Max Blumenthal on Gaza and Israel's Rightward Drift

The Kirkus Reviews call Max Blumenthal's new book, "An alarming report on Israel's devastating 2014 attack on Gaza...Explosive, pull-no-punches reporting that is certain to stir controversy." As Rod Such writes in his review for the Electronic Intifada, "Max Blumenthal's The 51-Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza will not be well received by the US corporate media. The reasons are apparent in the very title. It's a 51-day war, not a 50-day war as The New York Times and other corporate media repeatedly say. For the Times, 50 days means the war started on 8 July, when Hamas' military wing fired rockets into southern Israel, not on 7 July, when Israel, as even some Israeli media acknowledge, broke its ceasefire agreement with Hamas by killing seven of its members in an air strike. The difference of a day is the difference between portraying Hamas as the aggressor and Israel as acting in self-defense or acknowledging that Israel was the aggressor and Hamas acted in self-defense."

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Max Blumenthal will talk about his new book and Israel's continuing rightward drift, and will discuss racism, policing and militarism in America and Israel with Hamid Khan. There will be a book signing at the conclusion of the discussion.

Blumenthal last appeared at the center when he presented his book Goliath, Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (2013). Hamid Khan is the campaign coordinator of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition. This program is made possible with support from Anonymous, Mary Ellen Bennett, Anthony Saidy, Hassan Sughayer, LA Jews for Peace and Jewish Voice for Peace-LA.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author whose articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, The Independent Film Channel, The Huffington Post, Salon, Al Jazeera English and many other publications. He is a former Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow for The Nation Institute.

MORE ABOUT THE 51-DAY WAR (from the Kirkus Reviews)

Alternet senior writer Blumenthal arrived in Gaza on the 38th day of the recent conflict, just as the Israeli military took to the air with fighter jets and drones to deliver a relentless barrage of missiles and bombs. In a narrative based on interviews with citizens, physicians, and others, the author writes that the Israeli military "unleashed massive force against the civilian population," killing 2,200 people (mostly Palestinian civilians), wounding over 10,000, and destroying about 18,000 homes. Some 3 million bullets were expended in wreaking $7 billion in damage, he writes. "The shocking level of firepower Israeli forces exerted against Gaza's civilian infrastructure told the story of a frustrated Goliath unable to punish its vastly underarmed foe into submission," writes Blumenthal. Israel, protected by an advanced sheltering and early warning system, had far fewer casualties. Sympathetic to Gaza's 1.8 million refugees and highly critical of Israel's increasingly right-wing leaders, the author attributes the ferocity of the Israeli attack on "bloodlust" over the deaths of three Israeli teenagers who, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had been "abducted and murdered by human animals." Netanyahu added: "Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay." Based on his observations and accounts from survivors, the author charges that the Israeli onslaught targeted Palestinian civilians rather than Hamas fighters. He claims that Israeli soldiers engaged in execution-style killings, deliberately destroyed Gaza City high-rise buildings housing dozens of local media organizations, used Palestinians as human shields, and attacked cemeteries as well as U.N. schools that served as refugee shelters. The war elevated the status of "fundamentalist warriors" in Israel and left a wake of "rage and spreading radicalism" that is certain to bring more military conflict.

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