Anti-Israel Activist ‘Fact-Checks’ Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali / AP

Max Blumenthal, the David Duke-endorsed anti-Israel writer who is best known for being the son of long-time Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal, launched a barrage of twitter attacks on the Somali-American women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Tuesday.

Blumenthal also took issue with a recent column in the Wall Street Journal in which Hirsi Ali, a critic of radical Islam, said that "at least 70% of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims." In the essay, Hirsi Ali cited an International Institute for Strategic Studies analysis.

Blumenthal questioned the stat in an email to Hirsi Ali’s foundation on Tuesday:

From: Max Blumenthal

Subject: Query on Hirsi Ali's book

Date: March 24, 2015 6:43:07 PM EDT

Hello, I am a writer for Alternet working on an article about Heretic and I'm seeking a piece of information:

I am seeking a citation for the claim below, from Hirsi Ali's recent essay in the Wall Street Journal.

The IISS has informed me that they are unaware what statistic she is referring to.

Hirsi Ali repeated the claim on the Daily Show: "If you look at 70 percent of the violence in the world today, Muslims are responsible."

The statistic came from this article published by IISS which drew on data compiled by the Armed Conflict Database in 2014, Hirsi Ali tweeted on Thursday.

Blumenthal has been criticized across the ideological spectrum for "shoddy reporting and venomous distortions."

"As a reporter, the best one can say about him is that he doesn’t speak Hebrew or Arabic, and he doesn’t have any sources—so it’s hard to fault him for getting things wrong," wrote David Mikics in Tablet magazine earlier this month.

The left-wing writer Eric Alterman wrote in the Nation that Blumenthal’s 2013 Israel-bashing book Goliath—which received rave reviews from David Duke’s website—could have been a selection for the "Hamas book-of-the-month-club."

"Literally nothing this fellow [Blumenthal] writes can be taken at face value," wrote Alterman. "He shames all of us with his presence in our magazine."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center also included Blumenthal’s book—which equates Israel’s actions toward Palestinians with the Nazi regime’s crimes against the Jews—on its list of the top 10 anti-Semitic slurs of 2013.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Jerusalem Post that Blumenthal "crossed the line into outright anti-Semitism."

Blumenthal’s father, Sidney Blumenthal, who continued to advise Hillary Clinton on foreign policy during her time at the State Department, hosted a promotional party for his son’s book, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Most recently, Blumenthal was in the news for his involvement in "Toiletgate." After the head of Germany’s Left Party canceled a meeting with Blumenthal because of his comments on Israel, the activist chased the official into a Berlin parliament bathroom stall with a camera to demand an explanation for the snub.