By Gilad Atzmon
Jewdas calls itself a source of “Radical Voices for the alternative (Jewish) diaspora.” But If Jewdas is the ‘alternative’ then we really prefer the original.
Collaborating with the Campaign Against Antisemitsm’s (CAA) war against British jazz, Jewdas also decided that me playing Jazz is simply unacceptable. They are determined to stop me.
Two days ago at the Vortex Jazz Club in London, a bunch of skullcap boys joined by three Antifa members appeared 50 minutes ahead of my gig with leaflets that were blatantly duplicitous from top to bottom. Jewdas protestors urged my audience not to attend my gig. They obviously failed in their mission. The gig was sold out.
Interestingly enough, the leaflet offered one single ‘quote’ from my book 'The Wandering Who.’ The quote read: "Some brave people will say that Hitler was right after all.”
Far from being surprising, this line doesn’t exist in The Wandering Who. Jewdas consciously lied in an attempt to defame me by misrepresenting my thoughts. The line that does appear in The Wandering Who suggests the complete opposite meaning.
"We, for instance, can envisage an horrific situation in which an Israeli so-called ‘pre-emptive’ nuclear attack on Iran escalates into a disastrous nuclear war, in which tens of millions of people perish. I guess that amongst the survivors of such a nightmare scenario, some may be bold enough to argue that ‘Hitler might have been right after all.’
The above is obviously a fictional scenario, and by no means a wishful one, yet such a vision of a ‘possible’ horrific development should restrain Israeli or Zionist aggression towards Iran.” (The Wandering Who, pg 179)
In The Wandering Who I call for an introspective understanding of history that would deter Israel and its lobbies from pushing us into more wars.
The fact that Jewdas consciously lied provokes the necessary question. If I am as bad as Jewdas and the CAA insist, why do they see the need to doctor my words and even manufacture my statements? Surely, if I am anti-Semitic and Nazi supporting as Jewdas believes, it should have by now found a genuine statement by me that can support such a claim.
I ask myself whether Jewdas’ leaders reckon that young Jews in skullcaps standing in the street, intimidating a jazz club, distributing lies about an international musician, harassing bandmates and audiences reflects greatly on the Jewish community. I will save Jewdas the trouble of using their brains. NO is the obvious answer. The jazz community: musicians, audience, clubs are all disgusted by this anti Atzmon campaign.
In the Jewdas flyer I am accused of Holocaust denial. My followers as well as my detractors know very well that I am playing and teaching in Germany regularly. In fact next week I am leading a workshop in south Germany. Holocaust deniers are not welcome in Germany. If Jewdas or the CAA possess the evidence of me being a holocaust denier they better get me arrested or at least questioned in Germany. My position on the holocaust is established worldwide. I am against the holocaust or any other event in the past being treated as a religion or a dogma. I insist that if history is the attempt to narrate the past as we move along, then re-visting and revising the past is the true and only meaning of historical thinking! The holocaust like all other events must be subject to revision, so spoiled kids like Jewdas can review their own book burning actions within the appropriate context. I also contend that if the Holocaust is a religion, I persist upon being an atheist.
Jewdas must be completely detached from British society and the reality around them. In the flyer they accuse me of spreading Nazi propaganda and ideology in my concerts. Does this bunch of Jewish youngsters really believe that such a scenario is even conceivable in Britain or anywhere else? The question here is how such a ludicrous idea came into their undeveloped minds. The answer, interestingly enough, is available in The Wandering Who and Being in Time, the books Jewdas are pretty much desperate to burn. What we see here is Pre-TSD (Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder). Within the context of Jewish Identity politics, being tormented by a delusional event is pretty common and even epidemic. Israel is terrified by a nuclear Iran and Jewdas is terrified by the possibility of Gilad Atzmon’s gigs being neo-nazi beer cellar gatherings. What we are dealing with here is an obvious case of projection. The Jewdases attribute their own problematic symptoms of hatred and vindictiveness to me.
Jewdas claims to be an alternative Jewish diaspora group, they claim to support Palestine and multi-culturalism. But the Palestinians were with me inside the vortex. Two of the most prolific leaders of the Palestinian solidarity movement worldwide (Jafar Ramini and Greta Berlin) were sitting in front of me at the vortex. We had Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians and Iranians. How do I know? They bought my books and CDs and I signed them. The Vortex was packed with people of all ages, from every corner on this planet. On stage we had an NYC Jewish guitarist, and ex Israeli bass player, an Italian drummer and myself. If Jewdas are interested in an alternative diaspora, they better come to my concerts and learn how to intermingle with real diversity and real people. If Jewdas are interested in an alternative diaspora, they should consider not to identify politically and culturally with a race. Because to my ears, Jewish Voice for Peace and Alternative Jewish Diaspora sound as bad as Aryan voice for Peace or Alternative Aryan Diaspora. In short, people who identify politically as a race are not the ones to teach us about tolerance.
The Vortex jazz club offered to host a discussion between my Jewish detractors and myself. I welcomed the idea, I sent an invitation to Jewdas, I am yet to hear back.
I should mention that if the campaign against my music was designed to ruin me financially, it may achieve the opposite. My book sales tripled in the last week or so. I guess I shouldn’t complain yet.
Learn more on Jewdas: http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2016/2/2/jewdas-a-glimpse-into-jewish-left-duplicity