ModernityBlog

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Green Rupert And The Anti-Jewish Racist.

with 11 comments

Thanks to Greens Engage, we now find out that Rupert Read is pushing that well-known anti-Jewish racist, Gilad Atzmon.

Dr. Read was a perspective Parliamentary candidate for the Greens in Norwich North, and a rather shrewd individual, well-educated, articulate and even has a column on the Eastern Daily Press. To top it all he’s an author and academic.

Dr. Read on his Twitter account pushes a link to Atzmon’s site with the title “Britain must de-Zionise Itself Immediately” [I’ll upload a screen dump of it later on, just in case it vanishes]

Astute readers will remember the SWP’s honeymoon with Atzmon and their weak defence of him, that was some time ago and nowadays few, if any, deny Atzmon’s racism.

One example of Atzmon’s racism is how he argues that Jews fund war and revolutions, and anyone competent enough to read Far Right and neo-Nazi web sites will remember that old racist chestnut.

More recently Atzmon was portraying Israelis and Jews as ghouls and traders in body parts.

None of this should come as a surprise to Dr Read, a simple search across the Internet would reveal the racist nature of Atzmon’s views. Even Wikipedia, which apparently tries to strike a neutral balance, acknowledges there is criticism of Atzmon’s views.

Merely substituting “Zionist” for “Jew” should not fool a sophisticate such as Dr. Read, I am sure he is familiar with the usage of euphemisms in racism, he’ll find a lot of that in Atzmon’s work.

I think Dr. Read’s support for Atzmon illustrates a long standing problem, that those who spend an inordinate amount of time swimming around in the currents of “anti-Zionism” often become desensitised towards anti-Jewish racism, and when it is staring them in the face, as with Atzmon’s filth, they can’t recognise it.

I do hope that Dr. Read will admit his mistake and take a training course on basic racism: how to recognise it.

Update 1: As promised the screen dump from Dr. Read’s twitter:
Rupert Read twits link to Gilad Atzmon

Update 2: Dr. Read after making an apology on Engage and Greens Engage compounded the problem by stating “I think that the influence of ‘the Israel lobby’ in this country as in many others is nefarious. [My emphasis].

Sadly, I don’t think Dr. Read has fully understood the anti-Jewish racism embedded in the sentiment that he articulated.

Update 3: Dr. Read has updated his blog, but without a mention or a moment’s regret on this issue. I will assume that he pre-wrote that last entry on Friday and hope that he’ll deal with this issue and his notion of “nefarious” in a post shortly.

Update 4: Mira Vogel made this excellent contribution. it helps explain Dr. Read’s and others misconceptions:

“Rupert, it has already been pointed out to you several times that Atzmon conflates Jews and Zionists. So when he calls for de-Zionisation, the clear implication is de-Jewification.

“he is of course Jewish which makes it hard for him to be anti-Jewish anyway”.

He calls himself an ex-Jew, Rupert. He hates Jews.
http://www.socialistunity.com/?p=1559

Of course you can be Jewish and antisemitic. You can be gay and homophobic. You can call it the internalisation of oppression – you can call it what you like – it is not unusual. Example from a recent episode of Andrew Marr’s ‘The Making of Modern Britain’ – the way some British women joined in with attacks on the British women campaigning for the franchise.

Please do the right thing and write a further self-appraisal in which you reflect upon how antipathy against Zionism (as opposed to lucid criticism) can prejudice anti-Zionists and corner them with antisemitic thinkers. We will make sure it is the last thing people see on this post. It will of course be subject to criticism (analysis, I mean), but if it’s good it will draw a line under this episode.”

[My emphasis]

Update 5: Dr. Read has replied at Engage and Greens Engage, neither of which seems fully satisfactory to me:

Rupert Read Says:

November 21, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Look, we obviously disagree about quite a few things. E.g. Several of you seem to think that Oborne’s documentary was wrong or biassed or dangerous. I disagree; I think it was brilliant.
Parts of the Atzmon post just rehash in a provocative way the Oborne documentary. I found that interesting. The post was forwarded me by a friend who is usually a reliable source. I read it swiftly – TOO swiftly! I _wish_ I had read it more slowly, because then I would have no doubt noticed (for instance) the dodgy way he was sliding between ‘Jewish’ and ‘Zionist’, and then I wouldn’t have retweeted it, and then we would all have been saved a lot of trouble…
I obviously regret the offence and any embarrassment caused. I’ve said sorry, and I’ve learned from this.
So, while I don’t appreciate the slagging-off and name-calling that I have suffered during this unfortunate incident, which I think has been unwarranted and does not help us to mutually ‘engage’, I _do_ appreciate having been shown just how dodgy this man and much of his writing are, and having been reminded about the need for pro-active vigilance and care against genuine anti-semitism.
So, in that regard, thank you to those who have written here.”

and

Rupert Read November 21, 2009 at 7:50 pm

“To be clear: I NEVER endorsed Atzmon’s article. I read it [too quickly – I regret that!], found some of it interesting, agreeing with some of the remarks he made [which were mostly a rehash of the excellent Oborne DISPATCHERS programme exposing the extremely-worrying influence of the Zionist lobby in politics in this country], and tweeted it. THAT’S ALL. I did _not_ endorse it as a whole.
The Atzmon post was forwarded me by a friend who is usually a reliable source. I read it swiftly; I _wish_ I had read it more slowly, because then I would have no doubt noticed the dodgy way he was sliding between ‘Jewish’ and ‘Zionist’,
and then I wouldn’t have retweeted it, and then we would all have been saved a lot of trouble…
I obviously regret the offence and any embarrassment caused. …I also distinctly regret the unpleasant personal attacks on me and false descriptions of me in a couple of comments above. Please bear in mind, colleagues, that if you really do want to ENGAGE with people, you need to try not to slag them off and make potentially damaging false allegations against them…
I welcome the chance of clarifying things, and hope that we can start to draw a line under this, now… {See also my comment on Mira’s next post.)”

and

Rupert Read November 21, 2009 at 7:39 pm

“Thanks, Mira; this is useful.
Cohen is an impressive writer, and much of what he says in Chapter 3 of the book you cite is bang on the mark. I agree 100% with the particular quotation from Cohen that you have given above. Those of us who are anti-Zionists need to ensure that we are 100% serious and active in our anti-anti-semitism. Anti-semitism fuels the ‘rebound’ (among those oppressed by that anti-semitism) into Zionism. Unless we can extirpate or at least combat/reduce anti-semitism, it is fairly certain that Zionism will continue to have wide appeal. So there is a strong onus on all of us who are not Zionists to be committed anti-anti-semites.”

Update 6: Whilst Dr. Read has managed to post on the ‘Scandal’ over hacked climate-science emails at UEA: Don’t believe the hype, he hasn’t addressed in any significant way those questions put to him at Engage/Greens Engage. I don’t think Dr. Read understand the severity of this issue, and why he must quickly deal with it.

Update 7: A few days in, and still Dr. Read hasn’t commented on his blog, or comprehensively addressed many of the points raised over at Engage. All in all rather unsatisfactory. Still a couple of other Greens quickly came out, saw the issue and acknowledge the racism, which is hopeful, shame that a Green parliamentary candidate can’t go that far. I’ll try to return to this issue shortly.

Written by modernityblog

20/11/2009 at 03:16

11 Responses

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  1. Although everything you say remains valid, Reed has now apologised and removed the Tweet.

    Bob

    20/11/2009 at 18:15

  2. Well, Bob,

    He apologised then later on when on about

    “I think that the influence of ‘the Israel lobby’ in this country as in many others is nefarious. “

    which shows he hasn’t learnt anything or thought for a moment about the unconscious racism in that statement. Not a good sign, for an academic or potential MP.

    modernityblog

    20/11/2009 at 18:32

  3. I find Mr read slightly creepy. He has a real thing about ‘Israel’. His linking to the piece was crazy. The only defence is if he didn’t read it first. But he apparently did.

    Still, it will hopefully mean that he won’t publicly post anything of a similar nature in future

    This machine kills fascists

    20/11/2009 at 21:26

  4. I think I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, for the moment, and hope he sees the issue of racism a bit clearer.

    There are many questions raised at Engage on the topic, I do hope that Dr. Read makes the effort to address them, seriously.

    modernityblog

    20/11/2009 at 21:41

  5. Probably the only way Mr. Read can discover antisemitism is if he had read an article with the title “The Protocols of the Elders of Judea” (The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, on the other hand, couldn’t be called racist, since they refer to Zionists, not Jews)

    As if “Israel lobby” wasn’t another euphemism for “Jews with power”.

    Fabian from Israel

    21/11/2009 at 08:18

  6. very funny Fabian.

    modernityblog

    21/11/2009 at 18:44

  7. More for the growing file on the Norwich Greens…

    Andrew Coates

    22/11/2009 at 11:58

  8. Yeah Andrew,

    Thinking about it, I am not sure what to make of it all, maybe you should do a post on the Norwich Greens?

    modernityblog

    23/11/2009 at 12:47

  9. […] for Dr Rupert Read to comment on his blog without success, and I am not sure quite what to make of Dr Read’s recent conduct. I could, of course, be very critical, it is hard to see how anyone could read the racism […]

  10. “Anti-semitism fuels the ‘rebound’ (among those oppressed by that anti-semitism) into Zionism. Unless we can extirpate or at least combat/reduce anti-semitism, it is fairly certain that Zionism will continue to have wide appeal. So there is a strong onus on all of us who are not Zionists to be committed anti-anti-semites.”

    Antisemitism prejudices and discriminates against Jews. End of story. The struggle against antisemitism as with all forms of racism is UNCONDITIONAL. How Jews “respond” or not to antisemitism is, in this context, not his business.

    Needless to say, as Read has shown by his comments, he has absolutely no conception of what antisemitism is, so it is hardly surpsising he gets it wrong elsewhere.

    Absolute Observer

    24/11/2009 at 20:56

  11. AO,

    I think that will find out one way or the other within a year.

    In my experience if people have a chip on their shoulder about Jews they can’t resist expressing it.

    Like an insatiable itch, those with a hangup concerning Jews or even Israelis, often let it slip despite their best efforts to hide it.

    I hope that Rupert Read isn’t one of them, and that he will think about the issue, may be chat with his fellow greens at Greens Engage and debate these issues, but I’m not sure.

    modernityblog

    25/11/2009 at 03:07


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