I was interested an amused to read the transcript of therecent interview Mary Rizzo carried out with Gilad Atzmon (“anti-zionist” jazz saxophonist, “political artist” and “trained continental philosopher”) I knew he fell out with the PSC and SWP because they found him too anti-Jewish, but didn’t realise he had cooled about the Israel boycott:
“to impose a boycott is to employ a boycotter. When it comes to an academic boycott I would expect the inquisitor in charge to be a scholar of great esteem. This isn’t the case obviously. The reason is simple. As it naturally happens, major intellectuals are engaged in scholarship rather than in union politics, working class and proletarian activity. Seemingly, it isn’t the leading minds in British academic life and ethical thinking who are leading the boycott.”
Unionists not leading minds? That is so elitist – to think he was invited to play jazz at Marxism 2007. To be fair though, that’s not the only reason. He is also a defender of academic freedom.
On the subject of ideological and political divisions amongst Palestinians, he was asked who he supported:
“…my moral duty is clear to me. I just support the Palestinian people and their different choices even if those are contradicting. Rather than trying to fit the Palestinian struggle into a decaying 19th century working class philosophy or any other ideology, I fit myself to their call. I do regard Palestine and the Palestinians as the avant garde and the forefront of the battle against modern evil.”
Best laugh I’ve had all day – fence-sitting and underdoggism all rolled up in one clown. I might even set up an alert to see how he copes with the impossible.