This is a cross post by Potkin Azarmehr
Gilad Atzmon is a jazz saxophonist who describes himself as a “devoted political artist”. Jazz gives me a headache and I know nothing about it, so this post is not about Atzmon’s musical abilities. I want to write about what he has become more famous for i.e. “political artistry”.
Gilad, who is born Jewish, is one of those Jews who always condemns Israel, he is also known as a “holocaust revisionist”, a quintessential Kevin Klein type from a Fish Called Wanda, who reads Nietzsche; he is therefore loved by the likes of Press TV. If Press TV want to make a propaganda point and sound “impartial” they will call Gilad and he will love the free publicity he will get for being controversial.
Last time Gilad was on Press TV, was when Eutelsat removed the Islamic Republic’s TV channels from broadcasting on its Hotbird frequencies. Gilad Atzmon was unequivocal in his condemnation, he wanted to be the champion of free speech and play his windbag for the oppressed nations who were looking to him as their lead windpipe. “Freedom of Speech Enters Dark Age” was Atzmon’s leading tune and Press TV was loving this useful idiot.
Of course the first time satellite TV stations faced signal jamming was when the Islamic Republic started jamming opposition TV satellites back in 2003. The regime embraced this new technology in two ways, either by sending local interference signals in selected districts in Iran which meant the target districts could not receive clear TV signals for the duration of the jamming or by disabling from the broadcasts from source which meant no one anywhere could watch the channels. The local jamming is said to carry huge health hazards for the residents. Many residents who frequently experience local jamming have reported headaches, nausea, fatigue and there have been many medical reports that describe the health risks from these signal interferences.
The jamming from source however, not only totally disables the targeted TV station but it also disables the other TV stations broadcasting from the same bouquet of frequencies. Eutelsat not only did not pay compensation for the Iranian TV stations the Islamic Republic disabled but also further punished the victim stations for the loss of airtime faced by other channels in the same bouquet of frequencies! A double victory for the Islamic Republic, silence the channel and make them pay for it too! Of course Gilad did not utter a word or play a note on his saxophone in protest to this blatant act against freedom of speech.
During the 2009 post-election protests in Iran, the Islamic Republic not only jammed opposition TV stations but also disabled news channels like the BBC Persian and VOA Persian as part of its campaign to cut off the lifeline of the Green Movement, i.e. free access to information. At the same time that all these contraventions of international broadcasting conventions were taking place, the Islamic Republic TV channels continued unhindered on Eutelsat’s Hotbird and other platforms, promoting violence, enticing people to riot by pure propaganda and spreading misinformation.
Of course Gilad did not utter a word or play a note on his saxophone in protest to this blatant act against freedom of speech.
In Iran, even having a satellite dish and satellite receiving equipment is illegal and carries consequences, but Gilad Atzmon never says a word on that. Not once has this “devoted political artist” spoken against the Iranian regime taking away the inalienable right of the Iranian people to choose what TV channel they want to watch.
For years Ofcom ignored legitimate complaints against Press TV. When people complained about how Press TV implicated innocent citizens for murder or claim they were wanted by Interpol even after Interpol had denied such claims, Ofcom never took any actions. When Press TV incited people to violence, When Iranian citizens were shown on Press TV confessing under duress, Ofcom never took any actions and Press TV continued unhindered. A slap on the wrist was the most Ofcom was prepared to do. Not once did Gilad Atzmon protest against Press TV slandering innocent citizens or parading Iranian victims of the regime making confessions under duress.
Ofcom finally had to act as a result of the persistence and courage of one man, Maziar Bahari, who had lodged a complaint against Press TV breaking the Ofcom rules. When Maziar Bahari was in prison in Iran, he was shown on Press TV as if he was conducting a normal interview in jail, making voluntary statements, while the Press TV presenter and cameramen knew full well a security agent, standing behind the curtain, was watching Maziar Bahari’s every words and the “interview” was nothing more than forced confessions of a man under duress. Maziar Bahari’s complaint went unheard by Ofcom for over two years, and at the end it wasn’t even Bahari’s complaint that struck Press TV off the Sky platform. Press TV did not bother to declare where its editorial was, whether in Tehran or in London. It did not matter where the editorial decisions were made, Press TV just had to declare it but Press TV chose to ignore this Ofcom request. Press TV also failed to pay a fine of £100,000 for broadcasting Maziar Bahari’s interview from prison, otherwise it could have continued unhindered on Sky. Even after Ofcom had no choice but to strike Press TV off Sky, you could watch Press TV across 11 platforms, including Hotbird, internet and on your mobile phone. Hardly a comparison with actions against freedom of speech committed by the Iranian government. Useful idiot supporters of the Iranian government were mobilised everywhere to cry “Freedom of Speech! Freedom of Speech”; how utterly pathetic!
Finally Eutelsat surprised everyone and decided the jamming of its clients by the Iranian government was enough and decided to remove the IRIB channels and Press TV. The likes of Gilad Atzmon were furious, they just could not stay silent. Their concerns for “Europe Entering a Dark Age” and the erosion of freedom of speech touched the hearts of all tyrants everywhere. Gilad appeared on Press TV, not to play his saxophone of course for Jazz is not deemed very Islamic, but to defend press TV and the tyrannical regime of the Islamic Republic, this religious apartheid state.
Of course, the Iranian channels are back on Eutelsat’s Hotbird again. We don’t know what kind of a deal was made but they are nevertheless back. You can watch them on