Max Blumenthal — a pro-Palestinian writer and son of former Bill Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal — allegedly said last month that a video of Hamas fighters killing Israeli soldiers sends an "incredible" message to "young Palestinians in the West Bank, in Jerusalem and abroad."
"Imagine growing up in the West Bank, and all you see are videos of your people being humiliated by heavily armed soldiers," Blumenthal, who is Jewish, allegedly said of the 2014 attack. "And finally you see your people in commando uniforms, bursting into a military base and showing up the occupier.”
The Telegraph posted audio allegedly of Blumenthal's speech at the London School of Economics last month, saying it was secretly recorded. But a Middle East Monitor piece mocked the claim, noting that the "recording of American journalist and author Max Blumenthal speaking at the LSE Student Union on March 5 was a public event."
In the audio, Blumenthal allegedly pointed to "traumatized" West Bank Palestinians who have seen family members killed and "want to recover their dignity." He allegedly said that "one of the ways they can find it is with the al-Qassam Brigades or another armed faction."
Blumenthal allegedly then described the "Nahal Oz operation" of July 2014 in which al-Qassam fighters — the armed wing of Hamas — dug a tunnel from the Gaza Strip "to the Israeli base and kibbutz of Nahal Oz."
Here's the remainder of what Blumenthal allegedly said on the posted audio:
"A team of nine young men from the al-Qassam Brigades sets out in the tunnel with GoPro cameras attached to their helmets, bursts into the Israeli base and kills every soldier they encounter in hand-to-hand combat and steals a Tavor rifle as evidence and makes it back safely to the Gaza strip.
"That was proof of the advancement of the al-Qassam Brigades, and it was a video that sent a strong signal to the Israelis that these Palestinian factions could penetrate the separation policy that Israel had imposed, that Israel's security bubble could be popped with that or with long-range rockets that could reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for the first time.
"So this was kind of seen as a deterring factor, and the message that it sent to the Israeli military was very deeply disturbing. They thought that they had Gaza in check. The message it sent to young Palestinians in the West Bank, in Jerusalem and abroad, was also incredible ... imagine growing up in the West Bank, and all you see are videos of your people being humiliated by heavily armed soldiers. And finally you see your people in commando uniforms, bursting into a military base and showing up the occupier.
"I contend that that video and other videos like it influenced the ongoing rebellion in the West Bank and Jerusalem as young Palestinians wanted to demonstrate their own bravery and recover their own dignity after being humiliated under a double occupation of Israel and the Palestinian Authority."
The Times of Israel reported that the five soldiers were killed as a result of an anti-tank missile fired at barracks.
The Middle East Monitor reported that when Blumenthal was asked for comment regarding his alleged words, he said the "claim" by the author of the Telegraph article "that I ‘praised a massacre’ is completely false. I have contacted lawyers in London to investigate potential claims for defamation.”
Here's what appears to be the video in question.
(Content warning: Some of the images may be disturbing to some readers):
American Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who's had his run-ins with Blumenthal, called on Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton to “repudiate” Blumenthal's alleged comments, according to CNS News.
Boteach spoke to TheBlaze in March regarding similar issues: “Hillary says she is good for Israel. I believe her if she repudiates people like Sidney Blumenthal, Max Blumenthal, her close Middle Eastern advisors… who …were writing to her constant negativity about Israel.”
“Max Blumenthal, whose reports she was reading, openly calls Israel a Nazi state,” Boteach added. “That’s troubling.”
Clinton's connection to Blumenthal and his father Sidney — a former aide to then-President Bill Clinton — apparently is strong.
According to a February Politico report, Sidney Blumenthal was among those giving "off-the-books" campaign advice to Clinton. And both Blumenthals appeared in Clinton emails when she was secretary of state, with the elder Blumenthal sometimes praising his son's writing and Clinton adding kudos.
An email Sidney Blumenthal sent to Clinton — two days after the Benghazi attacks — a hyperlink to a Max Blumenthal opinion piece which took to task the creator of the "Innocence of Muslims" YouTube video, noting the violence that claimed the lives of four Americans there "helped realize the apocalyptic visions of the film's backers."
Clinton wrote back two hours later: "Your Max is a mitzvah!" ("Mitzvah" in Hebrew means "good deed.")
Max Blumenthal's protests aren't limited to Israel, as he posted a series of tweets in December 2014 blasting late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, calling him “another mass murdering sniper."