Guardian

Guardian promotes hater Max Blumenthal to the position of ‘Israeli affairs specialist’.


A guest post by Petra Marquardt-Bigman

max picA recent Guardian article celebrating reports that Tony Blair was about to “step back from his role as a peace envoy for the Middle East” referred to notorious anti-Israel activist Max Blumenthal as an “Israeli affairs specialist” and – as if this was not preposterous enough – went on to claim that Blumenthal shared with Blair’s predecessor and former World Bank president James Wolfensohn the belief “that progress in peace talks comes first, and only when they have delivered some sort of stability will private investment follow.” 

As anyone who has ever read anything by Max Blumenthal on Israel would know, he has absolutely no interest in any “progress in peace talks,” because he specializes in demonizing the Jewish state as too evil to be allowed to exist. While Blumenthal can’t quite make up his mind if it’s more effective to malign Israel as the Nazi Germany of our time or as the Jewish version of the savage terror group ISIS/Islamic State, he clearly believes that the world would be a much better place without a Jewish state and that peace will only come once Israel’s Jews have been turned into a defenseless minority forced to choose between submitting to Arab rule and emigrating.

Given Blumenthal’s views on Israel, his output not only appeals to activists campaigning for the delegitimization and elimination of Israel as a Jewish state, but it is also popular on all the major sites frequented by conspiracy theorists, antisemites, racists and neo-Nazis: from Stormfront to David Duke’s site, Rense, and Veterans Today. Indeed, wherever there are Jew-haters, Max Blumenthal has fans who admire him as an “Israeli affairs specialist.”

A telling example of the kind of material that people who rely on Blumenthal as an “Israeli affairs specialist” get to read was provided when Blumenthal recently joined the effort to blame Israel (instead of heavy rain) for the flooding of Gaza. Like many other anti-Israel activists, Blumenthal posted a tweet with a link to an excerpt from a lengthy article authored by a Holocaust denier and 9/11 conspiracy theorist who was unwilling to accept the fact that there are no dams anywhere near Gaza that could be opened by Israel to flood the territory.

So if producing material appreciated by Jew-haters and promoting material produced by other Jew-haters is your idea of an “Israeli affairs specialist,” Max Blumenthal certainly fits the bill.

69 replies »

    • I forced myself to wade through the bile and stench that masquerades as a book, namely ‘Goliath’ by Blumenthal and it is truly disgusting. There is not one piece of fact-based evidence, just pages and pages of heresay and opinion. Time after time when describing an Israeli Jew, Blumenthal comments on the colour of their hair and eyes. Hitler, and his aides, could not have written a more Jew hating piece of garbage. If the Guardian calls Blumenthal ‘an Israeli specialist’ then it has stooped lower than I could ever have imagined. I stay tuned to this site to support its work and to bring down the Guardian and all its followers in one foul swoop some day.

  1. It does illuminate much that is wrong about the Guardian’s coverage of Israel (and much else) that they choose to believe that an extreme, unbalanced activist such as Blumenthal (see also, eg, Ben White) is a source of information. To be fair, the author of this piece is Francis Beckett is a freelancer (much of this newspaper, certainly it’s website is subcontracted out these days)

    Although described by the Guardian as a historian, here are his actual credentials:

    He graduated in history and philosophy from the University of Keele in 1969 and was one member of that year’s-two-man debating team sent to tour the USA. He has been president of the National Union of Journalists and worked on two national newspapers; was head of press and publications at the National Union of Students, a trade union head of communications, and a Labour Party press officer; ran his own PR consultancy; and has edited about a dozen magazines and written for many more. He was an organiser for the housing charity Shelter and has taught in schools, adult education, further education and a university (teaching the Journalism MA at the University of Westminster.)

    It’s all there – class of ’69, president of the NUJ, trade union ‘head of communications’ and – the coup de grace – teacher of Journalism at the Uni of Westminster. Basically, a hack and a good example of the phrase ‘a little learning is a dangerous thing’. So this is the chap that chose Blumenthal as his go-to “specialist”.

    You have to laugh.

    • John –

      You do, indeed, make a fair point about Beckett being a freelancer – and therefore not “the Guardian” which is describing Blumenthal here. Hopefully Adam will take note and amend his headline accordingly. (Other regularly “subcontracted” writers, you might have added – just to underscore the point – include the very Israel-friendly Nick Cohen, and, on at least two occasions, Israel’s UK ambassador Daniel Taub.)

      As for your selective Beckett biography and poo-poohing of his credentials as a historian: He has written biographies of Aneurin Bevan, Clement Atlee and Harold Macmillan – all distinctly historical figures – as well as books titled ‘Enemy Within – The Rise and Fall of British Communism’; ‘Stalin’s British Victims’; and ‘Firefighters and the Blitz’, which all sound pretty much like “history” publications to me.

      Hardly the mere “hack” with only “a little learning” you describe, I suggest…

      • I’m quite certain you don’t believe that a person’s academic credentials means they’re automatically intelligent, good at writing, or attached to work that they have any background to perform. All of those things CAN and often ARE true but it’s not an automatic deal.
        Having read Beckett’s piece, it mostly exists to perform steno work for Hanan Ashwari, mention someone who has all of Beckett’s weaknesses and none of his skills (that would be Azajew Blumenthal), meander through his CiF-typical hatred of the former PM, and inspire comments that genuinely had me laughing when I read them (it’s just fun to see posh Leftists either scream like rabid dogs or cut and paste demands that someone they don’t like get thrown in jail RIGHT NOW).
        Maybe Beckett has done well elsewhere. Objectively, this piece he wrote sucks, and citing a brain donor like Max B. in any context is, unfortunately, not the only way it comes across as a poor round of sod even by CiF’s undemanding standards.

        • Ben –

          You say: “Maybe Beckett has done well elsewhere. Objectively, this piece he wrote sucks … even by CiF’s undemanding standards.”

          You’ll be horrified, then, to see what the Daily Mail made of it – running serialised extracts from his book over “days” no less. Take a look at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2998076/Blair-cared-getting-filthy-rich-did-peace-Middle-East-write-FRANCIS-BECKETT-DAVID-HENCKE.html

          Strange, isn’t it, how sometimes there’s consensus between unlikely (and EXTREMELY different) bedfellows as the Guardian and Mail, James Wolfensohn, Clive Hollick and Max Blumenthal … and yet remains a view unshared by a single (as far as I can see, so far at any rate) UK Media Watch acolyte….

          • Pleasure to get your POV on how vile Tony Blair is, which is something a lot of Brits seem to agree on but wasn’t the point of the original post (you can read, it seems to an extent, so you know that). Since that wasn’t the main reason Beckett lacks talent, I’m not going to run in circles with you. Suffice it to say that one person’s acolyte is another person’s respecter of the work that someone else is doing–and that citing MaxBPad as an authority on something other than mental illness (first hand knowledge and all that) makes someone a hack. Which you already know b/c you tried to pivot from it. Didn’t work.

      • Up comes the apology by a self hater, diverting from the fact that Beckett has not faintest knowledge of contemporary Jewish or Israeli affairs, but nevertheless feeling competent to write about. This self empowered hybris might be fueled by his historical works which, of course, have little to do with Israel.
        PR describes his ‘work’ correctly when it comes to Israel.

        • Fritz –

          “Self-hater” isn’t half as rude an insult as “self-lover” (colloquially – “wanker”). But I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that this is the main contrast between my supposed “self-opinion” and yours. On second thoughts, though…

          • On second thought it is quite telling that you connect your self hate with sexuality.
            Poor girl.

            • The SUPPOSED (read my post again) self-hate YOU say I suffer from is entirely a figment of your limited, propaganda-infected imagination. Interesting that you have no quarrel with the sexually-charged “self-love” label I slapped back on you, however.

              Ah, well, if the cap fits, Fritz, please do carry on wearing it.

              • “a figment of your limited, propaganda-infected imagination” – what a pathetic creature you are, entirely devoid of self-awareness.

      • “Beckett being a freelancer – and therefore not “the Guardian” which is describing Blumenthal here. ”

        Was his article from “The Beckett Newsletter?” Or was it printed in the Guardian? Does the Guardian have editors like most actual newspapers, with editorial discretion? Did those editors see that Blumenthal was being described as an “Israeli affairs specialist” before approving of this unmitigated nonsense? Would they have allowed Beckett to call Blumenthal the King of Norway?

        No need for Adam to amend anything, but perhaps the Guardian should.

      • “He has written biographies of Aneurin Bevan, Clement Atlee and Harold Macmillan – all distinctly historical figures”
        – not too bright, are you, dear? Writing biographies does not make one a historian.

        • Leah –

          Sure, writing biographies doesn’t make one a historian if those biogs happen to be of pop singers, actors, footballers and such-like “celebs”. But when they’re of politicians who had major impacts on the the world of yesteryear, it’s kinda difficult for the author NOT to describe and explore the historical context and significance of their lives. And that means writing “as a historian”, even if only in part. You also seem, for some strange reason, to have totally ignored the bit in my post which listed the following Beckett books: ‘Enemy Within – The Rise and Fall of British Communism’; ‘Stalin’s British Victims’; and ‘Firefighters and the Blitz’.

  2. The Guardian, Blair and Blumenthal are collectively a piece of work in particular when it comes to Israel. I’m certain they would spew the classic answer that they have Israeli and Jewish friends so how could they possibly be AntI-Semitic or not trying to help Israel. Once you get past the dribble and look at the actIons you don’t need to go further, they speak for themselves. Each once can choose to Interpret them the way they we want to that Is all I can say.

    • Yes I could have made a list of all the freelance writers used by Guardian, and in alphabetical order, true.

      And this man has written books which may or may not have merit, I have no idea – never heard of him as a historian. However, if those books rely on sources similar to in nuttiness to Blumenthal, then I am even more aghast.

      But what is unacceptable in a historian/journo – even in a hack – is to write an article (on any subject) choosing a nutcase as a guru.

      • John (and Ben) –

        I wasn’t making any comment on the merit – or otherwise – of Beckett’s writing. All I was doing was correcting a very misleading impression you gave that the Guardian’s description of him as a historian was belied by what you presented as his “actual” credentials. By omitting to mention quite a substantial body of published works, which (whether you like/agree with Beckett or not) are most definitely pertinent to the “historian” label, it was you who gave a skewed picture – not the Guardian.

        • So, self hater, how exactly do those publications make him fit to write about this issue we discuss? Pinning down his camment to his work as PR man is fitting.

        • Yes Miranda, its important to see the whole picture. I’m sure you can empathise with another intellectual who, like you, loved the ‘science’ and academic certainties that his head-measuring callipers gave him: Reinhard Heydrich. He was an Olympic fencer, a talented pianist and was once the head of Interpol. Quite an impressive set of credentials and an all round ‘good egg’! So subjective and primitive to judge his work exclusively at the Reich Main Security Office and as chair at the Wannsee Conference. Just so ‘not cricket’ with these incorrigible, bad faith Zionists.

          • Groovy Times –

            Are you seriously implying that Francis Beckett is in ANY way comparable to a monster like Heydrich? If so, you have problems of bad judgement, bias, hyperbole, unfairness and inaccuracy that are probably beyond all hope of repair.

            • Now, tell us, what is your opinion of Blumenthal? Is he an old hand in Israel affairs or just another self hater like you?

              • They are not self-haters Fritz, exactly the opposite – they simply hate the other Jews who are not ready to adore them like they adore themselves.

              • Fritz Wunderlich –

                “Now, tell us, what is your opinion of Blumenthal?”

                See my reply to @peterthehungarian in next nest.

              • Sorry Miranda, am I being too obtuse? I thought your model for balanced criticism of Israel / Jew-bashers could be universally applied.

  3. Blumentahl is an Israeli affairs specialist as Adolf Eichmann was an expert on Judaism and the Guardian is a liberal newspaper.

    • peterthehungarian –

      Here’s another way of putting it: Blumentahl is an Israeli affairs specialist as Avigdor “We must lift up an ax and behead them” Liberman is an expert on Middle East race relations and UK Media Watch is a fair and balanced monitor of inaccuracies in reporting on Israel.

      • Miranda you sadly mixing a watchdog blog with a newspaper reporting on Israel and using straw man arguments. Nobody considers Lieberman an expert on ME race relations only maybe you.
        Sometimes I wonder why have all Israel haters the IQ of an amoeba and are unable to put together any reasonable sentence without demonstrating their inability to understand simple texts and ideas.

        • peterthehungarian –

          “Nobody considers Lieberman an expert on ME race relations only maybe you. “

          It’s you, I’m afraid, who apparently has the IQ of an amoeba, Peter. I no more consider Liberman to be an ME race relations expert than you consider Eichmann to to have been a Judaism expert.

          • You should remember what you wrote only one hour ago, but I admit to expect this would be delusional.

          • Poor Miranda, can’t follow a simple logical sequence of premisses and consequences that a moderaly bright 12-year old should be able to master.

          • Does it bother you that you’ve posted multiple entries and haven’t made a single intelligent point?

  4. Reading Guardian with its CIF section feels like reading some insane neo-Nazi site. The hatred of Israel is so fierce that it reminds the Antisemitism from the first half of the 20th century.

    • Agreed – the below the line commentary has been like like Orwell’s 2 minute hate spread out over days. There have been thousands and thousands of comments on the whoknowshowmany articles in the last few days on Israel and Mr Netanyahu.

      Many of them are straight from the extreme right – eg. made up quotes the provenance of which can only be found on Rense / US Veterans (or whatever it’s called) – and the other fools who believe themselves to be ‘of the left’ are eagerly agreeing without understanding that they have slipped into the cesspit. They are competing with one another for the most outlandish things to say about Israel. It is something to behold and gives me a tiny insight into what went on during the demonisation of Jews in the 1930s (and yes, I know that this is as nothing to the daily sewer pouring out of the Arab press).

      • “this is as nothing to the daily sewer pouring out of the Arab press” – not really. The English in Al Guardian is more refained (sometimes), but I see little difference.

    • “Reading Guardian with its CIF section feels like reading some insane neo-Nazi site”

      – No kidding. Maybe it’s because that’s just what it is.

  5. But his comments are unlikely to cut much ice with Obama administration officials who largely blame him for undermining the Middle East peace process, not least through his policy of settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    Speaking shortly after Netanyahu’s interview, Earnest issued a blunt rebuke for the prime minister.

    “What is apparent is that in the context of the campaign and while he was the sitting prime minister of Israel, he walked back from commitments that Israel had previously made to a two-state solution,” Earnest said.

  6. To be honest, this man knows his stuff.

    We never even read it, yet we criticise…. We need to read, people.

  7. Long past time to have an honest reporter such as Max Blumenthal on the job. The very fact so many racists are screaming is proof they are afraid the truth about Israeli terrorism is finally getting out worldwide.

    • Mary Hughes Thompson on your ‘Twitter’ account you claim to be a co-founder of the ‘Free Gaza Movement’.
      Interesting.

      When you write about being afraid the truth is finally getting out worldwide, is this the truth you mean as expressed by your other co-founder Greta Berlin?
      http://www.jpost.com/International/Free-Gaza-group-Zionists-ran-concentration-camps

      Yes, I can understand why you would be afraid about the truth getting out about the disgusting views expressed by your co-founder.

    • yeah , so right about all them racists screaming . see it inside university campuses more often .
      MB = a racist screamer with a megaphone .

    • If you have difficulty finding “journalists” who look for angles to demonize Israel, then you are as oblivious to journalism as you obviously are to facts.

  8. Max blumenthal supported the Palestinian terrorist massacring the 3 month old Jewish baby in October by running her over with a car.
    Here’s what Max wrote and a great post by a poster in response.

    Some facts on deadly Jsalem car incident: Driver was jailed 4 stone throwing & tortured endlessly while settlers took over his neighborhood.
    Oct 26, 2014

    Sam Hakosem ‏@SamHakosem Oct 26
    @MaxBlumenthal Excellent justification for a mass murder: a 3 month old baby, another women, and an attempt to kill 10 more…

  9. Max Blumenthal who tried to say a Thai worker massacred the Fogel family in Itamar 3 years ago.

    http://www.maxblumenthal.com/2011/03/after-itamar-exploring-the-logic-that-makes-everyone-a-target/
    After Itamar: Exploring the cynical logic that makes everyone a target
    Max Blumenthal on March 15, 2011
    ———————————
    My comments.
    Even after it became known that a Palestinian committed the massacre, Blumenthal made excuses for this Arab terrorist.
    The Guardian is totally sick for having a racist Arab terrorist apologist like Max write opinions for them.

  10. Let me put another Pallywood lie Max claimed happened in the Gaza war last summer.
    He claimed Israeli soldiers in Gaza went to Palestinian houses and asked the people in the house if any Arab spoke Hebrew. Max claimed that some of the Arabs said they spoke Hebrew to the Israeli soldiers and the Israeli soldiers then shot and killed these Arabs.
    This is the biggest lie in history since the Jenin massacre Hoax.
    The fact that Blumenthal can make up these lies and yet a paper hires him shows how demented the Guardian is.
    Here is the lie Max claimed. Just like the lie Max claimed when he said Thai workers committed the Itamar massacre and not the Palestinians.

    Max didn’t tell you Hamas executed Palestinians who were accused of being Israeli agents because they could speak Hebrew and had Israeli mobile phone SIM cards.
    The executions were by Hamas.

    http://www.alternet.org/world/israel-put-trial-war-crimes
    AlterNet writer Max Blumenthal describes what he saw in Gaza following a humanitarian ceasefire from last month.
    By Max Blumenthal / AlterNet September 26, 2014

    When I interviewed the Abu Said family in the southern city of Rafah, I found more evidence of the wanton targeting of Palestinian civilians who spoke Hebrew. Nineteen-year-old Mahmoud Abu Said told me when Israeli soldiers arrived at his family’s home on the city’s eastern outskirts, they immediately inquired if anyone spoke Hebrew. When his father, Abdul Hadi Abu Said, answered in the affirmative, they shot him in the chest (he miraculously survived).

    In Khuza’a, just east of Khan Younis, where the most grisly massacres of the war occurred, numerous witnesses told me about a similar incident in which Israeli soldiers gathered male residents in the center of town and asked if anyone spoke Hebrew. I was told by these multiple witnesses that when a middle-aged man stepped forward and answered that he did, he was shot in the chest and killed. These atrocities form a chilling pattern.

  11. The article fails to mention that Max Blumenthal is Jewish. I consider him a true hero of the Jewish people and as an American Jew I am completely proud of what he is doing. The article fails to mention that there are a lot Jews everywhere who are opposed to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the numerous, dreadful crimes that Israel is committing against the Palestinian people. The article basically falls back on name calling and the false equating of criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. Of course people are mad at Israel for what Israel is doing. If Israel wants respect they need to earn it by ending the war crimes and the occupation and restoring human and civil rights to the Palestinian people.

    • You ignore the dreadful crimes that Palestinians commit against Israelis on a daily basis. Furthermore, criticism of any country may be justifiable, but looking for angles to demonize Israel, holding it to impossible standards does indeed constitute anti-Semitism. Third, you also repeat the mantra of occupation, which itself is a myth invented by Arabists and perpetuated by their left-wing servants. There is nothing to state that Jews do not have as much right to the land as Arabs, even more San Remo deemed all of what today comprises Israel and Jordan as the Jewish homeland. Instead, you just ignore Palestinian war crimes and purport to deny basic human and civil rights to the Israeli people.

  12. Abbas and the entire Palestinian political and ideological leadership are rejectionist. Mainstream Palestinian values are rejectionist. They want the Jews gone and they say it everyday. They brag about terrorizing and murdering Israelis.
    Just look how many streets the Palestinian Arabs have named for terrorists who murdered Israeli civilians.
    The Palestinians have run out of streets and are now naming park benches after terrorists!
    All anyone has to do is go on Palmediawatch to see the racist Fatah hatemongers.
    http://www.palwatch.org

    The Palestinians have a GNP of terrorism and is banking on the left and Europeans to continually press Israel into the corner of capitulation

  13. If you start off an article based on the idea that criticising the State of Israel and Zionist nastiness – and there is plenty of it – means you are an unreliable source of information and a Jew Hater, the label of your blog, Warped Mirror is particularly apt! Those who dare criticise Israel, Netanyahu and the many other nasty pieces of work in the country are not exempt from criticism because of the fear of being labelled Jew Haters. That card is worn-out; no-one on this planet has sole rights to suffering – there is plenty of it all over to go around. The idea that because you are a critic, questions whether or not you are an expert on Middle Eastern or Israeli affairs is a warped view. I hope you don’t think Blair is an expert; he is anything but an expert
    Max Blumethal most certainly does know his stuff, enough so to have had a major change of heart in his life because he has a conscience. The demonising of the Jewish State needs no help, they do a pretty good job of it themselves. Labelling critics, Jew haters is a desperate resort to silence critics, it just won’t work anymore. The world has woken up!

    • If you start off contemplating an issue with the premise that Israel is at fault-and there are plenty of examples-it means that you are in fact an anti-Semite who tries to disguise his hatred by calling it anti-Zionism. Warped mirror is definitely particularly apt! Those who look for angles to demonize Israel are rightfully called Jew Haters. Libero-fascists of this type then typically whine about being labeled anti-Semites as a tactic to try to evade being labeled for what they truly are. There is suffering all over the world, but libero-fascists have made Palestinian suffering such as having to be searched for weapons the fashionable cause celebre. The idea that blindly accepting Palestinian propaganda makes youi an expert in Middle Eastern or Israeli affairs is a warped view.
      Max Blumenthal most certainly knows the art of propaganda which would not be the case if he had a conscience. The demonizing of the Jewish state sadly obsesses very many people on the left. Trying to evade being called anti-Semitic, when that is what it is, is a tactic to try to silence critics.
      Proof positive that Barry is one of those libero-fascists. They’re the only ones that appoint themselves world spokespeople.