So, here is Max Blumenthal’s video of drunk (mostly) Americans in Tel Aviv [sorry, Jerusalem], spewing poisonous and racist hate at Obama
Their racism – sickening though it is – is not the issue. This video strikes me as quite possibly representative of the particular demographic that they represent, but is at odds with the overwhelming support of American Jews for Obama. Even in Israel, during last year’s election, there was significant support for Obama, and far from overwhelming support for McCain. The Rabin Center for Israel Studies found that 46.4 percent of Israelis would vote for McCain and 34 percent for Obama: it was the Israelis who had emigrated from America who were the most hostile to Obama, and not the Sabras.
No, what I find more upsetting is this. Damian Thompson reports:
Blumenthal filmed this for the Huffington Post – but, guess what? The Obama-worshipping Huffpo has removed it from its site, not apparently on grounds of taste, but because it “doesn’t have any real news value”.
The filmmaker is furious. Here’s what he says on Gawker:
Even though they’re mostly just used to aggregating the news of others (or as 30 Rock so nicely put it: telling us what we already know), they’re a news site, and this is news, and it’s their job to – at the very least – provide some kind of context for this kind of thing. The video’s clearly not fake or staged in any regard: why would these very clear faces expose themselves to the world like that? It’s the worst kind of “viral” there is. And yes, they’re drunk, but as we all well know by now, being drunk doesn’t necessarily invalidate the kinds of things you say when you’re trashed. Sometimes, in fact: the opposite.
If anything, The Huffington Post’s deletion of the video looks like a political maneuver on their part. Maybe they just don’t want to be a part of something so hot-button as this, or don’t want to chance it on any of the risk that this story may or may not hold. Or it could be agenda-based.
Agenda-based? Here’s a question for you. Supposing that the kids in question were not Democrat-voting Jewish-Americans (one of them worked for his campaign) but drunken young WASP Republicans racially abusing Barack Obama. Would the Huffington Post have decided that there wasn’t a story there?
I can’t imagine why the Huffington Post would remove this film. Do they regard it as unfair, because the speakers are drunk? Do they have a problem with acting as a conduit for this sort of hatred? I don’t know.
Now, this is not the same thing as – for example – prominent clerics with followings of millions, or politicians, calling for the killing of Jews or the destruction of the USA. These are obnoxious and bigoted kids, in their cups. And this is the sort of film that Blumenthal tends to make.
But that this film makes an important point – these are views which a particular demographic of Jewish youth are quite happy to express.
You most certainly can’t pretend that racism doesn’t exist by hiding the evidence of it.