1.an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those
2.kindness and tolerance in judging others.
synonyms: goodwill · compassion · consideration · concern · kindness
· kindliness · [more]
What kind of a person would write the following about singer Susan
You wouldn’t expect that sound to come out of someone that looks
like her. Deliberately brought on stage looking and behaving like
someone you’d cross the street to avoid…
For those who don’t know
Susan Boyle, she is a woman who got her start as a professional
singer as a contestant on Simon Cowell’s talent-search show, “Britain’s
Got Talent”. The plain looking middle-aged woman shocked the entire
judging panel and the audience when she boldly, confidently and quite
melodically delivered her rendition of “I
Dreamed a Dream”.
The way she is described in the quote above is disturbing. To add insult
to injury, the quote comes from self-proclaimed music teacher,
Steve Silverman, who also happens to be the Director of
Investigations and Enforcement of the British “charity”,
Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA). They certainly don’t reflect
the kindness or tolerance typically associated with a charity officer.
Terrorising British citizens and political institutions
The CAA is a Zionist pressure group that calls
itself a charity. It enjoys all the perks of charity status, such as tax
breaks. However, on close inspection, there is very little about the CAA
that resembles a charity other than fundraising. Its most prolific
activity seems to be terrorising British citizens and political
institutions. The campaigns against
Ken Livingston, and the
Labour Party have been relentless. The CAA also has quite a sweet
tooth for attacking musicians. Essentially, anyone who seems to be
mildly critical of Israelwill be subject to its wrath and it’s all done
in the name of fighting anti-Semitism.
Alison Chabloz, Gilad Atzmon and Reggie Yates
But let’s focus on musicians. It seems two have been in its crosshairs.
Alison Chabloz, a talented musician with outspoken views on many
subjects, including the holocaust and freedom of expression. (2)
Gilad Atzmon, world-renowned saxophonist, author and philosopher who
has a penchant for exploring the meaning of Jewish identity. Both these
talented musicians have been subject to attacks by the CAA. Both have
paid a hefty price, (Chabloz was given a two-year suspended prison
sentence and banned from posting anything on social media for 12
months.Atzmon was left with enormous legal bills (luckily, much of that
was taken care of by Atzmon’s supporters) defending their right to earn
their living and enjoy their right to freedom of thought and expression
as British citizens. Both are victims of the most relentless, vicious
smear campaigns with the so-called “charity” leading the charge. When
did charities begin carrying out smear campaigns? When did preventing
someone from earning a living become part of a charity’s function?
British actor, BBC star and radio DJ Reggie Yates is yet another
casualty of the CAA. Yates found himself on the chopping block when
during an interview he celebrated the younger generation of Black music
artists maintaining control of their publishing rights and royalties.
The thing that makes it great about this new generation of [music]
artists is that they ain’t signing to majors. They’re independent,
they’re not managed by some random fat Jewish guy from north west
London, they’re managed by their brethren.
The CAA immediately went in for the kill. The CAA’s interpretation was
that Yates’ comment would “evoke the ugly stereotype of Jews as
untrustworthy and money-grabbing”. On the contrary, it speaks
specifically to keeping their earnings within their own community,
uplifting their own people, much the same way Jews like to do. It speaks
to the reality that the Black community is finally staking its claim in
the music industry through independent labels. How could supporting your
own community ever be perceived as anti-Semitic? I wonder if Yates had
said “…some random fat white guy”, might it have passed without comment?
Let’s look at one of the CAA’s lead characters, Steve Silverman. He is
said to have studied music at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He
has the drama aspect down to a science, not sure about the music,
however. According to his
website, students can come to his home and learn musicianship
skills, music theory and history and musical analysis. He is not really
a performing musician – in fact, not one performing act is attached to
his name. This could explain why he seeks to destroy musicians.
Silverman claims to love opera and certainly sees himself qualified to
review them. He believes he is capable of distinguishing what is or
isn’t an operatic voice. I guess that a graduation diploma from a music
school is all one needs.
Looking at his reviews of music and performers on his blog tells a
different story, however. They read more like the opinion of an envious,
pompous child than that of someone who appreciates, understands or
actually plays music. In my opinion, Silverman should be banned by the
appropriate authorities from teaching musicianship, as the way he treats
other musicians is beyond repugnant.
In Silverman’s blog, he writes about the exploitive practices of Simon
Cowell and his talent-search show, “Britain’s Got Talent”. But what we
see is Cowell uplifting unlikely star, such as Susan Boyle. It is
Silverman who tears her down. I’ve seen the episode of her
audition. She was most definitely plain, but playful and sweet. To a
fellow human, she comes off as lovely, warm-hearted woman whom you’d
enjoy having as your friend or neighbour, not someone to be avoided. She
was a woman with a dream, and whatever one thinks of Cowell, he made
that dream a reality. The female judge comments that Boyle is a wake
up-call for anyone who was cynical and what a privilege it was to hear
her sing. Susan Boyle is now a working recording artist, selling more
than 20 million albums. In January 2019, it was reported that Boyle’s
net worth is £26 million. I don’t believe this qualifies as exploited.
In 2012, a 17-year-old boy with an astonishingly beautiful operatic
tenor voice, Jonathan Antoine, appeared on Cowell’s “Britain’s Got
Talent” show. Silverman compared his appearance to that of a “Victorian
circus sideshow”. The boy was quite large. Silverman’s take is a bit
Hey, look at this big fat lad with the weird hair. Guess what – he
But the whole point of the show is to give opportunities to undiscovered
raw talent who may never get them, thanks to the Silvermans of the
world. Antoine was admittedly fragile and insecure, due to his size, but
a caring friend and fellow singer gave him the confidence to go on the
show. Again, think what you like about Cowell, but without him and the
support of the friend, Antoine may have remained in obscurity and no one
would have heard his effortlessly
exquisite voice. In truth, Cowell has launched many successful
musical careers. Is the industry exploitive? Indeed. It always was.
However, I don’t think it is any more exploitive than the CAA and at
least it honestly calls itself a business rather than a charity. More
importantly, as result of Cowell’s efforts, we are left with beauty in
the form of Antoine, Boyle and too many more to list. Silverman’s
practices result in the suppression of beauty. And herein lies the big
reveal. Only Silverman is sufficiently trained enough to discern what is
authentic high art. The rest of the viewing population is apparently too
ignorant to realise they’re being conned by ordinariness masquerading as
culture. Interestingly, enough, in Silverman’s world, there’s no room in
it for him.
His take on International singer/songwriter/producer Andrea Bocelli is
equally disturbing. He illegitimately and unfairly compares him to
Pavarotti. There is one problem. Pavarotti is an opera singer, Andrea
Bocelli is not. He never was. He is a classical crossover, easy
listening vocalist who has sold over 80 million albums. He performs some
arias as well as selections from other genres but is not categorised
anywhere as an opera singer. However, Silverman can’t seem to get passed
the fact that he is a “former lawyer from Tuscany” who found world-wide
fame as a singer. Silverman also can’t overlook Bocelli’s “need for a
microphone, the thin whiny vocal tone and the absence of anything
remotely resembling a talent for interpretation”. He mockingly
attributes Bocelli’s success to the “one thing that not even Pavarotti
in his prime possessed: blindness. Ker-ching!” Who on earth speaks about
fellow musicians in such an ugly manner? Some might say it bears a
striking resemblance to the sadistic approach deployed by CAA against
If he isn’t attacking their musical ability outright, he goes for his
coup de main of anti-Semite and does everything in his power to
prevent them from performing as in the case of world-renowned jazz
saxophonist Gilad Atzmon. Atzmon has won many awards. He is sought after
globally for his extraordinary musical genius, including as a teacher,
but Silverman taunts and
threatens music venues where Atzmon is scheduled to play. He may not
like Atzmon’s missives; however, this has nothing to do with Atzmon as a
Jealousy cloaked as concern
It seems as ifSilverman deceptively cloaks his jealousy of the success
of others in false concern for the poor exploited souls being duped by
Cowell. He claims to be concerned about the welfare of their vocal
chords. Young Antoine is classically trained, so apparently there is
nothing to worry about. I’m not sure there is one singer whom Silverman
has tutored that is a raging success. There’s a good chance they bag
groceries to pay their bills, including their lessons in “musicianship”.
Silverman may like to know that some of Atzmon’s former students are
themselves world stars.
In fact, in his blog, Silverman eviscerates one musician after another.
It would be more aptly named “The Green-Eyed Monster”. Jealousy oozes
from every hateful word. His problem with Cowell seems to be that he,
too, is making boat loads of money. Cowell has created for himself a
little cash cow in his talent-search shows supporting artists. Sadly, I
believe Silverman isn’t doing as well, and in the case of Atzmon, the
more he invests in destroying Atzmon the more people openly rally behind
the ex-Israeli horn player.
Silverman needs to reconcile the fact that while he may own a few
instruments and may possess a degree in something to do with music, he
isn’t really a musician nor can he be considered a music educationalist.
His entire existence is about what books not to read and what music not
to listen to. It would serve him well to stop attacking musicians, find
something he enjoys doing that isn’t drenched in venom, and spend his
final years perfecting it. Green really isn’t his colour.
Devon Nola is a political and social justice activist.