Complaints by a group of British residents have led to the cancellation of a jazz performance by Gilad Atzmon, an Israeli-born Jewish musician and writer known for his denunciations not only of Israel but of Jews in general, the Nottingham Post reports..
Atzmon, a saxophone player, and his band The Whistle Blowers were to perform at the Bonington Theatre in Arnold, a suburb of Nottingham, on January 15. But 13 locals signed a letter of complaint to the theater's managers, the Gedling Borough Council, calling attention to Atzmon's statements.
The council, attributing to Atzmon such published remarks as “it is always Jewish bad behaviour that brings disaster on the Jews,” and “Nuremberg was a fake tribunal, Israel deserves a real one,” stated that it "looked into the concerns raised by local residents and shared their view."
The statement continued: “Whilst recognising and valuing the importance of free speech, the council has a legal responsibility to build and maintain good community relations, including between people of different races and religions.
“The council considered that allowing Gilad Atzmon’s performance to take place at a council venue would be inconsistent with this responsibility,” the council said.
Atzmon, 51, who left Israel for England many years ago, said, “I don’t know what to make out of it. I don’t care if people oppose my writing but my music has nothing to do with it. I think it’s unfair.”
Author of the 2011 book "The Wandering Who? – A Study of Jewish Identity Politics" and an active blogger, Atzmon is a figure of controversy even among anti-Zionists, many of whom consider him a Jewish anti-Semite, while others laud him as a fearless, original voice.
The Nottingham Secular Society is to hold a protest tomorrow against the cancellation of Atzmon's show.
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