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Spanish press praises Gilad Atzmon the “agitator of consciences”

Gilad Atzmon claims that Fagin and Shylock accurately represent Jewish identity, the credit crunch was caused by the Jews, the Holocaust is a religion, and Hitler may be proved right about the Jews.

He criticises “Jewish politics”, claiming that a “Zio-Punch” causing the credit crunch, and that the Jewish lobby in Germany provoked the Nazis into fighting back, by boycotting Nazis.

At a recent jazz show, he “joked” that throwing the Jews into the sea, would be unfair on the sea.

At his jazz show in Madrid, he promoted his book The Wandering Who, in which he makes many of these racist claims:

“I was a supremacist, tribalist Jew, I was living like a colonialist, I was eating their food, I was eating hummus I was eating falafel, and I managed to dismiss their sound. The people who made this hummus and falafel. And through the saxophone – it took me 30 years – I understood how wrong I was. And if you believe me, you better buy the book.”

Atzmon here combines his jazz with his antisemitism. The mainstream centre-left newspaper El Pais are happy to assist Atzmon in this, publishing two articles about him. One article states:

Given the complexitity of the artist and writer of Israeli origin, who considers himself to be an ex-Jew, you can find an idea connected with the concerts of Ian Dury’s Blockheads; an idea which Atzmon intends to share this weekend in the UK, where he usually lives.

The presentation of [Atzmon's] new book in Valencia, published in Spain as The Wandering Identity, was accompanied in Great Britain by such a great controversy, that it seemed as if it would spoil the publication of the book. The launch will take place in the Cosecha Roja bookshop on Seville Street, as an appetizer for the second concert of the Festival of Contemporary Jazz, hosted by the Jimmy Glass Club. A similar such challenge is expected to emerge, given that it’s now the second edition [of the book].

Another piece praises Atzmon as writer and ‘jazzman’ by night:

It isn’t normal that a writer who is here to talk about his book, should end the night playing the saxophone in a jazz club. But Gilad Atzmon is like that. Musician, philosophy teacher on leave, agitator of consciences, “ex-Israeli” and “ex-Jew”, came to Madrid yesterday to present his new book, The Wandering Identity (published by Diseno) and also to sum up his condition of having been a competent jazzman for many years: “I am what I am thanks to jazz.”

El Pais accepts Atzmon’s identification of Jewish identity, with shedding the blood of others:

It is difficult to believe that the same man who is on stage at Bogui Jazz, should have been the same person who participated in some of the fiercest battles of the Lebanese War: “I saw lots of blood, many crimes, and all this made me distance myself gradually from the Jewish cause.”

The article continues, blending its reporting with Atzmon’s words:

Throughout his life, Atzmon has been denounced repeatedly for saying things that supposedly you can’t say, “however, no-one has ever been able to tell me that I have been wrong in any of my inteprerations.” In The Wandering Identity he deals with Judaism “as what it is, a profession, not a religion.”

And continues: “The political Jewish identity is the biggest risk for world peace. We see it now with Israel’s determination to go to war with Iran, which will probably degenerate into a nuclear conflict. That’s what the book is about. Palestine is not in the Middle East, it’s here in Madrid.”

In his book, Atzmon actually writes, about what would happen if Israel and Iran fought in a nuclear war:

“I guess that amongst the survivors of such a nightmare scenario, some may be bold enough to argue that ‘Hitler might have been right after all.’”

The centre-right newspaper El Mundo, at least acknowledges that Atzmon is considered an anti-Semite – but only by Jews:

Atzmon’s literary output, just as that of all those voices who refuse to take extreme positions, has always been taken as polemical. Some Jews, on one hand, accuse him of a poisonous and dangerous antisemitism, while some Palestinians do the same, calling him a double agent at the service of Israel. One chat with him, and all the possible equations become clear, pointing towards a simpler answer, deriving from common sense, and the humanity which Atzmon claims for all peoples.

However he might be, it’s clear that he has particular position and opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that he has constructed a reasoned and well-argued critique against radical Zionism. He feels that he must raise his voice, assuming that others will denounce other extremes. However, in this new book, Atzmon makes it clear that extreme Israeli nationalism has a large portion of responsibility for the lack of peace in that part of the Middle East.

Throughout the 256 pages, Atzmon analyses and reflects in his new book on issues which he has already dealt with in past essays, making them up-to-date and compiling them into one volume: Judaism and “Jewishness”; Jewish culture and Jewish ideology; the Israeli political attitude in time and history; the role of the holocaust; the influence of Zionist pressure groups; the echo of the conflict in the media, and so on.

In the conclusion of the El Mundo piece, we read:

Today, Gilad Atzmon does not feel Jewish any more: “I’ve left behind the idea of the Chosen People”, and asks his fellow countrymen: “How can a people who have suffered so much for so long, inflict so much pain on another people?”

From there, Atzmon continues to denounce Israel as racist, and a state which practises ethnic cleansing in different forms. Neither El Pais nor El Mundo seem to have any problem whatsoever, of Atzmon speaking about Israel and the Jewish people interchangeably, criticising Jews in racist and pernicious ways.

Atzmon’s acceptance in the Spanish press, is part of a wider acceptance of his antisemitic ideas and values throughout the world. He has been praised by American “anti-Zionist” political professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, and by the Turkish prime minister Erdogan.

I would expect this trend to continue and grow.

Alan A adds:

Antisemitism in Spain is very high. Several surveys have shown this.

For example, El Pais notes that 52% of kids dont want a Jew sitting next to them at school, and 58% of adults think Jews have too much power.