Archive for the ‘Max Blumenthal’ Category

Max Blumenthal – The Louis D. Brandeis Center Blog

Activists devoted to promoting boycott campaigns against Israel and maligning the Jewish state as illegitimate and uniquely evil knew already what to expect when Max Blumenthals book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel was published last October. As Blumenthal himself emphasized in the acknowledgements at the end of his book, sites like the Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss had provided essential outlets for much of the reporting presented in Goliath, while less courageous publications had shied away from publishing this material. What kind of courage it took to publish Blumenthals reporting on Israel was illustrated when the Simon Wiesenthal Center released its 2013 list of the Top 10 Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Slurs at the end of December and included Blumenthal in the category The Power of the Poison Pen.

The Louis D. Brandeis Center (LDB) is publishing today a Research Article that provides a detailed documentation of Blumenthals efforts to depict Israel as an utterly evil state that can only be compared to Nazi Germany and should be treated accordingly. Entitled Another Milestone for the Mainstreaming of Anti-Semitism: The New America Foundation and Max Blumenthals Goliath, the paper highlights how inappropriate it is to promote a book on Israel by an author whose related work had been shunned by mainstream outlets for good reason. After all, Blumenthals writings and video clips not only appealed to activists campaigning for the delegitimization and elimination of Israel as a Jewish state, but were also promoted on all the major sites popular among conspiracy theorists, Jew-haters, racists and neo-Nazis: from Stormfront to David Dukes site, Rense, and Veterans Today. Moreover, Blumenthal himself endorsed reviews that praised his book for presenting Israel as the Nazi Germany of our time, thereby arguably undermining the mainstream legitimacy bestowed on Goliath by the New America Foundations (NAF) unfortunate decision to provide him a platform for promoting the book.

While Blumenthal was perfectly capable to adjust his presentations according to the audience he was addressing, he provided a chilling demonstration of what he hoped to accomplish with Goliath during an event at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was hosted on October 17 by political scientist Ian Lustick to promote his book. Lustick noted at one point in the discussion that Blumenthal showed in Goliath that Israel is not just a little bit fascist, Israel is a lot fascist, and according to Lustick, this was the ultimate delegitimizer, because after World War II, nothing fascist can even be allowed to survive. Referring to the biblical story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha, Lustick invited Blumenthal to fancy himself in the position of God in order to decide whether there are enough good people in todays Sodom-like Israel to save it from destruction. Blumenthal, who clearly didnt need convincing that Israel as a Jewish state shouldnt be allowed to survive, responded by explaining that his first concern was relieving the suffering of the indigenous people of Palestine. According to him, the only way to achieve this was by placing external pressure such as the BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) movement is advocating on Jewish Israelis in order to force them to choose between emigrating and agreeing to become indigenized by accepting Arab dominance in political, cultural and social terms.

This open call for the demise of the Jewish state and a Juden raus-policy for those of Israels Jews who would be unwilling to become indigenized after the hoped-for victory of the BDS movement did not remain one of the many barely noticed events staged regularly by so-called pro-Palestinian activists, but was reported by the Forwards J.J. Goldberg. Yet, there were no consequences, which arguably only illustrates the urgent need to fight the alarming deterioration of the debate about Israel on American campuses.

When NAF President Anne-Marie Slaughter was notified at the end of November that her organizations planned event for Blumenthal had been criticized at Commentary as completely inappropriate, she dismissed the criticism by quoting the popular notion that the best answer for speech is more speech. Unfortunately, however, there was no attempt whatsoever to counter Blumenthals speech during the NAF event; instead, as was to be expected, Blumenthal received some mainstream endorsements after the event, most notably from veteran NAF board member James Fallows.

With the Research Article published today, LDB is providing the long overdue answer to Blumenthals speech by documenting that promoting his work on Israel ultimately means to contribute to the mainstreaming of anti-Semitism.

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Max Blumenthal – The Louis D. Brandeis Center Blog

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November 27, 2016   Posted in: Max Blumenthal  Comments Closed

Max Blumenthal – the Data Lounge

Does anyone here know Max Blumenthal’s story? He is the geeky blogger and author that takes on the Repugs in some hilarious videos. I find him quite sexy.

He’s cute. I think he’s Sidney Blumenthal’s son.

yes, he is the son of Sidney (who worked in the Clinton administration). I think max is hot too. not sure if’s he’s gay.

He sure seems to aim at the GOP over gay rights. He’s a little Jewish hottie!

He has a lot of guts to venture into these different GOP functions. I love some of his Youtube videos. He is the guy who dug up the most dirt on Rick Warren and his funding of homophobic policies in Africa. He is very pro-gay and has been a guest several times on Michelangelo Signorile’s radio show. He also called out CNN’s Roland Martin on his homophobia.

He did a report on Repug’s favorite not-gay escort, pornboy Matt Sanchez, on the Olbermann show a few years ago. The clip subsequently got more than a million hits on youtube until Matty’s lawyers got it pulled.

I see a cable show in his future. Seriously ballsy and has a matter of fact delivery that is priceless.

He reported on Sanchez after Sanchez got exposed right here on DL.

Max Blumenthal sounds like a whiney girl, but it’s good to see someone thinks he’s attractive.

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Max Blumenthal – Wikipedia

Max Blumenthal (born December 18, 1977) is an American author, journalist, and blogger. He is a senior writer for Alternet and formerly a writer for The Daily Beast, Al Akhbar, and Media Matters for America.[1] He is the author of two books including Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party (2009), which appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list,[2][3][4][5] and Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (2013).[6][7][8]

Blumenthal was born on December 18, 1977 in Boston, Massachusetts to Jacqueline (ne Jordan) and Sidney Blumenthal, a writer and former aide to President Bill Clinton and aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He has one brother. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 with a B.A. degree in history.[9]

Blumenthal joined Lebanon’s Al Akhbar in late 2011 primarily to write about Israel-Palestine issues and foreign-policy debates in Washington, noting, upon leaving in mid-2012 in protest of its coverage of the Syrian Civil War, that it “gave me more latitude than any paper in the United States to write about … Israel and Palestine”.[10] He ended his association with Al Akhbar in June 2012, over what he viewed as the newspaper’s pro-Assad editorial line during the Syrian Civil War that he said was spearheaded by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb.[10][11]

Blumenthal contributes weekly articles to Alternet where he has been a senior writer since September 2014. He focuses on the deepening crisis in the Middle East and its role in shaping political dynamics and public opinion in the US, particularly the special relationship with Israel. He occasionally covers domestic issues such as corporate media consolidation, the influence of the Christian right and police brutality.[12] His reporting from the Gaza strip in 2014 was developed into a book, The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza.[13]

Blumenthal’s articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Independent Film Channel, Salon, The Real News, and Al Jazeera English, among other publications.[14]

Blumenthal won the Online News Association’s Independent Feature Award for his 2002 Salon article, Day of the Dead.[15][16] The piece revealed that the killing of hundreds of women in Ciudad Jurez, Chihuahua, Mexico was connected to the policies of corporate interests in the border city.[17] Blumenthal contributed to The Huffington Post from 2009-11.[18]

In 2014, Blumenthal covered hunger strikes in the privatized Northwest Detention Center by undocumented migrants for The Nation.[19] He had written about the rise of the so-called “Minuteman” movement for Salon.com in 2003, describing its members as border vigilantes who have harassed and detained hundreds, perhaps thousands, of migrants suspected of entering the country illegally.[20]

In 2010, he covered the federal immigration enforcement program known as Operation Streamline for Truthdig. “The program represents the entrenchment of a parallel nonproductive economy promoting abuse behind the guise of law enforcement and crime deterrence”, he wrote.[21] He also testified as a prosecution witness in the civil trial of Vicente v. Barnett, in which Arizona businessman Roger Barnett was forced to pay $73,000 for assaulting a migrant on the US-Mexico border.[22]

Blumenthal has written two books of his time spent in Gaza and the Occupied Territories documenting Israeli and Palestinian war crimes: Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel and The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza. In The 51 Day War, Blumenthal writes of his time in Gaza during and in the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge, an Israeli military offensive in Gaza during the summer of 2014. In Blumenthal’s interpretation the event cited as sparking the 2014 Gaza War, was the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by a Hamas cell. He posits that the massive West Bank operation that followed it was not aimed at rescuing the teens, who were known to be dead, or to capture their killers, but to destroy a political agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian National Authority by targeting the Palestinian Unity Government. [23]

Blumenthal later provided testimony from local Palestinian residents who said they had been used as human shields by the Israeli army during Operation Protective Edge. [24] He furnished details garnered from interviews with Rafah residents who said they had evidence of Israel’s application of the “Hannibal Directive”. According to Blumenthal, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) invocation of the “Hannibal Directive” resulted in the IDF carrying out a large-scale military operation that included bombing all possible escape routes from Rafah tunnels. Ha’aretz reported this action to have killed scores of Palestinians and to have been the “most devastating” execution of the Hannibal Directive:

On Friday morning, when the IDF still believed that Lieutenant Hadar Goldin may have been taken alive by Hamas into an attack tunnel beneath Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, the Hannibal Directive was activated to its most devastating extent yet including massive artillery bombardments and air strikes on possible escape routes.[25]

Blumenthal wrote that the offensive killed 190 Palestinians in Rafah and that the Israeli army seemed to have “aimed to kill one of its own”. Only partial remains of the three Israelis were found. An IDF inquiry concluded Goldin probably was killed during the initial battle. Lt. Hadar Goldin, was taken captive by an ambush team from the Hamas military wing known as the Qassam Brigades”,[26]

According to an IDF investigation of the incident, while the phrase “Hannibal Procedure” was mentioned on the IDF field radios, the procedure was not implemented nor was there indiscriminate fire towards Rafah homes. The IDF investigation concluded that 41 people were killed, 12 of whom were Hamas combatants.[27] Blumenthal said he had reported from the Gazan city of Shuja’iyya on Israel’s “destruction of their neighborhoods and the killing of civilians.”[28]

Blumenthal subsequently appeared before the Russell Tribunal on September 25, 2014, in Brussels, Belgium, to testify before a jury examining allegations of war crimes and genocidal intent by the Israeli military against residents of the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge. According to his testimony, he was:

able to gain unfettered access to residents [of Gaza] who had borne the brunt of the Israeli ground invasion in the hardest hit border areas, places like Khuza’a, Shujaiya, Beit Hanoun, Rafah, and the villages surrounding Beit Lahiya. I recorded testimonies from scores of residents of these areas, documenting war crimes committed by the Israeli armed forces. The atrocities formed an undeniable pattern, suggesting that the crimes committed by Israeli forces in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge were the product of stated military policies, or at least rules of engagement that enabled massacres, summary executions, wholesale residential destruction, the use of civilians as human shields, and abductions.[29]

It is unclear whether Goldin had been killed (along with two comrades) by a suicide bomb one of the militants exploded, or later by friendly fire in the Israeli assault on the area to hunt for him, nor is it known if his remains were recovered. Blumenthal postulated that the goal may have been to “den[y] Hamas the leverage it might have gained at the negotiating table with a live soldier in its possession.”[26]

Blumenthal wrote about his observations on Gaza for The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, published by Nation Books on June 30, 2015.[13]

In 2011, Blumenthal wrote a story alleging that Israeli forces trained American police departments in anti-protester techniques, including torture, quoting Fordham University Law Professor Karen J. Greenberg.[30] Contacted by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Adam Serwer of Mother Jones, Greenberg told Goldberg that “I never made such a statement”, while she told Serwer that “I did not intend to assert these allegations as factthe entire sense of the quote is inaccurate.”[31][32] Blumenthal responded that he had quoted Greenberg accurately, adding that he believed she had been “intimidated by Goldberg and the pro-Israel forces he represents”.[33][34]

During the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, Blumenthal made a comparison between Israel and ISIL. In a follow-up, journalist Rania Khalek created the Twitter hashtag JSIL; “The Jewish State of Israel in the Levant”.[35][bettersourceneeded]

JSIL became a popular Twitter hashtag after Blumenthal introduced it alongside Khalek. It was covered in many publications including Israel’s Ha’aretz, New York Magazine and Al Jazeera.[36][37][38]

In 2013, Blumenthal appeared in ninth place on that year’s Simon Wiesenthal Center list of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slurs, reasons given being that chapter titles in the book Goliath were used to “equate Israel with the Nazi regime” and that Blumenthal had quoted “approvingly characterizations of Israeli soldiers as ‘Judeo-Nazis.'”[39] Blumenthal responded to being awarded ninth place on ‘Top Ten 2013 anti-Semitic, anti-Israel slurs’ list published by The Simon Wiesenthal Center, noting he was tied with Alice Walker.[40][41] Blumenthal noted that he, Richard Falk, and Roger Waters (who also appear on the list) “had stiff competition: Ayatollah Khomeini was number one.”[40][41]

James Fallows argues that Goliath “is no more anti-Israel, let alone anti-Semitic, than The Shame of the Cities and The Jungle and The Grapes of Wrath were anti-American for pointing out “extremes and abuses in American society.”[42]

On November 12, 2014, after being invited by Inge Hger and Annette Groth, members of the Parliamentary Left, to talk with them in the German parliament, the Bundestag, Blumenthal and Canadian-Israeli journalist David Sheen learned that senior German left-wing politician Gregor Gysi, himself critical of what he termed Israel’s violation of international law, in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank after 1967, tried to cancel the meetings on the grounds that Blumenthal and Sheen held radical views on Israeli settlements,[43][44] while Gysi wished to dissociate the Parliamentary Left party from anti-Israel campaigning.[44]

Blumenthal reported in a later article that Volker Beck of the Green Party considers Blumenthal’s work “consistently anti-semitic”, while neoconservative writer Benjamin Weinthal accused him of “public abuse of Jews”.[45]

An incident ensued later that day, later dubbed “toiletgate”, in which Blumenthal and Sheen waited for Gysi to “confront him about Israel’s crimes in Gaza and the smears that Gysi and his acolytes had disseminated against them”.[46] Gysi, followed by the two other parliamentary members, left his office and crossed down a corridor to enter a restroom, where Sheen and Blumenthal followed him. He entered a stall but the journalists refused to leave. After this event, Blumenthal and Sheen were banned from ever setting foot in the Bundestag again. In an e-mail explaining the ban, Bundestag president, Norbert Lammert stated: “Every attempt to exert pressure on members of parliament, to physically threaten them and thus endanger the parliamentary process is intolerable and must be prevented.[47][48][49]

Ali Abunimah wrote that an investigation by Blumenthal led him to uncover a “smear campaign against him and Sheen and more importantly the effort to prevent discussion about Israels crimes in Gaza – was the product of the anti-Palestinian network funded by American billionaire Sheldon Adelson. () Blumenthal notes that it was Benjamin Weinthal, a Berlin-based anti-Palestinian activist, who initiated the campaign with an article in the right-wing Berliner Morgenpost, and later in The Jerusalem Post, falsely claiming that the Bundestag meeting would not take place. Weinthal is a fellow of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD).”[46]

In 2013, Blumenthal reported from the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan for The Nation about the conditions in which he purported that Syrian refugees were living.[50]

Blumenthal says there has been a rise of Islamophobia in the world today, which, in TomDispatch, he attributes to an alleged trans-Atlantic Islamophobic political network that “spans continents, extending from Tea Party activists here to the European far right. It brings together in common cause right-wing ultra-Zionists, Christian evangelicals, and racist British soccer hooligans.”[51]

In The Nation, he alleged that Nina Rosenwald funded Islamophobic organizations. He also said that Somali-born author Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an “anti-Muslim author” with “a history of fraud”.[52][53]

Blumenthal made a short video which he titled Generation Chickenhawk. It featured interviews with convention attendees at the July 2007 College Republican National Convention in Washington, D.C. Blumenthal asked why they, as Iraq War supporters, had not enlisted in the United States Armed Forces.[54][55][56]

In 2007, Blumenthal made a short video called Rapture Ready, about American Christian fundamentalists’ support for the State of Israel.[54] He attended the June 2007 Take Back America Conference (sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future), where he interviewed Barack Obama supporters and 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Blumenthal says that conference organizers were angered by the video, and refused to air it.[54]

In 2008, he posted video footage of Christian preacher Thomas Muthee praying over Sarah Palin (then a candidate for Governor of Alaska) and asking God to keep her safe from witchcraft.[57]

In 2009, Blumenthal posted a 3-minute video on YouTube, titled Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem on the Eve of Obama’s Cairo Address. The video was a photo montage of drunken Jewish-American young people in Jerusalem in June 2009, shortly before Obama’s Cairo address. The youths used expletives and racist rhetoric about Barack Obama and Arabs, which included referring to Obama as a “nigger” and “like a terrorist”.[58] According to The Jerusalem Post, the video “garnered massive exposure and caused a firestorm in the media and the Jewish world”.[59] A Bradley Burston op-ed in Haaretz described the video as “an overnight Internet sensation”.[58]

After YouTube removed the video from its website, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency quoted Blumenthal as stating: “I won’t ascribe motives to YouTube I am unable to confirm, but it is clear there is an active campaign by right-wing Jewish elements to suppress the video by filing a flood of complaints with YouTube”.[60] Blumenthal said that he had received death threats for his publication of the video.[61] He identifies the radicalism of the interviewees with the “indoctrination” of Birthright Israel tours, a program in which several of the interviewees were participating.[61]

Blumenthal says his 2009 book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, was inspired by the work of psychologist Erich Fromm, who asserted that “the fear of freedom propels anxiety-ridden people into authoritarian settings.” Blumenthal says that a “culture of personal crisis” has defined the American “radical right”.[62]

He released Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel in 2013, a look at what he described as Israel’s aggressive shift to the far-right, and its crackdown on local activism. Goliath was awarded the 2014 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Notable Book Award.[8][63]

In the preface to the book, Blumenthal says “Americans’ tax dollars and political support that are crucial in sustaining the present state of affairs” in Israel and that, in the book, he wanted to show what that money is paying for and to present the facts “as they really are today, in unadorned and unsanitized form, without sentimentality or nostalgia.”[64]

Recommended by Glenn Greenwald and Charles Glass, the book received great critical acclaim. Among many reviews, Goliath was praised by Akiva Eldar, a veteran Israeli political correspondent, in Al-Monitor. According to Eldar, a significant part of the books strength lies in the effect that is naturally created when a foreign correspondent describes the reality of your life and surroundings. Thus, as if from a bas relief, details are raised to which the local eye has become so accustomed that it no longer notices their existence.[65] The book also received heavy criticism.[from whom?][66][67][68]

With journalist David Neiwert, Blumenthal wrote about Sarah Palin’s links to the secessionist Alaska Independence Party and how that party reportedly played a quiet but pivotal role in electing Palin as mayor of Wasilla and shaping her political agenda afterward.[69]

CBS reported that Palin responded to the story in an email to John McCain’s campaign manager Steve Schmidt: “Pls get in front of that ridiculous issue that’s cropped up all day today – two reporters, a protestor’s sign, and many shout-outs all claiming Todd’s involvement in an anti-American political party … It’s bull, and I don’t want to have to keep reacting to it … Pls have statement given on this so it’s put to bed.”[70]

On 25 December 2014, the day the film American Sniper depicting Chris Kyle’s tours of duty in Iraq was released,[71] Blumenthal tweeted to his followers on Twitter: “I haven’t seen American Sniper, but correct me if I’m wrong: An occupier mows down faceless Iraqis but the real victim is his anguished soul”.[72][71] In a May 2015 interview, Blumenthal argued that the film heavily distorts the historical, political and social truth of the war on Iraq, that it falsely portrays all Iraqis, including children and women, as “endemic terrorists”. He concluded that the film was a “bogus whitewash of the atrocities committed by U.S. troops in Iraq and Fallujah”.[73] His comments about the film drew criticism from Noah Rothman, writing for the conservative political blog Hot Air, who described them as “kneejerk and misguided appeals to relativism”,[71] and from Rick Moran at American Thinker, who said Blumenthal was “insanely wrong”.[74]

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October 19, 2016   Posted in: Max Blumenthal  Comments Closed

Max Blumenthal (Author of Republican Gomorrah)

Max Blumenthal (born December 18, 1977) is an American author, journalist, and blogger. He is a senior writer for Alternet and formerly a writer for The Daily Beast, Al Akhbar, and Media Matters for America.He is the author of two books including Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party (2009), which appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list, and Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (2013).

Blumenthal joined Lebanon’s Al Akhbar in late 2011 primarily to write about Israel-Palestine issues and foreign-policy debates in Washington, noting, upon leaving in mid-2012 in protest of its coverage of the Syrian Civil War, that it “gave me more latitude than any paper in the United States to write about … Israe

Blumenthal joined Lebanon’s Al Akhbar in late 2011 primarily to write about Israel-Palestine issues and foreign-policy debates in Washington, noting, upon leaving in mid-2012 in protest of its coverage of the Syrian Civil War, that it “gave me more latitude than any paper in the United States to write about … Israel and Palestine”. He ended his association with Al Akhbar in June 2012, over what he viewed as the newspaper’s pro-Assad editorial line during the Syrian Civil War that he said was spearheaded by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb.

Blumenthal contributes weekly articles to Alternet where he has been a senior writer since September 2014. He focuses on the deepening crisis in the Middle East and its role in shaping political dynamics and public opinion in the US, particularly the special relationship with Israel. He occasionally covers domestic issues such as corporate media consolidation, the influence of the Christian right and police brutality. His reporting from the Gaza strip in 2014 was developed into a book, The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza.

Blumenthal’s articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Independent Film Channel (IFC), Salon, The Real News, and Al Jazeera English, among other publications.

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Max Blumenthal (Author of Republican Gomorrah)

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Max Blumenthal | Page 3

I recently spoke to Alternets Joshua Holland about law and politics in Israel. Our conversation focused on the image of Israel as a Western style democracy coping with legitimate security concerns versus the reality of Israel as an ethnocratic state managing its demographic peril through authoritarian measures approved by the Jewish majority. The discussion can be heard here. Below is a transcript via Alternet:

Joshua Holland: Max, I dont want to talk about Iran today. I dont want to talk about the Israeli lobby in the United States, and I dont want to talk about the Occupation. I want to talk about something I dont think gets enough attention in this country, which is the sharp rightward turn of the Israeli government.

One of the great non-sequiturs of our political discourse is that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. And I say its a great non-sequitur because its usually used as a response to, for example, criticism of the Occupation. You say this Occupation is terrible, and people say its the only democracy in the Middle East.

Anyway, Tzipi Livni, the leader of the opposition Kadima Party, accused Benjamin Netanyahu recently of, an attempt to transform Israel into a type of dictatorship. Kadima lawmakers said that recent legislation passed by the Knesset represented, the gravest challenge to democracy since the establishment of the state in 1948. Tell me about the sharp rightward lurch. When did this happen, because I remember when I was a kid Israel was almost a socialist country.

Max Blumenthal: Well, by not wanting to talk about Iran youre an anti-Semite and I condemn that.

JH: Max, Im a self-loathing Jew please get this straight.

MB: Part of Netanyahus goal in focusing on Iran is taking the Palestinian question off the table, and so its good that youre talking about this. Israel has never been a democracy in the sense that we think about a democracy. Its a settler, colonial state that privileges the Jewish majority, which it created through violent methods of demographic manipulation over the indigenous Palestinian outclass.

Thats true even inside Israel. So when you hear people like Tzipi Livni who is for now the head of the Kadima Party but soon to be ousted, and actually came out of the Likud Party and was aide to Ariel Sharon when you hear liberal Zionists, people on the Zionist left, warning that Israel is turning into a fascist state what theyre talking is the occupation laws creeping back over the green line, and that these right-wing elements are actually starting to crack down on the democratic rights that have been afforded to the Jewish majority inside Israel. So Jews who are left-wingers, who are dissidents and speak out against state policy are actually beginning to feel a slight scintilla of the kind of oppression that Palestinians have felt since the foundation of the state of Israel. Thats where this criticism is coming from.

I think we really need to get beyond the discourse of occupation and the discourse of fascism, and instead to talk about institutional discrimination and apartheid, which is what has been present since the foundation of the state of Israel.

JH: Now I want to talk about some of the specific measures that have been proposed, some of which have passed. There are some things that have been pulled back or tabled temporarily due to international pressure, and other have actually gotten through and become law. Tell be about the crackdown on NGOs.

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This piece was originally published at Al Akhbar English

In the last two days, Israeli forces have killed at least 15 residents of the Gaza Strip and wounded over 30. Among the dead are two young boys (see here and here), while the wounded included a reporter from the Maan News Agency and his pregnant wife. Militant factions in Gaza have responded to the Israeli assault by launching several homemade rockets at Southern Israel, leaving two injured and no one dead.

The Israeli army claimed that it initiated the assault on Gaza in order to kill two alleged militants who supposedly masterminded a brazen and deadly terror attack near the Israeli city of Eilat in August of last year. The army also claimed the two were planning a new operation. According to Al Jazeera Englishs Jerusalem correspondent Paul Brennan:

The Israeli army is saying these two people it targeted with its clinical airstrike on Friday night were senior militants who were plotting an attack.

The Israeli army says that last years attack on the road that runs alongside the Egyptian border, where eight people were killed and 25 Israeli soldiers were wounded, was masterminded by the two men they targeted.

Zuhair Al-Qaissi and Mahmoud Al-Hannani were said to have been behind these attacks, and the Israeli army said that these two men were planning a similar attack and that is why they launched their aerial clinical attack.

The Jerusalem Post, which functions as a virtual bulletin board for the Israeli army, told a similar story: The IDF said it decided to bomb Qaisis car due to intelligence that he was plotting a large terrorist attack along the border with Egypt, the paper reported, similar to the one the [Popular Resistance Committee] carried out last August that killed eight Israelis.

As is so often the case, the Israeli army is lying.

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On RT, I discussed AIPACs recent national convention and the Lobbys push for a US war on Iran:

On Al Jazeeras The Stream, I discuss the Israel Lobbys use of blackwashing tactics to stifle allegations that Israel engages in the crime of apartheid:

At Penn BDS, I discussed Zionist hasbara past and present during my panel with Sarah Schulman:

The Zionist Response to BDS from PennBDS on Vimeo.

This weekends One State Conference at Harvard University has prompted predictable cries of outrage and calls for cancellation from the Israel lobby and its allies in Congress. Senator Scott Brown, a Republican from Massachusetts, is the latest Friend of Israel to join the chorus of condemnation, calling for Harvard to ban the conference altogether. The campaign of intimidation and smears highlights Americas pro-Israel community as the political element most devoted to suppressing free speech and academic inquiry on campuses across the United States.

Abraham Foxman, the national director for the Anti-Defamation League, is at the helm of the campaign to censor the discussion at Harvard of equal rights in Israel-Palestine. In an op-ed for the Boston Globe, Foxman wrote, Lets be frank. The term one-state solution is a euphemism for the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel. He attacked the conference participants for their alleged concerns about Israels occupation and treatment of the Palestinians, claiming that their true goal was to make anti-Semitism more acceptable and more likely.

In light of Foxmans assaults on the academic discussion of equal rights for all living under Israels control, it is worth recalling an angry letter he sent to the editors of the New York Times on June 20, 1984. In the letter, Foxman took issue with an editorial the Times published calling for a two state solution that would have required Israel to give up control of the West Bank. Foxman criticized the authors for casting Israels undemocratic control of the West Bank in a negative light, insisting that Israeli control of the Palestinians was not deleterious to [Israel’s] well being. And in the end, he suggested that Israel should considerfully integrating the Palestinian Arabs into the Israeli body politics. This is the very concept that will be discussed and promoted at the One State Conference this weekend at Harvard.

Below the fold is the full text of Foxmans letter, which I retrieved from Lexis-Nexis:

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Few congressional candidates have excited the progressive base of the Democratic party as much as consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren has. With her tenacious advocacy for a consumer protection agency to fight unfair lending practices and her consistent framing of economic issues in terms of structural inequality has earned her enthusiastic promotion from major progressive figures from Markos Moulitsas to Rachel Maddow to Michael Moore.

Warren has focused her race against incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown almost entirely around issues of economic justice, placing her quixotic battle for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the center of her campaign narrative. During an appearance on MSNBCs Morning Joe, Warren boasted that she succeeded in creating the bureau despite opposition from the toughest lobbying force ever assembled on the face of the earth.

While progressives celebrate Warren for her fight against the big banks and the financial industrys lobbying arm, they have kept silent over the fact that she has enlisted with another powerful lobby that is willing to sabotage Americas economic recovery in order to advance its narrow interests. It is AIPAC, the key arm of the Israel lobby; a group that is openly pushing for a US war on Iran that would likely trigger a global recession, as the renowned economist Nouriel Roubini recently warned. The national security/foreign policy position page on Warrens campaign website reads as though it was cobbled together from AIPAC memos and the website of the Israeli Foreign Ministry by the Democratic Party hacks who are advising her. It is pure boilerplate that suggests she knows about as much about the Middle East as Herman Uzbeki-beki-stan-stan Cain, and that she doesnt care.

Warrens statement on Israel consumes far more space than any other foreign policy issue on the page (she makes no mention of China, Latin America, or Africa). To justify what she calls the unbreakable bond between the US and Israel, Warren repeats the thoughtless cant about a natural partnership resting on our mutual commitment to democracy and freedom and on our shared values. She then declares that the United States must reject any Palestinian plans to pursue statehood outside of negotiations with Israel. While the US can preach to the Palestinians about how and when to demand the end of their 45-year-long military occupation, Warren says the US cannot dictate the terms to Israel.

Warren goes on to describe Iran as a significant threat to the United States, echoing a key talking point of fear-mongering pro-war forces. She calls for strong sanctions and declares that the United States must take the necessary steps to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon a veiled endorsement of a military strike if Iran crosses the constantly shifting American red lines. Perhaps the only option Warren does not endorse or implicitly support is diplomacy. Her foreign policy views are hardly distinguishable from those of her Republican rival, who also marches in lockstep with AIPAC.

The same progressives who refused to vet Barack Obamas views on foreign policy when he ran for president in 2008, and who now feel betrayed that he is not the liberal savior they imagined him to be, are repeating their mistake with Warren. With AIPAC leading the push for war at the height of an election campaign, there is no better time to demand accountability from candidates like Warren. Who does she serve? The liberal grassroots forces that made her into a populist hero or the lobby seeking to drag the US into a dubious, potentially catastrophic war? It is far better for progressives to grill her on her foreign policy positions before the campaign is over than after the next war begins.

Yesterday, the New York Times reported on the depressingly predictable consequences of US-led sanctions against Iran: they have reinforced the regimes hold on power and enriched the elite while wrecking the lives of millions of middle and working class Iranians. The Times Robert Worth made prominent note of the fact that sanctions were motivated at least as much by President Barack Obamas domestic political ambitions as they were by American foreign pollicy interests:

Yet this economic burden is falling largely on the middle class, raising the prospect of more resentment against the West and complicating the effort to deter Irans nuclear program a central priority for the Obama administration in this election year

Ordinary Iranians complain that the sanctions are hurting them, while those at the top are unscathed, or even benefit. Many wealthy Iranians made huge profits in recent weeks by buying dollars at the government rate (available to insiders) and then selling them for almost twice as many rials on the soaring black market. Some analysts and opposition political figures contend that Mr. Ahmadinejad deliberately worsened the currency crisis so that his cronies could generate profits this way.

More pointless, politics-driven economic warfare is on the way. At the prompting of United Against A Nuclear Iran, a neocon front group whose board members have already urged military action against Iran, the Senate Banking Committee recently approved a new round of sanctions that would force the Swift telecommunications industry to expel Iranian banks. The New York Times noted that the Swift sanctions would be financially catastrophic for Iran if carried out fully, according to proponents and sanctions experts.

One Democratic congressional aide who supports the Swift sanctions touted the Senate legislation as a collective strangulation of the Iranian population, remarking to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, every time that a new sanctions bill is passed, the noose gets tighter around the neck of the Iranian economy.

A co-sponsor of the Swift sanctions, Republican Senator Mark Kirk, has been the largest single recipient of AIPAC-related donations in Congress. Kirks desire to collectively punish the Iranian people for anything their government might or might not have done is unconcealed. In an October 2011 appearance on a Chicago-area radio show, Kirk spent his time harumphing over a transparently trumped up Iranian government terror plot. But the host interrupted the senator with an important question: Are you really going after the government of the country, or are you taking food out of the mouths of the citizens?

Kirks reply neatly encapsulated the sadistic consensus in Washington: Its okay to take the food out of the mouths of the citizens from a government thats plotting an attack directly on American soil.

In 2005, a group of graduate students at Johns Hopkins Universitys School of Advanced and International Studies (SAIS) participated in the schools annual diplomatic simulation. The high-pressure scenario required the students to negotiate a resolution to a standoff with a nuclear-armed Republic of Pakistan. Mara Karlin, a student known for her hawkish politics on Israel and the Middle East, played President of the United States.

Though most of the participants were confident they could head off a military conflict with diplomatic measures, Karlin jumped the gun. According to a former SAIS student, not only did Karlin order a nuclear strike on Pakistan, she also took the opportunity to nuke Iran. Her classmates were shocked. It was the first time in 45 years that a simulation concluded with the deployment of a nuclear weapon.

That year, Karlin received a plum job in the Bush administrations Department of Defense where, according to her bio she was intimately involved in formulating U.S. policy on Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel-Palestinian affairs. Lebanon was a special area of focus for Karlin. She claims to have helped structure the Lebanese Armed Forces and coordinated relations between the US and Lebanese militaries.

According to the former SAIS student, Karlin was a favorite of Eliot Cohen, an ultra-hawkish professor of strategic studies at SAIS, which is regarded in American foreign policy circles as a training ground for the neoconservative movement. Through Cohens connections among the neocons occupying key civilian posts in Bushs Defense Department, the former student claims Cohen was able to arrange an attractive sinecure for Karlin. Besides Karlin, the ex-SAIS student told me Cohen has promoted the career ambitions of many former pupils, including Kelly Magsamen, who worked under Cohen in the Bush administration and now oversees the Iran portfolio in the Obama administrations State Department.

Today, Cohen is among Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romneys top campaign advisers. He is the primary author of Romneys foreign policy white paper, which attacks Obama for currying favor with [Americas] enemies and ostentatiously shunning Jerusalem.

The paper urges a policy of regime change in Iran including possible coordination with Israel on military strikes to prevent the Iranian regime from developing a nuclear weapon. It is an aggressive Republican election season document presenting a concoction of post-9/11 unilateralism and unvarnished neo-imperialism as the antidote to a sitting president Cohen accused of unilateral disarmament in the diplomatic and moral sphere. More importantly, it suggests that a Romney administrations foreign policy might look remarkably similar to and perhaps more extreme than that of the Bush administration.

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US President Barack Obama is nave and needs to face up to the threat presented by the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East, Israels National Security Council concluded during a strategic discussion several days ago, Israel Hayom reported.

The Israeli National Security Council consists of Benjamin Bibi Netanyahus closest advisers. And Israel Hayom is not just another right-leaning Israeli tabloid. Referred to by Israelis as the Bibiton, or Bibis mouthpiece, the paper is an instrument that gives him extraordinary political leverage. The obviously planted article in Israel Hayom rang like a bell sounding the start of Netanyahus own campaign in helping the Republican Party oust Obama from the White House.

Israel Hayoms genesis demonstrates the depth of Netanyahus connections in Republican circles. It was created by one of Netanyahus top financial supporters, a Las Vegas-based casino tycoon named Sheldon Adelson, who is also a major donor to the conservative wing of the Republican Party. Adelsons closest relationship is with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, a longtime ally of Netanyahu who has been running a rancorous campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

Netanyahus less than subtle intervention has become an open issue in Israeli politics. Opposition leader Tzipi Livni of the Kadima Party has criticized Netanyahu for damaging the US-Israeli relationship. Netanyahu spoke about consensus, Livni said in May, and if there is a consensus in Israel, its that the relationship with the US is essential to Israel, and a prime minister that harms the relationship with the US over something unsubstantial is harming Israels security and deterrence.

But Livnis warning has been ignored. Rather than hesitating, the prime minister and his inner circle are moving full steam ahead in their political shadow campaign whose ultimate goal is to remove Obama. Bibis war against Obama is unprecedented. While Israeli prime ministers have tried to help incumbent presidents, none have ever waged a full-scale campaign to overthrow them.

Netanyahu has engaged enthusiastic allies in the Republican Congress, led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and within the right-wing media. His neoconservative allies in Washington are launching a Super PAC to generate emotional attack ads against Obama and any candidate that might be an obstacle to his policies. And his campaign has even broadened into an attempt to discredit The New York Times, whose editorial page and foreign policy columnists, Thomas Friedman and Roger Cohen, have been critical of him.

Netanyahus shadow campaign is intended to be a factor in defeating Obama and electing a Republican in his place. He opposed Obamas early demand to freeze settlements on the West Bank as a precondition for reviving the peace process, a process since the Oslo Accord that Netanyahu has attempted to stall or sabotage, despite his signing of the Wye Agreement under pressure from President Clinton. Since his adamant stand against the settlement freeze, Netanyahu has undermined every effort to engage the peace process. He appears dead set on consolidating Greater Israel, or what many Israelis call Judea and Samaria, and has signaled a strong desire to attack Iran.

By all accounts, Netanyahus personal chemistry with Obama is toxic. Obama bristles at his belligerence. But Netanyahus hostility has reaped rewards from him, having stopped the peace process in its tracks. The latest effort by the Quartet seems doomed to failure. And Netanyahus rejectionism has put Obama on the defense. Most of the US Jewish establishment has remained a bulwark for Bibis policies. Obama, meanwhile, has been forced to declare Americas unshakable bond with Israel, even as Bibi thwarts Obamas initiatives and attacks him in the Israeli press.

As political strategy, by tainting Obama as less than full-throated in support of Israel, Netanyahu bolsters the Republican themes that the president apologizes for US power, is weak on national security, and is an agent of decline. By depicting Obama as weak on Israel, Netanyahus campaign excites right-wing Jews and evangelical Christians, who overwhelmingly accept the biblical claims of the Jewish states historical right to Greater Israel, Judea and Samaria. Bibis deepest attack line against Obama merges theology with ideology. His campaign against Obama is a high-stakes gambit that will almost certainly color US-Israeli relations well past Election Day. Already, Netanyahu has succeeded in polarizing the political debate, as his agenda is singularly aligned with the Republican Party. Yet Bibis short-term objectives are rapidly turning the US-Israel relationship, at least under his aegis, into a partisan issue, another litmus test of conservative ideology rather than national interest.

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KPFA Radio 94.1FM presents: MAX BLUMENTHAL GAZA: The 51-Day War: Ruin & Resistance in Gaza Hosted by Philip Maldari

July 1, Wednesday, 7:30 pm First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley $12 advance tickets: brownpapertickets.com :: 800-838-3006 or Pegasus (3 sites) Moes, Walden Pond Bookstore, Diesel a Bookstore, Mrs. Dalloways Books SF: Modern Times, $15 door KPFA benefit

Max Blumenthal audaciously takes in-your-face, on-the-ground journalism into the realm of geopolitics. Juan Cole, author of The New Arabs and Engaging the Muslim World

One year ago Israel launched air strikes on Gaza, followed by a ground invasion. The ensuing 51 days of this assault left more than 2200 people dead, the vast majority of whom were Palestinian civilians, including more than 500 children. 10,000 homes were destroyed. The United Nations has stated that 300, 000 Palestinians were displaced. Max Blumenthal was in Gaza throughout this catastrophe. In this explosive masterpiece of intimate reportage, he reveals the harrowing conditions and cynical deceptions that led to this ruinous war and tells many of the human stories otherwise buried.

He brings Gaza to life and details the ferocious clashes when the Israeli military occupied this desperately poor strip of land. He discloses the truth behind numerous Israeli claims and such contentious issues as the use of civilians as human shields by Israeli forces, the official targetting of Palestinian civilians and other war crimes of the Israeli armed forces. He carefully examines the military doctrine responsible. He provides exceptionally moving testimonies from residents. The ravaged population of Gaza was left out in the cold, with no relief from the international community and inadequate coverage by mainstream media. Here at last is the truth of this globally condemned war.

Max Blumenthal has spent the last decade transforming himself into one of the most vital voices in journalism today, always speaking truth to power with fearlessness and integrity. Reza Aslan, author of Zealot

Max Blumenthal is the author of Republican Gomorrah and Goliath. A senior writer for Alternet, his writings have also appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Guardian, Salon.com, and many others. Philip Maldari is the veteran host of KPFAs Sunday Morning Show.

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2010 | Max Blumenthal | Page 5

When Israeli soldiers entered the embattled Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh on July 2, they were immediately confronted by over a dozen small children. While the IDF is accustomed to firing teargas canisters, percussion grenades, rubber bullets and even live .22 caliber ammunition at adolescent boys, members of the Nahal unit and Kfir infantry brigade tasked with suppressing the weekly Nabi Saleh demonstration were frustrated by the children who surrounded and taunted them. At one point, the division commander became so upset he barked into his radio, I need backup!

The spectacle of seven-year-old children confronting heavily armed and visibly confused soldiers offers one of the clearest perspectives of the lopsided power dynamic that animates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It also highlights the reality of life for children in the Occupied Territories. They play soccer and dodgeball between phalanxes of soldiers firing lethal projectiles at their neighbors just a few meters away everyday life is an act of resistance.

Why are children participating in popular protests? Consider the case of Niilin, a Palestinian village engaged in popular struggle against the construction of the separation wall across its privately owned land. The Israeli army is holding three members of its small popular committee the political leadership of the village in harsh conditions in Ofer prison. They were arrested without charges during a night raid, subjected to psychological torture by the Shabak (Israels General Security Service), and are being held indefinitely.

Everyone is scared to protest now, Saeed Amireh, a Niilin resident in his early twenties, told me. I can participate in the demonstrations because I am single. But for those of us who have wives and children, going to jail is the worst. How can we work for our families or know what is happening with our wife if we are taken away? Amireh had just returned from a four month stint in Ofer prison which he described as horrible. He is still not sure what crime he was accused of committing. Its bullshit, he said. Im not the one doing any violence.

During Fridays protest in Nabi Saleh, orders could be heard blaring from soldiers radios to photograph some of the older (read: over 10 years old) boys participating in the protest. The photos are used to identify targets for night raids, when soldiers enter the village under cover of darkness, burst into homes and grab the young children and adolescent boys comprising the villages shabab from their beds.

According to Lymor Goldstein, a lawyer who represents many of the Niilin residents detained for joining protests, the arrested youth are immediately subjected to psychological torture by the Shabak: they are held in total darkness, fed at odd hours, threatened, and interrogated as soon as they become sufficiently scared and disoriented. They dont really need to beat them, Goldstein told me during a demonstration in Niilin. The psychological torture is so intense that almost no one can resist it. (Goldstein confided to me that he was having trouble recalling specific names because of a rubber bullet that pierced his skull during a protest in the village of Bilin in 2006, causing long term damage to his vision and memory. Video of the Israeli Border Police shooting Goldstein is here.)

Because grown men are particularly vulnerable to imprisonment and adolescent boys are targeted with just about any kind of violence the Israeli army wants to level against them, young children have led the Nabi Saleh demonstrations on at least three occasions. While the soldiers acted with general restraint towards the kids (Nahal is peppered with left-leaning citizen-soldiers who have been convinced they can foster change from within by joining a combat unit) children as young as seven have been called in for recent interrogations by the Shabak. While the Shabak called the incident a mistake, it is not isolated. Nora Barrows-Friedman reported last March on a 10 year old who was badly beaten during a night raid of his home by Israeli troops, then detained in a nearby settlement for 10 hours. In Nabi Saleh, a young boy was critically injured by Israeli forces in March.

On July 2, the soldiers in Nabi Saleh wound up taking their frustrations out on two Israeli activists, Yonathan Shapira and Matan Cohen, violently subduing and arresting them. Though Shapira and Cohen were baselessly accused by the IDF Spokesmans Office of attacking a soldier, they were released hours after their detention.

What are Israeli soldiers doing in Nabi Saleh in the first place? The village has been besieged by its neighbors from the religious nationalist Israeli settlement of Halamish since Halamish was constructed in 1977 on land privately owned by Nabi Salehs residents. Recently, the settlers seized control of a fresh water spring that has belonged to Nabi Saleh since the village was built in the 19th century. In December 2009, the settlers uprooted hundreds of the villages olive trees in an attempt to re-annex land awarded back to Nabi Saleh in an Israeli court case. Since then, farmers from Nabi Saleh have been subjected to routine attacks by settlers and prevented from working their land. The Israeli army has come down firmly on the side of Halamish, suppressing the demonstrations with disproportionate force while doing little, if anything, to prevent settler violence. But if the spirit of Nabi Salehs young demonstrators are any indication, the army has a long way to go before it breaks the villagers will.

The IDF claimed Yonathan Shapira and Matan Cohen “attacked” a soldier. It is a blatant lie discredited by video evidence.

On July 2, at the weekly demonstration in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, Israeli army troops violently arrested Israeli activists Yonatan Shapira and Matan Cohen. I witnessed the incident that led to the arrests and filmed them as they took place. As a group of soldiers pursued children up a small hill, then began firing teargas shells and percussion grenades at them, presumably in response to a few stones the children had thrown, Cohen and Shapira mocked the soldiers. Shooting at children! You are so brave! Cohen exclaimed.

Who are you gonna believe? The IDF or your two lying eyes?

Within a few seconds the commander of the IDF division (an oleh named Danny) charged Cohen and Shapira, then headlocked Cohen and dragged him into a jeep. When Shapira protested, he was thrown to the ground, violently subdued and dragged into a jeep. At no point did Cohen or Shapira attack any soldier.

The IDF Spokesmans Unit issued a statement on Twitter claiming Cohen and Shapira two arrested rioters had attacked an IDF soldier. However, my footage of the incident completely discredits the IDFs claim. As I said in the wake of the flotilla massacre, nothing the IDF Spokesmans Office says can be trusted. Ever. The IDFs intention is to smear human rights activists as violent terrorists while portraying itself as the blameless victim. Anyone who spends a day in Nabi Saleh or any Palestinian village engaged in popular protest against the occupation will see that the complete reverse is true.

It is worth noting that Shapira and Cohen are two of the most prominent figures among Israels small left-wing activist community. Shapira is a former IDF Blackhawk helicopter division leader who earned international renown in 2002 when he refused to carry out patently illegal orders to bombard densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip, then organized a letter signed by numerous active duty pilots protesting the occupation.

For his part, Cohen was shot in the left eye with a rubber bullet by an Israeli border policeman while protesting the separation wall near Ramallah. He was 17 years old at the time. While he was a student at Hampshire College, he ledthe first successful campus divestment in the US of companies involved in the Israeli occupation. Is it any surprise that the IDF has attempted without any evidence of its own to smear Shapira and Cohen as violent rioters?

I will post more footage from Nabi Saleh later this weekend, hopefully some footage from a remarkable demonstration in Niilin, and a brief history of the struggle in both villages.

My episode in the Independent Film Channels Media Project Series has found its way online. The 30 minute mini-doc (sandwiched between two barely palatable promotional segments) is an exploration of the Tea Party movement, its funders, leadership, and the role of Fox News in branding and promoting it as a grassroots expression of anti-government resentment. See it for yourself:

Max Blumenthal goes inside the Tea Party from Ram Bam on Vimeo.

Michael Oren makes stuff up. But the NY Times doesn’t have to publish it.

Nearly a month after publishing Israeli Ambassador the US Michael Orens apologia for the flotilla massacre, the NY Times has yet to correct two of the most glaring lies Oren made. The first of Orens deceptions was his assertion that religious extremists embedded among those on board were paid and equipped to attack Israelis.The notion that al-Qaeda affiliated mercenaries were on board the Mavi Marmara was discredited as soon as the IDF Spokesmans Office changed a headline on a press release about terrorist mercenaries to read, Attackers of the IDF Found Without Identification Papers. The headline was quietly altered on June 3, the same day the Times published Orens op-ed. Shouldnt their fact checkers and editors been better informed?

The second of Orens lies was at least as ludicrous as his first. He wrote:

Also found on the boat were propaganda clips showing passengers injured by Israeli forces; these videos, however, were filmed during daylight, hours before the nighttime operation occurred.

If this was true, then where were the clips? Why hasnt the IDF released any footage to support Orens claim? Probably because such clips do not exist anywhere. As far as I can tell, they were never on the website of the IDF Spokesmans Office or the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The footage is not even available on YouTube. So where are they? Certainly the IDF would have wanted to publish anything that supported its version of events. But they could not conjure anything to bolster Orens bizarre claim (which seemed to suggest that the killing and maiming of flotilla passengers by Israeli commandos was simply propaganda and therefore never happened).

Unless Oren or the Israeli military can produce the propaganda clips Oren mentioned, the New York Times should be compelled to retract the falsehoods it published. The Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt can be reached at public@nytimes.com or (212) 556-7652

In a May 7 article, Haaretz reporter Ilana Hammerman described in dramatic detail a crime she had methodically planned and committed. In defiance of laws supposedly related to Israels security, Hammerman picked up three teenage Palestinian girls in their village in the West Bank, took them through the Betar checkpoint, and drove them into Tel Aviv. There they ate ice cream, visited the mall and museum, and played in the sea. Even though the girls lived just a few kilometers from the beach, Israels military occupation had prevented them from ever visiting it before their illegal day of fun.

Hammerman wrote in her account of the experience, If There Is A Heaven:

The end was wonderful. The last photos show them about two hours after the trip to the flea market, running in the darkness on Tel Avivs Banana Beach. They didnt want to stop for even a minute at the restaurant there to have a bite to eat or something to drink, or even to just relax a bit. Instead they immediately removed their sandals again, rolled up their pants and ran into the water. And ran and ran, back and forth, in zig-zags, along the huge beach, ponytails flying in the wind. From time to time, they knelt down in the sand or crowded together in the shallow water to have their picture taken. The final photo shows two of them standing in the water, arms around each others waists, their backs to the camera. Only the bright color of their shirts contrasting with the dark water and the sky reveals that the two are Yasmin and Aya, because Lin was wearing a black shirt.

But the fun ended as soon as a group called The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel filed a request with Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein demanding that Hammerman be prosecuted for breaking the countrys Law of Entry to Israel forbidding Israelis from assisting Palestinians in entering Israel. If Weinstein agrees to the request, Hammerman could face as much as two years in prison.

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My summary of the Israeli medias shambolic performance following the flotilla massacre was originally published here in Hebrew at Dvorit Shargals excellent Israeli media blog, Velvet Underground. The English version follows:

If the raid of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was a disaster for the Israel Defense Forces, its aftermath demonstrated an equally bewildering performance by the Israeli media. The IDF Spokesmans Office churned out one misleading claim after another, each one more implausible than the next, seeking to implant in the publics mind a version of events that bore little relation to reality. To a degree, this was to be expected; but it was startling to see how some of Israels most respected reporters lined up to serve as military stenographers, barely challenging the IDFs rapidly changing versions of events. IDF claims about the flotilla passengers links to Al Qaida, anti-Semitic statements shouted at the Israeli Navy, and their terrorist intentions were eagerly broadcast by the Israeli media without a second thought. When independent reporters forced the IDF to retract or clarify all of these claims, Israeli news outlets refused to correct their errors, or covered them up without acknowledgment.

It so happened that I arrived in Israel for a research trip the day after the flotilla raid. As a result, I was able to do something which I always thought to be a very basic journalistic practice, so basic its supposed to be applied routinely: Asking an implicated party in a story to produce evidence for its claims. What I found bewildering is that at least judging from Israeli media reports, few, if any, mainstream reporters applied this practice, and when a visiting colleague did their job for them nobody bothered to correct or withdraw their original report.

On June 2, the IDF disseminated a press release entitled, Attackers of the IDF soldiers found to be Al Qaeda mercenaries. The accusation was not accompanied by any conclusive evidence the IDF reported that Mavi Marmara passengers were equipped with night-vision goggles (gasp!). This did not stop Yedioths Ron Ben-Yishai, who was embedded with the Navy commandos, from amplifying the baseless charge. Citing an interrogation of Marmara passengers lynchers, he called them Ben-Yishai wrote the same day, Some among the [flotilla passengers] are believed to have ties with World Jihad groups, mainly Al Qaeda. The article made no reference to any efforts on part of Ben Yishai to investigate this claim, nor did he seem to think to ask why the IDF was about to release dangerous operatives of Osama Bin Laden presumably they would attack again, wouldnt they?

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Israels Ministry of Foreign Affairs the diplomatic disaster area of Avigdor Lieberman is promoting Glenn Becks infamous episode on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on its selected articles page. Apparently Israels department of hasbara does not realize that Beck is looked at by everyone but the most ardent members of the Tea Party movement as a conspiratorial, racist demagogue with no credibility. Nor does it seem to care that Beck has an extensive record of endorsing the work of virulent anti-Semites like the Nazi apologist Elizabeth Dilling.

Didi Remez has an excellent analysisat Coteret on what he calls the Tea Partying of the US-Israel relationship. Remez reports that numerous mainstream Israeli opinion leaders have posted the Beck clip on the Facebook pages along with Caroline Glicks notoriously racist, We Con The World video. Now the Israeli government has gotten in on the act. Its no wonder being pro-Israel in the US is becoming increasingly synonymous with being a Tea Party-style Republican.

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Update: The subject of the photo has been identified. Reader el_sirio writes: The guy in the picture is Yemeni lawmaker Mohammad al-Hazmi, showing his ceremonial dagger (known in Yemen as Jambiya), which is carried by every single man in Yemen and is an essential part of the traditional Yemeni dress. Al-Hazmi was detained by the Israelis along with 2 other Yemeni MPs who were on the flotilla. One of them told Yemeni newspapers that the picture was taken long before the Mavi Marmara was attacked by the Israelis. Al-Hazmi was showing off his ceremonial dagger to curious journalists and foreigners on the ship. In this link [Arabic] MP Hazza al-Maswari says that at the time of the Israeli attack, al-Hazmi did not have his Jambiya on him.

On May 31, the IDF Spokesmans Office distributed a photo of a bearded Muslim man with a knife surrounded by reporters. Daylight was pouring in from a window or door behind the reporters. Offered without context or explanation, the photo played up a classic Orientalist stereotype of violent, fanatical, and even suicidal Muslims determined to kill Jews. It was included in an article based on testimony from anonymous commandos with the following title: Israeli Navy Commandos: Gaza flotilla activists tried to lynch us.

The IDF apparently told Haaretz that the photo was taken immediately after its Naval commandos raided the Mavi Marmara and other flotilla ships at least, thats how Haaretz described the photo based on an IDF source.Yet the raid was conducted under the cover of darkness. How could a photo obviously taken during daytime have portrayed an event that took place during the late evening? Do Muslims have magical powers that allow them to turn night into day? And why were reporters standing around, casually taking photos when commandos were supposedly getting lynched? Once again, the IDFs story was highly suspect.

The original IDF-sourced caption holding a knife after commandos boarded is below:

The original Haaretz caption claims the photo was taken after the Navy commandos raided the Marmara

I called the IDF Spokesmans Office to inquire about the photo. Why did the IDF claim the photo depicted an event that took place after the commandos raided the flotilla when it was clearly taken during the daytime? I asked.

After I questioned the IDF’s claim of the photo’s timing, Haaretz quietly changed the caption, removing language about the photo being taken after the raid

Spokesman Sgt. Chen Arad told me he did not know whether the photo was taken before or after the commandos landed on the Mavi Marmara. It could be that the claim was made by commandos in the interview, he maintained. I reminded him that Haaretzs source for the photo was not the commandos, but the IDF Spokesmans Office. After confirming that his office released the photo, Arad said, It is reasonable that it was before the actual takeover but Im not sure what was claimed with Haaretz.

Soon after I spoke with Arad on June 8, Haaretz scrubbed its caption of the suspicious photo, removing the phrase, holding a knife after Israeli commandos boarded their ship. However, Haaretz did not mention the retraction, probably assuming no one would notice. The retraction raises disturbing questions about the level of coordination between the IDF and the Israeli media. Did the IDF Spokesmans Office tip Haaretz off after I called them? And why does Haaretz accept the IDFs version of events on the Marmara at face value? Besides casting a shadow over Haaretzs coverage of the flotilla raid, this episode once again proves that nothing the IDF says can be trusted.

The IDF has distributed a press release claiming that it has evidence that five passengers on the Mavi Marmara were active terror operatives. The armys claims appeared thin at best, and patently false at worst. When I called the IDF Spokesmans Office to ask for evidence, I was told there was none; all of the IDFs claims were attributed to intelligence it could not share with reporters.

The information in the statement comes based on intelligence, Army spokesman Sgt. Chen Arad told me. I dont have any further information I can give.

I pressed Arad to at least describe the intelligence he had seen. There is very limited intelligence information we can give in this specific case, he said. Obviously Im unable to give you more information. He referred me to a colleague at the IDFs North American desk. She did not answer after numerous tries. Im going to call again tomorrow; journalist Lia Tarachansky has also placed a call to a spokesman and yielded similar responses which Ill transcribe here soon.

One of the most bizarre accusations the IDF made was that former American citizen and ex-Marine Ken OKeefe was planning to train a commando unit in the Gaza Strip. Thats the same Ken OKeefe who organized an aid boat to Gaza, Aloha Palestine, with the sister-in-law of Tony Blair, Lauren Booth. In recent days, OKeefe has been a major presence in the international media, giving his account of the melee on the deck of Mavi Marmara. Why would Hamas want some middle aged American guy with no experience in guerilla warfare to train its elite forces? The answer is the IDF is probably trying to smear OKeefe to discredit his withering assessment of their conduct during the flotilla raid. All I saw in Israel was cowards with guns, OKeefe has declared.

Hussein Arosh was implicated by the IDF for allegedly planning to assist in smuggling Al-Qaeda operatives via Turkey into the Strip. This claim is highly implausible. Why would Hamas allow Al Qaida operatives into the Gaza Strip when it is actively engaged in crushing any Al Qaida sympathizers who crop up within the territory it controls. Last year, Hamas forces killed 21 members of an Al Qaida inspired group in a battle in the Gaza Strip.

Another unusual IDF accusation was that the US resident Fatimah Mahmadi is a terrorist because she is an active member of the organization Viva Palestine who attempted to smuggle forbidden electronic components into the Gaza Strip. (I think the IDF means Viva Palestina, not Viva Palestine). Viva Palestina is not registered as a terrorist group by any country in the world; it is the British parliamentarian George Galloways pro-Palestine outfit, which is planning to organize more aid convoys.

The IDFs press release did not appear credible in any way. If any reporters from the Israeli press had bothered to call the IDF to demand evidence, they would have learned that there was none. At least in Israel, the media is serving as a useful tool for the army. Just look at this piece by Haaretzs Anshel Pfeffer.

NY Times Lede blogger Robert Mackey has cataloged some of the IDFs most egregious fabrications and distortions and provided a gallery of new photos smuggled off the Mavi Marmara that blow the IDFs version of events out of the water. Among the distortions Mackey mentioned was the doctoring of the now-notorious Auschwitz clip:

The second video is a short clip of what the I.D.F. said were audio transmissions Israels navy received from the Mavi Marmara before the raid. The clip suggested that a polite request from the navy to the ship was met with responses from three people who said: Shut up go back to Auschwitz, We have permission from the Gaza Port Authority to enter, and Were helping Arabs going against the U.S., dont forget 9/11, guys.

This clip, posted on the I.D.F.s official YouTube channel on Friday, was met with immediate skepticism by some bloggers and journalists in Israel. Max Blumenthal pointed out in a post on his blog that the I.D.F. had already released video of what seemed like the same exchange four days earlier in which the only reply from the ship was Negative, negative. Our destination is Gaza. Our destination is Gaza.

Mr. Blumenthal suggested that at least one of the voices making the inflammatory remarks in the clip sounded like an impersonation of an Arab. He also noted that Huwaida Arraf, one of the organizers of the flotilla, said that it was her voice saying We have permission from the Gaza Port Authority to enter. But Ms. Arraf was not on the Mavi Marmara, which suggested that the I.D.F. tape was not an unedited snippet of the exchange between the naval ship and the Mavi Marmara.

On Saturday, the I.D.F. published what it called a Clarification/Correction regarding the clip which said that the audio had been edited. The militarys statement insisted that the audio of the exchange was genuine, but had been condensed for clarity:

There have been questions regarding the authenticity of the recording as well as its attribution to a communication with the Mavi Marmara.

So to clarify: the audio was edited down to cut out periods of silence over the radio as well as incomprehensible comments so as to make it easier for people to listen to the exchange. We have now uploaded the entire segment of 5 minutes and 58 seconds in which the exchange took place and the comments were made.

This transmission had originally cited the Mavi Marmara ship as being the source of these remarks, however, due to an open channel, the specific ship or ships in the Freedom Flotilla responding to the Israeli Navy could not be identified.

The longer clip, which the I.D.F. calls the Unedited Radio Transmission Between Gaza Flotilla and Israeli Navy, also includes the audio of the inflammatory statements, but since they are snippets of audio over a black screen, it is impossible to verify their authenticity.

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Israeli Racism And The Pathology of Max Blumenthal …

As if being Germans is not bad enough, in the eyes of Blumenthal, the Germans are also guilty of being White. To the question does that make Germany a Jewish friendly country? Blumenthal answers,Germany is the whitest country in the world. Its so white that it doesnt know that its white or what whiteness is.This is actually the most inclusive notion of Whiteness I have ever come across. It implies that in Germany, whiteness has no binary meaning. However,I suggest that Blumenthal looks in the mirror.

Younes, probably overwhelmed by Blumenthals unique convoluted brand of anti intellectual aggression, asked Blumenthal to elaborate on the meaning of Whiteness. Blumenthal replied, whiteness is the supreme embodiment of privilege. Whiteness is expressed through the wielding of power against calls for equality and the simultaneous denial of the very existence of the privilege to do so a willful lack of self-awareness.

Reading these lines by Blumenthal I am perplexed by the total lack of self-awareness on Blumenthals part. What did Blumenthal think to himself when he and Sheen were filming and chasing the German MP to the toilet while loudly celebrating their own privilege of being Jews? Did they think that a Palestinian might do the same thing? Would Ramzy Baroud or Azmi Bishara even consider behaving in such a rude way? Not in million years. And the reason Blumenthal and Sheen feel entitled to act so badly is simple. The two are operating with an impunity that is driven by a unique sense of choseness, i.e., Jewish privilege.

For a second it may seem as if Blumenthal is critical of the primacy of Jewish suffering The completely mono-culturalnarrative on what it means to be a German holds that the Holocaust towers above all other crimes, that those who perished in it were the ultimate victims of history, and that the Jewish nation that rose up in its wake must therefore float above the weight of history.

What is going on? I am slightly confused. Blumenthal is a devoted Nazi hunter and an open enemy of historical revisionism. A few years ago, Blumenthal produced a Zionist Text Book video that attempted to discredit historical revisionist David Irving. This video is worth watching. Inadvertently or not, Germany is instrumentalizing the Holocaust and Zionism to compromise the citizenship rights of Muslim and Arab immigrants, to silence their narratives, and to complicate their naturalization process. But Blumenthal here is actually talking about himself; it is he who has been instrumentalizing the Holocaust to serve the goal of his own (Jewish progressive) narrative.

It takes a few paragraphs before Blumenthal squirts the full Jewish progressive mantra.They (the Germans) simply can not accept that Jews are normal people capable of being oppressors like everyone else; of practicing apartheid or developing a class of extremists who behave almost identically to Christian neo-Nazis. Precious. This is probably the best summary of Jewish progressive nonsense. Jews are like everyone else, they are ordinary people and dont you ever dare question their choseness. Dont you ask what is unique about their lobby, dont you ever look into the role of their elite and its domination in culture or banking etc. But then, if Jews are just so ordinary, how did they manage to mount the political pressure on the German political system that drove Blumenthal and David Sheen out of Germany?Instead of answering this simple and crucial question, the Progressive Jew Blumenthal prefers to smear the entire German people as a pathological, sickening society, driven by whiteness. This tactic is appalling yet symptomatic of Progressive Jewish ID politics.

If you think that you have enough evidence of the depth of Blumenthals racially driven thinking, read this. When asked about support in Germany,Ive met quite a fewwhiteGermans who are supportive of the idea of Palestinians having basic human rights and are actually willing to do something about itGenuinely left-wing anti-racists tend to be supportive of Palestinian rights. But I wonder, is Blumenthal anti racist? For an anti racist enthusiast his language is suffused with racial expressions and biological determinist ideas. Blumenthal refers to skin colour. He talks about the pathology of nations and peoples but at the same time he defies any attempt to criticise the ideology of his own chosenpeople.

Max Blumenthal is not anti racist; he is instead an exemplary specimen of a supremacist Jew. I believe that Blumenthal would do himself and his people a great favour by avoiding cameras and microphones, because reading the comments on Mondoweiss reveals that Blumenthal is not alone – the Jewish progressive crowd of Mondoweiss also cannot grasp how racist, aggressive and supremacist Blumenthals views are.

Fascinating.

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Israeli Racism And The Pathology of Max Blumenthal …

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In latest pander to Israel lobby, Clinton smears Max …

Author Max Blumenthal.

The Clinton campaign has reached a new low: slamming Max Blumenthal because he has dared to criticize Elie Wiesel for Wiesels vicious comments about Palestinians and support for the Iraq war.

Secretary Clinton emphatically rejects these offensive, hateful, and patently absurd statements about Elie Wiesel, Jake Sullivan, senior policy advisor to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said in a statement to The Jerusalem Post.

Sullivan released the statement following a Post report from earlier this week on anti-Israel activists who attempted to vilify Wiesel after his death.

She believes they are wrong in all senses of the term. She believes that Max Blumenthal and others should cease and desist in making them, Sullivan said.

People should be reading Max Blumenthals wonderful takedown of Elie Wiesel at Alternet, which begins with what an inspiration Night was to him as a boy (as it was for me too), before retailing Wiesels repeated moral failures, including vigorously supporting the Iraq war and opposing the Iran deal, refusing to criticize Israel ever, while promoting religious nationalist settlers expansion in Jerusalem. As Blumenthal promotes the piece on twitter, How Elie Wiesel used his aura to shield militarists like Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush and Netanyahu.

Blumenthal rightly defines the struggle here as one between neoliberal elites and marginalized supporters of Palestinians.

With Wiesels death, the elites who relied on him for moral cover leapt at the opportunity to claim his legacy. Meanwhile, the teachings and testimonies of Holocaust survivors who insisted on applying the lessons of the genocide universallyincluding to Palestiniansremained confined to the margins.

That is the battle that is playing out in the Democratic Party platform fight where the Bernie Sanders forces have been crushed. It is the battle playing out in Clintons aggressive courtship of neoconservative hawks and her repeated hammering of the only nonviolent movement to put pressure on Israel, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. It is playing out also in the claim that Trumps campaign used a Jewish star to brand Clinton as corrupt and thereby issue a dogwhistle to anti-Semites (I agree with the guy who fired me, Jared Kushner, that Trump doesnt hate Jews).

Alan Dershowitz said on CNN (thx to Jewish Insider) that Trump is appealing to anti-Semites the same way that Bernie Sanders was appealing to the anti-Israel left:

I think he and Bernie Sanders have in common they are not bigots, personally. But they dont want to lose the vote, in his case of the hard right, and Bernie Sanders didnt want to lose the vote to the hard anti-Israel left, so they both, kind of, pandered and let things go

Dershowitz, a Clinton supporter, is clearly right, that a good part of the progressive community in the United States now defines Israel/Palestine as a central issue to them. Sanders hardly pandered to us he opposed BDS but he surely moved left to capture our support. We have actual political clout, and Bernie Sanders was able to build a campaign with us because he had escaped the financial clutches of the elitist Israel lobby by raising money at $27 a pop.

Clinton cant escape those financial clutches. And she thinks she can only gain politically from smearing Max Blumenthal. She is saying, Let the Sanders hard-core stay home or vote for Jill Stein, I dont need them. But this political season isnt over yet; the Palestinian-solidarity community is having more mainstream impact than even I imagined a year ago with my rose-colored glasses.

And: isnt becoming president by marrying neoconservatism the definition of a deal with the devil? What does that do to U.S. foreign policy? Is that why she sought power? Is Hillary Clinton even in touch with her soul?

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Max Blumenthal – The Louis D. Brandeis Center Blog

Activists devoted to promoting boycott campaigns against Israel and maligning the Jewish state as illegitimate and uniquely evil knew already what to expect when Max Blumenthals book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel was published last October. As Blumenthal himself emphasized in the acknowledgements at the end of his book, sites like the Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss had provided essential outlets for much of the reporting presented in Goliath, while less courageous publications had shied away from publishing this material. What kind of courage it took to publish Blumenthals reporting on Israel was illustrated when the Simon Wiesenthal Center released its 2013 list of the Top 10 Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Slurs at the end of December and included Blumenthal in the category The Power of the Poison Pen. The Louis D. Brandeis Center (LDB) is publishing today a Research Article that provides a detailed documentation of Blumenthals efforts to depict Israel as an utterly evil state that can only be compared to Nazi Germany and should be treated accordingly. Entitled Another Milestone for the Mainstreaming of Anti-Semitism: The New America Foundation and Max Blumenthals Goliath, the paper highlights how inappropriate it is to promote a book on Israel by an author whose related work had been shunned by mainstream outlets for good reason. After all, Blumenthals writings and video clips not only appealed to activists campaigning for the delegitimization and elimination of Israel as a Jewish state, but were also promoted on all the major sites popular among conspiracy theorists, Jew-haters, racists and neo-Nazis: from Stormfront to David Dukes site, Rense, and Veterans Today. Moreover, Blumenthal himself endorsed reviews that praised his book for presenting Israel as the Nazi Germany of our time, thereby arguably undermining the mainstream legitimacy bestowed on Goliath by the New America Foundations (NAF) unfortunate decision to provide him a platform for promoting the book. While Blumenthal was perfectly capable to adjust his presentations according to the audience he was addressing, he provided a chilling demonstration of what he hoped to accomplish with Goliath during an event at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was hosted on October 17 by political scientist Ian Lustick to promote his book. Lustick noted at one point in the discussion that Blumenthal showed in Goliath that Israel is not just a little bit fascist, Israel is a lot fascist, and according to Lustick, this was the ultimate delegitimizer, because after World War II, nothing fascist can even be allowed to survive. Referring to the biblical story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha, Lustick invited Blumenthal to fancy himself in the position of God in order to decide whether there are enough good people in todays Sodom-like Israel to save it from destruction. Blumenthal, who clearly didnt need convincing that Israel as a Jewish state shouldnt be allowed to survive, responded by explaining that his first concern was relieving the suffering of the indigenous people of Palestine. According to him, the only way to achieve this was by placing external pressure such as the BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) movement is advocating on Jewish Israelis in order to force them to choose between emigrating and agreeing to become indigenized by accepting Arab dominance in political, cultural and social terms. This open call for the demise of the Jewish state and a Juden raus-policy for those of Israels Jews who would be unwilling to become indigenized after the hoped-for victory of the BDS movement did not remain one of the many barely noticed events staged regularly by so-called pro-Palestinian activists, but was reported by the Forwards J.J. Goldberg. Yet, there were no consequences, which arguably only illustrates the urgent need to fight the alarming deterioration of the debate about Israel on American campuses. When NAF President Anne-Marie Slaughter was notified at the end of November that her organizations planned event for Blumenthal had been criticized at Commentary as completely inappropriate, she dismissed the criticism by quoting the popular notion that the best answer for speech is more speech. Unfortunately, however, there was no attempt whatsoever to counter Blumenthals speech during the NAF event; instead, as was to be expected, Blumenthal received some mainstream endorsements after the event, most notably from veteran NAF board member James Fallows. With the Research Article published today, LDB is providing the long overdue answer to Blumenthals speech by documenting that promoting his work on Israel ultimately means to contribute to the mainstreaming of anti-Semitism.

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Max Blumenthal – the Data Lounge

Does anyone here know Max Blumenthal’s story? He is the geeky blogger and author that takes on the Repugs in some hilarious videos. I find him quite sexy. He’s cute. I think he’s Sidney Blumenthal’s son. yes, he is the son of Sidney (who worked in the Clinton administration). I think max is hot too. not sure if’s he’s gay. He sure seems to aim at the GOP over gay rights. He’s a little Jewish hottie! He has a lot of guts to venture into these different GOP functions. I love some of his Youtube videos. He is the guy who dug up the most dirt on Rick Warren and his funding of homophobic policies in Africa. He is very pro-gay and has been a guest several times on Michelangelo Signorile’s radio show. He also called out CNN’s Roland Martin on his homophobia. He did a report on Repug’s favorite not-gay escort, pornboy Matt Sanchez, on the Olbermann show a few years ago. The clip subsequently got more than a million hits on youtube until Matty’s lawyers got it pulled. I see a cable show in his future. Seriously ballsy and has a matter of fact delivery that is priceless. He reported on Sanchez after Sanchez got exposed right here on DL. Max Blumenthal sounds like a whiney girl, but it’s good to see someone thinks he’s attractive.

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Max Blumenthal – Wikipedia

Max Blumenthal (born December 18, 1977) is an American author, journalist, and blogger. He is a senior writer for Alternet and formerly a writer for The Daily Beast, Al Akhbar, and Media Matters for America.[1] He is the author of two books including Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party (2009), which appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list,[2][3][4][5] and Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (2013).[6][7][8] Blumenthal was born on December 18, 1977 in Boston, Massachusetts to Jacqueline (ne Jordan) and Sidney Blumenthal, a writer and former aide to President Bill Clinton and aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He has one brother. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 with a B.A. degree in history.[9] Blumenthal joined Lebanon’s Al Akhbar in late 2011 primarily to write about Israel-Palestine issues and foreign-policy debates in Washington, noting, upon leaving in mid-2012 in protest of its coverage of the Syrian Civil War, that it “gave me more latitude than any paper in the United States to write about … Israel and Palestine”.[10] He ended his association with Al Akhbar in June 2012, over what he viewed as the newspaper’s pro-Assad editorial line during the Syrian Civil War that he said was spearheaded by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb.[10][11] Blumenthal contributes weekly articles to Alternet where he has been a senior writer since September 2014. He focuses on the deepening crisis in the Middle East and its role in shaping political dynamics and public opinion in the US, particularly the special relationship with Israel. He occasionally covers domestic issues such as corporate media consolidation, the influence of the Christian right and police brutality.[12] His reporting from the Gaza strip in 2014 was developed into a book, The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza.[13] Blumenthal’s articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Independent Film Channel, Salon, The Real News, and Al Jazeera English, among other publications.[14] Blumenthal won the Online News Association’s Independent Feature Award for his 2002 Salon article, Day of the Dead.[15][16] The piece revealed that the killing of hundreds of women in Ciudad Jurez, Chihuahua, Mexico was connected to the policies of corporate interests in the border city.[17] Blumenthal contributed to The Huffington Post from 2009-11.[18] In 2014, Blumenthal covered hunger strikes in the privatized Northwest Detention Center by undocumented migrants for The Nation.[19] He had written about the rise of the so-called “Minuteman” movement for Salon.com in 2003, describing its members as border vigilantes who have harassed and detained hundreds, perhaps thousands, of migrants suspected of entering the country illegally.[20] In 2010, he covered the federal immigration enforcement program known as Operation Streamline for Truthdig. “The program represents the entrenchment of a parallel nonproductive economy promoting abuse behind the guise of law enforcement and crime deterrence”, he wrote.[21] He also testified as a prosecution witness in the civil trial of Vicente v. Barnett, in which Arizona businessman Roger Barnett was forced to pay $73,000 for assaulting a migrant on the US-Mexico border.[22] Blumenthal has written two books of his time spent in Gaza and the Occupied Territories documenting Israeli and Palestinian war crimes: Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel and The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza. In The 51 Day War, Blumenthal writes of his time in Gaza during and in the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge, an Israeli military offensive in Gaza during the summer of 2014. In Blumenthal’s interpretation the event cited as sparking the 2014 Gaza War, was the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by a Hamas cell. He posits that the massive West Bank operation that followed it was not aimed at rescuing the teens, who were known to be dead, or to capture their killers, but to destroy a political agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian National Authority by targeting the Palestinian Unity Government. [23] Blumenthal later provided testimony from local Palestinian residents who said they had been used as human shields by the Israeli army during Operation Protective Edge. [24] He furnished details garnered from interviews with Rafah residents who said they had evidence of Israel’s application of the “Hannibal Directive”. According to Blumenthal, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) invocation of the “Hannibal Directive” resulted in the IDF carrying out a large-scale military operation that included bombing all possible escape routes from Rafah tunnels. Ha’aretz reported this action to have killed scores of Palestinians and to have been the “most devastating” execution of the Hannibal Directive: On Friday morning, when the IDF still believed that Lieutenant Hadar Goldin may have been taken alive by Hamas into an attack tunnel beneath Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, the Hannibal Directive was activated to its most devastating extent yet including massive artillery bombardments and air strikes on possible escape routes.[25] Blumenthal wrote that the offensive killed 190 Palestinians in Rafah and that the Israeli army seemed to have “aimed to kill one of its own”. Only partial remains of the three Israelis were found. An IDF inquiry concluded Goldin probably was killed during the initial battle. Lt. Hadar Goldin, was taken captive by an ambush team from the Hamas military wing known as the Qassam Brigades”,[26] According to an IDF investigation of the incident, while the phrase “Hannibal Procedure” was mentioned on the IDF field radios, the procedure was not implemented nor was there indiscriminate fire towards Rafah homes. The IDF investigation concluded that 41 people were killed, 12 of whom were Hamas combatants.[27] Blumenthal said he had reported from the Gazan city of Shuja’iyya on Israel’s “destruction of their neighborhoods and the killing of civilians.”[28] Blumenthal subsequently appeared before the Russell Tribunal on September 25, 2014, in Brussels, Belgium, to testify before a jury examining allegations of war crimes and genocidal intent by the Israeli military against residents of the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge. According to his testimony, he was: able to gain unfettered access to residents [of Gaza] who had borne the brunt of the Israeli ground invasion in the hardest hit border areas, places like Khuza’a, Shujaiya, Beit Hanoun, Rafah, and the villages surrounding Beit Lahiya. I recorded testimonies from scores of residents of these areas, documenting war crimes committed by the Israeli armed forces. The atrocities formed an undeniable pattern, suggesting that the crimes committed by Israeli forces in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge were the product of stated military policies, or at least rules of engagement that enabled massacres, summary executions, wholesale residential destruction, the use of civilians as human shields, and abductions.[29] It is unclear whether Goldin had been killed (along with two comrades) by a suicide bomb one of the militants exploded, or later by friendly fire in the Israeli assault on the area to hunt for him, nor is it known if his remains were recovered. Blumenthal postulated that the goal may have been to “den[y] Hamas the leverage it might have gained at the negotiating table with a live soldier in its possession.”[26] Blumenthal wrote about his observations on Gaza for The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, published by Nation Books on June 30, 2015.[13] In 2011, Blumenthal wrote a story alleging that Israeli forces trained American police departments in anti-protester techniques, including torture, quoting Fordham University Law Professor Karen J. Greenberg.[30] Contacted by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Adam Serwer of Mother Jones, Greenberg told Goldberg that “I never made such a statement”, while she told Serwer that “I did not intend to assert these allegations as factthe entire sense of the quote is inaccurate.”[31][32] Blumenthal responded that he had quoted Greenberg accurately, adding that he believed she had been “intimidated by Goldberg and the pro-Israel forces he represents”.[33][34] During the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, Blumenthal made a comparison between Israel and ISIL. In a follow-up, journalist Rania Khalek created the Twitter hashtag JSIL; “The Jewish State of Israel in the Levant”.[35][bettersourceneeded] JSIL became a popular Twitter hashtag after Blumenthal introduced it alongside Khalek. It was covered in many publications including Israel’s Ha’aretz, New York Magazine and Al Jazeera.[36][37][38] In 2013, Blumenthal appeared in ninth place on that year’s Simon Wiesenthal Center list of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slurs, reasons given being that chapter titles in the book Goliath were used to “equate Israel with the Nazi regime” and that Blumenthal had quoted “approvingly characterizations of Israeli soldiers as ‘Judeo-Nazis.'”[39] Blumenthal responded to being awarded ninth place on ‘Top Ten 2013 anti-Semitic, anti-Israel slurs’ list published by The Simon Wiesenthal Center, noting he was tied with Alice Walker.[40][41] Blumenthal noted that he, Richard Falk, and Roger Waters (who also appear on the list) “had stiff competition: Ayatollah Khomeini was number one.”[40][41] James Fallows argues that Goliath “is no more anti-Israel, let alone anti-Semitic, than The Shame of the Cities and The Jungle and The Grapes of Wrath were anti-American for pointing out “extremes and abuses in American society.”[42] On November 12, 2014, after being invited by Inge Hger and Annette Groth, members of the Parliamentary Left, to talk with them in the German parliament, the Bundestag, Blumenthal and Canadian-Israeli journalist David Sheen learned that senior German left-wing politician Gregor Gysi, himself critical of what he termed Israel’s violation of international law, in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank after 1967, tried to cancel the meetings on the grounds that Blumenthal and Sheen held radical views on Israeli settlements,[43][44] while Gysi wished to dissociate the Parliamentary Left party from anti-Israel campaigning.[44] Blumenthal reported in a later article that Volker Beck of the Green Party considers Blumenthal’s work “consistently anti-semitic”, while neoconservative writer Benjamin Weinthal accused him of “public abuse of Jews”.[45] An incident ensued later that day, later dubbed “toiletgate”, in which Blumenthal and Sheen waited for Gysi to “confront him about Israel’s crimes in Gaza and the smears that Gysi and his acolytes had disseminated against them”.[46] Gysi, followed by the two other parliamentary members, left his office and crossed down a corridor to enter a restroom, where Sheen and Blumenthal followed him. He entered a stall but the journalists refused to leave. After this event, Blumenthal and Sheen were banned from ever setting foot in the Bundestag again. In an e-mail explaining the ban, Bundestag president, Norbert Lammert stated: “Every attempt to exert pressure on members of parliament, to physically threaten them and thus endanger the parliamentary process is intolerable and must be prevented.[47][48][49] Ali Abunimah wrote that an investigation by Blumenthal led him to uncover a “smear campaign against him and Sheen and more importantly the effort to prevent discussion about Israels crimes in Gaza – was the product of the anti-Palestinian network funded by American billionaire Sheldon Adelson. () Blumenthal notes that it was Benjamin Weinthal, a Berlin-based anti-Palestinian activist, who initiated the campaign with an article in the right-wing Berliner Morgenpost, and later in The Jerusalem Post, falsely claiming that the Bundestag meeting would not take place. Weinthal is a fellow of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD).”[46] In 2013, Blumenthal reported from the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan for The Nation about the conditions in which he purported that Syrian refugees were living.[50] Blumenthal says there has been a rise of Islamophobia in the world today, which, in TomDispatch, he attributes to an alleged trans-Atlantic Islamophobic political network that “spans continents, extending from Tea Party activists here to the European far right. It brings together in common cause right-wing ultra-Zionists, Christian evangelicals, and racist British soccer hooligans.”[51] In The Nation, he alleged that Nina Rosenwald funded Islamophobic organizations. He also said that Somali-born author Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an “anti-Muslim author” with “a history of fraud”.[52][53] Blumenthal made a short video which he titled Generation Chickenhawk. It featured interviews with convention attendees at the July 2007 College Republican National Convention in Washington, D.C. Blumenthal asked why they, as Iraq War supporters, had not enlisted in the United States Armed Forces.[54][55][56] In 2007, Blumenthal made a short video called Rapture Ready, about American Christian fundamentalists’ support for the State of Israel.[54] He attended the June 2007 Take Back America Conference (sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future), where he interviewed Barack Obama supporters and 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Blumenthal says that conference organizers were angered by the video, and refused to air it.[54] In 2008, he posted video footage of Christian preacher Thomas Muthee praying over Sarah Palin (then a candidate for Governor of Alaska) and asking God to keep her safe from witchcraft.[57] In 2009, Blumenthal posted a 3-minute video on YouTube, titled Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem on the Eve of Obama’s Cairo Address. The video was a photo montage of drunken Jewish-American young people in Jerusalem in June 2009, shortly before Obama’s Cairo address. The youths used expletives and racist rhetoric about Barack Obama and Arabs, which included referring to Obama as a “nigger” and “like a terrorist”.[58] According to The Jerusalem Post, the video “garnered massive exposure and caused a firestorm in the media and the Jewish world”.[59] A Bradley Burston op-ed in Haaretz described the video as “an overnight Internet sensation”.[58] After YouTube removed the video from its website, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency quoted Blumenthal as stating: “I won’t ascribe motives to YouTube I am unable to confirm, but it is clear there is an active campaign by right-wing Jewish elements to suppress the video by filing a flood of complaints with YouTube”.[60] Blumenthal said that he had received death threats for his publication of the video.[61] He identifies the radicalism of the interviewees with the “indoctrination” of Birthright Israel tours, a program in which several of the interviewees were participating.[61] Blumenthal says his 2009 book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, was inspired by the work of psychologist Erich Fromm, who asserted that “the fear of freedom propels anxiety-ridden people into authoritarian settings.” Blumenthal says that a “culture of personal crisis” has defined the American “radical right”.[62] He released Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel in 2013, a look at what he described as Israel’s aggressive shift to the far-right, and its crackdown on local activism. Goliath was awarded the 2014 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Notable Book Award.[8][63] In the preface to the book, Blumenthal says “Americans’ tax dollars and political support that are crucial in sustaining the present state of affairs” in Israel and that, in the book, he wanted to show what that money is paying for and to present the facts “as they really are today, in unadorned and unsanitized form, without sentimentality or nostalgia.”[64] Recommended by Glenn Greenwald and Charles Glass, the book received great critical acclaim. Among many reviews, Goliath was praised by Akiva Eldar, a veteran Israeli political correspondent, in Al-Monitor. According to Eldar, a significant part of the books strength lies in the effect that is naturally created when a foreign correspondent describes the reality of your life and surroundings. Thus, as if from a bas relief, details are raised to which the local eye has become so accustomed that it no longer notices their existence.[65] The book also received heavy criticism.[from whom?][66][67][68] With journalist David Neiwert, Blumenthal wrote about Sarah Palin’s links to the secessionist Alaska Independence Party and how that party reportedly played a quiet but pivotal role in electing Palin as mayor of Wasilla and shaping her political agenda afterward.[69] CBS reported that Palin responded to the story in an email to John McCain’s campaign manager Steve Schmidt: “Pls get in front of that ridiculous issue that’s cropped up all day today – two reporters, a protestor’s sign, and many shout-outs all claiming Todd’s involvement in an anti-American political party … It’s bull, and I don’t want to have to keep reacting to it … Pls have statement given on this so it’s put to bed.”[70] On 25 December 2014, the day the film American Sniper depicting Chris Kyle’s tours of duty in Iraq was released,[71] Blumenthal tweeted to his followers on Twitter: “I haven’t seen American Sniper, but correct me if I’m wrong: An occupier mows down faceless Iraqis but the real victim is his anguished soul”.[72][71] In a May 2015 interview, Blumenthal argued that the film heavily distorts the historical, political and social truth of the war on Iraq, that it falsely portrays all Iraqis, including children and women, as “endemic terrorists”. He concluded that the film was a “bogus whitewash of the atrocities committed by U.S. troops in Iraq and Fallujah”.[73] His comments about the film drew criticism from Noah Rothman, writing for the conservative political blog Hot Air, who described them as “kneejerk and misguided appeals to relativism”,[71] and from Rick Moran at American Thinker, who said Blumenthal was “insanely wrong”.[74]

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October 19, 2016   Posted in: Max Blumenthal  Comments Closed

Max Blumenthal (Author of Republican Gomorrah)

Max Blumenthal (born December 18, 1977) is an American author, journalist, and blogger. He is a senior writer for Alternet and formerly a writer for The Daily Beast, Al Akhbar, and Media Matters for America.He is the author of two books including Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party (2009), which appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list, and Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (2013). Blumenthal joined Lebanon’s Al Akhbar in late 2011 primarily to write about Israel-Palestine issues and foreign-policy debates in Washington, noting, upon leaving in mid-2012 in protest of its coverage of the Syrian Civil War, that it “gave me more latitude than any paper in the United States to write about … Israe Blumenthal joined Lebanon’s Al Akhbar in late 2011 primarily to write about Israel-Palestine issues and foreign-policy debates in Washington, noting, upon leaving in mid-2012 in protest of its coverage of the Syrian Civil War, that it “gave me more latitude than any paper in the United States to write about … Israel and Palestine”. He ended his association with Al Akhbar in June 2012, over what he viewed as the newspaper’s pro-Assad editorial line during the Syrian Civil War that he said was spearheaded by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb. Blumenthal contributes weekly articles to Alternet where he has been a senior writer since September 2014. He focuses on the deepening crisis in the Middle East and its role in shaping political dynamics and public opinion in the US, particularly the special relationship with Israel. He occasionally covers domestic issues such as corporate media consolidation, the influence of the Christian right and police brutality. His reporting from the Gaza strip in 2014 was developed into a book, The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza. Blumenthal’s articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Independent Film Channel (IFC), Salon, The Real News, and Al Jazeera English, among other publications.

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September 17, 2016   Posted in: Max Blumenthal  Comments Closed

Max Blumenthal | Page 3

I recently spoke to Alternets Joshua Holland about law and politics in Israel. Our conversation focused on the image of Israel as a Western style democracy coping with legitimate security concerns versus the reality of Israel as an ethnocratic state managing its demographic peril through authoritarian measures approved by the Jewish majority. The discussion can be heard here. Below is a transcript via Alternet: Joshua Holland: Max, I dont want to talk about Iran today. I dont want to talk about the Israeli lobby in the United States, and I dont want to talk about the Occupation. I want to talk about something I dont think gets enough attention in this country, which is the sharp rightward turn of the Israeli government. One of the great non-sequiturs of our political discourse is that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. And I say its a great non-sequitur because its usually used as a response to, for example, criticism of the Occupation. You say this Occupation is terrible, and people say its the only democracy in the Middle East. Anyway, Tzipi Livni, the leader of the opposition Kadima Party, accused Benjamin Netanyahu recently of, an attempt to transform Israel into a type of dictatorship. Kadima lawmakers said that recent legislation passed by the Knesset represented, the gravest challenge to democracy since the establishment of the state in 1948. Tell me about the sharp rightward lurch. When did this happen, because I remember when I was a kid Israel was almost a socialist country. Max Blumenthal: Well, by not wanting to talk about Iran youre an anti-Semite and I condemn that. JH: Max, Im a self-loathing Jew please get this straight. MB: Part of Netanyahus goal in focusing on Iran is taking the Palestinian question off the table, and so its good that youre talking about this. Israel has never been a democracy in the sense that we think about a democracy. Its a settler, colonial state that privileges the Jewish majority, which it created through violent methods of demographic manipulation over the indigenous Palestinian outclass. Thats true even inside Israel. So when you hear people like Tzipi Livni who is for now the head of the Kadima Party but soon to be ousted, and actually came out of the Likud Party and was aide to Ariel Sharon when you hear liberal Zionists, people on the Zionist left, warning that Israel is turning into a fascist state what theyre talking is the occupation laws creeping back over the green line, and that these right-wing elements are actually starting to crack down on the democratic rights that have been afforded to the Jewish majority inside Israel. So Jews who are left-wingers, who are dissidents and speak out against state policy are actually beginning to feel a slight scintilla of the kind of oppression that Palestinians have felt since the foundation of the state of Israel. Thats where this criticism is coming from. I think we really need to get beyond the discourse of occupation and the discourse of fascism, and instead to talk about institutional discrimination and apartheid, which is what has been present since the foundation of the state of Israel. JH: Now I want to talk about some of the specific measures that have been proposed, some of which have passed. There are some things that have been pulled back or tabled temporarily due to international pressure, and other have actually gotten through and become law. Tell be about the crackdown on NGOs. Continue reading This piece was originally published at Al Akhbar English In the last two days, Israeli forces have killed at least 15 residents of the Gaza Strip and wounded over 30. Among the dead are two young boys (see here and here), while the wounded included a reporter from the Maan News Agency and his pregnant wife. Militant factions in Gaza have responded to the Israeli assault by launching several homemade rockets at Southern Israel, leaving two injured and no one dead. The Israeli army claimed that it initiated the assault on Gaza in order to kill two alleged militants who supposedly masterminded a brazen and deadly terror attack near the Israeli city of Eilat in August of last year. The army also claimed the two were planning a new operation. According to Al Jazeera Englishs Jerusalem correspondent Paul Brennan: The Israeli army is saying these two people it targeted with its clinical airstrike on Friday night were senior militants who were plotting an attack. The Israeli army says that last years attack on the road that runs alongside the Egyptian border, where eight people were killed and 25 Israeli soldiers were wounded, was masterminded by the two men they targeted. Zuhair Al-Qaissi and Mahmoud Al-Hannani were said to have been behind these attacks, and the Israeli army said that these two men were planning a similar attack and that is why they launched their aerial clinical attack. The Jerusalem Post, which functions as a virtual bulletin board for the Israeli army, told a similar story: The IDF said it decided to bomb Qaisis car due to intelligence that he was plotting a large terrorist attack along the border with Egypt, the paper reported, similar to the one the [Popular Resistance Committee] carried out last August that killed eight Israelis. As is so often the case, the Israeli army is lying. Continue reading On RT, I discussed AIPACs recent national convention and the Lobbys push for a US war on Iran: On Al Jazeeras The Stream, I discuss the Israel Lobbys use of blackwashing tactics to stifle allegations that Israel engages in the crime of apartheid: At Penn BDS, I discussed Zionist hasbara past and present during my panel with Sarah Schulman: The Zionist Response to BDS from PennBDS on Vimeo. This weekends One State Conference at Harvard University has prompted predictable cries of outrage and calls for cancellation from the Israel lobby and its allies in Congress. Senator Scott Brown, a Republican from Massachusetts, is the latest Friend of Israel to join the chorus of condemnation, calling for Harvard to ban the conference altogether. The campaign of intimidation and smears highlights Americas pro-Israel community as the political element most devoted to suppressing free speech and academic inquiry on campuses across the United States. Abraham Foxman, the national director for the Anti-Defamation League, is at the helm of the campaign to censor the discussion at Harvard of equal rights in Israel-Palestine. In an op-ed for the Boston Globe, Foxman wrote, Lets be frank. The term one-state solution is a euphemism for the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel. He attacked the conference participants for their alleged concerns about Israels occupation and treatment of the Palestinians, claiming that their true goal was to make anti-Semitism more acceptable and more likely. In light of Foxmans assaults on the academic discussion of equal rights for all living under Israels control, it is worth recalling an angry letter he sent to the editors of the New York Times on June 20, 1984. In the letter, Foxman took issue with an editorial the Times published calling for a two state solution that would have required Israel to give up control of the West Bank. Foxman criticized the authors for casting Israels undemocratic control of the West Bank in a negative light, insisting that Israeli control of the Palestinians was not deleterious to [Israel’s] well being. And in the end, he suggested that Israel should considerfully integrating the Palestinian Arabs into the Israeli body politics. This is the very concept that will be discussed and promoted at the One State Conference this weekend at Harvard. Below the fold is the full text of Foxmans letter, which I retrieved from Lexis-Nexis: Continue reading Few congressional candidates have excited the progressive base of the Democratic party as much as consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren has. With her tenacious advocacy for a consumer protection agency to fight unfair lending practices and her consistent framing of economic issues in terms of structural inequality has earned her enthusiastic promotion from major progressive figures from Markos Moulitsas to Rachel Maddow to Michael Moore. Warren has focused her race against incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown almost entirely around issues of economic justice, placing her quixotic battle for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the center of her campaign narrative. During an appearance on MSNBCs Morning Joe, Warren boasted that she succeeded in creating the bureau despite opposition from the toughest lobbying force ever assembled on the face of the earth. While progressives celebrate Warren for her fight against the big banks and the financial industrys lobbying arm, they have kept silent over the fact that she has enlisted with another powerful lobby that is willing to sabotage Americas economic recovery in order to advance its narrow interests. It is AIPAC, the key arm of the Israel lobby; a group that is openly pushing for a US war on Iran that would likely trigger a global recession, as the renowned economist Nouriel Roubini recently warned. The national security/foreign policy position page on Warrens campaign website reads as though it was cobbled together from AIPAC memos and the website of the Israeli Foreign Ministry by the Democratic Party hacks who are advising her. It is pure boilerplate that suggests she knows about as much about the Middle East as Herman Uzbeki-beki-stan-stan Cain, and that she doesnt care. Warrens statement on Israel consumes far more space than any other foreign policy issue on the page (she makes no mention of China, Latin America, or Africa). To justify what she calls the unbreakable bond between the US and Israel, Warren repeats the thoughtless cant about a natural partnership resting on our mutual commitment to democracy and freedom and on our shared values. She then declares that the United States must reject any Palestinian plans to pursue statehood outside of negotiations with Israel. While the US can preach to the Palestinians about how and when to demand the end of their 45-year-long military occupation, Warren says the US cannot dictate the terms to Israel. Warren goes on to describe Iran as a significant threat to the United States, echoing a key talking point of fear-mongering pro-war forces. She calls for strong sanctions and declares that the United States must take the necessary steps to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon a veiled endorsement of a military strike if Iran crosses the constantly shifting American red lines. Perhaps the only option Warren does not endorse or implicitly support is diplomacy. Her foreign policy views are hardly distinguishable from those of her Republican rival, who also marches in lockstep with AIPAC. The same progressives who refused to vet Barack Obamas views on foreign policy when he ran for president in 2008, and who now feel betrayed that he is not the liberal savior they imagined him to be, are repeating their mistake with Warren. With AIPAC leading the push for war at the height of an election campaign, there is no better time to demand accountability from candidates like Warren. Who does she serve? The liberal grassroots forces that made her into a populist hero or the lobby seeking to drag the US into a dubious, potentially catastrophic war? It is far better for progressives to grill her on her foreign policy positions before the campaign is over than after the next war begins. Yesterday, the New York Times reported on the depressingly predictable consequences of US-led sanctions against Iran: they have reinforced the regimes hold on power and enriched the elite while wrecking the lives of millions of middle and working class Iranians. The Times Robert Worth made prominent note of the fact that sanctions were motivated at least as much by President Barack Obamas domestic political ambitions as they were by American foreign pollicy interests: Yet this economic burden is falling largely on the middle class, raising the prospect of more resentment against the West and complicating the effort to deter Irans nuclear program a central priority for the Obama administration in this election year Ordinary Iranians complain that the sanctions are hurting them, while those at the top are unscathed, or even benefit. Many wealthy Iranians made huge profits in recent weeks by buying dollars at the government rate (available to insiders) and then selling them for almost twice as many rials on the soaring black market. Some analysts and opposition political figures contend that Mr. Ahmadinejad deliberately worsened the currency crisis so that his cronies could generate profits this way. More pointless, politics-driven economic warfare is on the way. At the prompting of United Against A Nuclear Iran, a neocon front group whose board members have already urged military action against Iran, the Senate Banking Committee recently approved a new round of sanctions that would force the Swift telecommunications industry to expel Iranian banks. The New York Times noted that the Swift sanctions would be financially catastrophic for Iran if carried out fully, according to proponents and sanctions experts. One Democratic congressional aide who supports the Swift sanctions touted the Senate legislation as a collective strangulation of the Iranian population, remarking to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, every time that a new sanctions bill is passed, the noose gets tighter around the neck of the Iranian economy. A co-sponsor of the Swift sanctions, Republican Senator Mark Kirk, has been the largest single recipient of AIPAC-related donations in Congress. Kirks desire to collectively punish the Iranian people for anything their government might or might not have done is unconcealed. In an October 2011 appearance on a Chicago-area radio show, Kirk spent his time harumphing over a transparently trumped up Iranian government terror plot. But the host interrupted the senator with an important question: Are you really going after the government of the country, or are you taking food out of the mouths of the citizens? Kirks reply neatly encapsulated the sadistic consensus in Washington: Its okay to take the food out of the mouths of the citizens from a government thats plotting an attack directly on American soil. In 2005, a group of graduate students at Johns Hopkins Universitys School of Advanced and International Studies (SAIS) participated in the schools annual diplomatic simulation. The high-pressure scenario required the students to negotiate a resolution to a standoff with a nuclear-armed Republic of Pakistan. Mara Karlin, a student known for her hawkish politics on Israel and the Middle East, played President of the United States. Though most of the participants were confident they could head off a military conflict with diplomatic measures, Karlin jumped the gun. According to a former SAIS student, not only did Karlin order a nuclear strike on Pakistan, she also took the opportunity to nuke Iran. Her classmates were shocked. It was the first time in 45 years that a simulation concluded with the deployment of a nuclear weapon. That year, Karlin received a plum job in the Bush administrations Department of Defense where, according to her bio she was intimately involved in formulating U.S. policy on Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel-Palestinian affairs. Lebanon was a special area of focus for Karlin. She claims to have helped structure the Lebanese Armed Forces and coordinated relations between the US and Lebanese militaries. According to the former SAIS student, Karlin was a favorite of Eliot Cohen, an ultra-hawkish professor of strategic studies at SAIS, which is regarded in American foreign policy circles as a training ground for the neoconservative movement. Through Cohens connections among the neocons occupying key civilian posts in Bushs Defense Department, the former student claims Cohen was able to arrange an attractive sinecure for Karlin. Besides Karlin, the ex-SAIS student told me Cohen has promoted the career ambitions of many former pupils, including Kelly Magsamen, who worked under Cohen in the Bush administration and now oversees the Iran portfolio in the Obama administrations State Department. Today, Cohen is among Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romneys top campaign advisers. He is the primary author of Romneys foreign policy white paper, which attacks Obama for currying favor with [Americas] enemies and ostentatiously shunning Jerusalem. The paper urges a policy of regime change in Iran including possible coordination with Israel on military strikes to prevent the Iranian regime from developing a nuclear weapon. It is an aggressive Republican election season document presenting a concoction of post-9/11 unilateralism and unvarnished neo-imperialism as the antidote to a sitting president Cohen accused of unilateral disarmament in the diplomatic and moral sphere. More importantly, it suggests that a Romney administrations foreign policy might look remarkably similar to and perhaps more extreme than that of the Bush administration. Continue reading US President Barack Obama is nave and needs to face up to the threat presented by the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East, Israels National Security Council concluded during a strategic discussion several days ago, Israel Hayom reported. The Israeli National Security Council consists of Benjamin Bibi Netanyahus closest advisers. And Israel Hayom is not just another right-leaning Israeli tabloid. Referred to by Israelis as the Bibiton, or Bibis mouthpiece, the paper is an instrument that gives him extraordinary political leverage. The obviously planted article in Israel Hayom rang like a bell sounding the start of Netanyahus own campaign in helping the Republican Party oust Obama from the White House. Israel Hayoms genesis demonstrates the depth of Netanyahus connections in Republican circles. It was created by one of Netanyahus top financial supporters, a Las Vegas-based casino tycoon named Sheldon Adelson, who is also a major donor to the conservative wing of the Republican Party. Adelsons closest relationship is with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, a longtime ally of Netanyahu who has been running a rancorous campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Netanyahus less than subtle intervention has become an open issue in Israeli politics. Opposition leader Tzipi Livni of the Kadima Party has criticized Netanyahu for damaging the US-Israeli relationship. Netanyahu spoke about consensus, Livni said in May, and if there is a consensus in Israel, its that the relationship with the US is essential to Israel, and a prime minister that harms the relationship with the US over something unsubstantial is harming Israels security and deterrence. But Livnis warning has been ignored. Rather than hesitating, the prime minister and his inner circle are moving full steam ahead in their political shadow campaign whose ultimate goal is to remove Obama. Bibis war against Obama is unprecedented. While Israeli prime ministers have tried to help incumbent presidents, none have ever waged a full-scale campaign to overthrow them. Netanyahu has engaged enthusiastic allies in the Republican Congress, led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and within the right-wing media. His neoconservative allies in Washington are launching a Super PAC to generate emotional attack ads against Obama and any candidate that might be an obstacle to his policies. And his campaign has even broadened into an attempt to discredit The New York Times, whose editorial page and foreign policy columnists, Thomas Friedman and Roger Cohen, have been critical of him. Netanyahus shadow campaign is intended to be a factor in defeating Obama and electing a Republican in his place. He opposed Obamas early demand to freeze settlements on the West Bank as a precondition for reviving the peace process, a process since the Oslo Accord that Netanyahu has attempted to stall or sabotage, despite his signing of the Wye Agreement under pressure from President Clinton. Since his adamant stand against the settlement freeze, Netanyahu has undermined every effort to engage the peace process. He appears dead set on consolidating Greater Israel, or what many Israelis call Judea and Samaria, and has signaled a strong desire to attack Iran. By all accounts, Netanyahus personal chemistry with Obama is toxic. Obama bristles at his belligerence. But Netanyahus hostility has reaped rewards from him, having stopped the peace process in its tracks. The latest effort by the Quartet seems doomed to failure. And Netanyahus rejectionism has put Obama on the defense. Most of the US Jewish establishment has remained a bulwark for Bibis policies. Obama, meanwhile, has been forced to declare Americas unshakable bond with Israel, even as Bibi thwarts Obamas initiatives and attacks him in the Israeli press. As political strategy, by tainting Obama as less than full-throated in support of Israel, Netanyahu bolsters the Republican themes that the president apologizes for US power, is weak on national security, and is an agent of decline. By depicting Obama as weak on Israel, Netanyahus campaign excites right-wing Jews and evangelical Christians, who overwhelmingly accept the biblical claims of the Jewish states historical right to Greater Israel, Judea and Samaria. Bibis deepest attack line against Obama merges theology with ideology. His campaign against Obama is a high-stakes gambit that will almost certainly color US-Israeli relations well past Election Day. Already, Netanyahu has succeeded in polarizing the political debate, as his agenda is singularly aligned with the Republican Party. Yet Bibis short-term objectives are rapidly turning the US-Israel relationship, at least under his aegis, into a partisan issue, another litmus test of conservative ideology rather than national interest. Continue reading

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August 30, 2016   Posted in: Max Blumenthal  Comments Closed

MAX BLUMENTHAL | KPFA

KPFA Radio 94.1FM presents: MAX BLUMENTHAL GAZA: The 51-Day War: Ruin & Resistance in Gaza Hosted by Philip Maldari July 1, Wednesday, 7:30 pm First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley $12 advance tickets: brownpapertickets.com :: 800-838-3006 or Pegasus (3 sites) Moes, Walden Pond Bookstore, Diesel a Bookstore, Mrs. Dalloways Books SF: Modern Times, $15 door KPFA benefit Max Blumenthal audaciously takes in-your-face, on-the-ground journalism into the realm of geopolitics. Juan Cole, author of The New Arabs and Engaging the Muslim World One year ago Israel launched air strikes on Gaza, followed by a ground invasion. The ensuing 51 days of this assault left more than 2200 people dead, the vast majority of whom were Palestinian civilians, including more than 500 children. 10,000 homes were destroyed. The United Nations has stated that 300, 000 Palestinians were displaced. Max Blumenthal was in Gaza throughout this catastrophe. In this explosive masterpiece of intimate reportage, he reveals the harrowing conditions and cynical deceptions that led to this ruinous war and tells many of the human stories otherwise buried. He brings Gaza to life and details the ferocious clashes when the Israeli military occupied this desperately poor strip of land. He discloses the truth behind numerous Israeli claims and such contentious issues as the use of civilians as human shields by Israeli forces, the official targetting of Palestinian civilians and other war crimes of the Israeli armed forces. He carefully examines the military doctrine responsible. He provides exceptionally moving testimonies from residents. The ravaged population of Gaza was left out in the cold, with no relief from the international community and inadequate coverage by mainstream media. Here at last is the truth of this globally condemned war. Max Blumenthal has spent the last decade transforming himself into one of the most vital voices in journalism today, always speaking truth to power with fearlessness and integrity. Reza Aslan, author of Zealot Max Blumenthal is the author of Republican Gomorrah and Goliath. A senior writer for Alternet, his writings have also appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Guardian, Salon.com, and many others. Philip Maldari is the veteran host of KPFAs Sunday Morning Show.

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August 30, 2016   Posted in: Max Blumenthal  Comments Closed

2010 | Max Blumenthal | Page 5

When Israeli soldiers entered the embattled Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh on July 2, they were immediately confronted by over a dozen small children. While the IDF is accustomed to firing teargas canisters, percussion grenades, rubber bullets and even live .22 caliber ammunition at adolescent boys, members of the Nahal unit and Kfir infantry brigade tasked with suppressing the weekly Nabi Saleh demonstration were frustrated by the children who surrounded and taunted them. At one point, the division commander became so upset he barked into his radio, I need backup! The spectacle of seven-year-old children confronting heavily armed and visibly confused soldiers offers one of the clearest perspectives of the lopsided power dynamic that animates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It also highlights the reality of life for children in the Occupied Territories. They play soccer and dodgeball between phalanxes of soldiers firing lethal projectiles at their neighbors just a few meters away everyday life is an act of resistance. Why are children participating in popular protests? Consider the case of Niilin, a Palestinian village engaged in popular struggle against the construction of the separation wall across its privately owned land. The Israeli army is holding three members of its small popular committee the political leadership of the village in harsh conditions in Ofer prison. They were arrested without charges during a night raid, subjected to psychological torture by the Shabak (Israels General Security Service), and are being held indefinitely. Everyone is scared to protest now, Saeed Amireh, a Niilin resident in his early twenties, told me. I can participate in the demonstrations because I am single. But for those of us who have wives and children, going to jail is the worst. How can we work for our families or know what is happening with our wife if we are taken away? Amireh had just returned from a four month stint in Ofer prison which he described as horrible. He is still not sure what crime he was accused of committing. Its bullshit, he said. Im not the one doing any violence. During Fridays protest in Nabi Saleh, orders could be heard blaring from soldiers radios to photograph some of the older (read: over 10 years old) boys participating in the protest. The photos are used to identify targets for night raids, when soldiers enter the village under cover of darkness, burst into homes and grab the young children and adolescent boys comprising the villages shabab from their beds. According to Lymor Goldstein, a lawyer who represents many of the Niilin residents detained for joining protests, the arrested youth are immediately subjected to psychological torture by the Shabak: they are held in total darkness, fed at odd hours, threatened, and interrogated as soon as they become sufficiently scared and disoriented. They dont really need to beat them, Goldstein told me during a demonstration in Niilin. The psychological torture is so intense that almost no one can resist it. (Goldstein confided to me that he was having trouble recalling specific names because of a rubber bullet that pierced his skull during a protest in the village of Bilin in 2006, causing long term damage to his vision and memory. Video of the Israeli Border Police shooting Goldstein is here.) Because grown men are particularly vulnerable to imprisonment and adolescent boys are targeted with just about any kind of violence the Israeli army wants to level against them, young children have led the Nabi Saleh demonstrations on at least three occasions. While the soldiers acted with general restraint towards the kids (Nahal is peppered with left-leaning citizen-soldiers who have been convinced they can foster change from within by joining a combat unit) children as young as seven have been called in for recent interrogations by the Shabak. While the Shabak called the incident a mistake, it is not isolated. Nora Barrows-Friedman reported last March on a 10 year old who was badly beaten during a night raid of his home by Israeli troops, then detained in a nearby settlement for 10 hours. In Nabi Saleh, a young boy was critically injured by Israeli forces in March. On July 2, the soldiers in Nabi Saleh wound up taking their frustrations out on two Israeli activists, Yonathan Shapira and Matan Cohen, violently subduing and arresting them. Though Shapira and Cohen were baselessly accused by the IDF Spokesmans Office of attacking a soldier, they were released hours after their detention. What are Israeli soldiers doing in Nabi Saleh in the first place? The village has been besieged by its neighbors from the religious nationalist Israeli settlement of Halamish since Halamish was constructed in 1977 on land privately owned by Nabi Salehs residents. Recently, the settlers seized control of a fresh water spring that has belonged to Nabi Saleh since the village was built in the 19th century. In December 2009, the settlers uprooted hundreds of the villages olive trees in an attempt to re-annex land awarded back to Nabi Saleh in an Israeli court case. Since then, farmers from Nabi Saleh have been subjected to routine attacks by settlers and prevented from working their land. The Israeli army has come down firmly on the side of Halamish, suppressing the demonstrations with disproportionate force while doing little, if anything, to prevent settler violence. But if the spirit of Nabi Salehs young demonstrators are any indication, the army has a long way to go before it breaks the villagers will. The IDF claimed Yonathan Shapira and Matan Cohen “attacked” a soldier. It is a blatant lie discredited by video evidence. On July 2, at the weekly demonstration in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, Israeli army troops violently arrested Israeli activists Yonatan Shapira and Matan Cohen. I witnessed the incident that led to the arrests and filmed them as they took place. As a group of soldiers pursued children up a small hill, then began firing teargas shells and percussion grenades at them, presumably in response to a few stones the children had thrown, Cohen and Shapira mocked the soldiers. Shooting at children! You are so brave! Cohen exclaimed. Who are you gonna believe? The IDF or your two lying eyes? Within a few seconds the commander of the IDF division (an oleh named Danny) charged Cohen and Shapira, then headlocked Cohen and dragged him into a jeep. When Shapira protested, he was thrown to the ground, violently subdued and dragged into a jeep. At no point did Cohen or Shapira attack any soldier. The IDF Spokesmans Unit issued a statement on Twitter claiming Cohen and Shapira two arrested rioters had attacked an IDF soldier. However, my footage of the incident completely discredits the IDFs claim. As I said in the wake of the flotilla massacre, nothing the IDF Spokesmans Office says can be trusted. Ever. The IDFs intention is to smear human rights activists as violent terrorists while portraying itself as the blameless victim. Anyone who spends a day in Nabi Saleh or any Palestinian village engaged in popular protest against the occupation will see that the complete reverse is true. It is worth noting that Shapira and Cohen are two of the most prominent figures among Israels small left-wing activist community. Shapira is a former IDF Blackhawk helicopter division leader who earned international renown in 2002 when he refused to carry out patently illegal orders to bombard densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip, then organized a letter signed by numerous active duty pilots protesting the occupation. For his part, Cohen was shot in the left eye with a rubber bullet by an Israeli border policeman while protesting the separation wall near Ramallah. He was 17 years old at the time. While he was a student at Hampshire College, he ledthe first successful campus divestment in the US of companies involved in the Israeli occupation. Is it any surprise that the IDF has attempted without any evidence of its own to smear Shapira and Cohen as violent rioters? I will post more footage from Nabi Saleh later this weekend, hopefully some footage from a remarkable demonstration in Niilin, and a brief history of the struggle in both villages. My episode in the Independent Film Channels Media Project Series has found its way online. The 30 minute mini-doc (sandwiched between two barely palatable promotional segments) is an exploration of the Tea Party movement, its funders, leadership, and the role of Fox News in branding and promoting it as a grassroots expression of anti-government resentment. See it for yourself: Max Blumenthal goes inside the Tea Party from Ram Bam on Vimeo. Michael Oren makes stuff up. But the NY Times doesn’t have to publish it. Nearly a month after publishing Israeli Ambassador the US Michael Orens apologia for the flotilla massacre, the NY Times has yet to correct two of the most glaring lies Oren made. The first of Orens deceptions was his assertion that religious extremists embedded among those on board were paid and equipped to attack Israelis.The notion that al-Qaeda affiliated mercenaries were on board the Mavi Marmara was discredited as soon as the IDF Spokesmans Office changed a headline on a press release about terrorist mercenaries to read, Attackers of the IDF Found Without Identification Papers. The headline was quietly altered on June 3, the same day the Times published Orens op-ed. Shouldnt their fact checkers and editors been better informed? The second of Orens lies was at least as ludicrous as his first. He wrote: Also found on the boat were propaganda clips showing passengers injured by Israeli forces; these videos, however, were filmed during daylight, hours before the nighttime operation occurred. If this was true, then where were the clips? Why hasnt the IDF released any footage to support Orens claim? Probably because such clips do not exist anywhere. As far as I can tell, they were never on the website of the IDF Spokesmans Office or the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The footage is not even available on YouTube. So where are they? Certainly the IDF would have wanted to publish anything that supported its version of events. But they could not conjure anything to bolster Orens bizarre claim (which seemed to suggest that the killing and maiming of flotilla passengers by Israeli commandos was simply propaganda and therefore never happened). Unless Oren or the Israeli military can produce the propaganda clips Oren mentioned, the New York Times should be compelled to retract the falsehoods it published. The Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt can be reached at public@nytimes.com or (212) 556-7652 In a May 7 article, Haaretz reporter Ilana Hammerman described in dramatic detail a crime she had methodically planned and committed. In defiance of laws supposedly related to Israels security, Hammerman picked up three teenage Palestinian girls in their village in the West Bank, took them through the Betar checkpoint, and drove them into Tel Aviv. There they ate ice cream, visited the mall and museum, and played in the sea. Even though the girls lived just a few kilometers from the beach, Israels military occupation had prevented them from ever visiting it before their illegal day of fun. Hammerman wrote in her account of the experience, If There Is A Heaven: The end was wonderful. The last photos show them about two hours after the trip to the flea market, running in the darkness on Tel Avivs Banana Beach. They didnt want to stop for even a minute at the restaurant there to have a bite to eat or something to drink, or even to just relax a bit. Instead they immediately removed their sandals again, rolled up their pants and ran into the water. And ran and ran, back and forth, in zig-zags, along the huge beach, ponytails flying in the wind. From time to time, they knelt down in the sand or crowded together in the shallow water to have their picture taken. The final photo shows two of them standing in the water, arms around each others waists, their backs to the camera. Only the bright color of their shirts contrasting with the dark water and the sky reveals that the two are Yasmin and Aya, because Lin was wearing a black shirt. But the fun ended as soon as a group called The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel filed a request with Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein demanding that Hammerman be prosecuted for breaking the countrys Law of Entry to Israel forbidding Israelis from assisting Palestinians in entering Israel. If Weinstein agrees to the request, Hammerman could face as much as two years in prison. Continue reading My summary of the Israeli medias shambolic performance following the flotilla massacre was originally published here in Hebrew at Dvorit Shargals excellent Israeli media blog, Velvet Underground. The English version follows: If the raid of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was a disaster for the Israel Defense Forces, its aftermath demonstrated an equally bewildering performance by the Israeli media. The IDF Spokesmans Office churned out one misleading claim after another, each one more implausible than the next, seeking to implant in the publics mind a version of events that bore little relation to reality. To a degree, this was to be expected; but it was startling to see how some of Israels most respected reporters lined up to serve as military stenographers, barely challenging the IDFs rapidly changing versions of events. IDF claims about the flotilla passengers links to Al Qaida, anti-Semitic statements shouted at the Israeli Navy, and their terrorist intentions were eagerly broadcast by the Israeli media without a second thought. When independent reporters forced the IDF to retract or clarify all of these claims, Israeli news outlets refused to correct their errors, or covered them up without acknowledgment. It so happened that I arrived in Israel for a research trip the day after the flotilla raid. As a result, I was able to do something which I always thought to be a very basic journalistic practice, so basic its supposed to be applied routinely: Asking an implicated party in a story to produce evidence for its claims. What I found bewildering is that at least judging from Israeli media reports, few, if any, mainstream reporters applied this practice, and when a visiting colleague did their job for them nobody bothered to correct or withdraw their original report. On June 2, the IDF disseminated a press release entitled, Attackers of the IDF soldiers found to be Al Qaeda mercenaries. The accusation was not accompanied by any conclusive evidence the IDF reported that Mavi Marmara passengers were equipped with night-vision goggles (gasp!). This did not stop Yedioths Ron Ben-Yishai, who was embedded with the Navy commandos, from amplifying the baseless charge. Citing an interrogation of Marmara passengers lynchers, he called them Ben-Yishai wrote the same day, Some among the [flotilla passengers] are believed to have ties with World Jihad groups, mainly Al Qaeda. The article made no reference to any efforts on part of Ben Yishai to investigate this claim, nor did he seem to think to ask why the IDF was about to release dangerous operatives of Osama Bin Laden presumably they would attack again, wouldnt they? Continue reading Israels Ministry of Foreign Affairs the diplomatic disaster area of Avigdor Lieberman is promoting Glenn Becks infamous episode on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on its selected articles page. Apparently Israels department of hasbara does not realize that Beck is looked at by everyone but the most ardent members of the Tea Party movement as a conspiratorial, racist demagogue with no credibility. Nor does it seem to care that Beck has an extensive record of endorsing the work of virulent anti-Semites like the Nazi apologist Elizabeth Dilling. Didi Remez has an excellent analysisat Coteret on what he calls the Tea Partying of the US-Israel relationship. Remez reports that numerous mainstream Israeli opinion leaders have posted the Beck clip on the Facebook pages along with Caroline Glicks notoriously racist, We Con The World video. Now the Israeli government has gotten in on the act. Its no wonder being pro-Israel in the US is becoming increasingly synonymous with being a Tea Party-style Republican. Continue reading Update: The subject of the photo has been identified. Reader el_sirio writes: The guy in the picture is Yemeni lawmaker Mohammad al-Hazmi, showing his ceremonial dagger (known in Yemen as Jambiya), which is carried by every single man in Yemen and is an essential part of the traditional Yemeni dress. Al-Hazmi was detained by the Israelis along with 2 other Yemeni MPs who were on the flotilla. One of them told Yemeni newspapers that the picture was taken long before the Mavi Marmara was attacked by the Israelis. Al-Hazmi was showing off his ceremonial dagger to curious journalists and foreigners on the ship. In this link [Arabic] MP Hazza al-Maswari says that at the time of the Israeli attack, al-Hazmi did not have his Jambiya on him. On May 31, the IDF Spokesmans Office distributed a photo of a bearded Muslim man with a knife surrounded by reporters. Daylight was pouring in from a window or door behind the reporters. Offered without context or explanation, the photo played up a classic Orientalist stereotype of violent, fanatical, and even suicidal Muslims determined to kill Jews. It was included in an article based on testimony from anonymous commandos with the following title: Israeli Navy Commandos: Gaza flotilla activists tried to lynch us. The IDF apparently told Haaretz that the photo was taken immediately after its Naval commandos raided the Mavi Marmara and other flotilla ships at least, thats how Haaretz described the photo based on an IDF source.Yet the raid was conducted under the cover of darkness. How could a photo obviously taken during daytime have portrayed an event that took place during the late evening? Do Muslims have magical powers that allow them to turn night into day? And why were reporters standing around, casually taking photos when commandos were supposedly getting lynched? Once again, the IDFs story was highly suspect. The original IDF-sourced caption holding a knife after commandos boarded is below: The original Haaretz caption claims the photo was taken after the Navy commandos raided the Marmara I called the IDF Spokesmans Office to inquire about the photo. Why did the IDF claim the photo depicted an event that took place after the commandos raided the flotilla when it was clearly taken during the daytime? I asked. After I questioned the IDF’s claim of the photo’s timing, Haaretz quietly changed the caption, removing language about the photo being taken after the raid Spokesman Sgt. Chen Arad told me he did not know whether the photo was taken before or after the commandos landed on the Mavi Marmara. It could be that the claim was made by commandos in the interview, he maintained. I reminded him that Haaretzs source for the photo was not the commandos, but the IDF Spokesmans Office. After confirming that his office released the photo, Arad said, It is reasonable that it was before the actual takeover but Im not sure what was claimed with Haaretz. Soon after I spoke with Arad on June 8, Haaretz scrubbed its caption of the suspicious photo, removing the phrase, holding a knife after Israeli commandos boarded their ship. However, Haaretz did not mention the retraction, probably assuming no one would notice. The retraction raises disturbing questions about the level of coordination between the IDF and the Israeli media. Did the IDF Spokesmans Office tip Haaretz off after I called them? And why does Haaretz accept the IDFs version of events on the Marmara at face value? Besides casting a shadow over Haaretzs coverage of the flotilla raid, this episode once again proves that nothing the IDF says can be trusted. The IDF has distributed a press release claiming that it has evidence that five passengers on the Mavi Marmara were active terror operatives. The armys claims appeared thin at best, and patently false at worst. When I called the IDF Spokesmans Office to ask for evidence, I was told there was none; all of the IDFs claims were attributed to intelligence it could not share with reporters. The information in the statement comes based on intelligence, Army spokesman Sgt. Chen Arad told me. I dont have any further information I can give. I pressed Arad to at least describe the intelligence he had seen. There is very limited intelligence information we can give in this specific case, he said. Obviously Im unable to give you more information. He referred me to a colleague at the IDFs North American desk. She did not answer after numerous tries. Im going to call again tomorrow; journalist Lia Tarachansky has also placed a call to a spokesman and yielded similar responses which Ill transcribe here soon. One of the most bizarre accusations the IDF made was that former American citizen and ex-Marine Ken OKeefe was planning to train a commando unit in the Gaza Strip. Thats the same Ken OKeefe who organized an aid boat to Gaza, Aloha Palestine, with the sister-in-law of Tony Blair, Lauren Booth. In recent days, OKeefe has been a major presence in the international media, giving his account of the melee on the deck of Mavi Marmara. Why would Hamas want some middle aged American guy with no experience in guerilla warfare to train its elite forces? The answer is the IDF is probably trying to smear OKeefe to discredit his withering assessment of their conduct during the flotilla raid. All I saw in Israel was cowards with guns, OKeefe has declared. Hussein Arosh was implicated by the IDF for allegedly planning to assist in smuggling Al-Qaeda operatives via Turkey into the Strip. This claim is highly implausible. Why would Hamas allow Al Qaida operatives into the Gaza Strip when it is actively engaged in crushing any Al Qaida sympathizers who crop up within the territory it controls. Last year, Hamas forces killed 21 members of an Al Qaida inspired group in a battle in the Gaza Strip. Another unusual IDF accusation was that the US resident Fatimah Mahmadi is a terrorist because she is an active member of the organization Viva Palestine who attempted to smuggle forbidden electronic components into the Gaza Strip. (I think the IDF means Viva Palestina, not Viva Palestine). Viva Palestina is not registered as a terrorist group by any country in the world; it is the British parliamentarian George Galloways pro-Palestine outfit, which is planning to organize more aid convoys. The IDFs press release did not appear credible in any way. If any reporters from the Israeli press had bothered to call the IDF to demand evidence, they would have learned that there was none. At least in Israel, the media is serving as a useful tool for the army. Just look at this piece by Haaretzs Anshel Pfeffer. NY Times Lede blogger Robert Mackey has cataloged some of the IDFs most egregious fabrications and distortions and provided a gallery of new photos smuggled off the Mavi Marmara that blow the IDFs version of events out of the water. Among the distortions Mackey mentioned was the doctoring of the now-notorious Auschwitz clip: The second video is a short clip of what the I.D.F. said were audio transmissions Israels navy received from the Mavi Marmara before the raid. The clip suggested that a polite request from the navy to the ship was met with responses from three people who said: Shut up go back to Auschwitz, We have permission from the Gaza Port Authority to enter, and Were helping Arabs going against the U.S., dont forget 9/11, guys. This clip, posted on the I.D.F.s official YouTube channel on Friday, was met with immediate skepticism by some bloggers and journalists in Israel. Max Blumenthal pointed out in a post on his blog that the I.D.F. had already released video of what seemed like the same exchange four days earlier in which the only reply from the ship was Negative, negative. Our destination is Gaza. Our destination is Gaza. Mr. Blumenthal suggested that at least one of the voices making the inflammatory remarks in the clip sounded like an impersonation of an Arab. He also noted that Huwaida Arraf, one of the organizers of the flotilla, said that it was her voice saying We have permission from the Gaza Port Authority to enter. But Ms. Arraf was not on the Mavi Marmara, which suggested that the I.D.F. tape was not an unedited snippet of the exchange between the naval ship and the Mavi Marmara. On Saturday, the I.D.F. published what it called a Clarification/Correction regarding the clip which said that the audio had been edited. The militarys statement insisted that the audio of the exchange was genuine, but had been condensed for clarity: There have been questions regarding the authenticity of the recording as well as its attribution to a communication with the Mavi Marmara. So to clarify: the audio was edited down to cut out periods of silence over the radio as well as incomprehensible comments so as to make it easier for people to listen to the exchange. We have now uploaded the entire segment of 5 minutes and 58 seconds in which the exchange took place and the comments were made. This transmission had originally cited the Mavi Marmara ship as being the source of these remarks, however, due to an open channel, the specific ship or ships in the Freedom Flotilla responding to the Israeli Navy could not be identified. The longer clip, which the I.D.F. calls the Unedited Radio Transmission Between Gaza Flotilla and Israeli Navy, also includes the audio of the inflammatory statements, but since they are snippets of audio over a black screen, it is impossible to verify their authenticity.

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August 30, 2016   Posted in: Max Blumenthal  Comments Closed

Israeli Racism And The Pathology of Max Blumenthal …

As if being Germans is not bad enough, in the eyes of Blumenthal, the Germans are also guilty of being White. To the question does that make Germany a Jewish friendly country? Blumenthal answers,Germany is the whitest country in the world. Its so white that it doesnt know that its white or what whiteness is.This is actually the most inclusive notion of Whiteness I have ever come across. It implies that in Germany, whiteness has no binary meaning. However,I suggest that Blumenthal looks in the mirror. Younes, probably overwhelmed by Blumenthals unique convoluted brand of anti intellectual aggression, asked Blumenthal to elaborate on the meaning of Whiteness. Blumenthal replied, whiteness is the supreme embodiment of privilege. Whiteness is expressed through the wielding of power against calls for equality and the simultaneous denial of the very existence of the privilege to do so a willful lack of self-awareness. Reading these lines by Blumenthal I am perplexed by the total lack of self-awareness on Blumenthals part. What did Blumenthal think to himself when he and Sheen were filming and chasing the German MP to the toilet while loudly celebrating their own privilege of being Jews? Did they think that a Palestinian might do the same thing? Would Ramzy Baroud or Azmi Bishara even consider behaving in such a rude way? Not in million years. And the reason Blumenthal and Sheen feel entitled to act so badly is simple. The two are operating with an impunity that is driven by a unique sense of choseness, i.e., Jewish privilege. For a second it may seem as if Blumenthal is critical of the primacy of Jewish suffering The completely mono-culturalnarrative on what it means to be a German holds that the Holocaust towers above all other crimes, that those who perished in it were the ultimate victims of history, and that the Jewish nation that rose up in its wake must therefore float above the weight of history. What is going on? I am slightly confused. Blumenthal is a devoted Nazi hunter and an open enemy of historical revisionism. A few years ago, Blumenthal produced a Zionist Text Book video that attempted to discredit historical revisionist David Irving. This video is worth watching. Inadvertently or not, Germany is instrumentalizing the Holocaust and Zionism to compromise the citizenship rights of Muslim and Arab immigrants, to silence their narratives, and to complicate their naturalization process. But Blumenthal here is actually talking about himself; it is he who has been instrumentalizing the Holocaust to serve the goal of his own (Jewish progressive) narrative. It takes a few paragraphs before Blumenthal squirts the full Jewish progressive mantra.They (the Germans) simply can not accept that Jews are normal people capable of being oppressors like everyone else; of practicing apartheid or developing a class of extremists who behave almost identically to Christian neo-Nazis. Precious. This is probably the best summary of Jewish progressive nonsense. Jews are like everyone else, they are ordinary people and dont you ever dare question their choseness. Dont you ask what is unique about their lobby, dont you ever look into the role of their elite and its domination in culture or banking etc. But then, if Jews are just so ordinary, how did they manage to mount the political pressure on the German political system that drove Blumenthal and David Sheen out of Germany?Instead of answering this simple and crucial question, the Progressive Jew Blumenthal prefers to smear the entire German people as a pathological, sickening society, driven by whiteness. This tactic is appalling yet symptomatic of Progressive Jewish ID politics. If you think that you have enough evidence of the depth of Blumenthals racially driven thinking, read this. When asked about support in Germany,Ive met quite a fewwhiteGermans who are supportive of the idea of Palestinians having basic human rights and are actually willing to do something about itGenuinely left-wing anti-racists tend to be supportive of Palestinian rights. But I wonder, is Blumenthal anti racist? For an anti racist enthusiast his language is suffused with racial expressions and biological determinist ideas. Blumenthal refers to skin colour. He talks about the pathology of nations and peoples but at the same time he defies any attempt to criticise the ideology of his own chosenpeople. Max Blumenthal is not anti racist; he is instead an exemplary specimen of a supremacist Jew. I believe that Blumenthal would do himself and his people a great favour by avoiding cameras and microphones, because reading the comments on Mondoweiss reveals that Blumenthal is not alone – the Jewish progressive crowd of Mondoweiss also cannot grasp how racist, aggressive and supremacist Blumenthals views are. Fascinating.

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August 30, 2016   Posted in: Max Blumenthal  Comments Closed

In latest pander to Israel lobby, Clinton smears Max …

Author Max Blumenthal. The Clinton campaign has reached a new low: slamming Max Blumenthal because he has dared to criticize Elie Wiesel for Wiesels vicious comments about Palestinians and support for the Iraq war. Secretary Clinton emphatically rejects these offensive, hateful, and patently absurd statements about Elie Wiesel, Jake Sullivan, senior policy advisor to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said in a statement to The Jerusalem Post. Sullivan released the statement following a Post report from earlier this week on anti-Israel activists who attempted to vilify Wiesel after his death. She believes they are wrong in all senses of the term. She believes that Max Blumenthal and others should cease and desist in making them, Sullivan said. People should be reading Max Blumenthals wonderful takedown of Elie Wiesel at Alternet, which begins with what an inspiration Night was to him as a boy (as it was for me too), before retailing Wiesels repeated moral failures, including vigorously supporting the Iraq war and opposing the Iran deal, refusing to criticize Israel ever, while promoting religious nationalist settlers expansion in Jerusalem. As Blumenthal promotes the piece on twitter, How Elie Wiesel used his aura to shield militarists like Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush and Netanyahu. Blumenthal rightly defines the struggle here as one between neoliberal elites and marginalized supporters of Palestinians. With Wiesels death, the elites who relied on him for moral cover leapt at the opportunity to claim his legacy. Meanwhile, the teachings and testimonies of Holocaust survivors who insisted on applying the lessons of the genocide universallyincluding to Palestiniansremained confined to the margins. That is the battle that is playing out in the Democratic Party platform fight where the Bernie Sanders forces have been crushed. It is the battle playing out in Clintons aggressive courtship of neoconservative hawks and her repeated hammering of the only nonviolent movement to put pressure on Israel, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. It is playing out also in the claim that Trumps campaign used a Jewish star to brand Clinton as corrupt and thereby issue a dogwhistle to anti-Semites (I agree with the guy who fired me, Jared Kushner, that Trump doesnt hate Jews). Alan Dershowitz said on CNN (thx to Jewish Insider) that Trump is appealing to anti-Semites the same way that Bernie Sanders was appealing to the anti-Israel left: I think he and Bernie Sanders have in common they are not bigots, personally. But they dont want to lose the vote, in his case of the hard right, and Bernie Sanders didnt want to lose the vote to the hard anti-Israel left, so they both, kind of, pandered and let things go Dershowitz, a Clinton supporter, is clearly right, that a good part of the progressive community in the United States now defines Israel/Palestine as a central issue to them. Sanders hardly pandered to us he opposed BDS but he surely moved left to capture our support. We have actual political clout, and Bernie Sanders was able to build a campaign with us because he had escaped the financial clutches of the elitist Israel lobby by raising money at $27 a pop. Clinton cant escape those financial clutches. And she thinks she can only gain politically from smearing Max Blumenthal. She is saying, Let the Sanders hard-core stay home or vote for Jill Stein, I dont need them. But this political season isnt over yet; the Palestinian-solidarity community is having more mainstream impact than even I imagined a year ago with my rose-colored glasses. And: isnt becoming president by marrying neoconservatism the definition of a deal with the devil? What does that do to U.S. foreign policy? Is that why she sought power? Is Hillary Clinton even in touch with her soul?

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August 22, 2016   Posted in: Max Blumenthal  Comments Closed


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