Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel in 1963 and was trained in musical composition and jazz at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem. Having served in the Israeli army, Atzmon left Israel in 1994 for Britain due to his support for the Palestinian cause. In London, he became a successful jazz musician and producer, winning the BBC “jazz album of the year” award in 2003. He often performs under the alias Artie Fisher and calls jazz “my jihad.” He is the author of two novels, Guide to the Perplexed (2002) and My One and Only Love (2004), and numerous articles published in a host of radical magazines and blog spots, including the Guardian, Counterpunch, Uprooted Palestinians, Middle-East Online, Palestine Chronicle, Redress, Rebellion, and The Daily Telegraph.
Raised in a Jewish family, Atzmon is an activist for the Palestinian cause and has been involved in organizing boycotts of Israel in Britain. He supports Israel’s destruction, is well-known for defending the burning down of synagogues, and disseminates anti-Semitic propaganda on his website. Of his many vilifications of Israel, he routinely compares Israel to Nazi Germany. He contends that Israel has developed “a total ethical blindness, far more prominent than the Nazis because the Nazis schlept their victims far away; in Israel it’s just across the road.” Atzmon views Israel, moreover, as the main perpetrator of injustice in the world and uses the nineteenth-century forgery the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion to argue that Jews and Israel have historically manipulated world superpowers (“British Empire, French hegemony, and America”) to serve their own destructive ends: “In the first Zionist congress, in Basel (1897), Herzl, the first and most famous Jewish Zionist, illustrated this method” wherein Jews would infiltrate the “larger colonial agenda of any of the greater colonial superpowers.”
Atzmon’s notion of Zionist infiltration goes back much further than the nineteenth century. He sees Zionism at the very heart of the Enlightenment itself. Jews, he explains, have not just given “banking” to Western culture; they “were the most successful in exploiting Enlightenment and modern conditions.” For this reason, Atzmon derides Enlightenment thought for its “anthropocentrism” that “omits wisdom” and enforces the “self-loving religion” of individualism. “This explains why the people who excel more than anybody else in this [Jewish] religion are the professional self-lovers.” In this context, Atzmon believes that Islam is “the most serious opponent of Enlightenment.” Whereas Muslims have maintained their original religious roots, the individual arising from the Enlightenment is “the most unethical individual around” because he lacks “theology.”
Atzmon is thus quite vocal about his support for Hamas and other terrorist groups, calling them the “Islamic resistance.” He states that there is no such thing as Islamism or political Islam; these terms were invented by “Jews, Neoconservatives, Marxists and Liberals because they are the sons and the daughters of Enlightenment, of the self-loving. Now as long we succumb to this self-loving concept we will be an easy target of Judification” or “Jewish supremacy.” Atzmon believes Islamic terrorism can engender “a balance of power” that would ultimately lead to greater international cooperation: “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.”