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» Monday, April 03, 2006

Israel :: The Lobby

The Lobby Strikes Back One can hardly mention Israel without being called an anti-semite.   Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer opened a few eyes by publishing a study that deals with Israel in a realistic light.   After detailing the power of The Lobby in domestic policy, the very thing they were writing about happened to them.   Walt lost his job and the university boldly made it publicly known that they did not condone or sponsor anybody that might have something less than stellar praise for Israel.
The Lobby Strikes Back

Harvard study of Israeli lobby's influence costs the academic dean of the Kennedy School his job

The reaction to the Harvard University study by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," [.pdf] has been fury by the Lobby and its partisans - and a demotion for Walt, who, it was announced shortly after the paper's release, would be stepping down from his post as [academic] dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The Kennedy School has removed its logo from the front page of the paper, and made more prominent a boilerplate statement to the effect that the school doesn't necessarily endorse any or all of the views expressed therein.

Now, somebody please tell me that Mearsheimer and Walt have overplayed the power and influence of the Lobby in American political life.

The hate campaign directed at Mearsheimer and Walt underscores and validates the study's contention that all attempts to objectively discuss our Israel-centric foreign policy and the pivotal role played by the Lobby are met with outright intimidation. We have O.J. Simpson defender and pro-Israel fanatic Alan Dershowitz claiming that the scholarly duo filched the majority of their sources from "hate sites" - although how Dershowitz knows this, without having looked directly over their shoulders as they wrote, is very far from clear. But don't worry, he assures us, a "team" of researchers on his staff is looking into the matter. One wonders if this is the same "team" that looked into the evidence and concluded that Simpson was innocent.

Virtually every mention of the study informs us that David Duke is among its most fervent defenders. The Boston Globe and the Washington Post both featured Duke's endorsement in their respective summaries of the controversy, and when the shameless Joe Scarborough of MSNBC had him on, he introduced the notorious racist this way:

"Thank you for being with us tonight, Mr. Duke. You have been attacked as a former Klansman, an anti-Semite, but tonight you're in league with Harvard University. Do you feel vindicated?"

Mearsheimer and Walt are the ones who should feel vindicated, because this sort of cheap demagoguery proves their point about the Lobby's modus operandi. Always they seek to set the terms of the debate in their favor: If you disagree with them and decry their influence, you're a "Nazi." How very convenient.

Continue Reading This Article

I found it very interesting the reaction from some of the middle eastern papers to their study in the Washington Post's World Opinion Roundup.
World Opinion Roundup

by Jefferson Morley

The Asia Times in Hong Kong approvingly quotes Mearsheimer and Walt's conclusion that support for Israel hinders U.S. efforts to combat Islamic terrorism.

"By preventing US leaders from pressuring Israel to make peace, the lobby has also made it impossible to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which gives extremists a potent recruiting tool and enlarges the pool of potential militants, the authors say. And new attempts by the lobby to 'change regimes' in Iran and Syria could lead the US to attack those countries, with potentially disastrous effects.
Their study is really worth a read to understand just part of what is the reality of Bush's Amerika and the powder keg world we live in today.   The article by Justin Raimondo is worth a read also.   As is normal for his work, he embeds many links to back up his writing.   He and the others at are a regular read for me.   - fc

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