Because there is a troll out there on Indymedia UK and socialistunity.com pretending to be someone who attended the Nottingham meeting, Indymedia UK decided they needed to post an official version of the story of what happened there and the context in which the Atzmon decision was made.
The story is quite clearly written from the pro-Atzmon perspective, and barely touches on the central point of the whole controversy, the antisemitism of Atzmon’s writings. Instead it’s all the same “there was a crypto-zionist campaign” stuff, in which view a perfectly innocent set of postings by and about Atzmon were cruelly attacked by a vicious conspiracy trying to silence him for being such a brave spokesman for etc. etc. etc. In other words, at the end of the exercise, apparently some Indymedia UK editors remain blissfully unaware what the whole exercise was even about. There are a few hints that perhaps there was something disquieting about Atzmon’s posts, but as a whole it’s so out of balance it was in essence a defense of Atzmon rather than a story about Indymedia, or especially an even-handed report on the state of the consensus.
Controversy exploded on the features list. Some said that the story was biased; others said that posting a feature was just “pouring salt in the wound” and the best thing to do is ignore it all; others expressed regret that Atzmon had ever been published in the first place. Some of these emails are pretty heated. There is also in these mails a general sense that a great deal of time and energy had been wasted over nothing productive, and that the net result of publishing Atzmon was substiantially damaging to Indymedia UK.
Then came the most comic single moment of the whole affair: Gilad Atzmon, knowing that he had been by group consensus shunted off into a special little penalty area built just for him, did what charlatans do: he declared victory and stomped off, declaring that upon consideration he no longer wanted to be posted on Indymedia. Apparently, once Indymedia stopped celebrating Atzmon as a sage political sage and stuck him into the “disputed” bin, they no longer deserved his transcendently wise words.
The grapes, said the fox, were probably sour anyway. (Although I think the moral here is really about an animal Aesop neglected: weasel is as weasel does.)
In short, Gilad Atzmon decided to punish Tony Greenstein by giving him exactly the thing Greenstein had wanted all along: an Atzmon-free Indymedia. And Atzmon has rewarded those Indymedia UK editors who fought tooth-and-nail for his right to publish on Indymedia by kicking them in the teeth.
I think Atzmon was no longer willing to have his posts hosted somewhere they wouldn’t be fawned over uncritically, and as long as his posts were being fought over so publicly it was obvious that his favorite narrative — that this was just Tony Greenstein’s vendetta and nothing more — could not hold water. There are enough places, such as Mary Rizzo’s blog, where he doesn’t have to worry about anyone actually disagreeing with his oracular wisdom that its foolish for him to post in a place where what he writes will actually be subjected to independent inquiry rather than empty, goggle-eyed adulation.
[edit:] Indymedia UK has decided not to post an article summarizing the issue. It’s well and truly over, and anti-racism has won.
Looks good that way. Should have happened months ago.