I Have Zero Respect For The Mainstream Media: Gilad Atzmon Interview By Silvia Cattori

Saturday, June 4, 2011 at 7:08AM AuthorGilad Atzmon
Jazz saxophonist Gilad Atzmon has a blog where he denounces the policy of his country of origin, Israel. He is not afraid to bluntly express what he regards to be the truth. He is impervious to the concept of self-censorship. He speaks here about how little respect he has for the Western press. (*)

Silvia Cattori: Your political analysis, translated into dozens of languages [1], reaches a wide readership on the web. For whom exactly do you write?

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Gilad Atzmon: I write mainly for myself. I try to understand the world around me. A few years ago, I began to understand that a lot of people out there were also interested in the thoughts I indulge myself with, so I started to let other people have access into my boiling destructive mind.

Silvia Cattori: At a time when the press has reached its lowest point ever, are you among those who still continue to read newspapers?

Gilad Atzmon: No. For many years I have not bought newspapers. I am interested in the Middle East, and the mainstream media has very little to offer on that front. Probably the only expert within the British or even English-speaking media press is Robert Fisk. If I want to know what is happening in the Middle East I go to “Counterpunch”, “Information Clearing House”, “Veterans Today”, “Rense.com”, “Uprooted Palestinian”, “PalestineTelegraph”, “Palestine Chronicle”, “Dissident Voice”, “Uruknet”, and other reliable websites.

Our independent websites and blogs are far more informative than the mainstream media. Collectively, we provide a source of information that people can trust, and we are rapidly becoming the main source of information. I see how many people are coming to visit my site. If there is a crisis in Gaza for instance, the public want to see what Gordon Duff, Ramzy Baroud, Alan Hart, Israel Shamir, Alex Cockburn, and Ali Abunimah have to say about it. I have zero respect for the mainstream media. And if the mainstream media wishes to survive, it had better move on quickly, otherwise it is finished.

Silvia Cattori: Doesn’t the disinformation regarding Israel relate to the fact that honest journalists are themselves subject to Israeli propaganda?

Gilad Atzmon: As for Great Britain, it is far from being a secret that the biggest supporters of Blair’s criminal war against Iraq were journalists like David Aaronovitch and Nick Cohen, both who also write for the notorious Zionist Jewish Chronicle. I guess that these people are now exposed. As I mention often enough, “The Tide Has Changed.”

Silvia Cattori: We see the same mechanisms of censorship and information control at work in the new alternative media as well. Anyone whose views are likely to jostle the agenda of the online donors is censored. Don’t you think that’s sad?

Gilad Atzmon: Yes it is irritating, but to a degree, that is what is to be expected — you have to remember that every form of discourse is, in practice, another set of boundaries. That may explain why the artist is far more effective than the Marxist agitator, or even the academic: while the Marxist or the academic are there to maintain the boundaries, the artist is there to present an alternative reality. My choice is obviously clear — I am an artist.

Silvia Cattori: In your opinion, is the Israeli press freer than our own press?

Gilad Atzmon: Interestingly, the Israeli press is not free; but it is still more open than the Western media. In spite of the censorship, it is still open to discussions about ‘Jewish questions,’ and it is noticeably more critical of the Israeli State than the Guardian, the New York Times or even the Socialist Worker. By the way, even the UK Zionist newspaper, The Jewish Chronicle (JC) is more open than the Guardian: it was in the JC that I read a report about David Miliband’s relentless attempts to amend the British universal Jurisdiction laws.

Silvia Cattori: Despite the harshness of your criticism against Israel, the Israeli daily Haaretz [2] or the Arte channel have not censored you. Is it the accomplished jazz musician or the Israeli opponent that appeals to the interest of the Media? Is it a sign that something has changed?

Gilad Atzmon: Both I guess. I may be interesting for them in different ways — perhaps I offer them an opportunity to express what they think, exactly where they lack the courage to say it themselves.
However, the title of my new album is “The Tide Has Changed” [3]. And something is clearly changing, and it is big. Also, I can see that more and more people are beginning to admit that my writings are becoming influential. When I tour around the world I give very many interviews and talks.

It is also true to say that I have a few enemies, who consistently try to silence me. They struggle to cancel my talks and concerts.

But they have failed, again and again. I am still kicking, and I do not have any plan to stop.
*) An excerpt of this interview appeared in the Swiss magazine EDITO
[1] http://www.gilad.co.uk/
[2] http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/haunted-by-ghosts-1.319263
[3] The album “The tide as changed“, Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble, 2011 (World Village)

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