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Author Archives: Max Blumenthal
Since the dawn of the peace process, serious men and women have warned that time was running out on a two state solution, and yet there has been so little progress. Max Blumenthal has compiled news clippings from the last three decades illustrating the fierce urgency of never when it comes to negotiations in Israel/Palestine.
Max Blumenthal’s reply to Eric Alterman’s latest piece attacking him and his book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel. The Nation declined to publish Blumenthal’s response.
American Task Force on Palestine finds funding from anti-Palestinian billionaire and a repressive monarchy
Despite its claims to be “committed to strengthening Palestinian-American relations” as “an independent voice for Palestine,” the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) has begun accepting funding from one of the most aggressive funders of anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic initiatives in the United States. A recently released 2011 Internal Revenue Service Form 990 information return revealed that ATFP has accepted at least $10,000 from the Klarman Family Foundation. The donation highlights the trajectory of an organization originally founded to advance the position of Palestinian statehood advocates in Washington, DC, but which has increasingly diverged from the Palestinian consensus. It also exposes an emerging strategy of pro-Israel donors like Klarman who are propping up an array of Muslim and Arab-American groups to drive a wedge into grassroots Palestine solidarity organizing. In addition, ATFP claims to have never accepted donations from foreign governments, but the group accepted $148,800 from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in 2011. Above, a controversial photo of ATFP President Ziad Asali with then Israeli Ambassador the U.S. Michael Oren.
When Atlantic editor Robert Wright invited JJ Goldberg to engage with Max Blumenthal on the online political debating forum Bloggingheads, Goldberg declined, as Eric Alterman did before him.
The Desert of Israeli Democracy: A trip through the Negev Desert leads to the heart of Israel’s national nightmare
While Benjamin Netanyahu ranted against Iran in New York City and in a meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office, his government was preparing to implement the Prawer Plan, a blueprint for the expulsion of 40,000 indigenous Bedouin citizens of Israel from their ancestral Negev Desert communities that promised to “concentrate” them in state-run, reservation-style townships. The Prawer Plan is only one element of the government’s emerging program to dominate all space and the lives of all people between the river (the Jordan) and the sea (the Mediterranean).
We’re excited to share an exclusive excerpt from Max Blumenthal’s new book ‘Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.’ In this chapter titled “There Are No Facts,” Blumenthal tells the story of how forests constructed by the Jewish National Fund have been used throughout Israel’s history to dispossess the indigenous Palestinians of their land, and how Israelis rationalize this dispossession. Blumenthal visits the Israeli artist colony of Eid Hod, built on the ruins of the Palestinian Ayn Hawd, and is told by a tour guide, “I’ve concluded after years of research that there are really no facts when you discuss this issue. There are only narratives.”
Max Blumenthal reports from the September 29th event featuring Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Elie Wiesel, Shmuely Boteach and Sheldon Adelson discussing the “strong protecting the weak” from genocide. After Boteach delivered a lengthy treatise on shared Israeli-Rwandan values, and a human rights protester was removed by Kagame’s personal security detail for raising Kagame’s role in genocide in the Congo, Blumenthal and Mondoweiss’s Alex Kane attempt to ask the panelists what can be done to protect Palestinians from the Israeli occupation. Watch the video to see what happens next.
Netanyahu previously used family story of anti-Semitic attack to justify expelling African asylum seekers from Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ended his speech to the UN General Assembly by turning back to the nightmare of 19th century Europe. He told of how an anti-Semitic mob brutalized his grandfather, Natan Milikovsky and his younger brother, Judah, using the story to present Israel as the only sanctuary for Jews in an eternally hostile world. But Bibi has deployed the harrowing tale at least once before, and in a far less dramatic setting than the UN General Assembly.
Shady PR operatives, pro-Israel ties, anti-Castro money: Inside the Syrian opposition’s DC spin machine
During the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria on September 3, Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain both cited a Wall Street Journal editorial by Elizabeth O’Bagy to support their assessment of the Syrian rebels as predominately “moderate,” and potentially Western-friendly. What Kerry and McCain neglected to mention was that O’Bagy had been recently hired as the political director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), a little known outfit that functions as a lobbying arm of the Syrian opposition in Washington.
In a Labor Day conference call with 127 House Democrats, Secretary of State John Kerry invoked an apocalyptic scenario, summoning visions of American power and credibility incinerated in a terrible Middle East-wide conflagration laced with nerve gas and enriched uranium. An aide to one of the members of Congress who participated in the call tells Max Blumenthal that Kerry said the US faced a “Munich moment” on Syria and warned that the failure to punish Bashar Al-Assad for using chemical weapons on Syrian civilians could lead to future chemical attacks on Israel and embolden Iran.
President Barack Obama’s August 31 announcement that he would seek congressional authorization to strike Syria has complicated an aggressive Israeli campaign to render a US attack inevitable. While the Israelis are far from the only force in bringing the US to the brink of war – obviously Assad’s own actions are the driving factor – their dubious intelligence assessments have proven pivotal.
Several hundred Egyptians and Egyptian-Americans hit the streets of Washington DC yesterday to show their support for General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi and the regime that overthrew the elected President Mohamed Morsi in a military coup on July 3. The rally took on a festive atmosphere, with demonstrators hailing Sisi as their hero, and chanting against the “terrorist” Muslim Brotherhood and the man simultaneously funding them and receiving their millions: Barack Obama. The protesters also claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood was behind Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal.
Al Jazeera sources tell Mondoweiss that once Al Jazeera America (AJAM) launches on August 20, American viewers will be unable to access the online livestream of Al Jazeera English (AJE). Because of restrictions imposed by cable providers, AJAM and AJE will both be unavailable to online viewers in the United States.
John Kerry’s new envoy on Middle East negotiations once derided Yasser Arafat as having “that big shit-eating grin of his.” In a speech 4 years ago Martin Indyk made it clear that he comes out of a very pro-Israel background. He said that he decided to move to America and get involved in peace negotiations after the 1973 war, when he worked as a volunteer for Israel and “Israel’s survival seemed to hang in the balance.”
At McSorley’s Old Ale House, the oldest Irish tavern in New York City, hangs an autographed portrait of the late New York Mayor Ed Koch. Koch inscribed a pro-IRA slogan: “England out of Ireland.”
If Kerry fails, Israel will be an apartheid state ‘and that didn’t work too well the last time,’ CENTCOM general warns
Freshly retired CENTCOM Commander General James Mattis spoke bluntly about the costs of the special relationship yesterday at the Aspen Institute: “I paid a military security price every day as a commander of CENTCOM because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel”
Now that the Egyptian army and security services have seized power from the elected Muslim Brotherhood government, the punishment of Palestinians has begun in earnest. While Palestinians are detained or deported en masse at Cairo International Airport, hundreds have been stranded at the Rafah Crossing, which was recently closed by the Egyptian army, compounding a deepening fuel and food crisis. Above, a picture taken today of Palestinian kids waiting at the Rafah Crossing.
Beneath the radar of the US media, Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu succeeded in blocking a statement by European Union member states that would have included sharp criticism of illegal Israeli settlement activity and of the general direction of the peace process. Kerry and Netanyahu depended on Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of Foreign Affairs for the EU and a proxy of Quartet Special Representative Tony Blair, to prevent EU member states from delivering the statement at a June 24 Council gathering in Brussels.
These are exciting times for an affluent Zionist hipster. This Spring, Craig Dershowitz, the tattooed, 32-year-old founder of Artists 4 Israel, arranged for the distribution of thousands of condoms bearing pro-Israel messages at the Spanish island dance bacchanal known as Ibiza. With a tattoo sleeve on his arm depicting revisionist Zionist godfather Vladimir Jabotinsky, his “favorite Jew,” Dershowitz has also brought pro-Israel graffiti artists to college campuses across the U.S. and even to the West Bank city of Hebron where they painted next to Israel army posts and on the the homes of Palestinians while soldiers stood by and watched.
The recent exposure of National Security Agency monitoring of Americans’ emails, live voice communications and stored data cast suspicion once again on private surveillance contractors linked to Israeli intelligence services. One firm called Narus has provided the NSA with technology for almost a decade that enabled it to obtain and analyze at least 80 percent of communications made by Americans over online and telecom channels. What was Narus’ role in the latest scandal, and how far back does its history of spying go?
Cory Booker’s connection to Zionism steeped in religious fundamentalism and ties to the Jewish community
If Newark Mayor Cory Booker succeeds in his bid for the Senate, and there is little reason to believe he will not, he could become one of the most outspokenly pro-Israel members of Congress. While Booker has benefited handsomely from the support of wealthy pro-Israel donors, according to a longtime associate named Ben Karp, the candidate’s politics on Israel derive more from his religiously inspired philo-Semitism than any gratitude to his funders, “I’m 100 percent sure that Cory Booker’s Zionism is genuine . . . He’s more likely to generate hasbara than to recite it.”
Anthony Weiner spoke at 1993 anti-Rabin rally where participants called for Israel PM’s assassination
New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner spoke at a pro-Israel rally on December 13, 1993 in New York that was organized by a far-right pro-Israel millionaire named Manfred Lehmann, who headed a group called the World Council for Israel. Weiner accepted Lehmann’s invitation to speak, joining the longtime Jewish Defense League terror cell leader and NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind on stage before a crowd of 300. According to political science professor Ofira Selikar, “some participants described [Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin as ‘worse than Hitler” and demanded that he be killed.” There is no record of the remarks Weiner made at the rally.
The recent World Economic Forum in Amman, Jordan, was billed as the Obama administration’s milestone moment for reviving the comatose US-led peace process. In a speech brimming with optimism, John Kerry introduced “Breaking The Impasse,” an ambitious initiative that promised to increase the Palestinian GDP by 50 percent. Details of the plan are impossible to come by, except that Tony Blair, the Special Envoy of the Quartet, had been placed in charge. Blair’s record of questionable wheeling and dealing raises serious questions about “Breaking The Impasse” – to the extent that it is a plan at all. Above, Kerry and Blair discussing the peace process in Rome, Italy, May 2013.
Months before Secretary of State John Kerry arrived at this year’s World Economic Forum in Amman, Jordan to meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Nasser Laham, the 46-year-old editor-in-chief of Ma’an News Agency and a key Abbas confidant, told Max Blumenthal the US-led peace process had no future, and neither did the Palestinian Authority.
Yair Lapid was spotted earlier this month by Israeli blogger Tal Schneider seated at a table in heated negotiations over ultra-Orthodox national service obligations with Natan Nathanson. Nathanson happens to be a felon who was convicted of membership in a terrorist organization — the Jewish Underground — in June 1980 after participating in a string of bombing attacks against Palestinian mayors. Above, Lapid sits to the right of Nathanson and across from Naftali Bennett.