A new campaign that seeks to pressure the Jewish campus group Hillel into partnering with anti-Israel organizations is being hailed as a way to "a "liberate young Jews from the vice grip of Zionism" by anti-Zionist activist Max Blumenthal.
Blumenthal, who recently wrote a book that compared Israel with the Third Reich, praised the new campus movement "Open Hillel" during a speech at Brandeis University, according to video posted by a group called Safe Hillel.
"There is a movement afoot, an organic movement on campuses now … which I consider to be a movement to liberate young Jews, from the vice grip of Zionism, which is imposing a line of thinking upon them that shuns critical enquiry," said Blumenthal. "It’s known as ‘Open Hillel.’"
He added that the campaign, which urges Hillel campus chapters to partner with groups that support boycotts of the Jewish state, has come under "extreme attack from the Hillel national organization."
Hillel’s national guidelines prohibit its campus chapters from partnering with groups that boycott Israel, delegitimize Israel, disrupt campus speakers, or "deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders."
Commentators across the political spectrum have criticized Blumenthal’s book as a "propaganda tract" that appeals to anti-Semites.
However, the book did receive a positive review from David Duke’s website, which called it "extremely valuable" and said it "verifies points that Dr. Duke has frequently made."
Blumenthal’s father, Sidney Blumenthal, is a long-time confidante to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Sidney Blumenthal took an active role in promoting his son’s book, hosting a book party for him, launching an email campaign to attack critics, and attending promotional events.