I keep saying that Max Blumenthal’s book is important, and a signal moment in the US discourse on the conflict, and here’s more evidence. The rightwing continues to deploy the politics of personal destruction to try and stop this book. The neoconservative Washington Free Beacon seeks to trash the Clintons as anti-Israel by publicizing the fact that Sidney Blumenthal gave a book party for his son Max, for the publication of the book.
Top Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal hosted a book party in October promoting Goliath, an anti-Zionist book that draws equivalence between Israel and Nazi Germany and was written by his son Max Blumenthal…
The news [that Sidney Blumenthal is supporting his son’s book] prompted a rebuke from Alan Dershowitz, a pro-Israel Democrat and Clinton ally, who called on the elder Blumenthal to distance himself from his son’s views.
“In light of the long association between the Clintons and Sid Blumenthal, I hope that the Clintons ask Sid to expressly dissociate himself from his son’s views—and if he refuses to, that they no longer work with him on any matters,” Dershowitz told Breitbart’s Joel Pollak.
This is crazy for a couple of reasons. What proud father doesn’t support his son after the labor of four years? Hat’s off to Sidney. And as for the Clintons, I only wish the linkage the Free Beacon is trying to establish were true. But the Clintons adore Israel and will continue to do so so long as there’s a library to heat and a presidential campaign to boil.
It turns out that the author of the Free Beacon attack, Alana Goodman, is a true partisan ideologue. She wrote this in 2008 in her college paper, praising George W. Bush and Meir Kahane.
But in certain circles, Bush will be deeply missed. In the past 60 years, no U.S. president has been a better friend to Israel. And for a country so desperately in need of friends, his assistance has been invaluable.
I had the honor of seeing Bush speak last February in Washington, D.C. As he approached the microphone – this man who had once famously thrown away Yasser Arafat’s phone number – I felt a wave of sheer gratitude. In Judaism, we have a term for people like Bush. We call them “Chassidey Umot Haolam” – “Righteous Gentiles” – and I’m proud to live in a country being led by one.
The piece compares the second intifada to the Holocaust, then praises rightwing racist Kahane:
The world has negotiated, denounced and condemned for too long. After a while, words lose their meaning unless they are backed up with swift and decisive action.
To borrow a phrase from Rabbi Meir Kahane, “One does not deal with terrorists; one does not bargain with terrorists; one kills terrorists.”
I’m grateful to have a leader who understands this. Bush will be truly missed.
The heat around Blumenthal’s book reminds us, this is a book that the rightwing doesn’t want you to read. When will the liberal mainstream get on the story– and look not at who Blumenthal’s father is but what he’s saying? His book is substantive and crushing. Deal with it.
As we noted last week, Buzzfeed, a site friendly to neocons, undertook the same dirty work as the Free Beacon, seeking to tie the Clintons to critics of Israel by way of Sidney Blumenthal. The author of that piece, Rosie Gray, continues to attack Max Blumenthal– this time citing a favorable review of his book by Gilad Atzmon. Ali Gharib is among several journalists who’ve pointed out that Blumenthal has nothing to do with Atzmon, and that Gray’s tweet is a low blow.
I’d add that the same smear campaign was launched against Walt and Mearsheimer in 2007, because David Duke had praised their work; and that Tony Judt denounced the smear at Cooper Union, quoting Arthur Koestler to the effect that the fact that fascists praise an argument of yours doesn’t make you a fascist.
Update: All this pushback might be spurring sales for Goliath. We intercepted some fun, encouraging tweets yesterday. Take a look at this:
— Ali Gharib (@Ali_Gharib) November 14, 2013
Just checked, it’s still #1 on Amazon’s Best Sellers Israel History. And one of Ali Gharib’s responders:
— Joseph (@VeganJosephinSD) November 14, 2013