Saturday, May 07, 2011

Gilad Atzmon benefit for US Boat to Gaza

As reported initially by David Adler a couple of weeks ago, anti-Jewish agitator Gilad Atzmon, who recently put on a panel discussion in London on "Zionism, Jewishness, and Israel," is currently traveling around the US making mischief. Adam Holland reports today that he will be doing a benefit for US Boat to Gaza in Oakland, California. US Boat to Gaza is sending a boat to Gaza, which they have named the "Audacity of Hope," in another attempt to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. From their statement of purpose:
We are planning to launch a U.S. boat to Gaza, joining a flotilla of ships from Europe, Canada, India, South Africa and parts of the Middle East due to set sail in September/ October of this year. [Now scheduled for Spring 2011.] In order to succeed in this essential but costly human rights project, we need significant financial support.
Signatories of this statement follow below. I think that they should be held responsible for working with Atzmon, who is a notorious antisemite who has been rejected even by other British anti-Zionists like Tony Greenstein and Sue Blackwell.
Nic Abramson, Middle East Crisis Response
Elliott Adams, Past President, Veterans For Peace
Ujju Aggarwal
Laurie Arbeiter, Activist Response Team
Anna Baltzer, Human Rights Activist and Author
Russell Banks, Writer
Kahlil Bendib, Political Cartoonist
Medea Benjamin, Co-founder CODEPINK
Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies
Elaine Brower
Naomi Brussel, Activist Response Team
Allan Buchman, Founder and Artistic Director, The Culture Project
Leslie Cagan, Co-Founder United for Peace and Justice
Henry Chalfant, Film Maker
Kathleen Chalfant, New York
Cindy Corrie
Craig Corrie
Ellen Davidson, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA
Angela Y. Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz
Noor Elashi, Writer
Basem Emara, Gaza Freedom March
Kathy Engel, Poet
Hedy Epstein, Palestine Solidarity Committee, St. Louis, Missouri
Mike Ferner, National President, Veterans For Peace
Lisa Fithian, Alliance for Community Trainers
Felice Gelman, Gaza Freedom March
Jenny Heinz, Activist Response Team/Granny Peace Brigade
Jane Hirschmann, Jews Say No!
Jennifer Hobbs, New York City Attorney/Gaza Freedom March
Nubar Hovsepian, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies, Chapman University
Mary Hughes – Thompson, Free Gaza Movement
Abdeen Jabara, Past President, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Civil Rights Attorney
Tarak Kauff, Veterans for Peace
Kathy Kelly, Co-Coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Eleanore Kennedy
Michael Kennedy
Mona Khalidi
Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University
Naomi Klein, Writer
Ramzi Kysia, Free Gaza Movement
Iara Lee, Cultures of Resistance/Freedom Flotilla Survivor
Richard A. Levy, Labor Lawyer
Karen Malpede, Playwright
Helaine Meisler, Hudson Valley BDS
Gail Miller, Women of a Certain Age
Fatima Mohammadi, Attorney at Law/Freedom Flotilla Survivor
Donna Nevel, Jews Say No!
Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights
Mariam Said, New York
Najla Said, Actor/Writer
Hannah Schwarzschild, American Jews for a Just Peace
Bert Shaw
Moira Shaw
Kathy Sheetz, Free Gaza – USA/Freedom Flotilla Survivor
Ann Shirazi, Granny Peace Brigade/Women of a Certain Age
Starhawk, Alliance of Community Trainers
Eleanor Stein, Albany Law School
Michael Steven Smith, New York City Attorney/Author
Vivian Stromberg, MADRE, Executive Director
Yifat Susskind, MADRE Policy/Communications Director
Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Syracuse University
Alice Walker, Author
Naomi Wallace
Darlene Wallach,  Free Gaza Movement, Justice for Palestinians
Donna Wallach,  Free Gaza Movement, Justice for Palestinians
Sarah Wellington, Activist Response Team
Diane Wilson, Writer/Activist
Ret. Col. Ann Wright, Freedom Flotilla Survivor
Rebecca Vilkomerson, Jewish Voice for Peace
Dorothy M. Zellner, Veteran Civil Rights Activist
David Zirin, Sports Correspondent, The Nation Magazine
Adam's report:
Anti-Jewish activist Gilad Atzmon will be speaking in Oakland, CA on Tuesday evening on behalf of the organization US Boat to Gaza - West. (Read here.) The event will raise funds for American participants in a planned convoy of boats to Gaza. It will take place at the Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, recent hosts of an ersatz seder with an anti-Israel theme. (Read here.) A leftist local paper with a reputation for disproportionate and biased coverage of Israel, the Berkeley Daily Planet, is promoting the event. (The paper essentially features local news and anti-Israel editorials.)  A front page notice in the paper describes Atzmon as "worldwide-renowned [sic] jazz saxophonist par excellence (who) holds a PhD in philosophy and is a prolific writer and speaker on Israel-Palestine". 
The poster advertising Atzmon's event. Note that it's being held at a Methodist church. I would have thought they would have learned to reject anti-semitism since the Second World War, but apparently not.


  1. Tony Greenstein and Sue Blackwell are not 'anti-Zionists', they are what Atzmon calls 'crypto-Zionists'. The reason they try to stop the rest of us hearing what Atzmon has to say is because he's exposed the covert defence of Jewish racism inside the Palestine solidarity movement.

  2. I don't really feel the need to defend Sue Blackwell and Tony Greenstein - they're quite capable of defending themselves. But I don't see how you can't call them anti-Zionists. They oppose the existence of the state of Israel and believe a state of Palestine should be set up in its place. How is that *not* anti-Zionism?

    They denounce Atzmon because they don't want him to drag what you call the Palestine solidarity movement further into the swamp of Jew-hatred. I don't know anyone else who would call that "crypto-Zionism" except for people like Atzmon who are fixated on what they call "Jewish supremacism" and the like.

    See David Duke's website - he spouts the same language and he's overtly a member of the Ku Klux Klan - nice company for Atzmon, don't you think?

  3. Thanks for this Rebecca. I am struck by the awful phrase "Freedom Flotilla Survivor". What a diminution of the word "survivor", or rather "Survivor" capital-S. (I think am going to start calling myself a "High school Survivor" from now on when I sign things.)


    Rod McLaughlin, by the way, is now better known to the world as "Jay Knott" and runs Pacifica Forum, the Oregon-based Atzmonite outfit who like to host Nazi speakers at their events. See, e.g. and click on some of the links.

  4. Ah, I had wondered who he was! Thanks for the support and the info on him.