By Jeremy Gillick
In the wake of the Manis Friedman controversy, some suggested that Moment should have censored itself in order to protect the Jewish community’s image. Abe Foxman, for example, the controversial director of the Anti-Defamation League, told the Forward that, while he was “not shocked that there would be a rabbi who would have these views,” he was “shocked that Moment would give up all editorial discretion and good sense to publish this as representative of Chabad.” (In Moment’s defense, Manis Friedman is a regular “Ask the Rabbis” contributor: see his former responses here, here and here.)
But if it’s fair to silence the extremism within when it’s a merely a fringe phenomenon limited to a few radical rabbis, surely it’s wrong not to publicize–and criticize–it when it appears to be widespread and cross-denominational. Here’s a remarkable, repulsive and, sadly, illuminating video from Max Blumenthal, an investigative journalist and blogger, that I just came across at New Voices.
Filmed on the streets of Jerusalem in advance of President Obama’s speech in Cairo, Blumenthal and Joseph Dana “encountered rowdy groups of beer sodden twenty-somethings, many from the United States, and all eager to vent their visceral, even violent hatred of Barack Obama and his policies towards Israel. Usually I offer a brief commentary on my video reports,” writes Blumenthal, “but this one requires no comment at all. Quite simply, it contains some of the most shocking footage I have ever filmed.”