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Are Mainstream Liberals Embracing Max Blumenthal’s ‘I Hate Israel Handbook’?

The New America Foundation disgraces itself by spreading anti-Israel hatred.

by
Ron Radosh

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November 25, 2013 - 4:47 pm
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There is no American hater of Israel and all it stands for more extreme than the young, would-be journalist Max Blumenthal. The son of former Clinton administration staffer Sidney Blumenthal, he is author of a book so steaming of hatred for Israel that it makes the work of Noam Chomsky seem moderate in comparison. It has received blurbs and endorsements from Stephen Walt (of Walt and Mearsheimer), Rashid Khalidi, Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian and Chris Hedges, among others. In other words, all the usual suspects are pushing it.

The Nation, the leading magazine of the far Left, featured a lengthy excerpt for its cover story in the November 4th issue. Trying to appease their few remaining supporters of Israel, it also ran a short one and a quarter page rebuttal by their regular columnist, Eric Alterman. He sees himself as a critical supporter of the Jewish state, regularly writing in opposition to both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as most Israeli policies, with which he strenuously disagrees.

Yet Alterman, having read Blumenthal’s book, dubbed it “The ‘I Hate Israel’ Handbook,” noting that some chapters “are titled to imply an equivalence between Israel and Nazi Germany,” such as chapters titled “The Concentration Camp,” “The Night of the Broken Glass,” and one would-be humorous and juvenile chapter titled “How to Kill Goyim and Influence People.” Alterman’s bottom line is this:

Alas, his case against the Jewish state is so carelessly constructed, it will likely alienate anyone but the most fanatical anti-Zionist extremists, and hence do nothing to advance the interests of the occupation’s victims.

Alterman clearly agrees with Blumenthal that Israel is to blame for “the occupation,” but even he cannot help but note that “Blumenthal evinces no interest in the larger context of Israel’s actions;” and that he completely shows no interest in all the serious threats Israel faces from its many foes, which Alterman is compelled to acknowledge are very real and menacing to the Jewish State. He notes that Blumenthal complains about Israeli textbooks which he says “indoctrinate Jewish children into the culture of militarism,” while never saying one word about the Palestinian and Arab textbooks which do not even show Israel as a nation on their maps, and which regularly attack Jews as sub-human. As Alterman puts it, “Did it not occur to Blumenthal…that Palestinians have textbooks at all?”

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Blumenthal's father was one of, if not the most nakedly partisan political operator in the Clinton White House when it came to going after what he say as it and his enemies on the right, so the son no doubt comes by his persona legitimately -- which may also explain the venom.

The Clinton White House dispatched their personal campaign team led by James Carvelle to Israel in 1999 to unseat Netanyahu and Likud from power to install Ehud Barak and Labor, in part because Clinton saw Barak as someone he could push into a deal with Arafat (and win himself a Nobel Peace Prize along the way). So the discord between that White House and the then and now Israeli leader was only slightly better than under the current administration. And that's the view of Israel Max Blumenthal likely has, where support of Israel depends on who is governing Israel at the moment.

Even as a member of the far left, Alterman's old enough to remember the days when liberals' backing of Israel wasn't based on whether the voters there went for Labor or Likud. Blumenthal -- born at the same time Likud was beginning its dominance of Israeli government under Begin -- views it pretty much as just another consistently-voting Red State, neither worthy of support or respect, and more and more on the left feel the same way. Israel might as well be Texas, and Netanyahu might as well be Ted Cruz for the hatred he generates among Blumenthal and others, and if Israeli voters continue to vote this way, in their minds they must pay the consequences.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Max Blumenthal is a "hired skunk who stinks for gold." A cursory look into his history reveals that, after his college graduation in 1999, using his daddy's rolodex, he knocked about the journalistic left for a few years--taking penny ante potshots at the usual "corporate", "right-wing" suspects--until he found out in the late oughties that the best-paying gigs in leftoid journalism were in churning out anti-semitic hit pieces for the Muslim comintern.

He has found his calling writing propaganda for petro-dollars. As others have found out over the decades, being a jooo grants one magical immunity from charges of anti-semitism, just as it gave comedy director Mel Brooks immunity for making awful Jewish jokes...
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not sure why people blame Israel solely for the occupation. They did not occupy the West Bank in a fit of pique, but because armored tank columns were posturing to cut Israel in half at its narrowest part. A war actually occurred. Now, if the Islamic hostiles who are in favor of and enabling that act never distance themselves from the hostility that created it in the first place, an occupation is likely to continue.

Liberals are addicted to things like Critical Pedagogy. They tend to over-symbolize everything. They confuse obvious plot devices like "frontiers" and "exploration" in science fiction with an actual colonialist ideology. They confuse the depicting of an "empire" with a longing to go back to the Victorian era.

They confuse obvious plot devices like aliens in science fiction with "othering" and racism.

They confuse a male dominated hobby with a patriarchy. They confuse the accidental white demographic of a literature with maintaining white supremacy. For some reason a lot of Chinese in Chinese movies and a lot of Muslims in Middle Eastern literature doesn't qualify.

They confuse the quite natural brutality that will arise between Israel and Palestinians with Nazi ideology, because it visually may look superficially similar.

They confuse success with oppression, because they forget the failure of the Palestinians is not the same thing as a lack of intent to defeat Israel. Failure somehow signifies a lack of intent, even twisted into nobility.

Even worse, much of this is subject to a double standard where a pet ethnic group or religion replaces principle in deciding right from wrong.

Liberals think they are the great perceivers, but in fact they overthink everything and come up empty. They see racism where there is none and none where there is. It's hard to get stupider or less perceptive than that.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't always agree with you, Fail Burton, but here your description of Critical Theory is spot on. This is exactly what I went through in grad school 20 years ago -- and I couldn't believe anyone couldn't see what you've described here.

Very well articulated. Thanks.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Too many people were brought up believing the principle that the Underdog is always in the right. L'havdil, NYC is full of fools who root for the Mets simply because they don't win as often as the Yankees, and this makes them (the Mets, but especially said supporters) morally superior. But that's just the toy department; Blumenthal's folly is a case of self-evident evil. I would genuinely celebrate if this poisonous little idolater ended up shrieking out his last seconds on Al-Jazeera Online, protesting helplessly, "But I'm on YOUR SIDE!" as they butchered him for being a Jew. Yes, I would smile.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Libs are like HS girls. They are attracted to the bad boys.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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