Law and Disorder Radio – Max Blumenthal on Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel – Hosts: Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

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 Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel – Max Blumenthal

Operation Cast Lead in 2008 is the starting point of the book Goliath: Life and Loathing In Greater Israel, in which award-winning journalist and author Max Blumenthal shows the reader how a right-wing government in Israel rose to power. His book takes hard look at Israeli authoritarian politics through a cross-section of interviews, from the homes of Palestinian activists to the political leaders behind the organized assault against civil liberties. Max gives readers a rare look into Israeli society that many will not write about.

Max Blumenthal:

  • The first title was “Master Race Democracy.”
  • Israel is always portrayed in our media as this plucky little David surrounded by the Arab Goliath. Of course, reality is 180 degrees different.
  • Matzpen warned that this would happen; they took a full page ad in Haaretz saying, “we will become a police state and a nation of murderers.”
  • That’s where I come in, to show that all of their darkest prophecies have been fulfilled and realized.
  • I take you through Israeli society and through the key institutions of Israeli life to show how it’s playing out.
  • From my time in Jerusalem, where an anti-miscegenation movement is growing in the streets of Israel, leading to mob attacks on young Palestinian men who are accused of making passes at Jewish women, to the convention at the Jerusalem Ramada Inn where key state Rabbis sit on a panel before right-wing settlers, including settler vigilantes, leaders of the anti miscegenation movement, to defend a book, a guide on how and when it’s permissible to kill non-Jews. A guide to genocide which is being distributed in Israeli Army units.
  • Avigdor Lieberman is the man that basically promised to “transfer” hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. He’s a rising force in Israeli society. It’s the youth whose hearts and minds they command.
  • I take you into the Knesset to meet the younger legislators and the rising stars in Lieberman’s party and Netanhayu’s party who are far to the right of Netanyahu. Netanyahu really just commands the hollow center of Israeli politics.
  • Rotem was great because he and other hard core right wingers have this whole philosophy of being dugri or straight. There was nothing I could say to shake him. He looks at me coming in at just another pathetic Jewish liberal who doesn’t really get what it takes to prevent a second Holocaust, and that’s what he said his goal was.
  • It’s completely different from talking to a Republican in the United States, who has to pander to some kind of civil rights sensibility.
  • That’s another thing reviewers missed about my book, is that I analyzed these key votes on major anti-democratic laws going back to 2009. Laws like the Nakba Law which basically criminalized observance of Palestinian dispossession in 2008. Laws like the Acceptance to Community Law which legitimizes racial and religious discrimination for communities of under 500.
  • These are laws that strip off the veneer of democracy and expose apartheid for what it is.
  • It’s the right wing that has captured the heart of Israeli society because they have the dynamism, they’re driving the agenda forward, using a simple mantra – “finish ’48.”
  • In 1948, and actually starting in 1947, 750,000 Palestinian Arabs were expelled to allow the creation of a Jewish state with a Jewish demographic majority, but many stayed behind. 20 percent of the state of Israel is non-Jewish Palestinian.
  • They view Palestinian citizens of Israel increasingly as a fifth column, as a Trojan horse for the Arab world, for Arab nationalism and Islamism.
  • In order to become a citizen of Israel you have swear loyalty to the Jewish state and that applies to Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
  • You will meet the people who are trying to push back inside Jewish-Israeli society on the pages of my book because they were my roommates, my friends. They took me to the flashpoints of ethnic cleansing and conflict.
  • I would count 700 or less active left wingers who are actively leveling their bodies against the occupation and apartheid.
  • The writing’s on the wall for these activists, that there is very little room for them left in Israeli society.
  • What they’ve done is call to the outside. They’re calling to us. They’re organized around the Boycott from Within committee and they’re signing letters asking performers not to come to Israel. They’re signing letters calling on Americans to boycott their country.
  • That is really where the activism of the radical left wing Israelis is going.
  • The Jewish National Fund is supposed to operate within the Green Line only and is probably the leading Jewish non-profit in the world. It receives the most donations from diaspora Jews in the world.
  • Steven Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, recently spoke at one of their banquets. They’ve paid Bill Clinton hundreds of thousands to speak at their banquets.
  • They are also the premier organization linked to the Israeli government involved in ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
  • It’s something we talk about a lot. How Zionism is trying to capture Judaism and change what it means to be a Jew, and declare us who are not only not Zionists, but object to this redefinition of Judaism, to be anathema.
  • You can see it in my video “Feeling the Hate,” where I go to the heart of Jerusalem and meet American Jews from around the country and they line up around my camera the night before Barack Obama’s historic address in Cairo.
  • Zionism is attracting those who are magnetized by the kind of bellicose identity that it requires and is repelling anyone who has any liberal sensibility, or at least throwing them into a moral crisis.
  • I showed up as #9 on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of anti-Israel anti-Semites, and they called me an anti-semitic Jew, not even a self-hating Jew but a Jew who hates Jews.
  • I was tied with Alice Walker by the way.
  • They literally count the calories each Gaza resident is allowed with complex mathematical formulas.
  • Barack Obama has never challenged the idea of holding 1.8 million people under siege because they possess the wrong ethnicity.
  • This situation is expanding, as Jeff Halper from the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions says, into a “global Gaza,” where the techniques that have been used to control people in the Gaza Strip are literally being exported, because Israel is the only country that has the ability to basically lab test such a regime of domination.
  • That’s very appealing to people in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security, to private prison companies like CCA.

Guest – Max Blumenthal, an award-winning journalist and bestselling author whose articles and video documentaries have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, the Independent Film Channel, The Huffington Post, Salon, Al Jazeera English and many other publications. He is a former Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow for The Nation Institute. His book Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, is a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller.