I had hoped to write about this topic on a day when I had more time to devote to it. But this piece by Robert Parry
has forced the issue.
A long time ago, I predicted that the real "scandal" of Hillary's emails would concern Max Blumenthal, the son of Sidney Blumenthal. The Israeli press has published a number of little-noticed (but very telling) stories which argue -- not unreasonably -- that Hillary may be two-faced on the topic of Israel. After all, she counts among her closest friends the father (Sidney Blumenthal) of Israel's most effective critic (Max Blumenthal).
In other words, Hillary is but one degree of separation away from a key promoter of the BDS movement. Nothing similar can be said of any other candidate.
That relationship might well be enough to drive away the much-needed backing of Chaim Saban and other deep-pocketed supporters.
Max, I should note, has become a staunch Hillary critic and a de facto Sanders supporter. (I'd link to examples, but you can find them yourself easily enough.) But the younger Blumenthal's behavior has been -- well, odd
. And by "odd," I mean uncharacteristically non-talkative. I've never seen him discuss his father's role as a Clinton confidante, and I've never seen him place himself in a situation where he might have to take questions about his father's relationship with Hillary Clinton.
Is Max's critique of Hillary genuine, or is it -- at least partly -- a pose? I'm not sure.
I do know that if Max had said nice
things about Hillary, the Saban wallet would probably be closed to her, and her Republican opponents would have pounced. If Max really wanted to keep her out of the White House, he'd endorse her.
It's also quite obvious that Hillary's obnoxious speech to AIPAC -- along with her other vows of fealty to His Bibiness -- are meant to offset the damage done by all this talk concerning her relationship with the Blumenthal family.
It is fascinating to note that Hillary has said nice things about Max -- in private. The emails (available via Wikileaks) contain laudatory comments about Max Blumenthal's writings on the American right. (I haven't yet seen an email about Goliath
Many of the emails contain open press articles from various liberal and lefty sites. Believe it or not, people in Hillary Clinton's State Department read a fair amount of work by progressive writers. I even ran across a piece that disses Saban!
For months now, pro-Israeli journals have published pieces arguing that Hillary may be a secret anti-Semite who hopes to do harm to Israeli interests. You probably haven't read these arguments; they clash with the narrative that most of you prefer to believe. But I have
read this material, at least some of it.
Now, the sotto
theme has gone fortissimo
An ugly feature of life in modern Washington is that anyone who dares criticize Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians can expect to be subjected to nasty accusations of “anti-Semitism” and other attacks that are meant to make the target politically untouchable.
For example, The New York Times published a full-page ad on Saturday paid for by a pro-Zionist group called The World Values Network featuring a grainy graphic of Sidney Blumenthal and his son Max Blumenthal along with a demand that “Hillary Clinton must disavow her anti-Israel advisors.”
The text accuses Sidney Blumenthal, Clinton’s longtime personal friend and adviser, of sending the Secretary of State emails in which “he was obsessed with painting the Jewish state in the most unflattering light.”
The ad cites Blumenthal writing on March 20, 2010, that “The policy of the present Israeli government is endangering the lives of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Blumenthal is also attacked for noting Israeli “settlers’ theft of water from Palestinian towns” and, according to the ad, sending Clinton an article “claiming Israel was pursuing goals contrary to U.S. interests, while ‘starting a rebellion’ against the United States.”
Though such comments might seem like no-brainers to anyone who has followed Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians and how that behavior has inspired Islamic extremism, The World Values Network views the comments as evidence of anti-Semitism.
The ad then denounces Blumenthal’s son, Max, saying “Even more shocking still were Sid Blumenthal’s attempts to feed Hillary Clinton toxic analysis from his son Max, a self-declared ‘anti-Zionist’ and fanatical Israel-hater. This rotten apple did not fall far from the tree.”
The World Values Network is headed by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who likes to go by the nickname “America’s Rabbi.” The group is one of many that has sought to scar any political figure who won’t toe the line of Israel’s right-wing government as it rejects any reasonable peace agreement with the Palestinians and periodically “mows the grass” by launching bloody attacks on Gaza and the West Bank.
I've already quoted Parry rather too liberally; please read the rest of his piece. Leftwingers will, of course, ignore Parry's article, because the left is emotionally wedded to the idea that Hillary is Israel's robot. In fact, many Israel-firsters view her with deep suspicion.
What are Hillary's actual views on Israel's crimes against the Palestinians? I don't know. Neither do you, even though you may pretend
I do believe that her speech before AIPAC was insincere, at least in part. To be honest, I have the same opinion of Trump's recent display of obeisance before the same body. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do
, as the Donald once said on teevee.
I also know this: Quite a few people in DC have grown resentful of AIPAC's power. A growing number of people in and out of our government no longer care to give automatic sanction to Israeli racism.
Can America's attitude toward Israel change? Yes, but -- as with gay marriage -- the change has to come from the ground up. Don't look to the politicians for any displays of courage: No politician can take the lead, because the risks are too high. In today's social landscape, many factors enforce a blinkered pro-Israel conformism: Christian Zionism, the bias of the press, still-lingering guilt over the Holocaust, and the financial clout of donors like Adelson, Geffen, Singer, Braman and Saban.
There's one thing a President can do to change the way Americans view Israel: Free the files.
The NSA and CIA has information that could damage the public's perception of Israel. If this documentation were to drip drip drip
out, the public might understand that our "allies" in the Middle East are just another gang of corrupt fascists, no different from all the other corrupt fascists who make this world lousy.
(Obviously, I'd love to see a similar drip drip drip
of secret info on the Saudis and the Qataris.)
Of course, to be in a position to free the files, a candidate must first get himself -- or herself -- elected.
A note to the Predictable Ones:
I'll print a representative sampling of outraged commentary from delusional BerniBros and other Clintonphobes, but only if you express yourself in a thoughtful and interesting way. If you're just phoning it in, forget it. Boilerplate Hillary-hate won't get through.