As we are marching towards an imminent American attack on Syria, a conflict that can easily escalate into a regional disaster, it is embarrassing to recall that just four months ago some of our ‘leading’ political scientists were clumsy enough to lend their names to a pro interventionist petition. On April 8th we found out that Tariq Ali, Norman Finkelstein and Ian Pappe, amongst others, demanded “that Bashar al-Asad leave immediately without excuses so that Syria can begin a speedy recovery towards a democratic future.”
I learned today that Tariq Ali confessed to friends that he regretted signing this interventionist petition, bless him. However, I wonder where Ilan Pappe and Norman Finkelstein stand on the issue? Is the looming American attack what they had in mind?
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.”