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Since it was founded in 2009 Zero Books has enjoyed a strong relationship with the left. It has published the work of Laurie Penny and of Richard Seymour. In return, its books have benefited from a lot of free publicity from the progressive press and the left blogosphere.
This autumn Zero books will be publishing a book on “Jewish identity” and “Jewish culture” by the anti-semitic writer Gilad Atzmon. Atzmon’s attitudes towards Jews are by now well known. He believes that the Protocols of The Elders of Zion was “prohetic”, that it “describes the political reality in which we live”. He believes that “American Jewry makes any debate on whether the ‘Protocols of the elder of Zion’ are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy”. He believes, bizarrely enough that the credit crunch was a “zionist accident”.
I would really love to get an insight into the conversations that surrounded the decision to publish this. What planet were they on when they decided Gilad Atzmon was the right man to be writing a book for them about the Jews. What’s next? Rober Kilroy discusses the Arabs?
It must be stressed that most of the left have long had the measure of this man. Richard Seymour described his views as “disgraceful, incoherent and completely at odds with what the SWP stands for”. Yet I am, unfortunately, able to comprehend how such a colossal error could have been made. I have encountered peoplel, amongst my political milieu who seem to react with cynicism to every claim of anti-Semitism, and indeed only seem to mention the word for the purposes of asserting what isn’t anti-Semitic.
I believe wholeheartedly that the left must act upon this. It would not be fair or appropriate to demand that jobbing writers, like Laurie Penny or Richard Seymour jump ship. After all moral purity cannot provide a roof over one’s head. But I do call upon on other writers or bloggers to join me in a publicity boycott. From now on I will not give any mention to any work published by Zero Books, and I hope others will do the same. Zero Books could easily regain the goodwill of anti-racists by pulling this book from their catalogue before it is published. Admittedly, this might cost them some money, but frankly that’s their own fault.
To contact Reuben email firstname.lastname@example.org