Gilad Atzmon

jazz artist-world music-live dates-author-thoughts-Jewish Identity-Politics-Athens & Jerusalem-The Wandering Who?

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The Green(stein)-Eyed Monster


By Devon Nola

Tony Greenstein has been having a tough time, lately. He was recently expelled from the Labour Party for misbehaving. Actually, being antisemitic is what he was accused of. It’s ironic as I see him as one of the hardest working Jews to protect Jews. It’s his top priority. Or is it? At least equally important, if not more so, is over-indulging his clear obsession with jazz artist/philosopher, Gilad Atzmon. He credits Atzmon with the formation of his blog site so as to have a platform on which to display his, in my opinion, homoerotic sweet-tooth for Atzmon.

It’s Atzmon’s alleged anti-semitism that seems to get Greenstein’s knickers in a twist, but it’s worth emphasizing it is Greenstein who got the boot from the Labour Party, not Atzmon. Frankly, I don’t think Tony deserves it, either. As I said, it is the preservation of the Jewish reputation that drives Greenstein, so much so that he believes he gets to determine what is “real” antisemitism and he’s shifty enough to wrap it in a Palestinian flag. Tony likes to play the “good Jew”, but it is Atzmon who, for at least a decade, has been brave enough to dig deep into the nuances of Jewishness and what it means to be/identify as a Jew. Atzmon isn’t interested in protecting Jewishness. He is more about liberation and seeking truth. Atzmon has a horse in this race, after all. He was born in Israel and its only natural for truth-seekers to want to understand whence they came and how it relates to the world around them. Atzmon rarely, if ever draws conclusions or offers solutions. As a philosopher, he refines the questions. For some reason, Atzmon’s questions make Greenstein nervous as a long-tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

Greenstein’s latest meltdown has him hurling accusations of holocaust denial at Atzmon . Apparently, Greenstein doesn’t want the philosopher to pose questions about or defend anyone’s right to delve into this historical event. Like many others in his tribe, he wants the primacy of Jewish suffering never to be questioned. Is it possible he knows what should be concealed?. He has a lot of rules regarding what should and shouldn’t be discussed which is rather peculiar as he fancies himself a fighter against fascism.

I watched Greenstein’s interview with George Galloway and his hypocrisy was tangible ( Galloway quoted the Jewish sage, Hillel, “that which you hate, do not do to others” to which Greenstein seems to be in full agreement with. In fact, this little profundity also graces the top of Greenstein’s Twitter page. Yet, he makes a career out of doing the opposite. His Twitter feed is one ugly tweet after another as he rabidly makes personal attacks on anyone he doesn’t like, calling them Zios (short for Zionist), anti-Semites, racists, or what appears to be the ultimate blow, an Atzmonite and then blocks them. I have a second a account which allows me to indulge a guilty pleasure of observing Tony come off the rails on a daily basis with the periodic “Free Palestine” thrown in for good measure. But none of these verbal abuses carry as much venom as those lobbed at Atzmon. See, Atzmon doesn’t follow Greenstein’s rules of (Jewish) engagement, which are to stick to the script of criticizing Israel and Israel, only. Zionism is fair game as well, but don’t dare make any connections between the Jewish state and Jewishness. That’s when he starts foaming at the mouth. It’s important to mention the full Hillel quote; “That which is hateful unto you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah, the rest is commentary. Go forth and study”. This is the big reveal, as it is my assessment Hillel’s quote was not a universal statement but rather instructions for how Jews should be treating other Jews. Who else reads the Torah? . If one lives within a cultural or religious ghetto, it is your own kind that are your neighbors. So, it seems somewhat fitting Greenstein favors this quote. However, he seems to have some difficulty staying within even the narrow parameters this quote provides. For Tony, it only applies to those he deems kosher, his fellow AZZ activists. Hillel also offers us this pearl of wisdom: “if I am not for myself, who is for me”. This isn’t a universal attitude, this is possibly the core philosophy of Judeo centricism. It seems to depict Israeli attitude toward Palestinians and African migrants. It also sheds light on the ugliness of JVP and the rest of the AZZ community, who favor going after genuine seekers of truth like Alison Weir, Richard Falk and of course, Gilad Atzmon. Sadly, Jewish voices for peace becomes Jewish voices for Jews.

It’s my belief he is envious of Atzmon, to a suffocating degree. No one really pays attention to Greenstein. Maybe he wants to be Atzmon or at least garner the accolades of Atzmon, but I don’t think this is possible. It takes some talent. He would have to leave the safety of his tribe, leave the ghetto, become an ordinary human and take a long hard look in the mirror. The evidence suggests he’s not wired to do this. As soon as the pathetic Labour kicked him out, he completely reverted to type. He became a Jewish victim, the rabbi’s son. He seems to use this line of defense every time he gets into trouble. So, instead, he will continue to devote a blog site to the man he secretly admires, lamenting over that which he cannot attain.

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