The Features Collective have failed to apply this criteria to a clearly anti-Semitic article by Gilad Atzmon.
On 22nd October, in response to an e-mail from Moshe Machover, a founder of the anti-Zionist Israeli group Matzpen, alerting myself and others to this article ‘Saying NO to the Hunters of Goliath’ http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/08/378213.html?c=on#c183225 ,.
I sent an e-mail to Indymedia at email@example.com asking them to take the said posting down. I received no response and so posted a reminder 6 days later.
I eventually received a response from ‘Ana’ informing me that ‘the features collective is currently discussing and trying to make a decision on this, hence the delay in answering. Thanks for your understanding.
Ana, one of imc.’
On November 3rd I was pointed to an article on the anti-Semitic 'Peace Palestine' site where an article by Atzmon, entitled, ‘Censorship and "Hiding" Texts: Big and Little Gatekeepers of the World UNITE!’ http://peacepalestine.blogspot.com/ was published, detailing the fact that the features collective had passed my request to Atzmon and asked for his comments. Presumably the Indymedia collective were unable to decide what is and is not racist without asking the racist in question.
If anyone has any doubts about whether or not the article is anti-Semitic, then the following extracts should convince them:
‘Within the Judaic worldview, history and ethics are often reduced into a banal single binary opposition principle…. the Jewish state and the sons of Israel are at least as unpopular in the Middle East as their grandparents were in Europe just six decades ago’.
What is the ‘Judaic’ world view? Do all Jews hold the same view? If so this is nothing other than another version of the world Jewish conspiracy that some of us thought had disappeared.
The Holocaust was therefore not the result of the rise of fascism in Germany, the portrayal of Jews as the personifiers of German capitalism, but on account of their ‘unpopularity’. A better example of blaming the victim would be harder to imagine. It is little more than a justification for the Holocaust.
Maybe gypsies and gays should ask themselves why they too are so 'unpopular'?
I sent a blunt e-mail to the said Ana protesting at the duplicity of herself and the features collective who still haven’t, to date done anything. She replied saying that she was going to do nothing more, though to date neither she nor the collective had done anything anyway.
The following comments from Atzmon have been posted on Indymedia below the article, courtesy of his ‘friend’ Knuckles (who is in fact Atzmon):
‘For my readers and myself, it is absolutely clear that every form of Jewish secular politics (no matter where they find themselves located, Left, Right or Centre) is based on racial orientation….
I am suggesting that the only way to internalise the meaning of the Jewish Holocaust is to teach Jews how to start looking in the mirror, to teach Jews to ask themselves why conflicts with others happen to them time after time. Rather than blaming the Goyim, the Germans, the Muslims, the Arabs, it is about time the Jewish subject learns to ask the 6 million $ question: "why do they pick on me?"
… However, maybe Greenstein can tell us whether or not Jews were involved with Bolshevism....or was it just a Nazi fantasy?….
knuckles: How exactly, Tony? By suggesting that Jews look into their endless tale of destruction and try to understand what is it about them that doesn't agree with the world?
…. Atzmon: …the Jewish state and the sons of Israel are at least as unpopular in the Middle East as their racial brothers Tony Greastein, Mark Elf and Roland Rance were unpopular in the PSC AGM just a few months ago.'
In most 'Knuckes' contributions like the above Atzmon purports to suggest that he is not Atzmon. However in a post at 00.04 of 23.10.07. he forgets his alias and both writes in the first person and signs off as Atzmon:
In June 2005 Jews Against Zionism, and members of the Jewish Socialists Group, picketed a meeting that the SWP held, at which Atzmon spoke. We did it because Atzmon’s writings are clearly anti-Semitic. A sample of his virulent anti-Semitism was the following, which is on his own site:
American Jewry makes any debate on whether the 'Protocols of the elder of Zion' are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy. So far they are doing pretty well for themselves at least. Whether the Americans enjoy the deterioration of their state's affairs will no doubt be revealed soon.
I can only assume that the Indymedia Features Collective cannot form a judgment as to whether a statement asserting that it is ‘irrelevant’ whether the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are genuine is anti-Semitic. The Times managed to make up its mind in 1921. Mein Kampf had no doubt as to their provenance. But according to Atzmon, since what the Protocols say is true, what does it matter if they are a forgery?
Your article of last night has been hidden, as it is essentially a complaint
about moderation, and our editorial guidelines
( http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/static/editorial.html) (which I note you quote)
"Concerns about editorial guidelines or queries about moderation are dealt with
on the imc-uk-features list. These issues are not dealt with through the
newswire, and newswire posts on these topics will be hidden."
In your email to contact, you stated:
"On most occasions accusations of anti-Semitism, especially by Zionists against
those supporting the Palestinians are a form of defamation."
ie you advised that claims of anti-semitism are not to be taken at face value,
as the term is often misused in order to defame critics - especially those who
You then go on to say:
"In this case they are unfortunately true."
ie you claim that we can trust you to have got it right.
However, there is a glaring error in your email:
"In most 'Knuckes' contributions like the above Atzmon purports to suggest that
he is not Atzmon. However in a post at 00.04 of 23.10.07. he forgets his alias
and both writes in the first person and signs off as Atzmon:"
Yet, the comment is clearly entitled:
"Gilad Atzmon - an open comment to JSF"
and the opening lines are:
"Gilad Atzmon’s open comment to JSF
If you click on the link, it takes you to the exact same text that appears
underneath, and it is signed:
So, rather than 'knuckles' forgetting his alias, it appears to be knuckles
posting the text from Peace Palestine.
In other words, it would appear that you are capable of making mistakes, or
getting the wrong end of the stick, so to speak. At best your evidence is
extremely circumstantial, and disputable.
Now, you have DEMANDED that Indymedia do what you say - which is, in any case
not even our usual practice, ie to delete the post from our server, so that it
would be unreadable to anyone, as would the comments.
However, in the full awareness that there is a high level of antagonism between
you and Gilad, that this has been going for several years and that you have
several times attempted to have him banned from places, I think that it would
be a bad move on our part to automatically take your side on this matter. It is
better in the long run, for all of us, if the kneejerk response to calls of
anti-semitism is relaced with an informed decision.
So, contrary to your claim that the collective has done nothing about your
demand, there has been a debate about the issues that you have raised.
You can read the archived discussion at:
You have already used the comments section to make your objections to the
article known, and the list is an open one.
You offer up 2 partial quotes from the article:
The first is this:
"‘Within the Judaic worldview, history and ethics are often reduced into a
banal single binary opposition principle…"
What you don't quote is the qualification:
"But let’s face it, it isn’t just the Israelis who personalise
conflicts. Thanks to the Neocons and their tremendous current influence within
the Anglo-American political realm, we are all subject to some
oversimplification and personalisation of almost every Western conflict"
In other words, it is all of us who are subject to this behaviour.
The second is this:
"the Jewish state and the sons of Israel are at least as unpopular in the Middle
East as their grandparents were in Europe just six decades ago’."
which you assert means that Atzmon blames the Jews for the Holocaust.
However, if it is true that there was rampant anti-semitism in Europe 6 decades
ago, then there is some truth in the claim that Jews were unpopular - to say
that someone is a victim of racism does not automatically imply that it is
It does appear that there are other ways of reading the text, and I have doubts
about how objective a participant in a long running and mean-spirited dispute
can be about their foes words.
That is why it is not as simple as you would like to it to be. We cannot just
take it as gospel that you are correct and the article is anti-semitic. It is
your interpretation, and there are reasons to be cautious about it.
We are still looking for consensus as how we should deal with claims of
anti-semitism as a collective, and to be honest with you, it isn't going to be
a quick process.
BTW, It doesn't help if you think you have the right to be rude to Indy
volunteers, and it was out of order to single out someone, who tried to assist
you, for attack in an article on the newswire.
If you wish to make a response to the collective, the right place to do it is
through this list. However, it would be good if you could try and be civil in
your posts, as incivility just tends to cloud issues.