Amy Goodman and Max Blumenthal assaulted Santa Feans with another dose of anti-Israel invective at a Lannan Foundation-sponsored program at the Lensic Performing Arts Center earlier this fall.
Goodman’s introduction began with her description of the Israeli “assault” on Gaza. She noted the high numbers of Palestinians killed as opposed to the relatively few Jews. There are good reasons for this. Israel goes to great lengths to protect her citizens while Hamas deliberately puts Gazans in harm’s way. She attributed the worst “atrocities” to the Israelis with no mention of the events leading up to this assault — the many weeks when hundreds of rockets were fired by Hamas into Israel, aimed at her cities. And no mention of Hamas’s cruel and callous treatment of their own people in Gaza. How should Israel be expected to respond? Any country in the world would respond accordingly.
Max Blumenthal is a left-wing Jewish intellectual, whose Birthright Israel trip awakened in him sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians. That is not unreasonable. But to arrive at a position where absolutely everything that happened to them is the fault of the Israelis, and nothing whatsoever is the responsibility of their leaders and other Arab states, is simply untrue, unfair and absurd.
I suspect that when Blumenthal went into the West Bank and Gaza , he was appropriated by radical Palestinians like Hamas, who poured their hateful propaganda down his throat. This is what he is now spewing back at us. Some of his accusations could have come straight from a Hamas Handbook. For him, the dozens of tunnels into Israel are no problem, simply part of the “resistance.”
Noticeably absent from his tirade against Israel were any acts of terror on the part of Hamas, which was hardly mentioned. The icing on the cake of his talk was calling “Israel and ISIS two sides of the same coin.”
The biased and totally unbalanced reporting of Amy Goodman and Max Blumenthal goes way beyond their purported goal of helping Palestinians. It is dangerous. It endangers Israel and Jewish people everywhere.
This is the second year in a row in which the Lannan Foundation has presented such an anti-Israel program. In February of 2013, when Goodman introduced Omar Barghouti, he delivered a non-stop vilification of Israel.
Lannan would do well to present another program with a more balanced approach, with room for a pro-Israel point of view, on this important issue.
Judy Moore-Kraichnan is an artist and photographer living in Santa Fe since 1992. She has visited Israel often since 1987 and worked on photo projects there, mostly in Jerusalem.