23 November 2007

US political scientists deny anti-Semitism accusation

John Mearsheimer, of the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt, of Harvard University, who recently co-wrote a book entitled The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, have become the object of a storm of criticism. Their book alleges that US policy on the Middle East is, in many ways, shaped by a lobby that represents right-wing Israeli interests. They are careful not to equate this lobby with American Jews in general.

Nevertheless, Abraham Foxman, the director of the Anti-Defamation League, has accused Mearsheimer and Walt of spreading "classic anti-Semitic canards". Indeed, so incensed is Foxman by the arguments presented in The Israeli Lobby, that he has written his own book, The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control, as a rebuttal.

According to Walt, "Reasonable people can disagree and one of the reasons we want to have a discussion is to get issues out in the open so people can talk about them." The historian Tony Judt, while disagreeing with some aspects of the book, has praised the authors for what he called their "enormous act of intellectual courage" in furthering the debate on the role of the Israeli lobby in the US (BBC).


Anonymous said...


Rashed said...

Thanks for the link, Anonymous, and for visiting Notes on Religion. I must say I find Michael Trapido's post on Mearheimer and Walt's book uncivil and unhelpful. He calls the two professors "anti-Semites" and "little bastards". That kind of language, used not against criminals but rather academics who are trying to start a foreign policy debate, makes it very hard to have a sane discussion.

Also, I'd really prefer if you'd tell me your name when you post comments on this blog. Even initials would do. Not knowing who your interlocutor is makes it that much harder to communicate.

Maria said...

Certain number of Juish population just uses the label "anti-semitizm" as a shield to protect themselves from any criticizm or questioning.
Though anti-semitizm exists in reality, it became more of a convenience, than a real threat to some Juish groups. They consider themselves untouchible, and if somebody is brave enough to think othervise, the label is ready -- "anti-Semit".

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