As regular readers know, Tony Greenstein has been focused (obsessed, actually) for at least 3 years on trying to smear and defame Gilad Atzmon. Ever since Gilad criticised the “internal lobbying” of a group of Secular Jewish activists who were calculating to exclude other activists from continuing in their work, and attempting to smear them in such a way as to distance all people from them, Tony has decided that his campaigning would revolve around labelling someone who would expose the cheap shot as an “anti-Semite”, as if there was actually something “decent” about the lobbying that was being done, and if Tony and Co. are legitimated to act “as Jews” when they do actions “as Jews” that are acts of censorship and pressure, no one is supposed to condemn that, because to do so, “is anti-Semitic”, according to their logic. 3 years of ad hominem attacks, most of them based on falsification, invention, “guilt by association” and other tactics that impede upon the freedom people have to read or listen to Gilad Atzmon, all because he turns on some lights where others would prefer the darkness. It is a pressure and harassment campaign that has also extended to Gilad’s close friends or affiliates, and even some who are not, but who get lumped in there because the “damage potential” might increase. Some of his friends and affiliates simply could no longer tolerate such kind of abuse and they wrote an open letter, which they had hoped would change the way Tony operates, and make him focus on problems of the Palestinian people if he cares to, rather than on continuous and sterile attacks on Gilad and on myself, especially since these people rightly identified this kind of vilification as a major way of Zionist gatekeeping framed as something else.
The problem for Greenstein is, Gilad is very independent. It is the “other” that allows Gilad to have a space to express himself. If Tony wants to silence him, he is then going to have to bother anyone who is willing to provide Gilad with a space. Call it platform, call it stage or call it site, there are very many who appreciate the hard work Gilad does and the time and resources he dedicates to the just Palestinian cause, and rather than shrinking, the interest in Gilad’s message is in constant growth. Tony’s actions against Gilad can take the shape of pressure to either the promoter of a meeting, a venue (Brighton, Bookmarks), a political party (SWP in the UK), a solidarity organisation (PSC, Redress), a press collective (IndyMedia) and naturally, sites that publish Gilad, including this one. But, it doesn’t stop there. He sends emails to private individuals with his smears. Many of them have told me about this and have reported him for spamming and abuse of his account. In the blogs that post Tony’s diatribes, he is allowed to use sexist speech against the women (he considers this normal) as well as avoiding any real confrontation of the issues, by inventing smears that he thinks will sway the audience. (To a primarily Marxist one, he says Gilad is on the Far Right, to a solidarity one, that he exploits Palestinian culture and artists, on a primarily Jewish one, that Gilad has converted to Fundamentalist Christianity, to Peace groups, that Gilad served in the IDF and was “surely” involved in horrible acts, etc., etc.) Yet, Tony will not rest until he wins at least one against Gilad. It’s not really a simple task though… on a political level, it is nearly impossible if he doesn’t want to come off as the great censor of the West (while at the same time writing a ludicrous article to smear Gilad and my blog with the title “There are no Gatekeepers”. uh, yeah…. sure.) But actually, he doesn’t mind to be found out as a censor of pro-Palestinian blogs. He is proud of his efforts, even though they are thwarted because there is no foundation of truth to his claims.
Now, why did Tony go into high gear with suing Gilad and trying to bring this blog down and have Google remove it? It obviously coincides with the open letter by Palestinians and activists for Palestine! During the Gaza seige and Israeli attacks against Gazans, having a blog that reports on it go offline is more important than anything for Tony, because on that same blog, some of the best activists around are telling Tony they are tired of his shit and want to concentrate on what matters. It certainly isn’t that flattering to know there are 280 people who stand up to him and say they have had enough.
I hate to waste my time on the guy. I end up wasting far too much of it. Yet, this particular post is something I owe to those who signed the open letter.
Since the open letter, his “pieces” have gone from one a week to 2 or even 3. People I know have found the stuff in their inboxes because they belong to some of the same mailing lists he is on. It is as if rather than reflect on the request that people whose life revolves around the solution for Palestine, Tony has spat upon them and done the exact opposite of what they have requested, when not insulting them and stating that they are racists.
No one asked for Tony to be silenced. Many asked for him to stop the abusive ad hominem attacks for his private obsession. Many have told me that they were unsure before as to who he was, but since this event, his true colours have indeed come out. Sabbah’s blog calls him “Zionist Night Dog”, Desert Peace simply calls him “Zionist”. “If it walks like a duck….” as Tony himself has taught us.
Now, I’ve been busy with many things, and my friend who has been compiling the many comments has been busy too. But, these comments were made, knowing they would be published, and so they will be.
There were comments on most of the posts. Since the format was complicated for signers, intended to keep the list only with those who really were interested, in that they had to send an email, and also to prevent spamming and abuse, managing the comments (in many languages) has meant a lot of effort and time. I want to thank my dear friend Walid for doing that. The comments fall into two categories:
ones that are actual comments and others that simply ask to add their name to the petition. For reasons of space, today I am only including those that have a comment with them that was down in the body of the text, not including the many that had as a Title “Solidarity with Gilad and Mary” or similar titles.
In a future post, equally interesting, will be the emails by friends and supporters who had shared with me the “experience” of having my blog be pulled. They fought together with me for hours, compiling all the content they could find, writing letters, opening blogs and sites for me, making phone calls, offering love, advice and support. These are some of the most precious communications I own. The demonstration of support and the flood of offers to help economically should I be sued, was something I was totally unprepared for. The kindness and generosity of supporters of this site and friends was a thousand times more than I could ever have imagined. When one sits at the keyboard, one is “alone”, but then again, when it is time to stand united, none of my friends let me down. I have decided at the end of this section to print one of them, which puts the entire censorship affair into context.
For me, as a survivor of 10 month of Auschwitz, one thing is clear, there is a fundamental flaw in Zionism. At least in the form in which it expresses itself in political reality. It has not accepted one of the fundamental truths of the Enlightenment: the essential and fundamental equivalence of all human beings.
Therefore, due to this fundamental flaw, political Zionism in its present form will eventually perish.Unfortunately, you the Palestinians will have to mobilise a lot of somoud. So far, you have been able to show that you can do it. Don’t despair, the enlightened world is with you. Dr Hajo G. Meyer, Heiloo, the Netherlands
We at The People’s Voice support this initiative wholeheartedly. Mr. Greenstein is very wicked. He is part of the Zionist agenda.
We will post this petition today on The People’s Voice. Thank you for drawing our attention to this matter.
On behalf of Schuyler Ebbets and myself,
Ragnar B. Johannessen
I wish to add my signature to the petition supporting Gilad Atzmon and Mary Rizzo against attacks on them designed to infringe their right to free speech.
Dr Francis Clark-Lowes, founder and organiser of Invitation to Learn, member and ex-chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign and member United National Association (UK).
Habebty, what can i say to you now? Not much words to express how much i love you and respect your work. Maybe we have some differences, maybe we have a political point of view in many things, I don’t know, i wish we will have the chance to meet in person, discuss about the life, know each other better, but what i do know is that you are one of most committed person i ever met, more than many Palestinians or “peace activist” out there, that at the first difficulty hide their tale and are not ready to put in risk the comfortable sit. You are a truth Palestinian woman, yes, you don’t have Arab blood, but you fight you justice of every drop of Palestinian blood lost in our endless struggle.
I am with you and I will stand near you always
Nadia (Nadia Hasan Palestinian of Chilean nationality)
I wholeheartedly support Mary Rizzo and Gilad Atzmon’s right to continue their work. The malign harassment these two activists for human rights are being exposed to in their campaign for the liberation of Palestine from Zionism, is utterly despicable.
Susanne Scheidt, Al Awda Italia
It is the duty of every person, who cares for justice, to support persons of integrity, who stand courageously with the just struggle of the oppressed Palestinian people, who have been ethnically-cleansed from their homeland and denied their basic rights.
Ismail Zayid, Canada
I was orally requested by the following to endorse the petition in support of the Palestinian Arab cause’s friends: Gilad Atzmon and Mary Rizzo: We appreciate your support to the Palestinian cause and OUR Right of Return to our homeland Palestine:
1- Samir Daoud – Akka Palestine – residence: Beirut – Lebanon
2 – Nadia Daoud – Akka Palestine – Residence: Beirut – Lebanon
3 – Hala Kawar – Nazareth – Palestine – Residence – Beirut – Lebanon
4 – Wajih Freij – Jerusalem – Palestine – Residence: Beirut – Lebanon
5 – Lamia Kawar – Nazareth – Palestine – Residence – Beirut – Lebanon
6 – Ibrahim Kawar – Nazareth – Palestine – Residence – Beirut – Lebanon
Dear Brothers in Al-Watan, Kindly add to the petition the three following names:
1- Arab Abdel-Hadi PMWATCH, Ansar Al-Quds. LEBANONVIEW, Free Palestine and others
2 – Malak Abdel-Hadi, Palestinian living in Dubai.
3 – Shahira Mehrez, Egyptian living in Cairo, Egypt
Thanks and wish you success.
P.S. I was asked by both Malak Abdel-Hadi and Shahira Mehrez to sign for them.
Mary, the least I can do after all what you did for me is to express all my friendship and support for you and Gilad. In the day when an alleged black-list containing the names of 162 Jewish Italian professors accused of lobbying pro-Israel has been published on a Italian blog, a fact reported with great emphasis by all the main news programs and blamed by all the most important authorities who have all warned against this new “anti-Semitic wave”, I can’t help seeing how distressing is to read once again that two wonderful friends are undergoing a campaign of smears and defamations. It’s a disturbing fact, given that it’s about two persons who stand up for the poor and the defenceless. There must be something wrong if people fighting for justice and against racism are constantly ill-treated and accused while someone who dared only name the names of the supporters of the most powerful and racist country of the middle-east causes the media to speak of a renewed anti-Semitic wave, thus proving once again that the Zionists are untouchable and the supporters of Israel’s shameful policies can do and tell what they want.
Respect for Mary, Gilad and all the people who constantly stand up for justice and peace: your struggle is priceless!!
Please add my name.
Diego Traversa. Italy
I was not surprised to know that Zionists would resort to their usual ways of reaction when if they are criticized! After all that is Zionism. Adib S. Kawar, Palestinian living in Beirut, Lebanon
My personal remark: We might not always agree one with the other, sectarism sometimes might take place in our souls and brains, where our common goal, the freedom and life in dignity for all Palestinians, those having resisted ethnic cleansing and humiliation, those having resisted torture, those who live, with their families, children and grandchildren uprooted, far from home, their land, we should not allow that one of the clearest, the most convicted, the less opportunistic, Gilad Atzmon, the man who makes feel uncomfortable those who prefer to give themselves an image of angels, whilst hesitating to defend the undefendable crimes of the last colonizers of our time, the Zionists, should suffer any harm, moral and physical. I call upon Tony Greenstein and his friends to lay aside, whatever would be their difference with Gilad and his thoughts, surely fruitless difference. If Gilad is a hard-liner, yes, he is a hard-liner: against zionist racism. So what? Sowing the spirit of discord has been for more than 60 years the “fine arts” of political zionism, those opposing crimes of zionism should resist the temptation of being trapped… Who of you, my friends, dares to ask Gilad Atzmon to be perfect, to be faultless? The people of Palestine deserve better than “friendly fire”. Gilad stands up against injustice! And, you want to know a secret? Gilad hasn’t been invited for the celebration of the destruction of “old Palestine”, in the year of 1948!
Guenter Schenk, France/Germany, Aktionsbündnis für einen gerechten Frieden in Palästina
Hi, I totally support Mary Rizzo and Gilad Atzmon, they do a great and courageous work.You can add me to the list,
Gilad Atzmon and Mary Rizzo are courageous and humane people who deserve credit for all their efforts to bring peace and justice to the Palestinian people. There are always Zionists who hate and slander the ones who speak the truth but that will not stop justice from being done. More strength and love to these valiant individuals!! Tom, Canada
Remarks: It’s enough blood shedding. If any Jews-Israelis want to live in peace in Palestine, they should acknowledge the same rights to the ever-existing Palestinian people as their Israeli counterparts. Otherwise, there will be continual killing and miseries on both sides. Narrow-mindedness and bigotry will never save humans.
Dr Sadek Pharaon MD, Syria
I would like to add my name to the supporters of Mary Rizzo and Gilad Atzmon. Of course I have my disagreements with them but there can be no doubt of the very valuable contribution both have made both to disseminating information about the situation the Palestinians are in and to discussing the wider implications for everyone involved – Jews and non-Jewish Europeans included. For information about myself I refer you to my own website – http://www.peterbrooke.org.uk With relation to the specific Israel/Palestine situation I have long been committed to the ‘one state’ option for resolving the conflict. Yours
You can put my signature under your petition for Mary and Gilad.
Jean-Marie Flémal, writer and translator, WPB (Workers’ Party of Belgium), Charleroi, Belgium.
P lease add my name to the petition in solidarity with Gilad Atzmon and Mary Rizzo and Palestine!
Edna Spennato, Brazil, Nationality: South African
Long Live Palestine!
Please add my name to Gilad’s petition
Glenn Bowman, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Kent, UK
All my support
Iqbal Tamimi, Exiled Journalist Network – UKA Palestinian journalist and poet
I would like to add my voice and team up with the art the brought to us such a magnificent talented people who escaped the darkness associated with racism, a racism that fight ethnical cleansing and doesn’t respect human rights.
lina abubaker, London
We are glad to support your petition supporting the right to campaign on behalf of the Palestinians. Best wishes in your efforts. I will add an announcement of your petition to our website to give it the added attention it deserves. Sincere regards,
Brenda Heard Director Friends of Lebanon
It’s an honour to sign this petition. Stop the attacks on these honorable artists.Yours sincerely,
Einar Schlereth, Journalist
Please tell me how to add my name to the petition in support of both, you and Gilad Atzmon?
Emmanuel St John, London
I’ve known Mary most of my life, and know there is no one LESS racist than she is, and seeing the attempts to paint her with that brush are unbearable and ridiculous for anyone who is even remotely aware of her activities and character. Anyone who knows her knows that smearing her is going to involve lying, something we are all sick of. I’ve read almost everything Gilad has written and it’s always provocatory and stimulating, but driven by a great sense of ethics and justice. The attacks against them are really bizarre, especially considering the source (Tony Greenstein and his strange little band of cohorts) and the devices used. I give my complete solidarity to Mary and Gilad and to their cause, freedom for the Palestinians and then, freedom for the rest of us. Freedom for Tony Greenstein that he liberates himself from his obsessiveness about the two of them.
Simon R-Levin, UK
Please add my signature to the petition in defence of Gilad Atzmon and Mary Rizzo!
Snorre Lindquist, Architect, Sweden
Please add my name to the petition in defense of Gilad Atzmon and Mary Rizzo, currently under heavy attack for their commitment to the just cause of the Palestinian people.
Further to my earlier message, I should add that I live in the UK. Sami Joseph
Aderisco con la mia firma alla Petizione, contro il razzismo, contro la discriminazione, contro il colonialismo odioso e difendo la causa palestinese e tutti le cause giuste nel mondo.
Raja IbrahimASSOCIAZIONE AMICIZIA ITALO – PALESTINESE
I strongly support Gilad Atzmon and Mary Rizzo in their fight against zionism for Palestine
Manno Mauro, Italy
I support Mary Rizzo and Gilad Atzmon
LanceThruster, LA, CA, USA
Aderisco all’appello affinchè emerga l’ingiustizia dell’attacco che Atzmon e M. Rizzo subiscono e per l’unità della causa palestinese, che ha bisogno di una mobilitazione internazionale, il più possibile granitica e decisa.
Maria Ingrosso, Lecce Italia
Signing the petition ” To all the friends of the freedom of speech and opponents of racism”
Anne Selden Annab
I published the same (Arabic and English versions):
Sorry if I’m late, I was out of station and just came back home today.
lots of affection, Haitham
Please add my name to the Petition in support of Mary Rizzo and Gilad Atzmon:
Paola Pisi, Italy,
I posted it on our website:
Please add my signature to the list below
Nadim Mahjoub, London, http://middleeastpanorama.blogspot.com/
Hi Mary and Gilad, Please add my name as well to your list of supporters.
Best wishes, Muhammad Idrees Ahmad http://fanonite.org/ Glasgow
Please add my signature to support Gilad Atzmon and Mary Rizzo
David Nir, Israel
Clément RENAUD, St-Denis, France, association Droits devant!
merci de voir inscrire nos deux noms dans cette pétition de soutien:
-gérard roudil (assoc, enfants du monde droits de l’homme)
-veroniqueque roudil (assoc.cvpr)
‘ajoute mon nom à la pétition en faveur de Gilad Atzmon et Mary Rizzo
Adhérente à; .
1. Association France Palestine Solidarité, ( France)
2. Association des Palestiniens en France (France)
3. CAPJPO- EURO PALESTINE ( France)
Please add my name to the Petition in support of Mary Rizzo and Gilad Atzmon:
Manuela Vittorelli, Italy
Bonjour,Vous pouvez ajouter ma signature, Charles Beillard à la pétition Gilad Atzmon et Mary Rizzo
Visiter notre site: http://www.enfantsdepalestine.org/
Hello, I wish to add my name to the petition of support for the two Palestinian activists, including my friend Mary Rizzo.
Mark Roland, Eugene OR
Dear Walid,Your petition has been passed on to me and I would like to add my name. It is terrible for you to have to deal with this kind of thing. The only thing to be said about it is that I am sure people like Greenstein do more damage than good to their cause by such action. When people read their hate-filled ranting, even people who don’t understand the issues receive the impression that they are very unpleasant people and unlikely to be worth listening to. It must be very hard to deal with it on a daily basis though so you, Gilad, Mary and anyone else involved has my greatest sympathy – as well as my admiration for your courage and determination.
Please add my signature to the petition for Gilad and Mary,
Please add my name to your petition in support of Gilad and Mary. It goes without writing that I also support the resistance to Zionism and the assaults on the Palestinian people.
David Baldinger, Cartoonist, USA
Latuff, Cartoonist, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Please add me
you can use my name for Mary Rizzo and Gilad Atzmon .
Freedom ! Laurie Roy, Agent Littéraire & Cinéma, Levallois / France
Maryam Husain and Children send all support! Mary, my true friend who loves our cause with all her heart. Do not despair, for we do not despair! All our support and love to you, dear and sorely missed friend! Support to our Brother Gilad from our whole family.
Maryam, displaced Palestinian, many years in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, then in Canada, Italy and now in India. One day, back home to our beloved land.
Although I am rarely depressed, I am so now.
Here in France, Sarkozy is as bad as GWB; and in the USA, we are likely to nominate and elect another war monger. GWB, under the thumb of our so-called “ally” and “democracy,” has turned potential friends into bitter enemies. In doing so, he has seriously damaged our – and the world’s – economy.
Please sign me up:
Please add my name to the petition to help Mary and Gilad. Thank you.
Debbie Brown, Hacienda Heights, California USA
In solidarity with Gilad and Mary
Paloma Valverde, member of CEOSI, Spain.
Solidarietà con Gilad Atzmon e Mary Rizzo.
Maria Grazia Da Costa Lucca Campo Antimperialista
Thanks for the help and info Artie!
Alan ‘Masher1’ Reid. (Wake up from your Slumbers blog)
Palestine IS Coming!
Je m’unis à tous ceux qui défendent la cause palestinienne juste et souhaite l’unité de tous les palestiniens pour qu’ils puissent vivre en paix et dans la dignité,
Catherine de Crombrugghe, Charleroi, Belgium
Gardez la Force et la Foi, frères et soeurs Palestiniens…Notre coeur bat avec le votre…Que la Vie et la Lumière marchent avec ceux qui marchent pour la Paix… Resistance
Keny Arkana, Marseille – France, Collectif AASV
Please add my name to the petition
Location: Bethlehem – Palestine
Abdelfattah Abu-Srour, PhD
Director of Alrowwad Cultural and Theatre Training Center
There were many other names that came in privately to me, and I haven’t yet organised them all in one place, but this gives the idea of the messages. To see the list, visit: http://peacepalestine.blogspot.com/2008/02/petition-for-two-activists-that-you.html (it gets updated).
And, this is a message from a fellow activist when he saw the blog get “pulled”, future posts will print some others.
I was wondering what happened too, Mary. Seems quite “convenient” that your site goes down in the midst of a solid defense of both yourself and Gilad and an indictment of those seeking to defame you. Anti-anti-Zionist politics make strange bedfellows and it is not inconceivable that the Greenstein crew orchestrated it or had help (I think in the past you’ve shown they’re somewhat technically inept). I had posted some comments on the azvsas.com website and Mr. Greenstein’s argument was largely, “Nobody could disagree with me if they just read what I’ve written.” I wish my technical abilities were such that I could set things right for you. As it stands, the construction of your blog site shows you’re far more skilled than I am at these things. I hope you are able to resolve it but even if you start fresh, know that you deserve all the support you can get.