As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is continuing a public campaign to cast doubt on U.S. diplomatic engagement with Iran, we speak to journalist Max Blumenthal, author of the new book, “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.” Blumenthal looks at life inside Netanyahu’s Israel and the Occupied Territories. “I was most surprised at the banality of the racism and violence that I witnessed and how it’s so widely tolerated because it’s so common,” says Blumenthal about his four years of reporting in Israel. “And I’m most surprised that it hasn’t made its way to the American public … that’s why I set out to do this endeavor, this journalistic endeavor, to paint this intimate portrait of Israeli society for Americans who don’t see what it really is.” Click here to watch Part 2 of his interview…
…JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We end today’s show with Israel. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is continuing a public campaign to cast doubt on diplomatic engagement with Iran. Speaking before the U.N. General Assembly, Netanyahu accused new Iranian Prime Minister Hassan Rouhani of deceiving the world about Iran’s nuclear program.
PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing; Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a wolf who thinks he can pull the eyes—the wool over the eyes of the international community.
AMY GOODMAN: For more, we’re joined by journalist Max Blumenthal, best-selling author of Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party. His new book is Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.
Max, welcome back to Democracy Now!
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Great to be back.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you first respond to Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Israel, the government’s response to the openings between the United States and Iran?
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, with my book, what I really aim to do is—this is a culmination of four years of my reporting from inside Israel-Palestine, from inside Netanyahu’s Israel. He came to power in 2009 at the helm of the most right-wing government in Israeli history. And he’s kind of occupying the center in Israel. He markets himself to Israelis as—you know, he appears in my book as the salesman, and he markets himself as a man who can go to the U.S. and market a lemon, who can sell a lemon to the American public, because he speaks English perfectly, he was educated at MIT, he worked at Boston Consulting with Mitt Romney.
And here he’s returned to the U.S. to sell the Israeli position to an American public that wants diplomacy, that welcomed Barack Obama’s historic phone call with Hassan Rouhani. And Obama has been forced to sit with Netanyahu for 2.5 hours in the White House, during a government shutdown, to hear Netanyahu’s complaints and lecturing. He’s effectively become the Bibi-sitter, meeting with Netanyahu more times than any foreign leader, the head of this country the size of New Jersey. And so, Netanyahu really looks kind of desperate and diminished at the U.N., and he’s—but, I mean, he loves these animal metaphors. And he has concocted this very belligerent and stentorian speech that really would maybe appeal to elderly evangelicals or an AIPAC crowd, but it’s not resonating with the American public…
–Democracy Now!, 4 October, 2013