My review of Transforming America’s Israel Lobby: The Limits of Its Power and the Potential for Change by Dan Fleshler (Potomac Books, 2009, 267 pp., $24.95) was published last week at InTheseTimes.org. There were a few nuances that were lost in the ITT Web article, but readers should understand that I regard Dan’s book as an important contribution to the “Israel Lobby” issue, not least being that there is more than one “lobby” concerning Israel. This post is about points on Mearsheimer and Walt’s “Israel Lobby” writings that were edited out:
[J. J. Goldberg] … published an unsigned Forward editorial (“In Dark Times, Blame the Jews,” March 24, 2006) associating the two professors’ work with classic anti-Semitic tropes. This probably went too far, but Professors Mearsheimer and Walt were remarkably insensitive in not understanding that as members of a historically oppressed and vulnerable minority group, many Jews would see hatred in the single-minded intensity of their arguments. (Yossi Beilin, then chair of Israel’s dovish Meretz party, announced at a World Union of Meretz conference that even he saw “hate” in their initial article.)
Fleshler likes to quote Daniel Levy, an Israeli peacenik who helped draft the unofficial Geneva Accord of 2003 and now works on Middle East peace issues for think tanks in Washington, D.C. But he would have done well to also quote Levy’s Haaretz newspaper review of Mearsheimer and Walt’s book in 2007. Levy was scathing in criticizing much of the organized Jewish community for “outsourcing” foreign policy issues to the neocons; but he also criticized Mearsheimer and Walt for confusing cause and effect. Levy regarded support for the Iraq war by some Jewish organizations as a sales job for a decision that was already made by the Bush administration for its own reasons. … Click here to read the piece posted at InTheseTimes.org.