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But, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, a self-proclaimed representative of British Jewry, decided to kill Artie before he was even born. A week prior to our launch concerts at the prestigious London's Pizza On The Park I learnt that Pizza Express's Head Office had been subject to some heavy pressure. They were blitzed by 'alleged customers' who expressed outrage that Pizza Express "could give a stage to Gilad Atzmon, a 'racist', an 'anti-Semite' and a 'Holocaust Denier'." The orchestrated campaigners, as I learned, spoke as a single voice. Though I have written hundreds of pages of articles about Israel, Palestine and Jewish identity, the 'alleged customers' all seemed to be quoting from the same four quotes. Passages that were either re-worded or taken out of context, and they even put the words of others saw into in my mouth.
In fact, I have never received so much support in such a short time for any of my previous albums or acts.
This was far too much for the BOD. Unwisely, rather than surrendering their case and admitting that they may have been mistaken, they decided to escalate the battle. The Zionist Federation was pulled in. Together they moved towards moderate verbal violence. Telephone calls to the Pizza became rather abusive and a picket was planned in front of the venue. Pizza Express was left with no other choice than to hire bouncers to protect its customers from Zionist zeal. Surely, this doesn't seem to be the kind of behaviour that might give a shining image to those who operate in the name of Jews.
However once we had finished the concert I learned from an Al Jazeera producer who was there to cover the event that a confused Evening Standard journalist had approached him at the end of the set wondering what was going on. Apparently, the BOD approached local and national media promising a performance of a 'Holocaust Denier' or at least a 'racist' warmonger. The Evening Standard journalist was confused, he just couldn't find anything to write about.