‘The Nation’ tries to balance pro- and anti-Israel voices inside the lib-left

Israel/Palestine
on 45 Comments

cover1104Folks are talking about the fact that though Nation Books published Max Blumenthal’s book Goliath, The Nation has put Eric Alterman’s attack on the book on the cover of its latest issue, right alongside a piece by Blumenthal, with the headline “Two Views on Israel.” The placement suggests the deep discomfort inside the lib-left over criticisms of Israel, and the Nation’s desire to reconcile these two segments of its community. This balancing act has worked as a form of conflict management for decades, but I don’t think it will succeed now. The two points are irreconcilable, and because the reality in Israel and Palestine is becoming undeniable, my side is winning the left.

Alterman’s piece is titled, “The ‘I Hate Israel’ Handbook: Max Blumenthal’s carelessly constructed case against the Jewish state won’t help the occupation’s victims.” It tries to redeem Labor Zionism but has little to say about Blumenthal’s reporting on Palestinian conditions.

Yesterday Blumenthal said in Philadelphia that he’d challenged Alterman to debate, and Alterman said No thank you. I have also challenged Alterman to debate, in years gone by, and he’s said No thank you. What’s happening is that Blumenthal and I have the left here, and Alterman doesn’t; there’s been a big shift in the discourse, displacing Alterman, and he doesn’t like it. So he stands up for David Grossman– who told Blumenthal in 2009 that Obama was going to take down Likud, but who opposed sanctions to effect such an outcome. Dreamy inaction.

Scott Roth tweets to Alterman “you belittle Nazi crimes like @netanyahu when you say dumb s— like @MaxBlumenthal ‘equates’ Israel with Nazis.”

While Ali Gharib tweets this career advice from the columnist:


Gharib has taken Alterman on. He cites Alterman’s claim that Blumenthal misreads Israeli political life.

[Alterman writes,’] “Blumenthal accuses others of naïveté, but it is he who is the naïf. He condescendingly accuses Aluf Benn, editor in chief of the left-wing Haaretz newspaper, of ‘underestimat[ing] the prime minister’s cynical gamesmanship’ for failing to realize that the real purpose of Bibi Netanyahu’s ‘hysterical rhetoric’ regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program was to take the world’s attention away from Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. (Does anyone else in the world think Bibi was only kidding about Iran?)”

 

Gharib answers:

“Only kidding” is a nice straw man. But has any one else postulated that Netanyahu’s focus on Iran serves to distract his public from the occupation? Have any serious people done so?

 

– David Rothkopf, CEO and Editor-at-Large of Foreign Policy, “The Great Distraction,” Foreign Policy, March 5, 2012:

 

For both the United States and Israel, whose leaders are meeting Monday to discuss how to handle Tehran’s nuclear program, Iran should be called the Great Distraction.
By focusing on Iran, indeed by having some among Israel’s top leaders seemingly obsessed about it, Israel is ignoring (or seeking an excuse to ignore) the real existential threats on and within its own borders — demographic, social, and economic.

 

– Zehava Gal-On, chairwoman of the Israeli Meretz Party, quoted in the Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2013:

 

Netanyahu uses the Iranian threat whenever he wants to distract the public from the country’s real problems.

 

(Gal-On has said “the continued occupation” is Israel’s biggest problem.)

 

– Daniel Levy, former Israeli negotiator, “Maximum Bibi,” Foreign Policy, September 27, 2013:

 

There are other reasons for Netanyahu to oppose any developments that would allow Iran to break free of its isolation and win acceptance as an important regional actor with which the West engages. The current standoff is an extremely useful way of distracting attention from the Palestinian issue

 

– Roger Cohen, columnist, “Bibi’s Tired Iranian Lines,” The New York Times, October 3, 2013:

 

Netanyahu’s credibility issue is rooted in the distorted priorities evident in a speech that was Iran-heavy and Palestine-lite. The real challenge to Israel as a Jewish and democratic nation is the failure to achieve a two-state peace with the Palestinians and the prolongation of a West Bank occupation that leaves Israel overseeing millions of disenfranchised Palestinians…
Iran has long been an effective distraction from the core dilemma of the Jewish state: Palestine.

Alterman asks. I answer: Yes, there are other people in the world who think Netanyahu uses Iran as a distraction from the Palestinians.

 

Thanks to Scott Roth.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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45 Responses

  1. Cliff
    October 18, 2013, 2:29 pm

    Altermann cites a few passages from the book that are very reasonable statements by Max.

    He then proceeds to project his own crazy fantasies onto them.

    It’s standard fare. He comes out looking very desperate and references his supposed close relationship with Max’s parents as one mitigating factor for not wanting to say something (as if it mattered; and it didn’t since he ‘spoke up’).

  2. Kathleen
    October 18, 2013, 2:37 pm

    Alterman”I don’t want people to have the impression that the reflexive anti-zionism of some of its contributors is its only voice on the issue-one that is important to me as any” Well he admits his bias right here.

    No inflammatory bias in his title “Israel haters”

  3. BillM
    October 18, 2013, 2:48 pm

    Alterman’s hit piece was more amusing than anything else in its overwrought fury, Gharib called out his most egregious claim.

    I also noted that Alterman couldn’t even acknowledge the heart of Blumenthal’s narrative, the stories of the Palestinian “citizens” of Israel. Indeed, Alterman very carefully avoids the topic, and goes out of his way to hint that the book was solely about Palestinians in the Occupied Territories (“…occupation of Palestinian land, now entering its forty-sixth year,”).

    The real power of Blumenthal’s book, more than his decription of the growing Israeli near-fascism, is that stories of the so-called Israel Arabs are almost completely non-existent in the US (in a way unmatched even by stories of life in the Occupied Territories). Alterman cannot fight this narrative; he can’t even smear it effectively. Instead, he is left with his only recourse to ignore it entirely.

    • lysias
      October 18, 2013, 7:20 pm

      Ilan Pappe’s recent book The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel confirms how badly the Palestinians within Israel have been treated.

      • Kathleen
        October 19, 2013, 11:18 am

        Have not read this one. thanks

  4. W.Jones
    October 18, 2013, 2:56 pm

    Dear Phil,

    Please note that Alterman came out with a second article on Blumenthal’s book “Goliath”. It is “The Israel Hater’s Handbook, Continued…”, and is co-authored by Reed Richardson:
    http://www.thenation.com/blog/176723/israel-haters-handbook-continued

    I would like to see what The Nation’s readers comment on Alterman’s writing, and what they think about it, but I didn’t see a comments section.

    The best criticism Alterman made, which is not to say it was a good one, was that an Israeli municipality said a cafe could not refuse to serve soldiers in uniform, and Max said this was “officially sanction[ing] a mob campaign” against it. This description makes Max’s passage sound like an exageration. Unfortunately I didn’t read Max’s book, so I don’t know if this criticism was correct. It may be cherry-picking.

  5. Donald
    October 18, 2013, 3:21 pm

    Alterman does some further book-bashing here–

    Israel haters handbook continued

    Alterman has always been a pompous twit who hates people to his left. I haven’t read Max’s book, so I don’t know to what extent it deserves criticism, but it’s highly unlikely to be anywhere near as bad as Alterman makes it out to be. Alterman thinks Max overstates his case and thereby ruins his book–it doesn’t seem to cross his mind that his own over-the-top rhetoric makes it hard to take his book review seriously.

    • K Renner
      October 18, 2013, 4:10 pm

      It’s hard to take the review seriously from the title onwards.

      “The Israel-hater’s handbook”?

      Pfft.
      At least it’s not like he’s some jackass in the neocon portion of the right– then it would be something even more ridiculous like “the anti-semite’s handbook” or “Mein Kampf Part Two (proof that we have to stand behind Israel 200%)” or anything else that makes zero sense and is wildly accusatory, as per the usual standard.

    • Kathleen
      October 18, 2013, 6:29 pm

      Alterman should take the challenge and go spend the same amount of time Max has in occupied territories and in Israel interviewing witnessing the situation. Does anyone know if Alterman has spent any substantive amount of time over there?

      • Phan Nguyen
        October 18, 2013, 10:17 pm

        Alterman has indeed spent time in Palestine and Israel. He reported from there during the first intifada—or at least he wrote a so-so “balanced” story for the magazine of the American Jewish Committee. A couple of ridiculous excerpts:

        While Zionism is unquestionably one of the greatest success stories in modern history, it suffered from one fatal flaw: It did not account for the fact that there were … over 650,000 people, mostly Arabs, already living in Palestine …

        If we take that “one fatal flaw” into account, how can Zionism be “unquestionably one of the greatest success stories in modern history”—unless it’s from the viewpoint of the only ones who are allowed to question Zionism—i.e., Zionists.

        Ever since large numbers of Jews had begun arriving in Palestine in the late 1880s, the Arab inhabitants of Palestine had resisted the growth of their power, and many thousands of people on both sides have since died because of the inability of the two sides to reach a compromise…

        Because the indigenous population must always “reach a compromise” with the foreign settlers who seek to supplant them—and their failure to compromise makes them responsible for their own deaths.

        Alterman’s problem is not lack of exposure to the issue but rather due to something he clearly stated himself. In 2002, he wrote an article for MSNBC in which he classified dozens of US commentators into three categories that supposedly indicated whether they favored the Israeli side or the Palestinian side. The categories themselves were B.S. The only thing valuable about the article was how Alterman viewed himself. He placed himself in the closest thing to a neutral category, which he labeled as those

        likely to criticize both Israel and the Palestinians, but view themselves to be critically supporters of Israel, and ultimately, would support Israeli security over Palestinian rights. [emphasis mine]

      • Ellen
        October 18, 2013, 10:37 pm

        Phan, great reporting. Thank you.

      • Kathleen
        October 18, 2013, 11:27 pm

        Thanks Phan. Although does not sound like he has spent near the amount of time that Max has. Also does not sound like he has been mixing up of digging deeper into what people think and feel the way Max does. Max digs

      • Annie Robbins
        October 18, 2013, 11:50 pm

        ditto what ellen said.

      • Cliff
        October 19, 2013, 4:44 am

        Phan, as usual, eviscerates the Zionist charlatans.

      • Kathleen
        October 19, 2013, 8:10 am

        “likely to criticize both Israel and Palestine” this is what I have heard many so called liberal Jews repeat for decades. “both sides are wrong” These same individuals know little to nothing about the history of the conflict, the Nakba etc. Absolutely in denial about an incredibly tragic situation.

      • Shingo
        October 19, 2013, 8:12 am

        These same individuals know little to nothing about the history of the conflict, the Nakba etc.

        I suspect they do but they are committed to papering over it, denying it, justifying it.

      • Donald
        October 19, 2013, 8:44 am

        “likely to criticize both Israel and the Palestinians, but view themselves to be critically supporters of Israel, and ultimately, would support Israeli security over Palestinian rights.”

        Wow. It sounds like Alterman inadvertently put his finger on the central point–his position is racist. One sees this attitude all the time–the supposedly liberal Zionist who doesn’t like settlements and is critical to some degree of Israel, but starts lashing out with the “antisemitism” charge if anyone is more critical of Israel than they are and who generally supports Israeli violence as sadly necessary acts of self-defense. I used to find this position slightly intimidating–that pretense of balance combined with the willingness to accuse people to their left of anti-semitism — before eventually realizing what was going on.

      • Kathleen
        October 19, 2013, 11:19 am

        I think this has more than likely been the case for decades

      • Donald
        October 20, 2013, 12:38 am

        For anyone curious, I googled and found the article Phan is talking about. It’s here.

        I can’t get over the unconscious racism of that phrase “ultimately would support Israeli security over Palestinian rights.” Alterman simply took for granted that he was among friends, so to speak, who would see this as an entirely reasonable position.

        There’s also a sneer in the way he defines his only pro-Palestinian category–
        “COLUMNISTS LIKELY TO BE REFLEXIVELY ANTI-ISRAEL AND/OR PRO-PALESTINIAN REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCE:
        Robert Novak, The Washington Post
        Pat Buchanan, WorldNetDaily.com, formerly of The Washington Times and CNN
        Alexander Cockburn, The Nation and New York Press
        Christopher Hitchens, The Nation and Vanity Fair
        Edward Said, The Nation”

        In Alterman’s eyes, there is no such thing as a rational person who would side more with the Palestinians on the merits. The only rational people are people like himself, who are somewhat critical of Israel, but ultimately don’t place much value on Palestinian rights.

  6. seafoid
    October 18, 2013, 4:21 pm

    The only argument soi disant liberal pro Israel types had for years was that the occupation was temporary, Israel was just a regular country. And bibi killed that. There is very little mileage in telling people that Israel is run by heartless bastards now. I am not surprised the bot refused to debate. Zionism is an unpolishable turd.

  7. seafoid
    October 18, 2013, 4:29 pm

    Israel hating has a great future. What can zionism do about it? Start a “love apartheid” or “celebrate our bigotry” campaign?

  8. Rusty Pipes
    October 18, 2013, 4:56 pm

    The most bizarre paragraph in the book review:

    The most bizarre episode in the book occurs when Blumenthal is granted a rare interview with the deeply admired left-wing Israeli author David Grossman, who lost his son in the 2006 Lebanon war. Grossman rejects Blumenthal’s proposal for “the transformation of Israel from an ethnically exclusive Jewish state into a multiethnic democracy,” not for the obvious reasons—that it is a pipe dream, given the hatred between the two sides—but because of his understanding of 2,000 years of Jewish history, in which restrictions have kept Jews from fully participating in the life of the societies in which they’ve lived. This inspires Blumenthal to lecture him that his own personal experience as the son of a White House “insider”—Clinton adviser and former journalist Sidney Blumenthal—and the experience of other “insider” Jews in the United States leads him to “have a hard time taking [Grossman’s] justification seriously.” The Israeli author and champion of its peace movement soon thereafter ends the interview and asks Blumenthal to please tear up his phone number. Here, our author attributes the response he receives, yet again, to Israeli myopia and lack of understanding of the way the world really works.

    Here, our reviewer attributes the vitriolic response he writes, once again, to Blumenthal’s Israel-hating myopia and lack of understanding of the way the world really works.

    • Kathleen
      October 19, 2013, 8:38 am

      Is David Grossman related to Marc Grossman? Marc Grossman one of the criminals who outed Plame and her cover company Brewster Jennings

      • RudyM
        October 19, 2013, 7:05 pm

        And who is involved in criminal activities on a much larger scale than that, if Sibel Edmonds is to be believed.

        (But I doubt there’s any relation, given what a common name it is.)

    • seafoid
      October 19, 2013, 10:46 am

      “2,000 years of Jewish history, in which restrictions have kept Jews from fully participating in the life of the societies in which they’ve lived. ”

      This is pure bullshit.
      Were Jews any worse off than peasant farmers over the last 2 millennia?
      Or women?
      Do women need to torture Palestinians to feel womanly ?

    • Kathleen
      October 19, 2013, 11:24 am

      Whoa just re read. Did not know that Max was the son of Sidney Blumenthal. Does anyone know if Marc Grossman and David Grossman are related in any way?

  9. Nevada Ned
    October 18, 2013, 5:03 pm

    I’ve been reading The Nation for years. It used to be quite common to find in The Nation opinions like Alterman’s: blind support of Israel with some modest reservations, from people who are otherwise liberal or even radical. Criticism of Israel used to be voiced almost exclusively by Alexander Cockburn. The Nation has become steadily more critical over the years, with Alterman one of the few remaining old-timers (despite his relative youth).
    While Congress continues being hopeless for partisans of the Palestinians, in liberal journals of opinion like The Nation, blind support for Israel is fading. Support for Israel has collapsed among liberal and radical Gentiles, and persists mainly among Jews, particularly older Jews who got on board with the Israelis decades ago, and are now too old to change. Younger Jews are increasingly indifferent to the Israeli “cause”, and even critical of it. Evangelical Christians are strong supporters of Israel, but for them that’s only one issue among many (e.g., school prayer, evolution, abortion, gay rights, gun control).

    • Kathleen
      October 19, 2013, 8:40 am

      I believe the Nation gave Phil Weiss and Mondoweiss their economic start.

    • W.Jones
      October 19, 2013, 8:03 pm

      Evangelical Christians are strong supporters of Israel, but for them that’s only one issue among many (e.g., school prayer, evolution, abortion, gay rights, gun control).

      I kept telling Annie that the Evangelicals with their anti-abortion agenda were behind the U.Michigan women’s center case, but she would not believe me.

      You need to ask yourself who is the key constituency The Nation is considering by running such a conservative piece. Evangelicals care about the issues you named and those issues are also taken up by The Nation. Bingo. You should have guessed it long ago.

  10. Phan Nguyen
    October 18, 2013, 5:15 pm

    Alterman:

    I don’t want people to have the impression that the reflexive anti-Zionism of some of [the Nation’s] contributors is its only voice on the issue…

    At least concerning Alterman’s voice, I thought that was already settled when he wrote an atrocious defense of Israel for MSNBC on July 23, 2002. Here’s the setting:

    On July 22, 2002, the Israeli military dropped a one-ton bomb on a Gaza City home in order to extrajudically assassinate one person, Salah Shehade. As one would reasonably expect, the bomb ended up killing much more than Shehade. Shehade’s wife and daughter were killed, along with a dozen other people in the neighborhood. Additionally, dozens of people were wounded and several houses were destroyed from the bombing.

    The following day, on the MSNBC website, Alterman wrote about the bombing:

    …I don’t have a moral problem with it.

    Hamas is clearly at war with Israel. Hamas feels empowered to strike Israeli civilians inside Israel proper and not just on the war zone of West Bank. Sheik Salah Shehada could have protected his family by keeping away from them. He didn’t and owing to his clear legitimacy as a military target, they are dead too.

    So tough luck, fella.

    War is hell.

    In other words, Alterman justified the bombing with the following three points:

    1. Since Hamas targeted Israeli civilians, the Israeli military had the right to kill Palestinian civilians.

    2. It was Shehada’s fault for living with his family that resulted in his family being killed by Israel.

    3. “War is hell.”

    The following day, Alterman backtracked, but not really:

    I think I better apologize for the words “tough luck” at the end of yesterday’s entry. They are inappropriate in a situation where so many innocents, including children, were killed. When I wrote them, I was as yet unaware of the extent of the civilian damage caused by the Israeli missile attack.

    I still think my principle holds as to the ultimate responsibility for the death of Sheik Salah Shehada’s family. As for the others hurt and injured, well, I can argue it either way. It’s a tough call.

    Alterman was sorry for saying “tough luck” when he realized that it wasn’t just Shehada’s wife and daughter who were killed along with Shehada. Beyond that, “it’s a tough call.”

    Note also that while Alterman starts out admitting that “so many innocents, including children, were killed,” he later downplays it when he seeks to claim that those killings are “a tough call” that can be “argue[d]…either way.” At that point, in order to make the deaths more palatable, he refers to those deaths merely as “others hurt and injured”—which is not only a misleading understatement but also redundant.

    The “others hurt and injured” included Ayman Raed Matar (2 years old), Dina Raed Matar (less than a year old), Dunia Raed Matar (5 years old), Muhammad Raed Matar (4 years old), Muhammad Mahmoud al-Huti (3 years old), Subhi Mahmoud al-Huti (5 years old), and Alaa Muhammad Matar (11 years old)—all of whom were not just “hurt and injured,” but killed.

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 18, 2013, 5:32 pm

      Good post. We all must remember that Eric Alterman is an immoral snake with no character whatsoever.

    • Donald
      October 18, 2013, 6:02 pm

      So Alterman is one of those types who says “War is hell, and anything goes, unless it’s the Evul Islamists, in which case what they do is terrorism and we can kill as many of their children as we want and it’s their fault.” That pretty much tells us all we need to know about him. (I was actually reading him in those days, and had forgotten this, but your quotes bring back very faint memories.)

      • Shingo
        October 18, 2013, 10:17 pm

        So Alterman is one of those types who says “War is hell, and anything goes, unless it’s the Evul Islamists, in which case what they do is terrorism and we can kill as many of their children as we want and it’s their fault.” That pretty much tells us all we need to know about him

        Yes, another foaming at the mouth Liberal Zionist types like Dershowitz, who couldn’t get enough of the carnage against civilians in Lebanon in 2006. The type that are perfectly fine with civilian casualties (so long as they are not Israeli) , because they are only collateral damage and secretly deserve it anyway.

      • Shingo
        October 18, 2013, 10:33 pm

        Another outstanding expose Phan.

        Because the indigenous population must always “reach a compromise” with the foreign settlers who seek to supplant them—and their failure to compromise make them responsible for their own deaths.

        But don’t you know Phan, demographic threats only apply to Jews in Israel. Everyone else is simply being a rejectionist for harboring those fears.

        Columnists likely to criticize both Israel and the Palestinians, but view themselves to be critically supporters of Israel, and ultimately, would support Israeli security over Palestinian rights.

        Because we all know that not taking the side of the white man over the brown means you are out of the mainstream.

    • Shingo
      October 18, 2013, 6:25 pm

      Excellent post Phan,

      What this exposed is typical Israeli apologists. There is no context given to Israel’s bombing of Gaza. Alter man is content with the implied narrative that Hamas terrorists sprung up from nowhere and have no raison d’ être other than killing Israeli Jews.

      So when Max’s book reveals Israeli crimes and racism/fascism, he’s suddenly indignant that the pro Israeli narrative is not front and centre to give it context.

      Alterman’s reaction is similar to Dershowitz’s reaction to the Goldstone Report. Neither even bother to tackle the substance if the points raised – they just turn on their lifelong friend and condem them as a traitor.

    • RudyM
      October 18, 2013, 7:38 pm

      So Alterman said: “I don’t want people to have the impression that the reflexive anti-Zionism of some of [the Nation’s] contributors is its only voice on the issue… “? Quite amusing. I cancelled my Nation subscription a long while back partly thanks to the weak coverage of Israel-Palestine. (The usual blithe dismissal of 9/11 truth was another part of it, along with the general dumbing down that seemed to be occurring in the magazine.)

      It makes me think other things, but I think I need time to process them. Let’s just say it would be nice to see more ethnic diverity in the media, including the “alternative” variety.

    • Scott
      October 18, 2013, 9:17 pm

      Great research Phan Nguyen!

  11. Krauss
    October 18, 2013, 5:27 pm

    Alterman is PEP: progressive except Palestine.

    This is a man who would have denounced Jim Crow had he been been born 10 years earlier, and I’m guessing he would have participated in the Freedom Riders(I’m being generous to him now) had he had the chance.

    But now he defends it, because the white people having the whip hand have Judasim as their religion, not christianity and he feels affinity with these people.
    He pulls the oldest trick in the book: let’s blame Likud.

    As Blumenthal stated in his panel: Who was responsible for systematic ethnic cleansing not just in ’48 or ’67 but during the interrim years? Who was the instigator of the first settlements? Who intiatiated the ‘peace without peace’ process where you endlessly negotiate, blame the other side, and double, triple and quadruple the settlements?

    This is Alterman’s Labor party. Labor put the framework in and has been in many ways more ruthless and racist than Likud has. At some point you cannot continue making excuses for old ethnocentric white people like Alterman. At some point you have to say what needs to be said: these people support a racist system. And as such, they are racists even if this fundamentally clashes with their own view of themselves. After all, aren’t they progressives!? Those evil conservatives, whether Republicans or Likudniks are our sworn enemies! But there is no comparison between the Democratic party and the Labor party. One is an openly multiracial coalition where no matter your skin tone, you can rise to the fore. In Labor, only Jews can. Would Alterman support a white only “liberal” party where only whites can become leaders? We’re not talking about the odd token Arab MP or deputy assistant health minister.

    For me, it’s shocking how a defender of Jim Crow and a privileged white Jew can defend a system that systematically discriminates on basis of skin color(his whiteness) and even more so on your religion(his Jewishness). Where ethnic cleansing is taking place within the green line on a systematic and consistent basis. The terminology used is Nazi-like ‘concentrating’, where you put them in concentration camps(Knesset speaker Rivlin’s words) and then work to expel them over time by making life so hard that they give up. And this is the system he defends? Alterman will be placed on the scrap heap of history, just like the defenders of Jim Crow or South African apartheid. If he thinks racism is okay because Jews do it, and some Jews like him defend it, then we’ll see who’s right. So far his pro-racist side has been losing the fight on the left. If the left becomes firmly pro-Palestine even in cautious magainzes like the Nation then what hope does he have? Counting on the Tea Party to save him? He’s doomed and he should be, as a apologist for Jim Crow.

    By the way! Where are the Palestinians in the Nation discussing this? Are we back to Jews only debates?.
    The Nation can and should do much better.

  12. yrn
    October 18, 2013, 5:37 pm

    Loved it….
    “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”

    • Shingo
      October 19, 2013, 12:02 am

      Loved it….
      “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”

      Of course you did. Typical Zio deflection, that does not address any of Blumenthal’s points, but hopes to replace ad hominem and slander with actual substance.

  13. Cliff
    October 18, 2013, 6:17 pm

    Altermann uses the ‘war is hell’ and ‘shouldn’t have lived with his family’ when it is non-Jews being blown up.

    If Hamas propagandists said ‘war is hell’ so and so Jew shouldn’t have been living with his/her family’ then Jewish fanatics like Altermann would predictably cry antisemitism.

  14. James Canning
    October 18, 2013, 7:16 pm

    Iran and its potentially threatening nuclear programme has indeed been a great way for Israeli expansionists to distract attention from the illegal colonies in the West Bank and Golan Heights.

  15. Shingo
    October 18, 2013, 10:47 pm

    The ‘I Hate Israel’ Handbook: Max Blumenthal’s carelessly constructed case against the Jewish state won’t help the occupation’s victims.”

    Isn’t it amazing how rabid Zionists always insist that reporting Israel’s crimes or heaven forbid, holding Israel to account, will either do nothing to help Palestinians or worse, lead to more harm?

    It’s like the abusive husband who threatens his battered wife that if she talks about the beatings , he’ll beat her even more.

  16. just
    October 19, 2013, 5:48 am

    From Alterman’s published rubbish:

    “The complication arose when I finally received the book. 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, 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’s clearly Alterman’s deep seated Zionism that is the “problem”. Another nut fully exposed. He’s a terrible book critic, and serves only his “cause”. Yech.

  17. Elliot
    October 19, 2013, 10:28 am

    Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club (if it existed)

    Gratuitous racist dig alert.

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