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Jan-27-2012 15:03printcomments

Roy Bard: Glad not to be... in the PSC

Cohen's angle is that as the victim of anti-semitism, Jews should be able to decide what anti-semitism is, -and that that decision should not be challenged.

Roy Bard:

(LONDON) - Dr. Elias Akleh is a Palestinian. In 1948 and again in 1967 his family were displaced, and like millions of other Palestinians, he now finds himself living outside of his homeland. It is perhaps fortunate that he did not move to the UK and join the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, because after their AGM on Saturday, he would most likely by now be facing moves to expel him from the same campaign that seeks to liberate him.

I say this after reading his recent article The Brainwashing of the Jews, in which he makes a number of strong claims about the Judaic religion and the role it has played in shaping Jewish Identity. In exploring his theme, he draws entensively on the work of Jewish writers Nurit Peled-Elhanan and Lillian Rosengarten, and also cites Atzmon approvingly. But, it is the inclusion of the latter which I think would have necessitated the PSC Star chamber to be reconvened.

Also fortunate not to be members of the PSC are Richard Falk and Prof. Mearsheimer, both of whom not only endorsed Atzmon’s book The Wandering Who?, but went on to refuse to withdraw their endorsements when their ‘mistakes’ were pointed out to them. Tony Greenstein would surely have no compunction in denouncing them to the PSC as anti-semites.

The thought that, had they been members, the PSC might have taken action against a Palestinian and two influential figures in the Palestinian solidarity discourse because they dared to suggest that Jewish ideology is a subject that can and should be debated, is especially ironic when you consider how Ben Cohen bemoans the fact that Jewish Power has failed to damage Mearsheimer, despite even the intervention of the mighty Dersh.

The fact that a controversy did not erupt, that the endorsement of a Holocaust revisionist by a prominent professor at a major university did not lead to calls for his dismissal or resignation or even a chin-pulling symposium in the pages of the New York Times’s 'Sunday Review,' represents an important shift in the privileges that anti-Semites and their sympathizers enjoy.

Later he claims:

The truth is that the rising fixation with Jewish power in our time has unwittingly revealed Jewish emasculation instead. Jews do not control the discourse; rather, the discourse controls them.

I think Cohen, in highlighting how this is a struggle for control of the discourse, is dead right. His angle is that as the victim of anti-semitism, Jews should be able to decide what anti-semitism is, -and that that decision should not be challenged. So naturally, he is troubled that an increasing number of Jewish voices are vocally expressing dissent and insisting on opening up the discourse, because, as is clear, there cannot be an easily accepted definition of anti-semitism, when there is disagreement within the group said to be the real victims..

As a Palestinian Dr. Akleh welcomes the fact that more Jewish voices are speaking out against the ideology which with they have been ‘brainwashed’. As a Jew, Cohen wants those voices stopped, and punished.

Now, which side has been taken by the PSC?

In both Cohen and Akleh there are ideas worth considering, ideas which examine the question of anti-Semitism from opposite ends of the spectrum, and I would urge people to read them for themselves. And, if you’re worried about the PSC exec finding out you’re reading Akleh, why not do it under the bed-covers with a flashlight, in the early hours?

You should be safe…… for now.


You can now order The Wandering Who on  or

Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel in 1963 and had his musical training at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem (Composition and Jazz). As a multi-instrumentalist he plays Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxes, Clarinet and Flutes. His album Exile was the BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. He has been described by John Lewis on the Guardian as the “hardest-gigging man in British jazz".

Gilad Atzmon's essays are widely published. His novels 'Guide to the perplexed' and 'My One And Only Love' have been translated into 24 languages.

As a member of the Blockheads, Gilad has also recorded and performed with Ian Dury, Robbie Williams, Sinead O'Connor and Paul McCartney. Gilad has also recorded with Robert Wyatt, the Water Boys and many others. Learn more about Gilad by visiting his Website

End Israeli apartheid

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Richard April 7, 2013 12:51 pm (Pacific time)

Gilad Atzmon is entirely right NOT to buy this ifnantile garbage. Recuperation and damage control are some of the oldest tricks of the political trade. Here it is revamped by some apprentice perception management dilettantes. It is childish, almost embarrassingly transparent.Quote 1: The new generation wants change...most of the young people are all well educated....they see themselves as Westerners . Implying: old generation are uneducated, unfit for Freedom and Democracy, and to be Westerner instead of Arab is a sign of progress, modernity and liberation.Quote 2: they gave us a you have to proceed when you want to overthrow a regime...that book which is used by opposition movements worldwide was actually written in Boston USA (cheap Hollywood-style music change at this moment to influence the perception) is one of the intellectual centers of Democracy Activists.... non-violence is a method of warfare Undertone: The indigenous naefve and ignorant slaves are taught and given the tools...and the world is granted generously this incredible knowledge from...Boston USA...while Boston is in fact one of the most reactionary spot in the USA, and not the contrary. And then the cherry on the pie, non-violence . If this were the method employed to confront armed power-structures in the past, mankind would have never reached the social advantages of the 20th century, which are currently being stolen back by the same power structures, precisely because we the people have been hoodwinked to be disarmed and adopt non-violence . So let me get this right: non-violence is the method ordered to the oppressed who find themselves in the shooting line of a gun, while the oppressor's method is to pull the trigger. Fine revolutionaries these are.Quote 3: ...his new gadget for resistance training is a computer game that simulates the fight against the power of state ..... you gonna be kidding me, this is infantilism. Notwithstanding thousands of years of human progress through struggle and fight, only degenerated Western morons can spew such "video-game" nonsense. I guess this computer game has mobilised 4 million Egyptians to Tahrir Square who practiced it for 2 weeks before the Revolution. May be Mohamed Bouazizi was inspired by the game before igniting the Arab Revolution.

M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. January 27, 2012 5:24 pm (Pacific time)

Political "Correctness" and the Liberal affectations supporting it with regard to the issues of Palestine are, to me, despicable. Well done, as is to be expected...

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