Truth not lies about Gilad Atzmon
Acording to Bradford activists, the following wil be distributed ahead of my Bradford concert
Once again, the unholy alliance of Zionists and Islamophobes which has been trying to stop Gilad Atzmon playing his saxophone in Bradfordhas shot itself in the foot. Not content with misquoting and misrepresenting Atzmon’s analysis of his own Jewish identity, it has now stooped to similar tactics, aimed at a senior Anglican clergyman at the city’s Cathedral.
On November 22, Nick Lowles’ misnamed “Hope Not Hate” website – which would better be called Lies Not Truth – proclaimed: “Dean of Bradford calls for Atzmon’s invite to be withdrawn.” This was a lie.
Immediately Lowles’ claim was drawn to the Dean’s attention, he denied it. He said that he had become aware of the controversial nature, not only of Gilad Atzmon, but also “of the statements made about him”. The Dean has confirmed that he had asked those who had contacted him to provide proper evidence of anti-Semitism by Mr Atzmon, but he says: “I received very little, some of which I could identify as being mis-reporting out of context of the kind to which Mr Atzmon [has] drawn attention.”
And a malpractice to which David Ison has now been subjected.
This sorry affair highlights the need for a critical examination of the role in the anti-fascist movement of Hope Not Hate, the magazine Searchlight, and the “Harry’s Place” blog which hosts Hope not Hate and Searchlight announcements, and which gained the Islamic Human Rights Commission’s Annual Islamophobia Award in 2006.
Searchlight’s links with the British secret services have been known since 1986, when the investigative journalist, Robin Ramsay, reported that “Searchlight is run, if not by, then certainly with the co-operation of, MI5″, (Lobster, No 11, April 1986, p12). The following year, Jewish Chronicle said that Searchlight had “a wide range of contacts (including people in the secret services)”, (Jewish Chronicle 23/10/1987).
Hope Not Hate played a very divisive role inBradfordwhen the English Defence League hooligans threatened to march through the city. Local citizens planned a simultaneous multi-cultural event in the city centre under the rubric of “We Are Bradford” and when plans for this were agreed with the police, a few Hope Not Hate supporters split off and encouraged Bradford City Council to organise a disruptive event well out of the city centre.
As it happened, “We Are Bradford” was supported by several thousand people from all over the country, while the split-off attracted a few hundred.
Hope Not Hate participated for a short while in an anti-fascist alliance with the Unite Against Fascism organisation, but walked out of the alliance in June 2005 because, as Searchlight‘s then editor, Steve Silver put it, ” . . .there was only ever so long that we could participate in an organisation which had leading figures conduct a whispering campaign about Searchlight being ‘Zionists’.”
“Whispering campaign”? Who’s whispering? Let’s shout it loud:
It is quite clear that, when the unity of the anti-fascist movement is put at risk for a campaign of “hasbara” (the official Israeli Government name in Hebrew for its international propaganda justifying the occupation of Palestinian lands), something rather than action against anti-Semitism is working to divide and rule us.
An essential element in Hasbara is the planting of Sayanim (sing. Sayan; Hebrew: helpers, assistants) or agents of Mossad, (HaMossad leModi’in uleTafkidim Meyuchadim – Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations), in the anti-fascist movement.
According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mossad), “Mossad is responsible for intelligence collection and covert operations which are suspected to include targeted killings and paramilitary activities beyond Israel’s borders”.
Great company Hope Not Hate and Searchlight are keeping!
Here is the full wording of the statement from the Dean of Bradford, the Very Reverend David Ison, denying that he has called for the Raise Your Banners “Radical Jazz” concert featuring Gilad Atzmon to be cancelled:
Raise Your Banners booked the Cathedral for a concert some months ago, but did not notify us of any controversial issues to do with any of the performers. I have become aware of the controversial nature of Gilad Atzmon and the statements made about him, since being contacted by the Council for Christians and Jews a few weeks ago. The concert was recently withdrawn from the Cathedral owing to slow ticket sales, but had the venue not changed I would have considered not allowing it to take place as, although I have had no clear evidence of anti-semitism or racism, the perception of this around Gilad Atzmon would have made it an inappropriate concert to hold in a religious building.
The headline on the Hope not Hate blog of 22 November, which says that I have called for the concert to be cancelled does not relate my words to their context. I wrote in response to a particular comment on Nick Lowles’ blog of 19 November which called for a lobby of the Cathedral and the Bishop to get them to withdraw the invitation to Gilad Atzmon.
The statement clarifies that we did not make the invitation, reiterates that the concert is not happening on church premises, and raises concerns but does not make allegations about what Mr Atzmon has said; nor does it make a call for the invitation to Mr Atzmon to be withdrawn. I simply say that I am passing on the concerns I had received to Kala Sangam. I do not in the statement tell Kala Sangam what to do with those concerns. I accept that Raise Your Banners and Kala Sangam are making their own judgements about this issue.
Our concern is to be clear that Bradford Cathedral is committed to working for truth, peace and justice for Palestinians and Israelis, of whatever faith.