‘Goliath’ is indispensable to understanding the real Israel in 2013

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
on 51 Comments

If you are an American mainstream reporter in Israel, you have a real challenge, just about every day. You have to wilfully ignore much of the news that is happening right around you. Let’s take the events of May 23, 2012 in south Tel Aviv as an instructive example. That night, at least 1000 Israelis staged a violent protest against the presence of African refugees in the country. First, the angry crowd listened to vicious speeches by leading politicians, including a woman who had once served as chief spokesperson for the Israeli army who described the Africans as “a cancer” and called for mass deportations. In response, the protesters chanted, “Nigger, nigger, you’re a son of a bitch.” The mob then stormed through the streets for hours, viciously attacking Africans and pillaging their local shops. This racist outburst did not represent a small, isolated fringe; an opinion poll reported that 52 percent of Israelis agreed that the Africans were, in fact, “a ‘cancer’ in the body of the nation.”

This sounds like a good news story, full of violence and color, the kind of article we read regularly from eastern Europe or Africa. But the New York Times reporters who were stationed in Israel did not report it – until nearly a month later, when a story by Isabel Kershner appeared under the headline: “Crackdown on Migrants Tugs at Soul of Israel.” Her report had more sympathy for the uneasy consciences of some Israelis, who said they felt guilty their government was deporting refugees, than for the actual Africans, several of whom had been nearly murdered.

Self-censorship is part of the job description for the American mainstream journalist in Israel. This consistent bias, this refusal to report on the ugly truths right in front of you, explains why most Americans still have a dream castle view of Israel that resembles an updated version of the novel Exodus. Fortunately, Max Blumenthal has spent large stretches of the past few years there, and his big, outstanding book Goliath is indispensable if you truly want to understand Israel in 2013. He was not actually on the scene for that south Tel Aviv pogrom, instead relying on reports from other courageous, independent journalists, but he seems to have gone just about everywhere else in Israel/Palestine looking for the real story. He got inside Ofer Military Prison, where thousands of Palestinians are jailed. He spent the night with brave Palestinian resisters in a West Bank village as they waited for the 3 a.m. knock on the door from the Israeli military. He gives the best account I have seen anywhere of the apartheid wall and what it is really designed to do.

Visitors to this site and readers of The Nation are aware of the debate over Goliath between Max Blumenthal, Max’s supporters, and Eric Alterman. I respect Alterman’s writings on most other subjects, and I will continue to read his column in The Nation with interest. But Alterman’s most dangerous statement about Blumenthal’s book, above and beyond the snideness and the factual errors, is when he points out – and actually sounds satisfied – that Goliath is being ignored by the mainstream media.

Yonatan Shapira, the Israeli air force pilot turned courageous peace activist who is an important figure in Goliath, sometimes opens his talks by saying: “The joke used to be, ‘Three Jews, four opinions. Now, with respect to Israel, it is ‘100 Jews, one opinion.’” Yonatan’s quip explains why Goliath is still waiting to be assessed in the bigger book review sections, and why Max Blumenthal is not popping up all over National Public Radio.

A full-page ad in the New York Times costs anywhere between $142,000 and $203,000. Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land was featured in one the other week, and I would bet that part of what motivated whoever paid for it was the desire to use Shavit to try and bury Goliath.  Max Blumenthal’s 410-page account is devastating to the view of Israel that still prevails in the United States.  He has written a steady, sober, thorough chronicle of a country that is moving even more to the right, more racist, more militarist, and more anti-democratic than ever. Blumenthal has little patience with what he calls the Enlightened Public – the elite, Tel Aviv Ashkenazi Jews who are the face of Israel overseas, but are now almost completely ineffectual. (Blumenthal’s interview with the writer David Grossman, a leading figure in this Enlightened Public, has been criticized in some quarters, but I found it respectful and telling.)

Blumenthal makes it crystal clear that no solution to Israeli apartheid will come from within Israeli society alone. The dominant forces in Israel want to expel the remaining Palestinians from pre-1967 Israel, continue to steal Palestinian land on the West Bank, and forever maintain the occupation in some form or another. Worldwide resistance is the only answer. Blumenthal chronicles the history of the BDS movement, and portrays the courageous Palestinians who democratically drew it up and continue to fight for it nonviolently.

In the end, Goliath is not an unremittingly depressing book. In addition to Yonatan Shapira, he finds other extraordinary people, many of them Israelis, some of whom are no strangers to this website; Joseph Dana, Lia Tarachansky, and David Sheen are just a few of these moral giants. But there are not nearly enough of them. Without BDS and other pressure from outside, Max Blumenthal proves that Israel will continue to move toward real fascism.

(Editor’s Note: Just a friendly reminder that you can receive a copy of Goliath: Fear and Loathing in Greater Israel if you donate $60 0r more to Mondoweiss before the end of the year. Thanks!)

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51 Responses

  1. yishai
    December 23, 2013, 11:38 am

    Thank you James! I could not have said any of this better, you really hit it on the head.

    Goliath is hard for US/Western readers precisely because of the mundane truths it catalogues. I hope all of us on the side of truth will add our voices to this important tome, and also pull lessons from its non-reception. As in other anti-apartheid struggles, the silences seem impenetrable until the walls finally come down – then the silenced narrative returns to the center as the truth it always was, and the silencers recede into the shadows of history…

  2. Obsidian
    December 23, 2013, 12:03 pm

    The article and video omit one glaring fact.
    Apart from some residents in South Tel Aviv and Eilat, most Israelis ignored the migrants until the media began reporting that migrants were being arrested for raping Jewish girls. Only after several well publicized rapes occurred, did the anti-migrant backlash begin.

    It’s called ’cause and effect’.

    • talknic
      December 23, 2013, 1:50 pm

      @ Obsidian ” Only after several well publicized rapes occurred, did the anti-migrant backlash begin.”

      Dates please. Make the facts glare … thx

      “It’s called ’cause and effect’”

      Cause and effect always come in a chronological order

      BTW after the treatment of Jews by the Nazis, surely collective punishment is frowned upon in Israel…no?

      “Apart from some residents in South Tel Aviv and Eilat”

      So there was anti-migrant sentiment before the rapes?

      • Obsidian
        December 24, 2013, 12:16 am

        “So there was anti-migrant sentiment before the rapes?”

        Obviously not.
        Some residents of the South Tel Aviv neighborhood of Shapira,where my mother-in-law lives, didn’t like the spike in crime after the migrant influx.

    • tree
      December 23, 2013, 5:42 pm

      Apart from some residents in South Tel Aviv and Eilat, most Israelis ignored the migrants until the media began reporting that migrants were being arrested for raping Jewish girls. Only after several well publicized rapes occurred, did the anti-migrant backlash begin.

      It’s called ’cause and effect’.

      No, its called bigotry, and blaming an entire ethnic group for the actions of an individual. I suppose you would excuse the lynching of black Americans in the Old South with the same excuse that some black men had raped white women. Right?

      For that matter, Leo Frank, an American Jew, was convicted of raping and murdering a 13 year old Christian girl in 1913 Atlanta, Georgia. Would that have excused a pogrom against Atlanta Jews in your mind? I doubt it. (None occurred, BTW.)

      And in another example, mentioned by yrn in another thread, Polish Catholics rampaged through Jewish neighborhoods after Jewish pickpockets were suspected of deliberately causing a panic in a Catholic church in Warsaw that lead to the death of 29 Poles on Christmas Day in 1881. “Cause and effect”? Perfectly understandable to take out one’s anger at a particular individual by going after every one of his religion or ethnicity? Of course not. You only excuse ethnic violence when it is committed by Jews.

      • Obsidian
        December 24, 2013, 12:06 am

        I am not excusing ethnic violence, I am explaining it, which is more than the video or Max’s book does.
        I repeat, Israelis ignored the migrants until the criminality of some migrants, which I am an eyewitness to, caused a backlash and a belated government reaction.
        Polish Catholics and Leo Frank have nothing to do with a poorly crafted, slanted agitprop video or Max’s insulting book.
        As far as bigotry in Israel goes, the Israeli Miss Universe is an Ethiopian Jewess, as was the winner of the popular Israeli Big Brother reality show.

        link to haaretz.com

    • just
      December 23, 2013, 8:07 pm

      What say you about your youth?

      “Police in Tel Aviv over the weekend arrested five teenage boys on suspicion of gang raping a 12-year-old girl at an illicit party on school grounds, it was reported on Sunday.

      Police said that a group of boys, most of them aged 14, invited the girl to a evening party thrown at a school many of them attend, where they coerced her to undress and perform oral sex on them, before they raped her one after the other, Walla reported. It was not clear how the group gained access to the school.

      At least some of the rape was recorded by the alleged perpetrators on their mobile phones. Part of the recordings made their way to the police, who opened an investigation on Thursday. The victim was questioned by police and five of her alleged attackers were arrested and questioned. Police said they believed they would make more arrests in the “brutal” case, and that there were more videos circulating of the incident.

      According to the boys’ testimony, they admitted to inviting the girl to the school, but said that the victim, who looked older than her age, presented herself as a 17-year-old and consented to all the acts. The age of consent in Israel is 16.”

      link to timesofisrael.com

    • Hostage
      December 23, 2013, 8:40 pm

      most Israelis ignored the migrants until the media began reporting that migrants were being arrested for raping Jewish girls. Only after several well publicized rapes occurred, did the anti-migrant backlash begin.

      It’s hardly surprising. Most Israelis are bigots who ignore reliable reports of danger and persecution and continue to call refugees with well founded fears who are fleeing regions of conflict “migrants”. The US began evacuating Americans from South Sudan yesterday. Israel will undoubtedly keep turning refugees back at its borders and arresting or detaining them in violation of international conventions and court rulings, e.g. See Israel summoning migrants in city centers to detention: Law permits police to arrest migrants who don’t report to Holot. link to haaretz.com

      BTW, could you kindly explain the logic behind pogroms carried out against others, after you say the media reported that the suspects had already been arrested? Here’s how sick the use of sexual stereotyping to justify violence against other ethnic groups looks in hindsight:

      According to a report published by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1919 titled Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States: 1889–1918, 2,522 black Americans were lynched—hanged, burned alive, or hacked to death—between 1889 and 1918. Lynching was the most violent form of discrimination. Offenses the victims were accused of were usually minor, such as stealing a cow, attempting to register to vote, or speaking out for equality. Often there were allegations of sexually assaulting a white woman or talking back to a white person. Rather than receiving a fair trial, blacks were lynched by white mobs. Of course, many victims were innocent. Lynching was a major means used during this period to control blacks.

      Racial Segregation in the American South: Jim Crow Laws link to find.galegroup.com

  3. ivri
    December 23, 2013, 12:35 pm

    Demonizing Israel is simple. Given the struggle for existence it is in and the hard choices it has to make given how small it is and given a campaign of hate against Israel since its birth – all these must have an impact on the psyche of a nation and what it is ready to do to survive in region where the rules of struggle, as we see all around the region, are pretty wild. Doing cherry-picking on events and opinions can be hugely distorting in general and especially so in the exceptional circumstances that Israel is in. It appears that the general public in the US understands that.

    • Chu
      December 23, 2013, 12:51 pm

      The siege mentality (bunker mentality) is not a successful strategy to its long term survival. Can you understand the dilemma that you’ve begun to articulate?

      If the newly formed state is trying so hard to survive, and it’s such a difficult process, then the state should be more inclined to make a sincere peace with it’s neighbors – meaning more land for ‘security’ is not a good strategy.

      And your statement above reads like it’s from someone who feels like they are a victim of the world’s cruelty. I would argue that Israel needs to make a better case for illegal settlements, and six decades of occupation. Can they accept that this is not beneficial to their image? I see a concerted group trying to whitewash the facts about it’s intentions – and sure it works for decades, so why stop a ‘good’ thing – but eventually the scheme will be realized by the majority. And I’m not sure it has any other cards to play at this point in world history.

      • JeffB
        December 23, 2013, 3:03 pm

        @Chu

        If the newly formed state is trying so hard to survive, and it’s such a difficult process, then the state should be more inclined to make a sincere peace with it’s neighbors – meaning more land for ‘security’ is not a good strategy.

        I don’t see how that follows directly. That’s a lot like saying that if you have to call a large bet to see another card you should always fold. A state that’s trying hard to survive and would benefit from peace should follow your strategy. A state that might not benefit enough from the peace to compensate might not choose that strategy.

        Can they accept that this is not beneficial to their image?

        Sure but they aren’t a high school cheerleader. Their image isn’t their #1 concern. Same as the United States’ image doesn’t always benefit from many of the acts it does in the national self interest.

        And I’m not sure it has any other cards to play at this point in world history.

        Israel has a ton of cards it hasn’t played or hasn’t played recently. You are talking about a country with a large successful army, a large complex economy, supporters in many countries and good strategic position.

      • Chu
        December 23, 2013, 3:34 pm

        Ivri was saying Israel is the victim, I was saying if it’s so tough, then
        negotiate a real peace. And nice plug for Israel at the of your speech.
        Army and an economy of 7 million isn’t that complex though.

      • talknic
        December 23, 2013, 3:39 pm

        @JeffB “Israel has a ton of cards it hasn’t played or hasn’t played recently “

        Israel hasn’t any cards to play except the protection of the US UNSC veto vote on any actions that might be taken as a consequence of its illegal activities.

        After years of creating illegal facts on the ground Israel cannot now fiscally afford adhere to the law without being sent bankrupt for decades paying rightful compensation to the Palestinians while trying to resettle hundreds of thousands of illegal settlers back into Israeli territory.

        Furthermore, should a civil war erupt between Israel’s illegal settlers and the State of Israel in non-Israeli territory as it tries to resettle them, the neighbouring regional powers would have the right (as they did in 1948) to intervene. (there are no UNSC resolutions condemning the Arab states’ actions in 1948)

        The Palestinians have International Law and the UN Charter in their favour. So it is the Jewish state who must plea bargain with the Palestinians in order to circumvent the consequences of its illegal activities.

        The Palestinians have no legal obligation what so ever even in negotiations to forgo any of their legal rights under the Laws and UN Charter Israel obliged itself to uphold.

        All Israel can do is continue to lobby the US to maintain the precious US UNSC veto vote and attempt to force the Palestinians to concede more and more of their territory while Israel continues to break the law.

        The frog crawled into the pot of its own volition. The US veto vote only allows it to stay there while the water gets hotter and hotter.

      • JeffB
        December 23, 2013, 3:59 pm

        Yes the UN’s ability to collect debts. As an American I’ve had lots of judgements against me from the UN as well. I’ve yet to see an attempt to collect

        link to movieclips.com

      • talknic
        December 23, 2013, 6:01 pm

        @ JeffB “the UN’s ability to collect debts.”

        UNSC Res 678

        UNSC Res 1973

      • JeffB
        December 23, 2013, 8:42 pm

        @talknic

        UNSC Res 678
        UNSC Res 1973

        That’s the USA / NATO. Major powers can enforce their will. But that’s not the UN.

      • talknic
        December 24, 2013, 6:07 am

        @JeffB // UNSC Res 678
        UNSC Res 1973 //

        “That’s the USA / NATO. Major powers can enforce their will. But that’s not the UN.”

        ( ‘scuse me folks, but we have been blessed this xmas with the presence of a complete idiot who will say any thing no matter how foolish he looks. What better display of how feeble brained Israel’s apologists are )

        The Security Council acts on the behalf of the UN you mindless f&*^ing moron! link to un.org

      • JeffB
        December 24, 2013, 7:00 am

        @talknic

        The Security Council acts on the behalf of the UN you mindless f&*^ing moron!

        I didn’t say the security council I said the major powers. The SC does stuff all the time that’s ineffectual and the USA, Russia, China do stuff all the time that is effectual that’s not approved by the SC. The power lies with the major powers not the SC.

      • ziusudra
        December 24, 2013, 3:06 am

        Greetings JeffB,
        …you are talking about a large successful army, economy, supportors……
        Pssst, J.
        When was the last time Zionistan had its Standing army of 175K 6, 9, 12 months in the field?
        Could Tel Aviv hold out as Damascus has over two yrs?
        Who will fulfill the social service Jobs simultaneoulsly?
        There’s your weakness, you are to puny in numbers!
        ziusudra
        PS Big Brother is moving due east. Even if he flattened Iran before going,
        they would come back to haunt you.

      • JeffB
        December 24, 2013, 1:37 pm

        @ziusudra

        When was the last time Zionistan had its Standing army of 175K 6, 9, 12 months in the field? Could Tel Aviv hold out as Damascus has over two yrs?

        Yes I think they could rather easily. 175k is their active of which 450k are actively in the reserves. They have 100k recruits each year from age. I think they could field an army larger than 175k.

        If we really push I think they could field an army of about 1m for 2 years drawing from the 1.4m trained and fit for duty population. Maybe larger.

    • James North
      December 23, 2013, 1:15 pm

      ivri: Any “cherry-picking” here is being committed by the U.S. mainstream media. Do you really think that if a mob of 1000 Israeli Palestinians had gathered in south Tel Aviv, listened to incendiary speeches by leading Palestinian officials that called Jews “a cancer,” chanted “Kike, kike, you’re a son of a bitch,” and then gone on a violent rampage, attacking Jews and Jewish-owned shops, that the New York Times reporters would have ignored the story for a month?

    • talknic
      December 23, 2013, 1:44 pm

      @ ivri “Demonizing Israel is simple.”

      No need. Israel demonizes itself by ignoring its obligations to International Law, the UN Charter and relative conventions and ignoring the hundreds of UNSC resolutions reminding it of the binding legal obligations Israel has failed to uphold. For example there are EIGHT reminders to Israel of UNSC res 252 link to wp.me

      ” Given the struggle for existence it is in..”

      Strange. Israel has existed since the day its declaration and borders came into effect at precisely 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME east time) At that time Jewish forces under Plan Dalet were already outside of territories slated for the Jewish state and the State of Israel has been in territories “outside the State of Israel” wiping what remained of Palestine off the map ever since.

      “and the hard choices it has to make given how small it is”

      What hard choices. Israel has never chosen to get out of all the non-Israeli territory it has illegally acquired by war. It has chosen instead to lie to the world and worse, lie to Israelis, while illegally annexing and illegally settling in non-Israeli territories

      “… and given a campaign of hate against Israel since its birth –”

      Why would anyone like a state that has since the day of its birth been illegally acquiring its neighbours territory?

      “.. all these must have an impact on the psyche of a nation”

      A nation fed bullsh*t by its successive governments is bound to have a damaged psyche

      “.. and what it is ready to do to survive in region ..”

      Israel is struggling to survive in non-Israeli territory

      “Doing cherry-picking on events and opinions can be hugely distorting in general ..”

      Indeed. That’s why Israel’s apologist propagandameisters purposefully distort by never mentioning Article 7 of the LoN Mandate for Palestine

      “and especially so in the exceptional circumstances that Israel is in”

      No one has forced Israel to create the exceptional circumstances of Israel’s illegal facts on the ground in illegally acquired non-Israeli territory

      “It appears that the general public in the US understands that.

      The US public have been fed the same bullsh*t Israelis have been fed

    • Hostage
      December 23, 2013, 8:44 pm

      Demonizing Israel is simple. Given the struggle for existence

      The fucktards threatening other people’s existence in the video were elected Israel officials, not the refugees.

    • Talkback
      December 24, 2013, 7:52 am

      ivri says: Demonizing Israel is simple. Given the struggle for existence it is in and the hard choices it has to make given how small it is and given a campaign of hate against Israel since its birth – all these must have an impact on the psyche of a nation and what it is ready to do to survive in region where the rules of struggle, as we see all around the region, are pretty wild.

      Nobody forced Jews to create a state in the midst of the Arab world against the will of the nonjewish majority and by war and expelling, denationalizing, dispossessing, looting and raping Arab Palestinians.

  4. eljay
    December 23, 2013, 12:57 pm

    >> Demonizing Israel is simple. Given the struggle for existence it is in and the hard choices it has to make given how small it is and given a campaign of hate against Israel since its birth – all these must have an impact on the psyche of a nation …

    Pity poor Israel! A state:
    - conceived as a supremacist “Jewish State” (rather than a secular, democratic and egalitarian Israeli state) in Palestine;
    - born of terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands;
    - maintained and expanded by means of a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder;
    - unwilling to honour its obligations under international law;
    - unwilling to be held accountable for its past and ON-GOING (war) crimes.

    Aggressor-victimhood is such a tough gig… :-(

  5. Chu
    December 23, 2013, 1:43 pm

    After watching some of this terrible video, it’s ironic how so many ‘tikkun olam’ Jews that openly advocated for pluralism in society in America during the last half-century, fail to recognize the racism that is involved in Israeli society, or speak out against it.

    Israelis are the Afrikaners in this video – no sugar-coating that one.

  6. MahaneYehude1
    December 23, 2013, 1:56 pm

    @James North:

    I admit that my government failed to treat the African immigrants and did many mistakes. The main mistake was to put most immigrants together in South Tel-Aviv, a relatively low-level area. I hope a just solution will be done to those immigrants and I happy that many Israelis help them voluntarily, fact that you ignore. But, the video you attach and the story aim to demonizing Israel since you, as always, show only one side.

    You use a very extreme language like “pogroms” or “several of whom had been nearly murdered”. This language has only one purpose: demonizing Israel and Israeli society. I see it as part of a “fashion” in which people describe events in Israel using the same language as we use to describe the sufferings of the Jewish people like “pogroms”, “libels”, “persecutions”. The only difference is that in the pogroms and persecutions against us, many were killed and injured without any protection from the local police. As much as I know, no one among African immigrants was killed and they are protected by the police.

    In all the videos you show, you use the same photos, same speeches, same demonstration – nothing new. The fact that you ignore is that most of the people in your video were not elected to the Israeli Parliament, like Michael Ben-Ari and Arie Eldad. I think that this fact says a lot on the Israel and about the “racist” Israeli society.

    • James North
      December 23, 2013, 3:02 pm

      MahaneYehude1: Miri Regev, the woman who gave the inflammatory speech calling Africans “a cancer,” was a Member of the Knesset and the former chief spokesperson of the Israeli army.
      I learned this fact, along with many, many others, from Max Blumenthal’s book — not from the mainstream U.S. press reporters.

      • MahaneYehude1
        December 23, 2013, 3:09 pm

        @James North:

        So what? Is Miri Regev the only representative of the Israeli society? What about the tens thousands Israelis activist helping the immigrants day after day (even if there is no camera in the area)?

      • James North
        December 23, 2013, 3:39 pm

        MahaneYehude1: My main target in this post is the U.S. mainstream press, for ignoring news like the south Tel Aviv pogrom. My point is that you have to read Max Blumenthal’s Goliath to learn what Israel is truly like in 2013; you won’t find out much in the New York Times.
        (In passing, though, I am skeptical of your claim that there are “tens [of] thousands of Israeli activists” helping the migrants.)

      • MahaneYehude1
        December 23, 2013, 4:41 pm

        @James North;

        the US press ignores the “pogroms” because there are no such things called “pogroms”. Please, read my original message about the using of this word.

        In passing, though, I am skeptical of your claim that there are “tens [of] thousands of Israeli activists” helping the migrants.

        The only mistake in my sentence is that I didn’t write “of” (thanks for the correction). All the rest is correct and I stand behind my argument: There are tens of thousands activists helping the immigrant. If the moderator won’t delete my comments, as he already did, I can send you many videos show the nice face of the Israeli society.

      • talknic
        December 23, 2013, 6:09 pm

        @ MahaneYehude1 “there are no such things called “pogroms” “

        Uh huh .. Pogroms link to google.com.au

        “The only mistake in my sentence is that I didn’t write “of” (thanks for the correction). All the rest is correct and I stand behind my argument: There are tens of thousands activists helping the immigrant”

        Evidence … thx

      • Talkback
        December 24, 2013, 4:14 am

        MahaneYehude1 says: So what?

        Yeah, so what if someone the German parliament would call Jews cancer? So what?

        I tell you what. His career would be finished and his neonazi party forbidden. But not so in the one and only antigentile state. In this state they call “left” what would be considered not as right as a neonazi party.

      • MahaneYehude1
        December 24, 2013, 8:15 am

        @talkback:

        what if someone the German parliament would call Jews cancer?

        Would you call the whole German society “Racist society” only because this neonazi? Would you call Germany “Racist State”? Do you think this neonazi represents the whole German society? This is what you are doing when you cite several racist Israelis while ignore the many Israeli activists help the African immigrants. Demonizing the Israeli society is the aim of this video and this post.

      • Talkback
        December 24, 2013, 8:30 pm

        MahaneYehude1: Would you call the whole German society “Racist society” only because this neonazi? Would you call Germany “Racist State”? Do you think this neonazi represents the whole German society?

        If we were talking about a former spokesperson of the German army and now a parliament member of the ruling party in Germany which “cancer” hate speech was backed by 52% of the society and the person was still a member of the parliament, I would say we would be dealing with Nazi Germany.

        It’s not a coincidence that Likud’s political father is the fascist Jebotinky. And it’s not a coincidence that Jebotinsky is the most popular street name in Israel.

  7. Stephen Shenfield
    December 23, 2013, 6:22 pm

    Yes, Israeli society has a nice face. An Israeli woman once put things in proper proportion by telling me: “You know, we don’t spend all our time torturing Palestinians.” I acknowledged that what she said must surely be true. Israelis, like everyone else, have to spend time sleeping, eating, shitting, brushing their teeth, commuting, etc. etc.

    But then we should also recognize, for instance, that Nazi Germany also had a nice face and its citizens, even SS men, did not spend all their time torturing Jews. We should get that into proper proportion too, shouldn’t we?

    • MahaneYehude1
      December 24, 2013, 11:50 am

      @Stephen Shenfield;

      We should get that into proper proportion too, shouldn’t we?

      Yes, we should!! I agree with you that we have put things into proper proportion. Unfortunately, the post’s video and the post don’t put things into proper proportion by emphasize on marginal racist group of the Israeli society and ignoring the majority of the society, those who support human rights and help the African immigrants. To those people I call “nice face” of Israel, whether they are shitting or not. If Nazi Germany had the same proportion like in Israel, I’m sure the world would have saved a lot of lives. Your comparison is outrageous.

      • Citizen
        December 24, 2013, 5:15 pm

        @ MahaneYehudet
        Nazi Germany was created by Britain, France, and the naivety of POTUS Wilson at Versailles, which led to WW2. Israel was created by Nazi Germany’s demise and part of what it fought, the Cold War. Nazi Germany lasted for 12 years, the Zionist state of Israel, so far, for 65 years. The whole world paid the price for Nazi Germany. Israel needs to pay the price for Zionist Israel. It will come; indeed the price tag is slowly being shown us.

  8. yishai
    December 23, 2013, 6:28 pm

    James North’s point in this article is unimpeachably true, and reveals white Western, US Jewish and Christian complicity in the apartheid Israeli regime, much as was shown toward South Africa until formal apartheid there fell, and much as still exists between the US and its other favored client regimes (Turkey, still ethnically cleansing Kurds, Saudi Arabia, Columbia – its a long list actually…).

    I find the posts from Israelis and Israel-defenders to be funny, and only to prove the point of this article. And of Blumenthal’s book.

    If Israel, like other settler-colonial states, was not founded on myths, it would not fear the truth. Since it is founded on lies and myths, the truth is one of its greatest enemies. Therefore, Blumenthal, this little essay, almost any non-coopted Palestinian voice, and Mondoweiss itself are threats in that sense. The intensity of trolling and policing, and silencing only serves to further illuminate this further…

  9. DICKERSON3870
    December 23, 2013, 6:42 pm

    RE: “Let’s take the events of May 23, 2012 in south Tel Aviv as an instructive example. That night, at least 1000 Israelis staged a violent protest against the presence of African refugees in the country. . . This sounds like a good news story, full of violence and color, the kind of article we read regularly from eastern Europe or Africa. But the New York Times reporters who were stationed in Israel did not report it – until nearly a month later . . .” ~ James North

    AS TO ONE REASON JOURNALISTS AND OTHERS ARE AFRAID TO BROACH THE ISRAEL/PALESTINE ISSUE, SEE:
    “Why the U.S. Media Barely Covered Brutal Right-Wing Race Riots in Tel Aviv”, By Joshua Holland, AlterNet, 6/17/12

    [EXCERPTS] Several weeks back, Israel was rocked by a night of right-wing race-riots targeting African refugees in Tel Aviv. The thuggery was frightening – refugees were attacked, African-owned businesses and stores were vandalized . . .
    . . . The story received very little coverage in the United States. . .

    . . . Recently, Middle East analyst MJ Rosenberg appeared on the AlterNet Radio Hour to discuss the Tel Aviv riots, the stand-off over Iran’s nuclear program and how the Israel lobby helps narrow the discourse around Israel in the United States. Below is a lightly edited transcript of the discussion (you can listen to the whole interview here.)
    [EXCERPTS]
    • JOSHUA HOLLAND: From your inside perspective on that organization [AIPAC], what did you see as far as their tendency to call out criticism that they think is illegitimate or beyond the pale?
    • MJ ROSENBERG: They [AIPAC] consider all criticism of Israel illegitimate. It’s all beyond the pale. I suppose their definition would be if by some miracle someone like Joseph Lieberman made a statement critical of Israel it would be legitimate. When I worked there in the ’80s, back before everyone had computers, they had a big war room where all they did was assemble every bit of data on members of Congress, on candidates, but also on writers, celebrities – anyone in the public eye.
    In those days they would just put them in these folders. They always had at hand all this negative information — what they considered negative information — to tar people as being anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic. That stuff would be given to reporters if something came up. They were either initiated on their own to give to reporters or some reporter called them because they had a treasure trove of information.
    They still operate that way. In those days they did it directly; now they have former staffers and people who are close to the organization in the blogging world and political world who do it for them. They do it so much. When you read that someone is anti-Israel they’re the ones putting it out there. They’ve got the data. . .
    • JOSHUA HOLLAND: . . . Speaking of our discourse, I want to talk about an issue that came up recently that’s gotten very little coverage in the United States. There were a series of violent race riots by right-wing Israelis against African immigrants in Tel Aviv. This was a big deal. I was looking at the US coverage and it was amazing at how little attention these riots received. . .
    • MJ ROSENBERG: . . . This is a common thing. When there are bad things going on inside Israel — the way they treat the Palestinians and in this case the way they’re treating these poor African refugees from loathsome regimes who wind up in Israel — these stories are … I don’t want to say suppressed in the United States, but it’s striking how much coverage they get in Israel itself and how a paper like the New York Times is too scared to touch it.
    I have to say they’re afraid to touch it. The reason is when an American outlet talks about Israel in any way that’s negative, or reports on anything negative about Israel, they will be inundated with complaints from powerful people who will tell them, “why are you picking on Israel?” They always say, “why is it that China
    is doing all these things and you’re not writing about that?” Of course, they do. You even see it in the blogosphere too, the intimidation. If you aren’t utterly secure in your position in the media then you don’t mess with Israel. More to the point, you don’t mess with the people here who are Israel’s enforcers. . .

    ENTIRE (LIGHTLY EDITED) TRANSCRIPT – link to alternet.org

  10. DICKERSON3870
    December 23, 2013, 6:48 pm

    RE: Yonatan Shapira, the Israeli air force pilot turned courageous peace activist who is an important figure in Goliath, sometimes opens his talks by saying: “The joke used to be, ‘Three Jews, four opinions. Now, with respect to Israel, it is ‘100 Jews, one opinion.’” Yonatan’s quip explains why Goliath is still waiting to be assessed in the bigger book review sections, and why Max Blumenthal is not popping up all over National Public Radio. ~ James North

    FOR PART OF THE REASON, SEE – “The AIPAC Politics of Smear: The Secret Section in Israel’s U.S. Lobby That Stifles American Debate”, By Gregory D. Slabodkin, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 1992, pages 7-8, 89-91

    [EXCERPTS] During the reign of terror that Senator Joseph McCarthy unleashed in the 1950s, when the reputations and lives of many loyal Americans were ruined by false charges of “communism” and “treason,” American Jewry was overwhelmingly opposed to the Wisconsin senator and his blackmail by blacklists. According to the Gallup polls of the time, the percentage of U.S. Jews who opposed McCarthy’s smear tactics was twice that of the rest of the population. Many Jewish organizations passed resolutions condemning McCarthy’s ruthless character assassination.
    Today, however, such national Jewish organizations as the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (ADL) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) are using the same tactics to stifle open debate of U.S. policy in the Middle East.
    • Secretly Circulated Lists
    To conduct this “neo-McCarthyism,” AIPAC operates a covert section within its research department that monitors and keeps files on politicians, journalists, academics, Arab-American activists, Jewish liberals, and others it labels “anti-Israel.” AIPAC selects information from these files and secretly circulates lists of the “guilty,” together with their alleged political misdeeds, buttressed by their statements, often totally out of context.
    Just as McCarthy’s permanent investigations subcommittee labeled criticism of specific policies of the U.S. government as “anti-American,” or “pro-Soviet,” AIPAC labels criticism of Israeli government policies “anti-Israel,” “pro-Arab” or “pro-PLO.” Still worse is the pro-Israel lobby’s redefinition of “anti-Semitism” to include any such criticism of Israel or its actions. . .
    . . . AIPAC’s “opposition research” department traces its roots to I.L. (Sy) Kenen, who founded AIPAC in 1954. As editor of AIPAC’s weekly Near East Report, he often attacked critics of Israel in his aptly titled column, “The Monitor.” Besides monitoring, analyzing, and responding to “anti-Israel” comment and activities in the United States, Kenen also kept files on AIPAC’s “enemies.” In his final year AIPAC began to expand its intelligence-gathering operations.
    Kenen’s memoirs, “Israel’s Defense Line: Her Friends and Foes in Washington”, record how AIPAC pooled resources in 1974 with the American Jewish Committee and other national Jewish organizations to create a “truth squad.” Its purpose was to combat “pro-Arab propaganda” and the emerging “Arab lobby,” which Kenen believed to be a growing threat to the U.S.-Israel relationship.
    “While vigorously defending Israel’s perceived interests, the organizations that created the truth squad turned into a kind of Jewish thought police,” journalist Robert I. Friedman explains. “Investigators—sometimes overzealous Jewish college students, sometimes sources with access to U.S. intelligence agencies—were used to ferret out critics of Israel, Jew or gentile, wherever they might be. At ADL and AIPAC, files were opened on journalists, politicians, scholars and community activists. Their speeches and writings were monitored, as were, in some cases, their other professional activities. And they were often smeared with charges of anti-Semitism or with the pernicious label of self-hating Jew. The intention was to stifle debate on the Middle East within the Jewish community, the media and academia, for fear that criticism of any kind would weaken the Jewish state.”
    When Kenen stepped down as executive director of AIPAC in December 1974, the task of monitoring Israel’s “enemies” was left to the department of research and information at AIPAC, where it has remained ever since. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to wrmea.org

  11. Citizen
    December 23, 2013, 9:17 pm

    Max’s book critiquing the Tea Party-GOP phenomena was pushed by the mainstream liberal media–OK to slam US. His second book critiquing Israel has been mostly ignored by the mainstream liberal media. Not OK to slam Israel. Not even if the Israeli media slams its own government.

    link to my.firedoglake.com

    • James North
      December 23, 2013, 11:17 pm

      Citizen: An excellent point. Max Blumenthal’s book-writing skills are obviously good enough to warrant mainstream attention; his subject is what is excluding him this time around.

    • JeffB
      December 24, 2013, 6:51 am

      @Citizen –

      Well yes. Americans who slam America are considered to be loyal and have America’s best interests at heart. It is in family debate about how best to govern our country. Americans who slam Israel are enemies of Israel that hare generally loyal to another party enemy to Israel either the Arab league or the Palestinians.

      Yet the book is written invasively about Israel’s internal practices not their relationship with the United States. An outsider perspective is fine. I have no problem with say a Pat Buchanan type: I don’t like Israel, I don’t want to see Israel be successful and here is how the United States should deal with the repercussions of Israel no longer being a vassal state. What Max is doing would be analogous to me writing an employee review that focused on an employees’ love life and not their job performance when recommending they be fired.

      • Citizen
        December 24, 2013, 12:35 pm

        @ JeffB

        If that’s the story, then wasn’t apartheid S Africa a mere matter of a family debate”? Why did foreign country citizens and governments get involved? After all, it was about apartheid S Africa’s S Africa’s internal practices. Given that what was all the praise of Mandella at his memorial about?

        Further, why did the US intervene in WW1? Want’t that Europe’s concern, a family matter there? And why did the US intervene is WW2, which was the result of
        the Versailles Treaty in WW1?

        Wasn’t what Nazi Germany did to the Jews an internal affair within Germany, a “family debate”?

        You say: You say: “What Max is doing would be analogous to me writing an employee review that focused on an employees’ love life and not their job performance when recommending they be fired.”

        So, then we should analogize employees of Hitler’s Germany to employees of Bibi’s Israel?

      • JeffB
        December 24, 2013, 4:27 pm

        @Citizen

        If that’s the story, then wasn’t apartheid S Africa a mere matter of a family debate”?

        Because there are no Afrikaners in the United States. Nobody related to them that way. Nobody identified with them.

        Why did foreign country citizens and governments get involved?

        They mostly didn’t. When there was the heaviest period of opposition was the cold war and then the western powers were often on their side. As the cold war, progressed most countries just stayed away and that was because the USA was starting to lean towards regime change. The Congressional Black Caucus in the USA did a great job in mainstreaming the divestment / sanctions approach. They made South African investment dangerous.

        As for the rest. Either you can support USA imperialism or you don’t. If the USA has the right to threaten Israel to change their internal policies then they have the right to threaten Iran to change their internal policies (and not just their weapons policies). I generally favor a low intervention foreign policy. A high intervention foreign policy though as to answer the “why Israel” question. Self interest doesn’t work since the changes you want in Israel would be very harmful to USA interests. It would create a hostile unstable power with ICBMs.

  12. oneof5
    December 24, 2013, 3:44 am

    I picked up my copy of Goliath today. I’m at page 55 currently and thus far I’m finding it to be … profoundly disturbing

  13. Talkback
    December 24, 2013, 8:03 am

    American mainstream journalists are ‘embedded’, which means they are disgusting propagandist whores who don’t tell you the truth you could know, but only the half-truths or lies you should know.

    Sometimes my friends and I watch American news (or The Daily Show) and are astonished about its infantile and involuntary transparent propaganda in any news sector. It seems as if they were reporting to children who still believe in Santa Claus.

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