Top Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal hosted a book party in October promoting Goliath, an anti-Zionist book that draws equivalence between Israel and Nazi Germany and was written by his son Max Blumenthal.
The elder Blumenthal hosted the party at his home on Oct. 25, and introduced his son, who spoke for around fifteen minutes, according to an attendee.
“[Sidney Blumenthal] just introduced him and said he was proud of him,” said Paul L. Scham, a Middle East professor at the at Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies who attended the event.
“The sense I got, and I don’t know them personally, was that he was a supportive father, that his son felt passionately about this, and he’s supporting his son,” Scham added. “He doesn’t claim to be a Middle East expert so he wasn’t speaking about the subject.”
A photo from the party posted online by liberal labor journalist Mike Elk shows Sidney and Max standing together and is captioned “Father – Son Book Party #blumenthals.”
Sidney Blumenthal thanked the Free Beacon for calling before hanging up when reached by phone. The Clinton Global Initiative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sidney Blumenthal, a long-time confidante to both Bill and Hillary Clinton, advised Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. Clinton later sought to bring Blumenthal with her to the State Department, but was blocked by Rahm Emanuel, according to the New York Times.
Max Blumenthal’s Goliath—which includes chapter titles such as “The Concentration Camp” and “The Night of Broken Glass”—has been denounced by liberal commentators as “a propaganda tract” that promotes views “akin to those expressed by the KKK, Hamas and other antisemites.”
Sidney Blumenthal has previously been criticized for allegedly mounting an email campaign defending his son’s book after Eric Alterman, a left-leaning columnist at the Nation, negatively reviewed it.
Alterman panned Goliath, writing that it “could have been published by the Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club (if it existed).”
Alterman said Sidney Blumenthal later targeted him in an email campaign. BuzzFeed reported that one Blumenthal email promoted a post from the anti-Israel Mondoweiss blog, which called on the Nation to correct or retract Alterman’s review.
The news prompted a rebuke from Alan Dershowitz, a pro-Israel Democrat and Clinton ally, who called on the elder Blumenthal to distance himself from his son’s views.
“In light of the long association between the Clintons and Sid Blumenthal, I hope that the Clintons ask Sid to expressly dissociate himself from his son’s views—and if he refuses to, that they no longer work with him on any matters,” Dershowitz told Breitbart’s Joel Pollak.
Other liberal commentators have also taken issue with Blumenthal’s book. Scham recently wrote a critique of it for the Partners for Progressive Israel blog. He said he believes the evidence of Israeli misdeeds that Blumenthal presents is accurate but the larger picture he paints of Israel is incomplete.
“I think Israel does deserve criticism for a lot of things,” Scham told the Free Beacon. “But I also think if you want to understand why things are, I think you have to balance it and not take everything in the most negative possible of ways.”
Elk declined to comment on the photo. “I cannot possibly do this. I have no idea what is the relationship between Max Blumenthal and his father and neither do I think any reporter could possibly understand their relationship, which is why family relationships should not be written on by any reporter,” he said.
Reached by phone, Elk said “I hope you fucking burn in hell for this. I really fucking do. Go fuck yourself.”
Max Blumenthal did not respond to an email request for comment.