Friday, May 6, 2011

It' s difficult to take Max Blumenthal seriously on Israel

Max Blumenthal is claiming on his blog that Benjamin Netanyahu supported the 9/11 attacks. His headline reads: Top Republicans to welcome Netanyahu, who called 9-11 attacks “very good,” said anti-US terror helps Israel. This headline deliberately distorts the facts to which it refers, i.e. it lies. While Netanyahu, in response to a question about the effect of 9/11 on U.S. - Israeli relations, said that it would improve them, he of course never said that the attacks themselves were good.

Max Blumenthal knows this. Any of his readers with a bit of sense knows this. By stooping to such an obvious distortion in order to paint Israeli leaders as cynical and unfeeling, doesn't Blumenthal do his own readership a disservice? Does he really have so little respect for them?



Blumenthal seems to make a habit of ironically distorting the truth in this manner, as evidenced by the following photograph he posted on his Facebook account. It depicts Blumenthal posing as an Orthodox Jew praying to an image of a demonic Netanyahu. 


The sad thing about such feeble attempts at humor is that Blumenthal actually believes that they reflect the truth: that Netanyahu is a demonic figure who felt that 9/11 was "very good", and that religious Jews worship him. That Blumenthal believes such things to be true indicates that, when it comes to Israel, he cannot be taken seriously. If he had a reasonable argument to make on the subject, he simply wouldn't have to resort to deliberate distortions and offensive stunts.

8 comments:

Evan said...

I don't know. There's a whole lot of distortion going on, but I think you're in on a lot of it. Read the original NY Times article.
You can argue that Blumenthal unfairly seized on a gaffe by Bibi, but he got the quote right. Blumenthal sited the quote in his article.

Adam Holland said...

Evan:

Have you actually read the article you linked to? Blumenthal took the two word quote out of context in order to distort its meaning. Netanyahu was clearly answering a question about U.S.-Israel relations, not about 9/11 itself. Do actually believe that Netanyahu supported 9/11?

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it's true but he was quoted saying: "We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq."

http://www.haaretz.com/news/report-netanyahu-says-9-11-terror-attacks-good-for-israel-1.244044

Adam Holland said...

Blumenthal's headline indicates that Netanyahu believes 9/11 to be "very good". Blumenthal does not say "very good for Israel's standing with the U.S.", which would be a truthful way to say it. He essential cherry-picked a quote without the context that indicated what it actually meant. It is such a clear distortion that I find it difficult to see any defense for it other than to say it was a poor attempt at humor.

I have no doubt that Netanyahu believes that the 9/11 attacks helped Israel's standing with the U.S. The Haaretz article, citing Maariv, indicates that he said as much in a forum in 2006. That is hardly controversial.

Considering how much real controversy exists, what's the purpose of manufacturing controversy out of whole cloth? Fox News does it on a daily basis, and I object to that. I object to Breitbart doing it, and Drudge, and James O'Keefe. Why shouldn't I object when Blumenthal does the same thing?

Adam Holland said...

Looking closer at the Haaretz article you linked to, I see that it referred to the Maariv coverage of the same 2001 comment by Netanyahu that the Times reported on. That Haaretz headline is a serious breach of journalistic standards. I am shocked to see Haaretz' operating at the level of Fox News. That is much more distressing than the Blumenthal column is.

Adam Holland said...

This may be unnecessary, but I want to make clear that, by defending Benjamin Netanyahu against a spurious charge, I am in no way endorsing him or his policies. I just want the debate to take place in a way that accurately reflects the views of all parties. Distortions help no one.

Anonymous said...

I tried to find any mentioning to this speech in Maariv (in hebrew) and I couldn't find any.

I suspect this all thing is a fabrication.

Rob said...

Adam,

In the UK we have Ben White and Jonathan Cook, who follow the same tack if you can smear Isreal do so. There is no balance, context as long as it gets to their agenda.

I apprecaite your work please keep going

Rob

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