spiritof76 (spiritof1976) wrote in swp_watch,

SWP defends Atzmon

More on the ongoing saga of the SWP's decision to invite the notoriously antisemitic musician Gilad Atzmon to next month's Marxism 2005 convention. Much of the left is up in arms about this, and his appearance is expected to attract protests.

The SWP have issued a statement defending Atzmon

There has been some controversy surrounding our invitation for the musician Gilad Atzmon to perform at Marxism 2005. One or two small groups are claiming that Gilad is an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier. We would like to state the following:

Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli born Jew who served in the Israeli Defence Force and who now lives in “self-exile” in Britain.
He is an internationally acclaimed jazz musician whose album Exile won BBC Best Jazz Album of 2003.

Unfortunately, he's also a man who posts rampantly antisemitic statements on his own website, in which he compares US foreign policy with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, announcing, " Now, it looks as if Zionist lobbies control American foreign politics. After so many years of independence, the United States of America is becoming a remote colony of an apparently far greater state, the Jewish state." Elsewhere, he's said that, "I'm not going to say whether it is right or not to burn down a synagogue, I can see that it is a rational act."

The SWP do have an answer in response to all this, which is:

However, while defending Gilad’s right to play and speak on public platforms that in no way means we endorse all of Gilad’s views. We think that some of the formulations on his website might encourage his readers to feel that he is blurring the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti Zionism. In fact we have publicly challenged and argued against those of his ideas we disagree with.

Okay, so you've disagreed with him and criticised him on his views. So therefore there's absolutely nothing sinister about inviting a man who declares US foreign policy to be secretly controlled by Zionists, and who thinks burning down a synagogue is a "rational act" to perform at an event entitled "an evening celebrating Palestinian resistance."

Nope, nothing sinister at all.

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