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Max Blumenthal Tag

At group calling itself Atlanta is Ready (#ATLisREADY), aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement, recently issued a set of demands to the Mayor of Atlanta, including:
We demand a termination to APD’s involvement in the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) program, that trains our officers in Apartheid Israel
The Mayor rejected the demand, finding that counter-terrorism training benefits the Atlanta Police Department's ability to protect Americans: You could chalk this incident up to just some isolated ploy by local activists, but that would be a mistake. Rather, there has been a multi-year effort by left-wing and Islamist anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, and openly anti-Semitic activists to hijack racial tensions in the United States and redirect that anger towards Israel.

Long ago, I foresaw that Hillary Clinton eventually would have to come to grips with her Max Blumenthal problem. That problem was that Max's toxic anti-Israel politics would become a political liability Hillary could not ignore despite her affection for and affliction with Max's father, Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. On May 19, 2015, I wrote that Hillary has a Blumenthal Problem – Two of Them:
I knew that Hillary was going to have a Blumenthal problem for her 2016 campaign. But I expected that the problem would be Max Blumenthal, son of close Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal. Max, the virulently anti-Israel activist, has been the subject of much controversy because of his penchant for vituperative and outlandish attacks on Israel, not the least of which was his call for Israeli Jews to be indigenized after the end of the Jewish state. See our Max Blumenthal Tag for some background.

British civil and governmental societies are undergoing a soul searching as to the role Britain plays in funding terrorism against Israel and the BDS movement. As Jonathan reported, Britain Rocked By Revelation Of Taxpayer-Funded Palestinian Terror:
Great Britain’s Foreign Office and Department for International Development (“DFID”) have funneled million of Pounds, at least, to terrorists.  The report from the Daily Mail details how the UK’s policy of spending .7% of revenue on foreign aid distorts priorities and leads it to fund terror.  The Daily Mail report builds on a broader investigation from Palestinian Media Watch (“PMW”) evidencing the Palestinian Authority’s (“PA”) attempts to hide banned payments to terrorists from Western donors.
Anti-Semitism acting under the banner of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement also has garnered attention recently in Britain, British Campus Anti-Semitism on Display During Israel Hate Week:

The Knife Intifada continues, with daily attempted stabbings. Today in Israel an Arab woman was shot dead by an Israeli security guard at Beitar Ilit. The woman was trying to reach a bus stop in the community, where presumably she would have stabbed waiting passengers or entered the bus and conducted a stabbing attack there. That's what the headlines emphasized. But she was shot only after she pulled out a knife from her pocketbook and lunged at the Israeli man: (Video source: Col. Peter Lerner Twitter)

Benjamin Norton is a leading author who favors the boycott movement (BDS) against Israel. Norton writes for the anti-Zionist Mondoweiss website, as well as a slew of other places on the topic of how bad Israel is. While I don't agree with most of what Norton says, he certainly is prolific and an upcoming opinion-leader in that sphere. So when I saw Norton pen a column severely criticizing the ban on American Jewish musician Matisyahu at the behest of a Spanish branch of the BDS movement, I was, well, surprised. All the more so because leading American BDS activists like Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal were seeking to justify the ban because Matisyahu was too pro-Israel. Norton wrote at his own website, Cancellation of Matisyahu’s Performance Blatantly Defies BDS [via Google cache] (emphasis added): http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Cug0nASZJxAJ:bennorton.com/cancellation-of-matisyahus-performance-blatantly-defies-bds/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement suffered one of its worst public relations debacles when it pressured the Spanish Rototom SunSplash festival to ban American Jewish musician Matisyahu. At so many levels, the incident exposed BDS for what it is - anti-freedom, anti-Jewish, anti-just about everything we hold dear. Left twisting in the wind are leading American BDS activists like Ali Abunimah, Max Blumenthal and Joe Catron who supported the ban, even as BDS leader Omar Barghouti ran for political cover and BDS author Ben Norton condemned the ban. BDS defenders of the Matisyahu ban claim the ban was justified because Matisyahu is Zionist and pro-Israel. https://twitter.com/BDSPaisValencia/status/630716300319424516 If being Zionist and pro-Israel were justification for a ban, then BDS would be justified in banning the vast majority of Jews from public appearances. So tell me again how BDS is not anti-Semitic? https://twitter.com/BDSmovement/status/634348175663480832 We mentioned yesterday that the festival organizers had apologized and reinvited Matisyahu to perform. Now the date is set, August 22, on the main stage:

American Jewish reggae singer Matisyahu was banned from the Spanish Rototom Sunsplash festival after intense pressure from supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, who demanded that Matisyahu sign a pledge supporting a Palestinian state. Matisyahu was singled out because he was Jewish. He's not even Israeli. No other musician, regardless of his or her politics, was asked to take a political pledge. It was a huge victory for BDS, which routinely seeks to prevent Israeli musicians from appearing at festivals around the world for the crime of being Israeli and Jewish (the ban doesn't appear to be enforced as to non-Jewish Israelis.) When Matisyahu was first banned, there was much joy in BDS circles, particularly in the United States where BDS leaders like Max Blumenthal, Ali Abunimah and Joe Catron publicly supported the decision. (And apparently still do.) But then a funny thing happened on the way to this huge BDS victory. In fact, something quite unusual in the world of BDS bullying in Europe -- the world expressed outrage.

We wrote the other day about how the Boycott, Divestment and Movement pressured the Spanish Rototom Reggae festival to ban American Jewish musician Matisyahu because he refused to sign a pledge supporting a Palestinian state. Matishayu's position was that he's just a musician and shouldn't have to take a political pledge, particularly since he was singled out because he's Jewish. No non-Jewish musicians were pressured to sign any pledges. He wrote on his Facebook page:
"The festival organizers contacted me because they were getting pressure from the BDS movement. They wanted me to write a letter, or make a video, stating my positions on Zionism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to pacify the BDS people. I support peace and compassion for all people. My music speaks for itself, and I do not insert politics into my music. Music has the power to transcend the intellect, ideas, and politics, and it can unite people in the process. The festival kept insisting that I clarify my personal views; which felt like clear pressure to agree with the BDS political agenda. Honestly it was appalling and offensive, that as the one publicly Jewish-American artist scheduled for the festival they were trying to coerce me into political statements. Were any of the other artists scheduled to perform asked to make political statements in order to perform? No artist deserves to be put in such a situation simply to perform his or her art. Regardless of race, creed, country, cultural background, etc, my goal is to play music for all people. As musicians that is what we seek. - Blessed Love, Matis"

Jeremy Corbyn likely will be the next leader of the leftist British Labour Party. Elections are underway for party leadership. The Labour Party has fallen on hard times after being crushed by David Cameron's Conservative Party in the national elections in May 2015. The Conservative Party now holds an outright majority in parliament, but Labour still is the major political opposition in the country. Which is why there is so much concern over Corbyn's connection to so many of worst anti-Semitic and anti-Israel elements. The Jewish Chronicle in Britain gives the big picture view:
The JC rarely claims to speak for anyone other than ourselves. We are just a newspaper. But in this rare instance we are certain that we speak for the vast majority of British Jews in expressing deep foreboding at the prospect of Mr Corbyn’s election as Labour leader. Because, although there is no direct evidence that he has an issue himself with Jews, there is overwhelming evidence of his association with, support for — and even in one case, alleged funding of — Holocaust deniers, terrorists and some outright antisemites....

It's not like we didn't see this coming. On May 19, 2015, I wrote that Hillary has a Blumenthal Problem - Two of Them:
I knew that Hillary was going to have a Blumenthal problem for her 2016 campaign. But I expected that the problem would be Max Blumenthal, son of close Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal. Max, the virulently anti-Israel activist, has been the subject of much controversy because of his penchant for vituperative and outlandish attacks on Israel, not the least of which was his call for Israeli Jews to be indigenized after the end of the Jewish state. See our Max Blumenthal Tag for some background. The issue with Max was whether Hillary could have Sidney as an advisor given Sidney’s seeming support for Max’s antics, if not his anti-Israel agenda. Buzzfeed reported on the problem back in November 2013, Clinton Adviser Sid Blumenthal’s New Cause: His Son’s Anti-Israel Book....
Max Blumenthal is toxic to any mainstream political candidate. Indeed, he'd be  too toxic even to most left-wing candidates, his anti-Israel venom is so notorious. Max's anti-Israel conspiracy theories were a big hit with the Overland Park shooter. Liberal professor and author Eric Alterman termed Max's book, Goliath, The Israel Haters Handbook. Recently, Max and a friend chased a German lawmaker into a bathroom because the lawmaker called them anti-Semites: [caption id="attachment_106023" align="alignnone" width="560"]http://youtu.be/KQUpUGCfT3s?t=1m18s [Max Blumenthal and David Sheen chase German lawmaker Gregor Gysi into bathroom][/caption]Things just got a whole lot more interesting.

Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, a Palestinian Christian organization headquartered in Jerusalem, is a group you probably never heard of. But Sabeel plays a critical role in seeking to reverse Christian support for Israel around the world. In the U.S., Friends of Sabeel - North America (FOSNA) is behind or involved in virtually every divestment resolution pending before various Christian denominations, often teaming up with Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). You need to know about Sabeel, and how Sabeel and JVP team up against Israel. Sabeel provides the Christian liberation theology, JVP provides the Jewish cover.

1. United Church of Christ

For the past few days, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC) has been deliberating in Cleveland, Ohio on several resolutions related to Israel. Back in 2005, the UCC passed a resolution condemning Israel’s security barrier and calling on Israel to “tear down the wall” (Israel’s construction of the security barrier began in 2002 as a counterterrorism measure). This week its General Synod is considering a divestment resolution modelled after the one that narrowly passed last year by a 310-303 vote in the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the largest of several Presbyterian denominations in America.

I knew that Hillary was going to have a Blumenthal problem for her 2016 campaign. But I expected that the problem would be Max Blumenthal, son of close Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal. Max, the virulently anti-Israel activist, has been the subject of much controversy because of his penchant for vituperative and outlandish attacks on Israel, not the least of which was his call for Israeli Jews to be indigenized after the end of the Jewish state. See our Max Blumenthal Tag for some background. The issue with Max was whether Hillary could have Sidney as an advisor given Sidney's seeming support for Max's antics, if not his anti-Israel agenda. Buzzfeed reported on the problem back in November 2013, Clinton Adviser Sid Blumenthal’s New Cause: His Son’s Anti-Israel Book:
A veteran confidant of Hillary Clinton has waded into a bitter argument over the explosive topic of Israel, defending his son’s intensely anti-Israel book from a liberal critic. Sidney Blumenthal, a former New Yorker writer turned Clinton adviser from the White House to the 2008 campaign, has been waging an online campaign against Nation columnist Eric Alterman for negatively reviewing his son Max Blumenthal’s book, Goliath. The book was described by Alterman, himself a frequent critic of Israel, as “awful” and something that “could have been published by the Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club (if it existed).”

The anti-Semitism deeply embedded in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been apparent for years, but particularly since the 2014 Gaza War. Rallies against Israel regularly devolved into Jew-baiting throughout Europe, and even in some places in the U.S., like Miami where they chanted, “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning.” At a Boston rally sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace in July 2014, Israel supporters were attacked by a woman who yelled that they would claim back Jerusalem for Christians and Muslims. It is no surprise that Walking While Jewish is dangerous in many cities in Europe. While there is an intellectual distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, in reality on the streets of Europe and some places in the U.S., they are one and the same.

This is becoming a recurring theme. When there is a riot or other protest in the U.S., particularly if involving minority communities, "pro-Palestinian" activists try to hijack it and turn it into a criticism of Israel. We saw it in Ferguson where "pro-Palestinian" activists spread lies that Israel trained the Ferguson police, and actually embedded themselves in the protests to try to turn the protests into anti-Israel protests. The same thing has happened repeatedly with #BlackLivesMatters protests, most notably the dangerous blockade of the San Mateo - Hayward Bridge. This is part of the emerging theme of anti-Israeli activists trying to tie unrelated movements, such as fossil fuel divestment, to Palestinian issues. Now we are seeing it with the Baltimore riots. The usual suspects, like Max Blumenthal, were out in full force immediately, trying to establish a link between the Baltimore police and Israel because some police trained in an Israeli form of martial arts:
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