Monday, December 16, 2013

Max Blumenthal on Growing Inter-Ethnic Strife

From the outset, it should be pretty clear that Max Blumenthal has every reason in the world not to cover the topics he writes about.  Blumenthal's father is Sidney Blumenthal, of Clinton White House fame, and the facts of how Clinton himself brokered the 'peace process' are ones that did impact things leading to this current situation.  Blumenthal's father, however, seems to have instilled in his son a deeper respect for the journalistic integrity of a real reporter.  Previous to Washington DC, the elder Blumenthal was a scribe for the Boston Phoenix, and his impact remains notable for some old timers.
The popular press has pretty much stonewalled Max's book, GOLIATH: LIFE AND LOATHING IN GREATER ISRAEL.  The younger Blumenthal has been making a steady beat in the last decade in researching the Right Wing, racism, and inter-connections with the GOP.  This seemed like perfect work for him, especially considering that his father was a victim of Ken Starr.  
But now comes this tome, at 512 pages, about the 2009 election of Netanyahu and the abject depravity of a Palestinian's treatment by Israel.  Corresponding with this book, Blumenthal has released video reports that were later censored by YouTube.  As of this 12/16/13 writing, there are 68 negative reviews of the book, and they  are mostly about how the author is a self-hating traitor to his heritage.  He has yet to appear on a major network to promote his book, just at a moment when his views would be most valuable in understanding topics including canards regarding Iranian mega-nukes, Israeli violations of even their own citizen's free speech rights, and the Netanyahu's war against the African 'demography issue', caused by refugees from Sudan and Darfur seeking asylum in Tel Aviv.
FEELING THE HATE IN JERUSALEM was filmed prior to President Obama's Cairo speech in 2009, and is a sampling of interviews with drunken birth-right frat boys who share their true feelings on the first African-American President.  What strikes me most about this bar is that the entire place seems like an American night spot, and the accents of all the subjects are American, perhaps by way of Long Island.

FEELING THE HATE IN NEW YORK, released in April 2010, documents a Manhattan anti-Obama rally, including speakers from the New York Democratic Party, who rail against his alleged conciliatory gestures towards whatever bogeyman they can concoct, such as highlighting his middle name.  Norman Finkelstein has previously written in BEYOND CHUTZPAH about the schism within the historic Jewish/African-American social justice movements, dating back to the 1970's, when Jews were alienated from black issues including school demographics, bussing, and education.  While Jews benefited tremendously from Affirmative Action, other historic minorities have remained economically immobile.  Cornel West has further emphasized that black anti-Semitism is generated from resentment because of this strategic loss.
There is no real resolution to this essay, but my point always has been to rather just observe the media and see what happens.  I have lately been working through the films of Michel Khleifi and re-reading Edward Said's QUESTION OF PALESTINE, a text I find immensely useful in working with the idea of identity.  Furthermore, I want to begin viewing Udi Aloni in the near future, and I would be interested in hearing from readers willing to help me find some of his work.  Recently, I watched a portion of Aloni's talk about bi-nationalism, and it gave me a certain amount of re-invigoration.  If I keep on pointing out what the artists on both side are saying, then hopefully the Readers will better understand how to communicate about these issues in confronting policy makers.  But, as Blumenthal's case shows, there is a serious effort to keep this silent.
Without any cynicism, this sort of media black-out is not surprising, and that also indicates what is really going on in terms to the American public and their understanding of the conflict.
Buy the book, see for yourself.

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