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The Guardian of Judea

By Devon Nola | March 19, 2019

In the last week, we saw yet another organised smear campaign of hate and slander orchestrated by Jewish interest groups and Labour Party affiliates wielded against Internationally acclaimed Jazz musician, Gilad Atzmon. A protest was planned for Atzmon’s concert at The Vortex Jazz Club after numerous emails from local Labour Council members and members of these groups demanded the cancellation of the gig fell on deaf ears. They claimed Atzmon plays ‘Nazi-apologist Jazz.’ Personally, I’m not familiar with the genre. The chief organiser was Jewdas, a group that qualifies itself as “Radical Jewish Voices”. The four co-sponsors were: Momentum, an alleged grass-roots collective, Socialists Against Antisemitism, whose name is self-explanatory if not contradictory, London Young Labour and The Jewish Labour Movement.

What is most interesting is this event was supported and promoted by journalist for The Guardian, Owen Jones. It’s always shocking when a journalist supports any sort of censorship. Jones posted the event on his Facebook page and within two days, managed to rack up over 350 comments telling him what a huge mistake he was making, the accusations against Atzmon were false and totally absurd, and might he provide some proof to substantiate the claims. Many came from avid readers and supporters of Jones’ usual commentary but were aghast at his support of preventing a respected musician from earning a living and they expressed this in no uncertain terms.

When Jones finally did respond, it was to attach a hit piece that came from an ultra-Zionist website full of misquotes, quotes out of context and even completely fabricated quotes. Rather than sifting through Atzmon’s prolific body of written work to decipher if the accusations against him were legitimate, Jones instead chose this piecemeal missive full of lies.

Realising, at that point, Jones hadn’t actually read anything by Atzmon, I attached a copy of a page from Atzmon’s book, “The Wondering Who”. I assumed once he read Atzmon’s thoughts, directly, versus some bastardised fictional version, he would realise his error in judgement and deliver a swift apology. This is what an honest journalist, a person with integrity would do. Astonishingly, Owen Jones chose a different path. He didn’t admit to his mistake (giving him the benefit of the doubt, here), but rather removed the entire thread, or shall I say, the evidence. This was a calculated, conscious decision, by Jones, suggesting he was fully aware of the deceit being peddled in both the protest he was supporting and the piece he scrounged up to defend it. This isn’t the behaviour one expects from a journalist. It’s typically something one finds in a sleazy tabloid writer whose articles are printed next to ads for miracle serums to cure baldness or penis enlargement.

Some time ago, Atzmon coined the phrase “The Guardian of Judea” for the well-known paper. Witnessing one of their journalists engaged in such a slanderous campaign, where completely unfounded accusations of antisemitism, Nazi apologist and holocaust-denier are being lobbed at an innocent man like tennis balls on the final Sunday of Wimbledon, I’m inclined to think this is yet one more astute observation by the legendary saxophonist.


List of signatories to letters demanding the ouster of Gilad Atzmon:

As’ad AbuKhalil, The Angry Arab News Service, Turlock, CA
Suha Afyouni, solidarity activist, Beirut, LEBANON
Max Ajl, essayist, rabble-rouser, proprietor of Jewbonics blog site, Ithaca, NY
Haifaa Al-Moammar, activist, stay-at-home mom, and marathon walker, Los Angeles, CA
Electa Arenal, professor emerita, CUNY Graduate Center/Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Women’s Studies, New York, NY
Gabriel Ash, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Geneva, SWITZERLAND
Joel Beinin, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Dan Berger, Wild Poppies Collective, Philadelphia, PA
Chip Berlet, Boston, MA
Nazila Bettache, activist, Montréal, CANADA
Sam Bick, Tadamon!, Immigrant Workers Center, Montréal, Québec
Max Blumenthal, author; writing fellow, The Nation, New York, NY
Lenni Brenner, author, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, New York, NY
Café Intifada
Paola Canarutto, Rete-ECO (Italian Network of Jews against the Occupation), Torino, ITALY
Paulette d’Auteuil, National Jericho Movement, Albuquerque, NM
Susie Day, Monthly Review, New York, NY
Ali Hocine Dimerdji, PhD student at The University of Nottingham, in Nottingham, UK
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, professor emerita, California State University
Todd Eaton, Park Slope Food Coop Members for Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions, Brooklyn, NY
Mark Elf, Jews sans frontieres
S. EtShalom, registered nurse, Philadelphia, PA
Benjamin Evans, solidarity activist, Chicago, IL
First of May Anarchist Alliance
Sherna Berger Gluck, professor emerita, California State University/Israel Divestment Campaign, CA
Neta Golan, International Solidarity Movement
Tony Greenstein, Secretary Brighton Unemployed Centre/UNISON, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, Brighton, UK
Andrew Griggs, Café Intifada, Los Angeles, CA
Jenny Grossbard, artist, designer, writer and fighter, New York, NY
Freda Guttman, activist, Montréal, CANADA
Adam Hanieh, lecturer, Department of Development Studies/SOAS, University of London, UK
Swaneagle Harijan, anti-racism, social justice activism, Seattle, WA
Sarah Hawas, researcher and solidarity activist, Cairo, EGYPT
Stanley Heller, “The Struggle” Video News, moderator “Jews Who Speak Out”
Mostafa Henaway, Tadamon!, Immigrant Workers Center, Montréal, CANADA
Elise Hendrick, Meldungen aus dem Exil/Noticias de una multipátrida, Cincinnati, OH
Doug Henwood, Left Business Observer, New York, NY
Ken Hiebert, activist, Ladysmith, CANADA
Elizabeth Horowitz, solidarity activist, New York, NY
Adam Hudson, writer/blogger, San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Dhruv Jain, Researcher at the Jan Van Eyck Academie and PhD student at York University, Paris, FRANCE
Tom Keefer, an editor of the journal Upping the Anti, Toronto, CANADA
Karl Kersplebedeb, Left Wing Books, Montréal, CANADA
Anne Key, Penrith, Cumbria, UK
Mark Klein, activist, Toronto, CANADA
Bill Koehnlein, Brecht Forum, New York, NY
L.A. Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee, Los Angeles, CA
Mark Lance, Georgetown University/Institute for Anarchist Studies, Washington, DC
David Landy, author, Jewish Identity and Palestinian Rights: Diaspora Jewish Opposition to Israel, Dublin, IRELAND
Bob Lederer, Pacifica/WBAI producer, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, New York, NY
Matthew Lyons, Three Way Fight, Philadelphia, PA
Karen MacRae, solidarity activist, Toronto, CANADA
Heba Farouk Mahfouz, student activist, blogger, Cairo, EGYPT
Marvin Mandell and Betty Reid Mandell, co-editors, New Politics, West Roxbury, MA
Ruth Sarah Berman McConnell, retired teacher, DeLand, FL
Kathleen McLeod, poet, Brisbane, Australia
Karrie Melendres, Los Angeles, CA
Matt Meyer, Resistance in Brooklyn, New York, NY
Amirah Mizrahi, poet and educator, New York, NY
mesha Monge-Irizarry, co-director of Education Not Incarceration; SF MOOC City commissioner, San Francisco, CA
Matthew Morgan-Brown, solidarity activist, Ottawa, CANADA
Michael Novick, People Against Racist Terror/Anti-Racist Action, Los Angeles, CA
Saffo Papantonopoulou, New School Students for Justice in Palestine, New York, NY
Susan Pashkoff, Jews Against Zionism, London, UK
Tom Pessah, UC Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine, Berkeley, CA
Marie-Claire Picher, Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB), New York, NY
Sylvia Posadas (Jinjirrie), Kadaitcha, Noosa, AUSTRALIA
Roland Rance, Jews Against Zionism, London, UK
Danielle Ratcliff, San Francisco, CA
Liz Roberts, War Resisters League, New York, NY
Emma Rosenthal, contributor, Shifting Sands: Jewish Women Confront the Israeli Occupation, Los Angeles, CA
Penny Rosenwasser, PhD, Oakland, CA
Suzanne Ross, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, The Riverside Church Prison Ministry, New York, NY
Gabriel San Roman, Orange County Weekly, Orange County, CA
Ian Saville, performer and lecturer, London, UK
Joel Schwartz, CSEA retiree/AFSCME, New York, NY
Tali Shapiro, Anarchists Against the Wall, Boycott From Within, Tel Aviv, OCCUPIED PALESTINE
Simona Sharoni, SUNY, author, Gender & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Plattsburgh, NY
Jaggi Singh, No One Is Illegal-Montreal/Solidarity Across Borders, Montréal, CANADA
Michael S. Smith, board member, Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, NY
Pierre Stambul, Union juive française pour la paix (French Jewish Union for Peace), Paris, FRANCE
Muffy Sunde, Los Angeles, CA
Bhaskar Sunkara, editor of Jacobin, Bronx, NY
Tadamon! (http://www.tadamon.ca/), Montréal, CANADA
Ian Trujillo, atheist, Los Angeles, CA
Gabriella Turek, PhD, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Henry Walton, SEIU, retired, Los Angeles, CA
Bill Weinberg, New Jewish Resistance, New York, NY
Abraham Weizfeld, author, The End of Zionism and the liberation of the Jewish People, Montreal, CANADA
Ben White, author, Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination, and Democracy, Cambridge, UK
Laura Whitehorn, former political prisoner, NYS Task Force on Political Prisoners, New York, NY
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, founding member, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG)
Asa Winstanley, journalist for Electronic Intifada, Al-Akhbar and others, London, UK
Ziyaad Yousef, solidarity activist

and also:

Ali Abunimah
Naseer Aruri, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Omar Barghouti, human rights activist
Hatem Bazian, Chair, American Muslims for Palestine
Andrew Dalack, National Coordinating Committee, US Palestinian Community Network
Haidar Eid, Gaza
Nada Elia, US Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Toufic Haddad
Kathryn Hamoudah
Adam Hanieh, Lecturer, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London
Mostafa Henaway, Tadamon! Canada
Monadel Herzallah, National Coordinating Committee, US Palestinian Community Network
Nadia Hijab, author and human rights advocate
Andrew Kadi
Abir Kobty, Palestinian blogger and activist
Joseph Massad, Professor, Columbia University, NY
Danya Mustafa, Israeli Apartheid Week US National Co-Coordinator & Students for Justice in Palestine- University of New Mexico
Dina Omar, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine
Haitham Salawdeh, National Coordinating Committee, US Palestinian Community Network
Sobhi Samour, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London
Khaled Ziada, SOAS Palestine Society, London
Rafeef Ziadah, poet and human rights advocate

March 19, 2019 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , ,

7 Comments »

  1. That’s how they go about fostering “Anti-Semitism”, by pointing at so called Anti-Semites, even if they have to fabricate what the “Anti-Semite” actually said.
    Calling out “Anti-Semitism” every day is what is keeping Anti-Semitism alive, not the “Anti-Semites”

    “An Anti-Semite used to be someone who hated Jews. Now it is someone who is hated by Jews”…..Joe Sobran

    “An Anti-Semite is someone who dislikes Jews more than is absolutely necessary”…..H.L.Menken

    Comment by Brian Harry | March 19, 2019 | Reply

    • Great, on-point comment, Brian. I want to weigh in on this issue (starting with an Aletho News posting by Miko Peled of perhaps just yesterday where the demonization of Gilad slapped me in the face), but I’m not sure I have the mentation or concentration to organize and present my amateurish thoughts. For now, I’m inclined to opine “For shame, Miko!” go from there.

      I very much appreciate and am heartened by this take by Devon Nola who (unsurprisingly, I’m sure, in that I don’t/can’t keep up with names and happenings as I should) is unknown to me but, IMO, hits the old nail right on the head.

      Comment by roberthstiver | March 19, 2019 | Reply

      • Had to go two or three layers deep, but I just found this: “Devon Nola is a political and social justice activist.” A Brit (and a good one)?

        Comment by roberthstiver | March 20, 2019 | Reply

  2. Atzmon is a good man. I can’t tell from this article whether the concert went ahead or not, but I hope it did and was well attended.

    Comment by traducteur | March 20, 2019 | Reply

  3. I’m not sure it’s proper to do this, but the connection between this posting and the March 18th Miko Peled contribution (that features in the Comments area the very same list included in Devon Nola’s text here) makes me want to copy-paste my comment there — almost verbatim — into this space:

    The above listing puzzles and discourages me. I scanned each name and then went back and scanned each name plus affiliation. (First, my nit-picking mind wonders why it has been separated into an apparent “main list” and then an “and also” continuation. Is it because of the prefacing “List of signatories to letters…” [letters in plural]?) Finding Miko Peled’s name makes me re-evaluate my long-standing admiration of him. Most of the names I’ve never heard of. Others: I’m surprised and angered by such names as As’ad AbuKhalil/The Angry Arab (with whom I’ve lost recent touch); Omar Barghouti; Ben White; Hatem Bazian (a CA professor I aired on public-access TV circa 10 years ago; I attained an instant liking of him and his passion); and Joseph Massad. Still others: I’m not surprised by Ali Abunimah (of whom I’ve always been suspicious…he’s inconsistent and thus untrustworthy); and Max Blumenthal (he was a whisperer in the campaign to demonize the great Alison Weir 3 years or so ago along with the prime scofflaw Jewish Voice for Peace and the then-US Campaign for Palestinian Rights).

    So…….where does that leave me? For one thing, it leaves me gratified that such luminaries (I admit that there may be reasons for not appearing on the list, such as simply not being solicited) as Rashid Khalidi, George Bisharat, Saree Makdisi, Susan Abulhawa, Ramzy Baroud, Norman Finkelstein, Jonathan Cook, Steven Salaita (if I tried, I could list others)…are NOT signatories seeking to demonize Gilad Atzmon.

    Are the signatories so intent on being politically correct that they fear for their societal positions, or opprobrium from colleagues and associates, or … ? If so, damn them…they diminish the intensity of the Palestinians’ torment and are thus part of the problem. In the end, I must give them my ultimate personal insult: They are Soft-Zionist Gatekeepers!

    I’ll end by pasting a comment I made just days ago to a retired Christian minister and friend. I have come to this position after pondering and revising and refining my attitude toward “Jews” and “Judaism” over many decades as those “Jews” and “Judaism” intersect with the ever-increasing criminal Zionist psychosis enveloping the Palestinians and their land–and the world along with it. If my condemnation of “Jews” and “Judaism” is a form of collective punishment, so be it; if it makes me “anti-Semitic/Jewish,” so be it; I’ll live with it and have no thought of changing my position until the Christians and Muslims of Palestine finally find full justice; full restitution of their inalienable rights; full freedom; full dignity; and the right to succeed or fail on their own. Here’s my comment, and I believe that Gilad — a principled and straight-arrow human being who not only condemns Judaism and Zionism but has resolutely renounced his very membership in and adherence to the tribe and their “religion”-cum-cult — and I are in the same corner:

    “…the transition of “spiritual” Zionism that forms a part of Judaism’s traditions to this era’s “militant/political” Zionism marks a colonialist corruption, a perversion, of the very fundamentals of the religion. Frankly, I am not interested in and don’t want to be reminded ad infinitum that the Jewish people have been persecuted and killed throughout their history…and that the rest of the world had better not forget that they must always be accorded the status of “ultimate victims.” Militant/political Zionism has made Judaism — all of it, unless or until all of it rises up and repudiates militant/political Zionism — this era’s vicious, vindictive, opportunistic, no-accountability victimizer. The Palestinians are the on-the-(holy)-ground victims…and, sadly, all of the rest of us are Palestinians today. In the US, AIPAC, the Jewish-Zionist Lobby, works very hard, very efficiently, and very successfully to ensure it.”

    Comment by roberthstiver | March 21, 2019 | Reply

    • Yes, there were two iterations of denunciation. Sadly, I did not record the dates. Later denunciations of Assad contained some of the same signatures.

      My take on the PC thrust at the time is that Atzmon had crossed into taboo terrain by critiquing Jewish power within Western societies. The problem being that Jewish supremacy is a menace to more than just the Palestinians and if not challenged will result in vastly more genocides.

      Perhaps some of the signatories consciously engaged in a limited hangout, intending to work within the parameters of acceptable critique for the time being and ejecting Atzmon tactically.

      Comment by aletho | March 21, 2019 | Reply


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