‘Heart-wrenching, harrowing, transfixing’ — NYT needs to end blackout on Blumenthal

US Politics
on 89 Comments

Max Blumenthal has a book coming out on the Gaza onslaught of last summer, called The 51 Day War, and it’s just gotten a rave review in Publishers Weekly:

Blumenthal’s (Republican Gomorrah) latest is a heart-wrenching narrative of being caught in the middle of wartime…. Blumenthal, who was on the ground for part of the offensive, bore witness to the loss of life, shelter, and possessions—but never hope—among Gaza’s Palestinian residents. His experiences in Gaza shed valuable light on the miserable living conditions there, while also fueling Blumenthal’s rebuttal to defenses of the strikes as justifiable responses to terrorism. He portrays Israel’s response as vastly disproportionate, particularly emphasizing the toll on Palestinian economic development. While vividly recounting firsthand experience and interviews with Gaza residents, Blumenthal also carefully charts the ascension of the right wing in Israeli politics and offers a jaundiced eye on the maneuvers of the Israeli government. The result is a harrowing, transfixing narrative of a people’s ordeal that will provoke and challenge any reader more accustomed to pro-Israel perspectives.

His book also got blurbs from Reza Aslan, Juan Cole, Avraham Burg, Pat Lang and Noura Erakat. Covering the waterfront!

But Blumenthal’s last book, the incisive Goliath, which bore witness to the rise of a militantly racist, right wing political culture in Israel, was virtually blacked out by American mainstream media. Chris Hedges and Andrew Sullivan got the story, but Eric Alterman attacked it in the Nation of all places, followed by Alan Dershowitz; and Terry Gross, who had interviewed Blumenthal when he went after Republicans in his first book “refused to have me on,” Blumenthal told Alex Kane, “and a lot of other hosts have just basically helped stitch the fabric of this curtain of silence.”

The New York Times in particular ignored the book. Even as the book went into a second printing. Even as the Israeli people confirmed Blumenthal’s reporting by going to the polls and electing the most reactionary government in Israeli history.

That blackout really ought to end. As it is, the Times is playing into its own irrelevance here. It runs happy-talk accounts of Israel’s willingness to talk peace, its chief correspondent claims that only a “small strain” in Israeli society wants to hold on to the West Bank– and meantime, practically every minister in government has declared Israel’s alleged right to Palestinian land and its new Foreign Ministry boss states on Facebook that it’s time for Israel to redraw the borders of Palestine.

This is Max Blumenthal’s great strength as an observer of the conflict. He and I have frequently disagreed about how bad things are; I’ve resisted his message, saying it can’t be that bad, Max.  But he’s been right time and again; he has a more accurate record than anyone else when it comes to predictions of the slope of Israel’s spiritual/political decline. He has never been taken in by the liberal Zionist propaganda, i.e., by an unconscious tribal identification with Ashkenazi elites; he’s bravely documented the currents of intolerance and fascism in that society going back five years to when he and Joseph Dana reported “Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem” and the American media suppressed it. It’s time Blumenthal’s view is engaged; it’s irresponsible not to engage it. Go ahead, take him on, disagree with him. But give him a platform. That’s the news from Publishers Weekly.

About Philip Weiss

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

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89 Responses

  1. Krauss
    May 28, 2015, 11:05 am

    As much as we hope they would, we also know they won’t.

    To do so would be to deal a death blow to their own ideology. There is not a single liberal Zionist in the MSM who can engage Max and win. None. He knows that country better than almost any Western journalist, probably the best. He knows the real Israel, he isn’t blinded by tribal loyalty like most of the people reporting from there.

    To invite Max would be to annihilate their own credibility, it would be a death sentence to their own moral authority(such as it is). It would be fatal and as such it will never happen.

    But that’s okay. That’s why the BDS movement is winning. The NYT ignored it, too, until it attacked it head-on on page 1.

    Max will get his dues before long, but it will not be by gracious Times’ editors, fearful of his attacks on Jewish apartheid, but by brave liberal students who are in the Ivies as I write this, who will take this on in the coming decades as they rise through the liberal institutions and purge them of bigots like Alterman, like Rudoren, like Bronner and all the rest of them.

    Then – and only then – will Max get his due. Long overdone.

  2. yonah fredman
    May 28, 2015, 11:20 am

    Re: the issue of Max B.’s access to the world media including the NYT: I empathize with the passion of those who are trying to get media attention. Bernie Sanders and Max B. and not Hillary’s hair color, I hear you.

    I was thinking about Max’s Goliath the other day. The denouement of the book occurs with the expatriate Israeli youth in Berlin. This is the essence of preaching to the choir. The narrative sense created by this structure is an automatic “Go jump in the lake, Max,” from anyone with a tad of Jewish identity (as in Jewish readers) or a tad of empathy with Jewish identity (as in nonJewish readers).

    Reporting on the civil war in Jewish American life is one of MW’s missions. But the attempt to affect that civil discourse or uncivil discourse, would involve some level of identity. If not, you are only speaking to the like minded, those who have already rejected identity. According to Pew (and historical logic) the group rejecting identity is growing, so the audience is there, but the essence of MW is alienated from the crowd that has not rejected identity.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 28, 2015, 11:55 am

      the essence of MW is alienated from the crowd that has not rejected identity.

      according to “historical logic” rejecting identity with israel or with being jewish?

      The narrative sense created by this structure is an automatic “Go jump in the lake, Max,” from anyone with a tad of Jewish identity

      what’s a narrative sense? and what “structure” do you mean? the expatriate Israeli youth in Berlin? or anyone with a “tad of Jewish identity”? that’s a fairly broad brush to be generalizing don’t you think. a sort of un-jewing of lots of people. seriously yonah, you can do better than that…in your “narrative sense”.

      • yonah fredman
        May 28, 2015, 12:40 pm

        Annie- The narrative structure of the book Goliath with its ending with Israeli expatriates in Berlin is the narrative sense to which I was referring. It was this aspect rather than any other that I feel max was sticking into the face of any Jew with a tad of Jewish identity.

        My feeling is that any Jew with a tad of jewish identity would react to Max’s structure: (last chapter of expatriates in berlin) as: this guy is full of his own propaganda and he’s not talking to me.

      • Giles
        May 28, 2015, 1:20 pm

        The narrative structure of the book Goliath with its ending with Israeli expatriates in Berlin is the narrative sense to which I was referring

        Can we add horrific sentence structure to the list of hophmi’s more notable characteristics?

      • echinococcus
        May 28, 2015, 3:09 pm

        Mr Fredman,

        Of course he’s not talking to you; you’re a Zionist.

      • echinococcus
        May 28, 2015, 3:43 pm

        Mr Fredman,

        How come you so steadfastly refuse to define “Jewish” or “antisemitic” but continue to pontificate non-stop about it?

      • gamal
        May 28, 2015, 7:37 pm

        “Bernie Sanders and Max B. and not Hillary’s hair color, I hear you.”

        yes as your comment proves it is impossible not to like Max Blumenthal, can you really imagine all this theft and slaughter can be beneficial, don’t you read religious materials? Try the Jewish ones.

        That young man is a paragon and example to us all, especially rough old reprobates like me, it is inspiring.

      • yonah fredman
        May 28, 2015, 8:04 pm

        echo- I will define antiSemite when I raise the topic myself. the definition of a Jew is given by the pew poll, as in there are many ways to define oneself and the pew poll covers them all.


      • echinococcus
        May 29, 2015, 1:59 am

        Your answer, Mr Fredman, is a refusal to answer on both counts. Considering that p. 18 of the Pew document has everybody and his brother-in-law, you just shot down your own nonsense on the group in Germany and Max B. For starters.

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 10:07 am

        “How come you so steadfastly refuse to define “Jewish” or “antisemitic” but continue to pontificate non-stop about it?”

        Look, some people push pills, but Yonah is a pill-puller.

      • echinococcus
        May 29, 2015, 12:00 pm


        A master. He’s pulling them where one couldn’t even thread a camel through.

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 2:10 pm

        “echo- I will define antiSemite when I raise the topic myself.”

        ” When I use a word,’ Yonah Fredman said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less”

        from “Yonah in Blunderland.”

      • echinococcus
        May 29, 2015, 7:25 pm

        The most telling part of the Humpty-Dumpty theory of language is in fact the one used by Mr Fredman in almost all his posts, to wit:

        “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master-that’s all.”

    • Donald
      May 28, 2015, 12:18 pm

      I think you are underestimating people, Yonah. I read a lot of people who I disagree with on some issues. I’m excited by politicians like Warren and Sanders even if I think their views on the I/P conflict are backward. They are good on other issues.

      Charles Manekin over at Magnes Zionist might be the type of person you’d find congenial –I like him myself. But I don’t think he’d be bothered by MaxB. I prefer the Manekin approach myself, but if MaxB is accurately conveying what Israel is like, we don’t have the luxury of ignoring him.

      • Donald
        May 28, 2015, 12:22 pm

        I should add that I don’t personally find MaxB offensive, but yes, there are others one might recommend first, like Charles Manekin, before people are ready for Max.

        And anyway, some are beyond reach. Sandy Tolan’s book The Lemon Tree is very empathic to both sides, but when I last looked at the Amazon reader comments many Zionist readers hated him and claimed the book was riddled with errors.

      • eljay
        May 28, 2015, 12:34 pm

        || Donald: Sandy Tolan’s book The Lemon Tree is very empathic to both sides, but when I last looked at the Amazon reader comments many Zionist readers hated him … ||

        They hate those who don’t play Zio-supremacism’s game of “nuances” and “humanizing the ‘Other'”: You’re being unreasonable. That’s anti-Semitic!

        And they hate those who do: You’re making us seem unreasonable. That’s anti-Semitic!

      • yonah fredman
        May 28, 2015, 12:57 pm

        Donald- You seem to respect jewish identity (something rare in the comment section and even in the text).

        Max is in your face, that is his style and I think it’s close to his essence and I doubt he can modulate his style and stay true to himself.

        I had read Phil yesterday or two days ago on the coming civil war in the Jewish community. And I was reading Wendy Lesser (“Room for Doubt”) which includes an essay about the time she lived in Berlin, which included reactions to memorials and the past, and I just flashed on Max’s Berlin structure to his Goliath book and I felt that for the run of the mill Jewish youth (actually I had a specific reformed Jewish 20 year old in mind, who actually has much more knowledge of Judaism and Hebrew than the average 20 year old, although nowhere near to the way that I was raised) and I thought about her hearing about Max’s book and its denouement in berlin and I could her imagine her saying, “give me a break, the guy’s obviously got an ax to grind if that’s how he structures his book.” and behold the next day Phil is here touting Max and so thus my reaction. Max is preaching to those who would not react negatively to the structure of the book, to those who would tend to agree with him and who would appreciate the subversive resonance of ending his book in that way. There are plenty of jews according to the pew poll of 2014 who wish to consider themselves as ex Jews or Jews not by religion and they are the audience for max and mw. and that’s fine. but if you/Phil wants to bring the discussion to include my 20 year old reformed friend, it will have to meet on some kind of common ground other than the in your face max style.

      • MRW
        May 28, 2015, 3:25 pm

        Then let your 20-year-old reformed friend speak for himself. You’re using him as a shield to advance your own opinions.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 28, 2015, 3:48 pm

        I thought about her hearing about Max’s book and its denouement in berlin and I could her imagine her saying, “give me a break,

        iow she had not even read the book. you imagined what she might say and based on your imaginings of her hearing about the book you speculate about anyone with a “tad of Jewish identity. this is so weak.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 28, 2015, 4:05 pm

        There are plenty of jews according to the pew poll of 2014 who wish to consider themselves as ex Jews or Jews not by religion and they are the audience for max and mw. and that’s fine. –

        our readership, as well as max’s, extends past this narrow designation and you know it.

      • aiman
        May 29, 2015, 5:27 am

        LOL it’s pretty simple 1+1=2. Any sane voice is tarred with insanity/ambiguity even when that person expresses full respect for Judaism. It’s almost like 1. Israel, not Judaism, is the religion and 2. being Jewish is a complete identity (which is the cornerstone of extremism). It seems even some Jewish secular or religious non-Zionists are not sure. Max B hasn’t said a single controversial thing, he’s a middle-of-the-road, Golden Rule humanitarian. Controversies around him only reveal how far to the right (aka wrong) his critics are.

      • can of worms
        May 29, 2015, 7:34 am

        “if you/Phil wants to bring the discussion to include my 20 year old reformed friend, it will have to meet on some kind of common ground other than the in your face max style.”

        Maybe you think the truth has to change the way it looks in order to catch more people. Maybe you think the truth — the truth about Isratine, we’re talking about — has to be less “in-your-face” in order to secure your “20 yr old reformed friend.” If she wants the truth (the truth about Isratine!) , she’ll have to try to get it. And if her sense of Jewish-American “identity” don’t seem to fit, she can ask herself why. And if she lost it, maybe she can remember where she left it…

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 11:11 am

        “You seem to respect jewish identity (something rare in the comment section and even in the text).”

        Yonah, bubelle, how can you say that? Everybody here loooves your Jewish schtick. The little malaprops, the syntax, the circular reasoning, the obnoxious passive-aggressiveness. There isn’t one person here who wouldn’t cry if you left, taking the only authentic Jewish Identity with you.

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 11:15 am

        “There are plenty of jews according to the pew poll of 2014 who wish to consider themselves as ex Jews or Jews not by religion”

        The great Zionist constant: There are too many Jews, and the great majority of Jews need to be told they are no longer Jewish.
        Yup, that’s a good plan. Maybe after they throw everybody else out, whatever sect or denomination Yonah belongs to can apply for a protected species status. I’d be jealous, nobody has done that for me!

        Judaism, the only religion or identity which gets stronger the more people you exclude from it!

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 11:22 am

        “and I thought about her hearing about Max’s book and its denouement in berlin and I could her “

        Could you give us the Facebook page, and we can ask her ourselves?

      • aiman
        May 29, 2015, 11:32 am

        Donald, I disagree with you on Sandy Tolan’s book which even if aiming for empathy justifies Zionism. The fact that Zionist readers hated it shows how deluded they are, they should be glad. I also disagree with you on the phrase “both sides”. I think this phrase is part of the liberal Zionist lexicon. One side is being crushed to the bone, the other side is doing the crushing. There is no nuance.

      • yonah fredman
        May 29, 2015, 12:10 pm

        Mooser- I will focus on my supposed desire to exclude jews from being jews. Not so. Every time a jew lights a friday night candle and says the shma- “hear o’ israel, the lord is our god, the lord is one” my heart is gladdened. even if when the camera zooms out and reveals he has a christmas wreath on his door and a christmas tree in the corner and then the audio adds his supercilious Harvard voice on: how the Jews are the Pharisees and the Christians know the truth. sorry, about the last part.

        You were born to specific Jewish parents, with specific histories and raised with a specific dosage of jewish words and rituals. I was born to other Jewish parents with other histories. and though we were both born in America our attitudes are very different just based on how we were raised.

        max preaches to the choir and if our topic is (as phil’s was earlier this week) the jewish elements of the choir, we must say that his choir includes those jews who disavow jewish identity. the in-your-face Berlin denouement of max’s book appeals to such subversives. subversion can sometimes add to the world and even add to the jewish story (who can imagine the jewish story without lenny bruce, abbie hoffman and trotsky and zinn) these are all jews.

        if phil weiss or max b wish to appeal merely to the subversive element, fine. if they wish to appeal to jews who also have jewish identity, their language would be closer to that of magnes zionist than to the mw comments section.

      • yonah fredman
        May 29, 2015, 12:26 pm

        can of worms- Actually what we are discussing here is the difference between Magnes Zionist and Max B. and not the difference between Max B and Ari shavit. max b is a propagandist. fine, great. but i am not talking about the oppression i am talking about using the word jackboot to describe the oppression. max b’s rhetoric is not the rhetoric that will win hearts and minds. that was my point.

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 2:16 pm

        “if phil weiss or max b wish to appeal merely to the subversive element, fine.”

        Oy Gevalt I tell you, it’s nothing but mosers and kapos over there at Mondo!

        So, Yonah, why does our, oh, sorry, your religion have so much subversion and treachery and false believers in it? Must be awful, watching the great mass of Jews drift into apostasy.

      • jon s
        May 29, 2015, 2:42 pm

        So one of Hophmi’s more notable characteristics is Yonah Fredman’s horrific sentence structure?

      • Donald
        May 29, 2015, 3:04 pm

        Aiman, it’s been awhile since I read The Lemon Tree, but what I remember is that it talks about the Holocaust and then it tells the truth about the Nakba. I didn’t read it as justifying the expulsion of the Palestinians, but as condemning it, but maybe I should reread it. It impressed me a lot at the time as the work of someone who wrote about Israelis and Palestinians in a fair way–one could empathize with Jewish refugees fleeing Europe without endorsing what Zionists did to Palestinians.

        Yonah, I think your friend should be able to read MaxB’s description of what Israel is like while rejecting whatever you or she would find objectionable in his attitudes. We all do this with various writers. But again, there are other writers you or she could read who are as critical of Israel while still holding strongly to some form of Jewish identity–not that I am any kind of expert on that topic.

      • RoHa
        May 29, 2015, 8:16 pm

        “(who can imagine the jewish story without lenny bruce, abbie hoffman and trotsky and zinn) these are all jews”

        That would be a very American Jewish Story. I doubt that most non-American Jews would recognize any name but Trotsky.

        My own response is:

        Bruce? A comedian of sorts, wasn’t he? Don’t know anything else about him.
        Hoffman. I remember the name from my hippie days. Can’t remember what he did.
        Trotsky. Yeah!!
        Zinn? Never heard of him.

      • Giles
        May 30, 2015, 10:33 am

        So one of Hophmi’s more notable characteristics is Yonah Fredman’s horrific sentence structure? –

        Exactly. Jons, Yohan F, hophmi .. interchangeable, cookie cutter hasbarists. Nothing to distinguish one from the other.

      • Mooser
        May 30, 2015, 11:24 am

        ” It’s almost like 1. Israel, not Judaism, is the religion”

        Look, religions come and go, and change. We can make up a new Jewish religion in a week or two. But land, they are not making any more of! Why worship a God who doesn’t show up for the Holocaust, when the land is real?

    • pabelmont
      May 28, 2015, 1:05 pm

      YF: Rejected not “identity” but uniformity with the hard-line Zionism that rejects any principled criticism (and which rejects support for all of BDS).

      My sense is that among, for instance, the Open Hillel crowd of young people, are Jews who are fiercely determined to maintain a Jewish identify — why else bother with Hillel? — but fight the (to them as to me) un-Jewish claiming-to-be-communal demand for uniformity. That pro-Israel “community” was zilch historically, before 1930, even before 1967, but got a shot in the arm from Israeli militarism after June 1967. It badly, very badly indeed, confused their understanding of Jewish community or of Judaism. There’s a back-swing today.

      • yonah fredman
        May 28, 2015, 1:46 pm

        pabelmont- before 1930? face it, that’s like saying before 1776. that’s pre history. of interest in terms of alternative history (what if Hitler had been killed in his crib) but really not relevant to any 2015 discussion.

        There is no question that Israel became far more important to American jews after 1967. There were multiple causes for this: including a bit of distance from the Hitler catastrophe.

        The Zionist project has been the outstanding Jewish enterprise in the post Hitler period. It is difficult to think of anything that comes in second place. (certainly the success of vast numbers of American Jews is remarkable as in worthy of remark, but for all that, it has not been a communal effort and although the militarism of Israel is not something that should be accepted with equanimity or in your case rejected with equanimity, still one cannot compare these two reactions to Hitler. Go get an MBA and make money and that will be your personal success and success is the best revenge. Or: they killed us when we were powerless and we swear never to be powerless again. There is of course the anti identity attitude of the left as in: Hitler is nationalism run amuck and the key to never again is to undo all nationalism. but to consider the dismantling of Jewish identity that this usually entails as the ultimate communal accomplishment is messianic, by which I mean perverse.

        I accept your objections to Israel and its militarism, and thus that which I am labeling as accomplishment you label as regression. Still I don’t see what you can propose as an alternative in terms of group accomplishment and group identity. yes, the torah that has been abandoned by the masses of the Jews could have formed the essence of Jewishness, that is Judaism rather than identity, but you are no advocate of the Jewish ritual, so I don’t see what you are offering as an alternative.

      • MRW
        May 28, 2015, 3:26 pm

        Good point, pb.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 28, 2015, 3:40 pm

        certainly the success of vast numbers of American Jews is remarkable as in worthy of remark, but … it has not been a communal effort

        hmm, that’s interesting. so there are not grants for arts and higher education? no communal efforts via socializing or networking that foster success. it seems like a strange allegation — especially considering the doors that close throughout the organized jewish community for anyone not towing the official line on apartheid and bds. what’s the purpose of closing those doors if by their opening they don’t foster success.

        this reminds me of that canary site. they specifically target educated students to deter them getting future jobs. yet your allegation is based on the premise that efforts are not made to get influential jobs. not logical yonah.

      • RoHa
        May 28, 2015, 7:22 pm

        “not towing the official line”


        t o e i n g

        (But good point otherwise.)

      • gamal
        May 28, 2015, 8:40 pm


        t o e i n g”

        You Roha are like our proper usage Pole Star, indulge me I guess anyone, especially any woman, can understand this Arabic song without, and you, one word of arabic. Its long, any primate will get it. Annie will like it and we will all toe the necessary lines. Coherence is such a burden, thanks for your encouragement.

        ام كلثوم الف ليله وليله اغنيه

      • Citizen
        May 28, 2015, 9:34 pm

        @ RoHa

        Works either way, actually.

      • RoHa
        May 29, 2015, 12:32 am

        Not really.

        “Toeing the line” has the idea of submitting to ferocious discipline. Standing rigidly without saying a word.

        “Towing the line” has the idea of cooperating in a task. Could be voluntary.

        (And it is an internet phrase cooked up by semi-literates who have never read enough to encounter the real thing.)

      • MRW
        May 29, 2015, 3:40 am

        I like RoHa’s wag-wag-wags.

      • Giles
        May 29, 2015, 7:43 am

        “..before 1930? face it, that’s like saying before 1776. that’s pre history. of interest in terms of alternative history (what if Hitler had been killed in his crib) but really not relevant to any 2015 discussion.”


        But a 2,000 year old myth is a legitimate basis for white people from Europe violently stealing Palestine.

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 10:12 am

        You are both wrong. One does not “toe” or “tow” the line. No, one drags the line. Everybody knows that.

      • yonah fredman
        May 29, 2015, 11:12 am

        Giles- Of course the topic of Israel’s existence and its history of birth and acceptance by the United Nations and backing by the major power (the United States) is the main topic of this web site, so it is on topic, although essentially off topic regarding what I was talking about.

        personally if i was at that vantage point of 1917 reading about the Balfour Declaration in the newspaper I would think that it was imperial overreach.

        from the vantage point of 2015 I consider Herzl a hero for he was a seer and what he saw was the danger to European Jews and he reacted in this project of focusing Jewish energies towards creating a state. to the Palestinians the movement he created was a catastrophe and that aspect of the project has to be confessed immediately. but the need that Herzl sensed was quite real.

        It is impossible for me to imagine my life story without Hitler and Zionism, though I was born in America. I consider history of the last century and a half to be a bad news for the jews story and though I love standing in Jerusalem and breathing its air and walking its streets, the militarism of the Zionist movement and the ugliness of the settler movement add up to a very unfortunate bad joke. The history of what was done to the Palestinians is very relevant, but my focus is on trying to solve it, or more accurately my focus is living my life and reading the news headlines from the perspective of I wonder how this is going to turn out and why don’t they do x, y and z in order to improve things, even though my opinion will not affect the outcome. that’s my perspective.

      • MHughes976
        May 29, 2015, 1:16 pm

        I see that Tolan has a new book ‘Children of the Stone’ about a very talented Palestinian musician. I found my way to a recent report by him about the same musician’s life under the checkpoint system and about the falsity of the American view of these things, derived from Paul Newman and Leon Uris. As far as it went, this could have appeared on Mondoweiss, though maybe the underlying attitudes were indecisive.

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 2:19 pm

        “It is impossible for me to imagine my life story without Hitler and Zionism, though I was born in America”

        Yonah, everybody here is very sorry you were killed in the Holocaust, and we have expressed our sympathy many times. Not to mention your narrow escape from occupied Europe.

        “It is impossible for me to imagine my life story without Hitler and Zionism, though I was born in America”

        You’re a regular Zionist Miniver Cheevy.

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 2:23 pm

        “even though my opinion will not affect the outcome”

        Gee, Yonah, didn’t you actually go over there and live in stolen territory for a while? You’ve contributed much more than your mere opinion to the Zionist project, you put your body on the line! You’re a regular Maccabee!

      • Kris
        May 31, 2015, 10:38 pm

        @Mooser: “Yonah, everybody here is very sorry you were killed in the Holocaust, and we have expressed our sympathy many times. Not to mention your narrow escape from occupied Europe.”

        This is a great comment, Mooser, and is so very funny, too! Thank you!

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2015, 11:34 am

        “Thank you!”

        Well, I try to be nice to Yonah, I really do.
        After all, it is said that cowards die a thousand deaths. Just think how many times Yonah has had to attend his own funeral! It’s enough to give anybody a bad outlook.

    • DavidDaoud
      May 29, 2015, 12:20 pm

      Yonah, are you essentially saying that “anyone with a tad of Jewish identity” should support Israel regardless of the atrocities it commits against the Palestinians, should reject what Max Blumenthal has to say?

      Sounds vaguely antisemitic to me.

      If I am wrong, please clarify.

      • yonah fredman
        May 29, 2015, 2:18 pm

        Daoud- You are wrong. I was talking about max’s style, his positing Israelis in Berlin as the ultimate happy ending to the Jewish story, which is in-your-face offensive to 9 out of 10 jews with a tad of jewish identity.

        I think that feeling empathy for the Jews of Israel is a natural for a jew with jewish identity. feeling empathy for the Palestinians in Israel the west bank and gaza and the diaspora for that matter is also a natural for all humans with human identity. reconciling these empathies is easier said than done.

        I was talking about max’s style, not his content. specifically his style in positing berlin as the ultimate answer to Jewish aspirations.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 29, 2015, 4:34 pm

        oh there’s that “tad of jewish identity” again. all this de jewing propping up your arguments. impressive/not.

  3. Krauss
    May 28, 2015, 12:19 pm

    BTW on the topic of Blumenthal’s prescience…

    Here’s this report that the UN is considering putting the IDF in the same camp as Boko Haram etc for targeting children:


    Little by little the world wakes up.

    • Kris
      May 28, 2015, 1:45 pm

      Krauss, thank you for the link.

      Here’s another link, this one to a story about 11-year-old Muntasir Baker, whose brother and three cousins were deliberately killed by Israel shelling as they played soccer on a Gaza beach.

      Tendons in Muntasir’s hand were severed, leaving a permanent disability. His head injuries resulted in recurrent seizures; his family can’t afford the meds he needs. He suffers from PTSD, and can’t attend school. Muntasir’s family has always fished for their living, but they are too poor to repair their boats that Israel destroyed.

      The mass media in the U.S. doesn’t report about Palestinian suffering at Israel’s hands, so thank goodness for the “sharing” of these articles on social media, which is helping to inform the many people who would never think of looking at alternative news sources.

      As you say, “Little by little the world wakes up.”

  4. joemowrey
    May 28, 2015, 2:08 pm

    “…the Times is playing into its own irrelevance…”

    Unfortunately, the Times is not irrelevant at all. It is perhaps the most effective propaganda tool the Zionist movement has. Not to mention the Times infamous service to our corporatist government and the machinations of our criminal Empire. The notion that the Times “needs to do” this or that creates a legitimizing paradigm for this propaganda rag.

    Rather than beseeching the Times to do what is obviously beyond the scope if its intent, we “need to” reject and discredit this organization at every turn, otherwise it will continue to be regarded as an acceptable source of information.

  5. MRW
    May 28, 2015, 3:11 pm

    The issue for Americans is what we’re being deprived of in terms of public interest. Ben Bagdikian, the former dean of Berkeley’s school of journalism, wrote:

    These Big Five (with General Electric’s NBC a close sixth) do not manufacture automobiles, or clothing, or nuts and bolts. They manufacture politics and social values. The media conglomerates have been a major force in creating conservative and far right politics in the country. They have almost single-handedly as a group, in their radio and television dominance, produced a coarse and vulgar culture that celebrates the most demeaning characteristics in the human psyche — greed, deceit, and cheating as a legitimate way to win (as in the various “reality” shows). […]

    A country without all the significant news, points of view, and information its citizens need to be informed voters is risking the loss of democratic rights. Voters without genuine choices and without the information they need to choose what meets their own needs and wishes has produced something alarming: on Election Day our voters are forced to vote for what is the narrowest political choices among all industrial democracies of the world.

    But I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

    The issue is who is doing the silencing, and in service of whom.

    Israel has clearly infected our campuses and public discourse; it is dictating what we can know and hear, controlling it with the lack-of-access crybaby label they misname ‘anti-semitism’. I could give a shit what Israel thinks or mewls on about. But I give a damn that a bunch of criminal monkeys across the pond think they can cover my eyes, ears, and mouth, and, barring that, think they can bitch-slap and intimidate anyone who can tell me what they’re up to using US resources and treasure.

    The shame is on the NYT’s head. “Buncha’ pussies.” And tearing this country down because they’ve forgotten they’re American citizens first. And so am I.

    • ritzl
      May 28, 2015, 6:57 pm

      +10,★★★★★/★★★★★, etc., MRW.

      I don’t know how to combat such pervasive, malignant, societal indoctrination, except to personally recognize that is happening, vocally reject It, and pray like hell that some tiny bit of that rejection rubs of on people in my immediate vicinity.

      I’m seeing signs that it is — right and left.

    • Citizen
      May 28, 2015, 9:40 pm

      Agreed. I don’t think those that control rags like the NYT ever entertained a real American value in their head even when they were born and bred here. They are not American, nor are they Humanist. They don’t deserve any respect at all. They are like the Israeli settlers from Brooklyn but they prefer to live in more comfort.

  6. JLewisDickerson
    May 28, 2015, 3:55 pm

    RE: “The New York Times in particular ignored the book [i.e., Goliath. Even as the book went into a second printing. Even as the Israeli people confirmed Blumenthal’s reporting by going to the polls and electing the most reactionary government in Israeli history.” ~ Wiess

    MY COMMENT: The New York Times has in effect become a quasi-official publication of the “U.S. Jewish Establishment”. Consequently, it’s primary goal is to quash as much criticism (no matter how warranted/deserved) of Israel as possible!

    ALSO SEE (OR LISTEN TO): “Why the U.S. Media Barely Covered Brutal Right-Wing Race Riots in Tel Aviv”, By Joshua Holland, AlterNet, 6/17/12

    [EXCERPTS] Several weeks back, Israel was rocked by a night of right-wing race-riots targeting African refugees. . .
    . . . The story received very little coverage in the. . . States. . .
    . . . Recently, Middle East analyst MJ Rosenberg appeared on the AlterNet Radio Hour to discuss the Tel Aviv riots, the stand-off over Iran’s nuclear program and how the Israel lobby helps narrow the discourse around Israel in the United States. Below is a lightly edited transcript of the discussion (you can listen to the whole interview here.)

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

    ENTIRE (LIGHTLY EDITED) TRANSCRIPT – http://www.alternet.org/story/155866/why_the_u.s._media_barely_covered_brutal_right-wing_race_riots_in_tel_aviv/

  7. amigo
    May 28, 2015, 4:01 pm

    Anyone telling it the way it is is offensive to your average zioapollo-gist.

    So carry on with the in your face approach Max.Zionists are hardly famous for responding positively to polite requests to act civilly and obey international law.

    Those that do not like the in your face tactic can take a run and jump .The eventual outcome to this murderous campaign by Israel will be as much in their face as they have been in ours through their support for the Apartheid Rogue regime in Tel Aviv.

  8. Landie_C
    May 28, 2015, 4:09 pm

    I pre-ordered it on Amazon a while ago. Just one month left before it’s released and sent on its way to me.

    As someone who tries to get around buying books at full price, it’s been fun making an exception in your case, Max.

    Best of luck with this one!

  9. lysias
    May 28, 2015, 4:24 pm

    New book due to come out on June 30, according to Amazon.

  10. Citizen
    May 28, 2015, 5:42 pm

    What do the Quakers bring to the table?

    The Theology of Consensus | Jacobin https://shar.es/1rM63G via @sharethis
    What do the Quakers bring to the table re I-P Conflict?

  11. Les
    May 28, 2015, 7:17 pm

    America’s zionists occupy more than Judaism.

  12. Citizen
    May 28, 2015, 9:46 pm

    I found the structure of Max’s book excellent because it derived organically from the content under any reader’s eyes familiar with modern history.

  13. pabelmont
    May 29, 2015, 7:23 am

    Of course, NYT will not review Max’s books on Palestine/Israel. Might do if LA Times and WaPo both did, I suppose, but even then.

    The NYT is too big to cry, too powerful to need to cry, has an iron foot which survives any number of gunshot wounds, even if self-administered. Didn’t it support the Iraq war?

    It has an unbreakable protect-Israel’s-reputation policy (a “party-line”, as Stalinists once had) and woe to the reporter/editor/regular-blogger who both lacks an “iron rice bowl” (sinecure: perhaps Thomas L Friedman has one?) and who busts that policy (fails to tow/toe that party line). And NYT believes that it both reports and creates modern history.

    As to tow/toe a line, I have three images in mind (this is not etymological scholarship!). One is of someone drawing a line in the sand and daring anyone to cross it. Sorry, that’s “line in the sand”. Second is of kindergarten or first-grade children all touching their toes to a line in a gym (toeing a line) (and standing still ! — very hard for them) at teacher’s command. Third is of impoverished Chinese laborers in older days pulling the ropes which pulled boats upstream — towing a line — at boss’s command. And of course runners understand toeing a start-line for a race.

    • RoHa
      May 29, 2015, 7:53 am

      It is uncertain where the expression came from. The most likely one seems to be from 18th century Royal Navy sailors standing to attention with their toes on the line between the planks, while bad tempered officers look for an excuse to have them flogged. They had discipline in the Navy.

      Doesn’t that sound like the pressures that Zionists exert?

      I have read “toe the line” often, in books and newspapers. I have never seen “tow the line” anywhere but on the Internet. I suspect it comes from people who have heard the expression, but who never read anything more demanding than a MacDonalds menu.

      • Mooser
        May 29, 2015, 5:16 pm

        “I have read “toe the line” often, in books and newspapers. I have never seen “tow the line” anywhere but on the Internet”

        It’s those stupid “Salvage, Code Red” videos. They are always towing lines in those.

      • Philemon
        May 31, 2015, 7:57 pm

        Roha, I’m not sure “toeing” as opposed to “towing” is the original usage here. A “tow-line” is attested c. 1275 (according to the OED).: As ‘f’rinstance, having people “in tow with you.”

        “Toe the line” was attested early 1800’s.

        I’m not saying you’re wrong exactly, just that maybe the earlier idiom met up with Nelson’s Tars and had babies.

        And look at it this way, I was thinking of tow as broken flax or hemp, and how sailors need to patch the seams in the deck to make them waterproof, and I was going to tell a shaggy dog story and make a really bad pun, but you have been spared.

      • RoHa
        May 31, 2015, 10:20 pm

        Interesting. Of course, a tow line is used for towing, but usually people use a tow line to tow a ship or a car. “Towing a line” conjures up a picture of a tug boat with a line trailing in the water behind, but that line not attached to anything being towed.

        “Towing the line” in the meaning of “caulking the seams” is so ingenious that I must beg you not to deprive me of the story and bad pun.

      • Mooser
        June 2, 2015, 12:40 pm

        As you know, there was a long-running TV quiz show devoted to this question, called “What’s My Line?”

  14. pabelmont
    May 29, 2015, 8:24 am

    Max B seeks to describe; NYT seeks to disguise. And for NYT, “disguise da limit”.

  15. Kay24
    May 29, 2015, 9:23 am

    Just now on CNN discussion on DC banning Mohammed cartoon posters on buses. Aw Geller the hate yeller must be disappointed her idiotic posters are banned until the end of the year.

    Who is this Ben Ferguson guy (says conservative talk show person) who CNN keeps bringing out of the woodwork to give his lame opinion about this subject.? He is obviously an Islamaphobe and spews all the crap about Geller being right in this. Really, would be be okay if people wanted to put up posters about Israel’s war crimes and the occupation? He seems to be pro Israel.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      May 29, 2015, 10:29 am

      He certainly wouldn’t support Geller if she was hosting a Holocaust Revisionist conference in honor of free speech.

      • Kay24
        May 29, 2015, 1:14 pm

        Double standards as always. Anything against Islam/Muslims is free speech in the US. Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez, Desmond Tutu, and others, were demonized when they dared to use their right to free speech.

  16. CigarGod
    May 29, 2015, 10:13 am

    I never thought Max would survive his early street interviewing/reporting of those drunk racists in Israel’s streets. I was rooting for him, but figured I’d soon witness his end…under a pile of stones. Years later, he has acquired a quite dignified and authoritative voice. Sort of Zinn-esque, which as we know, was a critical element in the u.s. souths rise in the civil rights movement.

  17. Atlantaiconoclast
    May 29, 2015, 10:26 am

    I agree that Max is worthy of much more attention. He is a very brave man. However, its even harder for non Jewish people to get attention when they address the Israel/Palestine issue.

    And as for Terry Gross, what do you expect when NPR is funded by the govt.? Just like the BBC, NPR will never be allowed to open the curtain hiding the sins and truly wretched machinations of the empire.

  18. David Doppler
    May 29, 2015, 11:05 am

    O/T (or on the topic of what else gets ignored by the NYT), Netanyahu says FIFA “will be destroyed” if it approves Palestinian soccer’s petition to ban Israel from FIFA competition. http://www.jerusalemonline.com/news/politics-and-military/politics/netanyahu-fifa-will-be-destroyed-if-it-bans-israel-13713

    What power does he have to destroy FIFA? Would that not be corrupting power? His timing, as always, is very heavy-handed. The only alternative to Blatter in the election today is a Jordanian prince. What direction would he take?

    And what kind of person responds to allegations of deliberate interference in Palestine’s national soccer program – refusal to allow travel, shooting and crippling of young star players returning from practice, shelling of boys’ games on a Gazan beach, tolerance (some would say encouragement) for “death to Arabs” chants by Israeli soccer fans – by threats of destruction of the international body that would dare investigate?

    One who doesn’t want anyone to look at the allegations.

    Israel has been losing the intellectual crowd, sparring with academics, trying to get legislatures to criminalize their academic freedom, but the soccer crowd is the global man in the street, and Netanyahu’s sole instinct is just to raise his voice.

    “Off with their heads!” cries the Queen of Hearts (is how he will be heard).

    He has lost the confidence and support of many of his closest political allies. The NYT’s support is surely eroding, as well. Why would anyone entrust Israel’s future to him in such times?

    • CigarGod
      May 29, 2015, 11:15 am

      Perfectly stated.
      “Unless you let me destroy our athletic competitors, I’ll destroy the whole sport.”

      Well, the same insane logic has worked for their nuclear stance…

  19. David Doppler
    May 29, 2015, 11:24 am

    Now it seems Israel has persuaded Palestine to withdraw its motion to banish Israel, and the Congress has passed with wide support the appointment of a committee (Israel, Palestine & FIFA) to oversee issues of travel, access to donations, racism at events. http://www.timesofisrael.com/palestinians-drop-bid-to-have-israel-banned-from-fifa/
    Now for the election results . . . .

    • MHughes976
      May 29, 2015, 11:41 am

      If that is so I would think that the Palestinians have gained something and indeed rather more than I thought they would.

      • a blah chick
        May 29, 2015, 11:50 am

        I don’t think they’ve won anything. Whatever Israel agrees to they will simply renege on later. That’s their way.

      • MHughes976
        May 29, 2015, 12:04 pm

        You could be right, abc. I was maybe having one of my moments of optimistic naïveté. I try to fight them.

    • echinococcus
      May 29, 2015, 12:31 pm

      Why else would the Federal Government mobilize all of its sledgehammer might right at the critical moment for a ball game convention? The one where the only real news would have been the request for suspension of Israel and Rajoub’s documented pleading with the reasons for the request. The media wouldn’t have been able to hide all of that.
      Now, of course, we already have a circus. So on to the election results…

  20. genesto
    May 29, 2015, 12:10 pm

    Blumenthal – along with Scahill, Greenwald and a few others – is among the best of the modern day American journalists. He is principled, courageous, and puts in the hard, time-consuming work necessary for true, hard-hitting investigative reporting. Yes, it’s high time the NYT gives this man his due. But, given that the NYT is little more than a mouthpiece for Zionist Hasbara, I don’t see this happening in the near future.

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