Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The truth about Atzmon is bad enough; we don't need to add smears too

Following up on my previous post on Gilad Atzmon:

The debate has leapt out of the cozy world of UK lefist Jews with this article by Steven Plaut of FrontPage magazine.com:
Almost every self-hating Jew on the planet capable of banging on a keyboard is today either a columnist for the anti-American web magazine Counterpunch, run by Alexander Cockburn, or is an object of Counterpunch’s celebration. Counterpunch runs Norman Finkelstein, whom even the Anti-Defamation League has declared a Holocaust denier. It regularly runs the anti-Israel lecturer Neve Gordon, a deep admirer of Finkelstein who has turned out dozens of articles attacking Israel for Cockburn, as well as Israel’s Lord Haw-Haw Uri Avnery, and dozens of other anti-Israel Jews.
Now Counterpunch has decided to celebrate Gilad Atzmon, proudly proclaimed by Cockburn to be a “CounterPuncher”.
Plaut gets a few things wrong in my opinion.
  • Atzmon is not "subliterate" - he is intelligent, which makes him more dangerous;
  • Atzmon is not "active in numerous anti-Semitic organizations", unless you class any anti-Zionist organization as anti-Semitic;
  • I am not sure Atzmon is a "communist" in either big-C or small-c sense;
  • the British SWP (unlike the American SWP, not in any way related) are not supporters of Castro but rightly see him as a Stalinist despot who substitites the Party and guerrilla army for the working class (see this article, this article, and this article);
  • ONE-STATE.org is not a PLO front - it calls for a democratic secular bi-national state, against both Palestinian and Israeli nationalism, publishing articles by people like Jonathan Freedman, Thomas Friedman and Michael Walzer
I think the facts about Atzmon are enough to indict him, without this sort of stuff heaped on top.

[Thanks to Jogo for link]

Postscript: Should we boycott Amazon? Amazon.com: Books: A Guide to the Perplexed, Amazon.com: Music: Exile

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