For Eric Alterman defending Israel trumps longtime friend and employer

Israel/Palestine
on 40 Comments

Blumenthal-GoliathAfter writing a very negative review (online behind a paywall) of Max Blumenthal’s new book, Goliath:  Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, for the upcoming edition of The Nation magazine, Eric Alterman wrote some additional thoughts on Blumenthal’s book in a separate post at the website of the magazine.  Those thoughts are a lot more revealing than the review itself.

According to Alterman,

I expected to disagree with its analysis. I did not expect it to be remotely as awful as it is. Had the magazine not published its excerpt [from Goliath, ig] it would have been easy to ignore. It is no exaggeration to say that this book could have been published by the Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club (if it existed) without a single word change once it’s translated into Arabic. (Though to be fair, Blumenthal should probably add some anti-female, anti-gay arguments for that.) Goliath is a propaganda tract, not an argument as it does not even consider alternative explanations for the anti-Israel conclusions it reaches on every page. Its implicit equation of Israel with Nazis is also particularly distasteful to any fair-minded individual. And its larding of virtually every sentence with pointless adjectives designed to demonstrate the author’s distaste for his subject is as amateurish as it is ineffective. As I said, arguments this simplistic and one-sided do the Palestinians no good. There will be no Palestinian state unless Israel agrees to it. And if these are the views of the people with whom Israelis of good will are expected to agree, well, you can hardly blame them for not trusting them.

This over-the-top indictment of Blumenthal and his book is more reflective of Alterman’s impassioned devotion to Israel than the contents of the work under review.  Anyone familiar with Alterman’s copious writing on Israel would know that he would react angrily to the arguments presented by Blumenthal.

One wonders why the magazine would ask its liberal Zionist columnist to review Goliath, especially since it was published by its own book publishing arm, Nation Books.  And this same forthcoming issue features a lengthy featured article adapted from the Blumenthal book.

I imagine that presenting Alterman’s negative review will hopefully serve to defend the magazine from charges of anti-Israel bias by pro-Israel lobbying groups that will surely be a result of publishing what Max Blumenthal has to say about Israel.  The intimidation by those very people is the reason that the mainstream media has refused to review Goliath or interview its author, despite the success of his first book and the mainstream access he was given at that time.

So why would Alterman agree to writing the review when he “likes to be a team player” and he “has known the author’s parents since he was a little boy, and whatever the quality of the book, I expected that my honest views of it might threaten three decades of friendly relations?”

Alterman finally decided to write the review because he did not “want people to have the impression that the reflexive anti-Zionism of some of its [the magazine’s] contributors is its only voice on the issue— one that is as important to me as any.”

Goliath is not reflexive anti-Zionism, but rather a well-researched and documented critical view of Israeli society.  It is a view of Israel that many Americans never confront, in no small measure, because of people like Eric Alterman.

You can judge for yourself by reading the over 50 pages of free text provided at Amazon.

Update:

Here is one of Alterman’s objections to Goliath:

Here is his [Blumenthal’s, ig] argument in favor of the Arabs’ right to discriminate against Jewish Israelis: When a Haifa café is told by the municipality that it has no right to discriminate against Israeli soldiers in uniform by refusing to serve them, Blumenthal tells us it was “officially sanction[ing] a mob campaign” against it.

Here is a brief summary of “Leaving Haifa,” Chapter 29 to which Alterman’s objection refers:

This part of the book is about a Palestinian-owned bar in Haifa whose customers are young progressives, both Arabs and Jews. The owner instituted a rule which banned those in uniform from entering. The owner asked, “Why should we allow people to bring guns inside and wear uniforms that we identify with our own oppression?”

A uniformed soldier who was refused service later returned in uniform with his well-connected father and they called the police. The police informed them that the bar had the right, as a private club, to refuse service to customers, as is common practice in Israel. Ironically, the private club designation permits Jewish clubs and bars to refuse entry to Palestinians.

Within hours, reports of the incident appeared on Israeli TV. Someone organized a Facebook campaign to boycott the bar. Thousands of Israelis signed up on the page, adding many racist comments.

The next month, “a mob of Israeli students and soldiers, including members of the Likud-linked Im Tirtzu rallied outside the café ….” Hundreds of Israeli Jewish protesters marched outside the bar, singing the national anthem, draping Israeli flags over the front sign and blocking patrons view of the street. The police stood by watching.

Then according to Blumenthal, “… the Haifa municipality officially sanctioned the mob campaign (see Alterman objection above) against Azad (the name of the bar) issuing an order to shut down.” The order was appealed to the court and a judge struck down the order, citing no evidence of discrimination. After the court ruling, the soldier sued the bar owner in civil court. The judge ruled that the bar owner was liable for over $4000 in damages, although he did not cite any law that was broken.

The bar closed months later. The owner, disillusioned, told Blumenthal she planned on relocating to Ramallah in the West Bank. She felt that she would rather live in the occupied territory than live in Haifa, which is also occupied, but everyone is afraid to admit it.

This is what Alterman describes as Blumenthal’s argument for the Arab’s right to discriminate against Jewish Israelis.

40 Responses

  1. Cliff
    October 18, 2013, 5:29 pm

    The Zionist response to this book does not tell us anything we didn’t already know about the keyboard pro-Israel activists or ‘journalists’ like Eric Altermann.

    They look at current events and deflect and divert. Why would it be any different if the current events were compiled into a book?

    Altermann probably did not even read the book. His article is thin and low on facts.

    You could write something like that without reading the book.

    • Krauss
      October 18, 2013, 11:37 pm

      As I am the beneficiary of going behind the paywall from my university VPN account, I’ve read both pieces.

      What strikes me is the total fear underlying Alterman’s piece. He doesn’t even try to grapple with the facts because he knows Blumenthal would destroy him. Instead he tries to set up a “you want Arabs to go after us”. This is what Blumenthal talks about when he talks about how Labor/Mapai set up the basic foundations of the current Israel. Take away all the flowery rhetoric of the Zionist “left” and what you have is deep fear, panic and demographic hysteria.

      Alterman essentially fears Arabs will be able to do one tenth of what Jews have done to Arabs, and this frightens him, it frightens his privilege and the racism he benefits from if he ever were to immigrate to Israel.

      His role is to put a lot of concern-trolling rhetoric on the conflict but never to fundamentally challenge it. When someone does, he and other Zionists(left or right on this issue does not matter) panicks.

      That Alterman sets it up as a race war is predictable, this is how he views the world. Fundamentally, for him, the Arab is the enemy. The Arab may have redeeming qualities but he essentially believes they must forever be put down and stomped upon because the fear is that in a democratic and liberal system, a Jew might not receive the systematic benefits stemming from his race and religion, a system that a “liberal” like Alterman supports(but only for Jews.)

      For him, equality means discriminating against Jews. This is revealing.
      This man is no liberal and no leftist. He is an ethnic nationalist.
      I’m guessing he’d have opposed a system in America where the white gentile majority gets to run over the minorities, but why would we be surprised? As an ethnic and religious minority he’d stand to lose. He can put up a liberal face on it, but for him it’s about self-interest. In a context when a Jew like him or me are the majority, his true “liberalism” gets exposed as the fraud it is.

      If a white gentile did this we’d call him by his name: this man is a Klanner.
      But when a Jewish defender of a similar does it, we call him a leftist Zionist.

      This is the world we live in and for too long people like Alterman have been able to pretend they are liberals, when they defend a fundamentally racist system. That this is now slowly being eroded deeply frightens him.

      But he still doesn’t want to debate Blumenthal. Because he knows his “liberalism” will be exposed as the hoax he knows it is.

      • Cliff
        October 19, 2013, 4:36 am

        Jewish nationalists – even the most American liberal – are no different from what White nationalists would be if they had achieved the political mainstream.

        There’s no question. They are casually racist and discriminatory.

      • Ron Edwards
        October 19, 2013, 11:09 pm

        Nailed that to the wall. Great post, Krauss.

  2. Rusty Pipes
    October 18, 2013, 5:32 pm

    Hmm — every page?

    Goliath is a propaganda tract, not an argument as it does not even consider alternative explanations for the anti-Israel conclusions it reaches on every page.

    I’ve only read about 1/10 of the book thusfar and I haven’t seen “anti-Israel conclusions … on every page.” Did Alterman read all 400+ pages before writing his review or is he responding to a few excerpts?

    • Bumblebye
      October 18, 2013, 6:33 pm

      There’s some great reader reviews on the Amazon page Ira links, from folk like Pam Olson and MJRosenberg and others, but the comments seem to have been infested by zio-trolls. Make sure you get a review up too – and others please! I haven’t got it yet, won’t be able to for a while.

  3. Jim Holstun
    October 18, 2013, 5:37 pm

    Professor Alterman asks, rhetorically, “Wasn’t Sharon [a peacemaker] before he ended Israel’s occupation of Lebanon?” Ehud Barak ended the 2000 occupation, Ehud Olmert that in 2006. And both times, the withdrawal had more to do with Hezbollah’s brilliant and courageous fighting than with a Zionist impulse to make peace.

    Professor Alterman says, “Blumenthal describes Yoram Kniuk’s book about a Jewish violinist who forced to play for a concentration camp commander and then quotes a Palestinian saying ‘Our enemy’s existence in this Arab region was justified and is still justified by our suffering by Jewish violinists in the camps.’ Nowhere does he mention that Kniuk was a novelist. He wrote, um, fiction.” And nowhere does the redoubtable Alterman mention that this novelist’s name is, um, “Kaniuk.”

    The Blumenthal family is well rid of such a nasty and ignorant friend.

    • Ira Glunts
      October 18, 2013, 7:00 pm

      Yeah, I noticed these errors, also.

      In addition, Alterman wrote,

      Blumenthal describes Yoram Kniuk’s book about a Jewish violinist who forced to play for a concentration camp commander and then quotes a Palestinian saying “Our enemy’s existence in this Arab region was justified and is still justified by our suffering by Jewish violinists in the camps.” Nowhere does he mention that Kniuk was a novelist. He wrote, um, fiction.

      According to the citation on this in Blumenthal’s book, Kaniuk wrote this speaking for himself and not as part of any novel. Why would Alterman even think this?

      link to thenation.com

  4. traintosiberia
    October 18, 2013, 5:47 pm

    “There will be no Palestinian state unless Israel agrees to it”
    The world has to break this position for ever and it will.

    How about saying that there will be no continued existence of Israel unless Iran agrees to it? How will that go down woth sanction wielding AIPAC controlled Congress?

  5. seafoid
    October 18, 2013, 6:02 pm

    “Fair minded” stood out. Nihilism is understandable to fair minded people, is it? Voting for scum like Lieberman is understandable if you breathe hasbara but how is a regular goy to understand without someone like Alterman helpfully translating?

  6. fnlevit
    October 18, 2013, 6:07 pm

    I posted a comment today about Mr. Blumenthal on this blog link to mondoweiss.net
    I did not read Alterman but my comment was very similar in spirit (surely much less professional – after all I write papers and lectures about simple things like quantum mechanics not the “Blumenthals” of the anti-Zionist sect.)

    I especially liked in Alterman’s critique
    “…does not even consider alternative explanations for the anti-Israel conclusions it reaches on every page. Its implicit equation of Israel with Nazis is also particularly distasteful to any fair-minded individual. And its larding of virtually every sentence with pointless adjectives designed to demonstrate the author’s distaste for his subject is as amateurish as it is ineffective.”

    Actually Blumenthal’s style reminds the old Soviet Russia newspapers propaganda style in describing “capitalist world” with all their primitive distasteful accusations, always most negative interpretations, repeated “dark” comparisons and pointless adjectives all meant to stress the authors total despise of those capitalists (Zionists here) and what they are doing to the working people (Palestinians).

    And always plenty of weird conspiracy theories explaining in the most pervert way all the facts. Actually the readers can see many elements of this style reappearing now on the RT channel.

    • Ellen
      October 18, 2013, 10:50 pm

      Not that I am a particular fan of R T, but could you please explain, with examples, excactly what are the elements of RT style that may not be credible in your view? What reports may be without basis?

      This way we know what you are talking about.

      • amigo
        October 19, 2013, 10:01 am

        “This way we know what you are talking about.” Ellen to levit.

        Don,t hold your breath Ellen.He does not know, what he is talking about.

    • amigo
      October 19, 2013, 9:52 am

      ” Its implicit equation of Israel with Nazis is also particularly distasteful to any fair-minded individual” levit

      Fair minded and zionism are a contradiction in terms.

      Go home colonist.Give back what you stole.

    • Ron Edwards
      October 19, 2013, 11:15 pm

      Oooh, the scary Soviet gambit. Wouldn’t want to be like their dastardly newspapers! Except that quite a lot of what they published, e.g. OPC sabotage operations run into the DDR from West Berlin, was true.

  7. seafoid
    October 18, 2013, 6:11 pm

    More lies and distortion. Zionism breathes these.

  8. W.Jones
    October 18, 2013, 10:00 pm

    Perhaps the municipality “sanctioning” the mob campaign was not the best way to put it? Perhaps “in line with” the mob campaign, or “possibly motivated by” the campaign would be better?

    The municipality sanctioned the message and goal of the mob campaign – to close the store, when the municipality did just that. But the municipality did not sanction the mob campaign itself. I think this is kind of a semantic issue.

    If a charity campaigns for a factory to be shut down and then a court shuts down the factory, did the court sanction the charity’s campaign? No, it sanctioned the charity campaign’s message.

  9. seafoid
    October 19, 2013, 2:17 am

    Rent a rant.

    “I expected to disagree with its analysis. I did not expect it to be remotely as awful as it is. Had the magazine not published its excerpt [from Goliath, ig] it would have been easy to ignore. It is no exaggeration to say that this book could have been published by the Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club (if it existed) without a single word change once it’s translated into Arabic. (Though to be fair, Blumenthal should probably add some anti-female, anti-gay arguments for that.) Goliath is a propaganda tract, not an argument as it does not even consider alternative explanations for the anti-Israel conclusions it reaches on every page. Its implicit equation of Israel with Nazis is also particularly distasteful to any fair-minded individual. And its larding of virtually every sentence with pointless adjectives designed to demonstrate the author’s distaste for his subject is as amateurish as it is ineffective. As I said, arguments this simplistic and one-sided do the Palestinians no good. There will be no Palestinian state unless Israel agrees to it. And if these are the views of the people with whom Israelis of good will are expected to agree, well, you can hardly blame them for not trusting them.”

    It isn’t even a good ad hom

    link to youtube.com

    would be more like it

    • piotr
      October 19, 2013, 9:47 am

      Alterman has Ph. D. in history, and he covers many topics, both domestic and international. It would be nice if he gave an example of an alternative explanation. And of course Dr. Alterman is fully qualified to offer a writing course for students on larding writing with pointless adjectives in an effective and professional manner.

      His views on what is good for Palestinians deserve a separate essay.

  10. seafoid
    October 19, 2013, 2:24 am

    The last 5 amazon editorial reviews all come from people who understand the dynamic process that Israel set off.

    David Hirst nails it.
    Israel is not going to make it.

    link to amazon.com

    “”Armed with a critic’s eye and a sharp pen, Blumenthal sets out to document what he regards as the fulfillment of Yeshayahu Leibowitz’s darkest prophecy regarding the Israeli occupation. Exposure to the impressions from his journey through the Land of Israel-Palestine might be outrageous, unsettling, often heart wrenching. But those who fear for the image of this land would be well advised to respond to the challenge and to deal with his flowing descriptions of the struggles he witnessed and of the brave souls he met in one of the most divided and conflict-ridden places in the world.”
    Akiva Eldar

    “Goliath lifts the carefully maintained veil concealing the reality of Israel as it actually is today, a reality that is elided in most reportage from the region… Blumenthal’s book is packed with remarkable vignettes illustrating the dangerous path Israel is currently following.”
    Rashid Khalidi

    “It is about time someone wrote this book. Anyone who thinks he knows what is happening in Israel and its occupied territories will think again after reading this great work.”
    Charles Glass

    “The only worthwhile, honest discussion of Israel can come from someone who possesses two attributes: fearlessness and expertise. Max Blumenthal wields both in abundance, and the result is an eye-opening and stunningly insightful book about the dramatic plight of a country central to America’s political fortunes.”
    Glenn Greenwald

    “Max Blumenthal lays bare in rich and riveting detail the full, shocking scope and virulence of a cancer, both institutional and popular, which, unchecked, will surely do more to destroy Israel from within than its enemies — essentially of its own racist and colonialist making too — from without.”
    David Hirst”

    Alterman denies that Israel is suffering from an advanced cancer .
    That sort of attitude does not cure cancer.

  11. Cliff
    October 19, 2013, 4:27 am

    Read the 1-Star reviews of Max’s book:

    link to amazon.com

    Absolutely crazy. None of them have read the book. Some excerpts from the pro-Israel crazies:

    A full-review:

    Blumenthal’s style reminds the old Soviet Russia newspapers propaganda style in describing “capitalist world” with all their primitive distasteful accusations, always most negative interpretations, repeated “dark” comparisons and pointless adjectives all meant to stress the authors total despise of those capitalists (Zionists here) and what they are doing to the working people (Palestinians).

    And always plenty of weird conspiracy theories explaining in the most pervert way all the facts. Actually the readers can see many elements of this style reappearing now on the RT channel.

    In general it is hard to comprehend how can one take Blumenthal seriously. He is just an overgrown teenager and behaves like a teenager with laughable primitive comparisons, total lack of understanding of the big picture, grasping at obvious notions and pushing them in a most grotesque direction.

    I feel that he found this style of annoying the adults when he probably was 13 or 14, saw that it is good and continued with this. But not in a rigorous world of say technology or medicine or even serious literature. No, he is not that talented. He is good in outraging. So he is doing this in this ephemeral world of journalistic where there never were good criteria of quality. Being “yellow” (even in the anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli cult) brings him popularity and attention which he needs so much.
    So extraordinarily primitive.

    Anyone who does a simple search on Max Blumenthal will easily discover a hate-on for Israel, almost akin to that of the lunatic mullahs of Iran or the rantings of assorted Hamas and Islamic Jihad imams that you can find on Memri. In fact, much of what he claims in this book parrots what those lunatics have said for years.

    Max has an interesting interview style. He ostensibly asks questions from his subjects and when the answers don’t match his expectations, that is they don’t demonize Israel, he gets angry. So, why is he interviewing these people? So, for those that mouth what he wants to hear, he says “See, I told you, Israelis are evil” Those that don’t agree with him? “See, I told you, Israelis are evil”

    Can you imagine him running around in Gaza or any other Arab/Muslim country where he would be bad mouthing the people and regime? How long would that last? Yet, in israel. he is free to do so, as distasteful as he is.

    Criticism when it is done with integrity is very valuable. What Max does is one sided demonizing. Not worth a second of your time.

    Yet another take on “I am a Jew Therefore you must take me seriously when Criticising Israel”. I am deeply distrustful of people who enter into a topic with preconceived agendae . Much better to take a journalist with no prior knowledge and put them down in the midst of this turmoil.

    Whatever he says, Mr. Blumenthal has a prejudicial interest in this and therein lies the problem on and for both sides.

    Etc. etc. etc. = tons of these short non-review reviews.

    There are more 1 stars than anything else – and these 1 stars aren’t reviews so much as smears and slanders.

    It’s likely the pro-Israel trolls were foaming at the mouth at the mere thought of another Max Blumenthal book.

    This is par for the course for books critical of Israel but Max brings out the especially crazy Jewish colonists and nationalists.

    • amigo
      October 19, 2013, 9:27 am

      “Absolutely crazy. None of them have read the book. Some excerpts from the pro-Israel crazies:” Cliff.

      I recall the same zionist attacks on Jimmy Carter,s book on Amazon..Attacks from people who had not even read the book.

      The same zio trollers you find posting pure racist diatribe all over the net.

      Linda Rivera comes to mind.

      Let,s hope Max,s book get,s them right in their solar plexus.

      • just
        October 19, 2013, 9:36 am

        Seems that more than their solar plexuses are smarting…

    • amigo
      October 19, 2013, 10:31 am

      Cliff , that first review you posted is by non other than fnlevit.

      • Cliff
        October 19, 2013, 1:02 pm

        If that’s true then I think we should write to Phil to suggest he be banned for not only his CONSTANT trolling here but slander on Amazon.com too.

        Why allow that crowd of Zionists to comment here? They don’t read, they emote.

        What is the purpose of engaging them? And what could be gained from allowing them to comment?

        People can see their craziness on Amazon.com if they want to indulge their maschistic tendencies.

  12. yrn
    October 19, 2013, 5:37 am

    Max Blumenthal ” ‘I Hate Israel’ Handbook.

    That’s the only issue people will remember from his book.

    • just
      October 19, 2013, 8:01 am

      A Goliath Fail on your part.

    • amigo
      October 19, 2013, 9:23 am

      Yawn, you seem perturbed by Max,s book.

      That makes me very very happy.

  13. amigo
    October 19, 2013, 9:21 am

    The success of this book can be measured by the voracity with which the zios attack Max.

    They will avoid attacking the message and stick to ad hominen .They hate anyone who puts them and their ugly zionist project in the clear light of day.

    Getting my copy today.

  14. pabelmont
    October 19, 2013, 11:17 am

    Alterman: decries (Blumenthal’s ?) “reflexive anti-Zionism”.
    Belmont: decries Alterman’s reflexive pro-exclusionary-Zionism” (I’m OK with accommodationalist cultural-Zionism of the Judah Magnes sort).

  15. Danaa
    October 19, 2013, 12:45 pm

    Some questions:

    1. Who is Eric Alterman that makes his review any more significant than any other reviewer on Amazon.com?

    2. Why does the nation give Alterman space to pen anything? what are his credentials other than being born apparently jewish? does he have unusual linguistic prowess? clarity of analysis? originality of thought? if people know please by all means share some nuggets with me of Alterman’s accomplishments that netted him this perch?

    3. Someone above said he was a “professor” and a “historian”. How come i never heard of him? what important work has he done or published that I should be bothered to read a review from him on anything? is he one of the many who have done a review on Philip Roth or something (another personality whose books are apparently aimed at the jewish male and stricly to them who live a goodly distance from a warm sea shore. no one i ever know who is not Atlantic Coast jewish male was able to get through even 1/3 of Roth’s works. yet, some consider him an illustrious author. never seen a good explanation of this phenomenon, though personally I think it has to do with the type and amount of sun one is exposed to…no israeli i know could ever get through the first 2 pages of Roth, even translated to the more forgiving – and colorful middle eastern hebrew).

    4. How come much of what this Alterman person writes above (as quoted by Ira) reads like a polemic from Dershowitz? are they now training “professors” in certain lauded east Coast universities to use similar style of rant-writing?

    5. i get the point that Alterman is mad about something. Frankly it reads to me (and I didn’t read the entire rant – not to my rant-standards, alas) like the indignant incantations of a committed meat eater when presented by well researched book that decries the morality and health consequences of the practice. Basically the flip side of meat eating is the slaughterhouse. Yet hardly any who cherish their “beef’ care to know much about what goes on at the initial stages of procuring flesh from living things so it can be turned into a staple appearing on their plate. in this sense the Altermans of this world are like the rest of us, spending our lives inured to the collateral damage of what our way of life entails. On the other hand, Palestinians are not beef, though to Israelis, they might as well be. So perhaps Alterman is a goodly step beyond what the rest of us, indifferent, ignorant humans, are ignmously willing to tolerate.

    PS I wonder if there is a ranking system for rants. Something like the US&World News ranking for universities. But if there was such, I guess, as a rant-weaver myself, I would not place Alterman in the top 200.
    PPS In case anyone wonders, i do consider jeremiah to have earned a place in the top 10. I take many lessons. sometimes me learn something. Alterman seems not have even studied the masters, and he is supposed to be an academic?

    • Elliot
      October 19, 2013, 1:12 pm

      Danaa, you are a riot.
      Cheerful topics which are officially depressing: Any Palestinian accomplishment, the beauty of the old Palestinian society, Islam etc.
      Incredibly depressing topic that we just can’t get enough of: the Holocaust (what’s with the obsession with Anne Frank?! enough already!),

    • piotr
      October 19, 2013, 1:15 pm

      I used to read Alterman column regularly, he is not a professor but he does have a Ph. D. And he is ordinarily a good journalist, even then on this issue he clearly went off tangent.

      That said, he does have a trait of using labels instead of arguments in some situation, like when he laments the existence of “Stalinist” Counterpunch. Counterpunch is Marxist, but Marxists, libertarians etc. may advance good arguments even if their worldview has some flaws, precisely because their wordviews contains rational elements that are often overlooked by others.

      PS. The rant of the year award for 2013 was already given (or should be given) to the author of “sorority email” (Go Terrapins!).

  16. German Lefty
    October 19, 2013, 1:45 pm

    As I said, arguments this simplistic and one-sided do the Palestinians no good. There will be no Palestinian state unless Israel agrees to it.

    OMG! Total bullshit! The land belongs to the Palestinians. Only they have the right to decide what to do with it.

    The owner instituted a rule which banned those in uniform from entering. […] The private club designation permits Jewish clubs and bars to refuse entry to Palestinians.

    There’s a huge difference: The Palestinian owner didn’t ban people on grounds of ethnicity or religion. She banned guns and certain clothes. That’s totally legitimate. Guns can be left at home and clothes can be changed.

  17. Nevada Ned
    October 20, 2013, 2:23 am

    I have read Blumenthal’s excerpt from Goliath (in The Nation), Alterman’s negative review (also in The Nation), and Alterman’s additional comment (in The Nation).

    Alterman’s articles are long on insults and short on facts. For example, Alterman claims that Goliath could have been printed by the book-of-the-month-club of Hamas, if such a club existed. This is an insult, not a rational argument.
    It reminds me of the world of southern whites in the US, during the civil rights campaign of the 1960’s. If a white sympathized with the blacks, the dominant forces among the whites accused the sympathizer of being a “nigger-lover”. It worked.
    Now Alterman accuses Blumenthal (in effect) of being a “Hamas-lover”. One Jew accuses another Jew of being an Arab-lover. But I don’t think the accusation will work now.

    The excerpt from the Blumenthal book is a real eye-opener. For example..

    Edelstein’s ministry boasts an advanced “situation room,” a paid media team, and
    coordination of a volunteer force that claims to include thousands of bloggers, tweeters
    and Facebook commenters who are fed the latest talking points and then flood social
    media with hasbara in five languages.

    One review, by Rashid Khalidi, says
    “Goliath lifts the carefully maintained veil concealing the reality of Israel as it actually is today, a reality that is elided in most reportage from the region… Blumenthal’s book is packed with remarkable vignettes illustrating the dangerous path Israel is currently following.”

    Alterman is trying to be the enforcer, concealing the reality of Israel as it actually is today.
    Alterman’s “review,” entitled, “The I hate Israel Handbook”, is intended to suppress the book.

    I intend to buy and read the whole book, and I urge all Mondoweissers to do the same.

    • German Lefty
      October 20, 2013, 5:41 am

      I intend to buy and read the whole book, and I urge all Mondoweissers to do the same.
      I bought the audio book. So far, I have listened to the first hour. I didn’t expect it to be that touching. It brought tears to my eyes. Hopefully, the book will be published in German, too.

  18. Nevada Ned
    October 20, 2013, 3:32 am

    More on Alterman…

    Alterman writes about an interview granted to Blumenthal by Israeli writer David Grossman. Alterman describes Grossman as a “deeply admired left-wing Israreli author, who lost his son in the 2006 Lebanon war.” Alterman goes on to describe Grossman as a “champion of [Israel’s] peace movement.”

    Alterman omits a very important fact about Grossman. In 2006, when Israel invaded Lebanon, Grossman supported the war, and in fact, held a press conference to announce his support for the war.

    Israel was used to quick military victories, but the 2006 invasion of Lebanon didn’t happen that way. Hezbollah was well prepared and put up a a strong resistance to the Israeli invasion. It became clear that an Israeli victory, if it happened at all, would come at a prohibitive cost in Israeli Jewish lives. Israeli public opinion rapidly soured on the war. At this point, David Grossman held ANOTHER press conference, this one to call for peace. Grossman has a good sense of timing, but is not a man of principle. In his review, Alterman completely omits any hint of Grossman’s head-spinning change of positions.

  19. German Lefty
    October 20, 2013, 5:32 am

    Alterman’s articles are long on insults and short on facts.
    Reminds me of the reaction of the Central Council of Jews in Germany whenever there’s negative criticism of Israel.

    If a white sympathized with the blacks, the dominant forces among the whites accused the sympathizer of being a “nigger-lover”. Now Alterman accuses Blumenthal of being a “Hamas-lover”. One Jew accuses another Jew of being an Arab-lover.
    This kind of accusation is so weird. Whether you love blacks and Arabs or not is totally irrelevant. They deserve equal rights in any case. It’s a matter of principle, not a matter of like or dislike.

  20. piotr
    October 20, 2013, 6:21 am

    On the subject of a surfeit of adjectives, it was observed that upon reading at least some excerpts from “Goliath”, Alterman wrote quite a few of them. In a way, it comes with the territory, Holy Land is rich in adjectives. (Is it really THAT holy? You simply start with an exaggeration.)

    This is literally the first example at hand, opening sentence of one of today’s editorials in Jerusalem Post:

    By MARTIN SHERMAN
    10/17/2013 22:30

    The Oslo Accords were an egregious, imbecilic act of moral turpitude, whose ratification hinged on an endorsement by a soon-to-be convicted drug-smuggling fraudster, and which brings dishonor to anyone associated with it.

  21. Donald
    October 20, 2013, 2:48 pm

    Jerry Haber has a review of Alterman’s review

    link

    You should also read the comments–Jerry wrote two replies (as of this moment) that are pretty good.

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