Talk:Gilad Atzmon

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 Definition (June 9, 1963- ) A jazz musician and composer, writer and Palestinian solidarity activist based in London, who grew up in Israel, and regards himself as a Hebrew-speaking Palestinian. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories Music, Politics and Literature [Categories OK]
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I am here to help author this article. Although I am a constable, I am working on this article only in an author capacity. Any constabulatory issues will require another member of the constabulatory to perform. --Matt Innis (Talk) 15:50, 2 April 2007 (CDT)

What next

Hello Edna, this article is looking great! Your question is what to do next as you work toward approval on this article. As I see it, according to our current CZ:Approval Process, you have a few couple choices.

  • One is to get yourself listed as an author under the Topic Informant Workgroup and then apply as an editor to This would get the workgroup started that needs to be directly available for the workgroup that you have chosen. This would not only help you, but other articles in the group as well. Then as an editor, you would put the article up for Approval by your workgroup by placing the ToApprove template on the top of this talkpage. Since you did all the writing, it would only take one other editor to approve it.
  • Your other option is to place this article in CZ:Music Workgroup and perhaps the CZ:Sociology Workgroup as they already have editors that can place the ToApprove template on the top of the article.

I'll stop here until you've had a chance to let me know which direction you want to go with it. --Matt Innis (Talk) 09:51, 2 April 2007 (CDT)

Thanks Matt...It seems simpler for now to place the article in both the music and sociology workgroups. Not sure if I have managed though. Also tried to list myself as an author in those 2 categories and again ... not sure if I managed. I find the codes etc. quite challenging! Edna Spennato 12:12, 2 April 2007 (CDT)

Article cleanup

Edna, in performing the checklist, I am adding this to CZ Live because youhave made more than three significant changes. I am also checking the "content from Wikipedia" box because it was imported from Wikipedia and was not totally authored by you there. --Matt Innis (Talk) 10:59, 2 April 2007 (CDT)

Okay, I have added the Music and Sociology workgroups to this article, so you now can go to editors on either of those workgroups and try to get them to place the ToApprove template on this article. I will stick around and help out some as I can, but let you continue to take the lead here. I will relinquish any constable role here as I have made additions to the article, so I am just an author like anyone else.

We need to go through this article and convert the hyperlinks to reference format before this thing will get Approved. See this --Matt Innis (Talk) 11:18, 2 April 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for all the help Matt...I have no idea how to convert hyperlinks to reference format and am a bit at sea on the technical side. Would appreciate seeing how it is done. I hope it is ok if I add the category of literature as well. I have tried to add myself as an author in those 3 work groups and hope i managed! :) Sorry to be so green on the technical side. It's because this is my first contribution to Citizendium. I will leave a note to ask the editors of those workgroups to place the ToApprove template on the article. Edna Spennato 12:28, 2 April 2007 (CDT)

Hey, no problem, I see you as learning this very quickly. I suspect you will be teaching others very soon, in fact I'm counting on it:) Yes, ask the editors to come here, that's good! But the author tags go on the bottom of your user page. I am a little concerned about this not being listed on Topic Informant list, mostly because he is still alive and this could get controversial like Biography of living people on wikipedia, it is meant tp protect him (and us) a little more from people who perhaps don't agree with his politics.--Matt Innis (Talk) 13:11, 2 April 2007 (CDT)

As far as changing the hyperlinks into refs, I'll get to that when I have a block of available time, maybe tonight. --Matt Innis (Talk) 13:40, 2 April 2007 (CDT)

Matt, I did not realise that being listed on Topic Informant list would protect an article to some extent from vandalism. If that is the case, we should add it to the Topic Informant list again. His biography at Wikipedia became the centre of a revert war and was slashed and vandalised to kingdom come, so I think this is likely to happen at citizendium also (once people start to find out about its existence). In fact, Gilad is a controversial figure and has a lot of adversaries, one of which turned out to be the main editor contributing to his biography at wiki, who made sure the info about him remained biased and extremely limited regarding his music and writing. I am wondering if there is a way to prevent that from happening again (as far as possible). Edna Spennato 14:45, 2 April 2007 (CDT)

That is why I suggested it, not for vandalism (kids playing), but more for liability reasons because we have to be careful what we say about living people and corporations. Our Topic Informant workgroup is meant to be a place where somebody like Gilad could come and say that a certain quote was not correct and the people of the workgroup would go make sure it was accurate. At least that is the picture I have of it. It needs someone to grab the reigns and work with it (hint, hint:). Just by the topic, I figured we were looking at something controversial, but CZ is different than WP. See the CZ:Professionalism Policy and Group_Blocking_Procedures#Offenses_which_will_result_in_a_warning_first.2C_then_a_ban Constabulatory banning policies. This does not mean things are not going to be discussed, but we must remain civil and professional at all times. I'm sure you will be fine. --Matt Innis (Talk) 15:36, 2 April 2007 (CDT)

Approval process

This is an interesting situation. I don't feel comfortable approving this article this fast, only because I am only an author as is Edna. Tom, from a music standpoint does it seem satisfactory enough to put your name on it? And if so, the controversial political activism probably needs some oversight by the sociology workgroup (at least in theory). How about we grab some workgroup involvement. --Matt Innis (Talk) 14:46, 3 April 2007 (CDT)

Unless the nominating editor is an expert specifically in the area of this article--about Gilad Atzmon's music, in other words--he really can't nominate the article for approval.

Moreover, the article has some clear neutrality problems. Here are just a couple of examples:

The history of creative human endeavor is filled with great artists, and punctuated from time to time by talented individuals whose accomplishments make them stand out in some particular way, and for whom no labels seem to apply. Some are unique because of the extraordinary volume of work they produce in their lifetimes, such as Pablo Picasso, one of the most talented and prolific artists of the twentieth century. Others are remarkable in that they excel in two seemingly unrelated careers, such as Leonardo da Vinci who was both a scientist and engineer, as well as a great painter and sculptor. Yet others, like the Mexican painter, Diego Rivera, and the contemporary award-winning writer, Arundhati Roy, stand out in terms of their commitment not only to their art, but also to social or political issues of the day, to which they devote much of their time and energy.
It may be possible that Gilad Atzmon is another such artist about whom all the above can be said.

This is panegyric, not encyclopedic prose. It is fine for us to say that some of his fans feel this way about him, or that some prominent critic has said this about him, but it is inappropriate for an encyclopedia article to say this about him. Please study Neutrality Policy.

Atzmon is an outspoken critic of the Israeli state and its worldwide Zionist support network, and campaigns against the ongoing ethnocide and the forced transferrals of the Palestinian people from their homeland, the Nakba, which began with the Deir Yassin massacre in 1948."

It is all right (of course) to say that Atzmon is an outspoken critic of Israel, if true, but not to refer uncritically to "its worldwide Zionist support network," which sounds like propaganda, even if completely true.

Furthermore, since the subject of this article is alive, I believe we should get a response from him or his PR people. Cf. Policy on Topic Informants.

For all these reasons, I'm going to remove the approval template from the article. --Larry Sanger 15:22, 3 April 2007 (CDT)

Okay, thanks for the guidance Larry! Edna, lets work on the narrative prose in the lead first. I love your tone, I don't see anything wrong with that, but we need to rethink how we can introduce him without seeming to be partial. If I ever need an intro to an article about me, I hope you are the one to do it:), but here we need it to sound more like an unbiased encyclopedia that neither fans nor critics could disagree. Feel up to tryin it again? --Matt Innis (Talk) 15:31, 3 April 2007 (CDT)

Also Edna, are you in touch with Gilad? If so we should set him up as a topic informant somehow. See this information. It gives him a voice in what is said about him. --Matt Innis (Talk) 16:18, 3 April 2007 (CDT)

Hi, I got a note from Edna on this because I'm listed as a music editor. It's a great start! I agree with Larry's recommendation to work toward a more informative and neutral prose style. Please let me know if you need help with this --Jon Radwan

Hi there…I have been in touch with Gilad Atzmon¸ who has indicated he is willing to become a topic informant¸ which I think is important¸ owing to the controversial nature of the discussion as it is already unfolding here. I have also sent him the information on topic informants which includes info about his right to ask for this article to be deleted if it becomes vandalised by people following some sort of unbiased (Zionist) agenda. He has indicated that since he does not appear in the Israeli wiki or citizendium¸ and does not live in or visit Israel¸ and is in fact a citizen of the UK¸ he would prefer his name not to be translated into Hebrew¸ so I have removed that addition by Elizabeth.

Could one of the editors dealing with topic informants please indicate exactly how we go about getting Gilad listed as topic informant. From reading the info¸ the process does not seem to be clear. Will wait to hear back on this page. Edna Spennato 08:51, 17 April 2007 (CDT)

Hi again...I have added a sentence to the opening paragraph with the information about the work for which Gilad Atzmon is known. Edna Spennato 09:19, 17 April 2007 (CDT)

Gareth, thanks for making all those clean-up edits on the article today. It's looking much better, and it helped me to see how it should be formatted, as this is the first article I have done for citizendium. Edna Spennato 16:49, 18 April 2007 (CDT)

Lit Workgroup and tone

Hi, just came upon this entry. If it's going to be listed within the Literature workgroup, I'd like to see more than the very brief section alluding to Atzmon's novels -- a list of titles, some sense of their critical reception, editions, etc.

I would also agree that the opening of the entry is not encyclopedic in tone or layout -- there is, in fact, an entire paragraph before anything is said about Atzmon himself. The main facts (birth date, nationality, achievements, etc.) really ought to be in the first few sentences.

Russell Potter

Russell...I have just added a link to GA's site, where he has listed several reviews of his books. He has had two novels published so far, in 22 languages, and has written more than 200 political papers published on many sites on the internet. Edna Spennato 08:34, 17 April 2007 (CDT)

Political Neutrality

Hello. I came upon this article and thought I would point out some additional issues with the Israeli state criticism paragraph from a Israeli point of view. The paragraph attempts to assert certain contested issues as facts, and along the way to bring in the Nakba and define it. If it is necessary to define the Nakba in this article, the definition is in my view inaccurate. The Palestinian Authority's official State Information Service defines the Nakba as "the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel." Various related issues, including "destroyed villages" and "massacres", are listed on the left, may be the main or even important repercussions from the Palestinian point of view, but the Nakba itself which means "Disaster" or "Catastrophe" refers also to the establishment of the State of Israel and is commemorated on that day. Aside from this, the paragraph also makes reference to "the ongoing ethnocide and the forced transferrals of the Palestinian people from their homeland" and the "Deir Yassin massacre". All of these are politically contested issues. Thus, the "Deir Yassin massacre" might involve an interesting case study of trying to represent competing political viewpoints held by survivors of the battle on boths side neutrally, but it is still a contested issue. Israeli Historian Dr. Uri Milstein has just published a new book specifically on this subject. An earlier description of his claims (true or not) is here. The other issues ("ethnocide", "transferrals") are even more controversial. I can understand that if Atzmon has political views on these issues, they should be noted, but they should be represented in a neutral way. I do not really have an interest in a debate on Israeli vs Palestinian points of view. I am sure these issues will come up as articles on the more controversial subjects are authored. I am glad to see that these issue has already been brought up prior to approval.

Yitzhak Sapir

Thank you, Yitzhak, for taking the time to elucidate for me. Please excuse my ignorance on the subject of Isreali and Palestinian troubles, but maybe that is a good thing from an article standpoint. I agree that any mention needs to be made without endorsing either side. It appears that Gilad's work is political enough that we can't avoid the subject altogether. The question is how deeply do we go. The options would include just a mention of the political stand and link to another article that neutrally covers the conflict, or if we have to, give more detail about his position. I do think that any detailed discussion needs to be neutral and dispassionate without appearing to endorse either side. (Also, if everyone would sign there names with the four tildes "~~~~", it will put your name and time stamp in so we know who said what and when).--Matt Innis (Talk) 08:11, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

Jesus! I thought CZ was supposed to be different from WP... "Atzmon is an outspoken critic of the Israeli state and its worldwide Zionist support network, and campaigns against the ongoing ethnocide and the forced transferrals of the Palestinian people from their homeland, the Nakba, which began with the Deir Yassin massacre in 1948". This sentence is completely biased and wrong. Even "new historians" like Benni Morris agree that most of the Palestinians left Israel without being forced to do so. The so called "Nakba" (disaster in Arabic) didn't begin with the "massacre" in Dir Yasin. Many historians don't think that there was a massacre in the fight. How a fight that took place on the 9th of April 1948 is related to Gilad Atzmon? Even the wikipedia article is less biased, now that's when you know there's a problem. Elizabeth Tsurkov 08:53, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

Hi, Elizabeth. Being from WP myself, I can assure you that it is different here. Hopefully you'll like it. We have a CZ:Professionalism policy that pretty much guides the conversation. Everyone needs to make themselves familiar with it. You look pretty knowledgeable about the issues. Perhaps you can help us get it right as well. Probably the first thing we need to decide is how deep we want to go into the politics of this issue. Obviously, he is an activist, and am I correct in assuming that it is his politics that makes his music popular? Or does his music have a quality that we want to explain first. --Matt Innis (Talk) 09:28, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

Just to reinforce this, this article in not in an approved state. In development, articles will often veer into bias or inaccuracy; we all make mistakes. It can take a while to get these things right, but until they are right, there will be no approval. Gareth Leng 09:54, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

I've made some edits. Briefly the article can report Gilad's views fully, and quoting him directly seems a good way of doing so. However the reporting of his views should avoid apparently endorsing those views by text that incorporates arguable premises.Gareth Leng 10:06, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

Thank you Gareth, for clarifying that for us. I also appreciate the edits you have made so far. They are much more neutral and help to diffuse any endorsement of any particular postion. We need to go further. --Matt Innis (Talk) 10:08, 16 April 2007 (CDT)
The changes Gateth made are exactly what this article needed. I apologize for my reaction, it's just because I came here with such a strong hope, and was disappointed to see a biased article. If you saw the article in English WP, you'd notice that no one in the Hebrew WP thought he was important enough to write an article about (no interwiki). I live in Israel and I've never heard of the guy before today. If you search for גלעד עצמון in google, you'd find only 622 showings.Elizabeth Tsurkov 10:47, 16 April 2007 (CDT)
Excellent, good to hear. We must be on the right track. Now we need to address Russell Potter's (he is an editor) concerns above because in order to get approval from the Literary workgroup one day, he will have to be satified. I'll start a new section. --Matt Innis (Talk) 11:10, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

The Nabka and the Palestinian Right of Return are relevant to this article because these are precisely the issues which Gilad Atzmon addresses directly through his music and his writing. The ethnocide of the Palestinians is something which Israel has always sought to deny, for obvious reasons, yet the facts are well documented. The most respected historian on the subject is Ilan Pappé¸ who has written extensively about what happened¸ more info available at his website here: Regarding the massacre at Deir Yassin¸ there is absolutely no question about the fact that it happened¸ and for Pappé and other historians, to deny the Nabka is similar to denying the Holocaust. For a contributor to Citizendium to put words such as Nabka in inverted commas is like someone putting the Holocaust in inverted commas - and reveals a certain bias, let's be clear about that. The Nabka created 800 000 refugees¸ who remain refugees to this day and seek recognition of their Right of Return - so what happened in 1948 remains extremely relevant to the Palestinians themselves and is a central issue in the ongoing dispute in the region.

Edna Spennato 01:35, 18 April 2007 (CDT)

Hello Edna. I agree that the Nakba (notice spelling!) and other Palestinian issues appear to be relevant to the article. However, it is clear even from your comment that you yourself realize that "the ethnocide of the Palestinians" is something that is controversial, at the heart of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. You may think that the "facts" are well documented, but good historiography is about analyzing the various documentation. This should be done but not in an article about Gilad Atzmon. The same can be said for Ilan Pappe vs. Uri Milstein regarding Deir Yassin. All of this falls under the policy of Neutrality. This is not the place to discuss divergent views on these events. Instead, why not just mention "Deir Yassin," a village name, without "massacre" or "battle" or any additional words. Then the article on "Deir Yassin" can discuss this and bring forth a summary of the argumentation on this issue. The Nakba does refer to Israel's establishment. You may be less attuned to that aspect of it, but in Israel it is very clear. This is underscored by its commemoration on the day of Israel's establishment. This is why the use of the term carries with it a strong offensive tone to Israelis. Using the term is just as "biased" as not using it, but at least spell it correctly. Anyway, an article on Gilad Atzmon is not the place to make political statements. It is the place to note the various positions that Gilad Atzmon takes, while carefully keeping a neutral tone about the substance of those positions.

--Yitzhak Sapir 15:49, 18 April 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for reminding me about the spelling of Nakba¸ Yitzhak. Somehow I always get the k and the b mixed up. I am slightly dyslexic and it happens with a lot of words. Yes¸ we are dealing here with controversial issues and I guess the sociology editors will have to make a decision about the use of various words. You say that Israelis find the use of the word itself offensive. For the Palestinians¸ not honouring the Nakba by not using the word is offensive also¸ something like refusing to use the word¸ Holocaust¸ would be to someone of the Jewish faith. So it is rather complicated¸ and I think at this point it would be great for editors from the sociology workgroup to join the discussion. Edna Spennato 16:42, 18 April 2007 (CDT)

Benny Morris is a politically orientated historian with a limited international reputation. The man has changed his mind in the past and may do so again in the future. The Nakba is well documented and acknowledged by the UN and the UN resolution 194 reflects on the issue. Moreover the issue to do with the Palestinians’ cause is not only about the expulsion of the Palestinian people from the land they inhabited¸ but also the racially orientated legislation that stopped them from coming back to the land¸ which Gilad believes belongs to them. In Gilad’s view¸ the Nakba is beyond dispute, and he regards the Palestinian right of return as an elementary ethical right. He suggested that those who wish to learn more about this should read up on the 1951 absent and return law¸ and emphasised that it is his conviction that Israel is running a racist legal system¸ and he uses his music and his writing to communicate this to his audiences and his readers. He has asked that the editors of Citizendium contact him directly at his e-mail address should any further clarification be needed, related to the article. Edna Spennato 12:11, 19 April 2007 (CDT)

For those following this discussion who would like to learn more about the question of what happened in 1948, and the issues around the Right of Return, the recent Doha Debate Ali Abunimah and Ilan Pappé took part in, which was televised on BBC World last weekend, is now available for viewing online.

They debated the motion "This House believes Palestinians should give up their full right of return."

Speaking FOR the motion were former Israeli minister of justice Yossi Beilin, and Bassem Eid, and AGAINST the motion were Abunimah and Pappé.

To watch, go to:

And select the debate for March 28, 2007.

Edna Spennato 08:10, 20 April 2007 (CDT)

There is a blog posting and a long list of comments about this article and its subject here. John Stephenson 12:04, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks John, for the link. I invited him here to help us continue to improve this article. D. Matt Innis 14:47, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Atzmon's novels -- a list of titles, some sense of their critical reception, editions, etc.

Edna, or anyone, do we have a list of some of his most important works at least? --Matt Innis (Talk) 11:09, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

From Amazon you can tell he wrote "My One and Only Love" in 2005 and "A Guide to the Perplexed" in 2003. The third book is a translation into spanish of "A Guide...". Elizabeth Tsurkov 11:27, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

I see them. I also see a review on "Perplexed" by Publisher's Weekly we might be able to quote or paraphrase. Hopefully there are more. --Matt Innis (Talk) 11:39, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

Matt...I have just added a link to GA's site, where he has listed several reviews of his books. He has had two novels published so far, in 22 languages, and has written more than 200 political papers published on many sites on the internet. Edna Spennato 08:35, 17 April 2007 (CDT)


In June 2005, a group of leftist Jews picketed Bookmarks,

Leftist is semi-pejorative, in my opinion, and in any case whats the evidence? David Tribe 16:57, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

I definitely agree. It would be different if there was a name for this "group', but lets take it out. --Matt Innis (Talk) 17:00, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

links within the article

CZ:Article mechanics asks that we refrain from creating links within the article body. We have a lot of them! We need somebody to try reducing these some. --Matt Innis (Talk) 20:53, 18 April 2007 (CDT)