Open Letter to RCM re Gilad Atzmon
OPEN LETTER TO THE ROYAL NORTHERN COLLEGE OF MUSIC
We are writing to you in connection with the forthcoming concert this week of Gilad Azmon at the RNCM on Thursday evening 5th March.His criticisms of Zionism, Jewish identity and Judaism generally, as well as his controversial views on Holocaust denial and Jewish history have led to allegations of anti-Semitism and racism. Gilad Azmon is an Israeli who was also borne 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.
His book ‘The Wandering Who’ has been called probably the most anti-Semitic book published in recent years and it is quite probable that he will be looking to promote and sell this before and after his concert.
Co-incidentally, Thursday night the same evening of the concert, sees the Manchester launch by Sir Peter Fahey, Chief Constable of Manchester of the national campaign We stand Together, with the aim of raising awareness, promoting tolerance and positive activity across all communities. What sort of signal does this send, not only only to the people of Manchester but across the UK generally that the highly reputable RNCM will likely be an unwitting partner in allowing Azmon the platform to spout his blatantly anti-Semitic diatribe to an unsuspecting audience.
We attach here a number of links if you require independent corroboration of his track record. For your information, you might also be interested to know that only as recently as January 2015, the Bonington Theatre in Arnold near Nottingham cancelled a concert of his following letters of complaint received from local residents.
We draw to your attention the release of recent figures indicating an 80% increase in anti-Semitic activity in the UK. Assistant Chief Constable Gary Shewan who is also the national policing lead on anti-Semitism is quoted as saying, ” the recent events in Paris are a reminder to all of us here in the UK that if we tolerate people being targeted because of their race, religion or even how they look the consequences are catastrophic – at this difficult time the police in the UK are working hard to bring all communities together to keep us all safe and to achieve this we must stamp out and take action to stop hate crime and to bring an end to anti-Semitism”
We strongly urge you to cancel Atzmon’S performance this week, as your endorsement of his visit, to quote Alan Dershovitz ” is a dangerous step in legitimizing anti-Semitic rhetoric” at a time when the city and the country are doing everything to promote community cohesion. His appearance and regurgitation of age old tropes, devices and caricatures is not only inflammatory and insulting to the Jewish Community but will greatly damage the work being done to build this cohesion as well as reflecting extremely poorly on the RNCM’s great reputation.