Let us then ask, since David Duke is one of Mr. Blumenthal’s fans and is happy that what he has been saying for years is now being said by Max Blumenthal, whether, if the same book had come out by Duke, the NAF board would have asked him to speak, and whether Peter Bergen would have been the willing chair of the event. Would James Fallows take to the pages of The Atlantic to praise Duke’s courage and integrity, and condemn anyone who suggested that the NAF not use its facilities and its reputation as an endorsement of David Duke’s book? I think we all know the answer. And since there is little difference between what Duke says about Israel and what Max Blumenthal says, it is perfectly reasonable to try to let the board of NAF know why so many of us are disheartened at their decision to hold this talk and as a consequence to add to the growing animus against Israel by our intellectual liberal class.
Already, sensible liberals show that they understand how dangerous it is for them to be taking this path. Alan Dershowitz said that “Max Blumenthal is well outside the acceptable range of rhetoric about Israel. His constant comparisons between Nazi Germany and the Jewish state establish him as an extremist bigot whose greatest appeal is to anti-Semites and others who apply a double standard to the Jewish state.” Dershowitz has it right. No “decent person,” he continued to say, “should ever support the views expressed by Max Blumenthal.”
Dershowitz’s comments came after it was revealed in Buzzfeed by reporter Rosie Gray that Max Blumenthal’s father, journalist Sidney Blumenthal, is going to bat for his son’s book in a big way. The problem is that Sidney Blumenthal may still be on the Clinton’s payroll, and is listed in The Atlantic as an advisor to the Clinton Foundation. Dershowitz is obviously concerned that should Hillary Clinton decide to run, her association with Sidney Blumenthal could hurt her campaign, unless she dissociates herself with his defense of Max’s book.
I have a simple response to James Fallows and Peter Bergen. Shame on both of you for trying to make Max Blumenthal into a respectful journalist. By doing so, you harm your own integrity and reputation. As for myself, I would rather be called a censor and an opponent of free speech by James Fallows than be seen as lending credibility to a cheap extremist like Max Blumenthal.