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February 28, 2012

Gilad Atzmon on U.S. Tour

Gilad Atzmon, an anti-Semite whose record and activity has previously been reported on this blog here and here, is currently touring the United States to promote his new book, “The Wandering Who?” The book is an exploration of Jewish identity politics (a topic frequently used by Atzmon to promote his anti-Semitic views) and the “tribal” aspects of Jewish discourse.

Following his first tour-related appearance in the U.S., a visit to the Islamic Cultural Center in downtown Oakland last Saturday, Atzmon is scheduled to stop in seven states and the District of Columbia between now and March 16.Some of Atzmon’s appearances will take place on university campuses, including the University of La Verne in California, University of Colorado, Boulder (which is an Israeli Apartheid Weekevent) and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A fourth campus stop at Northeastern Illinois University is being sponsored by several university departments.

In numerous posts on his Twitter feed criticizing the Jewish community (and ADL) for labeling him an anti-Semite, Atzmon defends his positions and notes that he is just opposed to “Jewish supremacy.”

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February 23, 2012

Israeli Apartheid Week Slanders Israel with “Pinkwashing” Falsehoods

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) begins in cities across the United States this Sunday, including at approximately two dozen college campuses. One of the central themes of this year’s events is “pinkwashing,” a shorthand for claims that Israel tries to showcase its progressive record on LGBT issues as a way to whitewash its policies toward Palestinians.
Three universities, Yale, Boston University and Temple, will host events about “pinkwashing” and LGBT issues as part of their IAW programs. A fourth event calls on individuals to rally outside the LGBT Center in New York because the Center refused to host an IAW event last year.
Allegations of so-called Israeli pinkwashing have become more prominent in the past several years and gained mainstream attention a few months ago when The New York Times published an op-ed on the subject by CUNY professor Sarah Schulman. She argued that Israel’s acceptance of gays into the military is an “incomplete indicator of human rights” and shouldn’t “blind us” to the Palestinians’ issues.
This is a classic straw man argument: No one was asserting that Israel’s record on LGBT issues was the final say on its human rights record.
The pinkwashing allegation uncovers something deeply nefarious about the anti-Israel movement: Opposition to Israel is rarely limited to  criticism of Israel as it relates to the conflict. Instead, it often becomes an all-out attempt to slander every facet of Israel’s existence and to claim that Israel’s real and laudable achievements are just an attempt to “cover up” the darker truth. Israel’s swift responses to the recent humanitarian crises in Turkey and Haiti were similarly dismissed by anti-Israel activists as an opportunity exploited by Israel to whitewash its record.  

Even if one disagrees with some of Israel’s policies, Israel has every right to promote its legitimate accomplishments on LGBT rights, including annual pride parades, anti-discrimination laws, adoption rights and, most recently, Tel Aviv being ranked the “best gay city” in the world. Israel deserves and should be entitled to claim credit for a gay rights record that far surpasses most other countries in the world. 

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February 22, 2012

Gilad Atzmon Scheduled to Speak at Israeli Apartheid Week in Colorado

Gilad Atzmon, an anti-Semitic author, writer and musician based in London, is scheduled to make two speaking appearances as part of Israeli Apartheid Week in Colorado.
Atzmon is scheduled to speak at the University of Colorado in Boulder on March 1 during an event titled “A Musical Conversation about Israel.” The event, which will include a discussion of “Jewish Identity Politics and the Oppression of Palestine,” is being sponsored by Students 4 Peace and Justice and CU-Divest. On March 2, he is scheduled to speak at the Buntport Theater in Denver.
Past “Israeli Apartheid Week” events have been marked by extreme anti-Israel rhetoric, including accusations of Israeli racism and apartheid, and calls for boycotts and divestment actions against Israel.
For over a decade, Atzmon’s writings have employed traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes while demonizing Israel, Zionism and Jewish culture and identity. He is an outspoken and prolific promoter of classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jewish control over American foreign policy, and has written that Jews have a plan for world domination. He has trafficked in anti-Semitic canards such as the notion that Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus.

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