In the aftermath of the month-long Gaza slaughter, author and journalist Max Blumenthal is in Israel and Palestine. Two videos have been posted on Youtube within the past few days which are important documents for at least a few reasons.
Longtime Firedoglake readers are probably aware that I have been following Blumenthal’s progress since he showed up at our door in September, 2008, looking for a Wasilla, Alaska base from which to investigate aspects of Sarah Palin’s Fundamentalist Christianist beliefs.
His two books, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, and Goliath: Fear and Loathing in Greater Israel, were both covered here in our book salons. Media reception of the two books could not have been more different than what occurred.
The first, a scathing look at racism, weird religious practices, intimidation and organizational modes among Fundamentalist and Evangelical Christians within the framework of the GOP Right over the years, was warmly welcomed by the media. The book, partially through media praise and coverage, became a New York Times bestseller. It has turned out to be prophetic, and is widely regarded to be so.
His recent book, a scathing look at racism, weird religious practices, intimidation and organizational modes among Israeli and American Zionists within the context of Israeli history since the Nakba, was coldly, brutally treated by most of our American media. Or ignored. Soon after publication, with the events of this winter, spring and summer, it has turned out to be profoundly prophetic. But this resonance is largely being avoided, at least by our mainstream media outlets.
During the year-long bogus peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, the late Spring cynical Israeli rampage through the West Bank, and Operation Protective Edge, Max has written a series of articles on these events, while touching upon many other subjects about which he has gained familiarity or authority. During the past week, in the wake of the heavy-handed police presence in Ferguson, Missouri, numerous articles have cited Max’s seminal 2011 article, From Occupation to “Occupy”: The Israelification of American Domestic Security.
The following two interviews contain some common material. Rather than post just one, I feel it important to post both, as each touches unique material the other does not. It is important to note that among the most strident criticisms of Blumenthal’s Goliath were those claiming the book exaggerated or over-emphasized the degree of racism in Israel, that it underrated the extent of influence liberals have in Israeli society, or that it simplified something that is very complicated and cannot be understood without some sort of Zio-centric “context.” In both interviews Max ties in the content of Goliath and its prophetic aspects with powerful, sordid and tragic events that have occurred since its publication last year.
I. The German webcasters, Jung & Naiv, interview Max Blumenthal on a hill overlooking the port of Yafa and the settler city of Tel Aviv:
II. Cenk Uygur interviews Max Blumenthal, who was in Ramallah, on The Young Turks: