Thomas Wictor

Max Blumenthal debunks Palestinian propaganda, Part One

Max Blumenthal debunks Palestinian propaganda, Part One

Today I went looking for evidence of a theory I have about the Battle of Shijaiyah (July 20-23, 2014), and why there’s so little fragmentation damage. I found my answer in of all places one of the most toxic, dishonest, vicious anti-Israel pieces I’ve ever read, “Gruesome Tales Surface of Israeli Massacres Against Families in Gaza’s Shujaiya Neighborhood,” by Max Blumenthal. In his fervor to defame men and women who are much better people than he is, Blumenthal accidentally debunks Palestinian propaganda. In fact he deflated the Pallywood blockbuster, The Murder of Salem Shamaly, produced by International Solidarity Movement (ISM). You know: the tale of the young man in the green shirt shot by an Israeli sniper.


Blumenthal also provided anecdotal evidence of what I’d suspected about the air strikes in Shijaiyah. His article attempts to paint the Israeli Defense Forces as monsters, but what he actually does is prove how resolutely humane they are. I like the fact that a virulent Jew hater is so incompetent and uninformed that he ends up serving as a spokesman for the IDF. Move over, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner! Here’s the new face of the Israeli Defense Forces.


People have asked me why I think Max Blumenthal hates Israel so much. The answer is simple, and until just a few days ago, it was found in his Wikipedia entry.

Wikipedia said that when Max’s father Sidney Blumenthal cut his boys’ hair, he’d tell them stories about their grandfather, a butcher in Germany. Sydney used these stories to keep the boys quiet.

This is an extremely significant revelation. I wrote about it in a comment on Facebook, but that passage was removed from Max Blumenthal’s Wikipedia page on August 26, 2014, at 3:07 p.m. If memory serves, my comment and the Wikipedia edit happened the same day.

What I said on Facebook was that Max hates his father, but he can’t admit it, so he uses a defense mechanism called “displacement.” Instead of acknowledging his rage toward his father—which would be too threatening and traumatic—he aims it instead at Israel. He does this because he doesn’t fear Israelis. They don’t defend themselves with the vigor of, say, Muslims. In other words, Max is no different from a schoolyard bully.

What revealed Max’s displacement is the phrase “to keep them quiet.” I was raised by a man who couldn’t bear for his children to speak or make noise, and he enforced his discipline with his fists.


I completely sympathize with Max Blumenthal’s anger, but his upbringing doesn’t justify his embrace of evil. For all of us who had less-than-ideal childhoods, you have a binary choice: You can acknowledge that things weren’t all that hot, or you can deny it.

If you face the truth, it causes great pain and a prolonged period of grief that you think will kill you. That’s why people choose to deny reality and pretend that everything was great. Again, I fully understand.

But Max Blumenthal has become a fifth columnist for Neo-Nazis and Wahabbist terrorists. His displaced rage has made him implacably destructive toward people who don’t deserve it. While I feel bad for the former child who hates his father, I have no sympathy for the adult who tells such transparent lies about Israel. He should be exposed, humiliated, and hounded out of journalism. His lies are unforgivable.

An idiot who does no research

Blumenthal’s piece “Gruesome Tales Surface of Israeli Massacres Against Families in Gaza’s Shujaiya Neighborhood” is not only full of lies, it shows what a terrible writer he is. You don’t commit massacres against families; you commit massacres of families. And his overwrought prose is just mortifying.

Those who managed to survive the Israeli bombardment have come home to bedrooms obliterated by tank shells, kitchens pierced by Hellfire missiles, and boudoirs(!) looted by soldiers who used their homes as bases of operations before embarking on a series of massacres. Once a solidly middle-class suburb of Gaza City comprised of multi-family apartments and stately homes, the neighborhood of Shujaiya was transformed into a gigantic crime scene.

Well, let’s see…

The AGM-114M Hellfire missiles used in urban combat have blast-fragmentation warheads. They don’t pierce kitchens; they blow them to smithereens. Also, the IDF doesn’t loot as a matter of policy. Show me the proof, Max. Finally, there were no massacres in Shijaiyah; the total death toll was seventy out of a population of 100,000.

Even that figure isn’t reliable because it comes from the Palestinian Ministry of Death Health, which tweaks casualty figures. After Palestinian officials work their magic, dead terrorists become civilian children.


Dead terrorists become adult civilians.

And living people are declared dead. Salem Shamaly falls into this category, as Max Blumenthal proves. I’ll get to that soon.

Shijaiya was a gigantic crime scene, and the crimes were committed by Hamas. Locating elaborate fortifications in a residential neighborhood is a war crime.

The Hamas and Islamic Jihad…had four days and a warning of a few hours that the IDF is going in. This is why—as opposed to Hamas fighters escaping to their hiding places when the IDF launched the sudden ground attack—this time they hid traps, prepared anti-tank ambushes and waited for the Golani brigade, tanks and bulldozers to come in.

Shejaiyya is in effect a military compound prepared for fighting, which is planted in the heart of the civilian population. All of the assets that are important for the terror organizations are there: welding workshops for manufacturing rockets, labs for making explosives, rocket warehouses, hidden rocket launchers, command centers, and a tunnel system that enables the terrorists to move between these facilities quickly without being concerned about getting hit from the air. There are also entrances to tunnels that lead into Israel.


Max Blumenthal makes no mention of the danger that Hamas posed to the residents of Shijaiyah. However, he writes truly pathetic, melodramatic drivel that would embarrass a North Korean seventh grader.

The attack on Shujaiya began at 11 p.m. on July 19, with a combined Israeli bombardment from F-16s, tanks, and mortar launchers. It was a night of hell which more than 100 did not survive and that none have recovered from. Inside the ruins of what used to be homes, returning locals related stories of survival and selflessness, detailing a harrowing night of death and destruction.

For a start, there’s no such thing as a “mortar launcher.” A mortar launcher would be a device that throws mortars. Also, the IDF entered the neighborhood without bombarding it. This was because most of the residents refused to leave or were prevented from leaving by Hamas. There was artillery fire on the outskirts of the area, to warn the residents that the ground assault was beginning. However, there was no initial aerial or artillery bombardment of Shijaiyah proper.

Infantry in armored personnel carriers entered the neighborhood after midnight on the morning of July 20, 2014. Hamas struck at 1:00 a.m.

The ambush was so intense that the Israelis had to enter their Namer APCs to take cover from terrorists unloading on them from 130 feet (forty meters) away with mortars, heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and antitank guided missiles. Once the troops were buttoned up in their APCs, Israeli artillery fired 600 high-explosive shells at ten buildings. Some of the shells intentionally hit the APCs; this was to make the fragments ricochet like a trick basketball shot and kill terrorists under cover nearby. The Namer is built to withstand direct hits by high-explosive munitions.

I knew that the Israeli Air Force had also dropped around 100 Mk-84 2000-lb (907 kg) bombs, but there was no mention of whether they were explosive or inert. Max Blumenthal provides the answer.

“The F-16s were no longer up in the sky bombing us; they were flying just above the houses,” Tamer recalls.

That means the air force provided close air support (CAS) with cement bombs. A pilot would never drop an explosive bomb if he were flying at rooftop level. He’d be caught in the explosion.

Through the Israeli Tzayad Digital Army Program, terrorists in windows were identified by UAVs, given a twelve-digit code, and then hit with a cement bomb that demolished the firing post. I originally thought that the IDF used explosive laser-guided GBU-16 Paveway II bombs, but there’s virtually no evidence of fragmentation in the most heavily damaged parts of Shijaiyah.

The Israeli Air Force has a 99 percent accuracy, even with unguided munitions. Low-level attacks; the lack of fragmentation damage; and the crushed, knocked-apart appearance of the buildings lead me to conclude that cement Mk-83 1000-lb bombs were used.


Even at the moment when their men were on the very edge of life and death, the IDF thus chose the least-destructive way to save them. Absolutely amazing.

Thanks for clearing that up, Max. I appreciate you telling us the truth. Since it came right from the mouths of Palestinians who were there, you can’t dispute it.

I picture Blumenthal panting as he wrote his gripping chronicle of diabolical savagery. All that passion made him really stupid. His many lies trip him up all over the place.

I asked why the family remained in ruins when the army could attack again at any time.

“We have nowhere else to go now,” Khalil Atash explained. “You only die once and we’re not afraid after what we’ve been through. So we just decided to live in our house.”

By pounding neighborhoods like Shujiaya and cities like Beit Hanoun until nearly all of their residents were forced to flee west for shelter, Israel was tightening the cage on the entire population.

So people had nowhere to go, but nearly everybody fled. Where to? Up their own rear ends? Up Max Blumenthal’s rear end?

Click here for “Max Blumenthal debunks Palestinian propaganda, Part Two.”

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