REQUIRES A CONSTANT STRUGGLE."
-- George Orwell, 1946
A Review of The Israel Lobby by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer
- Never criticize Israel or any Jew
- Use the Holocaust to justify anything
- Never question Israel's influence in American politics
- Never question Jewish influence in the American financial institutions and
- You may offer your own opinion about who should have won the 'Miss Israel'
Misunderstanding the Lobby.....YES, this is what it is actually about:
1 of 2 CBS: Israeli settlers trying to prevent peace deal....
2 of 2 CBS: Israeli settlers trying to prevent peace deal.
Barack Oubama; MOSSAD/CIA2 President in the White House.
Yesterday, Barack Obama was installed as president of the decomposing empire of the United States. A few months ago I wrote an inaugural address for Obama. According to the strange serendipity of the internet, I wound up at the top of the Google search results for the keywords and over the last couple of days I have been receiving tens of thousands of hits. This has brought me visits from personality types who don’t usually find themselves in places like my blogs.
The readership at my blogs consists of highly literate and well-informed individuals. They find their way here because they go to real news sites. These are not the sort of people who get their news from the mainstream media. These new visits and the relative intelligence of these individuals are reflected in the responses they are leaving in my email... I’m hearing tired canards about ‘taking your feds...’. I’m hearing from people who are going to hunt down and kill anyone who criticizes Obama. I’m receiving comments from people who haven’t a clue about 9/11 and who believe it’s just something in the past and doesn’t matter to the present and the future of their country.... It’s all very revealing...of the hold on power by those occult forces behind the power in USA, the new found Siamese twins of CIA2/MOSSAD, that cannot distinguish American and Israeli interests....hence Israel "and" America....becomes a covert paradigm...used by the power behind the power in USA to steamroll US politics into complete submission to the elite's of the elite boys and women ... the CFR,...etc...the so-called ISRAEL's influential lobby....is a myth propagated by this occult power behind the power....because it is a very handy and a "cheap" way ...of controlling both houses of congress ...without ever disclosing any of the rogue intelligence and covert...extra-judicial operations...and all policies....in USA and the world for that matter... and the so-called Israeli lobby, with all of its spectacular ramifications worldwide is completely and utterly subservient to this power behind the power in USA, they are just a front and a cover...for the real power behind all powers in USA, and
These people are so far away from the truth about their situation that seeking to inform them about anything is tantamount to speaking to them in a foreign language which they will never learn. You might as well be talking to your house cat about electricity.
Attacking Christian Zionists...
The Arab Lobby...
The Biased Media...
Terror Because of Israel...
Israel Causes the Palestinian Problem...
Devaluing an Asset...
Foreign Aid as a Hammer...
The Iraq War...
Apologists for Hezbollah...
Cooking the Books...
Conclusion....PNAC II is still ongoing, in order to fracture the world into thousands of tribes with flags...and enjoy the dis-information which ensues here below.
When Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer’s article on the Israeli lobby
first appeared, it was rightly ridiculed for its shoddy scholarship.
They were two prominent political scientists who knew nothing about
the Middle East and had demonstrated their ignorance. Had they
remained interested in their academic reputations, they would have
pretended it was all a mistake, but their apparent conviction that
Jews really are to blame for 9/11 and what they consider a disastrous
war in Iraq would not let them give up their conspiracy theory. The
fact that anti-Semites and others inclined to believe their
nonsensical arguments treated them credibly, and gave them publicity,
prompted a publisher to offer them a reported six-figure advance. It
was no surprise then that two eggheads whose work would usually
generate yawns from the public and feeble or non-existent advances
from academic presses would take the money and build a book from the
thin reeds in their article.
If someone didn’t know the pedigree of the authors, they would never
believe it was written by academics because the book shows such
profound ignorance of all aspects of Middle East history and politics.
Apparently they didn’t get much help from anyone who might know more.
In their acknowledgments they mention only one person who has written
seriously on U.S.-Israel relations and he’s a frequent critic of
Israel. Clearly they didn’t speak to anyone with any expertise in the
subject of the book who might have differed with their preconceived
notions. They mention eight Israelis whose work influenced them — six
are post-Zionists. They mention sources, but did no interviews with
members of the lobby or those influenced by it.
The book doesn’t retreat from the positions shown to be false in their
original article; rather it is padded by futile attempts to respond to
their critics and a blizzard of more than 100 pages of footnotes that
shows more desperation than serious research. This document dump
actually further erodes their credibility as they cite books and
articles as though they just looked at indexes by subject but didn’t
actually read any of them; in fact, it’s dubious they could have
consumed the amount of research they cite in the year since their
article was published and because they did not incorporate any of the
information from many of those sources that would have disproved their
thesis. W/M made clear that facts do not matter to them. In response
to criticism of their failure to conduct interviews in their initial
article and reliance on secondary sources, and the suggestion that
they should have done more research, they said, “these additional
steps would not have altered our conclusions” (“Setting the Record
Straight: A Response to Critics of ‘The Israeli Lobby,’ December 12,
2006, p. 26). They would have been wise to heed Mark Twain’s
admonition, “Get your facts first, and then you can distort ‘em as
much as you please.”
But let’s be candid. This book has no scholarly pretenses, it’s a work
of polemics that not only earned them a hefty advance but guaranteed
celebrity speaking fees from every anti-Israel group around the world
(it’s no surprise the U.K., home of the anti-Israel boycott, would be
one of their first foreign stops to promote the book).
From an academic perspective, one would have expected two professors
associated with studies of the balance of power to have some passing
knowledge of the notion of a balance of lobbying power, but they are
clearly unfamiliar with the literature on interest groups in general,
and of the research on the Israeli and Arab lobbies in particular. Had
they read my book, for example, they would have seen extensive
documentation for when, where, how and why the pro-Israel lobby
exercises influence. Actually, they cite my work, but, if they read
it, they chose to ignore all of the data that disproves their
Currency in the academic world is publication in peer reviewed
journals and university presses, so the first question raised about W/
M’s work was why they went outside the academic channel. One answer is
that it could never have passed muster if reviewed by scholars in the
field. After their original article was lambasted, they admitted
making a “small number of minor factual errors” but asserted that they
could not be accused of shoddy research because they were tenured
professors and other work of theirs had been subject to peer review
(“Setting the Record Straight,” p. 1). Unfortunately for W/M, tenure
does not offer immunity from scrutiny, or a stamp of approval for work
outside their fields that was not reviewed by knowledgeable experts.
Moreover, their willingness to speak at forums sponsored by anti-
Israel organizations only fuels the suspicions about their motives.
Like Jimmy Carter, they piously and hypocritically proclaim their
objective is to promote discussion of the issues they raise while
avoiding debates with experts in the field. At the one panel where
Mearsheimer appeared with a group of Middle East experts, his case was
completely torn apart by Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk and Shlomo Ben-Ami.
The book has also been almost universally panned and was derisively
reviewed in publications such as Foreign Affairs, the New York Times,
The New Republic and The New Yorker.
Same Old Arabist Line
One of the indications of the authors’ animus toward Israel is the
time they devote to historical events that have little or nothing to
do with the lobby. Since they know nothing about the subject, and
apparently made no effort to do what scholars normally do, original
research, they simply regurgitate canards from a rogues gallery of
Israeli new historians and anti-Israel academics, such as Ilan Pappe
and Avi Shlaim. Not surprisingly, they get the facts consistently
They spend time, for example discussing the issue of the Palestinian
refugees. In their original paper they used the work of Israeli
historian Benny Morris to argue the refugees were a product of
Israel’s desire to transfer the population. It’s the standard
Palestinian narrative. After the article came out, however, Morris
launched a blistering attack on how they had misrepresented his work.
Undeterred, they repeat the same canards in the book and parrot post-
Zionist claptrap about the Zionist leaders not really being interested
in partition and conspiring to transfer the Palestinians out of their
It is particularly shocking that two academics associated with the
“realist” school have such a naïve understanding of the fundamentals
of U.S. Middle East policy. They ignore the principal U.S. interest in
the region, namely oil. Without oil, Americans would not care at all
about Arabs. Since this is the most vital U.S. interest in the Middle
East, the hypothesis that the lobby is harming American security ought
to show that policy toward Israel has somehow affected the flow of
oil. With the exception of the embargo in the 1970s, however, no such
evidence exists and, even then, OPEC’s action was a matter more of
self-interest than fealty to the Palestinians. It may have also
escaped the authors’ notice that despite their alleged love of the
Palestinians and dislike for U.S. policy, the oil producers have not
imposed any other embargoes.
It is another glaring fault in their analysis that W/M give so little
attention to America’s economic interests. Assuring the supply of oil
is not the only interest; however, the United States also wants to
prevent Middle Eastern states from getting weapons of mass destruction
and spreading terror.
One of the many straw men W/M construct is to suggest that the U.S.
has no strategic interest in Israel. No one claims otherwise. Israel
does share strategic interests with the United States, however, such
as the desire to contain radicalism and prevent the spread of WMDs.
As realists, perhaps they don’t like the fact that America also has
interests in freedom and democracy in the Middle East and Israel is
the only country in the region where those values are respected. In
the book, they try to show that Israel does not share American values,
but the imperfection of Israeli society hardly disqualifies it as a
free, democratic society that most Americans recognize as far more
like us than the Arab/Muslim states.
In addition to their general misunderstanding of U.S. policy, W/M
butcher much of the region’s history. For example, they claim that
U.S. support for Israel drove the Arabs into the Soviet orbit. This
assumes those states otherwise shared American interests and also
ignores U.S. efforts to build alliances with many Arab states. In
particular, the U.S. tried for years to lure Egypt into the Western
camp, but Gamal Nasser had his own agenda to unify the Arab world
behind his leadership. His initial turn to the Soviets had nothing to
do with Israel, but was a consequence of the breakdown of negotiations
over the building of the Aswan Dam and Nasser’s decision to seek
Soviet arms and recognize Communist China.
Similarly, W/M blame U.S. support for Israel for the broader antipathy
of the Arab world toward the United States. Again, this ignores the
fact that the Arabs and Muslims in the region have different values
and interests unrelated to Israel. Some object to what they view as
Western decadence and the corrosive influence it has on their
societies. Others object to the American military presence in the
region. If Israel disappeared tomorrow, the people who now despise the
United States would not change their views.
W/M also push the nearly 70-year-old State Department Arabist line
that if the United States has good relations with Israel it damages
ties with the Arabs. The only problem with this view is that the
empirical evidence shows precisely the opposite. If you were to draw a
graph of the relationship between the United States and Israel, and
the United States and the Arab states, the lines would move in tandem
with relations growing stronger over time with each.
Elsewhere, the authors contradict themselves when they argue the U.S.
backed Israel no matter what in the Cold War but also say the U.S. was
not supportive of Israel in the 1950s and only gave limited support in
the 1960s. They also ignore America’s policy throughout the 1960s of
balancing the sale of arms to Israel with transfers of weapons to the
Slightly less controversial is the claim that Israel missed a chance
for peace with Egypt in 1971-72. Proponents of this view do extend
beyond W/M’s principal post-Zionist sources, but all of them ignore
what Anwar Sadat actually said at the time, which was that he was only
prepared to reach an agreement with Israel if all the disputed
territories were returned by the Israelis. No progress toward peace
was made, however, so, the following year, Sadat said war was
inevitable and he was prepared to sacrifice one million soldiers in
the showdown with Israel. Throughout 1972, and for much of 1973, Sadat
threatened war unless the United States forced Israel to accept his
interpretation of Resolution 242 — total Israeli withdrawal from
territories taken in 1967. As I argued in my book, Will Israel
Survive?, Sadat also was unprepared to make peace until he could erase
the humiliation suffered by Egypt in the Six Day War. W/M don’t
acknowledge or understand the psychological dimensions of the conflict
so they pretend they don’t exist.
Misunderstanding the Lobby
The book is based on the faulty premise that the Israel lobby’s goal
is to help Israel rather than strengthen the relations between the
U.S. and Israel. Their definition of the lobby seems to shift
throughout the book. Any U.S. policy they disagree with requires a
scapegoat and if they see the neocons as responsible, then they are
the lobby; if the Israeli government weighed in, then it is the lobby;
and, if AIPAC was involved, then that group is “the lobby.” The
authors’ definition of the lobby seems to incorporate anybody who says
anything positive about Israel or disagrees with them. They also
conflate statements by Israeli leaders, some of whom are not even in
power (e.g., Benjamin Netanyahu), neocons and the lobby. By
definition, the lobby must have influence because people they define
as part of the lobby make every decision they oppose.
W/M also equate any expression of opinion with power, and if the
policy is consistent with those views, they assert a causal effect.
For example, some Israeli leaders and neoconservatives supported
democratization in the Middle East, Bush adopted this view, therefore,
they conclude the lobby influenced policy. It doesn’t necessarily
follow, however, that the lobby influenced the decision. They
completely discount that Bush may have had an independent opinion, or
that advisors such as Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld or Condoleezza
Rice, who are not part of the lobby, may have influenced him.
One tactic used throughout the book is to make statements with anti-
Semitic undertones, or suggest conspiracies, and then, like Jimmy
Carter tried in his book, they say they don’t mean all Jews, or
they’re not really suggesting there’s a conspiracy, it just looks like
one. For example, they raise the issue of dual loyalty, that is,
American Jews being divided in their allegiance toward Israel and the
United States, but then say they don’t believe it. The recurrent theme
of the book, nonetheless, is to blame the Jews for all the
deficiencies they see in U.S. Middle East policy and that is why some
critics have labeled the authors anti-Semites. While that case can be
made, it distracts from the more important point that whatever their
motivations, the substance of their arguments ranges from debatable to
laughable to fallacious.
Another tactic W/M use to mislead readers is to frequently mention
that the State Department and/or the CIA oppose a particular policy
favoring Israel. Usually, they do not cite any specific critics from
those agencies and only refer to them when they believe the
organizations support their position. They also refer to these
agencies as though they are disinterested parties when, in fact,
employees in both organizations are associated with the Arab lobby.
For all the footnotes devoted to interest groups, it is clear W/M have
no understanding of interest group behavior. They assert, for example,
that no other lobby skews the national interest, but what about the
China, Turkish, Armenian, Indian, Greek, Irish or Cuban lobbies? Do
they better represent the U.S. interest?
While they suggest the lobby is omnipotent, they never make clear
connections between the lobby and policy decisions. The one area where
the lobby has demonstrably had some influence is foreign aid, but W/M
do not show how encouraging Congress to provide assistance to Israel
has undermined any U.S. interest.
I found it amusing that the authors selectively quote from my work
when it suits them but ignore an entire book’s worth of evidence I
produced that disproves their thesis. They spend a long time, for
example on the lobby’s influence on Congress and conclude it has an
“almost unchallenged hold on Congress.” As evidence, they mention
letters written in support of Israel by members, but they ignore
actual policy and the fact that letters reflect more of the lobby’s
weakness than its power. If the lobby controlled Congress, it would be
able to get binding legislation adopted that said what was in those
letters. Letters are an easy way for members to win points with the
lobby without having to vote and get into a fight they would
undoubtedly lose with the president.
When W/M begin to talk more specifically about AIPAC, they clearly
have done no original research and appear to rely heavily on JJ
Goldberg’s book Jewish Power, which also lacked interviews with the
lobby principals, and wrongly attributed undue influence to the
umbrella organization of Jewish community relations councils. W/M
repeat the charge made by many frustrated Jews on the left that the
lobby has moved rightward and that right-wing Israelis have exercised
undue influence on American Jewish organizations. They are unaware of
the fact that Israelis on the left were the first to come to the
United States and break with the tradition of eschewing criticism of
the government while abroad. Once that taboo was violated, Israelis on
the right followed suit. Neither has had particular influence on
policy as the lobby tends to follow the policies of the government in
Israel, whether it is right or left.
The authors argue that AIPAC didn’t support the Oslo accords. In fact,
the organization did support it, though with not as much enthusiasm as
some people would have preferred. The truth was the Oslo process was
controversial within Israel and the American pro-Israel community and
the doubters were ultimately proven correct.
They also make a number of inaccurate statements about AIPAC. They
claim the group was behind the Jerusalem embassy act, which they
assert was meant to disrupt the peace process. Actually, the
legislation originated in Congress in an effort to show support for
the unity of Jerusalem and correct the anomaly of Jerusalem being the
only world capital not recognized by the U.S. government. They also
incorrectly claim that AIPAC’s director, Tom Dine, was replaced
because he wasn’t sufficiently hawkish. Dine’s demise was actually a
result of an indiscreet remark he made about Orthodox Jews and the
view that he had become too visible for an organization whose
directors preferred a low-profile staff. Finally, W/M misrepresent the
AIPAC board as being an unrepresentative plutocracy based on
contributions to the organization. Contributions alone do not
determine membership on the board, however, and there is nothing
unusual about a nonprofit board being comprised largely of major
Not surprisingly, W/M applaud minor left-wing groups that aren’t
representative at all of Jewish opinion. Though they present no
evidence, they assert that Jews don’t support mainstream groups. The
authors ignore the basic attributes that make any interest group
powerful: a large and vocal membership; members who enjoy high status
and legitimacy; a high degree of electoral participation (voting and
financing); effective leadership; a high degree of access to decision-
makers and public support. AIPAC is influential because it has these
characteristic; its adversaries are largely ineffectual because they
either lack or are at a disadvantage in each of these areas.
Jews in the administration have no chance with W/M. Even if an
administration, such as Clinton’s, has many liberal Jews involved in
policymaking, or Jews whose views were not always consistent with
those of the lobby, they are dismissed if the policy outcomes are not
to the authors’ liking. They intimate, for example, that former U.S.
ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk and chief State Department peace
negotiator Dennis Ross were more influenced by sympathy for Israel
than U.S. interests. You won’t convince too many Israelis or Jews on
the right of that idea given that both were attacked for what some
Jews believed were their unsympathetic views. In fact, if you look at
the opinions they espoused prior to entering the government it is
clear the State Department influenced them more than the other way
around. And, incidentally, this is not unusual given that public
servants are expected to toe the administration line.
W/M also make statements that are impossible to prove. For example,
they claim that if there were no lobby, the administration would have
forced Israel to change its behavior to “suit America’s interest.”
Besides the fact that they can’t prove a negative, they also assume
the administration agrees with their view of the national interest and
that Congress has no say in the matter.
Attacking Christian Zionists
W/M display a disdain for the millions of Christians who identify
themselves as Zionists or are otherwise sympathetic toward Israel.
They discuss the organization Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a
self-styled Christian AIPAC, as if it is a longstanding organization
rather than a group that started the same year their book was
published, and suggest the two lobbies have close ties because CUFI’s
director, John Hagee, was invited to speak at AIPAC’s annual
conference. The authors imply Christian supporters of Israel are all
right-wing zealots who back the settler movement and aim to sabotage
peace efforts. They also attribute this “junior partner” in their
version of the lobby with influence on policy without providing any
evidence they have made any difference whatsoever. In fact, as they
often do throughout the book, they contradict themselves. At one point
they claim Christians have played a role in the growth of settlers and
the U.S. government’s unwillingness to pressure Israel to rein in
settlements. Two paragraphs later, however, they say the influence of
Christian Zionists “should not be overstated” and that they did not
stop either President Bill Clinton or George W. Bush from pursuing
policies the Christians disagreed with (e.g., Bush’s support for the
establishment of a Palestinian state).
W/M also say the Israeli government encouraged Christians to visit
Israel to boost tourist income and solidify evangelical support for
Israel as if this is some nefarious activity. Imagine a government
encouraging foreigners with an interest in their country to come and
visit with the hope they will return to their homes with a positive
view of the experience. Shocking! This is the type of conspiratorial
claptrap weaved throughout the book, which, in this case, ignores the
fact that Christians want to make the pilgrimage to the Holy Land
without any enticement from the Israeli government. During the
Palestinian War (2000-2005) it was Christians who continued to tour
Israel because of their deep attachment to the birthplace of Jesus
even as many Jews stayed away.
In fact, pro-Israel Christian groups are controversial within the
Jewish community. Some people feel very uncomfortable with their views
on Israel, and even more troubled by their positions on other issues.
AIPAC and other more politically savvy members of “the lobby” view
Christians as valuable allies and realize that a constituency of 6
million is likely to be more powerful if it has another 50 million
people on their side. Still, there is little evidence to date that
Christian supporters of Israel have influenced any policies in
The Arab Lobby
As is the case throughout the book, W/M ignore the Arab lobby entirely
and its far older connections with Christian organizations. Decades
before CUFI existed, groups such as the World Council of Churches and
the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers), were criticizing
Israeli policies and expressing solidarity with the Arab states and
the Palestinians. Many Christian groups remain at the forefront of
anti-Israel activities, and denominations such as the Presbyterians
have launched divestment campaigns to tar Israel as an apartheid state
and undermine the U.S.-Israel relationship.
W/M simply assert there is no evidence the Arab lobby influences
policy, but they don’t ever define that lobby or discuss its elements.
They claim oil companies have not exerted influence and conclude their
case is proven. Oil company executives, however, were very active in
supporting Arab interests up through the 1980s and have only recently
become less involved in Middle East politics. But what about diplomats
and former diplomats (such as some of the members of the Iraq study
group whose views they like) who devote their energies to promoting
U.S-Arab relations? They suggest that if there was an influential Arab
lobby it would try to distance the United States from Israel, but this
is precisely what those diplomats do. It is also the goal of many of
the Arab-American and Muslim organizations.
They also believe a lobby would work for the creation of a Palestinian
state. Why? This again shows their ignorance of the region and the
unwillingness of the Arab states to do little more than offer verbal
support for the Palestinian cause. Since the Arab states have no great
love for the Palestinians, the Arab lobby makes minimal efforts to
support them. It is a testament to the lobby, however, that they get
any support whatsoever given that Palestinians comprise only 0.42
percent of the U.S. population and Palestinians make up only 6 percent
of the Arab Americans (about 70,000 people). W/M believe the U.S.
government should support the Palestinian cause, but, in addition to
having virtually no constituency, they also have no popular support.
According to the Gallup polls dating to 1967, the average sympathy for
the Arabs is 12 percent. Since the Oslo agreements in 1993, Gallup
started asking Americans if they sympathize more with Israel or the
Palestinians and the results have not been much different, with the
average for the Palestinians a paltry 14 percent compared to 48
percent for Israel in the same surveys. The data indicates very
clearly that, contrary to their claims, U.S. policy reflects the
wishes of the people and it is W/M and their fellow travelers whose
views are out of sync.
W/M also ignore the possibility that Arab Americans may not support
the Palestinians or may have their own agenda independent of the
Israeli lobby. For W/M, however, even the U.S. Committee for a Free
Lebanon is part of the Israeli lobby because it called for Syria to
end its occupation of Lebanon, to get rid of its WMD and stop
supporting terror. The writers do not acknowledge that Lebanese
Americans have their own independent lobby to represent the interests
of the majority of Lebanese who oppose Syrian intervention in their
affairs. They would probably also be interested to know that most of
these Lebanese also do not support the Palestinians, and the reason
has nothing to do with the lobby and everything to do with their own
unpleasant experience with the Palestinians who tried to take over
their country and brutalized their people. If they knew anything about
the history of the region, of course, W/M would have been aware of
W/M apparently don’t see any actors outside the Israel lobby as
relevant to Middle East affairs. The Arabs, Russians, Chinese,
Europeans, and UN have no influence; it is only the Israelis and their
supporters who affect U.S. policy. According to W/M, whatever Israel
tells the U.S. to do, it does – except when it doesn’t.
W/M insist the lobby doesn’t accept that the United States and Israel
may have different interests. On the contrary, supporters of Israel
understand quite well that the United States has multiple interests,
such as maintaining good relations with Arab states and often arming
them with weapons that directly threaten Israel. The authors argue
that Jews put Israel’s interest above those of the U.S., but provide
no evidence of lobby actions that undermined U.S. interests. It is
true that the lobby may sometimes disagree with the president or other
officials, but this is true of all lobbies and individual citizens as
well. What they seem to say is if the lobby disagrees with a
president, it is disloyal and acting contrary to American interests.
Meanwhile, they defend critics of Bush or the Iraq war who have been
accused of being unpatriotic. Why can’t the lobby express a different
view on the national interest without it meaning their actions are
always against it? As critics of the Iraq war, W/M wouldn’t admit that
they are acting contrary to the national interest by opposing the
president’s policies, although a case could be made that they are
doing just that if the same logic they use to describe the actions of
the Israeli lobby is applied to their own suggestions.
Ultimately W/M are forced to admit the Israeli lobby does what all
lobbies do, but is more effective than most. So what’s the problem?
They disagree with the lobby’s views. So what? That doesn’t make the
lobby wrong and them right.
The Biased Media
It will certainly come as a shock to anyone in the pro-Israel
community to learn from W/M that the lobby has influenced the media to
be pro-Israel. They make the even more laughable comment that news
reporters are more objective than editorial writers and therefore
portray the region more accurately, that is, by routinely criticizing
The pro-Israel bias of the media is evident, they say, when you read
columnists such as William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer. They are,
therefore, part of the lobby as well. He laments that columnists don’t
take the side of the Palestinians (even the rabidly anti-Israel Bob
Novak isn’t sufficiently pro-Palestinian for their tastes) and can’t
understand why someone like Thomas Friedman, who sometimes criticizes
Israel, doesn’t echo their view that the U.S. should distance itself
from Israel. So how do they explain why some of the most sophisticated
political observers and journalists don’t agree with them? Are they on
the take? Does the lobby have compromising pictures of them? It is
simply inconceivable to these two ivory tower denizens that opinion
elites understand the value of the U.S.-Israel relationship and that
many actually know something about the subject they write about and
therefore come to more informed judgments.
One group of Jews particularly offend W/M. They see the
neoconservatives as bogeymen who are everywhere exerting their
nefarious influence. Interestingly, few of the neocons are part of the
lobby or influential because of their views on Israel. Israel is only
one concern of neocons and the overwhelming majority of Jews are still
liberal Democrats and not neocons. According to W/M, however, Elliott
Abrams is apparently all-powerful and is preventing Bush from
pressuring Israel. This also assumes that Bush would otherwise want to
pressure Israel and that the use of coercion would be in the U.S.
interest. They also argue the balance of power is stacked against
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, but the State Department has been
driving Middle East policy since the situation in Iraq deteriorated.
Moreover, one could argue that if Abrams is powerful, that is
precisely the role he should have to offset the Arabist dominated
W/M also have a problem explaining how it is that U.S. Middle East
policy took the directions that it did in the 50 odd years before
neocons became influential in the administration of George W. Bush. In
the pro-Israel administration of Bill Clinton, for example, neocons
had no influence and the many Jews working for Clinton were typical
liberal democrats. Why don’t W/M rail about the influence of Robert
Reich or Sandy Berger who sat in the Clinton cabinet? Do they believe
that they had no influence or were they advocating policies W/M agreed
with? And why were neocons so ineffectual during Bush Sr.’s term?
Terror Because of Israel
The authors claim the U.S.-Israel relationship makes it harder to
defeat terrorists and undermines America’s standing with its allies,
but they don’t give any evidence for these sweeping assertions. In
fact, not a single alliance has been weakened by U.S.-Israel
relations, in part because even those “allies” hostile to Israel
understand the special relationship America has with Israel. America’s
relations outside the Middle East certainly are unaffected by policies
toward Israel, so they really are only talking about Saudi Arabia,
Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf States, as they are the only “allies” that
might care. And do they? Besides paying lip service to the Palestinian
cause, or providing some meager financial support, they have not
demonstrated any great love or concern for the Palestinians. They also
have done little to demonstrate their value as allies to the United
States. While W/M spend a great deal of time trying to disparage
Israel’s value, they simply take for granted that these dictatorships
have anything to offer the United States.
One of their major arguments is that Israel not only has nothing to
contribute to the war on terror but that it actually is responsible
for the hostility toward the United States. The most outrageous of all
the charges in their book is that the U.S.-Israel relationship and
Israeli policies contributed to the attacks on 9/11. They produce
various quotations from bin Laden in which he mentions the
Palestinians, but no one who was analyzing Middle East affairs prior
to 9/11 talked about bin Laden in the context of the Palestinian
issue. In fact, little was said about bin Laden. Egyptian president
Hosni Mubarak put it best when he expressed the view prevalent even in
the Arab world, “Osama bin Laden made his explosions and then started
talking about the Palestinians. He never talked about them
before” (Newsweek, October 29, 2001).
The attempt to link U.S. policy toward Israel to bin Laden and to
argue that the terror war is a function of Israeli policy or U.S.
support for Israel demonstrates a profound ignorance of the
motivations of the terrorists and reflects the authors’ failure to
appreciate the role of religion in Middle East affairs in general and
terrorism in particular. If Israel disappeared tomorrow, al-Qaeda
would still have the same agenda of reconstituting the Islamic empire
and expanding the rule of Islam around the world. As a decadent
country of infidels the United States would remain its enemy. Bin
Laden, for example, has issued a document entitled, “The Nuclear Bomb
of Islam,” which insists it is “the duty” of Muslims to acquire a
nuclear bomb in order to use “as much force as possible to terrorize
the enemies of God.”
Set aside the United States for a moment. If the cause of terror is
related to Israel, how can W/M explain the terror directed against the
pro-Arab nations of Europe? Why were Spain and Britain targeted? Why
does MI5 report the growing radicalism of Muslims in the UK where
there is no Israeli lobby and the British government has historically
been far friendlier toward the Arabs than Israel? Why do countries
such as the Netherlands see a threat of Islamic radicalism? W/M have
nothing to say about this because it does not fit into their
W/M buy into the propaganda line that the Arab world is so concerned
with “Palestine,” it affects their outlook toward the United States.
Beyond platitudes, what evidence is there the rest of the Arab world
cares about the Palestinians? No Arab state is prepared to fight for
them and most are willing to contribute only a pittance in financial
aid for their welfare. No country besides Jordan allows them to be
citizens, and Jordan has increasingly placed restrictions on
Palestinians. Kuwait expelled tens of thousands after the first Gulf
War. “Palestine” has nothing to do with the price of oil, the threat
posed by radical Islam or the dynamics of the Iraq war.
The authors assert that the U.S. and Israel don’t share the same goals
in the war on terror, but they are wrong. Both are interested in
fighting Islamic extremism and violence against civilians. Both have
an interest in preventing the radicals’ effort to spread their
influence in the region and to restore the caliphate. Most Arab
states, by contrast, have little or no interest in the terror war
beyond preventing radicals from threatening their autocratic regimes.
They are happy to support terrorists directed at others. In April
2008, for example, the U.S. issued a report documenting Saudi Arabia
as the leading source of funding for al-Qaeda and other Islamic
Israel Causes the Palestinian Problem
The authors believe the creation of a Palestinian state is the only
way to end conflict. Once again they don’t bother trying to produce
any evidence for this assertion. Will a Palestinian state satisfy
Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which openly state their goal as the
destruction of Israel? Will it satisfy Iran, whose leaders threaten to
wipe Israel off the map, proclaim that Israel is a “stinking corpse,
and say as long as Israel exists there will be no peace in the Middle
East? A Palestinian state also would not resolve Syrian claims to the
On a number of occasions W/M refer to Israel’s “brutal treatment” of
the Palestinians without saying what they are referring to or placing
the behavior of Israel into the broader context of the war Israel has
been fighting against the Palestinian terrorists. They argue the U.S.
should be more evenhanded or lean toward the Palestinians, but they
offer no rationale for why this would be in the U.S. interest. Do the
Palestinians share any interests or values with Americans?
They claim the U.S. favors Israel over the Palestinians. In what way?
In their view it is because the U.S. doesn’t do what they want and
pressure Israel to capitulate to Arab demands. But why shouldn’t the
U.S. support Israel, which shares our values and interests rather than
the PA which does not? And how can they say the U.S. does not support
the Palestinians when Bush has explicitly endorsed a Palestinian
state, provided millions of dollars in aid and laid out a clear route
to peace and self-determination?
Like Jimmy Carter, W/M are hung up on settlements and say Israel is
better off without them. Many Israelis believe this as well, but that
doesn’t make it a fact. They also make no distinctions between
settlements. A few scattered houses on a hill in the West Bank are
much different than a thriving city with a population of 30,000.
Israelis have different opinions, for example, about Hebron, Ma’aleh
Adumim and Tekoa. And why is the lobby wrong to support the policy of
the elected government of Israel on this subject? Why is it that the
U.S. should decide what’s best for another democracy? Should the U.S.
also dictate policy to the U.K., France and Germany? Would W/M
consider some nefarious interest at work if those sovereign nations
resisted U.S. pressure or views of their national interest?
There is also an argument that settlements are a stimulus to peace and
that some are very good for Israel because they strengthen its
geostrategic position. Given that U.S. policy after 1967 has
recognized the indefensibility of the pre-67 borders, the
incorporation of some communities is perfectly consistent with both
U.S. and Israeli interests.
Another reason W/M are viewed by some critics as anti-Semites is that
they tend to use the language of the most virulent Israel haters. For
example, they frequently say Israel has a campaign to “colonize” the
territories. What colonial power ever voluntarily withdrew from
territory it conquered? Israel has withdrawn from 94 percent of the
disputed areas and offered to withdraw from even more in exchange for
peace and security. It was the Jews who waged an anti-colonial war
against the British in the 1940s. “Colonialism means living by
exploiting others,” Yehoshofat Harkabi has written. “But what could be
further from colonialism than the idealism of city-dwelling Jews who
strive to become farmers and laborers and to live by their own work?”
Like Carter, W/M are also apologists for terror. They say it is “not
surprising” as if there is no alternative way for Palestinians to
express their political aspiration than to blow up innocent Israelis.
Why aren’t they surprised given that other people who have political
disputes do not resort to violence when seeking redress of their
grievances? In fact, Palestinian Christians don’t engage in terrorism
so it is not simply a matter of their conditions. Moreover, if W/M are
so interested in peace, why aren’t they advocating that Palestinians
engage in non-violent protest? They say they are concerned with U.S.
interests but express no concern for the American victims of terror.
And while they criticize Israel’s response to terror, it would be
instructive to hear what they think the U.S. or other democracies
would do if, for example, their cities faced daily rocket barrages.
Rather than rely on the authoritative sources, such as President
Clinton or his chief peace negotiator, Dennis Ross, W/M regurgitate
the misrepresentations of Carter and others regarding the negotiations
that took place in 2000 between Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Yasser
Arafat and Clinton. Contrary to the facts laid out in Ross’s book,
they maintain Israel was only prepared to give the Palestinians a
disarmed and dismembered state. Ross documents, however, that the
state the Palestinians were offered was contiguous. While it is true
that Israel has no desire to see a heavily armed Palestinian military
force on its border, it is also the case that Israel has been arming
the Palestinians since 1993. Before this they didn’t have arms, so it
is ironic for W/M to accuse Israel of trying to disarm the
Palestinians. Furthermore, even the left in Israel, which has long
supported the establishment of a Palestinian state, has consistently
called for it to be demilitarized. They also conveniently ignore
Arafat’s unwillingness to negotiate at Camp David, which led Clinton
to blame Arafat for the failure to achieve a breakthrough.
Another myth they accept is the idea that the Palestinians are being
asked to settle for only 22 percent of their homeland. The truth is
exactly the reverse. Historic Palestine included not only Israel and
the West Bank, but also all of modern Jordan. It is Israel, including
the disputed territories, that is only 22% of Palestine. If Israel
were to withdraw completely from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, it
would possess only about 18%. And from Israel’s perspective, it is the
Zionists who have made the real sacrifice by giving up 82% of the Land
of Israel. In fact, by accepting the UN's partition resolution, they
were prepared to accept only about 12% of historic Israel before the
Arab states attacked and tried to destroy the nascent state of Israel.
The title of their chapter, “The Lobby Versus the Palestinians,” also
captures their bias. The analysis is completely one-sided. The
Palestinians are blameless for everything while Israel engages in all
sorts of terrible activities for no apparent reason beyond some sort
of inbred malevolence. The chapter also ignores the fact that the
lobby supports a two-state solution, supported the withdrawal from
Gaza and also supports efforts to resolve the conflict.
In yet another contradiction, W/M acknowledge that President George W.
Bush was the first president to publicly support a Palestinian state,
but fail to explain how that could happen if the lobby was omnipotent
and opposed to such a policy. Another example is what he calls a
“small victory” achieved when the Bush administration told Israel not
to expel Arafat. If the lobby is so powerful, how was this victory
achieved? In fact, the “lobby” never advocated expelling Arafat and
the Israeli government was never committed to it.
It is remarkable to read the apologetics associated with Palestinian
terrorism. W/M give the impression, for example, the assassination of
members of Hamas were unprovoked attacks on innocents. They describe
the Hamas mastermind as a paraplegic in a wheelchair as if Israel was
targeting the disabled, ignoring Ahmed Yassin’s role in planning
terrorist attacks that contributed to the deaths of nearly 1,000
Israelis (a blind sheik is sitting in a U.S. prison for his role in
planning the first World Trade Center bombing). They claim his
assassination was a “serious blow to America’s position in the Middle
East.” What evidence can they produce for such an absurd claim? None.
The authors’ effort to defend terror becomes particularly embarrassing
when they suggest that Israel falsely accused Arafat of supporting
terrorism. This is not even a matter of doing research, it is a
question of whether they were awake during the last 40 years and read
a newspaper. Since Arafat’s death, still more documentation has been
unearthed showing his involvement in a variety of incidents, including
attacks on Americans. They argue that there was no clear evidence of
Arafat’s connection to the effort to smuggle Iranian weapons into the
territories aboard the Karine-A. Israel provided the documentation,
however, and U.S. confirmation led the Bush Administration to support
Arafat’s removal as president of the PA.
W/M are also critical of Israel’s effort to dismantle the terrorist
infrastructure in the West Bank. They said Operation Defensive Shield
in 2002 damaged America’s image in the Arab and Islamic world and
undermined the war on terrorism. On the contrary, Israel’s operation
showed that a determined military campaign could be successful against
terrorism. Bush supported the operation and there was little protest
from outside. When Arafat was isolated and began calling Arab leaders
for help, no one answered.
Their discussion of the road map is also seriously flawed. W/M say,
for example, that serious movement began when Arafat nominated Mahmoud
Abbas as Prime Minister. This is nonsense. Abbas was actually given no
authority and was quickly shown to be impotent. Even now that he is
president and theoretically has full power, Abbas has made little
progress toward meeting any of the obligations outlined in the road
They are also mistaken when they argue that Sharon opposed a
Palestinian state and that was why he objected to the road map.
Actually, it is a testament to the evolution in Israeli attitudes, and
Sharon’s in particular, that he came around from vigorous opposition
to support for a two-state solution. Sharon objected to the road map,
as did many others, because it was a terrible plan that had little
chance of success, a view that has been proven over the last several
years. It is true that Israel has not enacted a complete settlement
freeze, but Israel’s position from the outset was that it would act on
settlements if and when the Palestinians satisfied their obligation to
stop terror. This was a promise the Palestinians first made in 1988,
and repeated in subsequent agreements, including the road map, but
have never fulfilled.
According to W/M, the 2005 disengagement was a plot by Sharon to
sabotage the establishment of a Palestinian state when, in fact, it
gave the Palestinians the freedom they claimed to want and an
opportunity to create a state, which they have subsequently
squandered. They also say some Jewish groups supported disengagement,
and others didn’t, so how did the lobby influence U.S. policy?
Equally ridiculous is the claim that Sharon was responsible for the
Hamas victory in Palestinian elections. Israel did not want to allow
Hamas to participate and it was the Bush Administration that pushed
for their inclusion to give the vote a democratic veneer. Hamas won in
large measure because of widespread anger at Fatah corruption and the
outcome was not what anyone in the lobby wanted.
Once W/M finish with Sharon they move on to attacking Olmert’s
policies, which they mischaracterize, and blame for the failure to
advance the peace process. In their myopic conception of events,
Palestinians play no role and, therefore, their irredentism and terror
campaign are irrelevant.
They are also incorrect when they claim that President Bush reversed
U.S. policy on Israeli withdrawal from the territories. What he did
was make the U.S. position on Security Council Resolution 242 explicit
by acknowledging that political and demographic realities would
require a modification in the borders. This view is consistent with
that of the American Ambassador to the UN, Arthur Goldberg, who was
the key figure in drafting 242 in 1967.
It would require a much longer article to correct all the
misstatements and inaccuracies in the authors’ review of Middle East
history, but I’ll mention a few of the more egregious ones.
It is hard to recognize the history of the 1948 war from the
description of W/M. They claim the Arabs had no interest in trying to
destroy Israel in 1948 (or ‘67 or ‘73 for that matter). They maintain
the Jews had a decisive early advantage in numbers and dismiss the
British-led and trained Jordan Legion as “small.” They also
misrepresent the research of Israeli historian Benny Morris and try to
portray Israeli policy toward the Palestinians as one of transfer and
expulsion even after Morris rebutted their original article and said
they distorted his work. They offer a variety of quotations accusing
the Jews of ethnic cleansing, executions, massacres and rapes. Well-
known incidents of innocents being killed exist, such as Deir Yassin,
but the overall argument is exaggerated and inaccurate. Their claim
that Israel “drove up to seven hundred thousand Palestinians into
exile” is specious. Israel’s leaders, including David Ben-Gurion,
always foresaw a large Palestinian minority and virtually all
Palestinians (except those in a handful of villages that were forced
out) had the opportunity to remain in their homes. Approximately
150,000 Palestinians did remain in Israel and were given full
W/M see Eisenhower’s threats to withhold aid and take other punitive
measures if Israel didn’t withdraw from the land it captured in the
1956 war as a great example of how the United States can wield a stick
effectively against Israel. Of course they ignore how this short-
sighted policy that required nothing of the Egyptians sowed the seeds
of the ‘67 war.
W/M argue that in May 1967 Israel was sending the U.S. falsely
alarmist reports, claim Israel forwarded misleading intelligence about
Egyptian intentions and capabilities, and say Israel chose war over a
peaceful resolution. It did not require any secret intelligence,
however, to read Nasser’s public threats or to interpret the
provocations when he demanded the withdrawal of UN forces from the
Sinai, mobilized his forces, blockaded the Straits of Tiran and formed
a unified command with the Syrians and Jordanians. Given the threats
by Arab leaders to annihilate Israel, and the failure of President
Johnson to organize a flotilla to break the blockade, it is not clear
where they got the idea that a peaceful resolution was possible.
They are particularly impressed with the Arab League peace plan
originally formulated by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah in 2002 to divert
attention from the Saudi hijackers’ role in 9/11. W/M say they offered
to sign a peace treaty with Israel and saw their plan as a basis for
negotiations. The plan offered little new beyond a vague promise of a
new relationship if Israel met all the Arab demands, several of which
were known to be nonstarters. The Saudis have never showed the
slightest interest in negotiating on the basis of the plan, they don’t
recognize Israel and refuse to engage in any direct talks. W/M falsely
claim that Israel wasn’t willing to negotiate with the Saudis; Prime
Minister Olmert’s offer to meet with the Saudis was rebuffed. Of
course, W/M don’t bother to ask the more fundamental question of why
the Saudis are at war in the first place with a country that occupies
none of their territory.
The authors also give a distorted picture of U.S. votes at the United
Nations by taking U.S. vetoes out of context. They cite the number of
vetoes of resolutions pertaining to Israel and compare it to other
countries, but they fail to point out that most UN resolutions are
about Israel and that most were not vetoed. They also take as a given
that these resolutions are fair and justified when successive
administrations have decided otherwise. W/M also provide no evidence
the lobby is responsible for any UN decisions. If it were up to the
lobby, the U.S. would vote against every UN resolution, and yet that
hasn’t happened. How can they explain that? They can’t so they ignore
it and leave the impression that the U.S. unthinkingly supports Israel
at the UN.
Devaluing An Asset
One of the staples of the pro-Israel lobby has been Israel’s strategic
value; however, W/M go to great lengths to try to devalue that asset.
As in other places, the case is made primarily with straw men. For
example, they suggest that Israel was not much of an asset during the
Cold War because it did nothing that “decisively altered the course of
the superpower competition or enabled America to inflict a decisive
blow against its communist adversary.” If that’s the standard for
strategic value, however, then one could just as easily question NATO
They also argue that Israel isn’t an asset because it didn’t help
protect the Persian Gulf, but Israel was never expected to do so. It
had the resources to help if asked, but the United States never called
on Israel to project its power that way. Which country would the U.S.
ask for help in the Middle East? Our erstwhile Arab allies are too
weak to offer any meaningful assistance, and they do that only
grudgingly if their survival is at stake. In the first Gulf War, the
most pro-Western Arab state, Jordan, backed Saddam while our other
ally, Egypt, sent only a token force. W/M might ask what U.S. aid has
bought from them, but they don’t question our relations with those
countries. They go so far as to suggest Israel was a liability because
it couldn’t help in the 1991 war, but that was an assumption not a
fact. President Bush made a choice to keep Israel out of the
coalition, but there is little doubt Israeli participation would not
have been the problem portrayed and may have assisted U.S.-led forces
in a variety of missions, such as taking out the Scud missile
launchers. Though no direct assistance was needed, Israel did provide
indirect assistance, such as intelligence and a variety of weapons
systems. Most of our closest European allies did little or nothing in
the first Gulf war and, with exception of UK, were obstacles in 2003,
but their strategic value isn’t questioned.
The authors portray the strategic relationship as one-sided and give
no recognition to any Israeli contribution to U.S. intelligence, war
fighting doctrine or technology and weaponry. Instead, they suggest
Israel gets everything it wants from the United States, ignoring how
the U.S. has refused to sell Israel many systems it wants and now
dictates to Israel what it can export to third parties. Furthermore, W/
M are silent with regard to the billions of dollars worth of arms sold
to the Arabs and the implications for the national interest as well as
After unsuccessfully attacking one pillar of the U.S.-Israel
relationship, they wage an equally specious critique on the other, the
shared values of the two nations. They say, for example, that Israel
as a Jewish state is at odds with core U.S. values because there is no
equality for non-Jews. They also cite a variety of Israeli opinion
polls showing that some Israeli Jews have negative attitudes toward
Israeli Arabs. On balance, however, few serious political scientists
would question the democratic values and record of Israel. No one
claims the society is perfect, or that in its first 60 years it has
eliminated all traces of discrimination and bigotry, but all its
citizens share the essential freedoms and rights Americans take for
granted – freedom of speech, assembly, religion and press. In
addition, Israel respects the rights of women, gays and minorities.
None of these values are respected by the Palestinian Authority or the
21 Arab states.
In a particularly twisted interpretation, W/M maintain that Israel is
undemocratic because it will not give the Palestinians a state. What
does Palestinian statehood have to do with Israeli democracy? And on
what basis do they conclude Israel is obligated to give the
Palestinians anything? Are they unaware the Palestinians have had
multiple opportunities for statehood, going back to 1937, which they
have rejected? Even today, Israel does not deny them statehood and
explicitly recognizes their right to independence. The principal
obstacle remains the Palestinians’ own failure to stop the violence
against Israel and negotiate a peace treaty that ends the conflict.
In one of their explicit attacks on Israel, the authors claim the
Israelis “killed several foreign peace activists” and rarely
investigates these incidents. Of course, the most celebrated “peace
activist” to die, Rachel Corrie, was in a military zone where she did
not belong and died in an accident that was indeed investigated. In
truth, Israelis are very demanding when it comes to holding their
government accountable. While the Arab world took the massacres in
places such as Damour, Lebanon, and Hama, Syria, as routine, it was
the Israeli public that insisted on an inquiry into the events at
Sabra and Shatila. Like other detractors, W/M are only interested in
innocents if Israelis can be blamed, but they have no concern for
Arabs killed by Arabs or Jews killed by Arabs.
The esteemed scholars also repeat the usual propaganda about Israel
showing no regard for civilians. This is an insult to the IDF’s
doctrine of the purity of arms and to the memories of soldiers such as
the 27 who died in the battle of Jenin when the IDF decided to fight
hand-to-hand in the refugee camp to minimize the risk to innocents
rather than bombing it as every other army in the world would have
Foreign Aid As Hammer
Paradoxically, W/M want to use foreign aid as a stick to coerce Israel
to adopt their favored policies while at the same time attacking the
justification and amount of aid Israel receives. Members of Congress
understand, however, that aid to Israel is an investment in peace
because it discourages Israel’s enemies from believing it can be
defeated and gives Israelis confidence to take risks for peace. It is
true that Israel is the largest recipient of aid, but economic
assistance has just been phased out and Israel’s share of foreign
assistance has dropped from about 25% to 10%.
W/M have a seriously flawed understanding of foreign aid allowances.
They talk about per capita assistance as though the money goes
directly to Israeli citizens, but then acknowledge that 75% of
military aid is actually spent in the U.S. so that Americans benefit.
They compare aid to Israel and Egypt, but don’t consider whether Egypt
has any need for the aid. More significant is their failure to
understand that it is the support of the Israeli lobby for foreign aid
in general, and Egypt and Jordan in particular, that makes it possible
for them to get the amounts of assistance they do from Congress. They
actually turn the facts on their head and claim aid to Jordan and
Egypt is an example of U.S. generosity to Israel! This is yet another
refutation of their thesis that the lobby makes relations worse with
the Arabs. W/M also lament that Israel receives aid that could better
be spent on needier countries, but aid is so unpopular that it is
unlikely the budget would be as big or as likely to pass without the
lobby pushing Congress to support the overall aid package. The lobby,
therefore, makes it possible for all those needy countries to receive
The Iraq War
The war with Iraq appears to be the catalyst for W/M to have written
their original article. They are so upset by the war that they saw the
need to attack those responsible for what many see as the Bush
administration’s catastrophic policy. Their scapegoat is the Israeli
lobby, but more specifically Jews and other neocons. In their
analysis, government officials are incapable of any independent
judgments. When asked about the notion that these malevolent forces
were the “driving force behind the Iraq war,” former Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld told the New Yorker, “I suppose the
implication of that is that the President and the Vice-President and
myself and Colin Powell just fell off a turnip truck to take these
jobs.” In fact, while Rumsfeld is generally viewed by opponents of the
war as the man most responsible for what they consider a debacle, W/M
reserve their contempt primarily for the Jews in the administration
that were involved in formulating Iraq policy.
Of course, W/M also ignore many of the salient facts regarding the
views of “the lobby.” First, no organization advocated going to war.
AIPAC and others highlighted the threat posed by Saddam Hussein to
Israel and American interests, but did not say a war was necessarily
the answer. Israel also was not pressuring the U.S. to attack. To the
contrary, despite W/M’s assertions, Israeli officials were arguing
that Iran was the bigger threat. They even try to turn this against
Israel by suggesting that Israel must not have been so concerned about
Iran because it didn’t “undertake a significant effort to halt the
march to war.” If the lobby had opposed the war, perhaps it would have
been cheered by W/M, but why was it up to Israel to try to stop the
U.S. from pursuing its own interests? Why weren’t other countries,
such as the UK, responsible for halting the march to war? Furthermore,
while some Israelis made statements that the world and Israel would be
better off without Saddam, W/M say the Saudis and oil companies were
against the war, so why would the administration pay more attention to
And how did the neocons they see responsible for the war convince all
those Democrats in Congress that they should endorse the war? Their
answer is that they manipulated intelligence. They quote a New York
Times reporter claiming Israeli intelligence played a role in
convincing Wolfowitz not to trust the CIA and, a paragraph later, they
say the Bush administration received “alarmist” reports by an ad hoc
intelligence group in Sharon’s office that bypassed the Mossad. Ok,
let’s assume that is true. What about the British and the French
intelligence services? Are the Israelis so convincing that everyone
else was ignored? W/M already argued that the CIA and State Department
don’t trust them. Like most opponents of the war, they simply ignore
the fact that there was a pretty broad consensus among the major
allies that Saddam was a threat and that he had WMD.
W/M also contend that the Israelis were behind Bush’s policy to
democratize the Middle East. What evidence do they have for this? The
Israelis know better than anyone that the prospects for democracy in
Arab countries are bleak, and they were interested more in removing
their enemy and enhancing their regional security than in a democratic
postwar Iraq. To the extent the lobby had an interest in
democratization, it was secondary to military-strategic-terror
Another lobby position they stand on its head is the suggestion that
Israel’s supporters advocate U.S. military involvement in the region
to protect Israel. One of Israel and the lobby’s longstanding talking
points, however, is that Israel can defend itself and has never asked
Americans to protect them.
Once the United States made the decision to go to war with Iraq, there
was no reason why the lobby should not have supported the government,
as most Americans did initially. W/M claim the lobby didn’t represent
Jews when it came to the war, but how do they come to this conclusion?
Throughout the book, it is not clear when they believe the lobby
represents the Jews and when it does not.
They are correct when they say the war in Iraq wasn’t about oil, but
they are wrong when they contend that no American government has
considered seizing the oil fields. In fact, Nixon considered it during
the oil embargo.
It is interesting that W/M declare Iraq a failure. This is a
remarkably shortsighted view for academics. We’re years from knowing
the consequences of the war. The politicians may rush to judgment to
win votes, but serious analysts cannot reach conclusions yet. In the
short-term it is possible to list numerous achievements, such as
ousting Saddam and ending the government’s support for terror both
inside and outside the country. Iraqis also voted despite the danger
they faced in an expression of their desire for democracy, even as W/M
suggest it’s an impossible or unreasonable goal. They also say Israel
wants the U.S. to stay in Iraq, but, again, Israel believes the focus
needs to be on Iran. Israelis worry about a precipitous withdrawal,
but even most Democrats understand that the policy W/M advocate would
be potentially calamitous for the Iraqi people and America’s interests
in the region.
They also misrepresent some of the implications of the war. For
example, they insist Libya gave up its WMD in exchange for lifting
sanctions. In fact, it was the Iraq war they so oppose that changed
Another example of stunning stupidity is the idea that Iran and Syria
are happy the U.S. is in Iraq. The last thing either wants is 150,000+
U.S. soldiers on their borders. Those two countries are even more
eager than W/M to see American troops retreat to a safer distance.
Equally absurd is their contention that creating a Palestinian state
would improve the situation in Iraq, as if Sunnis and Shiites would
suddenly stop killing each other because Mahmoud Abbas was recognized
as president of Palestine.
Though they have demonstrated throughout the book they have no
interest in Israel’s security, they shed crocodile tears for Israel in
the aftermath of the war. They say Israel is considerably worse off to
bolster their case the war was a failure. Here, too, their analysis is
faulty and relies on quotations that support their argument and
ignores any evidence Israel has benefitted from the demise of Saddam.
Israel is much better off for now: The leader of the rejectionists is
gone, suicide bombers are no longer receiving Iraqi subsidies, and
Israelis are no longer threatened by WMDs from the one Arab country
that fired missiles at them.
The section on Iran is one of many where you scratch your head and
wonder where W/M got their ideas. They say, for example, that Israel
won’t take steps toward peace with the Arabs unless it feels secure
from Iran, yet Israel did offer peace to the Palestinians, made peace
with Jordan and Egypt, and all but signed a treaty with Syria without
regard to Iran. Still, what is wrong with Israel being concerned about
Iran? If W/M say the U.S. has an interest in peace, it must take into
account Israel’s security concerns, but they want to impose their
solution with no regard for Israeli security, which would undermine
what they claim is their objective, namely, regional stability. If a
peace is forced on Israel that leads to future war (as was the case
when Eisenhower forced Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai in 56, which
they applaud), the policy is counterproductive.
Another of their bizarre assertions is that the Israeli lobby is to
blame for the United States not having diplomatic relations with Iran.
Did they sleep through the 444 days Americans were held hostage? Are
they unaware of the belligerence of Khomeini and his followers? Have
they seen any of the “Death to America” rallies held in the last 30
years? What values or interests does the United States share at the
moment with Iran? Up until the revelation that Iran was secretly
trying to build nuclear weapons, the lobby paid little attention to
Iran and was not trying to discourage relations with the United
States. Even now, with the nuclear threat a clear and increasingly
present danger, the lobby’s concern is not diplomatic ties with Iran,
it is finding the best way to prevent Iran from acquiring the bomb.
They further descend into the nuthouse by repeating the ridiculous
assertion that Iranian President Ahmedinejad’s remarks about Israel’s
destruction were mistranslated. This was also the ludicrous position
of the former president of the Middle East Studies Association,
Michigan Professor Juan Cole, which was refuted by official Iranian
W/M say Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons because it feels threatened
by the U.S. They’ve felt threatened by America for the last two
decades? No, the Iranians felt threatened by Saddam’s desire for
hegemony and their belief, along with everyone else, that he was
building nuclear weapons. Having a bomb wouldn’t protect Iran from the
United States anyway, at least until they develop a missile capable of
reaching us. They also claim America is responsible for Iranian
interference in Iraq as though Iran has no interests in shaping the
future of Iraq.
The authors put their faith in deterring Iran, comparing the situation
with the U.S. posture toward China and Russia. In typically realist
fashion, they focus on the political/military/economic aspects of the
problem and ignore religion and psychology. They are not worried about
Islamism and the possibility that Iranian leaders may not fear mutual
assured destruction because they believe they will reach Paradise or
bring about the return of the missing imam or otherwise hasten the
worldwide victory of Islam over the infidels.
W/M assert that Arab states won’t support American policy on Iran
because of Israel. This is rubbish. The Arab states are scared to
death of the Iranians and not the least bit worried about the
Israelis. They will appease or confront the Iranians based on their
calculation of the best way to preserve their regimes.
While they do acknowledge Arab concerns with the Iranian threat, they
completely ignore European interests. Since Israel has already been
threatened by Iran, and Iranian proxies wage daily war against Israel,
it is not surprising the Israelis are worried, but why are the leaders
of Germany, France, and Great Britain all leading the campaign to stop
Iran from obtaining a bomb? Even W/M do not believe they are doing so
out of concern for Israel’s well-being. The desire to prevent a
nuclear Iran may be the one issue today that has perhaps the broadest
What do the brilliant realists believe is the proper approach toward
Iran? They believe Iran should be allowed to have nuclear weapons and
then America should try to contain them. Paradoxically, they opposed
the Clinton containment policy of non-nuclear Iran. They believe Iran
can be stopped through diplomacy and normalizing relations. This
ignores the last several years of history during which the Europeans
have negotiated and offered Iran a variety of carrots and the Iranians
used these talks to buy time to advance their weapons program. The
authors imply U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran are an example of Bush’s
misguided policies when the House and Senate unanimously approved the
legislation during Clinton’s term. W/M say some administration
officials hated the act and expect readers to agree the presence of
opposition somehow makes the policy wrong.
In yet another contradiction, they say that Clinton was pursuing their
desired policy of moving toward a dialogue with Iran, but W/M note
that hardliners in Iran opposed Iran’s engagement with the “Great
Satan.” Still, they blame the lobby for discouraging rapprochement,
even as they show there was no chance of this occurring on the Iranian
side during the last two administrations. They conclude that the best
strategy is to renounce threats against Iran and compromise.
They clearly are worried the Jews are going to drag America into a war
with Iran as they did with Iraq. They assert that Israel and various
constituents of the lobby, especially the neocons, favor military
action. No part of the lobby, however, has advocated going to war. On
the contrary, the argument has been to take the necessary steps to
prevent Iran from getting to the point where war is necessary. AIPAC,
for example, has championed the idea of sanctions. Even those who are
skeptical of nonmilitary approaches express reservations about the
consequences of a military strike.
Apologists for Hezbollah
W/M spend an entire chapter ranting about Israel’s behavior in
fighting Hezbollah in 2006 and are upset the U.S. didn’t criticize
Israel, which it said killed 1,000 Lebanese (they don’t say it, but
most were terrorists), and undermined the Lebanese government and
ultimately brought Iran, Syria and Hezbollah closer. In their coverage
of the war, Hezbollah did nothing to provoke Israel, the
indiscriminate rocket barrage on Israeli cities was irrelevant and no
Jews suffered whatsoever.
In fact, the Iran/Syria/Hezbollah axis existed before the fighting and
didn’t get any stronger because of Israel’s actions. If anything it
highlighted for the rest of the world this axis of evil and led to
greater isolation of all three. Israel’s actions also didn’t undermine
the Lebanese government, it is the Syrians who are bent on doing that,
but W/M are either uninterested or unaware of the Syrian view of
Lebanon as its southern province. In their view, Hezbollah’s actions
were not unusually provocative, but they were actually acts of war.
The lobby is blamed for persuading the Bush Administration to support
Israel, but the government and public understood that Israel’s
response to Hezbollah’s actions was justified. The Congress voted
410-8 to support Israel, but W/M focused only on its rejection of
language regarding protecting civilians and infrastructure.
The authors say Israel targeted civilians in Lebanon and they found
“little evidence” that Hezbollah used civilians as shields. Plenty of
evidence is available, however, including photographs and videotape,
but they simply ignore the facts when they contradict their thesis. W/
M also repeat the criticism that Israel’s response was
“disproportionate,” relying on discredited reports by Human Rights
Watch and Amnesty International, without giving any indication what a
proportionate response would be to the indiscriminate missile attacks
launched by Hezbollah against Israeli cities. They claim Israel caused
catastrophic damage and suggest it wasn’t pinpointed as Israel
claimed; however, the IDF could have easily taken out all of Lebanon’s
power, water and electricity, but did not, focusing instead on targets
designed to weaken Hezbollah.
They assert that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert saw the kidnapping
of Israeli soldiers as an opportunity to implement a long planned
campaign against Hezbollah, but the Winograd report has shown just the
opposite, that there was no plan and too little thought was given to
going to war.
As they do throughout the book, W/M claim most people share their
views. They say, for example, that once the war began, Israel was
heavily criticized around the globe when, in fact, Israel’s actions
were initially widely supported as a justified response to Hezbollah’s
aggressive actions and violation of Israeli sovereignty. It was not
until the war appeared to be dragging on without a conclusive outcome,
and the damage and casualties in Lebanon began to grow, that opinion
started to turn against Israel.
Paradoxically, W/M say the mainstream media supported Israel. A
paragraph later, however, they contradict themselves again by citing a
study by Marvin Kalb at Harvard, which showed that Israel was heavily
criticized on the front pages of the New York Times and Washington
Post. In another example of their shoddy and selective research, they
ignore the rest of the study in which Kalb eviscerated the media
coverage and highlighted its anti-Israel bias. According to W/M, the
negative coverage of Israel was unavoidable because of the amount of
destruction Israel caused. Here the two academic political scientists
pretend to know more about reporting than the professional journalist
Kalb. They also defend a report by Washington Post reporter Thomas
Ricks, who made perhaps the most outrageous charge of the war when he
claimed that Israel intentionally left Hezbollah rocket launchers
intact because having Israeli civilians killed helped Israel in the
public relations war. That report was so indefensible the Post’s
editor took the unusual step of repudiating his reporter and
retracting the story, but perhaps the Post was cowed by the lobby.
One central thesis of their book is that the relationship with Israel
hurts the American national interest and they reassert the position
here by suggesting that U.S. support for Israel in Lebanon reinforced
anti-Americanism. Actually, it did not because Hezbollah’s actions
were seen as reckless and most of the Arab world blamed its leader for
provoking Israel and bringing ruin to Lebanon.
Cooking the Books
The authors often grasp for data to support their case and present
incomplete or misleading statistics. For example, they cite a poll
showing that 40% of Americans believe support for Israel causes anti-
Americanism, which a) does not mean that the supposition is true and
b) indicates a majority does not agree. Had they written that 60% of
Americans do not believe that U.S. support for Israel causes anti-
Americanism it would have undermined their argument. Similarly, they
say 39% (again, far less than a majority) believe the lobby was the
reason we went to war in Iraq and want to confront Iran. In other
words, the entire premise of their book, that debate is silenced, that
Americans don’t support the lobby’s positions and that U.S. support
for Israel is contrary to American interests, is contradicted by their
own poll data which shows they are being given choices but majorities
reject their distorted view of the world. And, incidentally, these
were the best figures they could find for their case and they came
from a poll conducted by the rabidly anti-Israel Council for the
It is possible to cite far more reputable data that has consistently
shown that a majority of Americans sympathize with Israel while a tiny
minority support the Palestinians (the last Gallup poll in February
2007 showed Americans supported Israel over the Palestinians by
58%-20%) and an even larger majority view Israel as a reliable ally
(75% in the 2006 Harris poll). Overall favorability ratings of Israel
in the February 2008 Gallup poll were 71%, the highest since the
record 79% rating during the first Gulf War. By contrast, just 14% of
Americans have a favorable opinion of the Palestinian Authority, while
75% have an unfavorable view. The PA is rated just above North Korea
(12%) and Iran (8%) as the least popular countries.
W/M can’t accept that the pro-Israel views of the general public, the
media, elites, or public officials could be accurate portrayals of the
national interest and that they are simply out of step or just plain
W/M make a number of absurd claims regarding Syria. For example, they
maintain that Bush’s hostility toward Syria damaged the U.S. position
in the region. First, Bush’s posture has nothing to do with the lobby.
Israelis have been wanting to negotiate with the Syrians (and have had
secret talks with them) and been reportedly held back by Bush. Second,
none of America’s allies in the region have been disturbed by Bush’s
policy toward Syria. On the contrary, Syria is isolated in the region
because of its alliance with Iran and its interference in Lebanon.
When Damascus recently hosted an Arab League summit, most of the major
players boycotted the meeting. Even when the United States was accused
of supporting Israel’s raid on Syria’s nuclear facility, none of the
Arab states complained.
Their amateurish views are further reflected in their lack of
knowledge of the history of U.S.-Syrian relations and the fact, for
example, that the U.S. has had little contact with Syria for years.
Bush has been more openly hostile, but this is justified by Syria’s
escalation of anti-American activities during his term in Iraq and
Lebanon. Furthermore, Bush undoubtedly resents that Syrian President
Bashar Assad lied when he said he would close down the terrorist
headquarters in Damascus and, instead, increased his support for
It’s also clear they’re not too clever when it comes to military
analysis. They argue that Syria poses no military danger to Israel,
ignoring their WMD, their ongoing support for terror in general and
Hezbollah in particular, and the ongoing threat to attack the Golan.
They also say that Syria does not have a nuclear program and they see
no reason to think it will pursue one anytime soon. Oops, got that
wrong too as we now know Syria was working with North Korea on a
nuclear program when Israel bombed their facility in September 2007.
Even before the Israeli raid, knowledgeable analysts had raised the
possibility that Syria was indeed interested in developing a nuclear
W/M apparently have no problem with terrorism, so long as it is
directed at Israel. According to the authors, Syria doesn’t support
global terror only terror against Israel. Would they feel the same if
the terror was directed against other U.S. allies? They also ignore
the fact that Syrian terror is also directed against Lebanon and that
their Hezbollah proxies killed more Americans than any other terror
group except for al-Qaeda on 9/11.
The authors say the U.S. counted on Syria to keep the peace in Lebanon
and favored the Syrian occupation. It’s not clear where they get this
wacky idea since successive administrations called for Syria’s
withdrawal. Of course, W/M don’t care about the instability of Lebanon
caused by Iran and Syria or the suffering of people there except when
Israel is involved. They also ignore that Lebanon signed a peace
treaty with Israel that Syria forced the government to annul.
Not surprisingly W/M blame Israel for failing to reach a peace
agreement with Syria even though the Israelis offered the Syrians most
of the Golan Heights in exchange for peace and, to this day, Assad
refuses to say that he will make peace under any circumstances. They
portray Syria as wanting peace talks and Israeli “intransigence” as
the obstacle when Prime Minister Olmert explicitly called for talks.
They mention secret meetings of Israelis and Syrians, but they
interpret this as evidence only of Syria’s interest in peace. The
Israelis were apparently there for show. In a typical contradiction,
they say that holding the Golan is popular with the Israeli right, but
then provide poll data showing overwhelming public opposition to
giving it up. Since they do not acknowledge the Golan’s strategic
value, it is not surprising that they would not understand the Israeli
The apologetics continue when they suggest that Syria only supports
terror groups because “they are the only levers it has to pressure
Israel into returning Golan.” Oh really? They’ve tried that tactic now
for more than 30 years and it hasn’t worked too well; maybe they
should try another approach. Then again, Israel already has agreed to
return the Golan so what’s the justification for continued terror?
W/M criticize the Syria Accountability Act, which they argue is
another example of the lobby pushing Congress to adopt a measure that
is contrary to their view of America’s interest. But why isn’t it in
the U.S. interest to call on Syria to withdraw from Lebanon, give up
WMD and stop supporting terror? In the end, they note that Bush
largely ignored the legislation, so the lobby is so powerful it got a
law adopted that has no impact. That’s their idea of power?
They suggest the lobby is really interested in regime change in Syria.
On the contrary, Israel has not pushed for regime change in large
measure because of fears the alternative could be worse than Assad.
According to W/M Syria is no threat to the U.S. “even taking into
account its possible role in helping the Iraqi insurgency.” So even if
they’re helping to kill Americans, they’re no concern to W/M. Of
course, no one has argued that Syria poses a danger to the U.S. beyond
the above-mentioned activities that undermine our regional interests.
W/M also maintain that unnamed “powerful groups in the lobby” are
working to prevent U.S. cooperation with Syria. Here they suggest the
lobby isn’t united, that parts of the lobby act independently and that
they are more influential than the lobby as a whole. Their logic is
convoluted and understanding of interest groups juvenile. Perhaps a
few Arabists in the State Department believe the U.S. can or should
cooperate with Syria, but no one else needs the lobby to tell them
this is a bad idea.
Like Jimmy Carter, W/M try to convince readers that the powerful and
evil lobby is stifling debate about U.S. Middle East policy. I’m not
sure how they do it with a straight face as they crisscross the United
States and parts of Europe giving lectures and appear on nearly every
media outlet from Stephen Colbert to NPR. They probably thought their
book would be in every hotel room next to the bible or in airplane
seatback pockets if not for the lobby’s malevolent influence. In yet
another contradiction, after complaining vigorously about the
censorship of Israel’s detractors, they acknowledge that attacks on
Carter didn’t prevent him from widely publicizing his views.
Angry over the almost universal criticism they’ve received from
academics who savaged their original article, W/M devote an entire
chapter reinforcing the canard that the lobby is trying to silence
professors. According to W/M it is unacceptable to challenge their
views and it is untoward to support scholars who study Israel.
While they see nothing wrong with millions of dollars being spent by
Arab governments to create chairs and centers to propagate distorted
views of Islam and the Middle East, they are offended by the news that
a Jewish philanthropist was considering a large donation to support
Israel studies at Georgetown. Meanwhile, Georgetown accepted a $20
million gift from the Saudis to create a center for Christian-Muslim
understanding (noticeably absent is Judaism).
They are also determined to defend some of the more indefensible
characters. For example, they blame the lobby for Michigan professor
Juan Cole failing to secure a teaching post at Yale. Cole is better
known for his anti-Israel screeds (and claiming Ahmedinejad’s threats
against Israel were mistranslated) than any of his academic work. W/M
also neglect to mention that Cole was also reportedly rejected by
Duke, an indication more of the quality of his scholarship than the
conspiratorial activities of the lobby.
W/M also defend Columbia University, whose anti-Israel faculty became
the subject of widespread scrutiny and criticism. They attack the
film, “Columbia Unbecoming,” as a propaganda film, but it is not clear
whether they actually saw the film, which documents many of the abuses
at Columbia. They cite the academic review of the charges from the
film to impugn the critics, but that review was widely seen by
everyone familiar with the situation at Columbia as a whitewash (all
the committee members had ties to the department and three had called
for divestment from Israel). The university was so concerned with the
activities in the Middle Eastern Languages and Civilization department
that it took over its administration.
Imagine a professor teaching in an astronomy department that the world
is flat and then claiming he is entitled to teach this because he has
academic freedom and anyone who says otherwise is engaged in
McCarthyism. This is essentially the position of W/M and others
engaged in pseudo scholarship related to the Middle East. They
maintain the right to say whatever they want, but deny anyone else
similar freedom. Moreover, they claim immunity to criticism, and
insist that anyone who dares to point out the speciousness of their
work is engaged in a campaign of censorship.
They also assert that no one can criticize detractors like Jimmy
Carter, Tony Judt or Tony Kushner (a playwright who knows nothing
about Middle East politics, but spouts criticism of Israeli policies)
because they’re “respected” individuals and any criticism of them
amounts to “smearing.”
W/M have a number of prescriptions for saving the United States from
the dreaded Israel lobby. For example, they argue the United States
should keep its armed forces “over the horizon” to reduce resentment
toward America. The idea is based on the false assumption that the
presence of American troops is the cause of resentment rather than
rejection of our values by Islamists. The deployment of U.S. forces
also has nothing to do with Israel since the lobby has no interest in
seeing American soldiers in Saudi Arabia or other Arab states.
They also believe the U.S. should cut a deal with Iran without
specifying what kind of agreement, and after writing earlier that the
Iranians have no interest in negotiating with the United States. In
May 2008, the U.S. and the other major powers offered Iran a series of
carrots to stop their nuclear program and the Iranians defiantly
The Arabs are not expected to do anything to contribute to peace. The
entire onus is on Israel. W/M believe the U.S. should force Israel to
give up the Golan Heights. The U.S. should also oppose the
“expansionist” Israeli policy, setting aside the fact that Israel is
the only expansionist power in history to repeatedly give up
territory. Israel must give up more, however, and return nearly to the
1967 borders and acknowledge the right of the Palestinian refugees to
return. Why? How does that serve U.S. interests?
In their fantasy world, ending the occupation would solve all the
region’s problems. Of course they don’t address the sticky issue of
why there was no peace before the occupation or after disengagement.
W/M call for a cutoff of economic and military aid if Israel doesn’t
accept a Palestinian state or if Israel acts unilaterally (even though
that would end the occupation!). Have they considered Jordan’s
concerns about a Palestinian state? Or Egypt’s? They certainly don’t
discuss them. Israel does accept a Palestinian state, but the
Palestinians have not been willing to agree to one that coexists with
Israel. They say the U.S. has to put significant pressure on Israel to
accept the Clinton parameters, but it was Israel that accepted them in
2000 while the Palestinians rejected the plan. In one more
contradiction they say Eisenhower could threaten Israel, but those
days are past. Later, however, W/M give examples that those times have
not yet past. In fact, Reagan and both Bushes went beyond threats and
did punish Israel when they were upset by certain policies.
W/M want the U.S. to promise support to the Palestinians if they end
terrorism, but this was precisely the bargain George Shultz made in
1988, Bill Clinton made in 1993 and George W. Bush made in 2002. The
Palestinians have yet to fulfill any of their promises but W/M see no
reason to criticize them or call for tougher measures to encourage
Another straw man they build is the suggestion that the only
alternatives to a two state solution are expulsion, binationalism or
apartheid. But Israel accepts a two-state solution. And even if it
didn’t, there are other options they don’t consider, such as a
confederation with Jordan.
After spending 350 pages complaining, the authors are left with the
question of how to fight the nefarious lobby. They see little hope of
weakening it, though they believe campaign finance reform would help
(that was also the view after the post-Watergate reforms, but it did
not happen). W/M think a counter lobby will be too small and
underfinanced, but they would like Jewish leaders to recognize the
error of their ways and create a new lobby. After bashing Israel
throughout the book, they now presume to know what’s best for the pro-
Israel community. They also call for scholars and journalists to
resist lobby efforts to shape the debate, but those same elites should
listen to their effort to misinform them.
In their view, the flawed policies of the Bush Administration are so
apparent and adverse that the impact of the lobby is impossible to
overlook. But it is overlooked because most people disagree with them.
Israel’s detractors have embraced the book because its argument fits
neatly into their views of an all-powerful group of Jews who control
U.S. foreign policy, but they should be offended by the racist,
paternalistic tone of the book, which sees the Arabs as impotent and
unable to affect their own fate or influence U.S. policy.
While reviewers and experts in the field have dismissed the book, it
could have an impact on attitudes toward the lobby and U.S. Middle
East policy because it is likely to penetrate college classrooms
around the country. Some professors who themselves lack sufficient
expertise to recognize the book’s flaws will assign it either because
of the reputations of the authors or the belief that it covers an
important element of Middle East decision-making. Some instructors may
see the book as a way to “balance” works sympathetic to Israel; others
whose courses are already one-sided will see the book as bolstering
their political agendas. It is comparable to teaching a course on the
Holocaust and putting the work of deniers on the syllabus....
Jews say that being "anti-Semitic" is a terrible crime. Do they say
being "anti-Arab" is a terrible crime? What about "anti-Christian", or
"anti-German"? Of course the Jews think
they are special. Any other group could be our enemy, but not the
Jews, they say. The Jews tell us the Arabs are our enemies. The
Jewish controlled media tells us that the Jews are America's only
friend in the Middle East. The truth is that before these Jews America
didn't have any enemies in the Middle East.
No one is moaning because America once fought the British. But
suddenly Jews can not be the enemy under any circumstances. Why is
that? Because the Jews control the media. Think outside the box.
Now that America is ruled by the Jews it is no insult to be called
"anti-Semite". The insult is that they think we care about their self
The Jewish controlled media said the French were "cheese eating
surrender monkeys". Why can't the French howl "anti-French" like the
Jews howl "anti-Semite"? Because the French don't control the media,
This is what President Nixon said:
"There may be some truth in that if the Arabs have some complaints
about my policy towards Israel, they have to realize that the Jews in
the U.S. control the entire information and propaganda machine, the
large newspapers, the motion pictures, radio and television, and the
big companies. And there is a force that we have to take into
http://www.ihr.org/ http:// www.vanguardnewsnetwork.com/