While Yasir Arafat's death was met with a gloating silence by many Israelis, jazzman and writer Gilad Atzmon was one of the few who had something good to say about the departed Palestinian leader.

"It is clear that this man, this brave man, this hero, the biggest 20th century freedom fighter, went through a hell of a time," said Atzmon in a telephone interview from his North London home.

But Atzmon is not your average Israeli. In fact he takes offence at even being called Israeli.