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Counterpunch's Self-Hating Jews By: Steven Plaut
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, June 21, 2005

During World War II, there were Jewish "kapos" in Nazi concentration camps who were forced by the threat of immediate death to collaborate with the Germans and performs jobs involved in the murder of other Jews.  We should not be too fast to judge them, given their dire circumstances and desperate desire to stay alive.

There are today, however, Jewish leftists who would like nothing better than to assist Jew-hating Arabs in creating a Second Jewish Holocaust, and their slavish and servile collaboration with genocidal Islamo-fascists has nothing to do with threats to their own lives.


Almost every self-hating Jew on the planet capable of banging on a keyboard is today either a columnist for the anti-American web magazine Counterpunch, run by Alexander Cockburn, or is an object of Counterpunch’s celebration.  Counterpunch runs Norman Finkelstein, whom even the Anti-Defamation League has declared a Holocaust denier.  It regularly runs the anti-Israel lecturer Neve Gordon, a deep admirer of Finkelstein who has turned out dozens of articles attacking Israel for Cockburn, as well as Israel’s Lord Haw-Haw Uri Avnery, and dozens of other anti-Israel Jews. 


Now Counterpunch has decided to celebrate Gilad Atzmon, proudly proclaimed by Cockburn to be a “CounterPuncher”.  Who is Atzmon?


Atzmon is a subliterate ex-Israeli saxophone player living in Britain, where he is active in numerous anti-Semitic organizations.  He is one of the ultras in the UK trying to organize boycotts of Israel, and is well-known for his defense of the burning down of synagogues.  He is a communist; the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) has just invited Gilad Atzmon to appear at their annual convention this July, "Marxism 2005".   He has already spoken before the pro-Castro “Trots” twice and tooted his saxophone for them.  (Wouldn’t these “Trotskyites” be surprised to hear that Trotsky’s own grandson is a militant Zionist “settler” in the West Bank today?)


Atzmon's ravings are carried on the PLO-front web site "one-state.org,” devoted to solving the problem of Israel's existence with the formation of a single Palestinian state in which Jews are delivered to the supporters of Hamas and the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Atzmon has turned out numerous anti-Israel articles for the Cockburns, and these have been run frequently on Counterpunch.  There he has endorsed Islamofascist terrorism as a way to create a "balance of power" that can deter the US and has written: "If Islamic militants could practically endanger our existence we would have to listen to them with great respect. We would then have to look for a genuine means towards reconciliation."  


Atzmon is so openly anti-Semitic that he has been denounced by the ordinary plain-vanilla anti-Zionist Leftists running around BritainMany of these have demanded that the SWP renege on its invitation to Atzmon to speak before their convocation.  A radical named Tony Greenstein has publicized demands on the forum of the so-called Just Peace UK for Atzmon not to appear at the Trotskyite cotillion.  Greenstein has publicly declared that Atzmon is an open anti-Semite, that Atzmon is associated with open anti-Semites, and a Holocaust Denier or, at the very least, an apologist for them.  In any case, the open Holocaust Deniers themselves proudly proclaim Atzmon to be one of their own.  David Irving just loves Atzmon. It is always of interest to see Alexander Cockburn and David Irving, who has actually been convicted of Holocaust denial in a court of law, sharing the same affections.  


Atzmon for his part has denounced his anti-Zionist Jewish critics on al-Jazeera.  Atzmon insists that, “every Israeli and Diaspora Zionist Jew is a potential zio-agent.”  On al-Jazeera he has also attacked British Jews in general in an article entitled "Protocols of the Elders of London", a naked affirmation of the old Czarist forgery.  Atzmon proudly declares: " Holocaust Denial is in itself a Zionist terminology and I refuse to accept it or to use it."  Atzmon has personally circulated neonazi and Holocaust Denial materials, including materials that support Ernst Zundel, who was recently deported from Canada to Germany for his Nazi activities in North America.   He is so openly anti-Semitic that he has attempted to recruit the medieval libels about Jews as Christ-killers as ammunition against them.


Atzmon has tried to fan anti-Semitism by repeating the urban legends about the supposedly all-powerful "Zionist Lobby", legends that one ordinarily has to go to neonazi web sites in order to read.  He writes: "On reflection, it must be terrifying that such a small lobby from a tiny state is so eager to push the rest of the world into endless confrontation." Among the main  "mistakes of Israelis" Atzmon has discovered for his Counterpunch readers, have been "To believe that the creation of the state of Israel was an outcome of the Holocaust;  To be convinced that the 'Jewish state' is a legitimate concept; To regard themselves as humanists:  To be sure that Israel is immortal." Atzmon certainly regards Israel as mortal and openly wants to see it destroyed.  The genocide of Jews that would accompany its destruction is just one of those unfortunate minor side effects from doing what people like Cockburn and Atzmon think is the right thing to do.


The Guardian, which no one could suspect of having Zionist sympathies, quotes Atzmon in this way: "Gilad Atzmon, a pro-Palestine advocate, gave a talk to students this month, arguing: 'I'm not going to say whether it is right or not to burn down a synagogue, I can see that it is a rational act."  That comment places Atzmon outside the circle of ordinary Jewish self-hating leftists merely seeking the destruction of Israel, and qualifies him for the title of Britain's leading kapo-wannabe.  The only legitimate lesson of Auschwitz that Atzmon can see is that Israel needs to be destroyed and conservatives delegitimized: 


"Auschwitz stands as a symbol of partnership between the European parliamentary left and the American expansionist right. For both, Auschwitz stands as an icon of threat against the image of open society, within the prospect of this fatal bond, any European genuine left is destined to be pushed to the margin. Any form of genuine left inspired by red aspirations is doomed to be presented as a subversive and radical outlook. In March 1998, Robin Cook, then the British foreign minister, paid a diplomatic visit to Israel. While there, Cook rightly refused to visit Yad Vashem (Holocuast Museum and Memorial), claiming that he was concerned with the future rather than with the past. It wasn't long before Cook lost his job. The refusal to bow to the Auschwitz tale cost Cook his job."


Cockburn just can't get enough of this crackpot and this week runs a piece by one Mary Rizzo, a moonbette who lives in Italy, who has written repeatedly in support of Atzmon,  and who once again sings the praises of Atzmon for the Counterpunch crowd.  Rizzo’s piece is devoted to defending Atzmon from the accusations against him of other Bash-Israel British Leftists who claim that he is a neonazi and is embarrassing the Left. 


This was not the first such sycophant piece in Counterpunch celebrating the would-be synagogue-burner Atzmon.  Jeffrey St. Clair, who co-authored with Alexander Cockburn a "book" devoted to the theme that it is unreasonable to call people anti-Semites simply because they want to see all the Jews murdered, has taken crayon to hand to sing Atzmon's praises as well.


Should new concentration camps for Jews ever be erected by the Islamofascists, with the help of their leftist allies, we expect to see Gilad Atzmon sitting there by the gate as the cattle cars are unloaded, playing his sax, with Alexander Cockburn dancing in the street.

Steven Plaut is a professor at the Graduate School of the Business Administration at the University of Haifa and is a columnist for the Jewish Press. A collection of his commentaries on the current events in Israel can be found on his "blog" at www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.

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