of history revisionism either..we believe instead in free exchange ,,, we want more Athens and less Jerusalem..Reading Michael Lesher I get the impression that despite him being an orthodox Jew and unlike you, he also subscribes to athens ..Lesher criticism of contemporary rabbinical society is genuinely universalanyway,, feel free to discuss the topic on my page,,,it is an open space just to make sure people of your ilk can meet the opposition.

Notice, the use of double and triple commas. It seems very idiosyncratic for Atzmon. Its interesting, because then comes a supporter of Atzmon who writes:

Jonathan, I am not sure at this point of who you truly are, but i definitely notice you also admit not knowing much about Gilad Atzmon, and there is no doubt in my mind that you havent bothered yourself to read his book nor did you followed any of his talks proper ,,, so maybe before condemning Gilads message you should learn to listen,,, I believe this is an important piece to start with,,, [linking to a 2007 article by Atzmon].

Atzmon is delighted with this comment and even with himself:

my god [xxx],, how did you find it Incredible I moved a bit since then but it is indeed strong And it explains very well why Ofir and the JVP are disturbed by my work.. i point at the J they are desperate to conceal the J .

At this point, I began to feel very much like Ali Abunimah, who wrote in response to Atzmon in 2013:

I do not usually write in response to nonsensical online allegations by bigots. If I did I would have little time for anything else. However, I thought it was important to do so in this case.

And why is this important, beyond the simple offensive ad hominem attacks that are part of Atzmons way and style? Because Atzmon makes his attacks against people whom he sees as subscribing to a global Jewish dominance. He believes that even attempts at Palestine solidarity such as BDS have been overtaken by Jewish gatekeepers for Judeo-centric agendas, as it were. For Atzmon, Zionism is just a mask for the real issue that is responsible for Palestinian suffering and much else: Jewishness. When Atzmon twisted Abunimahs words, he wrote that

[Abunimah] is just dishonest/stupid. Abunimah calls Israelis Zionists because he needs the so called Jewish anti Zionists to support his operation.

So for Atzmon, those liberal Jews who may come as far as challenging and opposing Zionism, are often AZZs (anti-Zionist Zionists).Thus Abunimah, who opposes all forms of racism including anti-Semitism, is for Atzmon simply a Sabbath goy(a gentile who performs workfor Jews).

In 2012, various Palestinian writers and activists including Abunimah, BDSco-founder Omar Barghouti, professor Joseph Massad and others officially disavowed the racism and anti-Semitism of Gilad Atzmon.

So what does Atzmon want with me? He seems to want to expose me as a supposed JVP merchant, a dedicated Jewish gatekeeper. Now those terms can seem puzzling for some. What is this coded language? JVP stands for Jewish Voice for Peace. Atzmon believes that the American Jewish organization, which also supports BDS, is really about Jewishness and giving Jews good PR, as it were. He says that Liberal Jews want to make the [Palestinian] solidarity movement a Goyrein zone and talks about JVP, BDS and Jewish liberal terror.

What is this merchant word about? Well, if you think about Shylock, the Jewish character from Shakespeares Merchant of Venice, the word is a code for the stereotype of the sleazy Jew. This is not just my unfounded association. Atzmon is fully aware of these stereotypes, as he writes:

Shylock is the blood-thirstymerchant. With Fagin [the Jewish dealer of stolen goods in Dickens Oliver Twist, ed.] and Shylock in mind Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum.

Atzmons language about me is further condescending, as he regards me as a boy, and alters my last name to offir. He obviously thinks this is amusing.

So, Atzmon believes I work for JVP (which I dont, but I support their aims, am on their Facebook group and receive their mails).

Even those who desperately try to defend Atzmons statements as merely critical ones, seem somewhat unconvincing when you actually take a look atstatementsfrom his book The Wandering Who?, as in:

See the original post:

Gilad Atzmons attack against me the merchant of JVP …

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May 1, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Gilad Atzmon’s attack against me the ‘merchant of JVP’ – Mondoweiss

Two days ago, Gilad Atzmon published a piece on his blog, titled the questions that Jonathan Ofir prefers to avoid. These were questions he sent to me when he wanted to interview me over a year ago. At that point I didnt know much about Atzmon, only read a few quotes, andrecall beingwarned in advance by a friend, but I had given him a chance, when he approached. Then came the questions.

Atzmons questions referred to my piece To my fellow Israelis: We can stop this. Among them:

Do you really believe that the Jews or the Israelis can stop it now?

Have Jews ever stopped themselves voluntarily?

Obviously, I agree with you that Israel and Zionism are engaged in horrendous crimes.But as far as I can tell, Jewish Bolsheviks were engaged in crimes of an even greater scale.

According to Yuri Slezkin, Jews were Stalins willing executioners. Neocons, a Jewish American political school have inflicted greater disasters than Israel or Zionism.

Is it possible that Zionism is just one symptom of a disastrous Jewish political continuum?

Can you imagine a peace loving Jewish political existence?

Can you point at such a body in Jewish history?

I did a bit more background check, saw a video of a talk. The point of the questions appeared to be that Jewishness was the problem, and if I didnt concede to it, I wouldprobably be regarded as an anti-Zionist Zionist or Zionist gatekeeper as Atzmon likes tosay.I saw where it was going, and I realized that I would lose any way I answered. I politely backed out. I got admonished for lack of intellectual integrity. At that point I already knew that a distance had to be kept, and that anything I did or said would likely be held against me.

But a few days ago, Michael Lesher wrote on Facebook that he was going to be doing a talk in New York on Sunday April 30 at which Atzmon would also be speaking. I thought it merited warning (and Lesher admitted to not actually knowing Atzmon), so I described my experience in the comments, and noted I hadnt spoken about the issue publicly before.

Atzmon came on the thread:

You Jonathan .. I also didnt write about it publicly but i probably should.. I will just publish the questions you were not willing to answer so everyone knows what you are and who you work for.. correction .. by now everyone knows …

After another person expressed support for what I write in general, Atzmon wrote:

The tribe . my dear,, spreading the myth of the good J (the banal AZZ mantra zionism is bad but Js are good ..)..

Then Atzmon published the piece called the questions that Jonathan Ofir prefers to avoid, and shared the link on the thread, writing:

You asked for it,, now eat it.

Now it gets even more interesting. Atzmon writes:

You see Jonathan out of your cyber ghetto we really do not appreciate this gatekeeping project you subscribe to we are not afraid of any form of criticsm ,, we are not afraid of history revisionism either..we believe instead in free exchange ,,, we want more Athens and less Jerusalem..Reading Michael Lesher I get the impression that despite him being an orthodox Jew and unlike you, he also subscribes to athens ..Lesher criticism of contemporary rabbinical society is genuinely universalanyway,, feel free to discuss the topic on my page,,,it is an open space just to make sure people of your ilk can meet the opposition.

Notice, the use of double and triple commas. It seems very idiosyncratic for Atzmon. Its interesting, because then comes a supporter of Atzmon who writes:

Jonathan, I am not sure at this point of who you truly are, but i definitely notice you also admit not knowing much about Gilad Atzmon, and there is no doubt in my mind that you havent bothered yourself to read his book nor did you followed any of his talks proper ,,, so maybe before condemning Gilads message you should learn to listen,,, I believe this is an important piece to start with,,, [linking to a 2007 article by Atzmon].

Atzmon is delighted with this comment and even with himself:

my god [xxx],, how did you find it Incredible I moved a bit since then but it is indeed strong And it explains very well why Ofir and the JVP are disturbed by my work.. i point at the J they are desperate to conceal the J .

At this point, I began to feel very much like Ali Abunimah, who wrote in response to Atzmon in 2013:

I do not usually write in response to nonsensical online allegations by bigots. If I did I would have little time for anything else. However, I thought it was important to do so in this case.

And why is this important, beyond the simple offensive ad hominem attacks that are part of Atzmons way and style? Because Atzmon makes his attacks against people whom he sees as subscribing to a global Jewish dominance. He believes that even attempts at Palestine solidarity such as BDS have been overtaken by Jewish gatekeepers for Judeo-centric agendas, as it were. For Atzmon, Zionism is just a mask for the real issue that is responsible for Palestinian suffering and much else: Jewishness. When Atzmon twisted Abunimahs words, he wrote that

[Abunimah] is just dishonest/stupid. Abunimah calls Israelis Zionists because he needs the so called Jewish anti Zionists to support his operation.

So for Atzmon, those liberal Jews who may come as far as challenging and opposing Zionism, are often AZZs (anti-Zionist Zionists).Thus Abunimah, who opposes all forms of racism including anti-Semitism, is for Atzmon simply a Sabbath goy(a gentile who performs workfor Jews).

In 2012, various Palestinian writers and activists including Abunimah, BDSco-founder Omar Barghouti, professor Joseph Massad and others officially disavowed the racism and anti-Semitism of Gilad Atzmon.

So what does Atzmon want with me? He seems to want to expose me as a supposed JVP merchant, a dedicated Jewish gatekeeper. Now those terms can seem puzzling for some. What is this coded language? JVP stands for Jewish Voice for Peace. Atzmon believes that the American Jewish organization, which also supports BDS, is really about Jewishness and giving Jews good PR, as it were. He says that Liberal Jews want to make the [Palestinian] solidarity movement a Goyrein zone and talks about JVP, BDS and Jewish liberal terror.

What is this merchant word about? Well, if you think about Shylock, the Jewish character from Shakespeares Merchant of Venice, the word is a code for the stereotype of the sleazy Jew. This is not just my unfounded association. Atzmon is fully aware of these stereotypes, as he writes:

Shylock is the blood-thirstymerchant. With Fagin [the Jewish dealer of stolen goods in Dickens Oliver Twist, ed.] and Shylock in mind Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum.

Atzmons language about me is further condescending, as he regards me as a boy, and alters my last name to offir. He obviously thinks this is amusing.

So, Atzmon believes I work for JVP (which I dont, but I support their aims, am on their Facebook group and receive their mails).

Even those who desperately try to defend Atzmons statements as merely critical ones, seem somewhat unconvincing when you actually take a look atstatementsfrom his book The Wandering Who?, as in:

It took me many years to understand that the Holocaust, the core belief of the contemporary Jewish faith, was not at all an historical narrative [for] historical narratives do not need the protection of the law and political lobbies. It took me years to grasp that my great-grandmother wasnt made into a soap or a lampshade as I was taught in Israel. She probably perished of exhaustion, typhus or maybe even by mass shooting The fate of my great-grandmother was not so different from hundreds of thousands of German civilians who died in deliberate, indiscriminate bombing, just because they were Germans. Similarly, people in Hiroshima died just because they were Japanese [As devastating as it was], at a certain moment in time, a horrible chapter was given an exceptional meta-historical status. (pp 175, 149).

Thus no gassings mentioned, and so many others killed. Not that big a deal in itself, as it were.This can be said to be the soft core holocaust denial which Deborah Lipstadt refers to, also in relation to the current US administrations approach:

Soft-core denial is much more insidious and squishier but when you know something is not quite right, she told us [Washington Post]. When you take out the identity of the victims, when those victims were specifically targeted, that is a form of rewriting history, and thats what denial is all about.

Given, Atzmon seems to be somewhat more educated on this one than White House Spokesperson Sean Spicer, but this only means his assertions are often harder to spot.

Atzmon writes in his attack on me:

I recently read a disgusting private exchange between Ofir and a peace activist where Ofir used the most abusive crypto Zionist tactics and argumentation (antisemitism, holocaust denial you name it.) I have since then witnessed Ofir disseminating the usual kosher progressive mantra. I am not impressed.

Atzmon does not provide quotes, so its very hard to see what hes talking about, and in what context. Talking about anti-Semitism in itself is not contentious neither is usage of the term Holocaust denial. Leveling those charges against an individual is something I rarely do. If I establish such aspects in a person, I usually just disengage completely. I have blocked numerous anti-Semites and Holocaust-deniers in social media. They should just be ignored and disassociated from.

I could also simply have chosen to ignore Atzmon, or disconnect, as I did a year ago. Was it a mistake to warn publicly about him, and provoke his ire? Im not sure, but it brought his public attack against me. Would it then be wise to ignore that? I have thought about it for a few days, and reached the conclusion that its more than just about me. Like Ali Abunimah, I thought that it was important to do so in this case, to make a public response.

Gilad Atzmon thinks that time is ripe for the rest of us to know what questions Jonathan Ofir would prefer to avoid. I think more people need to know about Gilad Atzmons bigotry and anti-Semitism, under the guise of a peace activist.

As for Atzmons questions, I regularly voice my critique on both Zionism and Judaism, and I dont need a person like Atzmon leading me up the path.

Atzmons questions speak volumes on their own.

Originally posted here:

Gilad Atzmon’s attack against me the ‘merchant of JVP’ – Mondoweiss

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Controversial sax appeal? Gilad Atzmon in concert. Photo by Richard Kaby – The Villager


The Villager
Controversial sax appeal? Gilad Atzmon in concert. Photo by Richard Kaby
The Villager
Theater drama: It seems that Lorcan Otway's Theatre 80 on St. Mark's Place will be picketed by antfa (anti-fascist) protesters on the evening of Sun., April 30, when the venue will be hosting a talk by the controversial word-slinger (and saxophonist

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Controversial sax appeal? Gilad Atzmon in concert. Photo by Richard Kaby – The Villager

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April 27, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Why the Latest Claims Against Assad are a Pack of Lies – Center for Research on Globalization

With a critical public increasingly turning to social media to scrutinize the claims of the mainstream as well as the credibility of the assertions made by the various NGOs and government-funded human rights organisations, its arguably becoming more difficult for the corporate press to pass their propaganda off as legitimate news.

This is particularly the case during periods when the establishment pushes for military conflicts. One salutary lesson from the Iraq debacle, is that the public appear not to be so readily fooled. Or are they?

Its a measure of the extent to which the mass media barely stray from their paymasters tune, that president Trump, with near-unanimous journalistic support,was able to launch an illegal missile strike on Syria on April 7, 2017. Cathy Newman on yesterday eveningsChannel 4 News(April 10, 2017) stated that the attack on the al-Shayrat airbase was in retaliation for an alleged sarin gas attack by president Assad. However, for the reasons outlined below, such a scenario seems highly unlikely.

New York Timesreporter, Michael B Gordon, whoco-authored that papers infamous fakealuminum tube story of September 8, 2002 as part of the medias propaganda offensive leading up to the 2003 U.S-led Iraq invasion, published (along with co-author Anne Barnard), the latest chemical weaponsfake news storyintended to fit with the establishment narrative on Syria.

Lack of skepticism

Showing no skepticism that the Syrian military was responsible for intentionally deploying poison gas, the authors cited the widely discredited $100m-funded terrorist-enablers, theWhite Helmets, as the basis for their story. Meanwhile, the doyen of neocon drum-beating war propaganda in Britain, Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian,wrotea day after the alleged attack:

We almost certainly know who did it. Every sign points to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. What these signs are were not specified in the article.

Even the usually cautiousGuardian journalist George Monbiot appears to be eager for military action. On Twitter (April 7, 2017) Monbiot claimed:

We can be 99% sure the chemical weapons attack came from Syrian govt.

Three days later, media analysts Media Lens challenged Monbiot by citing the views of former UN weapons inspectors, Hans Blix and Scott Ritter, both of whom contradicted Monbiots assertion.

What do you know that Hans Blixand Scott Ritterdont know?, inquired the analysts.Monbiot failed to reply.

Apparently it hadnt occurred to these, and practically all the other mainstream journalists (with the notable exception of Peter Oborneand Peter Hitchens), that Assads motive for undertaking such an attack was weak. As investigative reporter Robert Parry, whobroke many of the Iran-Contra stories,argued:

Since Assads forces have gained a decisive upper-hand over the rebels, why would he risk stirring up international outrage at this juncture? On the other hand, the desperate rebels might view the horrific scenes from the chemical-weapons deployment as a last-minute game-changer.

A second major inconsistency in the official narrative are the contradictory claims relating to the sarin issue. Charles Shoebridge referredto a Guardianarticle that claims sarin was used, but he counters the claim by stating: Yet, a rescuer tells its reporter we could smell it 500m away. The intelligence and terrorism expert was quick to point out that sarin is odorless (unless contaminated). As blogger Mark J Doran astutely remarked:

Now, who is going be stuck with lousy, impure sarin? A nation state or a terrorist group?

Dodgy doctor

Then there has been the willingness of the media to cite what is clearly an incredulous source, British doctor, Shajul Islam. Despite having been struck off the British medical register for misconduct in March 2016, the media have quoted or shown Islam in their reports where hehas been depicted as a key witnessto the alleged gas attack and hence helped augment the unsubstantiated media narrative. In2012 Shajul Islam was charged with terror offences in a British court.

Peter Hitchens takes up the story:

He was accused of imprisoning John Cantlie, a British photographer, and a Dutchman, Jeroen Oerlemans. Both men were held by a militant group in Syria and both were wounded when they tried to escape. Shajul Islam, it was alleged, was among their captors. Shajul Islams trial collapsed in 2013, when it was revealed that Mr Cantlie had been abducted once again, and could not give evidence.

Mr Oerlemans refused to give evidence for fear that it would further endanger Mr Cantlie. Mr Oerlemans has since been killed in Libya. So the supposedly benevolent medical man at the scene of the alleged atrocity turns out to be a struck-off doctor who was once put on trial for kidnapping.

Fourth, thereis the question as to why the U.S would launch a military strike in the knowledge that it would risk further sarin leaks into the atmosphere. As the writer and musician, Gilad Atzmon, argues:

It doesnt take a military analyst to grasp that the American attack on a remote Syrian airfield contradicts every possible military rationale. If America really believed that Assad possessed a WMD stockpile and kept it in al-Shayrat airbase, launching a missile attack that could lead to a release of lethal agents into the air would be the last thing it would do. If America was determined to neutralise Assads alleged WMD ability it would deploy special forces or diplomacy. No one defuses WMD with explosives, bombs or cruise missiles. It is simply unheard of.

Atzmon adds:

The first concern that comes to mind is why do you need a saxophonist to deliver the truth every military expert understands very well? Cant the New York Times or the Guardian reach the same obvious conclusion? Its obvious enough that if Assad didnt use WMD when he was losing the war, it would make no sense for him to use it now when a victory is within reach.

Logical explanation

A far more logical explanation, given the location, is that chemicals were released into the air by Salafist terrorists. The location of the alleged attack is an al-Qaeda-affiliated controlled area in Idlib province. It is from here that the Western-funded White Helmets operate. Rather conveniently, they were soon at the scene of the alleged attack without the necessary protective clothing being filmed hosing down victims.

As these are the kinds of people who cut out and eat human organs as well as decapitate heads, they are unlikely to have any compunction in desisting from an opportunity to use Syrian civilians, including children and women, as a form of war porn propaganda in order to garner public sympathy as the pretext for Western intervention.

Syrian-based journalist, Tom Dugan, who has been living in the country for the last four years, claimsno gas attack happened. Rather, he asserts that the Syrian air force destroyed a terrorist-owned and controlled chemical weapons factory mistaking it for an ammunition dump, and the chemicals spilled out. This seems to be the most plausible explanation.

Mr Dugans version is markedly similar to the analysis of former DIA colonel, Patrick LangDonald who, on April 7, 2017 said:

Trumps decision to launch cruise missile strikes on a Syrian Air Force Base was based on a lie. In the coming days the American people will learn that the Intelligence Community knew that Syria did not drop a military chemical weapon on innocent civilians in Idlib. Here is what happened:

The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed target. This is a process that started more than two months ago. There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and deconflict (i.e., prevent US and Russian air assets from shooting at each other) the upcoming operation.

The United States was fully briefed on the fact that there was a target in Idlib that the Russians believes was a weapons/explosives depot for Islamic rebels.

The Syrian Air Force hit the target with conventional weapons. All involved expected to see a massive secondary explosion. That did not happen. Instead, smoke, chemical smoke, began billowing from the site. It turns out that the Islamic rebels used that site to store chemicals, not sarin, that were deadly. The chemicals included organic phosphates and chlorine and they followed the wind and killed civilians.

There was a strong wind blowing that day and the cloud was driven to a nearby village and caused casualties.

We know it was not sarin. How? Very simple. The so-called first responders handled the victims without gloves. If this had been sarin they would have died. Sarin on the skin will kill you. How do I know? I went through Live Agent training at Fort McClellan in Alabama.

The former colonels testimony is extremely persuasive and exposes the medias attempts to take at face value Pentagon propaganda. Another convincing reason to discount the official narrative, isbecause Assad doesnt possess any chemical weapons. Even The Wall Street Journal,citing a Hague-based watchdog agency,concededon June 23, 2014thatthe dangerous substances from Syrias chemical weapons program, including sulfur mustard and precursors of sarin, have now been removed from the country after a monthlong process.

Pattern

The alleged attack follows a recent pattern of anti-Assad stories exemplified by four similar controversial events in which the media have attempted to pass fiction off as fact. The first of these on February 13, 2017, relates to the findingsof a report by Amnesty International which contends that Assad was responsible for the execution by mass hangings of up to 13,000 people. The alleged atrocity thatevokedin the press comparisons to Nazi concentration camps, was within days criticisedfor its unsubstantiated and uncorroborated claims.

It should be recalled that it was Amnesty International who uncritically supported the emergence of afake news storyduringthe first Gulf War in which Iraqi soldiers were said to have taken scores of babies out of incubators in Kuwait City leaving them to die.

The second press release, three days after the mass-execution story aired, concerned the heart-rending case of a Syrian boy who Anne Barnard of the New York Timesreported on twitteras having his legscut because of attacks from Assad and Russia.

It soon transpired, however, that the organization credited with filming the attacks wasRevolution Syria, a pro-insurgency media outfit who also provided the videos for the equally fraudulent claim that the Russians bombed a school in Haas in October 2016. Dr Barbara McKenzie provides a detailed background to the story which can be read here.

The third piece of false reporting to have emerged, is in connection withSecurity Council resolution 2235 which highlights the conclusions of a August, 2015 OPCW-UN report. The said report, aimed at introducing new sanctions against Syria (which Russia and China vetoed), didnt make the claims subsequently attributed to it in the corporate media, namely that between April, 2014 and August, 2015 the Assad government was definitively responsible for three chemical attacks using chlorine.

Security analyst Charles Shoebridgepointed outon March 1, 2017,that most media didnt even seem to bother reading the report. Shoebridge confirmed that the OPCW-UN investigation contained findings that did not correspond to what the public was being told. Pointing out the reports many caveats and reservations, the analyst saidthe evidence wasnt sufficiently good to declare that Syria had dropped chlorine to a standard that could be considered strong, or overwhelming, adding that investigators were largely reliant on reports from the White Helmets.

Finally, independent journalist Gareth Porter inferred that U.N. investigators increasingly make their conclusions fall in line with Western propaganda after he exposeddistortions contained in a March 1, 2017reportby the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquirywhich claimed that an airstrike on a humanitarian aid convoy in the west of Aleppo City on Sept. 19, 2016, was undertaken by Syrian government planes. Porter revealsthat the reports findings were based on pro-rebel Syrian White Helmets testimonies that were full of internal contradictions.

Extraordinarily, in March, 2016 German journalistDr. Ulfkotte brought the lies of the mainstream out into the open by confessing live on television that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, adding that noncompliance with these orders would result in him losing his job. Sharing this information in front of millions of people (reminiscent of the film Network), Ulfkotte said:

Ive been a journalist for about 25 years, and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public.But seeing right now within the last months how the German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia this is a point of no return and Im going to stand up and say it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray the people, not only in Germany, all over Europe.

The inability of mainstream journalists to undertake basic fact-checking illuminated by the examples described, reinforce the veracity of Ulfkottes claims that corporate journalists are educatedto lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public. But more than that, it amounts to a stark admission that the corruption at the heart of the elite media and political establishment is systemic. As Mark Doran on Twitter put it: Our corrupt politics, our international crime, and our free media form a seamless whole. The goal of this consolidation of power is to secure yet another middle east resource grab.

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Why the Latest Claims Against Assad are a Pack of Lies – Center for Research on Globalization

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Controversial anti-Israel conference launches with keynote speech from Richard Falk – Jewish Chronicle


Jewish Chronicle
Controversial anti-Israel conference launches with keynote speech from Richard Falk
Jewish Chronicle
The American academic has sparked fury among Jewish organisations for backing a book by antisemitic author Gilad Atzmon and once posting an anti-Jewish cartoon on social media.He has also written a UN report which attempted to brand Israel an …
US expresses understanding for new settlement, as it was promised months agoThe Times of Israel

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Controversial anti-Israel conference launches with keynote speech from Richard Falk – Jewish Chronicle

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No campus should be a ‘no go’ area for Jews – Jewish News (blog)

Last week, the London School of Economics hosted a talk on the Middle East conflict by Richard Falk.In case you dont know Richard Falks past, he has suggested that Tel Aviv was responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing.

He endorsed in glowing terms a book by notorious anti-Semite Gilad Atzmon which claimed the Jews were the only people who managed to maintain and sustain a racially orientated, expansionist and genocidal national identity that is not at all different from Nazi ethnic ideology, describing Atzmon as a man whose story was told with unflinching integrity.

He has refused to remove comments left on his blog page saying that the notorious Tsarist forgery,The Protocols of the Elders of Zionwas an uncannily accurate description of what is happening right now. And this is not all.

Falk was strongly condemned by then Prime Minister David Cameron for posting on his blog acartoon showing a dog wearing a kippah and urinating on a statue of justice.

The LSE certainly did know who Richard Falk was and they were also aware of what he had written and endorsed about Jews.

We know this because we sent them a detailed dossier of the anti-Semitism he has uttered or supported.

We sent the same dossier to Middlesex University and to the University of East London, where Falk was also due to speak.

Both those universities were so shocked by what they read that they cancelled the scheduled Falk events. In stark contrast, the LSE decided to offer hospitality to Falk.

It did so knowing the unease and hurt this would cause to Jewish students on campus and the risk of his appearance acting as a magnet for antisemites to attend.

This is exactly what happened Atzmon came and abused Jewish students, telling them to read Holocaust denial literature and informing them that Jews had been expelled from Germany for misbehaving.

Following Falks appearance, the Union of Jewish Students said that the university failed in their duty of care to Jewish students.

I agree.

Jewish students were left feeling unsafe and insecure on their own campus.

These students will have to go lectures this week with the knowledge that those responsible for their education will tolerate anti-Semitism and give a platform to those who whose aim is to promote it.

This is the reason that I recommended that Jewish students should, for the moment, look elsewhere.

The Board of Deputies presidents tweet, suggesting Jewish students shouldnt study at LSE

If a university in this country cannot make its campus a safe place for Jewish students, how could we recommend it as a place for Jewish students to study?

We need to be absolutely clear that there is and should not be any campus which is a no go area for Jews.

However, not only did LSE fail in its duty of care. It made a decision to ignore the concerns put to them by their own students. That is not just negligence. It is a wilful choice to utterly disregard the voice of Jewish students.

I expect to have discussions with the LSE in the near future at which I will put my concerns to them directly.

I will explain to them exactly why Jewish students have been hurt and offended by Falks presence and I would hope that the university would pledge to act on these concerns in the future.

There can be no room for complacency on this matter. If the LSE wishes to be seen as a welcoming place to students of all races and religions it must ban racism from its campus.

This is the minimum we should expect.

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No campus should be a ‘no go’ area for Jews – Jewish News (blog)

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The B.C. hate speech trial that nobody’s heard about – Coast Reporter

With Parliaments anti-Islamophobia motion in the news recently and the country divided over the issue of freedom of speech as it applies to criticizing identifiable groups, its strikingly odd that a real live hate speech trial the first in B.C. in about a decade concluded this month with a controversial sentencing, yet barely a whisper from the media.

CBC did report on the March 13 sentencing of Radical Press publisher Arthur Topham, who was convicted in Quesnel in 2015 on one of two counts of communicating statements that wilfully promoted hatred against Jewish people. Times of Israel also reported on the sentence, running a story under the headline, No jail time for Canadian man convicted of online anti-Semitism. And the Canadian Jewish News also ran a report: Tophams sentence a slap on the wrist: Bnai Brith.

Other than a brief story in the Prince George Citizen, Canadian print media were silent. Even the alternative media, usually all over this sort of thing, ran nothing.

Ryan Bellerose, advocacy coordinator for Bnai Brith Canadas League of Human Rights in Western Canada, found the silent treatment disturbing in light of recent anti-Semitic incidents, according to the Canadian Jewish News article. No one is even talking about [the sentence], Bellerose is quoted as saying. Thats an especially bad message to send in todays climate.

In sentencing the 70-year-old Topham, B.C. Supreme Court Judge Bruce Butler rejected the Crowns request for four months of house arrest, instead giving Topham a six-month conditional sentence, a ban on posting publicly online and a curfew. Topham, who thanked the court for bringing my concerns to the record, had already agreed to shut down the website he started in 1998.

Butler explained his rationale for the relatively lenient sentence.

He does not call for violence. His views were political satire, the judge said of Topham at the hearing. It is not his intent to indirectly incite violence.

Though the jury was not explicit, it appears Tophams single conviction was tied to his 2011 booklet called Israel Must Perish. The judge accepted it as political satire because it was a copy-and-paste version of a thin 1941 book called Germany Must Perish, written by American Jewish businessman Theodore Kaufman, with Topham simply replacing Germany with Israel and Germans with Zionists.

When it was published in the U.S., Kaufmans book received some positive ink from the likes of Time magazine but became notorious in Germany, advocating as it did the mass-sterilization of Germans due to their supposed war-loving nature in other words, for the total elimination of the German people in a humane fashion, which Kaufman estimated would take two generations to achieve. Germany Must Perish stoked fears among Germans that post-war genocide was planned for them and fuelled animosity toward Jews in that country. Hitlers propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, wrote in his diary: Had he written this book for us, he could not have made it any better.

Israeli-born author and musician Gilad Atzmon, who spoke at Tophams trial as an expert for the defence on Jewish identity politics, said Kaufmans book was concealed for seven decades, kept deep under the carpet, because it didnt fit the approved Second World War narrative. It was, in fact, Arthur Topham and his crude satire that brought Kaufmans hateful text to our attention, Atzmon wrote in a 2015 article.

The scant coverage of Tophams sentencing and crime had one very troubling aspect: none of the reports mentioned Kaufmans book.

CBC simply reported, One piece that Topham called satire advocated the forced sterilization of all Jews. Canadian Jewish News: On the racist, anti-Semitic website he founded and on which he posted vitriol before removing the site just last week, Topham wrote that Jews should be forcibly sterilized. Times of Israel wrote, According to Bnai Brith Canada, his site called for Jews to be forcibly sterilized

Its understandable that Bnai Brith, given its mandate, would find Tophams parody indefensible on any grounds and would not want to give one inch to his supposed motivations by even acknowledging them in substance. But for CBC, Canadas public broadcaster, the omission is frightening. It denies the public knowledge of the convicted mans only intelligible defence and renders meaningless the judges arguments.

Pollster Angus Reid reported last week that three in 10 Canadians considered Parliaments anti-Islamophobia motion a threat to Canadians freedom of speech, so its clear that Canadians have strong feelings on the subject. Its probably safe to say that most Canadians would condemn Tophams Israel Must Perish stunt as juvenile, disrespectful and potentially harmful at best, vile at worst more like the work of a hare-brained exhibitionist or an agent provocateur (which Kaufman resembled) than a serious dissident. But after learning the salient facts, how many would have supported criminal prosecution for hate speech? It would be interesting to know the numbers.

Meanwhile, with the public wary of information sources that are either coercive or cowed into silence, the three-in-10 fear of blasphemy laws in the new Canada seems like a reasonable breakdown.

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The B.C. hate speech trial that nobody’s heard about – Coast Reporter

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A Labour candidate has rejected accusations of antisemitism – WalesOnline

A Labour council candidate has rejected allegations that he is anti-semitic, saying he had engaged on social media with an individual he now regrets having linked with. Mike Sivier, a former editor of the Brecon and Radnor Express who is standing for Powys County Council in a ward near Llandrindod Wells, said he was a victim of guilt by association. The charity Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) has called for Mr Sivier to be deselected by Labour because of statements made by him and after he linked to a notorious antisemite. Mr Sivier took up the cause of Ken Livingstone when the former London Mayor said Hitler had reached an agreement with Zionists in the 1930s. Mr Livingstone was suspended by Labour for bringing the party into disrepute. In an article published on its website, CAA accuses Mr Sivier of defending far-left antisemites and quoting a far-right holocaust denier. The article says: Concerning the late Tam Dalyells comment that Tony Blair may have been unduly influenced … by a cabal of Jewish advisers, Mr Sivier suggests that this may have been entirely justified. He has defended some of the antisemitic tweets of Naz Shah, despite that MP accepting that what she had said was indeed antisemitic. He has asserted that the Socialist Workers Partys omission of Jews from a list of victims of the Holocaust may have been politically correct and defended NUS President Malia Bouattias reference to the Zionist-led media. He regularly accuses Jews and others who point to antisemitism in his party of acting in bad faith. Mr Sivier explicitly states that he believes that there is a conspiracy by Jews: … it is a conspiracy, have no doubt about that, and those who would defend them in the UK. The article also points out that Mr Sivier linked to the work of Gilad Atzmon, an individual so antisemitic that he has been disowned by those on the left that are no strangers to antisemitism themselves. The article states: Gilad Atzmon has taken antisemitism to a new level, asserting that Jewishness is toxic. He has written that With Fagin and Shylock in mind, Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum and said at a British University event that the burning down of a synagogue … is a rational act. The post itself featured on the website Redressonline, a website so antisemitic it features Mr Atzmons work on a regular basis. Mr Sivier quoted directly in his own piece from the editors supplementary comments to Atzmons post. Mr Sivier responded: I am not antisemitic at all. I am being accused of guilt by association. I had no knowledge of the antisemitic material written by Gilad Atzmon when I linked to one of his statements. I cannot be held responsible for all the writings of someone I linked to. Of course I regret linking to Atzmon. Mr Sivier said he had never endorsed statements made by Naz Shaw which the MP herself acknowledged to be antisemitic. The candidate said he had not been threatened with disciplinary action by the Labour Party and read out a message of support he had received from Sandra Davies, leader of the Labour group on Powys County Council.

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Gilad Atzmon: Being in Time | Archives | Veterans Today

By Gilad Atzmon on September 14, 2011 Dear ladies and gentlemen, I will begin my talk with an unusual confession. Though I was born in Israel, in the first thirty years of my life I did not know much about the Nakba, the brutal and racially driven ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population in 1948 by the newly born Israeli State. My peers and myself knew about a single massacre, namely, Deir Yassin but we were not at all familiar with the vast scale of atrocities committed by our grandparents. We believed that the Palestinians had voluntarily fled. We were told that they had run away and we did not find any reason to doubt that this had indeed beenthe case. Let me tell you that in all my years in Israel, I have never heard the word Nakba spoken. This may sound pathetic, or even absurd to you but what about you? Shouldnt you also ask yourself when was the first time you heard the word Nakba? Perhaps you can also try to recall when this word settled comfortably into your lexicon. Let me help you here I have carried out a little research amongst my European and American Palestinian solidarity friends, and most of them had only heard the word Nakba for the first time, just a few short years ago, whilst others admitted that they had only started to use the word themselves three or four years ago. But isnt that a slightly strange state of affairs? After all, the Nakba took place more than six decades ago. How is it that only recently it found its way into our symbolic order? The answer is, in some respects, quite a straightforward one: to be in the world means to be subject to changes and transformations. It entails grasping and reassessing the past through different present realisations. History is shaped and re-shaped as we proceed in time. Accordingly, we seem to understand the Palestinian expulsion and plight through our current understanding of Israeli brutality: In the light of the destruction Israel left behind in Lebanon in 2006, followed by our witnessing of the genocidal crimes performed in Gaza in Operation Cast Lead, and observing the footage of the IDF execution of peace activists on the Mavi Marmara we have subsequently, managed to amend our picture of the scale of the 1948 Palestinian tragedy. As we grasp more fully what the Israelis are capable of we are also able to re-construct our vision of Israels original sin i.e. the Nakba. We are able to empathize more deeply with the expelled Palestinians of 1948 via our current evolving comprehension of Israel, the Israeli, Israeli-ness, Jewish nationalism, global Zionism, and the relentless Israeli lobby. The meaning and significance of it becomes clearer the past is far from being a precisely sealed off set of events with a fixed meaning, pre-decided for us by a fixed viewpoint and then closed off from further debate. Instead, our understanding of the past is shaped and transformed, constantly, as we progress and grow in knowledge and experience. And, as much as our current reality is shaped by our world vision our past too, is shaped, re-shaped, viewed and re-viewed by the narratives we happen to follow at any given time. This is the true meaning of being in time; this is the essence of temporality, and this is what historical thinking is all about. People possess the capacity to think historically to be transformed by the past but also to allow the past to be constantly shaped, and re-shaped, as they proceed towards the unknown. Deir Yassin Remembered But here is an interesting set of historical anecdotes that deserve our attention: Indeed, one may be left perplexed on learning that just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945 the newly-formed Jewish state ethnically cleansed the vast majority of the indigenous population of Palestine (1948). Just five years after the defeat of Nazism the Jewish state brought to life racially-discriminatory return laws in order to prevent the 1948 Palestinian refugees from coming back to their cities, villages, fields and orchards. These laws, still in place today, were not categorically different from the notorious Nuremberg race Laws. One may also be totally perplexed to find out that Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum, is located on the confiscated land of a Palestinian village Ein Karem, next door to Deir Yassin, which is probably the ultimate symbol of the Palestinian Shoa. One may wonder what is the root cause of this unique institutional lack of compassion that has been exhibited and maintained by Israel and Israelis for decades. One might expect that Jews, having been victims of oppression and discrimination themselves, would locate themselves at the forefront of the battle against evil and racism. One might expect the victims of discrimination to resist inflicting pain on others. Yet, some deeper and far more general questions come to mind here how is it that the Jewish political and ideological discourse fails so badly to draw the obvious and necessary moral lessons from history and Jewish history in particular? How is it that in spite of Jewish history appearing to be an endless tale of Jewish suffering, the Jewish State is so blind to the suffering it inflicts on others? On the face of it, what we see here is a form of alienation from historical thinking. Israeli historian Shlomo Sand has noted that Rabbinical Judaism could be realised as an attempt to replace historical thinking: instead of history, the Torah provided Rabbinical Judaism with a spiritually-driven plot. It conveyed an image of purpose and fate. However, things changed in the 19th century. Due to the rapid emancipation of European Jewry together with the rise of nationalism and the spirit of Enlightenment, assimilated European Jews felt bound to redefine their beginnings in secular, national and rational terms. This is when Jews invented themselves as people and as a class: like other European nations, Jews felt the urge to posses a coherent narrative about themselves and their history. Inventing history is not a crime people and nations often do it. Yet, in spite of the rapid process of assimilation, Jewish secular ideology and politics failed to encompass the real meaning of historical thought and historical understanding. Indeed, the assimilated secular Jew was very successful in dropping God and other religious identifiers. And yet, at least politically, the assimilated Jew failed to replace divinity with an alternative Jewish anthropocentric secular ethical and metaphysical realisation. Temporality and Alienation I only recently understood that the Jewish Identity political discourse is not only foreign to history; not only is it actually antagonistic towards historical thinking, but it is also detached from the notion of temporality. Temporality is inherent to the human condition: To be is to be in time. Whether we like it or not, we are doomed to be hung between the past that is drifting away into the void, and the unknown that proceeds towards us from the future. Through the present, the so-called here and now, we meditate on that which has passed away. Occasionally we hope for forgiveness; and sometimes we are cheered by a pleasing memory. At other times we become angry with ourselves for not having reacted appropriately at some moment in our past. And from time to time we may recall a sensation of love. In the present we can also envisage the future, and in the awareness of that presence we may sense the fear of the unknown. But we can also experience waves of happiness and optimism when the future seems to smile at us. More often than not, we draw lessons from the past. But far more crucially important and interesting perhaps, is the idea that an imaginary future can easily re-write, or even re shape the past. I will try to elucidate this subtle idea through a simple and hypothetical yet horrifying war scenario: For instance, we can easily envisage a horrific situation in which an Israeli so-called pre-emptive attack on Iran could escalate into a disastrous nuclear conflict, in which tens of millions of people in the Middle East and Europe would perish. I would guess that amongst the few survivors of such a nightmarish imaginary scenario, some may be bold enough to say what they really think of the Jewish state and its inherent murderous tendencies. The above is obviously a horrific fictional scenario, and by no means a wishful one, yet such a vision of a possible horrendous development should restrain Israeli or Zionist aggression towards Iran. But as we know, this hardly happens Israeli officials threaten to flatten and nuke Iran all too often. Seemingly, Israelis and Zionists around the world fail to see their own actions within a historical perspective or context. They fail to look at their actions in terms of their consequences. From an ethical perspective, the above imaginary scenario could or should prevent Israel from even contemplating any attack on Iran. Yet, what we see in practice is the complete opposite: Israel wouldnt miss an opportunity to threaten Iran. My explanation is simple. The Jewish political and ideological discourse is foreign to the notion of temporality. Israel is blind to the consequences of its actions; it only thinks of its actions in terms of short-term pragmatism. Within the Jewish political discourse the time arrow is a one-way road. It goes forward, yet it never turns the other way. There is never an attempt to revise the past in the light of a possible future. Instead of temporality, Israel thinks in terms of an extended present. But Israel is just part of the problem. The Jewish lobby is also blinded to the immanent disaster it brings on Diaspora Jews. Like Israel, the lobby only thinks in terms of short term gain. It seeks more and more power. It never looks back , and neither does it regret. To sum up,the notion of temporality is the ability to accept that the past is elastic. The notion of temporality allows the time arrow to move in both directions. From the past, forward, but also, from the (imaginary) future, backward. Temporality allows the past to be shaped and revised in the light of a search for meaning. History, and historical thinking, are the capacity to re-think the past. Ethics isbounded with temporality, for ethics is the ability to judge and reflect on issues that transcend beyond the here and now. To think ethically is to produce a principled judgment that stands the test of time. Looking at the Past To a significant extent then, the ability to revise ones perspective on, and understanding of the past, is the true essence of historical thinking it allows us to reshape our comprehension of the past through an awareness of an imaginary future perspective, and vice versa. To think historically becomes a meaningful event once our past experienceallows us to foreseea better future. Revisionism then, is imbued in the deepest possible understanding of temporality, and therefore inherent to humanity and humanism. And it is obvious that those who oppose proper and open historical debateare operating not only against the foundations of humanism, but also against ethics. And yet, in Israel some lawmakers insist that commemoration and historical debate of the Nakba should become illegal. And, interestingly enough, Jewish anti Zionists also oppose any attempt to deconstruct or revise Jewish past. I, for instance, have been criticised recently for being an anti Semite for suggesting that Zionism is not colonialism. In case you do not know, this conference was under severe pressure mounted by some leading Jewish anti Zionists who insisted on preventing any discussion about the history of Jewish suffering. But I guess that it is pretty clear by now that my philosophical outlook is not very flattering to Jewish political and ideological discourse. Yet, the truth must be spoken: Jewish political discourse openly opposes any form of revisionism. Jewish politics is there to fix and cement a narrative and terminology. Though the Zionist ideology presents itself as a historical narrative, it took me many years to grasp that Zionism, Jewish identity politics and ideology were actually crude, blunt assaults on history, the notion of history and temporality. Zionism, in fact, only mimics an historical discourse. In practice, Zionism like other forms of Jewish political discourse, defies any form of historical discussion. Thus, those who follow the Zionist and Jewish political ideologies are doomed to drift away from humanism, humanity and ethical conduct. Such an explanation may throw light on Israeli criminal conduct and Jewish institutional support for Israel. Self-Reflection Is Overdue Inventing a past,as Shlomo Sand suggests, is not the most worrying issue when it comes to Israel and Zionism. People and nations do tend to invent their past. However, celebrating ones phantasmic past at the expense of others is obviously a concerning ethical issue. But in the case of Israel the problem goes deeper. It is the attempt to seal the yesterdays that led to the collective ethical collapse of Israel and its supporting crowd. However, as much as I enjoy bashing Israel and Zionism, I will also have to ask you to self-reflect. Sadly enough, Israel is not alone. As tragic as it appears to be, America and Britain also managed to willingly give up on temporality. It is the lack of true historical discourse that stopped Britain and America from understanding their future, present and past. As in the case of Jewish history, American and British politicians insist on a banal, binary and simplistic historic tale regarding WWII, The Cold War, Islam, and the events of 9/11. Tragically, the criminal Anglo-American genocide in Iraq and Afghanistan, AKA The War against Terror, is a continuation of our self-inflicted blindness. Since Britain and America failed to grasp the necessary message from the massacres in Hamburg and Dresden, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, there was nothing that could stop English-speaking imperialism from committing similar crimes in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. And what about you, my dearest Germans. What about your past? Are you free to look into your past and to re-shape your understanding of it as you move along? I dont think so. Your history, or at least some chapters of it, are sealed by some draconian laws. Consequently, your younger generation do not attempt to grasp the true ethical meaning of the holocaust. Clearly, Germans do not understand that the Palestinians are actually the last victims of Hitler, for without Hitler, there wouldnt be a Jewish State. Your young generations fail to see that the Palestinians are certainly victims of a Nazi-like ideology, which is both racist and expansionist. Let me also advise you, if any of you feel guilty about anything to do with your past, it should be the Palestinians whom you should care for. The fact that Germany is detached from its past clearly explains German political complicity in the Zionist crime. It certainly explains why your government provides Israel with a nuclear submarine every so often. But it also explains why you may remain silent when you find out that Yad Vashem is built on Palestinian land stolen in 1948. But it isnt just Israel, Zionism, Britain, America and Germany. Let us look at ourselves, the supporters of Justice in Palestine. Even within our movement, we have some destructive elements who insist that we shouldnt dare to touch our past: in the last month, Caf Palestine Freiburg and the organizer of this conference were subjected to relentless attack by some established elements within the Jewish anti Zionist movement. They were demanding that the conference should drop me because I am a holocaust denier. Needless to say, I have never denied the Holocaust or any other historical chapter. I also find the notion of holocaust denial to be meaningless, and on the verge of idiotic. However, I do indeed insist, as I did here today, that history mustremain an open discourse, subject to changes and revision, I oppose any attempt to seal the past, whether it is the Nakba, Holocaust, the Holodomor or the Armenian genocide. I am convinced that an organic and elastic understanding of the past is the true essence of a humanist discourse, universalism and ethics. I clearly dont know how to save Israel from itself, I do not know how to liberate Jewish anti Zionists from their Judeo centric ideology; but as far as America, Britain, Germany, the West, and us here today are concerned, all we have to do is to revert to our precious values of openness. We must drift away from a restrictive, monolithic Jerusalem, and reinstate the ethical spirit of pluralist Athens You can now pre-order Gilad Atzmons New Book on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

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May 1, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Gilad Atzmons attack against me the merchant of JVP …

Two days ago, Gilad Atzmon published a piece on his blog, titled the questions that Jonathan Ofir prefers to avoid. These were questions he sent to me when he wanted to interview me over a year ago. At that point I didnt know much about Atzmon, only read a few quotes, andrecall beingwarned in advance by a friend, but I had given him a chance, when he approached. Then came the questions. Atzmons questions referred to my piece To my fellow Israelis: We can stop this. Among them: Do you really believe that the Jews or the Israelis can stop it now? Have Jews ever stopped themselves voluntarily? Obviously, I agree with you that Israel and Zionism are engaged in horrendous crimes.But as far as I can tell, Jewish Bolsheviks were engaged in crimes of an even greater scale. According to Yuri Slezkin, Jews were Stalins willing executioners. Neocons, a Jewish American political school have inflicted greater disasters than Israel or Zionism. Is it possible that Zionism is just one symptom of a disastrous Jewish political continuum? Can you imagine a peace loving Jewish political existence? Can you point at such a body in Jewish history? I did a bit more background check, saw a video of a talk. The point of the questions appeared to be that Jewishness was the problem, and if I didnt concede to it, I wouldprobably be regarded as an anti-Zionist Zionist or Zionist gatekeeper as Atzmon likes tosay.I saw where it was going, and I realized that I would lose any way I answered. I politely backed out. I got admonished for lack of intellectual integrity. At that point I already knew that a distance had to be kept, and that anything I did or said would likely be held against me. But a few days ago, Michael Lesher wrote on Facebook that he was going to be doing a talk in New York on Sunday April 30 at which Atzmon would also be speaking. I thought it merited warning (and Lesher admitted to not actually knowing Atzmon), so I described my experience in the comments, and noted I hadnt spoken about the issue publicly before. Atzmon came on the thread: You Jonathan .. I also didnt write about it publicly but i probably should.. I will just publish the questions you were not willing to answer so everyone knows what you are and who you work for.. correction .. by now everyone knows … After another person expressed support for what I write in general, Atzmon wrote: The tribe . my dear,, spreading the myth of the good J (the banal AZZ mantra zionism is bad but Js are good ..).. Then Atzmon published the piece called the questions that Jonathan Ofir prefers to avoid, and shared the link on the thread, writing: You asked for it,, now eat it. Now it gets even more interesting. Atzmon writes: You see Jonathan out of your cyber ghetto we really do not appreciate this gatekeeping project you subscribe to we are not afraid of any form of criticsm ,, we are not afraid of history revisionism either..we believe instead in free exchange ,,, we want more Athens and less Jerusalem..Reading Michael Lesher I get the impression that despite him being an orthodox Jew and unlike you, he also subscribes to athens ..Lesher criticism of contemporary rabbinical society is genuinely universalanyway,, feel free to discuss the topic on my page,,,it is an open space just to make sure people of your ilk can meet the opposition. Notice, the use of double and triple commas. It seems very idiosyncratic for Atzmon. Its interesting, because then comes a supporter of Atzmon who writes: Jonathan, I am not sure at this point of who you truly are, but i definitely notice you also admit not knowing much about Gilad Atzmon, and there is no doubt in my mind that you havent bothered yourself to read his book nor did you followed any of his talks proper ,,, so maybe before condemning Gilads message you should learn to listen,,, I believe this is an important piece to start with,,, [linking to a 2007 article by Atzmon]. Atzmon is delighted with this comment and even with himself: my god [xxx],, how did you find it Incredible I moved a bit since then but it is indeed strong And it explains very well why Ofir and the JVP are disturbed by my work.. i point at the J they are desperate to conceal the J . At this point, I began to feel very much like Ali Abunimah, who wrote in response to Atzmon in 2013: I do not usually write in response to nonsensical online allegations by bigots. If I did I would have little time for anything else. However, I thought it was important to do so in this case. And why is this important, beyond the simple offensive ad hominem attacks that are part of Atzmons way and style? Because Atzmon makes his attacks against people whom he sees as subscribing to a global Jewish dominance. He believes that even attempts at Palestine solidarity such as BDS have been overtaken by Jewish gatekeepers for Judeo-centric agendas, as it were. For Atzmon, Zionism is just a mask for the real issue that is responsible for Palestinian suffering and much else: Jewishness. When Atzmon twisted Abunimahs words, he wrote that [Abunimah] is just dishonest/stupid. Abunimah calls Israelis Zionists because he needs the so called Jewish anti Zionists to support his operation. So for Atzmon, those liberal Jews who may come as far as challenging and opposing Zionism, are often AZZs (anti-Zionist Zionists).Thus Abunimah, who opposes all forms of racism including anti-Semitism, is for Atzmon simply a Sabbath goy(a gentile who performs workfor Jews). In 2012, various Palestinian writers and activists including Abunimah, BDSco-founder Omar Barghouti, professor Joseph Massad and others officially disavowed the racism and anti-Semitism of Gilad Atzmon. So what does Atzmon want with me? He seems to want to expose me as a supposed JVP merchant, a dedicated Jewish gatekeeper. Now those terms can seem puzzling for some. What is this coded language? JVP stands for Jewish Voice for Peace. Atzmon believes that the American Jewish organization, which also supports BDS, is really about Jewishness and giving Jews good PR, as it were. He says that Liberal Jews want to make the [Palestinian] solidarity movement a Goyrein zone and talks about JVP, BDS and Jewish liberal terror. What is this merchant word about? Well, if you think about Shylock, the Jewish character from Shakespeares Merchant of Venice, the word is a code for the stereotype of the sleazy Jew. This is not just my unfounded association. Atzmon is fully aware of these stereotypes, as he writes: Shylock is the blood-thirstymerchant. With Fagin [the Jewish dealer of stolen goods in Dickens Oliver Twist, ed.] and Shylock in mind Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum. Atzmons language about me is further condescending, as he regards me as a boy, and alters my last name to offir. He obviously thinks this is amusing. So, Atzmon believes I work for JVP (which I dont, but I support their aims, am on their Facebook group and receive their mails). Even those who desperately try to defend Atzmons statements as merely critical ones, seem somewhat unconvincing when you actually take a look atstatementsfrom his book The Wandering Who?, as in:

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May 1, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Gilad Atzmon’s attack against me the ‘merchant of JVP’ – Mondoweiss

Two days ago, Gilad Atzmon published a piece on his blog, titled the questions that Jonathan Ofir prefers to avoid. These were questions he sent to me when he wanted to interview me over a year ago. At that point I didnt know much about Atzmon, only read a few quotes, andrecall beingwarned in advance by a friend, but I had given him a chance, when he approached. Then came the questions. Atzmons questions referred to my piece To my fellow Israelis: We can stop this. Among them: Do you really believe that the Jews or the Israelis can stop it now? Have Jews ever stopped themselves voluntarily? Obviously, I agree with you that Israel and Zionism are engaged in horrendous crimes.But as far as I can tell, Jewish Bolsheviks were engaged in crimes of an even greater scale. According to Yuri Slezkin, Jews were Stalins willing executioners. Neocons, a Jewish American political school have inflicted greater disasters than Israel or Zionism. Is it possible that Zionism is just one symptom of a disastrous Jewish political continuum? Can you imagine a peace loving Jewish political existence? Can you point at such a body in Jewish history? I did a bit more background check, saw a video of a talk. The point of the questions appeared to be that Jewishness was the problem, and if I didnt concede to it, I wouldprobably be regarded as an anti-Zionist Zionist or Zionist gatekeeper as Atzmon likes tosay.I saw where it was going, and I realized that I would lose any way I answered. I politely backed out. I got admonished for lack of intellectual integrity. At that point I already knew that a distance had to be kept, and that anything I did or said would likely be held against me. But a few days ago, Michael Lesher wrote on Facebook that he was going to be doing a talk in New York on Sunday April 30 at which Atzmon would also be speaking. I thought it merited warning (and Lesher admitted to not actually knowing Atzmon), so I described my experience in the comments, and noted I hadnt spoken about the issue publicly before. Atzmon came on the thread: You Jonathan .. I also didnt write about it publicly but i probably should.. I will just publish the questions you were not willing to answer so everyone knows what you are and who you work for.. correction .. by now everyone knows … After another person expressed support for what I write in general, Atzmon wrote: The tribe . my dear,, spreading the myth of the good J (the banal AZZ mantra zionism is bad but Js are good ..).. Then Atzmon published the piece called the questions that Jonathan Ofir prefers to avoid, and shared the link on the thread, writing: You asked for it,, now eat it. Now it gets even more interesting. Atzmon writes: You see Jonathan out of your cyber ghetto we really do not appreciate this gatekeeping project you subscribe to we are not afraid of any form of criticsm ,, we are not afraid of history revisionism either..we believe instead in free exchange ,,, we want more Athens and less Jerusalem..Reading Michael Lesher I get the impression that despite him being an orthodox Jew and unlike you, he also subscribes to athens ..Lesher criticism of contemporary rabbinical society is genuinely universalanyway,, feel free to discuss the topic on my page,,,it is an open space just to make sure people of your ilk can meet the opposition. Notice, the use of double and triple commas. It seems very idiosyncratic for Atzmon. Its interesting, because then comes a supporter of Atzmon who writes: Jonathan, I am not sure at this point of who you truly are, but i definitely notice you also admit not knowing much about Gilad Atzmon, and there is no doubt in my mind that you havent bothered yourself to read his book nor did you followed any of his talks proper ,,, so maybe before condemning Gilads message you should learn to listen,,, I believe this is an important piece to start with,,, [linking to a 2007 article by Atzmon]. Atzmon is delighted with this comment and even with himself: my god [xxx],, how did you find it Incredible I moved a bit since then but it is indeed strong And it explains very well why Ofir and the JVP are disturbed by my work.. i point at the J they are desperate to conceal the J . At this point, I began to feel very much like Ali Abunimah, who wrote in response to Atzmon in 2013: I do not usually write in response to nonsensical online allegations by bigots. If I did I would have little time for anything else. However, I thought it was important to do so in this case. And why is this important, beyond the simple offensive ad hominem attacks that are part of Atzmons way and style? Because Atzmon makes his attacks against people whom he sees as subscribing to a global Jewish dominance. He believes that even attempts at Palestine solidarity such as BDS have been overtaken by Jewish gatekeepers for Judeo-centric agendas, as it were. For Atzmon, Zionism is just a mask for the real issue that is responsible for Palestinian suffering and much else: Jewishness. When Atzmon twisted Abunimahs words, he wrote that [Abunimah] is just dishonest/stupid. Abunimah calls Israelis Zionists because he needs the so called Jewish anti Zionists to support his operation. So for Atzmon, those liberal Jews who may come as far as challenging and opposing Zionism, are often AZZs (anti-Zionist Zionists).Thus Abunimah, who opposes all forms of racism including anti-Semitism, is for Atzmon simply a Sabbath goy(a gentile who performs workfor Jews). In 2012, various Palestinian writers and activists including Abunimah, BDSco-founder Omar Barghouti, professor Joseph Massad and others officially disavowed the racism and anti-Semitism of Gilad Atzmon. So what does Atzmon want with me? He seems to want to expose me as a supposed JVP merchant, a dedicated Jewish gatekeeper. Now those terms can seem puzzling for some. What is this coded language? JVP stands for Jewish Voice for Peace. Atzmon believes that the American Jewish organization, which also supports BDS, is really about Jewishness and giving Jews good PR, as it were. He says that Liberal Jews want to make the [Palestinian] solidarity movement a Goyrein zone and talks about JVP, BDS and Jewish liberal terror. What is this merchant word about? Well, if you think about Shylock, the Jewish character from Shakespeares Merchant of Venice, the word is a code for the stereotype of the sleazy Jew. This is not just my unfounded association. Atzmon is fully aware of these stereotypes, as he writes: Shylock is the blood-thirstymerchant. With Fagin [the Jewish dealer of stolen goods in Dickens Oliver Twist, ed.] and Shylock in mind Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum. Atzmons language about me is further condescending, as he regards me as a boy, and alters my last name to offir. He obviously thinks this is amusing. So, Atzmon believes I work for JVP (which I dont, but I support their aims, am on their Facebook group and receive their mails). Even those who desperately try to defend Atzmons statements as merely critical ones, seem somewhat unconvincing when you actually take a look atstatementsfrom his book The Wandering Who?, as in: It took me many years to understand that the Holocaust, the core belief of the contemporary Jewish faith, was not at all an historical narrative [for] historical narratives do not need the protection of the law and political lobbies. It took me years to grasp that my great-grandmother wasnt made into a soap or a lampshade as I was taught in Israel. She probably perished of exhaustion, typhus or maybe even by mass shooting The fate of my great-grandmother was not so different from hundreds of thousands of German civilians who died in deliberate, indiscriminate bombing, just because they were Germans. Similarly, people in Hiroshima died just because they were Japanese [As devastating as it was], at a certain moment in time, a horrible chapter was given an exceptional meta-historical status. (pp 175, 149). Thus no gassings mentioned, and so many others killed. Not that big a deal in itself, as it were.This can be said to be the soft core holocaust denial which Deborah Lipstadt refers to, also in relation to the current US administrations approach: Soft-core denial is much more insidious and squishier but when you know something is not quite right, she told us [Washington Post]. When you take out the identity of the victims, when those victims were specifically targeted, that is a form of rewriting history, and thats what denial is all about. Given, Atzmon seems to be somewhat more educated on this one than White House Spokesperson Sean Spicer, but this only means his assertions are often harder to spot. Atzmon writes in his attack on me: I recently read a disgusting private exchange between Ofir and a peace activist where Ofir used the most abusive crypto Zionist tactics and argumentation (antisemitism, holocaust denial you name it.) I have since then witnessed Ofir disseminating the usual kosher progressive mantra. I am not impressed. Atzmon does not provide quotes, so its very hard to see what hes talking about, and in what context. Talking about anti-Semitism in itself is not contentious neither is usage of the term Holocaust denial. Leveling those charges against an individual is something I rarely do. If I establish such aspects in a person, I usually just disengage completely. I have blocked numerous anti-Semites and Holocaust-deniers in social media. They should just be ignored and disassociated from. I could also simply have chosen to ignore Atzmon, or disconnect, as I did a year ago. Was it a mistake to warn publicly about him, and provoke his ire? Im not sure, but it brought his public attack against me. Would it then be wise to ignore that? I have thought about it for a few days, and reached the conclusion that its more than just about me. Like Ali Abunimah, I thought that it was important to do so in this case, to make a public response. Gilad Atzmon thinks that time is ripe for the rest of us to know what questions Jonathan Ofir would prefer to avoid. I think more people need to know about Gilad Atzmons bigotry and anti-Semitism, under the guise of a peace activist. As for Atzmons questions, I regularly voice my critique on both Zionism and Judaism, and I dont need a person like Atzmon leading me up the path. Atzmons questions speak volumes on their own.

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May 1, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Controversial sax appeal? Gilad Atzmon in concert. Photo by Richard Kaby – The Villager

The Villager Controversial sax appeal? Gilad Atzmon in concert. Photo by Richard Kaby The Villager Theater drama: It seems that Lorcan Otway's Theatre 80 on St. Mark's Place will be picketed by antfa (anti-fascist) protesters on the evening of Sun., April 30, when the venue will be hosting a talk by the controversial word-slinger (and saxophonist …

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April 27, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Why the Latest Claims Against Assad are a Pack of Lies – Center for Research on Globalization

With a critical public increasingly turning to social media to scrutinize the claims of the mainstream as well as the credibility of the assertions made by the various NGOs and government-funded human rights organisations, its arguably becoming more difficult for the corporate press to pass their propaganda off as legitimate news. This is particularly the case during periods when the establishment pushes for military conflicts. One salutary lesson from the Iraq debacle, is that the public appear not to be so readily fooled. Or are they? Its a measure of the extent to which the mass media barely stray from their paymasters tune, that president Trump, with near-unanimous journalistic support,was able to launch an illegal missile strike on Syria on April 7, 2017. Cathy Newman on yesterday eveningsChannel 4 News(April 10, 2017) stated that the attack on the al-Shayrat airbase was in retaliation for an alleged sarin gas attack by president Assad. However, for the reasons outlined below, such a scenario seems highly unlikely. New York Timesreporter, Michael B Gordon, whoco-authored that papers infamous fakealuminum tube story of September 8, 2002 as part of the medias propaganda offensive leading up to the 2003 U.S-led Iraq invasion, published (along with co-author Anne Barnard), the latest chemical weaponsfake news storyintended to fit with the establishment narrative on Syria. Lack of skepticism Showing no skepticism that the Syrian military was responsible for intentionally deploying poison gas, the authors cited the widely discredited $100m-funded terrorist-enablers, theWhite Helmets, as the basis for their story. Meanwhile, the doyen of neocon drum-beating war propaganda in Britain, Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian,wrotea day after the alleged attack: We almost certainly know who did it. Every sign points to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. What these signs are were not specified in the article. Even the usually cautiousGuardian journalist George Monbiot appears to be eager for military action. On Twitter (April 7, 2017) Monbiot claimed: We can be 99% sure the chemical weapons attack came from Syrian govt. Three days later, media analysts Media Lens challenged Monbiot by citing the views of former UN weapons inspectors, Hans Blix and Scott Ritter, both of whom contradicted Monbiots assertion. What do you know that Hans Blixand Scott Ritterdont know?, inquired the analysts.Monbiot failed to reply. Apparently it hadnt occurred to these, and practically all the other mainstream journalists (with the notable exception of Peter Oborneand Peter Hitchens), that Assads motive for undertaking such an attack was weak. As investigative reporter Robert Parry, whobroke many of the Iran-Contra stories,argued: Since Assads forces have gained a decisive upper-hand over the rebels, why would he risk stirring up international outrage at this juncture? On the other hand, the desperate rebels might view the horrific scenes from the chemical-weapons deployment as a last-minute game-changer. A second major inconsistency in the official narrative are the contradictory claims relating to the sarin issue. Charles Shoebridge referredto a Guardianarticle that claims sarin was used, but he counters the claim by stating: Yet, a rescuer tells its reporter we could smell it 500m away. The intelligence and terrorism expert was quick to point out that sarin is odorless (unless contaminated). As blogger Mark J Doran astutely remarked: Now, who is going be stuck with lousy, impure sarin? A nation state or a terrorist group? Dodgy doctor Then there has been the willingness of the media to cite what is clearly an incredulous source, British doctor, Shajul Islam. Despite having been struck off the British medical register for misconduct in March 2016, the media have quoted or shown Islam in their reports where hehas been depicted as a key witnessto the alleged gas attack and hence helped augment the unsubstantiated media narrative. In2012 Shajul Islam was charged with terror offences in a British court. Peter Hitchens takes up the story: He was accused of imprisoning John Cantlie, a British photographer, and a Dutchman, Jeroen Oerlemans. Both men were held by a militant group in Syria and both were wounded when they tried to escape. Shajul Islam, it was alleged, was among their captors. Shajul Islams trial collapsed in 2013, when it was revealed that Mr Cantlie had been abducted once again, and could not give evidence. Mr Oerlemans refused to give evidence for fear that it would further endanger Mr Cantlie. Mr Oerlemans has since been killed in Libya. So the supposedly benevolent medical man at the scene of the alleged atrocity turns out to be a struck-off doctor who was once put on trial for kidnapping. Fourth, thereis the question as to why the U.S would launch a military strike in the knowledge that it would risk further sarin leaks into the atmosphere. As the writer and musician, Gilad Atzmon, argues: It doesnt take a military analyst to grasp that the American attack on a remote Syrian airfield contradicts every possible military rationale. If America really believed that Assad possessed a WMD stockpile and kept it in al-Shayrat airbase, launching a missile attack that could lead to a release of lethal agents into the air would be the last thing it would do. If America was determined to neutralise Assads alleged WMD ability it would deploy special forces or diplomacy. No one defuses WMD with explosives, bombs or cruise missiles. It is simply unheard of. Atzmon adds: The first concern that comes to mind is why do you need a saxophonist to deliver the truth every military expert understands very well? Cant the New York Times or the Guardian reach the same obvious conclusion? Its obvious enough that if Assad didnt use WMD when he was losing the war, it would make no sense for him to use it now when a victory is within reach. Logical explanation A far more logical explanation, given the location, is that chemicals were released into the air by Salafist terrorists. The location of the alleged attack is an al-Qaeda-affiliated controlled area in Idlib province. It is from here that the Western-funded White Helmets operate. Rather conveniently, they were soon at the scene of the alleged attack without the necessary protective clothing being filmed hosing down victims. As these are the kinds of people who cut out and eat human organs as well as decapitate heads, they are unlikely to have any compunction in desisting from an opportunity to use Syrian civilians, including children and women, as a form of war porn propaganda in order to garner public sympathy as the pretext for Western intervention. Syrian-based journalist, Tom Dugan, who has been living in the country for the last four years, claimsno gas attack happened. Rather, he asserts that the Syrian air force destroyed a terrorist-owned and controlled chemical weapons factory mistaking it for an ammunition dump, and the chemicals spilled out. This seems to be the most plausible explanation. Mr Dugans version is markedly similar to the analysis of former DIA colonel, Patrick LangDonald who, on April 7, 2017 said: Trumps decision to launch cruise missile strikes on a Syrian Air Force Base was based on a lie. In the coming days the American people will learn that the Intelligence Community knew that Syria did not drop a military chemical weapon on innocent civilians in Idlib. Here is what happened: The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed target. This is a process that started more than two months ago. There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and deconflict (i.e., prevent US and Russian air assets from shooting at each other) the upcoming operation. The United States was fully briefed on the fact that there was a target in Idlib that the Russians believes was a weapons/explosives depot for Islamic rebels. The Syrian Air Force hit the target with conventional weapons. All involved expected to see a massive secondary explosion. That did not happen. Instead, smoke, chemical smoke, began billowing from the site. It turns out that the Islamic rebels used that site to store chemicals, not sarin, that were deadly. The chemicals included organic phosphates and chlorine and they followed the wind and killed civilians. There was a strong wind blowing that day and the cloud was driven to a nearby village and caused casualties. We know it was not sarin. How? Very simple. The so-called first responders handled the victims without gloves. If this had been sarin they would have died. Sarin on the skin will kill you. How do I know? I went through Live Agent training at Fort McClellan in Alabama. The former colonels testimony is extremely persuasive and exposes the medias attempts to take at face value Pentagon propaganda. Another convincing reason to discount the official narrative, isbecause Assad doesnt possess any chemical weapons. Even The Wall Street Journal,citing a Hague-based watchdog agency,concededon June 23, 2014thatthe dangerous substances from Syrias chemical weapons program, including sulfur mustard and precursors of sarin, have now been removed from the country after a monthlong process. Pattern The alleged attack follows a recent pattern of anti-Assad stories exemplified by four similar controversial events in which the media have attempted to pass fiction off as fact. The first of these on February 13, 2017, relates to the findingsof a report by Amnesty International which contends that Assad was responsible for the execution by mass hangings of up to 13,000 people. The alleged atrocity thatevokedin the press comparisons to Nazi concentration camps, was within days criticisedfor its unsubstantiated and uncorroborated claims. It should be recalled that it was Amnesty International who uncritically supported the emergence of afake news storyduringthe first Gulf War in which Iraqi soldiers were said to have taken scores of babies out of incubators in Kuwait City leaving them to die. The second press release, three days after the mass-execution story aired, concerned the heart-rending case of a Syrian boy who Anne Barnard of the New York Timesreported on twitteras having his legscut because of attacks from Assad and Russia. It soon transpired, however, that the organization credited with filming the attacks wasRevolution Syria, a pro-insurgency media outfit who also provided the videos for the equally fraudulent claim that the Russians bombed a school in Haas in October 2016. Dr Barbara McKenzie provides a detailed background to the story which can be read here. The third piece of false reporting to have emerged, is in connection withSecurity Council resolution 2235 which highlights the conclusions of a August, 2015 OPCW-UN report. The said report, aimed at introducing new sanctions against Syria (which Russia and China vetoed), didnt make the claims subsequently attributed to it in the corporate media, namely that between April, 2014 and August, 2015 the Assad government was definitively responsible for three chemical attacks using chlorine. Security analyst Charles Shoebridgepointed outon March 1, 2017,that most media didnt even seem to bother reading the report. Shoebridge confirmed that the OPCW-UN investigation contained findings that did not correspond to what the public was being told. Pointing out the reports many caveats and reservations, the analyst saidthe evidence wasnt sufficiently good to declare that Syria had dropped chlorine to a standard that could be considered strong, or overwhelming, adding that investigators were largely reliant on reports from the White Helmets. Finally, independent journalist Gareth Porter inferred that U.N. investigators increasingly make their conclusions fall in line with Western propaganda after he exposeddistortions contained in a March 1, 2017reportby the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquirywhich claimed that an airstrike on a humanitarian aid convoy in the west of Aleppo City on Sept. 19, 2016, was undertaken by Syrian government planes. Porter revealsthat the reports findings were based on pro-rebel Syrian White Helmets testimonies that were full of internal contradictions. Extraordinarily, in March, 2016 German journalistDr. Ulfkotte brought the lies of the mainstream out into the open by confessing live on television that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, adding that noncompliance with these orders would result in him losing his job. Sharing this information in front of millions of people (reminiscent of the film Network), Ulfkotte said: Ive been a journalist for about 25 years, and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public.But seeing right now within the last months how the German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia this is a point of no return and Im going to stand up and say it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray the people, not only in Germany, all over Europe. The inability of mainstream journalists to undertake basic fact-checking illuminated by the examples described, reinforce the veracity of Ulfkottes claims that corporate journalists are educatedto lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public. But more than that, it amounts to a stark admission that the corruption at the heart of the elite media and political establishment is systemic. As Mark Doran on Twitter put it: Our corrupt politics, our international crime, and our free media form a seamless whole. The goal of this consolidation of power is to secure yet another middle east resource grab.

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April 12, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

Controversial anti-Israel conference launches with keynote speech from Richard Falk – Jewish Chronicle

Jewish Chronicle Controversial anti-Israel conference launches with keynote speech from Richard Falk Jewish Chronicle The American academic has sparked fury among Jewish organisations for backing a book by antisemitic author Gilad Atzmon and once posting an anti-Jewish cartoon on social media.He has also written a UN report which attempted to brand Israel an … US expresses understanding for new settlement, as it was promised months ago The Times of Israel all 725 news articles »

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April 3, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

No campus should be a ‘no go’ area for Jews – Jewish News (blog)

Last week, the London School of Economics hosted a talk on the Middle East conflict by Richard Falk.In case you dont know Richard Falks past, he has suggested that Tel Aviv was responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing. He endorsed in glowing terms a book by notorious anti-Semite Gilad Atzmon which claimed the Jews were the only people who managed to maintain and sustain a racially orientated, expansionist and genocidal national identity that is not at all different from Nazi ethnic ideology, describing Atzmon as a man whose story was told with unflinching integrity. He has refused to remove comments left on his blog page saying that the notorious Tsarist forgery,The Protocols of the Elders of Zionwas an uncannily accurate description of what is happening right now. And this is not all. Falk was strongly condemned by then Prime Minister David Cameron for posting on his blog acartoon showing a dog wearing a kippah and urinating on a statue of justice. The LSE certainly did know who Richard Falk was and they were also aware of what he had written and endorsed about Jews. We know this because we sent them a detailed dossier of the anti-Semitism he has uttered or supported. We sent the same dossier to Middlesex University and to the University of East London, where Falk was also due to speak. Both those universities were so shocked by what they read that they cancelled the scheduled Falk events. In stark contrast, the LSE decided to offer hospitality to Falk. It did so knowing the unease and hurt this would cause to Jewish students on campus and the risk of his appearance acting as a magnet for antisemites to attend. This is exactly what happened Atzmon came and abused Jewish students, telling them to read Holocaust denial literature and informing them that Jews had been expelled from Germany for misbehaving. Following Falks appearance, the Union of Jewish Students said that the university failed in their duty of care to Jewish students. I agree. Jewish students were left feeling unsafe and insecure on their own campus. These students will have to go lectures this week with the knowledge that those responsible for their education will tolerate anti-Semitism and give a platform to those who whose aim is to promote it. This is the reason that I recommended that Jewish students should, for the moment, look elsewhere. The Board of Deputies presidents tweet, suggesting Jewish students shouldnt study at LSE If a university in this country cannot make its campus a safe place for Jewish students, how could we recommend it as a place for Jewish students to study? We need to be absolutely clear that there is and should not be any campus which is a no go area for Jews. However, not only did LSE fail in its duty of care. It made a decision to ignore the concerns put to them by their own students. That is not just negligence. It is a wilful choice to utterly disregard the voice of Jewish students. I expect to have discussions with the LSE in the near future at which I will put my concerns to them directly. I will explain to them exactly why Jewish students have been hurt and offended by Falks presence and I would hope that the university would pledge to act on these concerns in the future. There can be no room for complacency on this matter. If the LSE wishes to be seen as a welcoming place to students of all races and religions it must ban racism from its campus. This is the minimum we should expect.

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April 1, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed

The B.C. hate speech trial that nobody’s heard about – Coast Reporter

With Parliaments anti-Islamophobia motion in the news recently and the country divided over the issue of freedom of speech as it applies to criticizing identifiable groups, its strikingly odd that a real live hate speech trial the first in B.C. in about a decade concluded this month with a controversial sentencing, yet barely a whisper from the media. CBC did report on the March 13 sentencing of Radical Press publisher Arthur Topham, who was convicted in Quesnel in 2015 on one of two counts of communicating statements that wilfully promoted hatred against Jewish people. Times of Israel also reported on the sentence, running a story under the headline, No jail time for Canadian man convicted of online anti-Semitism. And the Canadian Jewish News also ran a report: Tophams sentence a slap on the wrist: Bnai Brith. Other than a brief story in the Prince George Citizen, Canadian print media were silent. Even the alternative media, usually all over this sort of thing, ran nothing. Ryan Bellerose, advocacy coordinator for Bnai Brith Canadas League of Human Rights in Western Canada, found the silent treatment disturbing in light of recent anti-Semitic incidents, according to the Canadian Jewish News article. No one is even talking about [the sentence], Bellerose is quoted as saying. Thats an especially bad message to send in todays climate. In sentencing the 70-year-old Topham, B.C. Supreme Court Judge Bruce Butler rejected the Crowns request for four months of house arrest, instead giving Topham a six-month conditional sentence, a ban on posting publicly online and a curfew. Topham, who thanked the court for bringing my concerns to the record, had already agreed to shut down the website he started in 1998. Butler explained his rationale for the relatively lenient sentence. He does not call for violence. His views were political satire, the judge said of Topham at the hearing. It is not his intent to indirectly incite violence. Though the jury was not explicit, it appears Tophams single conviction was tied to his 2011 booklet called Israel Must Perish. The judge accepted it as political satire because it was a copy-and-paste version of a thin 1941 book called Germany Must Perish, written by American Jewish businessman Theodore Kaufman, with Topham simply replacing Germany with Israel and Germans with Zionists. When it was published in the U.S., Kaufmans book received some positive ink from the likes of Time magazine but became notorious in Germany, advocating as it did the mass-sterilization of Germans due to their supposed war-loving nature in other words, for the total elimination of the German people in a humane fashion, which Kaufman estimated would take two generations to achieve. Germany Must Perish stoked fears among Germans that post-war genocide was planned for them and fuelled animosity toward Jews in that country. Hitlers propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, wrote in his diary: Had he written this book for us, he could not have made it any better. Israeli-born author and musician Gilad Atzmon, who spoke at Tophams trial as an expert for the defence on Jewish identity politics, said Kaufmans book was concealed for seven decades, kept deep under the carpet, because it didnt fit the approved Second World War narrative. It was, in fact, Arthur Topham and his crude satire that brought Kaufmans hateful text to our attention, Atzmon wrote in a 2015 article. The scant coverage of Tophams sentencing and crime had one very troubling aspect: none of the reports mentioned Kaufmans book. CBC simply reported, One piece that Topham called satire advocated the forced sterilization of all Jews. Canadian Jewish News: On the racist, anti-Semitic website he founded and on which he posted vitriol before removing the site just last week, Topham wrote that Jews should be forcibly sterilized. Times of Israel wrote, According to Bnai Brith Canada, his site called for Jews to be forcibly sterilized Its understandable that Bnai Brith, given its mandate, would find Tophams parody indefensible on any grounds and would not want to give one inch to his supposed motivations by even acknowledging them in substance. But for CBC, Canadas public broadcaster, the omission is frightening. It denies the public knowledge of the convicted mans only intelligible defence and renders meaningless the judges arguments. Pollster Angus Reid reported last week that three in 10 Canadians considered Parliaments anti-Islamophobia motion a threat to Canadians freedom of speech, so its clear that Canadians have strong feelings on the subject. Its probably safe to say that most Canadians would condemn Tophams Israel Must Perish stunt as juvenile, disrespectful and potentially harmful at best, vile at worst more like the work of a hare-brained exhibitionist or an agent provocateur (which Kaufman resembled) than a serious dissident. But after learning the salient facts, how many would have supported criminal prosecution for hate speech? It would be interesting to know the numbers. Meanwhile, with the public wary of information sources that are either coercive or cowed into silence, the three-in-10 fear of blasphemy laws in the new Canada seems like a reasonable breakdown.

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April 1, 2017   Posted in: Gilad Atzmon  Comments Closed


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