Why did the BBC give a platform to an anti-Semite? On 14 October, the BBC World Service, in a discussion on the links between music and politics, interviewed Gilad Atzmon, a studio guest described as an
acclaimed and controversial jazz saxophonist… a London-based Israeli jazz man… whose political criticism of Zionism and the Israeli state has made him many enemies.
But as is so often the case with the BBC, a piece of vital context has been omitted – Gilad Atzmon is a dye-in-the-wool anti-Semite.
And, in this case, the BBC has no excuse whatsoever for confusing criticism of Zionism or Israel with actual Jew-hatred. For Gilad Atzmon’s Holocaust denial and support for anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have been well-documented. Indeed, some of his “many enemies” include some of the most rabid anti-Israel agitators on the fringe left who have found Atzmon’s beliefs to be beyond the pale even for them.
Here are some of Atzmon’s views, which can be viewed in more detail here:
- Jews were responsible for their persecution by the Nazis
- Burning synagogues is a “rational act”
- Jews try to control the world, as predicted by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion
- Jews are inhuman and they are destroying the planet
- Jews caused the Credit Crunch
- The history of the Holocaust is questionable and is used to conceal plots by Zionists and Neocons
- Israel is worse than the Nazis
It’s one thing to broadcast Atzmon’s music. It’s quite another to give him a platform to legitimize his appalling views. In a discussion concerning the links between music and politics, surely the BBC presenter Julian Woricker could have challenged Atzmon?
(Click below to listen to the full interview.)
As one blogger at Harry’s Place put it:
What was really unpleasant about this interview, and the conversation with other guests which followed, was the apparent complete unconcern felt about Atzmon’s foul views. Woricker claimed to have read a good deal about him, but seemed unperturbed by what he had learnt; he made approving noises when Atzmon claimed that no one could say he had got his facts wrong, and expressed apparent incredulous disbelief at the thought anyone could think his guest a racist or anti-Semite.
The BBC is prepared to fete a man who has been disowned by even the most vicious anti-Zionist activists who see his anti-Semitism as discrediting the Palestinian cause.
Just how far is the BBC prepared to go to promote its institutional bias and hatred towards Israel?
Image: CC BY-SA HonestReporting.com, flickr/Richard Kaby, flickr/Ally Mauro