Jazz saxophonist Gilad Atzmon has a blog where he denounces the policy of his country of origin, Israel. He is not afraid to bluntly tell what he regards to be the truth. He is impervious to the concept of self-censorship. He tells here how little respect he has for the Western press. (*)
Silvia Cattori: Your political analyses, translated into dozen languages , reach a wide readership on the web. For whom exactly do you write?
Gilad Atzmon: I write mainly to myself. I try to understand the world around me. A few years ago, I understood that a lot of people out there are interested in the thoughts I indulge myself with, so I started to let other people have access into my boiling destructive mind.
Silvia Cattori: At a time when the press has reached its lowest point ever, are you among those who still continue to read newspapers?
Gilad Atzmon: No, for many years I do not buy newspapers, because I am interested in Middle East, and the mainstream media has very little to offer on that front. Probably the only expert within the British or even English-speaking media press is Robert Fisk. If I want to know what happens in the Middle East I go to “Counterpunch”, “Information Clearing House”, “Veterans Today”, “Rense.com”, “Uprooted Palestinian”, “PalestineTelegraph”, “Palestine Chronicle”, “Dissident Voice”, “Uruknet”, and other great sites. Our websites and blogs are far more informative than the mainstream media. We are the experts. We are becoming the main source of information. I see how many people are coming to visit my site. If there is a crisis in Gaza for instance, they want to see what Gordon Duff, Ramzy Baroud, Alan Hart, Israel Shamir, Alex Cockburn, Ali Abunimah have to say about it. I have zero respect for the mainstream media. And if the mainstream media wishes to survive, it had better move on quickly, otherwise it is finished.
Silvia Cattori: Doesn’t the disinformation regarding Israel relate to the fact that honest journalists are themselves subject to Israeli propaganda ?
Gilad Atzmon: As for Great Britain, it is far from being a secret that the biggest supporters of Blair’s criminal war against Iraq were journalists David Aaronovitch and Nick Cohen, both who also write for the notorious Zionist Jewish Chronicle. I guess that these people are now exposed. As I mention often enough “The Tide Has Changed“.
Silvia Cattori: We see the same mechanisms of censorship and information control at work in the new alternative media. Anyone whose views are likely to jostle the agenda of the online donors is censored. Don’t you think that’s sad?
Gilad Atzmon: I guess that it is normal. You have to remember that every discourse is, in practice, a set of boundaries. This may explain why the artist is far more effective than the Marxist agitator or even the academic. While the Marxist or the academic are there to maintain the boundaries, the artist is there to present an alternative reality. My choice is obviously clear, I am an artist.
Silvia Cattori: In your opinion, is the Israeli press freer than our own press?
Gilad Atzmon: Interestingly enough, the Israeli press is not free but it is still more open than the Western media. In spite of the censorship, it is open to discussions about Jewish questions and more critical about the Israeli State than the Guardian, the New York Times or even the Socialist Worker. By the way, even the UK Zionist Jewish Chronicle (JC) is more open than the Guardian. I was in the JC where I read a report of David Miliband relentless attempts to amends the British universal Jurisdiction laws.
Silvia Cattori: Despite the harshness of your criticism against Israel, the Israeli daily Haaretz  or the Arte channel have not censored you. Is it the accomplished jazz musician or the Israeli opponent that appeals the interest of the Medias? Is it the sign that something has changed?
Gilad Atzmon: Both I guess. I am interesting for them in different ways. I offer them an opportunity to say what they think exactly where they lack the courage to say it themselves. However, the title of my new album is “The Tide Has Changed“ . Something is changing and it is big, very very big actually. I can see that more people happen to admit that my writings are becoming influential. In Great Britain I can say that I am pretty famous within certain circles. When I tour around the world I give very many interviews and talks. I also have a few enemies who try to silence me and struggle to cancel my talks and concerts. As it happens, they have failed all along. I am still kicking and i do not have any plan to stop.
(*) Published in a slightly shortened version in the Swiss magazine EDITO.
 The album “The tide as changed“, Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble, 2011 (World Village)