A panel discussion titled ‘Zionism, Jewishness and Israel’ will take place at The University of Westminster – Cavendish Campus on Tuesday May the 3rd, from 6:30pm – 8:00pm.
As one may imagine, the Zionist operators in Britain are not happy about the meeting at all: ‘Green Engage’, a Zionist anti-BDS campaign group launched an immediate campaign, soon after the announcement of the panel. Far from being surprising, within hours, they were joined by Tony Greenstein and the so called Jewish ‘anti Zionist’ network.
The original panel was supposed to include John Rose, Ghada Karmi, Alan Hart and myself.
The venue as well as the panelists (except myself funnily enough) came under severe pressure that verged on abuse: one of the panelists admitted to the organisers that he had received twelve phone calls from different Jewish ‘anti-Zionist’ activists, who insisted that — ‘for the sake of Palestine’– no one should share a stage with Gilad Atzmon.
Now, interestingly enough, when I asked the panelist whether any Palestinians had actually called to preach for the ‘sake of Palestine’ — the answer was a resounding negative. I guess that Jewish ‘anti Zionists’ know better than everyone what is good for Palestine, they are chosen after all.
John Rose and Ghada Karmi pulled out, and that is understandable: not many can endure such a level of abuse – as we learnt recently, Judge Goldstone has also surrendered, and by doing so, has severely damaged his credibility and reputation.
In the early days I myself struggled a lot: on a daily basis I would hear from one ‘progressive’ Jew or another who I should like and who I should hate. Being a rebel, I never followed any of these ‘instructions’. It took me years to develop a very thick skin, to believe in myself and to believe in ethical thinking. And, having done so, I am now happier and free, and I continue in the spirit of humanism and resistance.
Resisting Zionist tactics then, the organisers of the event and the venue are undeterred, standing strong, and determined to continue with the original plan: a list of Palestinian intellectuals and journalists stepped immediately in place of Ghada and John. I advised the organisers not to publish their names for the time being, simply to save them from the unnecessary irritation, annoyance and abuse. However, I myself made sure that they are fully aware of the possible trouble ahead.
This event is promising to be a turning point — The relentless attempts by Jewish political bodies to gate-keep the discourse needs to be confronted and exposed.
And I guess that what we see here proves beyond doubt my arguments regarding the duplicity that is tragically manifested all too often by different bodies and individuals within the Jewish ‘anti-Zionist’ network.
Come and support freedom and intellectual exchange
Panel Event: Zionism, Jewishness and Israel
Time: Tuesday, May 3 · 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Location: University Of Westminster – Cavendish Campus
A panel discussion examining Israeli Criminality in the wake of the Goldstone Retract.
Alan Hart, Gilad Atzmon and others
(Facebook event Announcement)
“Despite the huge pressures from certain Zionist and “anti-zionist” groups, John Rose and Ghada Karmi have pulled but have been replaced with a number of other high profile and brilliant speakers.
A lot of criticism has been mounted about the fact that the event is putting “Jewishness” into the debate with Zionism and Israel. The fact that Israel calls itself the “Jewish State” warrants that we as rational, critical individuals must at least enquire and question what this may mean.
This is not anti-semitic nor racist, and in fact every religion has been subject to these criticisms and enquiries, and in a truly democratic society, any exclusive belief that posits itself as the truth must be scrutinised and put under the spotlight.”
Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli-born British jazz saxophonist, novelist, political activist and writer.
Atzmon’s album Exile was BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. Playing over 100 dates a year, he has been called “surely the hardest-gigging man in British jazz.” His albums, of which he has recorded nine to date, often explore the music of the Middle East and political themes. He has described himself as a “devoted political artist.” He supports the Palestinian right of return and the one-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
His criticisms of Zionism, Jewish identity, and Judaism, as well as his controversial views on The Holocaust and Jewish history have led to allegations of antisemitism from both Zionists and anti-Zionists. A profile in The Guardian in 2009 which described Atzmon as “one of London’s finest saxophonists” stated: “It is Atzmon’s blunt anti-Zionism rather than his music that has given him an international profile, particularly in the Arab world, where his essays are widely read.”