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We are inside the walls

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Max Blumenthal on book tour

Max Blumenthal on book tour

Two months ago Peter Beinart wrote a piece in the New York Review of Books saying that the American Jewish community was a “cocoon” that was blocking out other voices on the conflict. He is wrong. The American Jewish community is changing before our eyes, at the grassroots.

The news from Swarthmore is huge. The news from Pew is huge. Yousef Munayyer writing for The New Yorker is huge.

The last time I was in Israel and Palestine I asked Max Blumenthal why he didn’t soften his message a little in Goliath, so that those wed to Zionism would listen. I was wrong. Goliath is being read. Goliath’s unapologetic portrait of a society and ideology gone off the rails is breaking through. Its suppression by the mainstream is only giving it more force

On Wednesday night, the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center hosted Blumenthal to a packed house. They sold out of books and had an overwhelmingly positive response. The event was cosponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace (which opposed the Prawer Plan hammer and tongs while J Street said that it “falls outside the scope of our work”) (and you might think of JVP when you’re doing your tax-deductible gifts this December).

We are inside the walls. We are never leaving.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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6 Responses

  1. Citizen on December 13, 2013, 11:13 am

    Thanks for sharing this progress, Phil. It helps to get through the day knowing your Blog and Max’s equally tireless efforts have resulted in some dilution of AIPAC power in America’s, Israel’s (long term), and the World interest. I say this, speaking as a common American.

  2. Donald on December 13, 2013, 2:23 pm

    ” asked Max Blumenthal why he didn’t soften his message a little in Goliath, so that those wed to Zionism would listen. I was wrong. ”

    Depends on the audience Max is trying to reach. That’s what makes criticism of his tone pointless, something it took me a little bit of time to realize. “Goliath” might not reach people who treat the New York Times as some sort of secular Bible–for them, the admission by Shavit that the Nakba occurred and was a terrible thing is about as far as they can go at the moment. But that doesn’t mean others can’t go further.

  3. ritzl on December 13, 2013, 2:49 pm

    Blumenthal out “Overton-ed” the “Overton-ers” (as in Overton Window). His ridicule of a movement and society run amok was needed to recenter the debate.

    But will he ever be invited to the Aspen Institute?

    Agree. Very important developments.

    I hope his technique ripples out into other issues. Kind of a inverse “Knight of the Mirrors,” from Don Quixote.

  4. Krauss on December 13, 2013, 4:29 pm

    Max’s book just entered a second printing. As I wrote earlier, it is the book to read on Israel. No other book is as meticulous, because, as Max pointed out, no non-Jew could have gotten the access he got. And that’s before we get to all the other things that made the book so great.

    The Munayyer thing is, I think, less a reflection of the Jewish community and more a reflection of American liberal discourse. Sure, you can point to Remnick’s Jewishness but I think that is, in this case, less relevant. If anything it made it easier for Remnick to defend the article by pointing to his Jewishness.

    The Pew is huge news, but less about liberal advocacy for Israel and more about the trend towards individualization of ethnic and religious identity, mirroring American trends.

    For me, the Swarthmore issue is the Rubicon. If they get to stay within Hillel and welcome anti & non-Zionists, then it would be a turning point. That is still undecided, as to whether they will be allowed to stay or not. I think they will. And hopefully we can, at long last, get a debate on Zionism worthy the name.

    It’s long past time.

  5. annie on December 13, 2013, 5:07 pm

    this is excellent news. and i love JVP. i love what they do.

    and estee chandler, JVP-LA Organizer is incredible, just a wonderful person. so a big yahoo! to silverlake JCC, max and estee for pulling this together.

    GO MAX!

    • Citizen on December 14, 2013, 4:16 am

      I just received email notice from JVP saying the visa-waiver bill is now dead in congress–AIPAC tried to get it passed, JVP had folks talking directly to congress critters about it. Too Swarthmore looks like a win. Add the Syrian war turn down by the American population, and yes, we are “inside the walls.” Now, to impede the Establishment spin on the Iran deal….

      Last time I looked on Amazon, the hasbara bots were going crazy in the comment section under Max’s Goliath. The bots rely on Average Americans knowing little facts about the I-P conflict and Israeli governance.

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