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January 11, 2016 5:58 pm

Hillary Clinton’s Troubling Relationship With an Israel-Hater Adviser

avatar by Shmuley Boteach

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Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. Sidney Blumenthal was "clearly a man whose advice Hillary trusted" and she was willing to pay him $10,000 a month for his services, Shmuley Boteach said. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. Sidney Blumenthal was “clearly a man whose advice Hillary trusted” and she was willing to pay him $10,000 a month for his services, Shmuley Boteach notes. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Who is Max Blumenthal, why is he a Hillary Clinton Israel Svengali and does he pose as big a headache for Hillary as Jeremiah Wright did for Barack Obama?

The well-known proverb declares that you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep.

Last summer, in the wake of the impending Iran deal, which she helped create and vocally supported, Hillary reached out to calm the jitters of her wealthiest Democratic Jewish supporters in an attempt to convince them that she would always support Israel. She also emphasized that she utterly condemns the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement that Israel is currently facing.

But she has been a harsh critic of the Jewish state, often relishing her role. During a speech in 2012 she spoke of Israel’s “lack of generosity” and “lack of empathy” toward the Palestinians. She admitted that during her time as US Secretary of State she was often the “designated yeller” at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She once yelled at him for 45 minutes when Israel granted permits to build houses in the Eastern neighborhoods of its capital, Jerusalem, during Joe Biden’s visit to Israel.

With the recent dumps of emails from Hillary’s private Internet server, the public has received an in-depth look at the very important role that Sidney Blumenthal played for Hillary during her time in the Obama administration.

Blumenthal is one of Hillary’s closest advisers and a longtime family friend. He was a senior adviser during Bill Clinton’s presidency and served again as senior adviser for Hillary’s failed 2008 run for the White House.

Blumenthal was clearly a man whose advice Hillary trusted and she was willing to pay him $10,000 a month for his services. However, the information uncovered from their email exchanges paints a troubling picture. What they show is a slew of anti-Israel writings and opinions, many of which originated from articles written by Blumenthal’s own son, Max Blumenthal.

Max is a writer and self-declared “anti-Zionist,” known for his active support of the BDS movement and his calls for the dismantling of the state of Israel. He trolls pro-Israel writers, as I can personally attest. Max’s widely panned 2013 book Goliath, Life and Loathing in Greater Israel is full of anti-Israel rants, omissions and outright lies. In the book he repeatedly compares the Jewish state to the Nazis and advocates that the majority of Jews currently living in Israel must be removed from the land to make way for a Palestinian state. Mimicking the Islamic States’ acronym ISIL, Max created the hashtag #JSIL – Jewish state in the Levant. To Max, the democratic state of Israel and ISIL are morally equivalent entities.

His opinions are seen as radical, leftist claptrap even by left-leaning detractors of the Jewish state. The Nation columnist Eric Alterman – himself a critic of Israel’s presence in the West bank – described how the book “could have been published by the Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club.” J.J. Goldberg of The Forward described Goliath as an “unpleasant book.” By contrast, David Duke, the racist former Ku Klux Klan leader, praised Max’s book.

What is truly concerning is that Sidney has not only failed to ever condemn his son’s anti-Israel writings, but has actively advocated for and defended the warped, outrageous ideas conveyed therein. In fact, after learning of Alterman’s critique of Max’s book, Sidney began sending out emails attacking Alterman and supporting his son’s shoddy and repugnant anti-Israel scholarship. One such email included an article from the radical anti-Zionist website Mondoweiss (who loved the book and whom Max has written for in the past) attacking Alterman’s review.

But even more concerning than all of this is that Hillary Clinton, the nation’s chief diplomat, valued Max’s disturbed anti-Israel rants so much that she forked out $120,000 a year to his dad to keep the flow of information coming.

In one of the emails Sidney sent to Hillary is a link to a November 2010 blog post written by his son. In the blog, Max attempted to equate the views and policies of far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders with those of Israel. Max went so far as to claim that Wilders learned from and formulated his views as a result of his living in Israel. Max wrote, “Israel’s mainstream leadership echoes Wilders’ crudest talking points on a regular basis.” Max described how, “the extreme right [in Europe] is also attracted to Israel because the country represents its highest ideals. While some critics see Israel as a racist apartheid state, people like Wilders see Israel as a racist apartheid state — and they like it.”

He continued saying, “They richly enjoy when Israel mows down Arab Muslims by the dozens and tells the world to go to hell; they admire Israel’s settler culture.” Max also wrote, “most of all, they yearn to live in a land like Israel that privileges its ethnic majority above all others to the point that it systematically humiliates and dispossesses the swarthy racial outclass.” He added, “The endgame of the far-right is to make Europe less tolerant and more Israeli.”

What was Hillary’s response to this racist, anti-Israel tirade? She wrote back to Sidney, “A very smart piece – as usual.”

Before her speech to AIPAC in March of 2010, Sidney sent Hillary a column written by Uri Avnery claiming Israel was pursuing goals contrary to the United States’ interests while “starting a rebellion” against the U.S. Hillary’s response to Sidney was “I have to speak to AIPAC tomorrow. How — and should I — use this?”

Sidney replied that with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Hillary should, “Hold Bibi’s feet to the fire.” He also recommended Hillary try to mention in a positive light the George Soros-funded Israel organization J Street, which is fiercely critical of the Jewish state.

Sidney told Hillary to “remind [AIPAC] in as subtle but also direct a way as you can that it does not have a monopoly over American Jewish opinion. Bibi is stage managing US Jewish organizations (and neocons, and the religious right, and whomever else he can muster) against the administration. AIPAC itself has become an organ of the Israeli right, specifically Likud.”

Holding Netanyahu’s feet to the fire, advocating for J Street, and courting favor with AIPAC while simultaneously viewing them as a conspiracy organization being wielded against the interests of the United States: these are the musings of Hillary Clinton as she considers American policy toward Israel.

Sidney also offered some truly bizarre analysis in an email to Hillary in the aftermath of the 2010 Gaza Flotilla raid. During that operation, Israeli soldiers boarded a Turkish vessel approaching the Gaza Strip and were brutally attacked, stabbed, and thrown off ledges by the ship’s passengers, resulting in a shootout and casualties, as video evidence of the event makes clear. Back in May of that year, before any of the facts had been properly clarified, Sidney provided Hillary with an armchair psychoanalysis of the events. He stated, “Bibi desperately seeks his father’s approbation and can never equal his dead brother.” Blumenthal explained that this must be what led Netanyahu to order the operation, adding, “The raid on the ship to Gaza resembles the raid on Entebbe [in which Netanyahu’s brother was killed] except that there are no hostages, no guns (on the Turkish ship), it’s not in Africa, and it’s a fiasco; otherwise, it’s Entebbe.”

Throughout all of this, there is no email showing Hillary objecting to any of these anti-Israel articles and opinions that Sidney continually sent her. And even to this day, in light of all these damning exchanges, Hillary has yet to apologize or publicly distance herself from Sidney or Max Blumenthal.

Will Hillary disassociate herself from the crackpot anti-Israel theories of Max Blumenthal? We’re all waiting to see.

Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is founder of The World Values Network and is the international best-selling author of 30 books, including “Wrestling with the Divine” and “The Fed-Up Man of Faith,” both of which deal with the problem of human suffering. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

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  • Martin Bookspan

    That cinches it! I’ve been on the fence with respect to Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy (despite the fact that I have always voted the straight Democrat ticket). Unless she forcefully denounces the Blumenthals (father and son) with respect to the lunacy of their hatred of Israel, I say: Anybody but Hillary!!!

  • Isaac

    Shmuley Does it again. But he does make a lot of sense. Are his assertions accurate?

    • Joy D. Brower

      I think they are. Boteach is a highly respected man of letters & faith, although his views are not universally accepted. But I’ve been reading about Blumenthal fils (Max) and his radical views, plus I’ve always viewed Blumenthal pere (Sidney) as a shady and unsavory character at best. His political & personal ties to the Queen (HRC) tarnish both of them IMHO.

  • Hillary just like Obama, before the election kisses Jews a..s knowing that it is just to get their financial support and their votes.
    However she is a copy of Obama when it comes to Israel and Israel does not need another 4 years of the same policies that are badly damaging the middle east and especially Israel.
    Let her sink.

  • You MUST NOT support Hellary Clinton!
    She is a liar, a criminal, a murderer!
    She hates Israel. She is the mortal enemy of Christians, Jews, Israel, America!
    WHY are you surprised she is pals and a cohort of Sid and other Evils?

    DO NOT NOT NOT be fooled by this lesbian witch!

  • Jake Steiner

    Based upon this article, I have decided not to vote for Hilary Clinton. We were sucker-punched by Obama. Not this time. Never again.

  • Florence

    Hillary sure talks out of three sides of her mouth. Which one do we believe. None I assume. Doesn’t she have an original thought of her own?

  • stevenl

    HC gravitates around Islamists of all “genres” just like Obama. They do not know ANY moderate Muslim organization in the US!!! Therefore there are NO moderate Muslim in the US. Aren’t the parents of the son-in-law far left as well?

  • Ike Semaya

    Max Blumenthal Has provided the world with his chock full of lies he himself does not believe. His hatred for Israel has never been explained. In the long run he will be the looser, not Israel.

  • Luigi Rosolin

    Well written article, that Hillary had bad Jews company that had and are influencing her is another good point for American Jews to oppose her. Like her so call husband she also in line with Obama and is receiving million in support to her campaign by the most horrendous organization in US Planned Parenthood worse abortion organization that lately had been under scrutiny for selling against the law babies body parts! Hillary had even recently declared her support like Obama to the organization bigger abortionist provider.

    • Leo Staschover

      Planned Parenthood is a fine organization. Those who are out to defund it are merely pandering to their so-called “base.”.

  • No, former U.S. Secretary of State Clinton won’t disassociate herself because she’s been “coronated” as her party’s frontrunner. We’re all waiting to see who wins the White House in November. And if Ms. Clinton wins, Israel should recalibrate her relationship with a recalcitrant Clinton Administration.

  • Eve

    And sadly, most American Jews will vote for her.

  • John Train

    Rabbi Boteach has written a revealing article which should be widely circulated.

    Rabbi Boteach is 100% correct in his description of Hillary Clinton’s communications and actions concerning Israel. He accurately describes the malignant influence Blumenthal has had on US actions and attitudes toward Israel

    Two members of the Jewish community who should hang the edge and shame are John Rosove and Robert Eshman. Both use their positions to infiltrate the attitudes of J Street into the mainline Jewish community. Rosove can be reached at Email: Eshman can be reached at

  • ted weiss

    excellent piece and honestly I learned something about Hilary I was not aware of . In light of this article and the news it provided i for for one am not comfortable supporting her for high office

  • francs

    Hillary appointed an Ex-Congressman, who blamed defeat on Jews, to her leadership team!

  • John Snow

    Hillary Clinton’s ties to Sydney Blumenthal and his son Max Blumenthal is important. It is fair to judge a person by the friends she keeps. However, this all should come out a month before the general election. Now is too early. Mrs. Clinton is very capable of distancing herself if she perceives that the Blumenthal’s are a liability. To alert her of this fact prematurely
    is probably unwise, unless the author believes that Mrs. Clinton will make a good president.

  • Ephraim

    In Hillary’s case we have the luxury of a track record to go with her anti-Israel opinions. She has admitted that her pro-Arab policy in Israel, in which she put severe pressure on Israel to allow supplies into Gaza, which then waged war on Israel, made her an accomplice to this. While she was in Obama’s cabinet, her site regarding Jerusalem was 100% Arab, as if Israel did not exist.

    She is NOT a friend of Jews or Israel. I would never vote for her, and I hope many people agree with me. If the Democrats do not nominate Bernie Sanders, I do not see how anyone with a conscience could vote for a Democratic presidential candidate.

  • anon

    Between the Blumenthals and Huma Abedin there’s a lot to fear from a Hillary presidency.

  • Sam Harris

    Hope the Mossad visits him very soon.

  • Wm. J. Levy

    Sidney Blumenthal’s son Max is a real Jew hater.

    I don’t know what made him be that way and what is father feels about being a Jew.

    Max wrote a book and I saw him on BookSpan and I would have loved to punch him in the face.

    What the hell is going on?

    • Frank Selch

      Sadly there are too many self-hating Jews in the world. As a Jew I have great difficulty regarding them as Jews considering the damage they do! There must be a bottom line beyond which Jews are no longer entitled to call themselves by that title. I am sure that would have been the case in the days of the Maccabees where Jews killed other Jews for non-compliance with the Greeks. Now it is the Palestinian/Muslim agenda!