Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer are two American professors who push the theory that a powerful Israel lobby distorts US foreign policy, taking American presidents down dangerous political paths that they could otherwise avoid.
Robert Fine observed of Walt and Mearsheimer on Engage, in 2006,
While the US does the fighting, dying and paying, they write, Israel is the beneficiary. The Lobby’s influence increases the danger of terrorism, fuels Islamic radicalism, raises the spectre of further wars in Syria and Iran, makes impossible any resolution of Palestinian suffering, undercuts US prestige abroad and its efforts to limit nuclear proliferation, and erodes democracy within the US. All for Israel. What is needed is ‘candid discussion of the Lobby’s influence’, a return to reality and the advancement once more of US interests. […]
Slippage from criticism of American foreign policy to wild eyed conspiracy theory punctuates this whole narrative. The question of why Israel should have these maniacal aims and why the Lobby should echo them is simply not addressed. It would seem that this article has no merit beyond that of translating into one academically authenticated product all the conspiratorial clichés of a demonic power exercising its evil behind the scenes.
This week, whilst discussing Middle Eastern politics, the New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman has made reference to a “powerful pro-Israel lobby”:
This has also left the U.S. government fed up with Israel’s leadership but a hostage to its ineptitude, because the powerful pro-Israel lobby in an election season can force the administration to defend Israel at the U.N., even when it knows Israel is pursuing policies not in its own interest or America’s.
In reaction, some antizionists commentators are claiming that this phrase has somehow legitimised Walt and Mearsheimer’s opinion.
Thomas Friedman has a reputation of being sympathetic to Israel in his writings. Therefore, his sentence about the “powerful pro-Israel lobby” strikes me as rather clumsy and awkward, especially when you consider how antizionist conspiracists understand the “lobby”.
One badly thought-out sentence from a journalist, hardly proves a conspiracy theory. Before antizionist-“progressive” types laud Walt and Mearsheimer, they should stop to consider Mearsheimer’s ringing praise of Gilad Atzmon. Atzmon is a man who has already doubted the gas chambers in Auschwitz, says he “doesn’t know” if the Holocaust happened, and blamed Jews for their persecution at the hands of the Nazis.
We read in Gilad Atzmon’s new book The Wandering Who:
“some may be bold enough to argue that ‘Hitler might have been right after all’
“Some Jews are rather unhappy with Charles Dickens’ Fagin and Shakespeare’s Shylock, who they regard as ‘anti-Semitic.’
“Thanks to Weininger, I realised how wrong I was – I was not detached from the reality about which I wrote, and I never shall be. I am not looking at the Jews, or at Jewish identity, I am not looking at Israelis. I am actually looking in the mirror. With contempt, I am actually elaborating on the Jew in me.”
[Weininger] adored Aryan masculinity because he probably lacked that quality in any significant amount in his own being. This revelation probably led Weininger to kill himself, just a month after the publication of his book. Very likely, he had managed to understand what his book was all about.”
Here is John Mearsheimer on Atzmon’s new book:
‘Gilad Atzmon has written a fascinating and provocative book on Jewish identity in the modern world. He shows how assimilation and liberalism are making it incredibly difficult for Jews in the Diaspora to maintain a powerful sense of their ‘Jewishness.’ Panicked Jewish leaders, he argues, have turned to Zionism (blind loyalty to Israel) and scaremongering (the threat of another Holocaust) to keep the tribe united and distinct from the surrounding goyim. As Atzmon’s own case demonstrates, this strategy is not working and is causing many Jews great anguish. The Wandering Who? Should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike.’
Far from welcoming Walt and Mearsheimer uncritically, liberals should be alarmed at John Mearsheimer’s recommendation of Gilad Atzmon’s new book, which sees Jewish identity, essentially through a Nazi lens.