Gilad Atzmon is a jazz saxophonist who lives in London and who has a side gig disseminating the wildest sort of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. He is an ex-Israeli and a self-proclaimed "self-hater" who traffics in Holocaust denial and all sorts of grotesque, medieval anti-Jewish calumnies. Here is a small sample of his lunatic thoughts (bold text is mine):
I think that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled to start to ask the necessary questions. We should ask for some conclusive historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative that is sustained by political pressure and laws. We should strip the holocaust of its Judeo-centric exceptional status and treat it as an historical chapter that belongs to a certain time and place.Atzmon also believes that the Jews persecuted Hitler:
Sixty-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz we should reclaim our history and ask why? Why were the Jews hated? Why did European people stand up against their next door neighbours? Why are the Jews hated in the Middle East, surely they had a chance to open a new page in their troubled history? If they genuinely planned to do so, as the early Zionists claimed, why did they fail? Why did America tighten its immigration laws amid the growing danger to European Jews? We should also ask for what purpose do the holocaust denial laws serve? What is the holocaust religion there to conceal? As long as we fail to ask questions, we will be subjected to Zionists and their Neocons agents' plots. We will continue killing in the name of Jewish suffering. We will maintain our complicity in Western imperialist crimes against humanity...
...The Holocaust became the new Western religion. Unfortunately, it is the most sinister religion known to man. It is a license to kill, to flatten, no nuke, to wipe, to rape, to loot and to ethnically cleanse. It made vengeance and revenge into a Western value.
Not many people are aware that in March 1933, long before Hitler became the undisputed leader of Germany and began restricting the rights of German Jews, the American Jewish Congress announced a massive protest at Madison Square Gardens and called for an American boycott of German goods...He has also suggested that Jews specialize in the trafficking of body parts:
....Jewish texts tend to glaze over the fact that Hitler's March 28 1933, ordering a boycott against Jewish stores and goods, was an escalation in direct response to the declaration of war on Germany by the worldwide Jewish leadership.
Fagin is the ultimate plunderer, a child exploiter and usurer. Shylock is the blood-thirsty merchant. With Fagin and Shylock in mind Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum.Atzmon is quite obviously a twisted and toxic hater. His antisemitism is so blatant that activists of the so-called BDS movement (boycott, divestment and sanctions), which seeks the elimination of Israel, refuse to have anything to do with him. But Atzmon still has at least one friend among anti-Israel activists: The R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, and co-author of "The Israel Lobby," John J. Mearsheimer.
Rather unbelievably (or believably, depending on where you sit) Mearsheimer has written an endorsement of Atzmon's new book, "The Wandering Who?" Here is what Mearsheimer says about Atzmon:
Gilad Atzmon has written a fascinating and provocative book on Jewish identity in the modern world. He shows how assimilation and liberalism are making it incredibly difficult for Jews in the Diaspora to maintain a powerful sense of their 'Jewishness.' Panicked Jewish leaders, he argues, have turned to Zionism (blind loyalty to Israel) and scaremongering (the threat of another Holocaust) to keep the tribe united and distinct from the surrounding goyim. As Atzmon's own case demonstrates, this strategy is not working and is causing many Jews great anguish. The Wandering Who? Should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike.'In this new book, Atzmon suggests, among other things, that scholars should reopen the question of medieval blood libels leveled against Jews-- accusations that Jews used the blood of Christian children to make matzo, and which provoked countless massacres of Jews in many different countries.
If you recall from the fight over "The Israel Lobby," which Mearsheimer wrote with Stephen Walt, of Harvard, the authors claimed that they were simply writing a critique of American foreign policy, and of certain American citizens who, they said, "distorted" foreign policy. Many of us disagreed. Here is a bit of what David Rothkopf wrote about Mearsheimer and Walt: "W)hatever the pale intellectual merits of his hackneyed argument may be (the authors) know full well that their prominence on this issue has come not because they have had a single new insight but rather because they were willing and one can only believe inclined to play to a crowd whose 'views' were fueled by prejudice and worse. They may not be anti-Semites themselves but they made a cynical decision to cash in on anti-Semitism by offering to dress up old hatreds in the dowdy Brooks Brothers suits of the Kennedy School and the University of Chicago."
Now, Mearsheimer is endorsing the writing of a man who espouses neo-Nazi views. In other words, he's not even bothering to make believe anymore -- he's moved from a self-described critic of Israel to a corrosive critic of Jewry itself. The blogger Adam Holland, like yours truly, didn't quite believe that Mearsheimer would endorse such a crude anti-Semite, so he asked him to confirm:
I had trouble believing that a distinguished professor at one of the world's greatest universities would link himself to a hatemonger like Atzmon. So I sent Professor Mearsheimer an email quoting the blurb and asking him to verify it's accuracy. I also gave him an opportunity to amend it or add to it. Here's what he wrote back:Gliad Atzmon, by the way, is also on record saying this:
"The blurb below is the one I wrote for "The Wandering Who" and I have no reason to amend it or embellish it, as it accurately reflects my view of the book."
"I believe that from certain ideological perspective, Israel is actually far worse than Nazi Germany."Perhaps Mearsheimer has found a new co-author.
We want to hear what you think. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.