Bob: John Hamilton, of Lewisham People Before Profit and the Strawberry Thieves Choir, has been mentioned in a few posts on this blog. I should probably have contacted him to inform him, but didn't get around to it (this is, after all, a personal blog written in my spare time, and not a form of public service broadcasting). He has posted a comment in reply to one of them, and I am publishing it here. The relevant posts are: Holocaust memorial day in Lewisham (a guest post by Councillor Michael Harris), STOP RAISE YOUR BANNERS FROM HOSTING THE RACIST GILAD ATZMON, and The virulent Zionist conspiracy versus the Strawberry Thieves, and other sad footnotes to the Gilad Atzmon Show. For those interested, you can find coverage of some of the local activities John has been involved in at various places on the site, such as on the Carnival Against Cuts or Save Ladywell Pool.
I didn't know you had referred to me in your blog until a fellow member of Strawberry Thieves Choir said she had found a reference to me and Karl Dallas while searching for Karl's address.
I don't know if we have ever met, but I am surprised that you can write so much about someone without asking them if it is true. You know that you can contact me either through the Strawberry Thieves website or the Lewisham People Before Profit website.
So, you say I am an acolyte of Gilad Atzmon. I went to his concert in Bradford because I had read a review of him and preferred an evening of Jazz to the alternative concert on offer. I did not know anything of his background or his political views. I learned that evening that there had been attempts made by Jewish groups to have him out-vited.
Some of your commentators seem to be unable to read: the line in War Crimes [pdf] says quite clearly on your blog:
Is it a war crime, to kill 6 million Jews? Yes!
Not much doubt that I think it was a war crime, then!
Funny that you don't print the whole of verse 4, which is about Palestine, only selecting a few lines.
War Crime! Sixty year War Crime! Is it a
War Crime to murder, bomb and maim?
Yes! They've seized the land of Palestine,
Behave like gangsters all the time.
Abducting civilians, bulldozing homes,
Shooting children for throwing stones.
Diverting water, ruining crops,
Will these war crimes ever stop?
Yes! But not while Israel exists as a state made for the chosen few
Where lives of Palestinian folk are worth much less than lives of Jews.
Peaceful co-existence is not possible with a country governed by war criminals.
Encouraged and financed by the United States, we need to pin the blame on all who perpetrate
War Crimes there will be war crimes
Unless we take a stand and put these criminals on trial.
Do you agree with these words, Bob?
Do you agree that those who divert water, bulldoze homes in occupied territories, shoot children and impose collective punishment are war criminals? The Geneva conventions does define these acts as war crimes.
Do you agree that there can be no peaceful co-existence between Israel and Palestine while such criminals are protected and are even in leading positions in the state apparatus?
Do you use the label "anti-semite" for everyone who criticises the state of Israel, such as Richard Goldstone who investigated war crimes in Gaza for the UN?
You say elsewhere in your blog that I have been a member of various maoist groups and name one. You are wrong.
You say that you support the political activities I have been involved in over the past 10 years in Lewisham, such as the New School Campaign, the Save Ladywell Pool Campaign and the campaigns to prevent privatisation of Lewisham's libraries. What kind of support have you given? Have you been down at the town hall at 8am? Have you performed street theatre in Lewisham town centre? Have you leafletted street after street to inform people of what is happening to their facilities? Or have you sat at your cosy computer allowing people to call me an arsehole, a cunt, a tankie, someone who should be "taken out" without exercising your option to moderate comment on your site.
Your source Mike (I support democratic cuts) Harris misled you when he claimed I shouted "Gaza" at a rabbi, demanding that he apologise. I did say (not shout) "..and Gaza" because I think it is important that Jews should not ignore the massacres being carried out by Israel. The rabbi agreed with me and repeated my words. Let us not forget that Cllr Mike Harris is a political opponent of much that you and I stand for.
I am not going to get involved in a debate via your website but I would appreciate you checking your facts in future before referring to me. I look forward to your answer by email via the choir website.