Max Blumenthal is the virulently anti-Israel, anti-“right wing,” author whose writing about a supposed conspiracy by pro-Israeli money men to buy the 2012 election for Bibi Netanyahu was cited with approval by Glenn Miller, the Klan leader and neo-Nazi enthusiast who murdered three people in Overland Park, Kansas.

I made clear in my posts that as vile as I find Blumenthal’s writings, the shooter and the shooter alone was responsible for the murders. Many others were less charitable, viewing Blumenthal’s writings as a more direct inspiration for Miller.

Few, if any, mainstream critics of Israel — those who want to influence Israeli policies but not eliminate Israel — have come to Blumenthal’s defense.  The usual anti-Zionist BDS types, by contrast, did jump to Blumenthal’s defense.

For a couple of days I watched the Twitter back and forth with the same morbid curiosity of someone watching a cobra swallow a rat whole. And then watching a python come along and swallow the cobra.

It would have been just another battle in the war by other means known as Twitter.

But then the Southern Poverty Law Center got involved through one of its authors, seeming to exonerate Blumenthal, a result Blumenthal and his supporters touted widely.

Longtime readers know my dim view of what the SPLC has become.

SPLC’s Hatewatch list has become highly politicized, as in the case of designating the Family Research Council as a hate group. That designation literally was the inspiration for the guy who shot up the FRC headquarters, an act for which SPLC never has accepted responsibility despite the uncontroverted connection.

Even Rand Paul at one time was on an SPLC watch list.

SPLC also inflates the number of Klan and neo-Nazi groups in order to increase the number of hate groups on its list, which it breathlessly announces annually.

I have documented such invention of hate groups by SPLC in Rhode Island multiple times. The week before the Overland Park shooting, in fact, I contacted the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office as part of my vetting of SPLC’s current list. I wanted to find out if the RI A.G.’s hate crimes unit had any information on the existence of Klan and neo-Nazi groups still on SPLC’s hate watch list; they told me they had no information about the groups. The Rhode Island State Police referred me back to SPLC.

What gets lost in the inflated Hatewatch list at SPLC are people like Glenn Miller, who truly are a danger to society.

That’s my issue with SPLC: By politicizing the Hatewatch list into a tool to attack conservatives, the Tea Party, and other legitimate participants in the political process, the focus is lost on groups and people which pose a serious threat of violence. That SPLC is correct occasionally, like the perverbial broken clock, is a testament to how often SPLC is wrong.

The politicization of SPLC is evidenced in the person they chose to come to Blumenthal’s defense, Dave Neiwert.

Neiwert is the person who invented the “eliminationist” theory used against conservatives and the Tea Party, the concept that the “right-wing” seeks the literal elimination of its adversaries. Hence, whenever there is a shooting or act of violence, immediately a “right-wing” connection is sought, almost always without success.

Neiwert clung longer than almost anyone to the notion that Jared Loughner was motivated by or at least reflective of right-wing ideology for the shooting of Gabby Giffords and the murder of several people at that shooting. (I’m not sure if Neiwert still clings to that theory as to the Giffords shooting.)

Neiwert cited Mark Potok of SPLC as one of his sources for Neiwert’s theory about Loughner.  Neiwert now works for Potok at SPLC.

Neiwert and Blumenthal co-authored a column at on October 10, 2008, attacking Sarah Palin, Meet Sarah Palin’s radical right-wing pals. The attack on Palin was pure guilt by unproven association, but Blumenthal was quite happy with it, bragging about how his column with Neiwert gave Palin “heartburn.”

There was not a hint of concern in Neiwert’s column for the conspiratorial nature of Blumenthal’s anti-Zionism, and how those conspiracies theories about the power of Jewish money and control overlap overlap with people like Glenn Miller:

Blumenthal, who is of Jewish descent and has spent years off and on in Israel, does not “despise” Israel. Blumenthal has written a number of articles that criticize Israeli policies, just as Rush Limbaugh regularly criticizes the policies of the United States.

Really, Blumenthal doesn’t despise Israel? He wrote what a left-wing critic of Israel called the “I Hate Israel Handbook” and even harsh critics of Israel have abandoned Blumenthal’s extremism.

While I don’t agree with the politicization of the Hatewatch list — which includes critics of Islamists and Islamic extremism — at least SPLC could be consistent. If SPLC had any institutional intellectual integrity, it would include the anti-Zionist BDS movement on its Hatewatch list, as it daily spews the types of falsehoods about Israeli (see Jewish) control and money. And such polemics inspire people like Glenn Miller, even if they do not make the authors responsible for murder.

For a response to Neiwert’s SPLC post, see Ron Radosh, The SPLC’s Attack on Rush Limbaugh, David Horowitz, and Me.

What a strange thing SPLC has become. It assigned an anti-conservative eliminationist conspiracy theorist to vet an anti-Zionist conspiracy theorist.

How far SPLC has fallen.


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