Watch: “There was no Palestinian people,” big donor to Birthright Israel tells Max Blumenthal

“There was no Palestinian people.” So said American hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt, one of the biggest donors to Birthright Israel, a program that doles out free ten-day trips to Israel in an attempt to entice Jews to leave their homelands around the world and settle in Israel and the 1967 occupied territories – the West Bank and Golan Heights.

Steinhardt spoke to journalist Max Blumenthal at a Birthright Israel rally and dance rave that was addressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu told the international gathering of youth that “Israel” was their “birthright” and “homeland.”

Blumenthal’s video report, with Lia Tarachansky, for The Real News, said that the Israeli government has pledged $100 million to support the program. This means – since Israel receives so much aid from the US – that US taxpayer funds could indirectly be subsidizing a blatantly discriminatory and sectarian program. Birthright Israel targets American youth in particular, but only Jews.

A more or less open, but often unspoken goal of Birthright Israel, is to encourage young Jews to marry and increase the Jewish birthrate, something Steinhardt acknowledges.

Under Israel’s racist “Law of Return,” Jews, as defined by Israel, from anywhere in the world are instantly given citizenship, while Palestinian refugees, born in historic Palestine, or directly descended from parents who were, are not allowed to return home solely because they are not Jews.

Easier to be a Zionist in Manhattan than in Tel Aviv

But while Steinhardt is eager for young Americans to leave home and join a foreign state and army, he’s not so keen on doing so himself. Steinhardt said of Israel in 2010:

“Its politicians are, writ large, awful; its businessmen are of less than glorious quality; and when you walk down Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv and you look around at these people and you say, ‘This is who you admire?’ I often say it’s easier to be a Zionist in Manhattan than it is in Tel Aviv.”

Other big donors to Birthright Israel include Israel firster and Casino-billionaire Sheldon Adelson who bankrolled the Republican campaign in the 2012 US elections.

“High on Zion”

As the youth dance, they tell Blumenthal about their impressions, one young American speaking of his excitement to join the Israeli army. Another speaks of being “high on Zion.” When Blumenthal suggests “Ziocaine,” the young man responds, “Zionjuana.”

As young women bop, they tell Blumenthal they want to see the “real Israel” meaning the settlements in the occupied West Bank.

This ultra-nationalist and sectarian rally, aimed at enticing American teens to leave their country, has to be seen against the cold, hard reality of millions of young Palestinians who cannot even enter their homeland just because they are not Jews, and of those who are there, like Muhammad al-Salaymeh, who can be shot dead walking in their own streets, with total impunity.




I'd like to point out that Max says "Ziocaine" while the tagliter actually says "ziojuana". It's not Max's word.

I'm happy to see this video. I saw a spark in Max's eye that was reminiscent of his old videos. There are still so many more two-faced Zionist funders and their hypnotized victims to reveal. Keep up the good work, Max and EI.


"Easier to be a Zionist in Manhattan than in Tel Aviv"

The flip side of that maxim is that it is easier to be anti-zionist in Tel Aviv than it is in Manhattan.

Re Ziocaine, I think a chap called Mooser - a regular at MondoWeiss - coined the expression first but curiously an anti-zionist in the British government back in the day made a reference to Lord Balfour being under the influence of the "noxious fumes of zionism". Something like that.


“There was no Palestinian people.”

Michael Steinhardt needs to read his history.

“The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man” – Zionist observers’ cable to Vienna, 1897, on the suitability of Palestine as the site for a revived Jewish state.

However, the plan of stealing the eventual land for the Jews was outlined by Herzl.

In June 1895 Herzl wrote in his diary:

"The private lands in the territories granted us we must gradually take out of the hands of the owners. The poorer among the population we try to transfer quietly outside our borders by providing them with work in the transit countries, but in our country we deny them all work. Those with property will join us. The transfer of land and the displacement of the poor must be done gently and carefully. Let the landowners believe they are exploiting us by getting overvalued prices. But no lands shall be sold back to their owners."


Check out Ghada Karmi's book by that title. She was a refugee as a child of ten or so from Jerusalem. Her first book was "IN Search of Fatima", and was a great project in mostly telling one '48 family's personal refugee story. MtAM gets more political for the first, and she treats the one-state solution topic with a lot of common sense. Positively, that is.


Classic Max Blumenthal - interview enough people, cherry pick the dumbest responses to highlight in a video and then present them as if they are representative. I mean props for getting into the Mega Event and getting an interview with Michael Steinhardt, that's impressive. But, otherwise this video is nonsense.