The Southern Poverty Law Center, which spent a great deal of time monitoring Miller, would never have thought to watch an institute whose board of trustees include a former New York Times editor, a music industry executive and a president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
They would be even less likely to look at Perseus LLC, a private equity fund out in Bethesda, Maryland, or the seemingly innocuous Puffin Foundation operating out of a wealthy New Jersey suburb.
But when Frazier Glenn Miller pulled the trigger at a Jewish Community Center and a Jewish retirement community, his inspiration didn’t only come from Mein Kampf. Miller’s story is revealing of how the old anti-Semitism of the Neo-Nazis interacts with the new anti-Semitism of the Anti-Israel left and how wealthy progressives finance a culture of hate that can explode in violence a thousand miles away.
In 2012, Miller enthusiastically posted a link to an interview with Max Blumenthal, a Puffin Foundation fellow for the Nation Institute. In the interview, Blumenthal told RT, a Russian propaganda channel notorious for promoting extremists, bigots and conspiracists, that Israel was plotting to go after Ron Paul and Obama.
Citing his work for Al-Akhbar, a paper linked to the Hezbollah terrorist organization, Blumenthal claimed that “the media in the United States is terrified of the Israel lobby” and that the Democratic Party’s base was turning on Israel which was “of great concern to the Jewish establishment.”
It was a mild interview by Blumenthal standards, but still of interest to Miller.
“They themselves, are exposing the jewish menace, big time,” Miller wrote at the Vanguard News Network. VNN is one of the internet’s more popular Neo-Nazi forums. Its owner has said, “The thing to be done about [the Jews] is to kill them, exterminate them.”
A Neo-Nazi site might seem like a surprising place for a Nation Institute fellow, but there was plenty of overlap between VNN and the Anti-Israel left when it came to the Jewish State. It would be easy to dismiss the collision between the radical son of Bill Clinton’s senior advisor and a violent extremist, but the popularity of Blumenthal’s work at VNN was not accidental.
Blumenthal is mentioned over 300 times at VNN; mostly for his attacks on Jews and Israel. VNN members eagerly ate up Blumenthal’s conspiracy theories about Israel and every bit of negative reporting about Jews. One Blumenthal video even suggested that Rabbis were plotting to kill non-Jewish children.
It was as good as a blood libel.
As one VNN member wrote, “Max Blumenthal seems to do a pretty fair job representing his people as they actually are.”
When Miller ranted about “Bush and his Zionist bosses” or “The Zionist Jews and their gentile prostitute government managers”; his hate meshed with the hateful material that Blumenthal was putting out.
The similarities between Max Blumenthal and his Neo-Nazi audience went genocidally deeper.
At the University of Pennsylvania, Blumenthal was asked whether “Israel should be ended entirely.”
Blumenthal replied that the Jewish population of Israel had a choice between becoming “part of the Arab world” and offered an alternative to ethnic cleansing in abstruse language that would have done the Third Reich’s Wannsee Conference proud, stating that, “The maintenance and engineering of a non-indigenous demographic majority is non-negotiable.”
That choice between voluntary and involuntary ethnic cleansing would have to be imposed on Jews in Israel, according to Max, “through external pressure such as the BDS movement.”
Max Blumenthal did not believe that Muslims in Europe have to become part of the West or face ethnic cleansing. That is where he and The Nation Institute part ways from Frazier Glenn Miller and VNN. Their racism is more selective, but when it came to Jews, they were all on the same page.
The Nation Institute’s book arm, in partnership with the Perseus Book Group, published Goliath; Blumenthal’s furious attack on the Jewish State. The book, with chapters such as “How To Kill Goyim And Influence People” and “The Concentration Camp” was described by The Nation’s own reviewer as “The ‘I Hate Israel’ Handbook” and a potential selection of the “Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club.”
Despite that Perseus and The Nation Institute went on promoting and selling Goliath. They were not concerned by the fact that even critics of Israel found Blumenthal’s hatred over the top. And even now, after Miller’s killings in Kansas City, they have shown no willingness to stop profiting from the hate.
Goliath was repeatedly mentioned at VNN with links to positive reviews of the tract. After Miller’s shooting spree, VNN commenters linked to a Mondoweiss post which defended Blumenthal. “They are trying to link Blumenthal to the shooting/shooter like some people are trying to link Mr. Linder (VNN’s owner). So it isn’t happening just with WNs (white nationalists.)”
Blumenthal had also posted at Mondoweiss which is closest to the intersection between Neo-Nazis and the Anti-Israel left.
One of its writers had said, “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, but I can understand why some are.” Another had written that, “Israel is no normal state, but one governed by the forging of Zionist system-logic into a Satanic ideology.”
Alan Sabrosky, wrote at Mondoweiss that “an awful lot of American Jews” are “agents of a foreign government” and called for “excising” the cancer. Elsewhere he wrote that, “I don’t care if we’re called anti-Semites or not,” claimed that most American Jews are “traitors” and accused Israel of being behind the September 11 attacks.
Mondoweiss’ Jeffrey Blankfort went so far in his hatred for Israel as to assert that, “When it comes to talking about Israel-Palestine — David Duke and Pat Buchanan are more informative than Noam Chomsky or people on the left.”
He also endorsed Holocaust denial.
Blankfort’s statements show how thin the line between the Neo-Nazi and the Anti-Israel activist has become.
As Stalin allied with Hitler to invade Poland, the Anti-Israel left has aligned with Nazis to fight Israel.
It may be a long way from Manhattan to Marionville, but The Nation Institute’s promotion of hate has made the ideological distance considerably shorter. After Miller’s shootings, it’s time for The Nation Institute, the Puffin Foundation and Perseus LLC to conduct a moral reckoning and consider the consequences of the hateful rhetoric coming out of their institutions, grantees and publishing houses.
And it’s time for the rest of the Anti-Israel left to do the same thing.
Max Blumenthal and the Nation Institute didn’t turn Frazier Glenn Miller into a bigot, but they provided fresh materials to feed his bigotry. And it’s hard to say how many VNN members who might have been wavering in their bigoted beliefs had their hatred reinforced by supporting materials from the left.
When the culture of hate toward Israel on the left has become almost indistinguishable from Neo-Nazis, and when violent bigots feast on hateful propaganda put out by progressive non-profits, the left must either conduct a moral reckoning and clean its house, or accept that when it comes to Jews, it is on the same page as a murderer who signed the post in which he linked to Max Blumenthal, “Sieg Heil.”
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