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December 18, 2013 11:05 am

Democratic Think Tank Spreads Max Blumenthal’s Hateful Lies Against Israel

avatar by Petra Marquardt-Bigman

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A slanderous tweet by Max Blumenthal against Israel. Photo: Twitter

Since I wrote a few weeks ago about the publication of a vicious anti-Israel screed authored by Max Blumenthal, there have been some noteworthy new developments. As I noted back then, Blumenthal’s rant was endorsed not only by influential writers and supposedly respectable academics, but also by activists associated with sites like Mondoweiss and the Electronic Intifada that devote themselves single-mindedly to maligning the Jewish state. It was therefore hardly surprising when it turned out that these supposedly “progressive” Israel-haters cheered a book that also got much praise from notorious Jew-haters posting at various far-right fringe outlets, including David Duke’s website.

In the meantime, Blumenthal’s fans – among them Roger Waters – have done much to illustrate once again that it is indeed a very slippery slope from fanatic anti-Zionism to outright antisemitism. But in this context, one of the arguably most dismal developments is the fact that the New America Foundation (NAF) decided to give Max Blumenthal a platform to promote his book – which is to say that the leading Democratic think tank in Washington D.C. hosted an event promoting a book about Israel that was enthusiastically endorsed by notorious Jew-haters. As Ron Radosh rightly noted, one might ask if the NAF would have promoted the same book if it was not only praised, but authored by David Duke.

Among the entirely expected results of the NAF event was that mainstream publications like Foreign Policy started to cheer Blumenthal’s smug dismissal of his critics as hate-filled right-wingers full of “hot air,” while The Atlantic seemed to suggest that opposing the promotion of Blumenthal’s David-Duke-endorsed views was tantamount to opposing free speech.

Soon enough, popular blogger Andrew Sullivan chimed in with a post entitled “Not So Mad Max,” which he followed up a few days later with another post that asked “Who’s Afraid Of The Truth?“ Both Sullivan and the Atlantic’s James Fallows chose to imbed into their posts a video co-produced by Max Blumenthal and posted on YouTube under the title “Israel’s New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land.” The clip has already more than half a million views.

Since Blumenthal’s new-found defenders seem to have a really hard time understanding what’s so offensive about presenting Israel as defined by fringe views and some ugly phenomena that exist in every country, I thought it might be helpful to imagine a Max-Blumenthal-style book on Palestine. So here we go: “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Palestine.”

Naturally, we start with a video clip – though I don’t really recommend that you watch it, since I myself felt sick before getting through less than half of it. Below is a screenshot from the scene at which I stopped, and you should first read the clip’s description to decide if you’re up to watching it:

“The footage, filmed by local civilians [in Gaza] … shows cattle tied to poles, trees and vehicles before being stabbed in the neck and eyes. One animal was kneecapped by shots from an assault rifle. Animals Australia said the footage […] was some of the worst seen in a series of animal welfare outrages involving Australian cattle. WARNING: CONTAINS EXTREMELY GRAPHIC IMAGES”

One might add that the footage shows not only grown men behaving like sadistic savages, but also lots of children excitedly watching the gruesome spectacle and cheering it on.

I think we can all agree that this makes a wonderful opening for our Max Blumenthal-inspired Palestinian Goliath – and we might view it as a most auspicious coincidence that the title of Blumenthal’s  first chapter is a perfect fit here: “To the Slaughter.” Of course, given the behavior of the children in the clip, one could also opt for the title of Blumenthal’s chapter 59: “Children Whose Hearts Were Unmoved.”

Emulating Max Blumenthal’s “journalism,” we then proceed to point out that Palestinians don’t just live out their brute impulses by torturing tied-up cattle, but that they behave in a similar way to those fellow Palestinians they view as enemies. This can be nicely illustrated with images from a “grisly spectacle” that took place in Gaza late last year, when, according to press reports, “masked Hamas gunmen…forced…six men suspected of collaborating with Israel to lie face down on the street, then shot them dead. Later, while an angry mob stomped and spat on five of the bodies, the sixth was tied to the back of a motorcycle” to be dragged through the streets. According to a CNN report, this was not the first such incident and some people cheered it with shouts of “God is great.”

Screenshot from Global Post report,

Since the list of additional examples of Palestinian depravity is long, we’ll have an easy time getting a lot of short Max-Blumenthal-style chapters illustrating what Andrew Sullivan would presumably call the “truth” about the Palestinians. Relevant stories include the sad fate of a doctor in Gaza who was kidnapped and “blindfolded, handcuffed and shot six times in the legs, including a kneecap, and then tossed on the street.” Since the doctor was a Hamas supporter, the Islamist group retaliated by kidnapping a Fatah-member and throwing him from the roof of a 15-storey apartment building. Indeed, according to press reports from the summer of 2007, “Hundreds of Hamas and Fatah supporters have been kidnapped in recent months by rival gunmen. The treatment of the hostages […] has become increasingly harsh, and captives are often shot in the legs.”

Last year, Human Rights Watch also documented that “Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip commit rampant abuses against Palestinian prisoners, including beatings with metal clubs and rubber hoses, mock executions and arbitrary arrests.”

For the next few chapters of our Blumenthal-style documentation of Palestinian evils, we could turn to the terrible treatment of the disabled – after all, it is very revealing how a society treats its most vulnerable members. Since this is a widely ignored subject, we can perhaps use the title of Blumenthal’s chapter 64 here: “The Big Quiet.” Indeed, a “Big Quiet” usually also prevails when it comes to acknowledging that Palestinian children born with disabilities are often paying the terrible price for a “strongly patriarchal culture that prods women into first-cousin marriages and allows polygamy.”

The many truly heartbreaking stories that could be highlighted here include the confinement of two handicapped Palestinian siblings“in an unlit and unventilated cellar” for some 20 years. Unfortunately, this is by no means an isolated case, since many Palestinians“regard people with intellectual disabilities as mad.” The desperate plight of disabled Palestinians is also reflected in a chilling proposal for dealing with the potentially widespread sexual abuse of disabled girls and women. When this issue “was raised on a national governmental level […] one of the suggestions to ‘protect’ a girl with disabilities was to remove her uterus so that if the girl were abused, at least she would not become pregnant.”

If we want to deal with this topic à la Max Blumenthal, we will have to end this chapter by insinuating that the fate of disabled Palestinians is similar to how the disabled fared in Nazi Germany.

We could then smoothly move on to topics that call for Max-Blumenthal-style examples of “fascism” – which in the case of the Palestinians should probably be “Islamofacism.” One of the chapters in this part of the book should perhaps echo the title of Blumenthal’s chapter 61: instead of “This Belongs To The White Man,” we’ll have “This Belongs To The Muslim Man.” We could first highlight the Hamas Charter, and – given its genocidal visions of “stones and trees” calling out “O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him” – Blumental’s chapter on “How To Kill Goyims” could become a chapter on “How To Kill Infidels.”

The next chapter could perhaps deal with the praise repeatedly heaped by Mahmoud Abbas on Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Palestinian leader who is also known as “Hitler’s Mufti” because he collaborated with the Nazis; here, Blumenthal’s chapter title “The Days of ’48 Have Come Again” could become “The Days of ’43 Have Never Gone.” Then we could move on to the enormous popularity Osama bin Laden enjoyed among Palestinians for the decade after 9/11 – maybe Blumenthal’s chapter title on “The Joint Struggle” could come in handy here.

Staying with our Blumenthal-inspired topic of “Islamofascism,” we might then highlight the rather dramatic results of a recent Pew study documenting massive popular support for reactionary Muslim views among Palestinians; the obvious topic to continue would be the recently reported “worrisome trend in rise of ‘honor killings’“ perpetrated by Palestinians.

Naturally, the appalling prevalence of corruption and its corrosive effects on Palestinian society would also have to be addressed; likewise, it would be inexcusable to ignore the heartbreaking cruelty inflicted on poverty-stricken and ill Palestinians who have to watch helplessly as their modest dwellings are demolished by a merciless Hamas-government.

So there is obviously more than enough material to come up with a 500-page Blumenthal-style screed. But what are the chances that such a book – faithfully reflecting Blumenthal’s modus operandi with its relentless focus on portraying Palestinians only in the worst possible light – would be promoted by the NAF? What are the chances that Andrew Sullivan would insist that “Life and Loathing in Palestine“ should be taken seriously and deserved to be reviewed in the New York Times? What are the chances that Blumenthal’s defenders would eagerly link to the appalling video clip from Gaza, insinuating that it provides a good illustration of how terrible Palestinians truly are?

As we all know, the chances are nil – because the rules that apply when it comes to demonizing the world’s only Jewish state are of course totally unacceptable when others are concerned.

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  • Man of Peace

    I find blogs like this which attack people with same old anti-Semite , self hating Jew Propaganda absolutely hypocritical and just plain ridiculous. Where do I start?

    First the language, viscous, ranting, guilt by association, savages…etc etc. Leave the drama at the door when you are basically trying to condemn someone for being dramatic.

    Secondly the attempt to conflate Israel critics as Jew haters is just plain irresponsible and an obvious incitement which has absolutely no validity.

    Of course opposing giving Max a platform is tantamount to opposing free speech! What else would be a better description? And trying to refute was Max says as “offensive because such ugly phenomena” occurs in other countries makes the content no less ugly. The “but they do it too” argument is one of the weakest of all.

    Trying to somehow demonize the Palestinians by posting pictures of cattle being apparently abused and traitors of Gaza being dragged through the streets is a particularly vile form of criticism, has absolutely no connection to Max’s narrative and does absolutely nothing to refute his assertions.

    Quoting human Rights Watch is relevant here. Especially since their reports on Israels violation do nothing but support Max’s narrative! Of course both sides are guilty of violations. You basically become no better than the very person you are trying to condemn when you resort to such biased reporting.

    Finally your contentions that “the rules that apply when it comes to demonizing the world’s only Jewish state are of course totally unacceptable when others are concerned.” Quite the opposite is true of course, you are welcome to write your own book to prove that fact; or read Alan Dershowitz’s book “The Case for Israel, but be warned it has already been proven a total fraud in Dr. Finkelstein’s Beyond Chutzpah.

    When will we get some truly unbiased accurate, objective reporting on this conflict? Reports that condemn both sides and show that there is no angel in this conflict? Until then expect more books like Max’s, which are biased but truthful, and more idiotic blogs like yours which are just a petty attack based on trying to demonize the messenger without any substance about the very content in Max’s book and an attempt to distract from said content by pointing to the most ugly actions of the other side.

  • Elliot J. Stamler

    The New America Foundation is a private organization having no official connection whatever to the Democratic Party of the United States. You can ask our National Chairman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a proud Jew and Zionist. The NAF may have Democrats in its leadership-so does AIPAC and plenty of Zionist organizations.

  • Mark_

    The videos have already been made exposing the new barbarians of Palestine, children trained to kill. See the “New Barbarians: Training Children To Kill,” by Pierre Rehov who has been arrested by Palestinian Police in Bethlehem for his undercover filming in the past. If you can’t find that video see “The Trojan Horse- Israel and the Images of War,” by Pierre Rehov or above all “War of Images,” at No one has done a better job of documenting the horror of Palestinian brutality and the training of young Palestinian children to hate and kill.

    • Ken Price, Ph.D.

      Thanks very much for your references to the Rehov material. I had never heard of them and it looks like they are important ammunition to have to rebut the slander and lies of Israel’s peace partners.

  • It wont work. F.I. The Nazis killed 27 million Russians while the Jews killed none. Nevertheless the Russians hate Jews and neo Nazism is very popular there.

    But ironic that the founders of Zionism thought that by becoming a country the goyim would accept us… instead they produced an additional reason for hatred. The only solution is Moshiach NOW!

  • Michael


    I agree with the thrust of your argument (as well as those of Mari Wolk, HaroldT, Fred, and EthanP!), but, a minor correction: By no means are these spiritual members of the erev rav; they symbolic descendants of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, self loathing.

    Their behavior is not caused by self-hatred, but rather, a surfeit of narcissistic self-adoration. And perhaps, the sheer emotional frisson that arises from an inverted sense of morality.

    It is only other Jews – and any form of collective Jewish identity, pride, endurance, assertion, and survival – whether real or symbolic – against which their hatred is directed.

    Yasher koach to Petra Marquardt-Bigman for this fine and necessary essay.

  • Mari Wolk

    I agree, you said it all.

  • HaroldT

    You can add Miko Peled and his “The general’s son ” to the list of evil quisling Jews.

  • Fred

    I am horrified of the traitors within our Jewish people. They would sell their mothers to prove a viciousness they poses. It is a sad day for Jews & Israel to harbour such poison.

  • EthanP

    Good for you ‘yoelarry’. By the way, I don’t know who’s actually behind Mondoweiss, but it’s the most anti Israel site I’ve ever seen.

  • Blumenthal, like Noam Chomsky, Norman Finklestein, and other athiestic, secular-liberal leftists before him continues the long and hateful tradition that began with the two sons of Isaac. To wit, when Esau sought to kill his brother Jacob.
    There is no way to justify and condone the words and actions of these Fratricidal Jews. Either they are confused and misguided in their understanding of the situation the Jewish Nation finds itself in today or worse, that they are pathologically self-loathing anti-Semitic Jews. Either way, the result is the same; they have chosen to hasten the destruction of their Brothers and Sisters. In that respect they are a far greater danger to the Jewish People than Iranian nuclear weapons or United Nations resolutions. These Fratricidal Bnei Esau must be confronted and condemned in no uncertain terms by any and every Jew who has an ounce of Love for their People. They are Esau, the killers among us.

    • Monty Pogoda

      You have hit the nail on the head. They are self hating Jews and they and their ilk should be wiped off the face of the earth.

      • Fraide

        If they hate Jews so much, why don’t they disown their birth religion and be done with it. Israelis along with the rest of the Jews in the world will be very happy to “lose” them. They are sick, hateful nuts whose vendetta against their own heritage proves it.