There have been a lot of claims and counter-claims about the position of the Dean of Bradford in the Atzmon affair so I thought it was best to ask the Dean himself to make the last word. This is a statement he sent me last night and I hope it clarifies his position and answers those people, for their own political reasons, who have accused me of lying and falsifying documents:
Statement from the Dean of Bradford 26 November 2011:
"Mr Gilad Atzmon has posted a statement of mine on his website (http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/hope-not-hate-is-caught-falsifying-documents-again.html) which he has used to accuse Mr Nick Lowles of falsifying documents and spreading lies. I do not support this accusation.
I want to make it clear that I do not regard Mr Lowles as a liar or someone who has falsified documents, and I apologise if in any way this impression has been given by me. I did not in my initial statement quoted on Mr Lowles' blog make a public call for Mr Atzmon's concert to be cancelled, and it was on this basis that I disagreed with the headline over my statement. However, I had indicated elsewhere in a mail seen by Mr Lowles that cancellation would be preferred, since (as I note in my statement quoted by Mr Atzmon) I would have had to have withdrawn the concert if it had been due to happen on church premises due to the controversy involved, and it is this indication which led Mr Lowles to write the headline as he did; although it did not represent my intention it was not an unreasonable action for him to take, and he was engaged in interpretation not falsification.
Mr Atzmon and his supporters believe in his sincerity, and those opposed to him do not. Assessing what Mr Atzmon actually believes is not easy owing to the contested nature of the evidence. What is uncontrovertible is the fact that a lot of people believe that he behaves in a way which is anti-Semitic, flirting with Holocaust denial, and racist: and this behaviour has caused a wide variety of groups to distance themselves from him. As a cathedral we believe in truth, peace and justice for Palestinians and Israelis, of whatever faith (or none); and we will continue to hold to that often uncomfortable position - a position which makes it impossible for us to offer a platform to Mr Atzmon."
Nick Lowles at Hope not hate
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up