Saturday, August 05, 2006

Israel Lobby

In my Aug. 02 post I promised more about what some people call a "Jewish Lobby."

In its March 23rd issue the London Review of Books, a respected British journal, published an essay titled "The Israel Lobby." The authors are two distinguished American academics (Stephen Walt of Harvard and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago) who posted a longer (83-page) version of their text on the Web site of Harvard's Kennedy School.

FromTimesOnline: Walt and Mearsheimer caused a storm of protest when they published their report which argued that America’s interests were being manipulated by the pro-Israel lobby, using a network of politicians, journalists and academics. It said that the Jewish lobby was a key factor behind President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and cautioned that the US could be drawn into conflicts against Israel’s other enemies in the region.

Soon enough Harvard University distanced itself from Professor Walt and his accusation that the Jewish lobby in America subverts US foreign policy in Israel’s interest. Harvard also announced Walt's stepping down as academic dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government to become an ordinary professor.

At the time Marvin Kalb, a member of the Kennedy School, said that the report contained factual errors and failed to meet basic academic standards.

Alan Dershowitz, the famous Harvard criminal lawyer, denounced the report as ignorant propaganda, and said that he was writing a paper to refute its claims. Which he did.

Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat congressman from New York, accused the authors of finding “Jewish conspirators under every bed and controlling every major American institution”.

It's obvious where I stand on this issue and I bring all this up again because to me it all sounds like the stuff I learned about the old days of black-listed writers, the House Un-American Activities Committee, and good ol' Joe McCarthy. Didn't anybody learn anything about anti-semitism and racism after all of that?

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