Jul 03 2014

Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel

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

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel”

  1. Vickyon 11 Nov 2013 at 10:06 am

    Wow, wow wow! This is the first honest and courageous accounting I have heard. His story comes from the mouths of those who defend Israel which makes it so powerful. Kudos to this program and Blumenthal for daring to present the truth.

  2. Katrinon 11 Nov 2013 at 11:02 am

    This interview reveals the chilling reality of right wing Israel and how its pernicious separatist, xenophobic, ethnic cleansing agendas have taken hold. Even schools are teaching children about ‘their enemies’, brainwashing the young mind to create good little soliders. It sounds more like pre-WW2 Germany.

  3. Larry Snideron 12 Nov 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Having not read the book as yet I can only speak to what I have read from the Nation to the Electronic Intifada with Mr. Blumenthal somewhere in between. My experience as a liberal American Jew living in suburban Philadelphia who fell into the study of the Israel, Palestine and Peace some 14 years ago when I became Social Action Chair of my synagogue has led me to Israel/Palestine multiple times including when I put together an interfaith delegation in partnership with Leah Green and her Compassionate Listening Project. I have sat down with Yuval Steinitz, Salam Fayyad, Rami Elhanan, Mazen Faraj, Jeff Halper, David Wilder, Gila Svirsky, Zhougbi Zhougbi, Eliyahu McLean and many others and seen the pain of the occupation close up in Al Aroub and on Shuhada Street. I have also seen Israelis and Palestinians working for peace in ways that transcend all the anger, fear and death that has accompanied the situation. I believe in peace and continue to try to do what I can to promote it by bringing Christians, Muslims and Jews to our Holy Land and by bringing peacemakers here to speak to American audiences. I will read Goliath after I finish Yossi Klein Halevi’s book and I will continue.

  4. Tracy Rosenbergon 03 Jul 2014 at 10:15 am

    This show was not aired on KPFA in Northern California at 8am today. Instead KPFA aired an interview with Bill Ayers. Did the feed break? Why are we airing different shows at the same time in different cities? Weird stuff.

  5. Tyleron 04 Jul 2014 at 9:51 am

    I can only hope that courageous people like Max will continue to stand up to such unfair, biased, and hateful scrutiny. Many are starting to realize the truth in what this book says and Israel fears the day when their tricks no longer work on the masses and people stop blindly believing their propaganda. I will be buying a few copies of this book to ensure the message is spread!!