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Preview: Comments on Fiery Spirited Zionist: Walt, Mearsheimer and the arab lobby

Comments on Proud American Zionist: Walt, Mearsheimer and the arab lobby

Updated: 2017-09-26T07:32:40.802-04:00


I saw their book launch three times in London last...


I saw their book launch three times in London last week and I read the book. It is garbage. Here are my notes. I asked them questions from these notes. NB first bit draws on ADL. Page numbers obviously referes to the European (Penguin) edition.The book would not be taken seriously if not for your reputations. Nowhere in the book is there a sense of complexity, balance, an examination of the variety of factors that cause an event, or of putting individual comments in perspective. On every issue, you start with unproven, anti-Israel assumptions and then look for isolated examples to justify these assumptions. You don’t have to take a pro-Israel position to recognise that despite your reputations you have no interest in producing a serious, balanced work. The result is a sloppy diatribe and moral relativism gone mad. You constantly distance yourselves from the old anti-Semitic accusations – and then do your best to prove them – like (p169) “Jews control the media” You pay lip service to the notion that pro-Israel activists have every right to lobby the government and that you are not suggesting any conspiracy resembling that offered by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. But this is merely lip service - because the nonstop one-sidedness of your presentation, your gross exaggeration of the power of the “lobby”, your disregard for the consistently broad-based American public support for Israel, your omission of the very many interests that the US has in a strong and safe Israel – for example in the fight against terror - and your overriding theme that policymakers are controlled by the “lobby,” adds up to an effort to delegitimise the work of pro-Israel activists and has elements of classic anti-Jewish conspiracy theories.You conduct no primary research – you spoke to no-one inside the Beltway. Benny Morris, whom you cite frequently on the history of Israel, wrote that your work “is a travesty of the history that I have studies and written” and that you “have a fundamental ignorance of the history with which you deal”.You want me to get specific? OK I will. One, you make tendentious statements as if they were facts:ix: You say “predictably, reactions to your working paper outside the US were generally favourable” Not in the UK they weren’t. You speak of the ‘disastrous’ 2006 war in Lebanon, the ‘debacle’ in Iraq, you say “Iraq is a fiasco”, you say “the Iraq war has alarmed and endangered US Allies” – not this one! You speak about Israel ‘colonising’ the Occupied Territories. Have you not realised that Gaza has been returned to the Palestinians? You write about ‘repressive policies’. Two, page 5: You ask “why Israel and no other country in the world receives such consistent deference from US politicians?” Ignoring the pejorative word ‘deference’ – you are at the moment in a country whose relations with the US are every bit as good as Israel’s. Are US politicians deferential to the UK as well? Three, page 5: You say that US support for Israel undermines America’s standing with important allies. That’s nonsense. The US has good relations with the UK, France Germany Japan, Spain …. Four, page 5: You speak about “Israel’s brutal treatment of the Palestinians” So why are they Palestinians in Jerusalem queuing up to get Israeli passports because they don’t want to be ruled by the Palestinian National Authority post Anapolis, should there be diplomatic progress? Five, page 7: You speak about the unconditionality of US aid to Israel being unique. How about aid to Pakistan, where there is a military dictatorship and Musharraf has just declared martial law? US aid there continues doesn’t it?General comment: You blame the Israel Lobby for terrorist attacks on the US. That’s nonsense. Al Qaeda objects to a US presence in the Middle East and Afghanisatn where it wants the Caliphate re-established. And are you going to allow the terrorists to dictate US foreign policy? Six: You say in the book that the Israel Lobby was the principal driving force b[...]