MAX BLUMENTHAL ON PERILS OF BEING AN ANTI-ZIONIST
Even Light criticism of Israel = Results in Jewish assault on Authors
Max Blumenthal in 2013 published “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel” = Exhaustive look at HORRORS ISRAEL has done to Palestinians.
Blumenthal = Aggressive critic of Israel = “the Concentration Camp.” + Called anti-Semitic as a Jew + “The Anti-Israel Handbook”
Israel is a mass murdering criminal state that robbs land while DOLING OUT PAIN AND MURDER AND COMMUNIAL DESTRUCTION OF CIVILIANS. = Palestinians are brutalized and treated like animals.
Israel = World’s only active settler colonial = Most severe image of what can happen to people deemed surplus humanity by another — A stark issue. And the Republican Party is the future base of pro-Israel support in the US.
You were attacked for the book.
The book is a vehicle for a movement that’s growing in USA so obviously I became a target. I was a hard target, not just because I’m Jewish but I am NOT an extremist. So attacks are grow increasingly desperate. One called me a white supremacist who went on a shooting spree in Kansas City and attacked a Jewish center — They said I had convinced some racist to stab Jews. All silly lies.
I was shocked when I saw Palestinians – I wasn’t prepared emotionally or psychologically, what surprised me the most was how normalized the conditions of occupation and the sense of creeping fascism had become… Just how openly expressed the racism was, how immunized people were to what was happening within Israeli society, how routine violence was in the West Bank.
After several months it becomes normal to you. You become accustomed to the violence, accustomed to the racism. But you have to allow yourself to be disturbed in order to produce journalism for the outside world — If you take it in there is a sense of outrage.
A flurry of far right articles paint me as an anti-Semite because I’ve published in NYT. All they have left is this allegation of anti-Semitism. All they care about is my relationship to Israel — Opposition to a religiously and ethnically exclusive state.
In Germany does not distinguish between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Germany has absolved itself of any Holocaust guilt by supporting Israel. So I was targeted there.
Eric Alterman, only liberal to attack me is really aggressive. He wrote nine vitriolic personal attacks on the Nation website painting me as some kind of neo-Nazi. I was a little bit surprised at how desperate and rabid the attacks are.
I live in the New York area, and get recognized by strangers who shake my hand and make conversation and offer a lot of encouragement.
The mood has shifted over the years and the NYT inviting me to write after refusing to review my book. Jim Fallows, the editor-in-chief of the Atlantic, wrote a really rousing defense of my book. The New York Review of Books finally published a positive review of my book.
A major shift in the debate has happened. David Remnick of the New Yorker, a liberal Zionist, wrote a piece basically throwing in the towel on the two-state solution, suggesting we have to start exploring solutions that deal with the issue of rights rather than land. So it’s kind of gone mainstream in a way.
What hasn’t been challenged enough is the issue of Zionism.
I call myself an advocacy journalist since everyone brings their prejudices and their experiences to their work, but my work rises and falls on journalistic factual analysis to gain any traction.
It’s increasingly hard to get out of the Israeli box, for two reasons. One is because I’m one of the few people doing it. But the second reason is once you really start going into the issue, you start seeing things in a different way. My perspective has been sharpened on issues like police brutality, the militarization of police, American politics in the Middle East.
Republicans are more inclined to support Israel as the future landing pad of the Messiah. GOG loves that Israel is the only country in the West with clear ethnic and religious criteria for who can be a citizen. Many in GOP think America should be a white, Christian nation, and Israel provides a great model of racism.
What’s going to happen with Israel and American relations?
My books guide you through — Republican Gomorrah explains that GOP is going to have a huge challenge holding executive power in the United States because they’ve moved so far to the right. ONLY 18% voted for them in 2014 but apathy let them win. Democrats will hold the White House for the next ten years.
In Goliath, Israel is in a right-wing trend for the rest of its existence due to militarization of Israeli society and rising religious nationalists — Rising racism among Jewish Israeli youth. The clash between US and Israel is going to become more open. So Israeli lobbyists will increase the pressure on the president. But more generals and joint chiefs are complaining about Israel harming US interests, plus the mainstreaming of BDS movement, and the mainstreaming of the narrative I’ve been presenting.
I’ve been back to Israel without any trouble. I visited Gaza Strip this summer and was inspired by the place, and by the way people are able to maintain resilience and high spirits in a place that’s uninhabitable and increasingly unbearable.
You never know when you’re going to wind up on some list like some of my Jewish friends and be denied entry or deported for ten years.
Israeli government cares nothing about journalism unless it appears in a place like the New York Times.