The Southern Poverty Law Center has come to Max Blumenthal’s defense against the wretched smear campaign propagated by neoconservatives and Rush Limbaugh that seeks to connect him to the murders outside Kansas City Jewish organizations a week ago. SPLC’s David Neiwert has a “Hatewatch” piece up (that somewhat echoes our excellent piece by Alex Kane and Phan Nguyen) and shows the extent to which the slurs are motivated by Blumenthal’s work on Israel:
[S]everal leading conservatives attempted to blame liberals for the massacre. Specifically, they pinned the blame on a single liberal journalist, Max Blumenthal, because Miller on a handful of occasions praised Blumenthal’s against-the-grain reporting on the right wing in Israel. …
Blumenthal, who is of Jewish descent and has spent years off and on in Israel, does not “despise” Israel. Blumenthal has written a number of articles that criticize Israeli policies, just as Rush Limbaugh regularly criticizes the policies of the United States. Does that mean Limbaugh “despises” America? Of course not.
What’s more, there is no indication whatsoever that anything Blumenthal wrote “inspired” Miller….
Their attacks on Blumenthal spread quickly throughout the right-wing echo chamber, especially at neoconservative websites where Blumenthal is the subject of frequent attacks for his criticism of Israel (particularly his book-length expose of the Israeli right, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel).
Still, the smear continues to echo. Here is neocon Daniel Pipes at the History News Network, in a piece titled– with supposed irony– “Antisemite Max Blumenthal Incites Murder of Three in Kansas.” Pipes claims not to be making such an allegation against Blumenthal even as he dignifies the charge, describing alleged shooter Frazier Glenn Miller’s “many connections to Blumenthal” and calling on “Blumenthal’s fellow leftists to denounce him and shun him. But will they?”
To its credit, HNN has now run Neiwert’s piece, denouncing these bogus conspiracy claims.
In a last ditch desperate effort to stir the pot, pro Israel smear merchant Algemeiner is at it again. Not content to drag Blumenthal through the slime they expanded their target adding a host of new characters as well as a few outlandish fabrications in Kansas Hate Crime Didn’t Emerge From a Vacuum:
Blumenthal has also actively promoted the idea that Judaism itself is a hateful religion, a slander propounded by his Israeli collaborator, Yossi Gurvitz, who has stated that “Rabbinical Judaism is a Judaism that hates humans.” …
Why does any of this matter? Left-wing anti-Zionists are increasingly regarded as acceptable company in the intellectual mainstream. Blumenthal has, for example, recently addressed the New America Foundation, a leading liberal think-tank in Washington, DC, which was apparently unperturbed by his flock of Nazi admirers, or by the fact that he was the subject of a flattering profile on Press TV, the official mouthpiece of the Iranian regime.
How much longer will we buy into the ludicrous idea that Blumenthal carries no responsibility for the way his screeds are interpreted? Similarly, when we read leading political scientist Stephen Walt, co-author of the miserable book “The Israel Lobby,” telling Haaretz that 9/11 was Israel’s fault, why do we continue to view his discourse as more sophisticated then the bigots who parrot him?
People like Frazier Cross don’t emerge from a vacuum.