I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Campaign Against Antisemitsm’s chairman Gideon Falter. I have made the decision to fight this crucial battle for freedom of expression even though this fight poses a real risk of bankrupting me and my family.
I choose to fight their suit because I believe that the CAA and its chairman and its use of libel laws pose a danger to freedom of speech and the future of this country as an open society. Enough is enough!
Mr. Falter has sued me for comments I made on my own website.
My comments were made in the context of expressing my opinion about the situation where, last July, The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) attested that there had been no increase in anti-Semitism in Britain, and Gideon Falter and the CAA refused to accept the CPS’s verdict. Falter and the CAA insisted that anti Semitism was on the rise. Sky news reported on the discrepancies between the findings of CPS and the CAA.
My article focused on the choice examined by Sky News between two accounts, one maintained by Falter and the CAA, an NGO that is dedicated to prosecuting antisemitism with “zero tolerance”, and the judicial approach of the CPS: a public body, subject to scrutiny and committed to impartiality.
My comments about the CAA are the basis of their lawsuit. I believe that I have the right to express my opinions on my own website: freedom of political expression is at the heart of freedom of speech. Mr. Falter claims that my criticisms of him do not amount to an opinion at all, and is seeking an order that would stop me from saying anything similar about him again, as well as paying him huge sums in libel damages and legal costs.
The CAA has contacted Jazz venues, community centres, concert halls and even overseas companies demanding that my events be cancelled. They have now escalated this battle and if they win this will ruin me financially.
I can not fund my defence alone. I am obliged to ask every peace loving human being who cares about freedom and ethics for funds to help me defend this case. Fighting this battle may cost tens of thousands of pounds. I am going to need some four figure donations to find the ludicrous amount required. But every single penny mounts up and please do give something.
If you have ever enjoyed my writing – join the fight. If you don’t agree with me yet support freedom of speech – my fight is your fight. If you support the right to point at the truth without being labeled ant-Semitic – this lawsuit is the battle ground, my fight is your fight.
I appreciate any help you can give so click here to donate or just click the donate button below
Atzmon’s album Exile was BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. Playing over 100 dates a year, he has been called “surely the hardest-gigging man in British jazz.” His albums, of which he has recorded nine to date, often explore the music of the Middle East and political themes. He has described himself as a “devoted political artist.” He supports the Palestinian right of return and the one-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
His criticisms of Zionism, Jewish identity, and Judaism, as well as his controversial views on The Holocaust and Jewish history, have led to allegations of antisemitism from both Zionists and anti-Zionists. A profile in The Guardian in 2009 which described Atzmon as “one of London’s finest saxophonists” stated: “It is Atzmon’s blunt anti-Zionism rather than the music that has given him an international profile, particularly in the Arab world, where his essays are widely read.”
His new book The Wandering Who? is now available at Amazon.com