As many know by now, Max and cameraman Joseph Dana simply took to the streets of Jerusalem on the eve of Obama's Cairo speech and asked drunk young Israelis and Americans what they thought of the new US president.
The video revealed stunning hatred, ignorance and venom.
And it sparked a fevered debate. Did the video reflect reality? Or was it simply a well-edited propaganda piece meant to defame Israel and Jews?
The video was first banned by The Huffington Post, which said that it had no news value.
Now, after being viewed nearly a half million times, the video is apparently being banned by YouTube.
"I won’t ascribe motives to YouTube I am unable to confirm, but it is clear there is an active campaign by right-wing Jewish elements to suppress the video by filing a flood of complaints with YouTube," Blumenthal wrote.
When the video first appeared, Atlantic Monthly writer Ta-Nehisi Coats dismissed it on his blog as "a bunch of drunk racist white kids, doing what I'd expect a bunch of drunk racist white kids to do."
"The greater point about this style of 'journalism,' is made by this headline which I came across--'Drunk Americans=Israeli Public Opinion.'" Coates wrote. "Man listen, hand me a fifth of Henny, a video camera, and an hour, and I'll show you Negroes claiming that God's messenger lives in a space-ship orbiting the earth. The Henny is for me. The Negroes can be found, sober, saying anything. As can all people. That's the point. Bigotry is human. Why would the blacks and Jews be any different?"
Writer Jeffrey Goldberg was somewhat more sympathetic on his Atlantic Monthly blog. Goldberg refused to issue a blanket denunciation of the video and challenged people who accused Blumenthal of taking advantage of people when they were drunk.
"No one I know believes that Mel Gibson is anti-Semitic only when drunk," Goldberg wrote. "The fools in Jerusalem had these thoughts in their heads; alcohol cannot plant ideas that aren't there. And yes, they are not representative of anything much, and yes, Blumenthal would be a journalist, rather than a propagandist, if he had noted that American Jews voted for Barack Obama in overwhelming numbers. I understand all the arguments, and I of course understand the argument, as I'm sure Blumenthal does too, that anti-Semitism in the Arab world is expressed by religious leaders while sober. It is true: Max Blumenthal gets famous by highlighting the behavior of idiotic Jews. It's not a profession I would choose, but it's hard to blame him for the racism of other people."
Earlier this week, Blumenthal and Dana defended the video in an article in Haaretz.
Whether the video reflects any larger reality or not, it certainly captured a slice of life in Jerusalem that rarely gets much attention. And it sparked a healthy debate about public opinion and public policy.
So why has YouTube taken it down? Blumenthal says he hasn't gotten a clear answer.
One group, Jewish Voice for Peace, has launched a campaign to convince YouTube to reinstate the video.
Bloggers have also accused YouTube of banning another controversial video.
The video was revealed yesterday in a long Haaretz magazine piece that uncovered several videos like this.
At this writing, however, the video-in-question (below) appears to be working fine on YouTube and Haaretz...