Being In Time: Gilad Atzmon’s journey through post-modern crises

May 22, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

By Adam Garrie, theduran.com/

In Being In Time, author and musician Gilad Atzmon explores the historical and psychological basis for the many crises gripping the western world.

Many of the same people lament the state of a broad, however amorphous western society that has succumbed to the trends of hyper-identity politics, political and economic sectarianism, brutal financial capitalism and the death of industry and censorship in societies that still preach the self-righteous yet vague cause of ‘freedom’.

In Being In Time, author Gilad Atzmon offers a philosophical explanation for how these divergent trends are actually systematic outgrowths of societies simultaneously bewitched and confused by the abject failures of the three domineering ideologies of the 20th century: communism, fascism and liberalism.

Atzmon approaches how an uneasy calm in mid-20th century western states has given way to a world where the dams of free speech, prosperity and political predictability have been burst open leading to a flood of insecurity, third world style poverty and perhaps most importantly for Atzmon, the poverty of ideas.

Atzmon who has previously written about his personal struggles with and opposition to Jewish identity politics in The Wandering Who, takes his dialectical approach further, subjecting many contemporary and post-modern trends to the same scrutiny.

Such trends include, post-modernism, Cultural Marxism, post-Freudian social theory, the sexual identity agenda, post-modern attitudes to race and religion and the so-called populist political phenomena of Brexit and Donald Trump.

Atzmon calls his book a post-political manifesto, but it could equally be called a post-dogma manifesto. Atzmon laments a western world that has forsaken the Socratic method of embracing wisdom based on a combination of logic and ethics. Instead, Atzmon sees a western society obsessed with legal minutiae that he traces to strict Talmudic jurisprudence.

The book is very much in the tradition of the great secular conservative leaning sceptics and metaphysicists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Those who have read Nietzsche or Spengler will recognise familiar diagnosis to modern problems combined with Atzmon’s unique world view shaped by the rejection of the Zionist creeds of his Israeli place of birth.

One might be so bold as to say that a great deal of geo-political philosophical commentary in the 21st century is largely shaped by people trying to either debunk or revise the manifestly ludicrous hypothesis of Francis Fukuyama.

At the dawn of the 1990s, Fukuyama in The End of History and the Last Man stated that history had ceased to move forward and was comfortably numbed to the neo-liberal realities that everyone had accepted.

The problem is that not everyone accepted them and even those who did, have largely been failed by them both materially and spiritually.

Atzmon doesn’t merely lacerate the post-Fukuyama developments in the metaphysical crisis currently gripping an increasingly hysterical liberal western establishment, but instead explains the root of these problems from the perspective of an historic prism illuminated through a combination of late-modern cultural analysis and Atzmon’s own unique trials and tribulations with the crises inherent in intra-Zionist Jewish identity.

I personally rarely recommend such books. I highly recommend this one.

The book can be ordered on Amazon.co.uk  & Amazon.com

The book is now available here

 

Being in Time reviewed by June Terpstra

May 21, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

https://www.opednews.com/

Firmly rooted in the Western intellectual tradition, Gilad Atzmon’s “Being In Time” opens doors to shed light on the particular ideological constructs that influenced the schools and movements of left and right political wings that have produced a world in poverty and war, offering a matrix of controlled opposition embedded in modern, Jewish, secular politics to distract and destroy from within. Atzmon’s analysis, written like an intellectual jazz composition, celebrates Athenian philosophical calls to reason while urging the unpacking of political ideology to reveal the con-game being played to keep power in the hands of those who already have it.

In the first half of the book Atzmon offers a brilliant decoding of left and right wings of the Imperial Houses of Domination. On the left, he gives the reader Marx, Adorno, and the Frankenfurters defending principles of utopianism and what ought to be. To the right, are Breitbart, Murry and Hernnstein, playing Johnny one note for conserving the structures of power in hopes to hold on to their piece of that pie. Atzmon suggests that, “instead of looking at the world through the lens of the Right/Left dichotomy, or a particular ideological perspective, it will be more instructive to impose a meta-ideological method that juxtaposes ‘the humane’ i.e. the human condition and the political spectrum as a whole. Instead of imposing any particular ideology, be it Right, Left, Marxism, Capitalism, Liberalism, Fascism and so on I want to examine the relationship between a political system and the human condition.”

Atzmon engagingly utilizes the controversial Bell Curve of the Right Wing to show how a Jewish “cognitive elite” attempted to separate itself from the rest of society’s “unchosen” through selective breeding conflating genetic determination with heritability to fit what scientists call a power distribution so that a small group of exceptional performers overtake the rest. Atzmon poses that rather than increasing the performance of cognitive elites, the ideology of the curve has actually been constraining how all people perform.

A Return to Athens

In the post-political neighbourhood in which we live, much of humanity has been reduced to serving the interests of big money, mammon and oligarchy, with Left and Right, those two familiar poles of politics as we have always understood them to be, now indistinguishable and irrelevant. The freedom to think openly and speak clearly are but nostalgic concepts. Our Western Liberal Utopia has turned into an Orwellian dystopia. Gilad Atzmon

Atzmon, taking philosopher, Pierre Hadot’s advice, models the determinate individual separating himself from the All, be they Left or Right, by adding a difference which, as Plotinus says, is a negation. The best life depends upon becoming one’s true self via the intellect, which means to step away from identity politics, which teaches us to identify ourselves by our victimhood and oppressions in a competition for least powerful giving us an excuse not to act.

“Being in Time” is a peripatetic walk, from the man who brought us The Wandering Who,through the present post-political narrative. Intendedto make the ideologies driving the narrative available to all, thereby depriving it of its power, the book takes us on path to build moral courage. The chief consideration is how to popularize the walk of “being in time”, and to provide the individual, in a time of general confusion and dissolution, with a living and breathing moral basis for practical life.

The book can be ordered on Amazon.co.uk  & Amazon.com

The book is now available here

“Being in Time”- Gilad Atzmon in LA, May 8, 2017 (video)

May 13, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

The fear of trains, the post political condition and the people/institutions who destroyed the West. I spoke about  the good old Left, the treacherous New Left, the tyranny of correctness, ID nonsense and finally Athens and Jerusalem.

https://youtu.be/x0n0DBhg5uk

To order the Being in Time:

The book can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

The book is now available on my site

Before the talk I improvised with Fritz Heede

Avengers 80 – Come and meet us…

April 29, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

https://theatre80.wordpress.com

The Post Political Condition

Trump, Brexit, the Middle East… What Next?

5 pm an extended panel discussion, then a jazz concert from 9 pm

5pm Sunday, 30 April

Theatre 80, 80 St. Marks Place
New York, NY 10003
USA

$10 suggested donation, cash only at the door

On 30 April human rights lawyer Stanley Cohen, history professor Norton Mezvinsky, whistleblower Michael Lesher  and author Gilad Atzmon will gather in Theatre 80, Manhattan to elaborate on the collapse of Identity politics, the crisis within new Left thinking and the future of liberal and progressive thought.

Tom Kiely – Opening Words

Stanley Cohen: The Insular View of the American Left  

Professor Norton Mezvinsky: The Quagmire of Current Political Terminology in U.S. Society

Michael Lesher – Jewish Identity vs. Jewish Religion

Gilad Atzmon: The Tyranny of Correctness – deconstructing identity politics and understanding its origin

Update From the East Village Battlefront

Update From the East Village Battlefront

April 29, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

Michael Lesher, Stanley Cohen, Lorcan Otway, Gilad Atzmon, Norton Mezvinsky (left to right)

Michael Lesher, Stanley Cohen, Lorcan Otway, Gilad Atzmon, Norton Mezvinsky (left to right)

Introduction by Gilad Atzmin

Things are warming up in Manhattan East Village ahead of our 30 April Conference at Theatre 80.  Theatre owner Lorcan Otway, keeps holding a firm position: he announced again and again that he won’t surrender to calls for censorship. I spent some time with this heroic, scholarly oriented human being. He deserves every possible support. If it isn’t for me, be there on Sunday at 5PM to support Lorcan and his staunch position on freedom and the 1st Amendment.

Meanwhile The Villager confirms that some Antifas may appear in the scene. Considering the reputation the Antifa bought itself in recent years, this news should be probably interpreted as a form of intimidation.

 However, The Villager also published yesterday a beautiful interview with human rights Lawyer Stanley Cohen who participates in the event. I repost this interview in full. Please share it widely.

‘This is lunacy’: Radical attorney slams protest vs. Theatre 80 political panel

 

By BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

http://thevillager.com/2017/04/28/this-is-lunacy-radical-attorney-on-protest-vs-theatre-80-political-panel/

| Radical attorney Stanley Cohen is a veteran of the East Village’s anarchic squatter battles versus the police. And he proudly notes that his mouth was bloodied for the first time when he was 16 and was crossing the Brooklyn Bridge in an anti-war march.

So the threat by some “antifa” (anti-fascist) protesters to disrupt Sunday evening’s panel discussion at Theatre 80 St. Mark’s isn’t going to stop him from participating, he vowed.

“This is the first time I will cross a picket line,” Cohen told The Villager, “because I believe the picket line is nothing short of a fascist attempt to censor.”

Cohen is one of four panelists who will talk at the event. However, it’s another one of the speakers, Gilad Atzmon — a jazz sax-playing “Holocaust revisionist” and alleged Jewish anti-Semite — who the antifa activists will be protesting against.

“I disagree with Gilad on a lot of things,” Cohen said. “And I will debate Gilad. But I believe the essence of resistance is speech. There are people on that panel that are going to challenge him.”

The event is titled, “The Post-Political Condition: Trump, Brexit, the Middle East…What Next?”

According to a description on Atzmon’s Web site, the panelists will “elaborate on the collapse of identity politics, the crisis within new Left thinking and the future of liberal and progressive thought.”

Cohen, the first scheduled speaker, will hold forth on “The Insular View of the American Left.”

“That’s exactly what this is about,” the attorney said of the planned demonstration. “Identity politics and politically correct is so nonsense.”

For his part, Atzmon will expound on “The Tyranny of Correctness — Deconstructing Identity Politics and Understanding Its Origin.”

Cohen said Atzmon’s views on Israel were clearly shaped by his time serving as medic in the Israel Defense Forces.

“It was a life-changing situation for him,” Cohen said.

“I think his last book drove people nuts: ‘The Wandering Who?’ This is a very intelligent guy.”

Cohen is, frankly, shocked at the attempt to shut down the event.

“This is lunacy,” he said. “This is Theatre 80 St. Mark’s in the East Village.”

Cohen, whose past clients include Hamas and Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, admits that he, too, like Atzmon, has been branded a self-hating Jew.

As for what he plans to talk about Sunday, Cohen noted, “I am probably going to beat up [Julian] Assange and WikiLeaks in public. I think they’re becoming partisan. Trump is going after him right now because it’s convenient. There is zero chance that Julian Assange or WikiLeaks — which is him — is going to wind up in an American courtroom.”

Bottom line, Cohen said, he won’t be stopped from doing the event.

“I am a purist when it comes to speech and the First Amendment,” he stated. “I am not going to be intimidated from participating in a discussion of the issues in the East Village in 2017.”

Cohen said, however, that he is worried that “Canadian J.D.L.” types will show up and instigate violence, as happened last month at the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) convention in Washington, D.C. In that incident, members of the Jewish Defense League from north of the border beat up a middle-aged Palestinian teacher.

“I have some friends coming with me to this event,” Cohen said. “They’re Palestinian and they’re women. If anything happens to them, the s— is going to hit the fan — and I’m not talking about violence.”

Legal action, then?

“Absolutely,” he assured. “Absolutely.”

The other two panelists are Michael Lesher, author of “Sexual Abuse, ‘Shonda’ and Concealment in Orthodox Jewish Communities,” who will speak on “Jewish Identity vs. Jewish Religion,” and Professor Norton Mezvinsky, who will discuss “The Quagmire of Current Political Terminology in U.S. Society.”

The discussion, at 80 St. Mark’s Place, will be in two two-hour halves, running from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., including a one-hour Q & A, and finally an hour-long jazz concert by Atzmon. Suggested admission is $10, according to Atzmon’s Web page.

Dissent on the Lower East Side: the Post-Political Condition

April 25, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

GA: Ahead of our 30 April conference at Theatre 80 and following the desperate calls for censorship of the event Stanley Cohen wrote this wonderful piece on Counterpunch today. Please read and spread…   

http://www.counterpunch.org

by STANLEY L. COHEN

This coming Sunday, April 30th, at 5PM, there will be a panel discussion entitled “The Post Political Condition… Trump, Brexit, and The Middle East… What Next? at Theatre 80 located at 80 St. Marks Place on the Lower East Side (LES) of New York City.

Timely, and simple enough in its reach, this discussion will include myself and a number of intellectuals such as history professor Norton Mezvinsky, whistle blower Michael Lesher and author Gilad Atzmon. The panel will focus on the collapse of identity politics, the crises within new left thinking, and the future of liberal and progressive thought.

In particular, I will discuss“Insular View of the American Left” while Professor Mezvinsky will speak to “The Quagmire of Current Political Terminology in U.S. Society.” Mr. Lesher will explore dichotomy between “Jewish Identity and Jewish Religion” and Mr. Atzmon will address “The Tyranny of Correctness- deconstructing identity politics and understanding its origin.”

Although the panel will necessarily touch upon Zionism, Israel, and events in the Middle East, these topics will play but a small part in a much broader exploration of the political winds of today.

To some, the subject matter of the discussion is apparently of less consequence than the makeup of the panel itself. In particular, the presence of Gilad Atzmon, a onetime Israeli citizen and Jew who has since renounced both, has triggered an organized effort to bully the theatre into canceling the event or, failing that, to disrupt it.

I’ve long been accused of being a “self-hating” Jew largely because of my work as legal counsel for the political wing of Hamas and my fervent opposition to the state of Israel as one built from the marrow of ethnic cleansing.

Described as controversial because of my opposition to Zionism, and a long list of revolutionary clients and movements that have included more than a few accused of domestic or international terrorism, I’ve grown accustomed to being “shunned ” by the political opposition that rarely seeks to engage in public discussion or debate. That’s fine. For some, it’s so much easier to toss barbs from the safety of the shadows then it is to withstand open exposure for the weakness of one’s thought.

Yet, Gilad Atzmon presents another picture. Mr. Atzmon’s stinging criticisms of Zionism, Jewish identity… perhaps even Judaism itself… have so enraged both Zionists and some anti-Zionists alike, that the mob seeks to silence him and thereby deny us all the benefit of his speech.

Censors of thought are not new to time or place. Throughout history, they have deigned to dictate the parameters of acceptable dialogue and, when unable to control the discourse, have sought to shut it down as if ideas are in themselves dangerous.

One need only look to recent events in Washington D.C. to understand that those who fear the market place of free ideas often seek to shutter it whether by economic intimidation or through resort to violence.

Just this past month, JDL (Jewish Defense League) imports from Canada brutally attacked, and seriously injured, a 55-year old Palestinian-American professor from North Carolina who had the temerity to pass an anti-AIPAC demonstration with his family.

The mindless brutality of the Canadian JDL members, that day, cannot be seen in a vacuum but rather must be viewed in the light of 50 plus years of terrorism carried out by its US counterpart, now formally designated as an outlawed terrorist organization.

Over these many years, the membership, indeed,  leadership of the American branch of the JDL… or “associate organizations”… have unleashed an unprecedented reign of terror which has produced dozens of convictions for crimes ranging from a plot to bomb the office of Arab-American Congressman Darrell Issa and the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, Calif. to numerous bombings of foreign embassies and properties to attacks on US buildings to conspiracies of kidnap and murder to assaults on foreign nationals and US police. Countless other crimes, including murder and conspiracy to bomb, have been laid at the feet of the JDL but to date remain un-charged.

Despite this documented, nay, unprecedented history of violent attacks by zio-fascists upon free speech and association, neither the JDL of Canada nor its US counterpart will suppress this panel discussion at Theatre 80 or silence our voice. Ours is a community of free spirits and thinkers. Women and men directed by little more than the pursuit of truth and justice.

Indeed, long ago the community of the LES of New York City opened its arms to refugees who fled tyranny abroad and, in so doing, became a welcome host to the dissident, the politically unpopular, the revolutionary idea or person.

Today, that greeting is under attack by some who have failed to learn the history of this community that I have called home for most of my adult life. A journey down the hardscrabble, but exhilarating, road of this community of resistance can say far more than I can about the necessity of the exchange of ideas that will occur this coming Sunday evening at Theatre 80.

The History of Dissent on the Lower East Side

Long before the free speech battles of the 60’s, or the recent ones at Berkeley, there stood a proud tenement building at 208 East 13th Street in New York City.  More than a hundred years ago, it echoed with the booming resonance of resistance… a declaration of who we were at the time and, more important, who we could become if only we dared to challenge political and social orthodoxy.

Today, on the façade of that old battered 19th century tenement building on the LES of Manhattan sits a cracked and stained plaque that simply says “Emma Goldman lived here.” Enough said.

The same building was home to “Mother Earth,” Goldman’s periodical that promoted anarchist views and provided a platform for “radical” artists and militant ideas of the day… until it was closed as subversive by the government in 1917.

Goldman was a fierce and tireless supporter of “controversial” revolutionary struggles such as free speech, birth control, women’s equality, union organizing, workers rights, sexual freedom and peace.

Known as “Red Emma”, she was labeled by J. Edgar Hoover as one of the “most dangerous women” in the country.” Among her closest friends and comrades were Alexander BerkmanMargaret SangerRoger BaldwinMax EastmanJohn ReedDorothy Day and Floyd Dell… a veritable who’s who of radicals who, long ago, confronted political convention not all that different from that which seeks to intimidate or to silence us today.

In 1917, Goldman was sentenced to two years in prison after founding the No-Conscription League in protest against the draft.  It was one of several stints she did, beyond bars, for political beliefs that ranged from a year in prison for “inciting to riot”… for a speech she gave at a Union Square hunger demonstration where she told the poor to steal bread if they could not afford to buy it… to another one for illegally distributing information about birth control.  Following her arrest during the notorious Palmer Raids that began on November 7, 1919 (the second anniversary of the Russian Revolution), she was deported to Russia along with some 250 other “subversive aliens.”

While the Palmer Raids occurred throughout the United States with more than 10,000 arrests for subversion, they, in particular, targeted hundreds of high profile “militants” who were rounded up on the LES which was then home to a powerful and vibrant community of revolutionary thinkers and activists.

In the life blood of the LES, Goldman has been anything but the exception to the rule in a community that historically has been home to the dissident… the unconventional… those who see more to life than surrender to the whims of politically correct dogma or the constraints of “patriotic” mobs.

Dorothy Day heard the call of the LES.  Along with Peter Maurin, she founded the Catholic Worker Movement which, with anarchists and communists, fought for the rights of the homeless, workers, women, immigrants and others disempowered by virtue of gender or class.

Although the Movement found its vigor in Christian charity and promoted a political strategy of total non-violence, Day was never one to shy away from direct action. Jailed for picketing the White House in support of women’s right to vote, while imprisoned for her offense, she helped organize a hunger strike at Occoquan Prison.

It is said that, over the course of a long life of civil disobedience, Day was arrested more than one hundred times. A poster memorializing her final arrest at age 76 declares “our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy rotten system.” It hangs from the wall of my office.

To Dorothy Day, peaceful resistance necessarily demanded of activists’ controversial speech that directly confronted the tyranny of the status quo…  something she excelled at while working as the editor of The Masses.

Based in “Alphabet City” in the LES, Masses was a radical magazine that reported on most of the major labor struggles of its day: from the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike of 1912 in West Virginia to the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913 and the Ludlow massacre in Colorado. It strongly supported Big Bill Haywood and his IWW, the political campaigns of Eugene V. Debs and vigorously argued for birth control and women’s suffrage.

Until closed by the government in 1917 for its anti-war and “anti-government” platform, The Masses featured a chorus of militant voices including such writers as John Reed,  Crystal EastmanHubert HarrisonInez Milholland,  Mary Heaton VorseLouis UntermeyerRandolf BourneArturo GiovannittiMichael GoldHelen KellerWilliam English WallingAnna StrunskyCarl SandburgUpton SinclairFloyd Dell and Louise Bryant. It also featured a host ofpolitical artists including John SloanRobert HenriMary Ellen SigsbeeCornelia BarnsRockwell KentArt YoungBoardman RobinsonRobert MinorLydia GibsonK. R. ChamberlainHugo GellertGeorge Bellows and Maurice Becker.

At other times, the radical history of the LES has been marked not just by controversial speech or passive resistance alone, but by direct action that, on occasion, has exploded into violence captivating the watch of the rest of New York City as if this one hundred square block area is very much of a different world.

Thus, on January 13, 1874, over 7,000 largely unemployed workers gathered in Tompkins Square Park, in the largest demonstration New York City had ever seen, to demand financial assistance from the City during an economic depression.

Ten and a half acres in total, the square-shaped park is bounded on the north by East 10th Street, on the east by Avenue B, on the south by East 7th Street, and on the west by Avenue A. It is abutted by St. Marks Place to the west.

Without warning, not long after the demonstration began, some 1,600 policemen charged the park and dispersed most of the crowd beating people throughout it with clubs. Others, on horseback, cleared the surrounding streets. Some of the demonstrators fought back in vain… attempting to defend the square. Hundreds were injured.

Samuel Gompers, himself a resident of the LES,  who founded the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and was scheduled to address the demonstration that day, described the events and his experiences:

“. . . mounted police charged the crowd on Eighth Street, riding them down and attacking men, women, and children without discrimination. It was an orgy of brutality. I was caught in the crowd on the street and barely saved my head from being cracked by jumping down a cellar-way.”

Little more than a century later, on August 6, 1988, Tompkins Square Park exploded yet once again when police attacked a large group of peaceful demonstrators protesting a newly established curfew intended to clear the park of activists, homeless and so-called squatters that had made increasing use of Tompkins Square for demonstrations against the City and its misuse of local community space. Bystanders, activists, neighborhood residents and journalists were caught up in the violence.

Despite a brief lull in the fighting, the mêlée continued until 6 a.m. the next day. Numerous injuries resulted with over 100 complaints of police brutality lodged following the riot. One headline in the New York Times summed up the events: “Yes, a Police Riot.”

St. Marks Place

If Tompkins Square Park is the heart of the East Village, St. Marks Place is its soul. James Fenimore Cooper lived at 6 St. Marks from 1834-1836. While there, he published his epic “A letter To My Countrymen.” It proved to be his most scathing work of social criticism in which he denounces the “slavery of party affiliations.”

In 1854 The Nursery for the Children of Poor Women…the first of its kind… was set up in a rundown house on St. Marks.

In 1917, Leon Trotsky arrived on St. Marks Place where he wrote for the Novy Mir (“New World”), then based at 77 St. Marks, while living with his family across the street in an apartment at 80 St. Marks. Just a few years earlier, Berkman and Goldman opened the progressive Modern School at No. 16 St. Marks. Among its teachers were famed muckrakers Jack London and Upton Sinclair.

In the 1940’s, W.H. Auden resided on St. Marks.  In the 60’s, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin co-founded the Youth International Party (“Yippies”) at No. 30 St. Marks and Lenny Bruce lived for a while, on the famed street, at No. 13. In 1966, Andy Warhol housed his Exploding Plastic Inevitable collective above the Electric Circus nightclub at 19-25 St. Marks… installing the Velvet Underground as the house band. During the same period, Debbie Harry lived at 13 St. Marks. Often were the occasions when a vibrant sweep down St. Marks Place would mean a chance encounter with Jack KerouacWilliam S. Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg… a longtime area resident.

Elsewhere on the Lower East Side, throughout the 60’s, political activists, movements and artists alike continued its well established tradition of serving as a safe haven for cultural diversity, political dissidents and controversial speech.

For example, just up the block from what had been the home of Charlie Parker, stands the Christodora House.  Located on Avenue B, directly across the street from Tompkins Square Park, the Young Lords and Black Panther Party maintained their respective headquarters during this period.

The Young Lords, in particular, played an important role in what was, and remains, a heavily Latino neighborhood… creating community projects similar to those of the Black Panthers but with a Latino flavor. Such projects included a free breakfast program for children, the Emeterio Betances free health clinic, community testing for tuberculosis and lead-poisoning, free clothing drives, cultural events and Puerto Rican history classes. The female leadership in New York pushed the Young Lords to fight for women’s rights.

80 St. Marks Place

The venue for Sunday’s panel discussion has a storied history itself in the LES.  Beginning as a nightclub during Prohibition, 80 Saint Marks Place was home to performers that included such Jazz greats as Thelonious MonkHarry “Sweets” EdisonJohn Coltrane and Frank Sinatra.

After Theatre 80 was established in the former nightclub, its tradition of diversity in the arts continued as it launched the careers of famous performers including the likes of Gary BurghoffBob Balaban and Billy Crystal, who once worked there as an usher.

Richard “Lord” Buckley, described by Bob Dylan in his book “Chronicles” as “the hipster bebop preacher who defied all labels”, had his final performance at Theatre 80 when his cabaret card was seized by police from the vice squad and his show closed.  Outraged, Buckley went to the local precinct to demand his card’s return. Not long thereafter he ended up dead in St. Vincent’s Hospital of an apparent stroke. That brought about a movement which eventually ended the Cabaret Card system in New York City.

Not many years later, the legendary play “Hair” was cast at Theatre 80. During the 1970s and 80s it also served as a revival house where one could see vintage films. Among those who attended, often to see their own body of work was Gloria SwansonJoan CrawfordMyrna Loy, Ruby Keeler and Joan Blondell.

More recently Theatre 80 presented a play by noted poet, playwright, author and racial equality activist, Sonya Sanchez.  Fred Hampton Jr. was often seen at the theatre to attend events for famed radical defense attorney, Lynne Stewart, who recently died having been politically persecuted and imprisoned for her life’s work.

Actively involved in a wide range of community issues, the theatre, not long ago, along with Patti Smith, sponsored a concert to raise money for the victims of the Second Avenue gas explosion which caused two deaths, injured at least nineteen people… four critically… and completely destroyed four buildings between East 7th Street and St. Marks Place. It has held a number of so-called “truther” forums that explored the events of 9-11… an issue of burning interest to the local community.

Come this Sunday, the panel discussion will proceed in the ideal venue in the perfect community.  To be sure, at times, its participants will surely say things that may offend the sensibilities of some in the audience. On occasion, panel members will disagree with one another as the market place of ideas is not a group-speak but rather a challenge to explore diverse and often competing thoughts in the pursuit of truth.

Ideas may sting, they may hurt, and they may challenge us to explore issues that can cause great personal discomfort. That’s precisely what they are intended to do. There is no question that while the clash of ideas causes pain; the suppression of ideas causes greater harm… and sometimes pain is the stretch of growing.

Thanks to the refusal of Lorcan Otway, owner of Theatre 80, to surrender to howls of a few, join us this Sunday, April 30 at 5PM in the heart of the ongoing American evolution at Theatre 80, 80 St. Marks Place in the Lower East Side of New York City.

INTERPOL: four Israelis Arrested for Trafficking Human organs in Bulgaria, a Rabbi among suspects

Source

A Rabbi among suspects; traffickers would approach poor Bulgarians and offer to buy a kidney for transplant in Turkey.

According to INTERPOL’s spokesperson , LCol. Asan Kasingye, four people were arrested today in Sofia on suspicion of organ trafficking, one of whom is a Jewish clergyman already standing trial for similar offenses in the past.

The four were arrested today at the end of a month-long undercover investigation. Ziss, a Rabbi, was extradited from Bulgaria to Israel in 2009 on similar suspicions.

“The four men are suspected of running a complete trafficking operation: locating people in Sofia willing to sell a kidney, locating patients willing and able to pay for one and then arranging the transplant. Bulgarian Police said the traffickers would approach poor people who were in debt and propose that they sell a kidney for transplant,”Kasingye told  Bulgarian News Agency (БТА ).

According to Bulgarian officials the actual transplants were performed in a Turkish hospital, with the donors posing as relatives of the patient. Meanwhile the Bulgarian National Transplant Center stressed that it was not involved in any of the transactions and that no illegal transplants were performed in Bulgaria.

Selling organs is illegal everywhere in the world except Saudi Arabia. But Israel is considered a major player in the organ trafficking business, and the number of Israelis who have sold kidneys via traffickers is estimated at between 10,000 and 20,000.

Although recipients pay hundreds of thousands of shekels for the kidney, the donor, according to various reports, gets only between 60,000 and 100,000 shekels ($160,000-$260,000). The rest of the fee goes to the head of the trafficking ring, the doctor overseeing the transplant, the lawyer who prepares the false affidavits, and expenses such as hospital and hotel fees.

One reason Israel is considered fertile ground for organ traffickers is that postmortem organ donation rates are among the lowest in the Western world, mainly for religious reasons.

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