Friday, June 19, 2009

Help Jewish Voice for Peace Fight for Max Blumenthal's First Amendment Rights

Max Blumenthal and Joseph Dana created a riveting video in Jerusalem, on the eve of President Obama's Cairo University Address. It showed hatred toward our president by young Israelis and Americans. It was seen over 500,000 times. Now it has been removed from YouTube.

Max produced a number of videos while in Israel and the Occupied West Bank, in May and early June. They document several aspects of the occupation, current Israeli internal politics, and give glimpses of the ongoing Jewish identity crisis there, particularly among young people. Max has interviewed people on farms, in the military, in politics, and on the street. He ended one video report from within the posh Milken-Dobson exercise club, in a Jewish settlement on stolen Palestinian land.

I've been following Max's career closely, since he spent a week or so with us in Wasilla last September, as he investigated
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's ties to extremist groups. He's maturing rapidly as a journalist, and articles from his trip to Israel and the West Bank, covered by Max's own blog, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post and Mondoweiss, are quite riveting.

His June 5th video,
Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem, was posted at Mondoweiss and Huffington Post. Then at YouTube, quickly followed by hundreds - if not thousands - of blogs around the world. Even NPR's Tampa affiliate interviewed Dana.

Huffington Post removed it on the next day. Max defended his video in a post called, Censored by Huffington Post and Imprisoned By the Past: Why I Made Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem.

Blumenthal's defense of his work is compelling:

The criticism of my video raised an interesting journalistic issue: Is reporting any less credible when interview subjects are drinking alcohol? Of course not. Journalists interview people at bars all the time, especially in broadcast packages. Beer does not, to my knowledge, contain a special drug that immediately infects drinkers with white supremacist sentiments, violent rhetoric, and anti-democratic tendencies. I get drunk as much as any social drinker and I have never called for “white power” or declared, “fuck the niggers!” as one of my interviewees did. No amount of alcohol could make me express opinions that were not authentically mine. If anything, 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 of Israel and the spiritual home of the Jewish people.

YouTube pulled Max's video for "terms of use violation." At the same time, YouTube is going through a lot of internal debate on how to deal with the large amount of material now coming in from Iran.

Jewish Voice for Peace
is starting a petition effort on Max's behalf. Here's from their post that asks you to take action:

Blumenthal and Dana took a video camera to downtown Jerusalem and asked kids on the street – mainly Americans in Jerusalem over the summer - how they felt about Obama. The answers they heard: mainly hardcore racism enhanced by expletives, homophobia, Islamophobia, Arab hatred, and a lot of ignorance. Youtube also just took down another video of a Palestinian forced to slap himself by the Israeli Border Police. A pattern is emerging. We know this kind of hatred and extremism is a real phenomenon in our Jewish communities. It needs to be unearthed and looked at with the same seriousness we want to see in any community confronting its own extremists. As we seek real peace in the Middle East, the stakes couldn't be higher.

Write to YouTube and ask them to put this video back up.

If you go to this link, you can watch the censored video, and quickly show your support for Max Blumenthal and Joseph Dana - and for the First Amendment.

Update - Saturday 10:25 a.m: The video was removed from YouTube, but somebody else has posted it under a different name:

We'll see hoe long it lasts at this location.

image- Rachel Maddow interviewing Max Blumenthal


Aussie Sky Blue said...

I don't know what else you can expect from drunken, ill-educated gun freaks. Youbetcha they are all good Xians also too.

Anonymous said...

We cannot heal the wounds until we allow the full truth to be revealed. This means allowing videos of xtians saying hateful things about gays while talking of 'love' and with their video taped actions proving the importance of passing an ordinance. It means allowing all videos out of Iran without censorship. It means allowing drunks to spew their hatred, even if their declarations are easier with 'crude truth serum.' With the evidence of such in our face, perhaps the next time rogue whites take advantage of a natural disaster such as Katrina to go 'hunting' and killing blacks, there will be less tendency to pretend it never happened.
The same goes for recognizing how rampant hatred in its 'ism' forms is and not fooling ourselves about those with alleged 'higher callings'.
As Blumenthal said not allowing such uncensored and accurate portrayals, "... allows them (us) to erect a psychological barrier against acknowledging the painful consequences of prolonged [Zionist] indoctrination." and more importantly...

"We know this kind of hatred and extremism is a real phenomenon"
but as long as we have those in power and their enablers taking down the visual proof of such extremism....others among us can deny and pretend it doesn't exist.

We need more videos like this that reveal without a doubt just how prevalent and visceral the hatred is. Only when we see and fully understand how deep the poison goes, can we ever hope to meet the issue head-on.

Troubling, absolutely. Surprising, unfortunately 'no.'

I'll be sending my message in support of Mr. Blumenthal.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't realize it was getting this bad.


These types are being allowed in the military again too, no questions asked.

Mary said...

I don't think writing to YouTube or sending them a petition is going to do any good.

YouTube is a privately owned entity and can make their own rules. They are under no obligation to provide content. They can use any excuse they like to censor what they provide.

Currently YouTube is free and makes no money. So there is way to apply financial pressure.

While it is very sad that YouTube pulled these videos, Max has obviously found another way to post his videos for access, even though it isn't as popular or have the traffic that YouTube has.

I would encourage Max to follow in the footsteps of Michael Moore, skip YouTube and go directly to the theaters.

Anonymous said...

Max the self hating Jew could use a good kick in his self-hating tuchus.

Anonymous said...

There is a wonderfull tool called replay media catcher which allows people to capture video media.

I will use it to capture Max's video and then put it back up on you tube.