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Gilad Atzmon at the Frontline Club
Last uploaded : Wednesday 17th Oct 2012 at 17:46
Contributed by : Carol Gould


The film 'Gilad -- and all that Jazz' begins with a scene of devastation in what one assumes is a Palestinian village. Nowadays I tend to pay attention to images of appalling devastation and barbaric murder of children in places like Syria, where not one morsel of Israeli ordinance has fallen.

The film goes on to chronicle the life of Gilad Atzmon, his time in the Israeli army and his conversion to 'anti-Jewish-chosenness' after witnessing atrocities in the Lebanese civil war. He does not regard himself as anti-Zionist or anti-Semitic but makes bizarre comments about Jews manifesting their chosenness over 2,000 years in the diaspora. Excuse me? Hello? The Jews have suffered torment and persecution from the earliest days of Christianity; they were accused of Blood Libels, burned in Norwich and York, expelled from Britain, murdered in the Chmielnicki Massacres, expelled in the Spanish Inquisition, slaughtered in Eastern Europe culminating in the eighteenth century Kiev and Kishinev pogroms described to me by my late sunts and uncles and then nearly wiped off the planet by the Nazis and their European sympathisers.

How Atzmon can accuse Jews of parading around the world with an inflated senss of 'chosenness' is troubling. One could turn his accusation on its head and point out that TIME magazine chose Jewish Albert Einstein as Man of the Century and the London TIMES chose Jewish Arthur Miller as Playwright of the Century -- they did not set out to be 'chosen.'

After Monday night's screening of ‘Gilad-and all that Jazz’ at the Frontline Club the female producer, Golriz Kolahi, told the audience that the ‘Zionist Federation had called the Club and asked that they pull the film.’ I shouted ‘That is a lie! The ZF would never interfere with freedom to show something, that’s what Israel and Jews are all about’ because I just knew she was trying to put the cat amongst the pigeons. Sure enough one of the directors of the Frontline said from the back of the room ‘I just want the audience to know that is not correct – the ZF phoned to find out why were showing this, that’s all. They did not ask us to pull the event.’

The film has a scurrilous scene where we are shown sick Palestinian children, then Israeli soldiers, and then Nazi SS men marching. This allegory is a calumny. I protested this from the audience.

Atzmon made a disturbing joke: that his book was selling almost as well as The Diary of Anne Frank and that everyone in Israel has a relative who was in a camp but his mother was not, so maybe he should re-open a concentration camp so she could say she had been in one. This drew masses of laughter from the audience -- even more disturbing than his jaded humour. It was a deplorable film, he is a man promulgating dangerous views to vulnerable young audiences and the whole evening was sick-making.

I have discussed the film with the ZF and they have shown me the letter they sent to the Frontline which in no way asks them to pull the film.


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