Something seedy this way comes…

March 21, 2007 at 7:20 am (voltairespriest)

So, David T’s been for a beer or two with Gilad Atzmon, has he? For those surely very few of you who don’t know, T is one of the high priests of the pro-war “left” at Harry’s Place, who spend much of their time sneering at the alleged Anti-Semitism of “stoppers”, including those (like the SWP) who platform the likes of Atzmon. Indeed, T has in the led that site’s attacks on Atzmon.  

But now… has he had a change of heart?

“Is Gilad Atzmon a racist? Not in the narrow sense of being preoccupied by genetic differences between people, certainly. He is rather, I think, a ‘cultural essentialist’: if such a term exists.”

So not an out-and-out racist then – although he is a bit peculiar, like. And he did bring along a couple of his CDs by way of a peace offering… just you all remember this, next time HP kicks off about the veiled Anti-Semitism of the left. It certainly lends an odd aroma to some of the “decents'” ranting on the subject, whether you basically agree with them or not. 

All of this, incidentally, has led to Mary “Gilad and Paul’s mate” Rizzo crowing delightedly in this poisonous article attacking Palestine activist Sue Blackwell. Blackwell’s crime in Rizzo’s eyes would seem to have been removing links to Atzmon and Deir Yassin Remembered from her website upon becoming aware of their dubious political connections. But I digress. Of T and Gilad’s meeting, Rizzo says:

“That’s a step in the right direction, but it’s certainly not an objective observation. Its criterion is a subjective one, and it’s driven by the Zionism of the person saying it. But of course, Zionists are going to think that Gilad’s a crank…So far, so good.”

How sweet…


  1. Mike said,

    So, Atzmon’s not a racist but a “cultural essentialist”?! That’s like saying Nick Griffin’s not a racist, he just hates Muslims because of their culture…

    I always knew Harry’s Place wasn’t exactly the home of sound political judgment, but this takes the biscuit.

  2. said,

    Not sure what to make of it, but here goes and I might be too charitable:

    my general impression is that David T is a very earnest liberal (with a small L) public school boy and he believes that points of view should be argued out in the “marketplace” of ideas.

    reading many of his comments it seems that he believes in freedom of speech for fascists, etc as nonsensical as that might seem to the rest of us, so he is (as a barrister) quite happy to argue with anyone over practically any subject (even if it seems a bit ridiculous or a waste of time to the rest of us)

    I got the impression that a couple of people met Atzmon together and possibly hoped to dissuade him of his racist views, which is an earnest if somewhat futile exercise, but I think they’d believe they could convince him otherwise

    I think it’s hard for many of us to understand why one would consciously meet an active antisemite and racist such as Atzmon, but then again I think David T’s (and others) division between personal and political spheres might come into it? all in all rather strange

    in perspective many SWPers is probably been drinking with Atzmon over the years too, but maybe that’s not a good argument either !

    PS: Volty, can you add the preview a comment code to the submissions page? it would improve matters and WordPress probably have some HTML that just needs tacking in for it to work

  3. Simon B said,

    I don’t see the problem myself.
    An individual meeting Atzmon to try and see what makes him tick is hardly comparable to hosting him at public political events.

  4. Will said,

    I agree with Mod for the most part. It all stems from liberalism as his guiding political ‘philosophy’.

    And his ‘clever’ holier-than-thou posh boy fetish with toleration (which he obviously takes to stupid extremes).

    Simon B: How many people you know and have friendly relations with who are out and out fascists/racists? Do you go out of your way to meet them?

    I don’t — I pick fights with any I come across. You?

    Of course, lets not forget the SWP actually give the disgusting piece of shit a platform.

  5. Simon B said,


    I don’t know anyone who has friendly relations with fascists.
    Unfortunately I know, work with and come across many racists, to one degree or another, every day. There are a lot of them about.
    I seriously doubt you pick a fight with every racist you come across; otherwise you’d do little else.
    How many people do you meet who say “I’m not a racist but…”?

    I don’t pick a fight with anyone, but then that’s just me.

    “Of course, lets not forget the SWP actually give the disgusting piece of shit a platform.”

    Exactly. That’s the key difference.

  6. Will said,

    I repeat.

    How many racists do you ‘take a drink with’?

    How many do you actively seek out for Pimms and canapes?

    Do you find any of them ‘utterly charming and a delightful drinking companion’?

  7. Simon B said,


    None, none and none.

  8. Will said,

    Pleased we got that cleared up.

    Now stop defending someone who has done 1 by way of 2 and finds that when he does 1 and 2 the outcome is 3

    Next week DT tells us all about the utterly delightful time he spent at the village summer fete with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — pass the port old chap!

  9. thecutter said,

    got that wrong… the crime of Sue Blackwell (in my eyes) was not removing links. Her “crime” was having stated for two years that he was a Nazi sympathiser, then when asked to substantiate it or go into litigation, decided that she never “really” thought that, she just thought he had bad taste in friends and politics, always following what her “Jewish Comrades” (this is how she refers to them, clearly articulating that they are “different” and in a particular category) suggest for her to do. In this case, she was asked by the lawyers to demonstrate her claims and could not do so, so therefore, she took his name off the list, published an apology, while at the same time maintaining the insinuations. It’s something like having one’s cake and eating it too.

    Her actual “misdeed” is that she attacks someone who is actually doing what she ostensibly claims to be doing; i.e., supporting the cause of the Palestinian people by using communication with the vast public. Should she really be that concerned about the Palestinians, she would not seek so earnestly to silence someone who is committed to this cause and who expends a great deal of energy in doing it.

  10. said,

    so says thecutter?

    if you provided some links to substantiate your claims (other than your own blog, which hardly counts) we might be able to read them and make an objective assessment based on the evidence, but as it is I doubt you will be able to provide any substantive evidence

    and as you seem to believe that providing a platform** for any neo-Nazi commentator or Holocaust denier (Rowan Berkley, Andrew Winkler, etc) is in some way helping the Palestinians’ cause then your judgement is decidedly suspect

    [as is evident by comments found on your blog]

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