Last week, Gilad Atzmon gave a talk at the Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC).
This blog isn’t about free speech. You want a racist book? You want to subscribe to a white supremacist magazine that hates Jews, blacks and gays? Then go ahead, nobody is stopping you. But you shouldn’t expect the National Lottery fund to subsidise the product. The public purse can be legitimately discerning about where it provides funding. That is not an argument over free speech.
Which is why publicly funded Reading International Solidarity Centre were so outrageously ‘off the mark’ when they allowed this event to go ahead.
Gilad Atzmon the idiot
Gilad Atzmon is an idiot with a highly exaggerated sense of his own intelligence. Just as any functioning computer, Gilad Atzmon operates with the data he has to play with. If some founding pieces, have been contaminated, then the final output is likely to be an incoherent mess. Thus, Gilad Atzmon remains oblivious to the fact that his basic reasoning is badly flawed and his conclusions are askew. A consensus opinion held even by many of those who ‘hate’ Israel. Gilad Atzmon has been outed as an antisemite by many in the anti-Israel camp.
The event in Reading highlighted all this perfectly. In effect, you have to be unbelievably stupid or an antisemite yourself, not to see the antisemite in Gilad Atzmon. There is a working processor churning away behind Gilad Atzmon’s ideology. He correctly identifies some serious problems in society – discussing identity politics, political correctness, automation, and the related scary cliff we face over the possibility of a growing disenfranchised ‘underclass’. Gilad Atzmon’s problem is an infected operating system. Gilad Atzmon has a virus called antisemitism.
From the point that your computer picks up a virus, it seems to act in crazy manner because the virus itself is a program running in the background. Atzmon’s virus identifies everything as the fault of Jews. Or in the case of this talk and his latest book, it is all ‘Jerusalem’s’ fault.
We are all just zombies
I have no idea why Gilad Atzmon feels the way that he does. Whether he has been plagued by some childhood trauma or not is not my concern. What matters is the poison Atzmon spreads. Atzmon’s type of antisemitism is covered in a political argument that refers back to genuine issues in society. It then wraps itself around philosophical arguments (in this case the ‘Athens = reason’ and ‘Jerusalem = revelation’ dichotomy of Leo Strauss) to add a sense of legitimacy.
This is why Jewish opposition to Atzmon is so strong. Not for the first time, we have a man who spews anti-Jewish racism as an answer to today’s social issues. Within minutes he is discussing the ‘Jewish lobby’ and explains that identity politics turns every person in the west, into a tribal player that operates ‘like a Jew’.
The talk quickly degenerates into these strands of conspiracy and never recovers. Gilad Atzmon’s world labels everyone as a zombie, controlled, or left in the dark, by a never explicitly-identified ‘Illuminati’. A ‘they’ that uses power and money to maintain and further their control on everyone else. Whenever he explicitly mentions a group or name, it is either a Jew or a Jewish organisation. Gilad Atzmon has ‘seen the light’, and he wants everyone to learn his truth. He said he ‘de-zombie-ised’ himself, in much the same way as he has claimed in the past he had rid himself of the inner ‘Jew’. Gilad clearly takes this as a sign of personal growth. His war is a war against the ‘Jew’ in us all.
Rambling hate speech
Gilad Atzmon loses himself in one obscure reference after another. Inside the paradigm of Athens v Jerusalem (that Atzmon has decided is a battle to the death), he suddenly spins on a 1994 book called The Bell Curve, that argued that racial social inequality was caused (for the most part) by differences in intellectual ability (!) In other words the racist pseudo-science posited that blacks may be poorer (in general) because they are more stupid (in general). It is important to note that Atzmon did reject the central theory, but wished to use the book anyway because it relies on the growing existence of a ‘cognitive elite’ – Atzmon’s illuminati.
Just as Atzmon twisted the Jerusalem, Athens argument of Strauss, into something unrecognisable, so too, he performs a similar act with the Bell Curve. This is Atzmon’s philosophy, nobody elses, and it is unsupported bunkum that is driven almost entirely by the virus driving his operating system. When someone in the audience highlighted a clear problem with the argument being put forward, Atzmon’s intellectual response was ‘It doesn’t matter if you agree or not, this is the situation‘. As I listened to this exchange, the term ‘poppycock’ sprung to mind.
Atzmon mistakenly discussed both leftist fragmentation and nationalism as if they were new. He continually referred to a nostalgic vision of better days that in reality never existed. He suggests Israel, the US and UK created the ‘monster’ called ISIS and then draws parallels between ISIS and Israel. Atzmon turned the Grenfell fire into a Jewish reference. He called the wars in Iraq, Syria and Libya the ‘Zio-Con’ wars.
Atzmon suggests the attacks on the UK homeland might be ‘false flags’ (he ‘doesn’t want to go into it‘). He claims nobody talks about the ‘right of return’ (I suggest he hasn’t ever read the aims of BDS). He suggests Ken Livingstone was expelled for telling the truth. The talk is peppered with twisted narrative. His entire theory is developing in a parallel universe where the space-time continuum seems to operate somewhat differently.
Gilad Atzmon’s manipulation of history continues over the origins of the ‘Nakba’ narrative emerged. Placing it in the historical timeline of the 1990’s he suggested it came about as ‘some new historians (Pappe and Morris), realised that what was happening in Kosovo, ethnic cleansing, was very similar to the events that took place in 1948’. This is total hogwash, as Morris was already back-stepping by this point in time. The ‘new historians’ pre-date Kosovo by almost two decades. The term, ‘Nakba’ preceded the ‘new historians’ by another few decades. The driving force behind the revisionist history was the opening of Israeli archives. This is all more poppycock.
In a clear use of antisemitic tropes about money, a classic moment of Atzmon ‘humour’ occurred when trying to plug sales for his own book:
‘It is just £10, if you buy a thousand then you get one for free. Huh, a Jew or not a Jew? Huh, I can teach – I can be a Rabbi’
The Anti-Israel hosts
Reading PSC is well known as a hotbed for Jew hate. Tony Gratrex, who used to be the central figure at Reading PSC, is a 9/11 ‘truther’ and antisemite. The first time I spoke to Tony, he went into a long winded explanation about Jewish conspiracy surrounding the Federal Reserve. *Apparently the group hosting this particular party wasn’t Reading PSC*. I am sure that the PSC know better than to highlight their connection to people like Atzmon. Instead, it was another local group called ‘Reading Friends of Palestine’.
Perish the thought that ‘Reading PSC’ are just ‘Reading FoP’ for the sake of holding Gilad Atzmon events. Paul Timperley and Tony Gratrex are hardly strangers, with Timperley responding to many of Gratrex’s posts. Here is just one example:
So what possessed the Reading International Solidarity Centre to permit Gilad Atzmon inside its halls? Have they seen him talk? Have they read the antisemitic diatribe called the ‘Wandering Who‘?
Once an event like this sparks an outcry, there will inevitably be an internal discussion over the merits of the opposition. The event still went ahead, which meant we seek an enabler, a person on the inside of RISC, who identifies with these politics, defended Atzmon and pushed for permission for the event to go ahead by belittling the accusations of antisemitism. One such person was specifically credited in the talk.
As Paul Timperley gave thanks to RISC for withstanding the pressure, he mentioned an RISC member, ‘Zainab Khan’. Zainab was present at the event and had a front row seat. In the image below, Zainab is in the green top, just about to re-take her seat. As a further indication of her involvement, during the video, Zainab is again specifically mentioned by name. This time by another audience member, as someone who had previously spoken to her about the existence of vocal opposition to the event.
At RISC, Zainab is listed as ‘events co-ordinator’. Her available profile clearly indicates she is engaged in anti-Israel activism. She follows Atzmon. She is highly active in the ‘Reading Peace Group’ Facebook page. Over 35 (thirty-five) of Zainab’s shares have been to a website called ‘Globalresearch.ca’. I am familiar with the site because of my research into antisemitism inside anti-Zionist activism. The website is an antisemitic conspiracy website, staunchly anti-west, and with an inability to differentiate between real news and junk conspiracy. Thirty-five shares(!) It is the ‘news’ website Zainab seems to share more than any other.
These are just some of the articles on the Globalresearch website. These are not articles Zainab shared (her main focus is Iraq/Syria), they are given here as an indication of the level of conspiracy and fake news on the website. The Manchester attack as false flag, discussion of the Holocaust as ‘Holohoax’, ISIS as Israel, and Charlie Hebdo as false flag. 9/11 is a website favourite, and there are too many on Rothschild and Jewish money to list. This is what Rational Wiki has to say:
Is this who RISC turned to for advice when deciding whether to go ahead with the event? When anti-racists oppose the platforming of racists, it is always important to remember that the dialogue this creates within the venue will ultimately be dictated by those seen as ‘experts’ within. In this case, it may well have been an anti-Israel activist, who uses an antisemitic conspiracy website as a primary source of information. No surprise that under these conditions, RISC gave the event a green light.
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