Pro-Palestine MP George Galloway has berated the decision to cancel the concert of an anti-Zionist Jewish Israeli as comparable to a “book burning.”
Controversial Israeli artist Gilad Atzmon had a concert in Manchester cancelled, after the venue ‘bowed to ultra Zionist’ pressure, he claimed.
In an open letter to the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), North West Friends of Israel (NWFI) called for the event on Thursday 5 March to be pulled.
The letter slammed Atzmon for his ‘criticisms of Zionism, Jewish identity and Judaism’ and his ‘views on Holocaust denial and Jewish history’, claiming it has led to “allegations of anti-Semitism and racism”.
It said: “Gilad Azmon is an Israeli who was also born into the Jewish religion but has now renounced it. His public accusation of Jews dominating the world, his doubting the Holocaust and his blaming of Jews for being so hated are well documented in both his writings and his performances.” You can read the full letter HERE.
In a statement, RNCM said they had “received a significant amount of negative correspondence.”
“After careful consideration, and to ensure the safety of all involved, the RNCM decided to withdraw the concert.
“This decision was taken and actioned prior to the launch of an associated petition and in no way reflects any political view of the College.”
— Gilad Atzmon (@GiladAtzmon) March 2, 2015
Atzmon posted on his website: “If the RNCM is committed to keeping Britain a free country, let music and speech flow freely. We call upon the RNCM to immediately reschedule Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble’s concert.”
A counter petition was started to reinstate the concert, and Gilad Atmon’s statement asks the RNCM “to not set a precedence in succumbing to pressure and bullying from external forces.”