November 16, 2006

An open letter from Jewish Socialists to Scottish Palestine Solidarity

I read recently that Scottish Palestine Solidarity is hosting Gilad Atzmon. Here's an open letter from the Jewish Socialist Group to the Scottish PSC protesting what they are doing:

Dear Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign,
The terrible situation of the Palestinians today,
especially in Gaza, demands the broadest possible
unity by those who wish to challenge oppression,
racism and human rights abuses. Those who disrupt that
unity, or make pro-Palestinian activity vulnerable to
charges of antisemitism cannot be friends of the
Palestinian people.

Against this background, the Jewish Socialists’ Group
strongly oppose Scottish PSC’s invitation to Gilad
Atzmon to speak and perform on November 22 at an event
called “Zionist control”. Apart from the SWP, which
has inexplicably invited Atzmon to its annual Marxism
events, and to a book launch at its Bookmarks shop
(which was picketed by “Jews Against Zionism and other
anti-racists), Atzmon is shunned by other progressive,
pro-Palestinian organisations. They completely reject
his statements - regurgitating world Jewish conspiracy
theories and diminishing the crimes of Nazism - which
have been widely denounced as antisemitic.

Atzmon’s outbursts have been a gift to Zionist
journalists, providing them with an opportunity to
discredit and smear those who support Palestinian
rights and justice for the Palestinian people.

If you are not familiar with the views of the person
you have invited, here are some examples from his
article "On antisemitism" December 2003 on his own
website ( and reprinted in

"We must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish
people are trying to control the world very
seriously…American Jewry makes any debate on whether
the 'Protocols of the elders of Zion' are an authentic
document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews
do try to control the world, by proxy."

“Israel's behaviour throws some light on the
persecution of Jews throughout history."

In 2005 Atzmon approvingly distributed Paul Eisen’s
essay “Holocaust Wars” which the Socialist Unity
website described as “a full-blooded exposition of
Holocaust denial material and a tribute to notorious
neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel.” Atzmon said he had only
“slight differences” with Eisen’s article.

In 2006 he wrote an article called “Beyond comparison”
for Al-Jazeerah (August 12) about Israel and Nazism:

“Nazis were indeed proper expansionists, they were
trying to take towns and land intact…unlike the Nazis
who had respect for other national movements including
Zionism, Israel has zero respect for anyone including
its next door neighbours. The Israeli behavior should
be realised as the ultimate vulgar biblical barbarism
on the verge of cannibalism.

“While Nazism was a nationalist expansionist movement
with extensive yet limited ambitions, the Jewish State
and its Zionist lobbies are trying to revive the
spirit of a global crusade in the name of a bizarre
religious war.

“It is about time to … say it all loudly... We have to
admit that Israel is the ultimate evil rather than
Nazi Germany”.

Since the early 1980s the Jewish Socialists’ Group has
worked closely with Palestinian organisations and
solidarity campaigns and more recently with Jews for
Justice for Palestinians, Just Peace UK and European
Jews for a Just Peace in the struggle against
occupation and for equality and self-determination for
Palestinians. We have challenged Jewish communal
“leaders” when they denounce opponents of Israel as
antisemitic and Jewish opponents of Zionism as

At the same time we remain vigilant about antisemitism
and other forms of racism. We agree entirely with the
Britain’s former PLO representative, Afif Safieh, who
frequently told pro-Palestinian demonstrations and
meetings that antisemitism was an enemy of the
Palestinians as well as the Jews.

As Jewish socialists and outspoken opponents of
Zionism, racism and fascism, we cannot understand how
it benefits the Palestinian struggle to invite and
promote an individual who speaks as Atzmon does,
regardless of his origins. The Palestine Solidarity
Campaign has long had a clause in its aims to oppose
antisemitism and all forms of racism. We cannot
understand why SPSC seem intent on exposing the
pro-Palestinian movement to charges of antisemitism.

We appeal to Scottish PSC to rescind the invitation
and we appeal to Palestinian organisations and
solidarity organisations to make their views on this
known to Scottish PSC.


David Rosenberg
(on behalf of the National Committee of the Jewish
Socialists’ Group)
JSG BM3725 London WC1N 3XX
I'm not a member of the JSG myself but I'd say they've hit the spot this time.


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