Walt and Mearsheimer yet again
Ralph Seliger cautions against the shrillness of the Zionists, recommending two posts by someone smart, Dan Fleshler, who, unusually, has actually read the book: Mearsheimer, Walt and the so-called “silent” Jewish doves and Mearsheimer, Walt and what didn’t really happen at Camp David.
It is also worth noting what Zbigniew Brzezinski actually said about Walt and Meersheimer, as his new connection to Barak Obama is turning sensible anti-anti-Zionists off Obama. This is from the New Yorker:
Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s national-security adviser, recently praised Mearsheimer and Walt in the pages of Foreign Policy for the service of “initiating a much-needed public debate,” but he went on to provide a tone and a perspective that are largely missing from their arguments. “The participation of ethnic or foreign-supported lobbies in the American policy process is nothing new,” he observes. “In my public life, I have dealt with a number of them. I would rank the Israeli-American, Cuban-American, and Armenian-American lobbies as the most effective in their assertiveness. The Greek- and Taiwanese-American lobbies also rank highly in my book. The Polish-American lobby was at one time influential (Franklin Roosevelt complained about it to Joseph Stalin), and I daresay that before long we will be hearing a lot from the Mexican-, Hindu-, and Chinese-American lobbies as well.”*So, it's important to have a sense of proportion about what the book actually says, and what its supposed supporters actually say. What's worrying is that it almost doesn't matter what the book says: its very existence - a book by academics claiming that there is such a thing as an Israel lobby - is permission for antisemites to spout off in the public sphere.
Mort Zuckerman was slurred by W&M as a member of the "media wing" of the Lobby; his nice response was: "I would just say this: The allegations of this disproportionate influence of the Jewish community reminds me of the 92-year-old man sued in a paternity suit. He said he was so proud, he pleaded guilty." Anyway, Huffington Post commendably published a blog post by Zuckerman taking apart W&M's claims. Take a look at the comments in response. Or, rather, take a look at a couple, because you'll start to get sick after a while. Captain Video writes:
When it comes to middle eastern policy, the Israel lobby is the elephant in the room that almost everybody is pretending not to notice because if you say "hey there's an elephant in the room," you immediately get accused of being anti semetic. But everybody who knows what is going on knows that the elephant is there.Slightly less wacky Pivotoftheuniverse writes:
Zuckerman and other Israel lobby activists are running scared. We now are able to discuss the question of the effect of right-wing, likudnik Israeli policy on US foreign policy. Most Americans have come to see this as true, and many are now uncomfortable about it. And we see it now in the drumbeat to attack Iran. Sorry Mort, cat's out of the bag. M&W may have their problems, but the overall truth of their argument is as plain as day.These people are "now able" to shit out hate speech about American Jews as much as they like, because Walt and Mearsheimer gave them permission to. Calling them anti-semitic is proof that the Israel Lobby exists.
Similarly, the endorsement and promotion of W&M by liberal media outlets like the New Statesman (better: the Jew Hatesman) is at worst an example of the pervasiveness of anti-semitic thought, at best deeply irresponsible.
For more analysis of W&M, read Noga, Mr Volokh, and Snarksmith.
Meanwhile, read Judeosphere on "The Homosexual Lobby" (ideally read in conjunction with this).
*Not to be read as an endorsement of Zbigniew Brzezinski, another realist Cold War scumbag who has jumped on the Israel=apartheid bandwagon.
All posts on: Walt and Mearsheimer, Barack Obama here.