Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Israel Lobby: London Review of Books Debate (Must-see)

In March 2006 The London Review of Books hosted a debate in New York on the American-Israel-Zionist lobby and its power, centered on a discussion of the groundbreaking article by noted American international relations specialists John Mearsheimer (R. Wendell Harrison Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago) and Stephen Walt (Belfer Professor of International Relations, Harvard University) which was published in The London Review of Books that month. The two recently published a much-expanded book on the subject. American Zionists, such as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, alleged that the article and book are "anti-Semitic" by which they mean it does not tow the line of American politics and instead is critical of Israeli policies and its American backers.
Bush at AIPAC
Ironically and to the credit of many Israelis including a dear friend of mine, the debate in Israel about Israeli policies are, generally speaking, much deeper than what is possible in the United States, thanks largely due to the pernicious influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), whose altar all American politicans are required to bow if they hope to be elected.


This debate is the best, most comprehensive debate about the American Zionist lobby to date. Tellingly, it was not broadcast by any American mainstream media outlet, nor was it hosted by an American media outlet or news organization. Instead, like the original Mearsheimer-Walt article, which was supposed to be published in The Atlantic Monthly, it was hosted (and in the case of the article, published) by a non-American entity, The London Review of Books.

AIPAC's new best pal, Democratic Party presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL).

Participants included former U.S. ambassador to Israel and AIPAC official Martin Indyk, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, former U.S. Middle East envoy and AIPAC official Dennis Ross, former Israeli foreign minister and historian Shlomo Ben-Ami, University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer, and New York University professor and historian Tony Judt.

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