The Guardian of Judea

March 19, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

owen jewdeass.png

By Devon Nola

In the last week, we saw yet another organised smear campaign of hate and slander orchestrated by Jewish interest groups and Labour Party affiliates wielded against Internationally acclaimed Jazz musician, Gilad Atzmon.   A protest was planned for Atzmon’s concert at The Vortex Jazz Club after numerous emails from local Labour Council members and members of these groups demanded the cancellation of the gig fell on deaf ears.  They claimed Atzmon plays ‘Nazi-apologist Jazz.’  Personally, I’m not familiar with the genre. The chief organiser was Jewdas, a group that qualifies itself as “Radical Jewish Voices”.  The four co-sponsors were:  Momentum, an alleged grass-roots collective, Socialists Against Antisemitism, whose name is self-explanatory if not contradictory, London Young Labour and The Jewish Labour Movement.

What is most interesting is this event was supported and promoted by journalist for “The Guardian”, Owen Jones. It’s always shocking when a journalist supports any sort of censorship.  Jones posted the event on his Facebook page and within two days, managed to rack up over 350 comments telling him what a huge mistake he was making, the accusations against Atzmon were false and totally absurd, and might he provide some proof to substantiate the claims.  Many came from avid readers and supporters of Jones’ usual commentary but were aghast at his support of preventing a respected musician from earning a living and they expressed this in no uncertain terms.

When Jones finally did respond, it was to attach a hit piece that came from an ultra-Zionist website full of misquotes, quotes out of context and even completely fabricated quotes. Rather than sifting through Atzmon’s prolific body of written work to decipher if the accusations against him were legitimate, Jones instead chose this piecemeal missive full of lies.

Realising, at that point, Jones hadn’t actually read anything by Atzmon, I attached a copy of a page from Atzmon’s book, “The Wondering Who”. I assumed once he read Atzmon’s thoughts, directly, versus some bastardised fictional version, he would realise his error in judgement and deliver a swift apology.  This is what an honest journalist, a person with integrity would do. Astonishingly, Owen Jones chose a different path. He didn’t admit to his mistake (giving him the benefit of the doubt, here), but rather removed the entire thread, or shall I say, the evidence.  This was a calculated, conscious decision, by Jones, suggesting he was fully aware of the deceit being peddled in both the protest he was supporting and the piece he scrounged up to defend it.  This isn’t the behaviour one expects from a journalist.  It’s typically something one finds in a sleazy tabloid writer whose articles are printed next to ads for miracle serums to cure baldness or penis enlargement.

Some time ago, Atzmon coined the phrase “The Guardian of Judea” for the well-known paper.  Witnessing one of their journalists engaged in such a slanderous campaign, where completely unfounded accusations of antisemitism, Nazi apologist and holocaust-denier are being lobbed at an innocent man like tennis balls on the final Sunday of Wimbledon, I’m inclined to think this is yet one more astute observation by the legendary saxophonist.

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Jazz Review: Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble in Reading, January 2019

The insane slander campaign against me, my work and my music has boomeranged once again.

The insane slander campaign against me, my work and my music has boomeranged once again.

GA: Last week we played in Reading despite the relentless efforts by pro Israel Labour Cllr Rachel Eden and threatening letters from Campaign Against Antisemitism’s ‘enforcement’ chief. The gig was sold out two weeks in advance. Once again it becomes clear that the insane slander campaign against me, my work and my music has boomeranged. Following is a review of our Reading Concert.

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble “Spirit of Trane” | January 2019

http://www.jazzinreading.com/?p=12229&future=true

Friday 18 January, Progress Theatre, Reading

Gilad Atzmon soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, | Ross Stanley piano | Yaron Stavi double bass, | Enzo Zirilli drums

Their ears assailed by what seemed like an obsessive twenty-three-minute solo outing of ‘My Favourite Things’ on a strange high-pitched serpent-like instrument, the soprano saxophone, large chunks of the audience voted with their feet and beat a hasty retreat from the Guamont State Kilburn on the opening night of John Coltrane’s first, and only, visit to Britain on 11th November 1961. ‘WHATHAPPENED!’ screamed the Melody Maker headline. It left the paper’s Bob Dawbarn, ‘baffled, bothered and bewildered’. The critical debate continued unabated in the jazz press with Benny Green, saxophonist, writer, broadcaster and general know-all, who incidentally didn’t attend the concert (or any that followed in Birmingham, Glasgow or Newcastle for that matter) adding his two-penny-worth by declaring that ‘Coltrane threatens to upset the entire jazz conception’. And thus, John Coltrane added his name to those of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, judged respectively to be ‘too loud’ and ‘too exotic’ when they first played on these shores; in Coltrane’s case he was ‘too loud’, ‘too exotic’ and ‘too long’.

With this occasion in mind, ‘Are you ready to be challenged?’ seemed a fair question for Gilad Atzmon to ask in his inimitable and uncompromising manner as he set the scene for a two-hour concert inspired by the ‘Spirit of Trane’; have we Brits become more attuned to the sound and emotional impact of John Coltrane over the passage of nearly sixty years?

‘Yes!’ came the resounding response from the sell-out Progress audience, in perhaps the nearest experience we shall ever have of listening ‘live’ to John Coltrane. True, there were no marathon solos, or any of the ugly, grating sounds from the latter days of Coltrane’s much-too-short career, and he did break us in gently with the beautiful ‘In A Sentimental Mood’ from the 1962 collaboration with Duke Ellington, and the Latin breeze of ‘Invitation’, but come ‘Moment’s Notice’ he hit the ground running and it was as much as we could do from then on to keep up.

It wasn’t so much the ferocious tempo that was so impressive, but rather the sheer momentum of Atzmon’s playing. Fueled by Enzo Zirilli’s drums, the rock-steady bass of Yaron Stavi and Ross Stanley’s timely contributions at the keyboard, the notes flowed from Gilad’s tenor in a torrent so characteristic of Coltrane and which prompted the writer Ira Gitler to coin the phrase ‘sheets of sound’; each as hard-edged as steel and filled with a haunting melancholy. And yet, however complex the improvisation became it never lost touch with the original theme, suggesting that Coltrane was actually a far greater ‘tunesmith’ than he was ever credited for.

A perfectly sublime untitled ballad, in which bassist Yaron Stavi demonstrated that the art of playing a melodic walking bass solo is still alive and well, provided a welcome breathing space before the band launched into another maelstrom of sound. And Gilad set yet another challenge, or maybe he was simply playing mesmerizing tricks with our aural senses. What was he playing? ‘Scarborough Fair’? ‘My Favourite Things’? Ross Stanley kindly resolved the conundrum in a brief interval chat and confirmed that ‘it was both!’ No matter, the effect was enthralling!

‘Big Nick’, a catchy dedication to ‘Big’ Nick Nicholas, the tenor saxophonist alongside whom Coltrane sat in the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and another title from the Ellington collaboration, brought the first set to a light-hearted conclusion.

The second set opened with ‘Impressions’ and ‘Naima’, the name of Coltrane’s then wife, and each bore the imprint of his fascination for Far Eastern philosophy and mysticism. Gilad switched from soprano to alto for ‘Giant Steps’ with the assurance that he would take the tune at a more leisurely waltz time than the breakneck speed of Coltrane’s original recording. He failed … and matched the original in every detail in a breathtaking display of virtuosity.

‘What’s New’ brought another change of instrument. Gilad switched to his tenor, a beautiful product of English craftmanship as he explained, made in 1926. Coincidence or what? 1926 was the year of John Coltrane’s birth. It provided the perfect vehicle for Bob Haggart’s tender ballad more often associated with trumpet players than saxophonists.

I would guess that Gilad’s original composition ‘The Burning Bush’ is open to many interpretations, but for me it stood as a series of lamentations, expressing a sense of near-despair, etched even more deeply by his use of vocal cries to separate each section and Enzo Zirilli’s emotionally charged drum solo and percussive effects. Listening to it was an extraordinarily moving experience.

What better way to round off the evening than ‘Mr. P.C.’; not a description of Gilad Atzmon, but a dedication to bassist Paul Chambers, Coltrane’s colleague in the Miles Davis Quintet and countless other recordings including the monumental ‘Giant Steps’. Nat Hentoff was of course writing about John Coltrane in his sleeve notes to the album. However, his closing sentence could equally apply to Gilad Atzmon:

‘He asks so much of himself that he can thereby bring a great deal to the listener who is also willing to try relatively unexplored territory with him.’

All praise to Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble and to everyone at the Progress Theatre for hosting a truly memorable event; a wonderful evocation of the spirit and enduring legacy of John Coltrane.

Review posted here by kind permission of Trevor Bannister.

Photo by Colin Swain Photography 


“My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

ATB

Gilad ”

The Labour Party Now Admits that I am not ‘an antisemite’

January 22, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

By Gilad Atzmon

This is how I interpret the email I just received from the Party ‘s general secretary:  Jennie Formby.

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On 24 December 2018 I sent an email to the Labour party’s leaders, Jennie Formby, Ian Lavery and  Jeremy Corbyn and asked them to clarify their position after several media sources, including the BBC and The Guardian newspaper, quoted an anonymous  “spokesman” from the Labour party who described me as “a vile antisemite.”

Not a single British press outlet named the party’s alleged ‘spokesman,’ so I decided to ask the leaders to clarify their Party’s position. I wanted to know whether the ‘spokesman’ was expressing the views of the Party. I wondered whether it was a matter of policy for the Party to target, harass and slander private citizens.  I asked the Party leaders to explain how they could label me a “vile antisemite” or a promoter of ‘hate speech’ when I have never uttered, been charged with or even questioned about any hate (or other) crime ever.

In her answer General Secretary Formby, wrote,

“If you consider that any organisation has published defamatory material about you, then you must take the matter up with them.”

I interpret Ms Formby’s words to mean that the Labour Party has no responsibility for the slander tossed in my direction by an anonymous ‘Party’ spokesman.’ It is worth noticing that unlike the hundreds of Labour members who were suspended from and/or expelled by the Party and then ignored by their compromised Party’s leadership, I was lucky enough to get a reply from the top lady. The moral is simple: If you support Palestine as well as Corbyn yet want to be treated as a human being by Labour leaders, you would be better off ditching the party and becoming an ordinary citizen like me. 

Try to Figure Out Where Labour Ends and Likud Starts

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By Gilad Atzmon

A few days before Christmas, Labour Cllr Richard Watts and the Islington Council, acting at the request of the UK Likud Herut Director, chose to stop me from playing with the Blockheads. The impoverished Council, in an odd interpretation of working for its citizens, hired two partners from one of London’s most expensive law firms to help them in their crusade against my saxophone.

Their action prompted hundreds of complaints and a petition of protest from  almost 7000. Despite the backlash, another Labour councillor has stepped in to try to ruin my musical career.  Rachel Eden has in the past attempted to interfere with my literature event at Reading Literary Festival, organised a protest against me without knowing who I was and what I stood for, and is on the Zionist We Believe in Israel list of 2016 General Election candidates who pledge their support for Israel.

Dear xxxx,

Hope you’re well and enjoying the run up to Christmas…
Sorry to email you about something controversial but I suspect that you’d rather I let you know.  (the comments in brackets are my own GA)

I just wanted to alert you that I am sure inadvertantly (sic) Progress has taken a booking from Gilead (sic) Atzmon.  He’s not a household name but he is very well known by the Jewish community as an anti-semite, last time he came to Reading he claimed that Jerusalem-ites doing mitzvot caused the Grenfell Tower tragedy:
https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/atzmon-blames-grenfell-tower-tragedy-on-jerusalemites-following-mitzvot-1.447012 (GA: If Mrs. Eden had actually bothered to read the JC article, she would have noticed that I emphasise that Jerusalem vs. Athens is not a Jew vs Gentile binary. I pointed out that tragedies like the Grenfell tower come about because in Jerusalem people are trained to follow patterns and regulations: as opposed to thinking authentically and ethically as in Athens.)

As you’ll see from this story he was protested by a mix of Jewish and LGBT residents, he is also a holocaust ‘skeptic’ and Labour councillors including me. (GA: I am not a Holocaust ‘skeptic’ as I am not an historian, however, I support the idea that every event in the past must be subject to  historical analysis and revision!)

If you want to know a bit more about him the Jewish Chronicle keeps an eye on him:
https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/antisemite-gilad-atzmon-banned-from-performing-islington-council-1.474094  (GA: now there’s an unbiased source)

He recently lost a libel lawsuit in which was sued by the campaign against anti-semetism:(sic) (GA: I settled a libel suit with CAA’s Gideon Falter, and the issue was not relevant to antisemitism.) https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/gilad-atzmon-forced-to-ask-supporters-for-funds-after-campaign-against-antisemitism-libel-lawsuit-1.473179
Hope not hate have a bit about him here:
https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/2017/10/20/gilad-atzmon-heads-reading/

(GA: Hope not Hate is a notorious Zionist operation and has been exposed as such many times in the past.)

All in all I am guessing you and the committee probably didn’t know any of this as he is trying to portray himself as “just” a jazz musician, but I would assume he’s not the sort of person you want associated with Progress Theatre.

Rachel

The promoters of the concert replied to Cllr Eden as follows: “Our focus is on – and our interest is in – the music, nothing else. We do not aim to provide a platform for people to express their personal views on any non-musical subject. We have not received complaints of offence being caused at any of our concerts in the fourteen years we have been promoting jazz, despite programming a wide variety of acts and individuals. In the case of Gilad Atzmon, we understand that he has never even been questioned by any law enforcement authority about the allegations to which you refer, let alone convicted.”

It would be a blessing for the kingdom if our politicians had the clarity of thinking, ethical stand and respect for free speech displayed by our musical promoters and venues. Apparently, despite Eden’s persistent  harassment of the venue, the promoters held fast against her onslaught.

As expected, when it became clear that Cllr. Eden would not be able to stop my concert, the notorious ultra Zionist Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) in accord with its stated goal to ruin anyone it deems a threat to Zion, openly re-joined the effort to rid Britain of my saxophone.

Apparently, numerous promoters around the country have received threatening letters from Stephen Silverman, a ‘music teacher’ as well as The CAA’s ‘Director of Investigation and Enforcement.’ A charity is defined as “an organisation set up to provide help and raise money for those in need.” I wonder what it is that qualifies an organisation as charitable when instead of helping others it operates to investigate and ‘enforce’ rules of its own making.

Enforcement commissar Silverman’s email is a rehash of their usual list of misleading, misquoted and badly sourced accusations and ends with, what for them is an unusually polite declaration:  “It would, of course, be inappropriate for us to attempt to dictate who appears at your venue, and that is not my intention. The purpose of this letter is merely to provide you and your venue with information of which you may be unaware.”

Naturally, Silverman does not actually mean his deferential words. Once a venue replies that it does not intend to accede to the demands of Silverman and his klan, Silverman sends a second letter accusing the venue of “taking side” with haters, in “dereliction of duty” to side with Jews. The email ends with a clear threatening note:

From: stephen.silverman@antixxxxx.uk

Sent: 18 January 2019 17:11
To: XXXX
Cc: ‘Anthony Orkin’ anthony.orkin@antixxxxx.uk
Subject: RE: Gilad Atzmon

Thank you for your reply. On the basis of your response it is clear that, by failing to stand up to antisemitism, you have chosen to side with those who seek to stir up hatred towards this country’s Jewish communityYour willingness to turn a blind eye to the activities of this leading antisemite shames you, your board and your arts centre, and is nothing less than a dereliction of duty. 

There is a vast amount of documented evidence, accumulated over many years, that bears witness to the extent of Gilad Atzmon’s antisemitism. He attempts to shield himself from the consequences of this with a bogus philosophy of his own devising that purports to be critical of ‘Jewishness’, Jewish politics and Jewish culture rather than of Jews. It is a paper-thin facade that crumbles under even the most cursory scrutiny.

This is someone who publicly told a Jewish man that he detested the Jew in hone (GA: actually, this was in reply to a tweet that “as a Jew” I should want to kill Arabs. The tweet was from vile hateful character @onepound1 who was subsequently banned from twitter for hate speech. I didn’t know that @onepound1 is indeed Jewish, perhaps Mr. Silverman is more familiar with this anonymous twitter user and his murderous intent?) stated that burning synagogues could be considered a rational act (GA: indeed, as are many violent actions in a war. They are rational not ethical and not desirable. The Guardian published my letter in that regard)  and invited the Jewish people to apologise for being so hateful that the world has been forced to persecute them (GA: here’s the quote in context:  “Instead of constantly blaming the Goyim for inflicting pain on Jews, it is time for Jews to look in the mirror and try to identify what it is in Jews and their culture that evokes so much fury. It may even be possible that some Jews would take this opportunity to apologise to the Gentiles around them for evoking all this anger.”). He repeats some of the same discredited antisemitic views about Jewish power that were employed by the Nazi regime to pave the way for the Holocaust, and he uses his blogs, videos and public talks to encourage others to share his hatred. (GA: noticeably Silverman doesn’t present a single hateful comment by me.) In 2012, he was disavowed by a group of prominent Palestinian writers and activists who refused to have anything further to do with his antisemitism. (GA: here he is telling you that a group of 20 Palestinian activists are more sensitive to accusations of antisemitism then they are in furthering their cause.)

We will endeavour to ensure that your actions, positive or negative, receive the attention that they deserve.

Kind regards

Stephen Silverman

Director of Investigations and Enforcement

Direct: 0330 822 XXXX extn 203

– –

As I point out above, Silverman’s accusations are misleading. However, threatening emails from this specific Jewish charity raise some serious concerns. In August, 2017, after the CAA and Silverman sent similar threatening notes to an Oxford bookshop that refused to acquiesce to their demands, a member of the audience was the victim of a  vicious physical attack that left him with a severe eye injury. After the attack, audience members, some of whom were Jewish, responded with angry letters to the CAA, but the British ‘charitable’ organisation refused to take any responsibility for the attack.

Friday night’s concert at the Progress Theatre was a sold out success, in spite of Cllr Eden’s campaign and CAA’s threatening messages. Last night we performed at the Ropetackle Arts Centre which has received similar threatening emails from Silverman and one Simon Butler, a NYC ‘CAA’s volunteer.’

The Ropetackle Arts Centre responded to the threats as follows:

“The letter from Mr Silverman has been passed to me in my capacity as chairman of the charity which runs the Ropetackle Arts Centre.

We recently received a similar request from Simon Butler. After very careful consideration, we informed him that we were intending to go ahead with the concert. This remains our decision which we do not feel appropriate to explain or justify other than to point out that Gilad Atzmon has performed at our Centre on numerous previous occasion without any complaint.”

If the CAA wants to fight antisemitism for real they should consider ceasing their operation tomorrow morning.  Their mean spirited attempt to ruin people financially reflects disastrously on them and anyone who is associated with their campaign. The more their operation and its methodology become known, the more likely the public is to believe that their bullying is supported by Jews in general. Such thoughts could lead to a real backlash which is a result antithetical to the goals of those of us who oppose all racism and violence.

 


My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

ATB

Gilad 

The beauty and the beast – Gilad Atzmon vs. Rachel Riley

January 16, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

In recent weeks Rachel Riley, a British TV celebrity, has tossed the Antisemitic slur in the direction of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, Noam Chomsky, Ken Loach, Aaron Bastani, yours truly and others. In her first extended Ch 4 interview it became clear that Riley isn’t exactly an astute political philosopher. You can watch the entire Ch 4 interview here.

My battle for truth and freedom involves  some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

ATB

Gilad

“We’re All Palestinians Now” (video)

January 13, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

I toured California last week. Following is my talk at the Monterey Peace and Justice Center, presented by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. I elaborated on my ‘most controversial ideas’: The J-Word, the Post political, the meaning of history and Athens vs. Jerusalem. The talk was introduced by Barbara Honegger. It was followed by a Q&A session.

Happy New Year from Gilad Atzmon

December 30, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Everything you need to know about Zionism, Controlled Opposition, The Post Political and Athens vs. Jerusalem so you are ready for 2019.

https://youtu.be/SRX55nHmuUQ

To sign a petition in support of Gilad click here

Lodge a formal complaint with Islington Council: https://www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us/comments-and-complaints?status=inprogress

To support Gilad’s legal fund:  https://donorbox.org/gilad-needs-additional-support

 

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