Those of you who are familiar with our blog, know that we are very critical of the work of Professors Mearsheimer and Walt (M & W) . Not only do we take issue with their definitions and descriptions of the “Israel Lobby,” but we also strongly object to their claim that it was responsible for the current Iraq war. Still, we share M & W’s professed commitment to a two-state solution and see the need for the US to be more energetic and fair minded in moving both sides toward an agreement.
I, for one, share some of M & W’s frustration with the shallow way that the Israel-Arab conflict is played in mainstream politics in this country. As Howard Dean learned in 2004, even to state that US policy should be more “even-handed” is seen by many American Jews as code for being anti-Israel. This is why it makes no political sense for the Presidential candidates to advocate such a stance.
It is after the election, especially if a Democrat wins the White House, that we can hope for a policy that is truly pro-Israel in working for a reasonable two-state solution. If a Republican wins, we are less likely to see such an important effort. It is especially difficult to imagine such a direction from a possible Giuliani administration, given his stated opposition to the very idea of a Palestinian state and his stable of neoconservative advisors, including Norman Podhoretz.
You may read this one article by M & W, with which I find a wide area of agreement, “Israel’s False Friends,” in the LA Times, Jan. 6, 2008.