The Minds of Others: An interview with Max Blumenthal

Middle East
on 152 Comments

And that is the great thing I hold against pseudo-humanism:
that for too long it has diminished the rights of man,
that its concept of those rights has been – and still is –
narrow and fragmentary, incomplete and biased and,
all things considered, sordidly racist.

Aimé Césaire (1955/1972), Discourse on Colonialism.

The following interview was conducted in Berlin, Germany on November 13, 2014.

Anna-Esther Younes: Mr. Blumenthal, you had quite a turbulent stay in Germany. You and David Sheen, a journalist from Israel, came to speak about the atrocities committed in Gaza by the Israeli army this summer and Mr. Sheen came to talk about racism in Israel before, during and after the Gaza war. However, you were denied your first public speech at the Volksbühne due to an intervention by the Left Party (Die Linke) that stopped it from happening around 15 hours before the event was supposed to start. The allegations were that of “severe Israel hatred” and “Anti-Semitism”, which were ostensibly the reasons for some people in the Linke to stop both of you from speaking. Instead, you needed to give your talks in a small and crowded anti-war café nearby. At the same time you gave your talk, Neo-Nazis were allowed to march and protest less than a kilometer away at the center of Berlin, at Alexanderplatz. Furthermore, the MPs that invited you are now facing a public call with more than 500 signatories in just a few days for their exclusion from the Linke party. The Spiegel, the most internationally renown German magazine, ran an article by Sibylle Berg who writes: “Almost mischievously, I dare a Freudian analysis and of course it is completely speculative, but I want to suggest that the cause of their resentment is of a sexual nature. Let me guess: Inge and Annette, the left-wing ladies critical of Israel, once went on a holiday in Gaza.” The articles alludes to the idea that the women MPs are primarily interested in Palestine due to a sexualized interest in Palestinian men and their revolution. Did you expect this when you came to Germany?

Max Blumenthal: Based on what I knew about Germany and its national pathology and its failure to really take the right lessons from its own history, I was hardly surprised by the reaction that I received for attempting to describe the situation in Israel-Palestine. For instance, I wasn’t surprised that there were attempts to shut my talks with David Sheen down. However, when I was so promiscuously described as an anti-Semite, including by gentile politicians like Volker Beck, and that this behavior was considered perfectly normal in German society, I have to admit to some level of shock.

Are you calling us pathological?

Max Blumenthal: Yes, this is a sick society that hasn’t addressed the core political and psychological and social trends that lead to the Holocaust. If anything it’s simply repackaged them beneath the fog of Holocaust guilt.

But “because of the Holocaust, we need Israel”. It’s one of the most important lessons for many people in this country.

Max Blumenthal: According to the commonly accepted German national narrative, because of the Holocaust, Germany gives Israel Dolphin class submarines with launching tubes retrofitted for launching nuclear missiles. And because of the Holocaust, Germany gives Israel discounted Corvette boats to attack fishermen in the Gaza Strip who are ghettoized and permanently confined to the second most densely populated place on Earth, surrounded by walls and remote controlled machine gun turrets — all because of the Holocaust. How this honors the millions turned to ash is beyond me.

But at least Jews are strong and they can defend themselves!

Max Blumenthal: In the German cultural frame, Jews can only be strong within the Israeli military, which means that Jewish strength is synonymous with the oppression of Palestinians. This warped understanding of Jewish strength implicates all Jews in Israel’s crimes, which is also what actual anti-Semites seek to do. It also hollows out the identity of Jews who have no interest in Israel or in living inside of it, and casts them as weak, as lesser Jews.

Bild Zeitung, the most famous German daily newspapers, called Sheen and Blumenthal "Insane Israel haters" in this headline and later on refused comments concerning their allegations to Sheen and Blumenthal.

Bild Zeitung, the most famous German daily newspapers, called Sheen and Blumenthal “Insane Israel haters” in this headline and later on refused comments concerning their allegations to Sheen and Blumenthal.

So are you a weak Jew then? Do you see yourself as a weak Jew? Are you a Jew according to their address?

Max Blumenthal: In Germany I apparently am not as Jewish as Volker Beck, a man who has never had a Bris or a Bar Mitzvah.

On top of that, you and David Sheen have been accused of anti-Semitism. How does that personally feel for you?

Max Blumenthal: My work was called “consequentially anti-Semitic” in the Berliner Morgenpost by Volker Beck, who has never read anything I’ve written.

But how does it feel, Mr. Blumenthal?

Max Blumenthal: This is not the first time I’ve been to Germany but it’s my first visit as a political actor. And my initial feeling was that I was an alien exploring another planet. Now that I’ve had more time to insinuate myself into the political environment, I can make out a vision of what Zionism is doing to Jewish identity, and how this political ideology is permanently altering what it means to be a Jew. I am terrified by the sight.

As long as Judaism is conflated with Zionism, a pro-Israel gentile like Volker Beck can declare himself in so many words more Jewish than I am, and I can be essentially de-Judaized; my Jewish identity can be negated, simply because I’ve defined it outside the frontiers of Israeli nationalism and to some extent, against Zionism.

Does that make Germany a Jewish friendly country?

Max Blumenthal: It makes it a white country where Zionism is proscribed as part of the hegemonic narrative that’s imposed on everyone and used to advance the culture of whiteness. Germany is the whitest country in the world. It’s so white that it doesn’t know that it’s white or what whiteness is.

Could you explain what you mean by “Whiteness”, please? 

Max Blumenthal: Whiteness is the supreme embodiment of privilege. Whiteness is expressed through the wielding of power against calls for equality and the simultaneous denial of the very existence of the privilege to do so — a willful lack of self-awareness.

In my own country, we Jewish-Americans have generally superseded the WASP’s as the new elite, as the new “whites.” But unlike other white people in America, we are able to claim persecution when anyone challenges our privilege, and our claims of persecution will be taken very seriously. For example, when pro-Israel students complain to university administrators that their identity as Jews was threatened by some Palestinian solidarity demonstration full of brown skinned Muslims, those demonstrators are often punished or sanctioned. We saw that take place recently at Loyola University in Chicago, where a bunch of affluent, all-white students claimed they were “bullied” by Palestinian-American students who had attempted to sign up for Birthright Israel, the free, Jews-only tour of the Holy Land. In the end, the Palestinian-American students were charged with “discrimination” for protesting a Jews-only luxury vacation to historic Palestine. Can you imagine what would have happened if African-American students were punished for protesting an all-white vacation tour to the American South? There would have been a national uproar. So from my perspective, pro-Israel organizations on American college campuses are functioning as White Students Unions that are pandered to instead of properly stigmatized. And they reflect how the anti-Semitism trope is employed to defend Whiteness.

And how does that whitewashing of Jewish identity relate transnationally to the politics inside of Europe, North America and Israel-Palestine. Where is the connection?

Max Blumenthal: The completely mono-cultural narrative on what it means to be a German holds that the Holocaust towers above all other crimes, that those who perished in it were the ultimate victims of history, and that the Jewish nation that rose up in its wake must therefore float above the weight of history. Inadvertently or not, Germany is instrumentalizing the Holocaust and Zionism to compromise the citizenship rights of Muslim and Arab immigrants, to silence their narratives, and to complicate their naturalization process. The hegemonic narrative makes whiteness the ultimate qualification for full German nationality, since only native German whites can sincerely express guilt for the crimes their own ancestors perpetrated, and only German whites can genuinely transmute their guilt into unwavering, unthinking support for the Jewish state. And, as you explain in your article, it also allows for a new discourse of security to be directly connected to an unwanted, unassimilable and ostensibly “anti-Semitic” Muslim figure, inside Germany and beyond, which is then also connected to the right to be a citizen – or not. [1] In fact, under the Hessen citizenship test, which asks immigrants several questions about the Holocaust and basically demands they recognize the state of Israel’s “right to exist,” they can literally be denied citizenship.

But is it not deeply Anti-Semitic to view Jews as a special people, or as special victims? 

Max Blumenthal: Of course. Germans have gone from believing that Jews are especially pernicious to believing they are special victims who require an ethnically exclusive state as a token of their suffering. They simply can not accept that Jews are normal people capable of being oppressors like everyone else; of practicing apartheid or developing a class of extremists who behave almost identically to Christian neo-Nazis. We have to recognize that the kind of settler-colonialism that Israel practices is a completely normal project in the context of Western history. White people from the West have practiced ethnic cleansing before and they will likely do it again. Germany is one of these “normal” nations — displacing the natives is normal European behavior. But through its fetishization of Jews and its unfortunate conflation of Judaism with Zionism, Germany’s meta-narrative places Israel outside the frame of history and above scrutiny.

Amongst all those racialized and genocidally exterminated by white Europeans, why do you think have Jews been singled out from all racially persecuted minorities in Europe in your opinion? 

Max Blumenthal: Because European Jews were white and in these societies the hegemonic narrative demands reverence for Whiteness as a representation of national identity. The only victims who can be respected are the white ones. That must be why we see so much more uproar when a random neo-Nazi shouts something anti-Jewish at a protest in Berlin against the war on Gaza then when the German government passes a law to allow for the mass deportation of Roma to supposedly “safe” countries in the East.

Aimée Cesaire is making a similar argument like you and said that fascism came back from the colonies to Europe during the 2nd World War. Cesaire made the argument that fascism was practices already in the colonies and was practiced by Europe for a long time before already, however, not within European borders. What does that mean for people who are against a fascist narrative? And what does it mean for people who are Jews and who are against that narrative?

Max Blumenthal: In Germany, Jews like me who have been called Anti-Semites by Christians like Volker Beck are actually being otherized, if not racialized. We get lumped together with the rest of the people in Germany who don´t accept the hegemonic narrative — Muslims and black immigrants — and whose citizenship is compromised as a result. So you go from being placed above history and above criticism and fetishized to being placed below history and denied the ability to have any influence on it. It seems that the allegation of anti-Semitism is wielded in an especially aggressive way in Germany against anti-Zionist Jews because of the danger they present to the narrative that protects whiteness above all else.

In what way is your experience in Germany as an outspoken anti-racist and critic different from the US context? 

Max Blumenthal: My experience here in Germany has been dramatically different from what I’ve lived through in the U.S. The sorts of allegation that have been leveled against me here are not taken seriously in the US, except by right-wing pro-Israel elements that might have loads of money but have no grass-roots base. The most popular talk show host in the US, Jon Stewart, recently called right-wing attacks on Israel critics “fascistic,” and said something really important that Germans can’t seem to understand: ‘The danger of oppression is not just being oppressed, it’s becoming an oppressor.”

Obviously we have a long way to go in the US before views like mine are entertained in the mainstream, but we have competing traditions and a massively diverse society that is in constant flux, so it’s possible to introduce new ideas on supposedly taboo subjects without being demolished under the weight of a single-note master narrative.

Do you see any development in the long or short run. Do you think that you broke a little bit of this discourse; do you think you achieved anything?

Max Blumenthal: I think the cyborg-like German media was able to reinforce the dominant narrative with machine-like efficiency. Whether it was the media owned by Axel Springer, which literally demands all of its employees take a loyalty oath to the German special relationship with Israel, or the left-of-center papers like Der Spiegel, they all repeated the same fabrications and distortions about me. They each painted me as an anti-Semite in a uniform fashion without ever referring to the content of my work as a journalist. None of them called me for comment and all played their role in shielding the public from a counter-narrative. So I can’t claim that I opened the debate. It seems clear to me that Germany is encircled by psychological wall, which is at least as damaging to its culture as the Berlin Wall. The only way that I see change occurring in Germany is through the involvement at high levels of society of immigrants who can disrupt the mono-cultural national discourse.

There’s been nobody else who wrote you any letters of sympathy? 

Max Blumenthal: I’ve met quite a few white Germans who are supportive of the idea of Palestinians having basic human rights and are actually willing to do something about it. But it seems to me that they have been medicalized in their society as lunatics. As Erich Fromm said, the sane man in the insane society is always portrayed as insane.

So, what do the German elites gain from using that anti-Semitism trope?

Max Blumenthal: Genuinely left-wing anti-racists tend to be supportive of Palestinian rights. And through the anti-Semitism meta-narrative, German elites are able to weaken and divide the left by painting its most devoted activists as Jew haters; they are able to sever solidarity between Palestinians and Black Germans and other refugee groups in Germany by demanding immigrant support for Israel, and of course, they receive material benefits through the military relationship with Israel. The weapons sales not only take the form of state-to-state transactions, but also benefit the mercenary force Frontex, which uses to maintain the fortress Europe that Germany demands.

If you come back, would you do anything differently?

Max Blumenthal: If I return, I’ll operate more as an observer and chronicler. It is truly fascinating to observe this freak-show as an outsider. And as an American I have a natural attraction to freak-shows.

Thank you for the interview.

Notes

Thanks to Pary El-Qalqili and Mona Katawi for helping with the interview.

1. Younes, Anna-Esther (2014), A Chronicle of A Disappearance. Mapping the Figure of the Muslim in Berlin’s Verfassungsschutz Reports (2002-2009), Islamophobia Studies Journal (forthcoming).

152 Responses

  1. just
    November 25, 2014, 12:43 pm

    Max is quite possibly the most brilliant, articulate, and fearless American humanist/journalist/author alive today.

    He gives me hope and something tangible to aspire to and work for.

    “And as an American I have a natural attraction to freak-shows.”

    (he’s lol funny, too)

    • Marnie
      November 25, 2014, 2:37 pm

      Just, you literally took the words right outta my mouth, which was hanging wide open in wonder reading this interview. He is absolutely brilliant. I’ve wondered about Germany and its seemingly undying allegience to Israel and ultimately its part in the creation of the “oppressor state” that it is. I’m just blown away by his analysis, his humor and his genius.

    • bintbiba
      November 25, 2014, 3:55 pm

      His writing and articulateness are so magisterial. Being so young and wise…. imho he is and will remain one of the few GREATS of the Century .!

    • ActivistGal
      November 25, 2014, 5:32 pm

      Not as great as Glenn Greenwald (though definitely in the same league), but he will be someday soon.

      • ActivistGal
        November 25, 2014, 5:33 pm

        Oh, for an edit function!

      • John Douglas
        November 25, 2014, 6:47 pm

        He’s one brilliant, hard thinking man working out of a complex and thoroughly admirable set of ideas. Marry that to courage and you’ve got a real force for good. I admire Max Blumenthal.

    • bilal a
      November 25, 2014, 11:01 pm

      I find the germans echoing the judgement of mj rosenberg, that max b has an animus of hate, to be verifiable, not by his call for an Israeli exodus back to europe, but by his comments in the interview above.

      Replace his discussion above’s use of the word ‘white’ with ‘Jew’ , and he comes off as obsessively hateful as der sturmer.

      “More and more, I view the self-proclaimed anti-Zionist left as primarily being in the hate business, every bit as much as the “pro-Israel” right. The more virulent the attack on Israel and Israelis, the more enthusiastically they will endorse it. Blumenthal’s book is all virulence and so they love it. Shavit’s book, like The Crisis of Zionism by Peter Beinart, is infused with love of Israel so they hate it — even though it advances arguments they, in theory, champion. Hate gets in the way.”
      mj rosenberg Israel history vs propaganda
      link to huffingtonpost.com

      • bilal a
        November 25, 2014, 11:12 pm

        MJ Rosenberg doesnt quite get it, as mb states above, Jews are the new WASPs, the new ;whites; theyre all about white privilege, and germans are the whitest people on earth, they ship roma east. Israel is just part of the whiteness now.

        MJ (Mike) Rosenberg @MJayRosenberg · 4h 4 hours ago
        It is the idea of Israel that repels Max Blumenthal, not just the reality. People see through that & it repels them.

        MJ (Mike) Rosenberg @MJayRosenberg · 4h 4 hours ago
        Max Blumenthal is young. A career attacking Jews (in Germany, Lebanon, wherever) seems

        link to twitter.com

      • Annie Robbins
        November 26, 2014, 12:28 pm

        People see through that & it repels them.

        poor mj, still stuck on max. i think he can’t stand it how famous max has become. but mj should try just speaking for himself as in “i see through that & it repels me”. for it’s clear mj is repelled by this young leader in the jewish community. max is the pied piper his town’s children are flocking after. there appears to be little mj or anyone else for that matter, can do about that. the children raised in good and wholesome and blind jewish zionist families may never return to the ideology in which they were raised. and so what does mj do? he claims people are repelled when in fact it is just the opposite with the pied piper.

      • eljay
        November 26, 2014, 12:51 pm

        MJ (Mike) Rosenberg @MJayRosenberg: It is the idea of Israel that repels Max Blumenthal, not just the reality. People see through that & it repels them.

        Why should Max Blumenthal – or any other person who believes in and/or advocates for justice, accountability and equality – not be repelled by the idea of an Israel:
        – conceived, established and maintained as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews, rather than as a secular and democratic Israeli state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, ex-pats and refugees, equally;
        – born of Jewish terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands;
        – engaged for over 60 years in a campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder;
        – that refuses to honour its obligations under international law;
        – that refuses to accept responsibility and accountability for its past and ON-GOING (war) crimes; and
        – that refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually beneficial peace.

        Why is Mr. Rosenberg drawn to such a state, and repelled by the concepts of justice, accountability and equality?

  2. pabelmont
    November 25, 2014, 1:24 pm

    Two theories might explain the German pro-as-is-today-Israelism. Max says its a Whiteness fixation (White makes right). Could be. But an equally explanatory explanation seems to me to say that Germans need to feel comfortable after the holocaust and hacve done so by all the reparations payments, and all the rest of pro-as-is-today-Israelism.

    Under this second theory, Germans would risk again feeling guilty vis-a-vis Jews if they questions their unshakable support for Israel-today. Just as their hatred for Jews was overdetermined (but why?) in 1930s-1940s, their compensatory singleminded support for Israel today is somehow overdetermined (why? holocaust guilt).

    If Max is right about his German-whiteness theory, then Germany should be far more anti-dark-skinned-immigrants than, say, France is, or England, or Sweden. Unless, of course, his pro-colonialism white-is-right is a universal throughout Europe. And if he is right, anti-today’s-Israel agitation should go better in France, England, Sweden.

    I don’t know enough about those countries to guess which is more likely the explanation for German behavior.

    • W.Jones
      November 25, 2014, 11:33 pm

      Pabelmont,
      Obviously both. The Holocaust and WWII were major tragedies that affect the social climate in Germany to this day.

      Yet Max’s mention of quotas on the Roma people in modern Germany was a really good point, since Romas suffered in very high numbers in the Holocaust too, suggesting that what is going on is not just benevolent self-compulsion toward compensation for WWII.

    • arobertsccl
      November 26, 2014, 10:35 am

      I met a young German a few years ago in the midst of a tear gas attack in Bel’in, clinging To each other blindly to escape. It turned out that he had come as a Zionist volunteer to work n an Israeli project. Germans can substitute this for military service. He also came from a religious Zionist family. And here he was, three weeks after arrival, protesting against it. When I asked him why he had abandoned his Zionism so quickly, he said, memorably, “once you see, you can’t be.

      • just
        November 26, 2014, 12:03 pm

        Nice.

        Really nice.

    • bilal a
      November 27, 2014, 4:25 am

      what does it mean to look at the nations of the world in terms of their degree of whiteness? I can’t conclude Blumenthal is talking about skin color. He says it means privilege unexamined, but thats certainly not the case in Germany, the most angst ridden white guilt society in human history. Maybe he means white guilt that does not examine the privilege of white guilt? Is whitness a synonym for progressive Gentile -ness , that doesn’t buck their Jewish friends’ desire for a Jewish state? Its not that they don’t care about Palestine, its just that they don’t want to pay any reparations, financial, judicial, career, for siding with the enemies of zionism? Is that whiteness?

      Then what is blackness? The ultimate blackness is being a red haired white gay guy who hates Republicans (Gomoorah) , Zionists (Goliath), and German whiteness.

      I’m down with that.

    • ulix
      December 1, 2014, 12:45 am

      “If Max is right about his German-whiteness theory, then Germany should be far more anti-dark-skinned-immigrants than, say, France is, or England, or Sweden. Unless, of course, his pro-colonialism white-is-right is a universal throughout Europe. And if he is right, anti-today’s-Israel agitation should go better in France, England, Sweden.”

      He’s mostly wrong, but mainly for his overgeneralization. Your explanation probably goes a lot more in the right direction.

  3. Philip Munger
    November 25, 2014, 2:55 pm

    It’s so white that it doesn’t know that it’s white or what whiteness is.

    In the late 1960s, after I got out of the US Army, I volunteered with the Quakers to get US draft dodgers into Canada. Some stayed. Others came back. One who came back commented, “Canadians are so white they don’t even know they don’t have rhythm.”

    • RoHa
      November 25, 2014, 8:02 pm

      “Canadians are so white they don’t even know they don’t have rhythm.”

      A racist comment.

    • eljay
      November 26, 2014, 7:20 am

      >> Philip Munger: One who came back commented, “Canadians are so white they don’t even know they don’t have rhythm.”

      Much to the dismay of some Canadians, Canada isn’t as white as it used to be. But now, at the very least, we know we don’t have rhythm. ;-)

      • Mooser
        November 26, 2014, 6:17 pm

        “But now, at the very least, we know we don’t have rhythm.”

        Oh, gosh, between The Band, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and others, Canada does all right.

      • eljay
        November 26, 2014, 7:13 pm

        >> Mooser: Oh, gosh, between The Band, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and others, Canada does all right.

        Alanis Morissette, Céline Dion, Justin Bieber…ummm…never mind. :-D

  4. 666
    November 25, 2014, 4:12 pm

    a few good jokes…………..lol

    Max Blumenthal: Genuinely left-wing anti-racists tend to be supportive of Palestinian rights. –

    Max Blumenthal: Whiteness is the supreme embodiment of privilege. Whiteness is expressed through the wielding of power against calls for equality and the simultaneous denial of the very existence of the privilege to do so — a willful lack of self-awareness

    Anna-Esther Younes: as stated in her phd thesis

    link to tokyofoundation.org

    I will attempt to tackle what can be called the disciplining of the White Other (the “bad White”) through a critical reading of (left-­‐wing) European intellectuals. The bad White is, as Dyer believes, in fact the biggest threat to Whiteness.

    2 peas in a pod require only one flush

  5. ActivistGal
    November 25, 2014, 5:30 pm

    This is brilliant, and required reading for every so-called morally serious German (& Austrian) on the planet.

  6. yonah fredman
    November 25, 2014, 6:16 pm

    I understand the objection of blumenthal to the ‘Zionism makes up for the Holocaust’ aspect of German guilt towards the Jews. I understand that a truly universalist take on the Holocaust would mean that all oppression is bad and if only the Germans would be willing to learn that lesson they would be more welcoming to minorities. But to focus on the Jews’ whiteness is surely over the top. Universal lessons are tough to learn, specific lessons are far easier. But the whiteness of the murdered Jews is really besides the point. hitler didn’t kill them because they were white and Germans don’t feel guilty because they were white. Who knows why Hitler killed them and history has given this past to the German people. Some wish to erase the past. Some idealize ultimate lessons from the past. But in fact the past is quite specific. Germany murdered Jews and that is the fact. Their whiteness is irrelevant.

    • lysias
      November 25, 2014, 6:39 pm

      It’s certainly because the Jews were white that the rest of the Western world outside Germany was so horrified by the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews. Before the genocide, the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews was not very different from the way blacks were treated in the United States, which was not regarded as such a horror certainly within the United States, and even in Europe, where it was disapproved of, but no more than that. And even when the Nazis proceeded to genocide, they were following a path that Imperial Germany had already followed even in the 20th century, with respect to the Hereros in Southwest Africa, without arousing any indignation at all in the Western world. Such atrocities in colonial possessions werevery well tolerated. What made the Holocaust of the Jews so bad was that, exceptionally, genocide was being committed against whites. To the extent that, 25 years earlier, the genocide of the Armenians was regarded with horror was that then the victims were white Christians.

    • seafoid
      November 26, 2014, 1:17 am

      Yonah

      Targets for persecution tend to fall into 3 categories :

      women, sexual minorities and religious minorities

      The Nazis covered all 3.

      Israel only does one

      • Ellen
        November 26, 2014, 3:04 am

        Seafoid, please add the physically and mentally disabled. Thousands upon thousands (mostly children) were “exterminated” to use the language at the time. In fact, there was an entire field of study of pathology dedicated to examine their remains.

        Another category were those the government found politically uncomfortable .

        The genocide was far reaching.

      • Mooser
        November 26, 2014, 6:22 pm

        The “whiteness” of Jews is quite variable. As perceived by others, and ourselves.

  7. lysias
    November 25, 2014, 6:51 pm

    The UN General Assembly just voted for a resolution condemning Nazism, racism, etc. by an overwhelming vote. There were only three no votes: the U.S., Canada, and Ukraine. There were, however, 55 abstentions, including virtually all countries over which the U.S. has a lot of influence, including Germany (!) and Austria (!). Interestingly, Israel was one of the countries that voted for the resolution.

    • lysias
      November 26, 2014, 4:06 pm

      ​US, Canada and Ukraine Vote Against Anti-Nazism Resolution at UN:

      UN General Assembly’s Third Committee passed a Russia-proposed resolution condemning attempts to glorify Nazism ideology and denial of German Nazi war crimes. The US, Canada and Ukraine were the only countries to vote against it.

      The resolution was passed on Friday by the committee, which is tasked with tackling social and humanitarian issues and human rights abuses, by 115 votes against three, with 55 nations abstaining, Tass news agency reported.

      And Germany and Austria (as well as many other U.S. allies) abstained. What a disgrace!

      • just
        November 26, 2014, 4:15 pm

        This is such a confounding vote….I’m still reeling.

      • Horizontal
        December 1, 2014, 10:11 am

        Without reading the actual text of the resolution, I think it’s the second word, racism, and not Nazism, that the US would find objectionable. I’m not defending the decision, but in the minds of the American Elite, who still haven’t quite gotten to that post-race place that we keep hearing about, holding a standard of race would naturally give these same people pause.

        Remember, we haven’t signed on to the Rights of the Child or whatever it was called, either. Or the one banning the use of landmines, since so much of our defense of South Korea depends on them. We’re falling down in a lot of places, especially where international standards are involved.

  8. RoHa
    November 25, 2014, 8:00 pm

    “It makes it a white country where Zionism is proscribed as part of the hegemonic narrative that’s imposed on everyone …”

    Prescribed, not proscribed. “Proscribed” means “forbidden”.

  9. David Doppler
    November 25, 2014, 8:05 pm

    “Whiteness is the supreme embodiment of privilege. Whiteness is expressed through the wielding of power against calls for equality and the simultaneous denial of the very existence of the privilege to do so — a willful lack of self-awareness.

    “In my own country, we Jewish-Americans have generally superseded the WASP’s as the new elite, as the new “whites.” But unlike other white people in America, we are able to claim persecution when anyone challenges our privilege, and our claims of persecution will be taken very seriously.”

    I find this pretty racist and offensive, equating “whiteness” with elitism and abuse of power, claiming Jewish-Americans have superceded WASPs as the new elites, the new whites.

    I would say that white Americans as a whole are not very likely to regard their particular religion as self-defining to any substantial degree, and have outgrown and put aside much of the overt racism that characterized the nation prior to the Civil Rights movement. I think of abuse of power as endemic to those who have it, requiring checks and balances on all power, to prevent abuse. I am proud of the fact that Americans have built a nation dedicated to equality and to imposing checks on power, to holding those who abuse it accountable. It isn’t whiteness that deserves complaint. It isn’t gathering power, if gathered fairly and legally. It is abusing power (not whiteness, nor WASPiness, nor Jewishness) that is the source of pain and suffering and that deserves complaint and dissent and agitation for change. Those Jews who gain power then seek to avoid accountability by smearing critics of their abuse of power as Anti-Semites deserve their comeuppance. But what shade of skin color they happen to have has nothing to do with the issues, and it is offensive to characterize the desire to avoid accountability for abuse of power as “whiteness.”

    • Walid
      November 26, 2014, 9:20 am

      “But unlike other white people in America, we are able to claim persecution when anyone challenges our privilege, and our claims of persecution will be taken very seriously.” (DD)

      That’s because pro-Jewish laws to that effect have been enacted. Other white people don’t have that luxury. You even have a special section at the State Department looking for anti-Israel critics world-wide. Not exactly a witch hunt but not far from it.

      • Mooser
        November 26, 2014, 6:28 pm

        “That’s because pro-Jewish laws to that effect have been enacted.”

        Whoa! Full stop! Are you telling me there are “pro-Jewish laws” that I have not been taking advantage of? This won’t do! I want a piece of the action.
        To which “pro-Jewish laws” are you referring? Relief of taxes? Amnesty for parking tickets? Exemptions from building codes? Got to know!

      • Walid
        November 27, 2014, 1:27 am

        “Whoa! Full stop! Are you telling me there are “pro-Jewish laws” that I have not been taking advantage of? This won’t do! ” (Mooser)

        My error, Mooser, got this mixed up with the 2004 law that established a worldwide monitoring and reporting agency of the State Department with actual laws within the US. There are no actual laws in the US that specifically protect the Jews. Sorry for the error and thanks for the correction.

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2014, 12:28 pm

        “There are no actual laws in the US that specifically protect the Jews.”

        Walid, you could have least let my hope for a while. I thought I had it made!
        But I guess that’s my lot, I’m never a protected species, any way you look at it. It’s always open season on me.

      • American
        November 27, 2014, 8:58 pm

        ” That’s because pro-Jewish laws to that effect have been enacted. Other white people don’t have that luxury. You even have a special section at the State Department looking for anti-Israel critics world-wide. Not exactly a witch hunt but not far from it – –Walid

        That’s actually true. And there are other special considerations Jews receive not available to other Americans—-such as being able to fully deduct any donations to Israel from their income. Other people cant fully deduct their charity donations unless they exceed a certain percentage of their income.

      • Mooser
        November 28, 2014, 7:45 pm

        “And there are other special considerations Jews receive not available to other Americanssuch as being able to fully deduct any donations to Israel from their income.”

        You wouldn’t happen to know which schedule that is on, or the ID number of the clause in the IRS code, would you? I have got to get me some of that action!

      • Giles
        November 29, 2014, 9:18 am

        Jewish power is employed to put elite Jewry completely above the law. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett would have been destroyed had they sexually assaulted a maid in NYC like Dominic Strauss-Kahn did a few years ago. Not only were the charges against DSK dropped, the media savaged his victim and the only career put at risk was that of Cy Vance Jr., for being so uppity as to actually indict Kahn.

        No indictments of any of the wealthy Jews who profited for decades in the Madoff Scheme. Instead, beyond Bernie (sent to the cushiest prison in the country for his role in destroying scores of lives), only some low level Goyim (secretaries, etc.) who worked in his office are pursued by the law. The IRS rules are changed to benefit those wealthy people (I.e., Jews) who were swindled in this scam.

        This extends to the average Jew. A dozen Hassidim assault an inebriated gay black man in Brooklyn and the cops are given a description and license plate numbers of the attacker and months later not a single arrest. Aaron Swartz is arrested for by MIT police on state breaking-and-entering charges, after systematically downloading academic journal articles from JSTOR. Federal prosecutors later charged him with two counts of wire fraud and 11 violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act This troubled kid who had serious depression problem kills himself and the media paints him as an innocent and blames the DA for his death, a victim of unfair prosecution (but never a word about the scores of black men who serve major time for crimes they did not commit).

        Jewish Orgs are given 98% of Homeland Security funds and, in the wale of the Boston marathon bombings, the B Globe tells us special security details are sent to all Jewish sites given their historical status as victim of terrorism in the USA (WTF?).

        One can find something like this very nearly every day in the media.

      • Mooser
        November 29, 2014, 7:16 pm

        Giles, you are just trying to avoid telling me the schedule and clause number for that special 100% tax deduction on contributions to Israel.

        “This extends to the average Jew.”

        BTW, how does this all work? Do I need to make sure I’m properly registered, or do I just casually mention it if they come to audit or arrest me? How will they know I’m an “average” (or just, well, ‘typical’) Jew?

        I got it, I’ll rob a bank while singing Hatikvah!

      • ActivistGal
        December 1, 2014, 8:55 pm

        Bloody hell, Giles!

        I can’t speak for some of the other cases like the black man assaulted by a bunch of Jewish folk (which, btw, sounds like a typical case of white on black racism, and zero to do with protecting law-breaking Jews), but Aaron Swartz was being hounded by the State Prosecutor and facing a possible 35 year prison sentence and over $1m in fines! At most he should have faced around a month in prison and $100 fines, esp considering that JStor didn’t want to press charges.

        Not sure what your problem is, but you certainly seem blinded by prejudice. And profoundly uninformed.

        A couple of sources here on the case, which may enlighten you (I won’t hold my breath though):

        link to theguardian.com

        link to arstechnica.com

    • Mooser
      November 26, 2014, 6:24 pm

      David, have you been following events in Ferguson, Missouri?

      • Giles
        November 30, 2014, 8:54 am

        Let’s put it this way. A Jewish street beggar approaches a famous, wealthy, black baseball player Delmon Young and harasses him for money, Who does the media savage and the justice system go after? The poor street beggar or the rich celebrity athlete? If you don’t know the answer look it up.

      • ActivistGal
        December 1, 2014, 9:02 pm

        I DID look it up and this is what I found: link to nypost.com

        Looks like Mr Young has a habit of losing his temper and physically assaulting people. And somehow it’s the Jew’s fault?!

        Hello?!

    • MRW
      November 27, 2014, 2:41 am

      “In my own country, we Jewish-Americans have generally superseded the WASP’s as the new elite, as the new “whites.”

      What is the job, the duty, of the elites in a society apart from attaining power?

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2014, 12:30 pm

        “What is the job, the duty, of the elites in a society apart from attaining power?”

        Just pay close attention to the attitudes and rhetoric of the trolls here, and you can see exactly what an elite expects of itself, and others.

      • MRW
        November 27, 2014, 2:24 pm

        “. . . and you can see exactly what an elite expects of itself, and others.”

        Which, of course, means they are not elites. Elites do not expect things of others, neither do they constantly define themselves to others as elites.

        Elites are in service to others.

        For example, the children of rich WASPs are taught from birth that they are not to take jobs, which their superior education might entitle them to, from the middle-class. They can only enter public service or volunteer. They are told from birth that is the price they pay for their privilege and their money, even as they are also expected to receive and excel in a superior education.

        So what do Jewish elites perceive as their duty to others, to the greater society, apart from attaining power? What are they told from birth that they owe to others? What are their responsibilities?

      • Mooser
        November 28, 2014, 12:33 pm

        “Elites do not expect things of others, neither do they constantly define themselves to others as elites.”

        Oh, boy.

        “Elites are in service to others.”

        How much do they pay you to say that?

      • Horizontal
        December 1, 2014, 10:14 am

        I wonder if MRW knows how much his 1950’s comic book is worth?

      • MRW
        December 4, 2014, 4:29 am

        Mooser November 28, 2014, 12:33 pm
        “Elites do not expect things of others, neither do they constantly define themselves to others as elites.”
        Oh, boy.

        “Elites are in service to others.”
        How much do they pay you to say that?
        ——————————-
        Horizontal December 1, 2014, 10:14 am
        I wonder if MRW knows how much his 1950’s comic book is worth?

        WASP elites lived in the 1950s. Wake the eff up. This was how it was.

        And Mooser? No one paid me to say it. This IS what elite WASP kids are told. From birth. Guess you had to be there. ;-*)

      • MRW
        December 4, 2014, 4:35 am

        WASP elites being the super-rich and old money. That is what they are told. Nouveau riche doesn’t count.

      • Philemon
        December 21, 2014, 7:21 pm

        Oh, I agree, MRW. That is what they were told. It didn’t do them one lick of good though. They simply got resentful and rebellious.

        As would you are I if in our ardent youth we had been told to limit our ambitions to that. Hence, the decline of the old-money WASP, whose sons and daughters (the daughters were the worst!) would not be persuaded to follow in the foot steps of their elders. Not that I’m blaming them. Faults on both sides, of course.

    • Philemon
      December 21, 2014, 7:47 pm

      If you donate to a registered charity, you are entitled, per the IRS, to deduct the entire amount from your income.

      Now, there might be questions about how an organization like the IDF could possibly qualify as a registered charity, but otherwise, fair’s fair.

      Registered charity – Yes.

      Anybody else – No.

  10. yonah fredman
    November 25, 2014, 9:22 pm

    “this political ideology (Zionism) is permanently altering what it means to be a Jew. ” Max tells us. Therefore it is appropriate to ask, what does it mean to max to be a jew. (various answers according to the Pew polling include: making the world a better place and having a sense of humor.)

    • mijj
      November 26, 2014, 6:30 am

      > what does it mean to be a Jew ..

      .. darned good question in the general sense too. So .. some random thought ..

      (Generalizing as being about a “people” with a coherent culture ..)

      .. a “people” is the emergent self-creating culture of the people of the culture. It’s a natural evolving process – and it exists in the full spectrum of reality. Ie. it’s not bound by artificial conceptual limitations (eg. race, ideology, etc). It’s a part of natural evolution. Language and “religion” (where religion is about norms of behavior rather than abstract otherworldly tokens) are the manifestations of emergent culture. (So, the health of Yiddish might be a measure of the health of Judaism. How does Zionism stand on Yiddish as a language for Jews?)

      The natural process is often attempted to be hi-jacked by power-hungry authoritarians who hope to divert the entire culture into a power-source of their particular artificial power-needs. The hijacking of the culture by central authority means the culture is no longer evolving and emergent – the actual living culture dies to live on in name only.

      • Mooser
        November 26, 2014, 6:30 pm

        “(So, the health of Yiddish might be a measure of the health of Judaism. How does Zionism stand on Yiddish as a language for Jews?)”

        As far as I know, with both feet, in hobnailed boots, and if that isn’t enough, jumps up and down.

      • Mooser
        November 26, 2014, 8:58 pm

        ” the actual living culture dies to live on in name only”

        And in “proper attire”.

  11. W.Jones
    November 25, 2014, 11:39 pm

    This was a remarkable point by Max when he writes:

    That must be why we see so much more uproar when a random neo-Nazi shouts something anti-Jewish at a protest in Berlin against the war on Gaza then when the German government passes a law to allow for the mass deportation of Roma to supposedly “safe” countries in the East.

    Why are the Germans so silent on Israeli abuses if they go and deport gypsies, whose people suffered in large numbers in the Holocaust?

    • Bornajoo
      November 26, 2014, 5:55 am

      @W.Jones
      I believe it’s due to a kind of collective guilt about the past which has resulted in any criticism of Israel regarded as taboo in mainstream German society. Although Germany may join with other countries in some mild criticism from time to time they would never take such action unilaterally.
      Merkel has already declared that Germany will not follow Sweden in recognising Palestine which was obvious.
      The Holocaust was committed against the Jews (and many others) , israel didn’t exist at the time but due to the conflation of zionism and Judaism which has been very effective, it’s impossible for Germany to criticise israel unilaterally and harshly because it would be considered as criticising Jews, and that’s taboo. So they just don’t go there.
      Within Israel, holocaust studies are being expanded in the school curriculum, there are more and more school trips to Auschwitz which is now becoming a standard feature in Jewish schools (my nieces and nephews here in the UK have also been with their Jewish school). Israel takes nearly all diplomatic visitors to Yad Vashem. Does this only create negative feelings about the Nazis or as a kind of byproduct does it also create negative feelings about present day Germans and Germany in general?

  12. RoHa
    November 25, 2014, 11:44 pm

    “Almost mischievously, I dare a Freudian analysis and of course it is completely speculative, but I want to suggest that the cause of their resentment is of a sexual nature. Let me guess: Inge and Annette, the left-wing ladies critical of Israel, once went on a holiday in Gaza.”

    What possible excuse can there be for this load of drivel? Is there any reason to suppose that any part of it – Freudian analysis, resentment, or holiday in Gaza – has any connection to reality?

    I see a lot of attempts to attribute people’s beliefs to psychological and/or circumstantial factors. Often it is used to try to imply that the belief is not true.

    This is, of course, a logical error.

    Perhaps the reason I believe the world is round is because I have invested in a globe manufacturing company, or perhaps because I am a total loony.

    But the reason for my belief does not affect the truth of the belief. That truth is determined by the correspondence between the content of the belief and the shape of the earth.

    Further, use of this attribution degrades the possibility of rational debate, since, with sufficient ingenuity, one can cook up a motivation for just about any belief.

    “You are religious because you fear death and want a divine daddy to take care of you.”
    “You are an atheist because you want to indulge your evil impulses and don’t like that idea of divine judgement.”
    “You believe that global warming is caused by man-made CO2 because you are a crypto-Marxist wanting to impose the dreaded socialism on everyone.”
    “You doubt that global warming is caused by man-made CO2 because you are a paid shill of Big Oil.”

    And so on. We could produce such claims about pedantry in punctuation, fracking, medical marijuana, and most other issues.

    But, when we do this, we are implicitly denying the rationality of those we disagree with. We are saying that their non-rational motivations outweigh their rationality.

    And they can, using the same methods, equally well deny our rationality.

    And when we have done that, we have rejected the possibility of rational debate. Our only recourse then is to another logical fallacy: argumentum ad baculum.

  13. Fritz
    November 26, 2014, 2:53 am

    Nobody should be surprised that Blumenthal and Sheen are covered in German press as “lunatics”. Besides all exaggerations and offensive remarks of Blumenthal, particularly the remark about “mass deportation of Roma” which is totally false, the attitude of Blumenthal is both colonial and ethnocentric. Two points to think about: 1. Colonial: Besides the colonial attitude to come to Germany without being able to discuss in German language, which is the mother tongue of about 120 Mio Europeans, moreover he argues from an over-identified US-American point of view and is not able to understand the uniqueness of German experiences towards Jews and Jewishness. 2. Ethnocentric: He distinguishes between the legitimate Jewish voices and illegitimate “Gentile” voices. Jewish anti-Israel critique (he himself) and Jewish right wing pro-Israel hypocrisy (ADL and so on) are legitimate, but he does not accept “gentile Politicians” to criticize his extreme views on Israel as anti-Semitic.

    • just
      November 26, 2014, 12:31 pm

      ho- hum.

    • Mooser
      November 26, 2014, 6:39 pm

      “1. Colonial: Besides the colonial attitude to come to Germany without being able to discuss in German language,”

      Wow, Fritz, you’ve got Blumenthal pegged! I mean, isn’t that how it is? First, they come to give a lecture in a foreign, non-German, tongue, and the next thing you know, they are at the gates of Berlin!

      ” is not able to understand the uniqueness of German experiences towards Jews and Jewishness.”

      “Unique”? Yeah, I guess, thank God, you could put it like that, but really, where are you going with this, that expiating German guilt in re: Jews, takes precedence over Palestinian lives and rights? On the basis of the “uniqueness”? Well, okay.

      • just
        November 26, 2014, 6:51 pm

        “Ich bin ein Berliner!”

    • lysias
      November 26, 2014, 8:04 pm

      Ich spreche (und schreibe) Deutsch, habe zwei Jahre in Berlin verbracht, und habe sehr viele deutsche Buecher gelesen. Und ich bin der selben Meinung als Blumenthal.

      • just
        November 27, 2014, 7:22 am

        dankeschön!

  14. 666
    November 26, 2014, 4:46 am

    roha

    rationality is only a temporary thing as the whole story is never available to us only bits and pieces.the missing stuff is taken care of by belief systems like relegion….it is these 2,…. rationality and belief that produce the balance.rationality suffers when the belief system goes haywire
    thats why anti semitism is so damaging…..it effects the rational and causes an imbalance
    attack islam and it will cause an imbalance…..loss of rational

    seperation of relegion and state prevents the occurence on a national level

    the concept of a jewish state is a high wire act and for it to succeed will require a scrupulous spiritual path

    how that is possible in israel is beyond me given the present situation

    for the rational to succeed all 3 relegions….. the 3 companions need to unite in a seperate sacred space from the state…….or something along those lines on the mirror ……..blah blah blah

    • Mooser
      November 26, 2014, 8:41 pm

      .“or something along those lines on the mirror”

      Which, like the lines on their face, they pretend not to notice because they’re caught up in the race? Hey, that’s life in the fast lane. Everything, all the time.

    • RoHa
      November 26, 2014, 9:04 pm

      “blah blah blah”

      Good summary of your entire post.

      • Mooser
        November 28, 2014, 12:39 pm

        “Good summary of your entire post.”

        Never seen anything so obfuscatory and meandering. Gotta give him credit, he’s smart enough to know what will happen if he expresses himself plainly.

      • eljay
        November 28, 2014, 12:58 pm

        >> Mooser: Never seen anything so obfuscatory and meandering.

        Oh, come on, yonah damned well you have. ;-)

      • yonah fredman
        November 28, 2014, 3:45 pm

        eljay- junior high school.

      • eljay
        November 28, 2014, 3:57 pm

        >> y.f.: eljay- junior high school.

        You’re right. But I couldn’t resist. :-)

      • Mooser
        November 28, 2014, 8:57 pm

        “eljay- junior high school.”

        Wow, I wonder where Yonah learned about what goes on (in the way of raillery, persiflage and chaffing) in public Junior-High schools. Scary to think about.

      • yonah fredman
        November 29, 2014, 5:15 pm

        mooser- ad hominem, ad infinitum. ad putzem.

      • Mooser
        November 29, 2014, 7:21 pm

        “mooser- ad hominem, ad infinitum. ad putzem.”

        And Yonah makes with the “Yatin”! There is already, of course, a Yinglish language and indeed, a Yanish dialect, birthed of Miami vice.

      • W.Jones
        December 3, 2014, 5:28 pm

        Mooser, I think some more recent American immigrants to the Israeli state have had serious difficulties proving that they are Jewish because they lack certification that they or their family belonged to an Orthodox congregation. But I don’t know of cases where these members of the Reformed community were denied either.

  15. Nevada Ned
    November 26, 2014, 11:26 am

    Hi, Max Blumenthal!

    Now is an excellent time to read “A Brief History of Jerusalem“, by GaryLeupp, history prof at Tufts Univ., available online at the Counterpunch website. Strongly recommended.

  16. sydnestel
    November 26, 2014, 12:34 pm

    “my Jewish identity can be negated, simply because I’ve defined it outside the frontiers of Israeli nationalism and to some extent, against Zionism. ”

    “to some extent” ???

    Max is getting soft in his old age.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 26, 2014, 1:50 pm

      sydnestel, that segment doesn’t make sense outside of the context of what he’s saying because it comes after a semicolon. iow, he’s not speaking for himself, he’s explaining another’s rationale. which is that a non jew like volker beck can claim he’s “more jewish” than max merely by judging a jew by their attachment to israel (defined as inside the frontiers of Israeli nationalism) and to some extent zionism itself. meaning that even if a person lived and was born in israel and defined themselves as israeli, as long as they were not a zionist that in itself (“to some extent”) would qualify the jew to be less a jew than a non jew who defined himself as within the frontiers of israeli nationalism. read it again:

      I can make out a vision of what Zionism is doing to Jewish identity, and how this political ideology is permanently altering what it means to be a Jew. I am terrified by the sight.

      As long as Judaism is conflated with Zionism, a pro-Israel gentile like Volker Beck can declare himself in so many words more Jewish than I am, and I can be essentially de-Judaized; my Jewish identity can be negated, simply because I’ve defined it outside the frontiers of Israeli nationalism and to some extent, against Zionism.

      • Mooser
        November 26, 2014, 8:54 pm

        “my Jewish identity can be negated, simply because I’ve defined it outside the frontiers of Israeli nationalism and to some extent, against Zionism.”

        I’ll have to remember, the next time somebody asks me: “Are you Jewish?” I’ll have to answer: “It depends who you ask”.

      • W.Jones
        December 3, 2014, 5:26 pm

        In this quote, Max is saying that conflating Judaism with Zionism allows him to be “de-Judaized”, and this means that his “Jewish identity can be negated” because Max defined his Jewish identity outside Israeli nationalism and defined it to some extent against Zionism.

        That is, Max sees his own Jewish identity as to some extent being against Zionism. He sees his own Jewishness as going against Zionism. Perhaps he sees “true” Judaism or his Jewish values as in opposition to Zionism. I think Marc Ellis has a similar idea, whereby Marc Ellis’ idea of Jewish morality and “Jewish Liberation Theology” contradicts the militancy of the Zionist movement.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 3, 2014, 9:43 pm

        In this quote, Max is saying that conflating Judaism with Zionism allows him to be “de-Judaized”

        close. In this quote, Max is saying that by conflating Judaism with Zionism it therefore would allow a pro-Israel gentile like Volker Beck to essentially “de-Judaized” him.

        and this means that his “Jewish identity can be negated” because Max defined his Jewish identity outside Israeli nationalism and defined it to some extent against Zionism

        i’m fairly certain max does not believe his Jewish identity can be negated because he’s defined it outside Israeli nationalism, and defined his own identity, to some extent, as being against Zionism.

        That is, Max sees his own Jewish identity as to some extent being against Zionism.

        right, it means max has identified his jewishness, as “outside the frontiers of Israeli nationalism” as well as and to some extent against zionism. but that doesn’t mean he implied that is the extent of his jewishness or that that is the totality of his jewish identity. it’s possibly just the only part of his jewish identity a person like beck might think is relevant.

        but outside the frontiers of israeli nationalism is a very big place.

  17. CitizenC
    November 26, 2014, 6:36 pm

    I think Max B is wrong in talking about Germans and “whiteness” when he needs to talk about Zionism. Zionism is the source of today’s ultra-philo-semitic German attitudes, not simply the Holocaust. Zionism is also the source of US Jewish privilege, not “whiteness”. Zionism, and the money and organization to back it up. That is, the idea of “the Jewish people”, which underlies both the Jewish state and the “diaspora”.

    The problem is not simply that gentile Beck can pose as “more Jewish than Blumenthal”, who is (or claims to be) “Jewish” (which has no meaning in a secular sense, is in fact Zionism). Beck’s claim is not mainly an affront to Blumenthal’s “Jewish identity” it is an affront to all of us, it is the power of Jewish supremacist ideology that has the force that Nazism had 70 yrs ago.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 27, 2014, 11:57 am

      Blumenthal”, who is (or claims to be) “Jewish” (which has no meaning in a secular sense, is in fact Zionism).

      you mean jewish has no meaning, to you, outside of a system of spiritual/religious belief? and why say “is in fact zionism” when many people who are jewish don’t appear to recognize jewish as “a people” or as “a nation”. your definition is too confining. i don’t think there is consensus on what a jew is, and i really don’t understand the point of saying max “claims” to be jewish. and why the quote marks around jewish?

      speaking for yourself is one thing, but throwing around the term “the fact” into when sharing controversial opinions as you’ve done strikes me as a bit self aggrandizing. especially when opinionating on someone else’s self definition.

      • CitizenC
        November 28, 2014, 10:43 am

        Max Blumenthal’s “Jewish identity” shapes his reporting and his politics. That is the import of his stmt on Germany. The gentile German pol’s attempt to “out-Jew” him is not fundamentally an affront to MB’s “Jewish identity”. It is opportunistic politicking on Jewish supremacist ideology. It is an affront, a mortal threat, to everyone. That ideology, not “whiteness”, distorts German (and US) culture around questions of Zionism, Israel and “Jewish identity”.

        In general, “being Jewish” is not a political position. Claiming that “Jewishness” has secular meaning in a political sense, as MB does, is indeed Zionism. It affirms a secular Jewish essence, which is the foundation of Zionism (and of racialist anti-Semitism). It does not exist (see Shlomo Sand, “How I Stopped Being a Jew” for starters)

        This is not to deny an interest in one’s background and family history, which is perfectly natural. However it must be kept in perspective. MB and his fellow travelers are not on the left because of “Jewish identity”, but because they have consciences. As the radical labor activist turned historian Noel Ignatiev put it:

        a friend was joshing me about being Jewish in some of my tastes and habits. I have never denied it, I replied (though I would prefer the term Yiddish), but that is not all I am: my musical preferences range from Mozart to Miles to the Rolling Stones; my sports heroes are Willie Mays, John McEnroe and Michael Jordan; my reading taste runs to Mark Twain and B. Traven… you get the idea. Like any person living in America, I am, according to Albert Murray (The Omni-Americans) “part Yankee, part Indian and part Negro,” with a pinch of ethnic salt. Or as blues artist Josh White sang, I am African and Indian, Mexican, Mongolian, Tyrolean and Tartar—and that’s the news, yes that’s the news—that’s the free and equal blues.

        Noel Ignatiev, “Memoir of an Ex-Jew 6”,
        link to pmpress.org

      • Annie Robbins
        November 28, 2014, 11:19 am

        Claiming that “Jewishness” has secular meaning in a political sense, as MB does

        could you please cite max so i can further understand your argument.

        it’s my understanding “secular” means a person is not religious. so i am curious what you’re referencing. are you saying if a person identifies as both secular and jewish they are therefore a zionist?

        didn’t we have this conversation once before when you claimed jvp was a zionist org? or something like that?

      • Mooser
        November 28, 2014, 9:02 pm

        “when you claimed jvp was a zionist org?”

        I remember similar arguments here. Most were based on philo-Semantic sophistry.

    • OyVey00
      November 27, 2014, 10:04 pm

      You’ve got it backwards. Jewish privilege backs up Zionism, not the other way around.

      • Mooser
        November 29, 2014, 4:42 pm

        “Jewish privilege backs up Zionism, not the other way around.”

        Of course exactly who or what “backs up Zionism” is a matter, in most cases, of record, and can’t be entirely ascribed to this “Jewish privilege” you are so sure Jews have, but it is good to see you acknowledge that Zionism was a colonial exploit, backed up by people who had no real claim to the area, and moreover, intended to steal as much of it as they could.
        And nobody would disagree with your implicit contention, that Zionism was a matter of “privilege” not justice, or even real need.

    • yonah fredman
      November 28, 2014, 4:00 pm

      CitizenC- Zionism is also the source of US Jewish privilege.

      if you could be more specific on this, I might be able to understand what you are saying. Max is contending that Jews are privileged in America (because they are rich and have accrued power as a result of merit or shall we say freedom to associate), and since nothing stopped them on the basis of their ethnicity. thus they are white and merited and therefore they are privileged. What is your contention? That they are privileged because they support Israel? They are privileged because other Jews give them a leg up in their chosen professions?

      Please be precise.

      • Mooser
        November 28, 2014, 9:06 pm

        “Zionism is also the source of US Jewish privilege.”

        Yup, before Zionism came along, Jews in the US didn’t have a chance. They were crowded into ghettoes, or simply eliminated.
        Thank God we have a position of “US Jewish privilege” today, thanks to Zionism! If we didn’t have that, we would just be ordinary citizens like anybody else. Would that be fair to people like us?

    • W.Jones
      November 28, 2014, 7:57 pm

      Atzmon responded to Blumenthal’s interview with a criticism not wholly different from CitizenC’s. I think that if you go through Blumenthal’s and Atzmon’s essays there are some things you can agree and disagree with. For example, Max says:

      >Germany and its national pathology and its failure to really take the right lessons from its own history…
      ((Are you calling us pathological?))
      Max: Yes, this is a sick society that hasn’t addressed the core political and psychological and social trends that lead to the Holocaust.

      I think Max is overgeneralizing too harshly. I think that Germany did draw some good lessons from its history and addressing pre-WWII trends, namely modern Germany’s rejection of rightwing fascism and Germany’s toleration of its Jewish minority. To simply say Germany is “pathological” and white supremacist is a misportrayal because it is one of the less militaristic nations today- which is not to say Max is totally wrong about this either.

      In any case, overall Blumenthal’s message is a progressive one about human rights and overcoming nationalism. He did not write anything offensive. So it was a good interview.

    • yonah fredman
      November 29, 2014, 5:22 pm

      This concept that Jewish has no meaning in a secular sense, that CitizenC proposes here, negates history. Being Jewish had a meaning in a secular sense in Germany between 1933 to 1945, I’m sure he would agree. And in that sense, in Germany which is still “dealing” with its black page of history, that Jewish meaning in a secular sense has a very real presence.

      Zionism is in fact built from several building blocks and one of them is that the Jews constitute a people. The facts of the actuality of Jewish nation building running over the interests of the Palestinian Arab people is not sufficient, to me, to negate all aspects of Zionism, but only its implementation in a specific place and time. In fact the Jews at certain times are more like a people than at other times. In 1944 in Europe, the Jews were a people. In 1881 in Czarist Russia the Jews were a people. In 2014 in America, Jewish peoplehood is not as clear as those two previous examples. But an analysis of peoplehood and the Jews deserves better than mere dismissal, in fact it deserves analysis and not disdain.

      • Mooser
        November 29, 2014, 7:33 pm

        “But an analysis of peoplehood and the Jews deserves better than mere dismissal, in fact it deserves analysis and not disdain.”

        Why, because you find the notion gratifying, and can use it as an excuse for illegal actions? Sorry, Yonah.

      • Mooser
        November 29, 2014, 7:36 pm

        “The facts of the actuality of Jewish nation building running over the interests of the Palestinian Arab people is not sufficient, to me, to negate all aspects of Zionism,”

        Wait, Yonah, let me guess! You were willing to “hold your nose” for the Nakba, because it meant the “self-determination” of the Jewish people. Although you hasten to add that “ethnic cleansing is not always necessary”?

        It’s Witty redux!

      • Mooser
        November 29, 2014, 7:40 pm

        running over the interests of the Palestinian Arab people”

        Oh, I see, Yonah. It might be different if they were, you know, actually Palestinians, and not just Palestinian Arabs, Arabs who happen to reside in Palestine, but could live anywhere in, uh, Arabia!

      • eljay
        November 29, 2014, 8:03 pm

        >> Mooser: It’s Witty redux!

        For reference, here are “liberal Zionist” Mr. Witty’s exact words:

        “I cannot consistently say that ‘ethnic cleansing is never necessary’.”

        ” … I feel that the nakba was a necessary wrong … ”

        “If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.”

        “The nakba that occurred in 1948 was accompanied by the independence, the liberation, of the Jewish community. So, I primarily celebrate … “

      • eljay
        November 29, 2014, 8:33 pm

        >> y.f.: The facts of the actuality of Jewish nation building running over the interests of the Palestinian Arab people is not sufficient, to me, to negate all aspects of Zionism, but only its implementation in a specific place and time.

        Spoken like a true supremacist, y.f. You and the ISIL boys have a lot in common: The facts of the actuality of Islamist nation building running over the interests of the non-Islamist people is not sufficient, to them, to negate all aspects of Islamism, but only its implementation in a specific place and time.

      • just
        November 29, 2014, 8:59 pm

        Thanks Mooser and eljay.

        good heavens, yonah……you need deprogramming asap.

      • RoHa
        November 30, 2014, 1:56 am

        Mooser, eljay, I hope you are not denying the right of self -(self!) determination of the Jewish people/nation/cheesecake photography club. You know better than that.

      • eljay
        November 30, 2014, 9:09 am

        >> RoHa: Mooser, eljay, I hope you are not denying the right of self -(self!) determination of the Jewish people/nation/cheesecake photography club.

        I’m of the opinion that any group that self-(self-)determines itself as “a people” (or nation or civilization or whatever) is not entitled by that self-(self-)determination to engage in numerous and protracted acts of injustice and immorality for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a supremacist state for itself.

        Zio-supremacists – hateful and immoral hypocrites that they are – are of the opinion that it’s acceptable for Jews to act unjustly and immorally toward others – something they occasionally refer to as “morality” (goal + methods) – but not for others to act unjustly and immorally toward Jews.

      • Mooser
        December 2, 2014, 7:13 pm

        “For reference, here are “liberal Zionist” Mr. Witty’s exact words: “

        Well, of the slanderous, blood libelous, under-handed, side-winding, rhetorical demagoguery! You’re quoting his exact words!

  18. Fritz
    November 27, 2014, 1:49 am

    My point wasn’t that Blumenthal is wrong in all his ideas about Israel and Palestine, but I want to give an explanation why people as B. and Sheen were seen as “lunatics” = “irre Israelhasser” in Germany. There is not and will not be in the next future a “mass deportation of Roma” as B. says. If you read something like that as someone who knows German and particularly the European laws and also the politics of EU member states, You will not only disagree but You will wondering why any person may have said something like that and the answer will be: “He is a lunatic” or “He is full of hate”. The same with Germany as a “paranoid society”, a “freak show” and so on. Germany is no more than any other western (post-)capitalistic country “paranoid”.
    B. visited a marginalized group of the German elite, some MPs who are seen by most of their own left-wing party members as “lunatics”. He should not be surprised that he was measured on that audience he choose. In Germany Israel and the I/P-conflict is an issue of the political elites. It is used by all parties to demonstrate to an international (!) audience that they are good Germans, Israel is the marker for showing not to be anti-Semitic, which is for German elite much more important than for the elite of other countries.
    And at least, B. is playing the Jewish card in Germany against a critic and names him a “gentile politician” and obvious he insinuates that someone who is “Gentile” should not express an opinion about anti-Semitism towards a Jew. He wants to silence a Gentile on being a Gentile and that’s ethnocentrism at its best.

    • Mooser
      November 27, 2014, 12:38 pm

      “Germany is no more than any other western (post-)capitalistic country “paranoid”.”

      Germany is “(post-)capitalistic”? I did not know that.

    • Giles
      November 30, 2014, 10:16 am

      “There is not and will not be in the next future a “mass deportation of Roma” as B. says”

      How can you possibly be so sure?

      In July 2010, the Government of France initiated a programme to “repatriate” thousands of Romanian and Bulgarian Romani, as part of a crackdown on allegedly illegal camps in the country.

      In 2009, France expelled 10,000 Romani back to Romania and Bulgaria. The next year at least another 8,300 Romani were expelled up until August

      Since July 2010, at least 51 Romani camps have been demolished, and France has repatriated at least 1,230 Romani to their countries of origin.

      From 1992:

      A day many Gypsies have dreaded is almost here: Germany will soon have a new legal tool to throw many of the beleaguered nomads out of the country.

      But officials are expected to proceed slowly in exercising the new rule, which has become an embarrassment for a country that once tried to wipe out Europe’s historically persecuted wanderers.Though the federal government estimates 100,000 people may be affected, the state agencies that must actually put the rule into effect have downplayed predictions of imminent mass deportations.

      “It is not so dramatic,” said Barbara John, foreigner representative for the city of Berlin. “All this means is that a new rule is going into effect. I don’t expect the numbers will be large.”

      Other officials expressed both confusion and caution over a controversial new policy that has tarnished Germany’s image abroad.

      The rule, which takes effect Sunday, is actually a treaty signed by Romania and Germany on Sept. 28 that requires Romania to take back its citizens who have incomplete identity papers, or who have been denied political asylum but refuse to leave.

      • Fritz
        November 30, 2014, 2:23 pm

        In Germany live about 100.000 citizens who may see themselves as ethnic or cultural Roma and Sinti or as members of other minority groups generally put under the umbrella term “gypsies”. Not a single of them will be deported to an other country.
        Some Roma who don’t have citizenship were war-refugees from the Kosovo-war and will now sent back, which is for many of them particularly the kids a hardship after mostly more than ten years in Germany. I oppose this politics. However, Kosovo is an international recognized Country and some may see it as legitimate to sent war refugees back. Other Romas, mostly citizens of Romania, went to Germany under the protection of the EU-laws. Many of them have no job and cause the typical social conflicts. These politics are based on treaties between Kosovo and Germany, Romania and Germany, the EU and so on.

  19. OyVey00
    November 27, 2014, 7:02 am

    This is a good interview and impressively illustrates how ridiculous German politics seem to foreigners.

    However, his “whiteness” theory as explanation for the special treatment of Jews by society is nonsense.

    In fact, he identified the real cause himself, when he said: In my own country, we Jewish-Americans have generally superseded the WASP’s as the new elite

    That same Jewish-American elite has been instigating and lobbying for this Jewish victim status ever since they ascended to power (in Germany as well, there was no such prominent Holocaust guilt in German culture before the 70s). The main reason why Jews enjoy special privileges and protections in the Western world is not because they are “white”, but because they have power. Power, which other former victim groups do not have.

    • Mooser
      November 27, 2014, 12:42 pm

      “The main reason why Jews enjoy special privileges and protections in the Western world is not because they are “white”, but because they have power.”

      The power of Jewishness! Everything will fall beneath its harrow! Hit ’em with the 1000 lb. knish!

      Gee, could you tell us what this “power, which other former victim groups do not have” consists of? I’d like to go and get some. Where is it to be found?

      • OyVey00
        November 27, 2014, 9:38 pm

        Money and political representation.

        What do you think the Israel lobby operates with? Air?
        Of course not. They operate with generous donations from American Jews.

        How many high ranking Arab politicians do you think there are in America vs how many Jews? Or in Britain, France, Australia etc.

        How to get this power? Hmm, how about making a lot of money and then sponsor the election campaign of some politicians? That’d be a good start.

      • Mooser
        November 28, 2014, 12:49 pm

        “Power, which other former victim groups do not have.”

        Gosh, my Thanksgiving dinner just turned to ashes in my duodenum. I was hoping all through the holiday I would come back here and you would tell me where to go to get some of that Jewish power you are talking about. I could sure use it.

      • Mooser
        November 28, 2014, 8:02 pm

        “Money and political representation.”

        The power of the pelf, baby! And without “money and political representation” Jews would be second class citizens in America, instead of privileged.

      • Mooser
        November 29, 2014, 11:57 am

        I’m crying; no Jewish power for Moosie. And with Christmas and Hanukkah coming up, too.

      • German Lefty
        December 1, 2014, 4:04 am

        Mooser, the term “Jewish power” does not imply that ALL Jews are powerful. It only means that the powerful people are Jewish, e.g. Sheldon Adelson or Haim Saban.
        In the same way, the term “Jewish settler-colonialism” does not imply that ALL Jews are Zionists.

  20. just
    November 27, 2014, 9:08 am

    “How Germany is Using ‘Anti-Semitism’ to Shut Down Israel Criticism | Interview with Max Blumenthal”

    video of interview with Abby Martin, published 11/26/14

    link to youtube.com

  21. American
    November 27, 2014, 8:34 pm

    Well I think Max is wrong on this one…..he got kneecapped by a certain political group in Germany who like most politicians everywhere and especially in Germany have to prove they are not racist or anti semites or they will be hung out to dry politically by their party and certain donors.
    I don’t see this as having anything to do with ‘whiteness’ or Germans attitude toward race.
    It had more to do with them being afraid of the Zios and their orgs smearing them if they didnt denounce Max and David.

  22. CitizenC
    November 28, 2014, 12:07 pm

    Annie, here is MB’s Jewish interpretation of Germany:

    ===
    MB: It also hollows out the identity of Jews who have no interest in Israel or in living inside of it, and casts them as weak, as lesser Jews.

    Iviewer: So are you a weak Jew then? Do you see yourself as a weak Jew? Are you a Jew according to their address?

    Max Blumenthal: In Germany I apparently am not as Jewish as Volker Beck, a man who has never had a Bris or a Bar Mitzvah.

    On top of that, you and David Sheen have been accused of anti-Semitism. How does that personally feel for you?

    Max Blumenthal: My work was called “consequentially anti-Semitic” in the Berliner Morgenpost by Volker Beck, who has never read anything I’ve written.

    But how does it feel, Mr. Blumenthal?

    Max Blumenthal: This is not the first time I’ve been to Germany but it’s my first visit as a political actor. And my initial feeling was that I was an alien exploring another planet. Now that I’ve had more time to insinuate myself into the political environment, I can make out a vision of what Zionism is doing to Jewish identity, and how this political ideology is permanently altering what it means to be a Jew. I am terrified by the sight.

    As long as Judaism is conflated with Zionism, a pro-Israel gentile like Volker Beck can declare himself in so many words more Jewish than I am, and I can be essentially de-Judaized; my Jewish identity can be negated, simply because I’ve defined it outside the frontiers of Israeli nationalism and to some extent, against Zionism.

    Does that make Germany a Jewish friendly country?

    Max Blumenthal: It makes it a white country where Zionism is proscribed as part of the hegemonic narrative that’s imposed on everyone and used to advance the culture of whiteness. Germany is the whitest country in the world. It’s so white that it doesn’t know that it’s white or what whiteness is.
    ===

    “what Zionism is doing to Jewish identity, and how this political ideology is permanently altering what it means to be a Jew.”

    The issue about Zionism is not mainly “what it means to be a Jew”, it is German support for the destruction of Palestine, and for the US-Israel relationship, a partnership that is has greatly radicalized US foreign policy.

    The issue is not that MB is “un-Jewish” in Germany, but Jewish supremacist ideology and its immensely destructive effects. Instead, MB goes on a tangent about German “whiteness” and Jews shoring up “whiteness” in the US.

    The essence of Zionism was that Jews were irreducibly separate, distinct, alien, incapable of integration and assimilation, the very same idea as racialist anti-Semitism. See Pinsker’s Auto-Emancipation (1881)

    link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

    This, the “Jewish people”, not simply the Jewish state, is the basis of Zionism. That is why I said that JVP’s separatist identity politics is Zionist.

    Beyond that one can easily show that such politics is truncated, misinterpreted, Jewish privilege, and anti-gentile, the latter often explicitly.

    Yes we did have this discussion before. I do not wish to reprise it. These ideas, that there is no “secular Jewishness”, that “being Jewish” is not a political statement, that Zionism is Jewish racialism, are not novel and radical, but have all been stated long before, because they are the basis of the modern world we live in. That they have to be restated show how deranged things are. See for example “The End of Modern Jewish History”

    link to questionofpalestine.net

    • Annie Robbins
      November 28, 2014, 2:52 pm

      citizen c, in your previous comment which i responded to, you claimed that max “Claimed that “Jewishness” has secular meaning in a political sense” and that therefore this was “indeed Zionism.” (implying he was a zionist among other things).

      i merely asked you to cite max saying that. in this segment max does not say “Jewishness has secular meaning in a political sense”. i am asking to better understand your claim.

      is what you mean to say ‘i infer from what max is saying here that he is essentially claiming “Jewishness has secular meaning in a political sense”? because i suppose you are aware those are not max’s words. they are yours.

      (btw in my earlier comment at November 26, 1:50 deals w/the segment where max says “my Jewish identity can be negated, simply because I’ve defined it outside the frontiers of Israeli nationalism and to some extent, against Zionism.” and that because it comes after a semicolon his meaning cannot be understood outside of the context of what preceded it, which is max’s understanding of what the other guy is claiming,not max)

      “what Zionism is doing to Jewish identity, and how this political ideology is permanently altering what it means to be a Jew.”

      The issue about Zionism is not mainly “what it means to be a Jew”

      nor did max say it was.

      This, the “Jewish people”, not simply the Jewish state, is the basis of Zionism. That is why I said that JVP’s separatist identity politics is Zionist.

      just because some people agree with the idea of a ‘jewish peoplehood/jewish nationhood’ and that is the basis for zionism doesn’t mean everyone who believes there is a ‘jewish people’ is a zionist.

      we could begin with the same idea, (that people should be free) and based on that idea lots of the people could adopt a political ideology. however, it would not mean that everyone who believes people should be free would then agree with that political ideology. that’s what you’ve done. you’ve said since one idea is the basis for zionism it therefore means everyone who agrees with that idea is therefore a zionist. that’s silly.

      we have had that discussion before. you keep clinging on to the idea that because there is a jewish voice for peace (which includes many people like myself for example who are members and not jewish) implies it is zionist. you’re buying into the zionist narrative that to be jewish means one is therefore a zionist. that’s what max is talking about by saying “what Zionism is doing to Jewish identity, and how this political ideology is permanently altering what it means to be a Jew”, you’re empowering that idea by agreeing with it. why? it makes no difference in that conversation to state what zionism is mainly about. that’s just a diversion. but it’s a diversion where you’ve accepted the premise that to identify as part of the jewish people or to be jewish inherently makes someone a zionist. it’s a premise that doesn’t hold water. and it’s essentially an attack on jewish non or anti zionists.

      at least that is how it appears to me. and you’ve done it by putting words in max’s mouth that he didn’t say. although perhaps he would agree with those words i don’t know. but they are not his words. they are yours.

  23. CitizenC
    November 28, 2014, 3:09 pm

    I didn’t mean to imply Max had stated that himself directly. But clearly, he offers an interpretation of German politics based entirely on his sense of himself “as a Jew”. It is not a tenuous “inference”, it is exactly what he has done.

    He then analyses Germany’s problems with “Jewishness” in terms of “whiteness”, and also interprets Jewish authority in the US in the same terms. He fails to examine Zionism on its own terms, as “the Jewish people”, in Israel and “the diaspora”, whose power is so destructive.

    I stating that, in Germany, “my Jewish identity can be negated, simply because I’ve defined it outside the frontiers of Israeli nationalism and to some extent, against Zionism” , MB takes
    “Jewish identity” as a guide to politics, which it cannot be, in modern liberal terms, as his mistaken tangent into “whiteness” confirms.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 28, 2014, 3:42 pm

      again, max did not state that ” “my Jewish identity can be negated, simply because I’ve defined it outside the frontiers of Israeli nationalism and to some extent, against Zionism”

      that was the end of a semicolon. max stated:

      As long as Judaism is conflated with Zionism, a pro-Israel gentile like Volker Beck can declare himself in so many words more Jewish than I am, and I can be essentially de-Judaized; my Jewish identity can be negated, simply because I’ve defined it outside the frontiers of Israeli nationalism and to some extent, against Zionism.

      where’s your reading comprehension? max is not saying he can be de-Judaized by defining his jewishness outside the frontiers of Israeli nationalism and to some extent, against Zionism. he is paraphrasing the argument of his attacker. iow, he is saying the very opposite of your claim.

      He fails to examine Zionism on its own terms

      it’s one interview. he answered the questions asked of him. where’s your book on zionism/israel? claiming max has failed to examine zionism is a joke.

      But clearly, he offers an interpretation of German politics based entirely on his sense of himself “as a Jew”.

      the only thing that’s clear here is what you’re choosing to read into it.

  24. CitizenC
    November 28, 2014, 4:24 pm

    You, not I, are having problems with reading comprehension. I wrote

    In stating that, in Germany, “my Jewish identity can be negated, simply because I’ve defined it outside the frontiers of Israeli nationalism and to some extent, against Zionism” , MB takes
    “Jewish identity” as a guide to politics.

    The phrase “in Germany” refers to the exploitation of official “Jewishness” in Germany and elsewhere. I clearly understand that MB can be “de-Judaized”, not because he defines his “Jewish identity outside the frontiers”, but because of the “arguments of his attacker.”

    MB quite transparently interprets Germany in that interview through his “Jewish identity”:

    “In the German cultural frame, Jews can only be strong within the Israeli military, which means that Jewish strength is synonymous with the oppression of Palestinians. This warped understanding of Jewish strength implicates all Jews in Israel’s crimes, which is also what actual anti-Semites seek to do. It also hollows out the identity of Jews who have no interest in Israel or in living inside of it, and casts them as weak, as lesser Jews. ”

    That is, “Jews” like himself. So what? This is a Judeo-centric view. The issue isn’t Beck’s offense to MB’s “Jewish identity”, the issue is Israel and its power in Germany and the US., which is destroying Palestine and the region and threatens us all.

    I said MB hadn’t examined Zionism and in that iview he did not, went into a tangent on “whiteness” as I’ve repeated several times. I have his book Goliath. It is a constructive book but he is not nearly as acute as Jonathan Cook, who has a much deeper grasp of events and the underlying ideas.

    MB (and you) ignore what I said about Zionism as Jewish racialism, about separating Jew and gentile, as it proclaimed, and as the classical critics denounced. In doing so you haven’t acknowledged Zionism. Read the Pinkser that I linked.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 28, 2014, 5:12 pm

      i’ve ignored your point and therefore i have not acknowledged zionism? ha! i ignored your point because in order to make it you’ve extrapolated something out of blumenthal’s meaning that he didn’t say, by editing it thereby changing it’s meaning, to suit your theory (as i have explained 3 times now). i’m not going to bother trying to refute any more of your claims, it’s a waste of time. good day.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 29, 2014, 7:11 am

      one more thing, regarding the zionism vs whiteness argument i think you are making, in terms of what germany’s problem or denial is. noura erakat gave a great speech once, i mentioned it here link to mondoweiss.net “Constructing the Prototypical Terrorist in America: Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian”,

      it talks about an “insider american identity”and “constructing the “other” whom threatens the coherence of the national body politic”

      The social construction of race in the US has a rich legacy that has categorized white, black, and non-white others in the creation of an imagined ethno-national American. Several processes work together to construct racial identities, including racial profiling, the deployment of Orientalist tropes, and the distinctions between nationality, citizenship, and identity.[1]

      While there is no legal difference between the American citizen and the national, in social practice there exists a hierarchy of citizenship that affords the perceived American national, read as White, a presumption of citizenship as a matter of identity. Membership in the US national fabric is based on feeling or affection to someone else based on kinship or feelings of solidarity/likeness, which excludes racial minorities and diminishes their ability to exercise citizenship as a political or legal matter. Therefore, racial minorities may be entitled to formal rights as citizens but they will not represent the nation as they are excluded from the American body politic, to the contrary “ the consolidation of American identity takes place against them.”[2] Whereas naturalization is supposed to challenge the immutability of racial difference by bestowing insider status to new citizens, such status has only been afforded to European immigrants.[3] Unlike their counterparts, racial minorities are relegated to “second class citizenship.” Moreover the group-making process is one marked by “boundary construction, akin to what sociologists call group-making in the tradition of Weberian social closure.”[4]
      …….
      While critical race scholars have demonstrated how immigration law, racial profiling policies, and mainstream media portrayals have worked to create a group that others and excludes Arabs and Muslims as menacing threats, intransigently foreign and disloyal—this process has not accounted for Israel’s centrality in the construction of an insider American identity. The US’s long-standing relationship to Israel may have begun as a strategic choice at the height of the Cold War and the ascent of Pan-Arab nationalism, but it has come to constitute a pillar of US identity. The US political establishment- its legislature, executive branch, and judiciary- works in concert to construct the national boundaries that include Israel and exclude those critical of the State and its policies. In light of this, the prototypical terrorist is not only Arab and Muslim, as would be the case in an examination of US-domestic policy only, but also Palestinian. Palestinian in this context meaning all actors posing a threat to Israel regardless of ethnic and national distinctions.

      Congress’s response to the settlement row in Spring 2010 exemplifies Israel’s status as “insider,” as opposed to political ally….

      – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      i think it is this “insider-ness” concept within a society, one that literally makes a non american, an israeli, more american than non white americans.

      anyway, this is what “whiteness” means to me in the context it’s being referenced by max. and personally, i don’t think there’s a supremacy factor (as i think you are arguing) between this interpretation of “whiteness” and zionism in the US because i believe they are intertwined. i can’t speak for germany because i don’t know the society. but it could very well be max is talking about the same thing. i do think it’s a valuable topic.

  25. CitizenC
    November 28, 2014, 5:46 pm

    We disagree on what English means. I think that when MB responds to Beck’s attack on him as an anti-Semite by explaining how it denies his “Jewish identity” that it means that he sees such attacks in terms of his “Jewish identity”.

    You think it means something else and claim my meaning is inconceivable. You are entitled to your opinion, but how many people can you convince?

    • Annie Robbins
      November 28, 2014, 6:00 pm

      how many people? i’m not trying to convince anyone. initially i simply asked you to clarify a claim you made about what max said so i could understand your meaning (for my own personal understanding), very simple request. but as it turns out, you later claim max never said that and to understand your meaning one first must accept your earlier premise. it’s not worth it. we don’t agree.

      and claim my meaning is inconceivable.

      lol, you’re funny. you continue to argue by putting words in people’s mouths they didn’t say, that’s why your argument was such a red flag in the first place. we disagree. you don’t make your case stronger by claiming i can’t conceive of your ptv. i can certainly conceive of it alright. i just think it’s full of sh*t. ;)

      edit: actually i don’t think all your ideas are fos, i just think the way you’ve presented them by inserting in all this extraneous bs about max/jewish identity drastically weakens and undermines whatever argument regarding zionism you are attempting (failing) to make, rendering your ptv outside the boundaries of worthy consideration, in my ptv.

  26. CitizenC
    November 28, 2014, 6:13 pm

    This exchange is yet another example of why “the left” is a total mess on Palestine.

    • just
      November 28, 2014, 6:45 pm

      so, you are a member of “the right”?

      • Mooser
        November 28, 2014, 8:05 pm

        “so, you are a member of “the right”?”

        And it posits Annie as a member of “the left”!

      • Mooser
        November 30, 2014, 3:08 pm

        “so, you are a member of “the right”?”

        Well, if CitizenC is a member of the right, he’ll want to make his voice heard on the Palestine=Ferguson thread. After what I saw there the first day, I was afraid to go back.

    • Mooser
      November 28, 2014, 9:18 pm

      “This exchange is yet another example of why “the left” is a total mess on Palestine.”

      I’m just dieing to know what the proper right-wing approach to Palestine is. On what basis would a right-winger oppose Zionism or support Palestinians?

      • OyVey00
        November 29, 2014, 12:43 am

        Right of self-determination? National interests (stop fghting wars and wasting tax money on Israel)? Paleoconservatism? Anti-semitism?

        There are a lot of reasons, really. And bear in mind that the majority of the world has right-wing governments and is against Israel simply for practical reasons.

      • Mooser
        November 29, 2014, 12:01 pm

        So, both “the Left” and the “Right” is against poor Israel and Zionism? Wow, it’s a tough row you Zionist guys hoe, if you can dig the agricultural metaphor.

        All that “Jewish Power” and both the Left and Right hate you. You got it bad, and as the song says, “that ain’t good”

      • OyVey00
        November 30, 2014, 4:35 am

        Indeed. Unfortunately the people in power in the US don’t care about ideology, they only care about dem shiny shekels.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 30, 2014, 5:53 am

        you mean american dollars converted to shiny shekels that they wouldn’t be in power without. mwahh, i’m so sorry for you. and they’d be out of a job without zio support now wouldn’t they? nice racket ya got going there. but looking on the bright side, if they liked your ideology you wouldn’t have to pay them a cent now would you? the people in power may care about ideology, but zionism is looking so ugly, why should they like it if not for the threat money.

      • Mooser
        November 30, 2014, 3:12 pm

        “Indeed. Unfortunately the people in power in the US don’t care about ideology, they only care about dem shiny shekels.”

        How right you are! Why, if our American leaders really cared about our American ideology, they would support Israel for free, not cause they’re bribed! I mean, should people demand payment for doing the right thing, the American thing?

        And of course, if all that money from Zionists stopped flowing, Jews would be in danger in America, with no laws to protect them!

  27. PilgrimSoul
    November 28, 2014, 6:22 pm

    Max Blumenthal is one of the most brilliant young intellectuals on the planet. If some good comes out of the horror in Israel, it may be that it brought forth such a good and true voice for justice.

    His riff on whiteness is brilliant. As a couple of people have already noticed, it’s not a color, it is a kind of emotional totalitarianism that the whitest people are unfortunately unaware of. (And it’s funny as hell–Lenny Bruce would have loved that whole riff.)

    I’ve lived in Germany–my impression was that the weight of German history was almost impossible for young people to bear. The younger they were, the more conscious they were of the way it was affecting their behavior, thoughts and emotions. I had hoped that would have changed by now. Apparently not.

    The Holocaust still haunts us, and will continue to haunt us. But it is also used by people to get things they want, including those who are bonded to Holocaust trauma as an emotional system as well as a worldview. Sadly, those who find meaning within some traumatic memory, especially those who seek some kind of victim status because of it, have usually internalized the aggression involved in the original trauma and are busily perpetuating the cycle of violence.

    Zionists internalized the anti-Jewish violence of Europe, and are now acting it out against the Palestinians.

    To see one person’s understanding of how the US Israel Lobby uses the traumatic memory of the Holocaust in America, see “Traumatic Memory and the Israel Lobby.”

    link to counterpunch.org

  28. Bornajoo
    November 28, 2014, 7:14 pm

    @PilgrimSoul
    Good comment and thanks for the link to your excellent counterpunch article
    I agree about MB!

    • just
      November 28, 2014, 7:39 pm

      Agreed.

      Lawrence Swaim has a heckuva brain and treatise~ thank you, PilgrimSoul, for bringing it to light again and for your comment.

      Max is a treasure for man/women/child kind.

  29. just
    November 29, 2014, 7:39 am

    Mubarak cleared of corruption (in gas case with Israel) and murder charges…

    While Morsi remains in prison and his supporters are sentenced to death after the el- Sisi coup.

    link to reuters.com

  30. jayn0t
    November 29, 2014, 11:03 pm

    So Max Blumenthal doesn’t like Germans. Perhaps they should repay the compliment, but you know what they’d be accused of.

    “Yes, this is a sick society that hasn’t addressed the core political and psychological and social trends that lead to the Holocaust.” Not true – whereas the countries which won WW II haven’t “addressed” the crimes they committed doing so, Germans are always agonizing about them. Minimizing these crimes attracts a prison sentence. Whereas in the USA, the justification for the bombing of Hiroshima is debatable. There are even Germans who demonstrate every February in Dresden, saying the Allied bombing of that city was justified.

    Yet Blumenthal also admits “because of the Holocaust, Germany gives Israel discounted Corvette boats to attack fishermen in the Gaza Strip”. If Germany gave up worrying about the Holocaust, it would be less inclined to support Israel. But this is not what Blumenthal means by “addressing “the core political and psychological and social trends”.

    He even says that guilt about the Holocaust is part of the thing that caused it. It’s damned if you do, and damned it you don’t. As with a number of left-wing Jewish authors, beneath his pseudo-academic psychobabble is dislike of gentiles.

    • Mooser
      November 30, 2014, 12:11 pm

      “As with a number of left-wing Jewish authors, beneath his pseudo-academic psychobabble is dislike of gentiles.”

      He’s just a little behind the times. He needs to catch up. These days, we loooove Gentiles and dislike “Arabs”.

  31. jayn0t
    November 29, 2014, 11:12 pm

    “Zionism is proscribed as part of the hegemonic narrative that’s imposed on everyone and used to advance the culture of whiteness”. Presumably, that’s a misprint for “prescribed”!

    Blumenthal’s robotic repetition of leftist cliches about “hegemony” and “whiteness” could be amusing. But they serve a useful purpose in amalgamating the powerful force of Jewish supremacy with the left’s phantom opponent, whiteness, making it hader to understand Zionism for what it really is.

    • Mooser
      November 30, 2014, 12:08 pm

      “But they serve a useful purpose in amalgamating the powerful force of Jewish supremacy with the left’s phantom opponent, whiteness, making it hader to understand Zionism for what it really is.”

      ‘A fraud on the Jews and a colonial assault on the Palestinians and their land, assisted by outside powers’ seems pretty good to me. Wouldn’t you agree, that’s a pretty good analyses What could be easier to understand than that?

  32. ulix
    December 1, 2014, 12:33 am

    ” In fact, under the Hessen citizenship test, which asks immigrants several questions about the Holocaust and basically demands they recognize the state of Israel’s “right to exist,” they can literally be denied citizenship. ”

    This is incorrect.

    The 2006 draft for the citizenship in Hesse asked for an explanation of the term “Israel’s right to exist”. Even if they would not have accepted a purely sociological and historical explanation, it’s doubtful that the test would have required immigrants to answer all it’s questions “correctly”.

    The draft never went into law.

    Now we have a Citizenship test on the federal level. It asks no questions about Israel or it’s “right to exist”.

  33. Steve60
    December 17, 2014, 7:21 am

    Max has had a bad experience being stereotyped, so responds with some stereotypes of his own, and neither side has really understood much.

    He ought to study the history of Germany in more detail before making such claims as he does here, and also not fall into the trap of generalizing about Germans so glibly. As a result of being smashed to pieces during and after the war, with also massive German mortality (well over 10 million all told, and mass rapes, torture etc) and destruction, as well as guilt, both real (where appropriate) and assigned (by the occupiers who were themselves far from spotless), and controlled by the occupiers for decades in one form or another, and Germany’s ongoing economic and other vulnerability, Jews and the Holocaust are still exceptionally sensitive topics there, understandably enough, especially as far as the establishment is concerned. However a majority according to some surveys of the German population does not support the harsher aspects of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians, and a considerable amount of critique of it (within certain bounds) has emerged. To lump all Germans together pretty much (non-“whites” excepted) is just a shallow generalization, and it’s really off the mark to claim that Germany’s problem is “privileged whiteness” which can only be solved by making Germany literally and figuratively less “white”. It’s also nonsense to claim Germany is the “whitest” society in the world; apart from some smaller European nations which are literally “more white”, nations like the US and Britain act in a more “white” (ie moralizing interventionist/arguably neo-colonialist) fashion than Germany, which is still thankfully rather hesitant to engage in such heroics, as a result of having learned (at least to that extent) the ‘lessons’ Max claims have not been learned.

    It’s understandable Max is a bit disgusted by his experience at the hands of the guardians of rectitude in Germany, who can be over-zealous and hyper-touchy (as well as sometimes simply innaccurate) in their reactions on this whole question, but he should not respond in similarly simplistically judgemental (and even more generalizing) fashion. It simply has to be accepted that Germany is and will remain very limited in its ability to strongly criticize Israel, and be satisfied at least in fair measure that Germany does not engage in destructive interventions etc generally, and does actually sometimes issue criticism where really called for, and at least sometimes abstains from supporting Israel automatically on every issue, as well as supporting the general consensus on the Israel-Palestine issue (two-state solution etc). It’s quite impossible to expect Germany to be able to be a leading champion of Palestinian rights, ahead of the US even, given the facts of history and realities of power. But by addressing the issues in a way that does not stereotype and insult the Germans generally for a situation they are basically stuck with whether they like it or not, he may at least get a hearing from more than he will like this.

    Re the arms ‘sales’, given the huge discounts (100% in some cases like the first subs) that Germany gives to Israel, it can hardly be considered a very profitable ‘trade’ for Germany. Also the idea that Israel needs Germany to ‘retrofit’ the subs for nuclear capability is wrong, the tubes just had to be widened, which Israel is surely capable of on its own, but might as well have them delivered as such, on the basis of frogman access etc (in fact a legitimate specification anyway).

  34. Steve60
    December 17, 2014, 7:34 am

    Forgot to include the point, that it’s a bit absurd to paint the Germans as sitting at the apex of privileged whiteness, given all the accusation and hate that is still spewed at Germany from various (mainly western) quarters today, over various things, (rarely officially of course, but certainly in a lot of commentary) and given how Germans were reduced after the war for some years to virtual ‘subhumans’ in terms of aspects of treatment and portrayal especially (ie a dastardly criminal nation and race that had to be kept down, even sterilized etc)(which later changed somewhat under the influence of Cold War needs). Germany sits somewhat down from the peak of such a gradient in today’s reality, and is not desirous of going far in either direction, both being the sort of problem Germany does not want or need at this time, so soon after completion of the arduous reunification process and the current troubles of the EU/Euro/economy etc. The troubles of Israel/Palestine may loom especially large to some who are involved in or focus on it for whatever reason, but in the larger scheme of things especially at the moment it is just one of many competing critical problems, and not one Germany is in any position to force a resolution of, least of all against the will of Israel or the US, and certain others.

  35. Steve60
    December 17, 2014, 8:04 am

    Also, ethnic cleansing and colonialistic imperialism etc are far from exclusively white/European activities, they have been standard practice of most empires and aggressive peoples through history, East and West. The West just seemed to dominate the last couple of centuries due to a technological edge, but even then there are plenty of examples from elsewhere.

    And most Jews, especially eastern ones, were not regarded as very “white” either literally or figuratively by either the Nazis and their allies nor the old European/American elites, unless in a hostile sense (Jewish power and privilege etc). And it’s not so much a sense of “whiteness” that “privileges” their victimhood now as the sheer number of them and extremity of their fate, which is still exceptional, especially in the modern world, if not eternally unequalled in those senses (eg the Mongols slaughtered far more still, though across a wider cross-section of ‘races’, as did Stalin, or even Mao, if things like forced famine are added to mass-shooting etc.)

    There’s too much of a tendency to make grandiose and radical claims and judgements based on a not very deep or detailed grasp of the issues and their background, genrally, as well as in this case.

  36. Steve60
    December 17, 2014, 8:10 am

    Last comment, (sorry), but Max or anyone should no more generalize about and stereotype Germans and Germany any more than the latter should about Jews or Israel, in all cases look at the broad picture as well as details, and make due distinctions based on the strict facts, same goes for the Palestinians and so on.

    That said Max does have a case that in Germany this is not done either when it comes to certain things, enough at least.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  37. Steve60
    December 18, 2014, 7:07 am

    On a different point, the use of the label “anti-Semite” to belittle (mostly) left-Jewish critics of Israel is quite common, and far from unique or even exceptional in Germany. I was myself once quite surprised to hear Chomsky almost reflexively (ie without further thought or ado) dismissed as such over 20 years ago, by an otherwise quite mild-mannered and reasonable non-doctrinaire left Jew, when I mentioned his (ie Chomsky’s) critique of Israeli policy regarding Palestine. This was in Australia, not Germany.

    Now Chomsky can be called anti- quite a few things with some justice, but anti-semitic is not one of them, least of all considering that the Palestinians are to all evidence as semitic as the Israelis, even moreso according to some. Again, an example of shallow and inaccurate stereotyping generalization, and to the extent Max or anyone causes people to think twice about such brain-lameness, so much the better.

    I also note he was referring mainly to Germany and the German establishment more than Germans per se, but still he over-simplified and generalized excessively, as well as using language that was a bit too harsh regarding a whole society, which for all its faults is trying to live up to its historical legacy to the Jews whilst still avoiding the sort of one-sidedness that we sometimes see from some other Western nations on some Middle-Eastern matters.

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