LONDON – Uproar has broken out since American academics John Mearsheimer and Richard Falk have endorsed a new book by a London-based Israeli musician accused of being an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier.

Chicago University professor John Mearsheimer, author of the 2007 book The Israel Lobby, and Princeton professor Richard Falk, the UN rapporteur for the Palestinian territories, gave promotional words for a book written by Gilad Atzmon.

His book, titled The Wandering Who, has been described as contemporary cultural racism and as an attack on Jewish identity inspired by Soviet anti- Semitism, by analysts and experts.

Renowned American law professor Alan Dershowitz said the book has crossed the line from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism and said their endorsement was something he has not seen in his lifetime.

“I challenge Mearsheimer and Falk to a debate on whether they have endorsed an anti-Semitic book,” he told The Jerusalem Post on Friday. He said he plans to expose their action widely, both in the academy and elsewhere.

“Atzmon has adopted all the classical definitions of anti- Semitism, he uses the same tropes borrowed from Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other Nazi publications – that Jews control the world, are responsible for the credit crunch, believe Hitler was right,” he told the Post.

“[Mearsheimer and Falk] have crossed a red line that has never been crossed in my lifetime," Dershowitz said.

Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti- Defamation League, said the endorsement reveals what he knew, that Mearsheimer is an anti-Semite.

“With his glowing endorsement of a book by a known Hitler apologist and Holocaust denier, John Mearsheimer has revealed himself to be an anti- Semite,” he said. “For years, Mearsheimer paraded as an objective analyst, professor and critic, and for years we were very careful not to label him as an anti-Semite. Now he has clearly aligned himself with the worst kind of anti-Semitism.

“Gilad Atzmon is a well-known anti-Semite and a promoter of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and perverse historical distortions of the Holocaust.

He is a fringe character who has suddenly gained greater attention because of the Mearsheimer endorsement of his book,” Foxman added.

Mark Gardner, director of communications for the Community Security Trust, a charity that monitors and records anti- Semitic incidents in the UK, said the book represents utterly contemporary cultural racism.

“Practically every page is adorned with disgusting quotes, as reflected in a chapter titled ‘Swindler’s List,’” he said.

Gardner said the promotional words from Falk and Mearsheimer “elevates a fanatical crank to literary status.”

“Mearshemier’s quote is an especially repulsive, as it accuses ‘Jewish leaders’ of Zionism, described as “blind loyalty to Israel,” and scaremongering, described as “the threat of another Holocaust,” he said.

“Atzmon’s hatred is one thing, but for a Chicago University professor to echo it with such grotesque misrepresentations of Jewish behavior, is something else entirely,” Gardner said. “The book advertiser wants all of the profit and none of the moral responsibility.”

British but New York-based journalist and blogger Ben Cohen said the book was clearly inspired by Soviet anti-Semitism.

“When Atzmon traffics in anti-Semitic tropes – for example describing the ‘credit crunch’ as a ‘Ziopunch,’ or declaring that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an accurate reflection of the global power of American Jews – he radiates the delight of someone liberated from a huge emotional burden,” he said in an article in this week’s New YorkJewish Week.

Responding to Mearsheimer, Cohen said it cannot be left for others to determine what constitutes hatred of the Jews.

“The term ‘anti-Semitism’ was coined by anti-Semites in 19th century Germany. It’s a word that’s never been owned by the Jewish community. That has to change – we cannot allow Mearsheimer and those like him to determine what does and what does not constitute hatred of Jews,” Cohen said.

Described by its publishers, Zero Books, as “An investigation of Jewish identity politics and contemporary Jewish ideology,” a note was placed on its website defending the backlash against the book.

“[The book is] more articulate and far more authoritative than anything I could say. I haven’t seen anything since to persuade me that we are deluded or anti-Semitic in publishing this book. In the light of this, I think it would be reprehensible to cancel publication because authors were threatening to leave us. That would really make us guilty of what we’re already being accused of by some; ‘you’re only publishing for the money,’” the statement read.

“So we’ll take the heat, whether it’s [oddly enough] from the far left or neo-con right.”

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