Anyone who shames his fellow in public, is as if he sheds blood — Bava Metzia 58b.
Max Blumenthal specializes in this kind of bloodshed. And in cheap shots — the cheaper the better.
Blumenthal, having grown tired of ambushing Evangelical Christians — and maybe also since they have become wise to his tricks — has found a much easier target:
Ignorant, drunken American students in a Jerusalem bar.
Even the Huffington Post found it a bit…sophomoric:
Within a few hours, I received an email from a Huffington Post administrator informing me he had scrubbed my video from the site. “I don’t see that it has any real news value,” the administrator told me. “For me it only proves that one can find drunk people willing to say just about anything. Especially drunk, moronic people.” For the first time, the premier clearinghouse for online news and opinions had suppressed one of my posts.
As one of his subjects might say, “well, duh, dude.” But Blumenthal thinks his stunt is actually journalism:
…alcohol is a crude form of truth serum that lubricates the release of closely held opinions and encourages confessional talk.
The notion that the racist diatribes in my video emerged spontaneously from a beery void is a delusion, but for some, it is a necessary one. It allows them to erect a psychological barrier against acknowledging the painful consequences of prolonged Zionist indoctrination. And it enables them to dismiss the disturbing spectacle of young Jews behaving like fascist soccer hooligans in the heart of the capitol [sic] of Israel and the spiritual home of the Jewish people…
Many of these kids will move into white-collar jobs and use their influence to advance Israeli initiatives. Programs like Birthright Israel — a few of those in my video were on Birthright tours — exist for the exclusive purpose of indoctrinating American Jews into unyielding, unthinking supporters of Israel. Thus the kids in my video represent at least one aspect of the Zionist project’s future base of political sustenance.
No, they represent what you get if you go into a bar anywhere in the world and encourage drunks to make a display of themselves. You start with a non-representative set of people — students who get drunk in bars — and then sub-select the most vocal element among them, ending up with those who are most likely to say (for the camera) the most shocking thing they can come up with. And from this you generalize about the “Zionist project?” There’s no student hangout in America where you wouldn’t get exactly the same, or (probably) worse, about any random subject.
The interesting question isn’t what the drunks did, but what Blumenthal intends, which of course is to bash Israel and show how right-wing and racist it is. First he tries the scientific route:
A groundbreaking study of Israeli attitudes published in the wake of the Gaza war by the Tel Aviv University political psychologist Daniel Bar-Tal, who I recently interviewed, found that “Israeli Jews’ consciousness is characterized by a sense of victimization, a siege mentality, blind patriotism, belligerence, self-righteousness, dehumanization of the Palestinians and insensitivity to their suffering.”
I guess Blumenthal spent his time in college at the frat parties he claims to be familiar with, because an elementary course in scientific method in psychology or sociology would have made clear that characteristics like the above are not objective or measurable — they are constructs laden with political content. How for example, did Bar-Tal spot that “blind patriotism?” Although he writes about such things in a suggestive manner, it’s politics, not science. Rather than a “groundbreaking study,” it’s a report on how left-wing academics see Israeli society.
Next, Blumenthal brings his long personal experience into play, finding “paranoia” and “delusions”:
I have been in Israel for over a month; almost every day I hear expressions of paranoia about Arabs, historical delusions, and the constant refrain that “the world is against us.”
- It is verifiable that Hezbollah has at least 40,000 missiles aimed at Israel, Syria has more — some with chemical-biological warheads, Iran’s president says almost every other day that Israel will soon be destroyed, while Iran’s nuclear program continues with the flabbiest of international opposition.
- The US president (remember him?) is indicating that he will force Israel to agree to a ‘two-state’ deal with the Palestinian authority — the PA that will be crushed by Hamas in days when the IDF pulls out of the West Bank. And how is Hamastan in Gaza working out?
- Whenever they get a chance, Arabs drive construction machinery into traffic or shoot teenage students in yeshivas.
- Meanwhile NGO’s financed by the EU and other far-from-impartial sources issue reports daily, based on Palestinian reports which they accept uncritically, accusing Israel of every imaginable crime and atrocity.
I could go on, but honestly, isn’t just a bit of, er, concern, justified?
Here’s another “truth serum” anecdote:
While sitting at a bar with an elegant and otherwise charming young woman, she described to me while sipping a mixed drink how she arbitrarily shot at Arabs while serving in the army because “they want to come and steal my house.”
Max, as someone who served in the IDF, who has three kids who served in the IDF, I have to say this: although I can’t prove that this is nonsense, it is way more than likely that she was messing with your head. “Arbitrarily” shooting at Arabs would get her elegant, otherwise charming ass in a military prison for some time, even if she didn’t hit anybody.
Does repeating stories like this count as journalism…or something else?