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Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Policy in the Middle East

Anyone interested in the Middle East -- or just peace, for that matter -- should read John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's excellent article in the London Review of Books, "The Israel Lobby." (The full unedited article with footnotes is here.) While it contains little that is not already on the record somewhere and nothing that would even raise an eyebrow in Israel, it has the merit of laying out the tremendous influence American partisans of Israel have over policymakers in Washington. I have been studying the Middle East, and in particular the Israel-Palestine dispute, for a long time, and I can highly recommend this article.

Predictably, the authors, a political science professor at the University of Chicago and an international affairs professor at the Kennedy School, Harvard, have been accused openly or subtly of anti-Semitism. Even Christopher Hitchens, who himself has been the victim of this calumny for his previous writings on Israel-Palestine, has joined the attempt to smear these men. It is truly shameful. But it demonstrates what the authors have tried to show: that the relationship between the U.S. government and the Israeli government is unique in a very bad sense. If you oppose the alliance with South Korea, no one will accuse you of hating Koreans. If you oppose the alliance with Israel, it will be suggested that you side with David Duke, if not Adolf Hitler. (If the critic happens to be Jewish, he will be psychoanalyzed.)

Anyone who engages in this illegitimate and disgusting tactic should be ignored. Having drawn a line between himself and civil discourse, he deserves no reply.

Read the article, for your own sake.

Cross-posted at Liberty & Power.

1 comment:

Libertarian Jason said...

Sheldon -

Weren't you accused by someone about 2 or 3 years ago of the same stuff? Wasn't it Illana Mercer?

You're spot on. So many people like to vilify people with disgusting smear tactics rather than respond to the arguments with facts and logic.