Hasbara's Smear Fell Apart Again: The Zionist Advocates At Harry's Place
25 February 2011
By Gilad Atzmon
As funny as it may sound, Harry's Place -- the
infamous Israeli propaganda website and Neocon outlet
that rushed to advocate Blair's criminal wars -- is
now desperately insisting on mounting pressure on
venues to stop me from spreading the necessary message
about Israel and its lobbies.
Harry's Place -- The Zionist mouthpiece website that
has managed to collate no less than 157 entries on
anti racist watchdog Islamophobia Watch ? -- blames me
for being a racist. It is almost amusing.
I have now managed to get my hands on the document the
Harry's Place Hasbara website is spreading about me.
The PDF document can be found here.
I do believe that no one can do a better job exposing
Zionist morbidity than Zionists themselves. With a
clear intention to mislead, the Zionist outlet puts
words in my mouth. For instance, Harry's Place
attributes the following meanings to me:
"Jews were responsible for their persecution by the
"Jews try to control the world, as predicted by the
Protocols of the Elders of Zion"
"Jews are inhuman and they are destroying the planet "
"Jews caused the Credit Crunch"
Clearly, these are neither my words nor my thoughts.
These words have never appeared in any of my texts.
In my entire body of work -- I have never
criticised Jews as a people or as a race. When I do
refer to Jews who are complicit in war crimes,
atrocities or fraud -- I always specify their names,
and I indicate their exact role within the Zionist
Jewish ideological spectrum . I never blame Jews
I do however, criticise Jewish ideology and culture,
and I contend that we are all entitled to do so.
Hence, I am left wondering: why do Zionist activists
lie about me? Why do they put words in my mouth?
Indeed, if I am as bad as they suggest I am, why don't
they just let my own words resonate? Shouldn't they
just let my true words and convictions ‘bring me
Here are my own words read by David Aarovitch, the
Israeli Hasbara author and a pro war enthusiast:
I guess that by now, they know that my own words are
there to convey the devastating truth about Jewish
nationalism, culture and ideology.
Last week I was scheduled by the Birmingham University
Palestine Society to give a talk at the Drum Art
Centre, entitled ‘Temporality within Jewish Culture'.
Twenty four hours before the event, a Zionist campaign
against me was launched with an email signed from
Harry's Place, which I add here:
From: habibi [mailto:habibi.harryblog@XXX.com]
Sent: 23 February 2011 14:07
I see The Drum will be hosting Gilad Atzmon tomorrow
The attached pdf provides a small sample of the man's
utterly reprehensible anti-Semitic views.
Why are you hosting a racist meeting?
In the last decade Zionist smear activists have earned
themselves a notorious reputation in Britain -- they
are not blindly trusted anymore -- and for a good
reason. Indeed, on reading the accusatory email, the
programmers at The Drum venue in Birmingham noticed
immediately that the Harry's Place PDF had attributed
to my words a new, and very misleading meaning.
Mukhtar Dar, the Director of Arts at the Drum,
responded to the Hasbara campaigners, and dismantled
their venomous smear. Here are just a few lines from
his email response to Harry's Place :
We have taken seriously the allegations you have made
against him (Atzmon) and after careful consideration
cannot see any reason for us not to host his concert.
The Drum is the UK's premier Black-led arts centre and
as a secular venue we respect all faiths and are
committed to social justice, equality and freedom of
expression... Growing up as a Jewish boy in Israel, he
(Atzmon) was influenced by the foreign melodies and
time signatures of Arabic music. The fusion in his
latest albums of European, American, Jewish and Arabic
styles demonstrates this mixed cultural heritage in
easily accessible, musical terms. This shows that he
is not a racist; he opposes racism in favour of the
hybrid and the post-colonial. His views on Palestine
have been outlined in forums such as The Guardian, The
Observer, the School of Oriental & African Studies,
the Cork Jazz Festival, etc – institutions which can
scarcely be described as bastions of racism.
Regarding the specific allegations of anti-Semitism,
we have looked at his website and other materials such
as online clips and newspaper articles, and taken
advice from friends of The Drum who are of Jewish
background – including Professor Joyce Cannon,
professor of Sociology at Birmingham City University,
who states that she supports the Drum's decision to go
ahead with the event as planned and does not regard
Gilad Atzmon view as being anti-Semitic. While Gilad
Atzmon is ideologically an anti-Zionist, this does not
make him anti-Semitic; and taking these views into
account, we can find no evidence of hate crimes or
other illegal incitement in his music or his writings.
Our arts programme is based on respect and recognition
of worldwide human rights and freedom of expression,
and we support people's democratic right to hold
ideological views as long as these do not infringe on
the safety and beliefs of other people.
Director of Arts"
I really think that Mr. Dar sums it up succinctly for
all of us when he states that "we are committed to
social justice, equality and freedom of expression."
And Harry's Place too, promotes itself as believing in
freedom of expression –It states boldly, at the top of
its webpage : "Liberty, if it means anything, is the
right to tell people what they don't want to hear."
Harry's Place also opposes the Boycott against Israel
on the grounds of freedom of speech.
So, if Harry's Place campaigners had a drop of
integrity in them, they should enthusiastically
support my right to express myself -- But it seems
that integrity and sophistication are not Zionist
I would suggest to the Zionist advocates at Harry's
Place that the British law offers many means to tackle
any form of racial incitement, and racism in general.
Therefore, if Harry's Place, Jewish anti Zionists, or
anyone else for that matter, should find even a single
racist idea in my writing or in my public appearances,
I recommend that they had better visit their local
police station, and issue a formal complaint against
me, for in Britain, racists and anti Semites are
locked behind bars.
If Zionists are convinced that they have a case
against me, they had better just get on with the job.
I can assure them that if they succeeded, they could
probably silence me forever.
I wish them luck -- being one of the busiest artists
in Europe, I could do with some time off.