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Oliver Kamm, Tony Greenstein, the IRA and musicians

Oliver Kamm reminds of us a discussion that occurred in the comments section of this blog in 2005:

This was Kamm’s comment to this blog on June 10, 2005

Tony Greenstein, is himself a political crank of the first order. I had a brush with him in the 1980s when he came to speak to my university Labour Club on behalf of his Labour Movement Campaign for Palestine. His views on terrorism ensured that a motion to affiliate to his organisation received only two votes in favour. A little while later he distinguished himself by writing in outrage to the far-Left London Labour Briefing complaining that it had praised Mrs Thatcher’s courage in defying the Brighton bombers. It turned out that LLB was indeed as repugnant as its critics had always thought, because it speedily offered an apology for this unexceptionable observation.

Tony Greenstein responded on June 13, 2005 with the following:

I have no recollection of speaking to Kramm’s [sic] Labour Club. The only one which didn’t affiliate to the LMCP, from memory, is the elitist Oxford University Labour Club, the biggest collection of dimwits I recall….

And my views on terrorism weren’t acceptable to these future members of the ruling class? Too bad really. Yes I upbraided Labour Briefing on their Thatcher story. The attack on Thatcher by the IRA was obviously legitimate. She was a military target.

One terrorist organisation was not enough for Greenstein in that post. As well as admitting to believing that it was “obviously legitimate” for the IRA to try and kill Margaret Thatcher, he admitted that he once visited Syria on a trip that the PLO had paid for:

When I visited Syria many years ago it certainly wasn’t paid for by the Ba’athist regime but by the PLO!

Kamm’s reason for bringing this up is that Charlotte Higgins has commented  in the Guardian on the disruption of a concert given by the Jerusalem Quartet at Wigmore Hall by Greenstein and others. This revolutionary activity by Greenstein was part of his ridiculous campaign that says that anything Israeli should be boycotted.  This is irrespective of the fact that Ms. Higgins points out that the cellist in the Jerusalem Quartet “works with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which was founded by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said to include both Israeli and Arab young musicians.”

But of course, it is not just boycotting Israel that will satisfy Greenstein. He admitted in a letter to Weekly Worker that his  revolutionary aim is ”Yes, I want the state of Israel to be destroyed.”

Greenstein’s approach on boycotting Israeli musicians does not extend to all Israeli musicians. (Who says that revolutionaries ever have to be consistent?). In an email to Gilad Atzmon on June 10, 2006, Greenstein declared, “I shall be more than happy to hear you play the sax!” There was no talk in that email of disrupting Atzmon’s concert, it was a  very friendly email praising Atzmon for some of his comments on Zionists. This is the same Gilad Atzmon, that Oliver Kamm has pointed out, who said in 2005, the year before Greenstein’s friendly email,  ”[W]e must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously…”

It is no wonder that Kamm has said of Greenstein in his latest post on the matter, “He’s a fantastic ignoramus.”