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Ron Radosh

Last week, I wrote about the New America Foundation’s sponsorship of Max Blumenthal’s vicious screed against Israel. Now that the event is over, James Fallows has taken to the web pages of The Atlantic to praise the reprehensible bigot and ignoramus Blumenthal, whose book he describes as “ a particular kind of exposé-minded, documentary-broadside journalism whose place we generally recognize and respect.” Fallows also adds that “items like this one in Commentary had said that New America should not provide a platform for what it claimed was destroy-Israel hate speech. Some members of the board got personal email pitches to the same effect.”

The column in Commentary by Jonathan S. Tobin appeared after mine on these pages, and Tobin credits my column for alerting him to Blumenthal’s appearance. As for the personal e-mails, I addressed one of them to a board member whom I am in touch with, as did other individuals whom I told about the scheduled event. One person I know wrote to Anne-Marie Slaughter, who did not respond to the e-mail he sent.

Now, Fallows charges us with censorship, and with trying to stand against free speech. Tobin accurately calls Blumenthal’s book one with a “complete lack of intellectual merit or integrity.” So when Fallows says everyone respects and recognizes Blumenthal’s courageous journalism, he is speaking only for himself.

Sadly, his blog indicates that the campaign for the delegitimizing of Israel is succeeding among liberal sectors of our intellectual class, who are now welcoming as good journalism the worst kind of gutter tripe. Consider The Nation magazine’s Eric Alterman, who has written a blog post that could have been published by “The Friends of Hamas Book Club,” if such a group existed. Evidently Mr. Alterman, himself a man of the far Left, does not realize how far in the cesspool his liberal and leftist colleagues have fallen.

As for censorship and calls that the NAF board should have considered not sponsoring a talk about his book, this is hardly an assault on free speech. There are scores of serious critical books about Israel that are worth having a dialogue with authors about. This is not one of them. That a book exists — and there are hundreds they could have chosen from — does not mean that such a book should receive the imprimatur of the New America Foundation

By Fallows’ own admission, what Blumenthal does is find anti-democratic extremists in Israel. He then paints a picture showing his readers that their existence reveals the true Israel — a bigoted, anti-democratic state content to oppress all whom stand in the way of keeping it a Jewish state. With his one-sided attack, Blumenthal hopes to sway the American public against the United States keeping Israel as an ally.

Blumenthal has a right to his views. He found a publisher, and they are giving him quite a tour and send-off. To urge a distinguished liberal think tank to reconsider being one of the venues for his views is hardly a clarion call to suppress speech. It is simply an attempt to suggest to the board and leaders of NAF that they question whether they really believe liberalism in America means supporting a speaker whose book has been praised by none other than David Duke.

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All Comments   (22)
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I think Max has mental issues
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's pretty obvious, the last few years the academic left has wholly embraced the kind of gutter filth antisemitism we used to speak of in complete contempt... so eager to wrap their arms around their "oppressed" muslim brothers, they ignore the crimes they excuse, ignore the murders, the bombings, the constant rocket attacks.. all to pin one more liberation theology merit badge on for supporting the newest flavor third world thugacracy..

Think not? Zombie has the pictures of the rally's the left supports the news will not show the American public... "Hitler didn't go far enough"... a pretty common theme..

and Obama embraces these scumbags..

Cutting a friends throat at the behest of islamic extremists.... they may as well have been running the trains to the death camps.. there is little moral difference.. and even if God didn't select the Jewish people as his chosen, I'd still support them, because they're friends.. and you do NOT betray friends...


no matter how much the left demands it.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I notice a trend in illegitimate political positions and ideologies, that is to say that whenever someone throws some light on the ideology, exposes it in some way, or confronts its problems, they are labeled an enemy. The actual position they maintain is never really talked about, but everything is about how they must be a terrible person. The other, related strategy, is to use hyperbole in the form of "X person threatens something we hold dear."

That is why I don't tend to take the pro-Israel position very seriously. There are too many problems with Israel to list here, and those problems are never discussed, and criticism is silenced. Our alliance with Israel is a national security risk and costs us a small fortune, but no fiscal conservative will ever engage that topic in an intelligent manner.

The very alliance itself strikes me as irrational, we expose ourselves to extremist Muslims (9/11) in large part because of our alliance with Israel, we engage in wars in foreign lands to help pacify the region, again because it is furious with us. Yet the only real reason we support Israel is because of religion. A sizable number of Americans believe that Israel must be supported for prophesy, as if we live in the dark ages.

It makes my head spin.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
No.. that's the drugs....

Israel is a democracy in a sea of corrupt kings and dictatorships, islamist Hell holes, and cesspools... and you... are so thumb sucking afraid of them, you'd cast off an entire nation to genocide and destruction all for no rational reason..

We outnumber you, and cowardice is no reason to sentence an ally to death.. and as far as our religion bothering you.. your second petty bigotry is highlighted..

I'd still fight for Israel, because it's right, it's moral.. and selling out the Jews is an all too common leftist trait we want NO part of..

49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
it's all the fault of the Chews.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is Max Blumenthal a Jew? Are the Jews who overwhelmingly voted for Obama Jews? Why do Jews hate the Jews so much?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
It appears Max Blumenthal is not a Jew. His mother is not a Jew.

At some point his father was accused of spousal abuse. Perhaps his hatred of his own father is what is behind Max Blumenthal's anti-semitism.

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/property00/jurisdiction/blumenthaledit.html
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cheap extremists on Israel (and Jews per se) abound today, including in the White House. gutter anti-Semitism is gaining social respectability, especially with lefties.

(But don't say "all whom stand in the way".)
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Things have only gotten worse when it comes to journalism-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2PQCNQH2lY
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whatever accusation the left levels at the right is an opportunity for a column. The reason is because they are invariably engaged in what they accuse us of.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr Radosh - You wrote "There are scores of serious critical books about Israel that are worth having a dialogue with authors about." Could you give us a list?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Israel, silence your enemies, once and for all.
The new brown shirts/green shirts are of the same Nazi mentality as those of our not so distant past and always keep in mind, appeasement never works. Strike hard strike fast and strike decisively before this liberal cancer spreads and becomes acceptable once again.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's despicable that anyone would support genocide like you just implied. It really shows how religious ideology warps the thinking process.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
He implied nothing... you took a flying assumption, it really shows how leftist ideology warps the thinking process...

He was paraphrasing an old passage.. get over yourself...
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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