Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Anti-semitism update

In the New York Sun, Ira Stoll reviews Walt and Mearsheimer's latest writings on the Jewish conspiracy:

Professors John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government burst onto the national scene in March of 2006 with a Harvard "working paper" in which they wrote of the "unmatched power of the Israel Lobby." They charged, "Were it not for the Lobby's ability to manipulate the American political system, the relationship between Israel and the United States would be far less intimate than it is today.... AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress.... manipulating the media."

At the time, the paper was praised by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and the American white supremacist David Duke, while widely condemned by the American Jewish community and a number of general interest publications, including The New York Sun. Next week, the two professors will publish a book-length expansion of their argument, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 484 pages, $26). [...]

But from beneath the surface, try though the professors may have to suppress it, what Messrs. Mearsheimer and Walt themselves define as anti-Semitism manages to poke through. The professors write that "anti-Semitism indulges in various forms of stereotyping and implies that Jews should be viewed with suspicion or contempt, while seeking to deny them the ability to participate fully and freely in all realms of society." They are at pains to emphasize that "the lobby is defined not by ethnicity or religion but by a political agenda." Then they proceed to jump in and do exactly what they say anti-Semites do.

What are we to make of the professors' classification of the former governor of Vermont, Howard Dean, as a supporter of Israel in part on the basis that " Dean's wife is Jewish and his children were raised Jewish as well"? Or of the assertion that "Christian Zionists exert less impact on U.S. Middle East policy than the other parts of the Israel lobby do," because the Christians "lack the financial power of the major pro- Israel Jewish groups, and they do not have the same media presence"?

Previous discussion of anti-semitism in the Democratic party is here, here, here, and here. Also, a summary of Sen. Clinton's alleged anti-semitic remarks is available at the HillaryProject.

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