Monday, June 12, 2006

Gilad Atzmon At Marxism

I'm aware this might be old news but i was really suprised to find that onece again Gilad Atzmon will be at the SWP's Marxism event.

To be honest I thought that last year he had been invited by somebody unaware of all the issues surrounding him - namely his blatant anti-semitism - and that the conference organisers didn't feel like backing down. That he has been invited back to appear at Marxism, given all of the issues raised last year, basically suggests that some people think that his public anti-semitism is a non-issue - that it simply doesn't matter. Interestingly, the justification I came across last year - that he is simply appearing as a musician - is not going to wash this year. According to the SWP/Marxism website Gilad Atzmon and Martin Smith will 'tell the story of [John] Coltrane’s musical development and the struggle against racism in America.' They are putting Atzmon on stage to talk about racism for fucks sake!

This is a man who on his website dedicated an article to 'The J's' (ie the Jews) who in vintage style he described as "running the show running American political life, running American show business, running the ‘new Middle East’, running the Communist revolution."

Seriously if there are any SWPers in the blogosphere who might be able to explain to me why they have decided to put him on the platform I would be very interested to hear what they have to say. And yes I do know he is from a Jewish background and no I don't think that makes irrelevant his support for tradtional European anti-semitism.

In the meantime, see my review of Mr Atzmon's website here


David Broder said...

I wasn't surprised.

Last year at Marxism I leafletted in protest at his meeting (OK, maybe it's a bit Sparty to do that at another Left group's meeting) and along with my comrades was forced out of the building by SWP heavies including Martin Smith.

The next day, when in a "debate" I mentioned Atzmon, I was booed as I talked and the SWP wouldn't hear me out. When I went to sit down, a steward asked me to leave.

AN said...

It's odd isn't it, sometimes there seems to be a mondset from the SWP leadership that they will do things just becasue it will piss off the rest of the left.

And quite apart from Atzmon's anti-semitism - the man just seems mad as a badger.

AN said...

And David, yes it is a bit sparty to picket another left meeting, but i think we are all entitled to indulge ourselves now and again!

Would you beilieve that on the 15th march 2003 demo, with 2 million people oon the streets i still managed to end up immeditally behind the sparts - mind you their chants are quite ctachy, what is that one about ken Livingstone, cheermonger of imperialist adventure - priceless.

Reuben_the_communist said...

mad as a badger he certainly is.

Renegade Eye said...

I'm sure there are any number of speakers, who can eulogize Coltrane.

Go to a jazz club.

Charlie Pottins said...

I was surprised that the SWP invited Atzmon again. Basically, the guy is OK until he takes his sax out of his mouth.
One of our local SWP members, quite a loyal long-time activist, admitted recently that she had felt embarassed listening to him speaking on a previous occasion.
I used to appreciate Atzmon's music and his appearance at benefits, but last year after he sided with some Nazi Holocaust apologists and slagged off left-wing Jews I joined people leafletting Bookmarks where he was speaking. A friend who got into this ticket-only affair reported that even SWPers who had ignored our leaflets were amazed when they heard what Atzmon had to say, John Rose clashing strongly with the speaker.
As you say then the excuse for inviting him to Marxism was that he would only be providing music. But on a trip to Cambridge soon after I heard that he was also being invited there to speak by an SWP protege in Respect, who seemed quite oblivious to warnings or even amused by them.
Atzmon strikes me as a bit of a berk who is playing with ideas and rather enjoys his "bad boy" status,but is being used by others. But of course the Zionist and right-wing hacks are delighted to point to the SWP's continued infatuation with this clown in order to smear the Left as "antisemitic" and sustain their discredited tarring of Jewish anti-Zionists as "self-hating".
The SWP leadership is too arrogant to care what anyone else thinks, but it is time serious socialists in the SWP did the movement a favour and kicked their current leadership's arse, and hard.

Meaders said...

They are putting Atzmon on stage to talk about racism for fucks sake!

He was on-stage to play his sax. Martin Smith did the talking - or were you expecting to find him on bass?