Jul 03 2014
The name Goliath is a Biblical reference to “a giant Philistine warrior who was slain by David with a stone and sling.” In today’s colloquial usage we commonly use the battle between David and Goliath as an analogy for a conflict in which one side of a war is so disproportionately and overwhelmingly stronger than the other that it is an unfair fight.
The intrepid young reporter Max Blumenthal has used the term Goliath to name his latest book based on many months he spent in Israel soon after the Israeli operation on Gaza named Operation Cast Lead was over. The subject of Israel is often a touchy one and Blumenthal has indeed touched many nerves with this book.
The Nation Magazine’s Eric Alterman immediately penned a harsh critique of it calling the book “The I Hate Israel” Handbook. In it he called Blumenthal a “profoundly unreliable narrator.” Blumenthal responded saying Alterman’s review was a “smear” and not “technically accurate.” Alterman came back with a response entitled “Despicable Me,” asserting that “truth is different from facts.” In the mean time, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges jumped into the fray with his own review, calling Blumenthal’s Goliath, “one of the most fearless and honest books ever written about Israel.”
Breaking up his book into 10 parts, consisting of about 7 or 8 short, 3-4 page chapters each, Blumenthal paints a vivid portrait of the politics within Israel as an occupying force from his own first hand experience. Weaving in history and and the attempts to erase or rewrite it, with contemporary changes in the government and cultural shifts within Israeli society, he makes the case that Israel is today more right wing than it has ever been in its history. In an in-depth interview with me that you’re about to hear, Blumenthal warns that the state of Israel is in a terminal phase, a warning that he backs up with ample evidence.
Max Blumenthal is best known for his earlier book Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered that Party which became a New York Times best-seller and opened many doors into the halls of mainstream press – We had had him on Uprising about that book nearly three years ago. He is an author, blogger, and print and video journalist. He formerly worked for Media Matters for America and wrote for the Huffington Post. His new book Goliath has not been as well received, for that obvious reason that criticism of Israel is not well tolerated in the US.
GUEST: Max Blumenthal, author of Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party, and Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel