Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Max Blumenthal & Yoav Shamir, cruising for hate in Jerusalem and elsewhere

Max Blumenthal went to Jerusalem in search of hate, a specific kind of hate,
Max came to Jerusalem shopping for racial hatred and followed the booze,
The easy way, not the most reliable way,
When the booze talk, sometimes the heart talks, sometimes stupidity talks.
If people have something strong to say about president Obama Cairo speech on the eve that speech, that usually suggests stupidity.
Stupidity is no excuse, but did anyone even tried to listen or the title and the slurs were enough?
“I’m a tea bag,” said the first one between the slurs and the insults and the alcoholic mist, “President Obama is going to take way my gun”, he said.
Now, what was it? Tea bag? ‘Take away my gun’?
These are all American things, right wing American issues.
He may be Jewish but the anger he expressed has nothing to do with Israel or with anything Jewish, rather with domestic American matters. The ‘tea bags’ is a right wing American movement that opposes president Obama domestic policies. In Israel those issues are mostly unknown, because domestic American issues, such as the gun debate, important though they are, they also have the good fortune of not affecting the world’s oil supply, thus remaining internal for Americans to solve among themselves. So this particular drunk in Jerusalem, expressed anger over concerns other Americans share, though in a more civil and sober manner. Most of them by the way are not Jewish.
Whether his conduct represents all the American right and all the ‘Tea bags’ I don’t know, but did the 9-11 conspiracy fruitcakes represent the entire American left? No they did not, and the things they were saying about their president at the time, were far worse, and without the help of alcohol.
The second star of the clip said that he worked in the Obama campaign, and remembered his grandmother’s tattooed number from Auschwitz.
From the few coherent sentences this young drunk spat, it was clear he felt betrayed by his idol, president Barack Obama, that is an ugly fleeing, but not the racial hatred Max Blumenthal prepped the viewers to expect. If the surrounding political environment were different, no doubt these two drunks would have been at each other throat.
There was a third star on that clip, an ultra orthodox looking American Jew who admitted without the help of alcohol for not voting for Obama and for not liking president Obama. What a shock, someone who did not vote for president Obama.
Max Blumenthal tried to paint the whole Israeli society as racist in its hatred to the US president, by using a few intoxicated non Israeli Americans that had no common theme of complaint among them, other then alcohol and bad language. It was an act of deception that had clearly worked, as all the ugly offshoots on YouTube show.

It may not be useful to cry over spilled milk, except this has a sequel so to speak. Yoav Shamir is a known Israeli documentary filmmaker whose politics are closer to that of Blumenthal’s. In his latest film ‘Defamation’ he went touring the world in search of anti-Semitism in order NOT TO FIND IT. Early in the movie he came upon an incident at a mixed NYC neighborhood where Afro American and ultra orthodox Jewish live together. In that incident an Afro American youth throw a stone at a bus with 3 years old Jewish children inside. Shamir followed that story to the streets of that neighborhood, were he asked 4 randomly encountered young Afro American residents for their version of the story. The 3 men and one woman he interviewed knew nothing about that incident but they knew Jews very well, “Jews always complain”, “Jews always the first to get welfare”, “Jews have a lot of influence”, “the Protocols of the Elders of Zion tells you how Jews control things”. If they were white, even Yoav Shamir would have to agree they are anti-Semites. And they were not drunk, they weren’t stoned, they did not slur, but they had strong coherent yet despicable views on Jews.
So what am I, an Israeli Jew who lives miles away from NYC, should conclude about Afro Americans from that scene?
Should I follow Max Blumental example and generalize, or should I also remind myself that Stephen T. Johns, the guard that was killed at Holocaust museum shooting in Washington DC was also an Afro American?

There is no doubt that racial hatred is a bad and evil thing, when it is there, and alcohol is no defense, nor does stupidity. But when expressed without the help of alcohol, it is far worse. And when someone acts upon it, as Max Blumenthal did, creating a lie, and generalizing it on an entire population in order to agitate between nations, that is far worse.

As for black and Jews relationships, we can all choose which path to take.

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  1. well i thought it was a very good documentry! which opened up the isssue, even if it skewed away from its intended subject somewhat. To me it focused on anti semit labels within jewish community and being labelled anti semit when crtical of Isreal government policies.

  2. From an academic approach, where would you put the difference between criticism of Israel and Anti Semitism?

  3. Speaking of booze, maxie blumenthals own father sidney was arrested for.... DWI.