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Engaging Gilad Atzmon: The Video
Israeli-born Gilad Atzmon, one of Europe’s finest jazz musicians, was in Washington, DC in mid-March for the first time at the end of a multi-city North American grassroots tour to discuss his recently published and highly controversial book, The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics.
As Atzmon was speaking on the East Coast at the end of his tour, Israel ended several months of calm in Gaza by assassinating Zuhair al-Qaisi, head of the Popular Resistance Committee, on March 9. The Israeli assassination provoked rocket attacks from Gaza militants. Subsequent Israeli air strikes on Gaza killed 27 Palestinians, including two children, and destroyed 32 homes, a school, a playground and an office of the Red Crescent. Two days after a March 12 truce was declared Israeli missiles struck again….
Regrettably, instead of uniting to criticize Israel for launching its lethal attacks on Gaza, 23 respected Palestinian writers and activists used their talents and energy to gather signatures on a statement calling for “The Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon,” published on March 13.
Atzmon wrote a response the following day—the very day the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, sponsored a hard-hitting interview with Atzmon by Prof. Norton Mezvinsky, Connecticut State University Professor of History Emeritus, in Washington, DC. Many activists told friends on our staff they were afraid to come to the discussion after reading the anti-Atzmon statement by the Palestinian activists.
We hope you’ll watch the video of Atzmon addressing the charges frequently levied against him in his March 14 interview with Prof. Mezvinsky. Decide for yourself—should Atzmon continue his frank discussion of Jewish identity, or should his voice be silenced?
Large numbers of activists have already made up their minds, and have written letters and articles in support of Atzmon. In fact, people who had never heard of him have now flocked to Atzmon’s Web site, www.gilad.co.uk, to discover for themselves what he has to say.
The video of the entire event is now posted, in four segments, on the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,’s Web site.