The singer Jane Siberry is doing something lovely: a "salon tour", playing in people's sitting rooms across the world. (She also operates a "self-pricing" policy at her music downloads store.) She is performing a forthcoming gig in the front room of local singer-songwriter Sarah Gillespie.
Gilliespie has a great voice, and her songs are good. Sarah will support Siberry at the Brockley salon, along with our old friend Gilad Atzmon. Now, Atzmon is a very talented musician. Having seen him perform a fair few times some years back, I can tell you is a dynamic live presence.
But... Atzmon has truly horrible views. If you don't believe me, ask jazz critic David Adler, or Greens Engage, an anti-racist campaign within the Green Party, or veteran hardcore anti-Zionist Tony Greenstein, or leftie poet Michael Rosen. Here's Greens Engage summing him up:
Gilad Atzmon is a jazz saxophonist and racist campaigner who has repeated (http://bit.ly/4EuvyN) the old libel that “the Jews were responsible for the killing of Jesus”. He talks about a “Jewish lobby” and calls for Britain to “de-Zionise” itself. He calls for “de-judaisation”. He is frankly and comfortably antisemitic, and fights for anti-Jewish politics in the Palestine solidarity movement.
He is critical of those who compare the current Israel with Nazi Germany because he says Israel is a more radical evil: “Israel is nothing but evilness for the sake of evilness. It is wickedness with no comparison.”
Gilad Atzmon pushes classic anti-semitic Jewish conspiracy libel (http://bit.ly/4EuvyN):I wonder if Jane Siberry knows?
“American Jewry makes any debate on whether the “Protocols of the elder of Zion” are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews (in fact Zionists) do control the world.”
I notice that Sarah Gillespie is at least tangentially part of this slimy milieu. She has written a piece for Palestine Thinktank blog, a site which among other things promotes Holocaust denial. The peice is about the BBC's supposed pro-Israel partiality. She writes:
Perhaps the most menacing aspect of this tragic debacle is Mark Thomson himself. A quick bit of research online ploughs up a surfeit of information proving the man is far from 'impartial'. His Jewish wife, the scholar Jane Blumfeild, hails from an American family that attends Yeshivas. Evidence suggests that she recently signed a petition campaigning against the anti-Israeli content of the Washington Post. In 2005 she traveled together with her husband to Jerusalem to engage in talks with Ariel Sharon in an attempt to build bridges between the BBC and Israel.This is awful. Thomson's wife is actually called Jane Blumberg. The fact she comes from a family that "attends Yeshivas" (she went to a Jewish school) means nothing other than that she comes from a Jewish family; to say this in itself means she has some dual loyalty to Israel is an old antisemitic trope, akin to saying if your dad is Irish you must support the IRA. The "evidence suggests" is someone sharing her name, and hailing from somewhere entirely different, as far as I can make out, signing a petition. And I have googled in vain for a credible report that Blumburg accompanied Thompson on his trip to Israel - a trip, incidentally, where he met with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas too.
Another piece at Palestine Thinktank concludes thus:
On 9th April 2007 Blair, a man who, among his many sins, incarcerates Muslims for months on end without charge, dubbed Iran a ‘cruel and callous’ nation. So complicit are we in the demonisation of an entire civilization, we knowingly consume this fantasy of cruelty rather than consider the real possibility of humanity.I would like her to read that out to, for example, the family of Mohammad-Amin Valian, the twenty-year-old (Muslim) Iranian facing execution for throwing rocks.
By the way, minor point. The Brockley Central comment thread mentions he was once a Blockhead. Indeed, he still is, but he only joined in 1998, at the very end of Ian Dury's life.
Previous: all posts mainly about Atzmon; all posts mentioning Atzmon.