Wednesday, April 05, 2006

# Posted 10:55 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

LETTERS ABOUT WALT & MEARSHEIMER: As you may know, the London Review of Books recently published an abbreviated version of Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer's anti-"Israel Lobby" manifesto. In the most recent issue of LRB, there are five letters to the editor in response to Walt & Mearsheimer, all of them very critical. (Hat tip: JW) Here are some of the points they make:
According to a February 2006 Gallup poll, 59 per cent of Americans express strong support for Israel...Far from being the result of unschooled myths and stereotypes, support for Israel is higher among people who follow international events than among those who don’t (i.e. 66 per cent v. 59 per cent).
Yes, but that's because the more you read, the more you are influenced by the Jewish media!
Arab resentment of America originates from a long pattern of British and French imperialism in the region. This resentment evolved into a more generalised anti-Westernism perpetuated and exploited by the USSR and Soviet allies like Nasser.
Blaming the Communists? The last resort of a scoundrel!
Accusations of powerful Jews behind the scenes are part of the most dangerous traditions of modern anti-semitism.
But what if there are powerful Jews behind the scenes?!?!?
It is not true that the American relationship with Israel has been ‘the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy’. That centrepiece has been and remains access to oil for the United States and for the global economy.
Because the Israel Lobby knows that America needs cheap oil so it can afford to protect Israel!

Finally, with no sarcastic commentary appended, I include in full [permission pending] a letter from Daniel Piples to the LRB:
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt write: ‘The Lobby also monitors what professors write and teach. In September 2002, Martin Kramer and Daniel Pipes, two passionately pro-Israel neo-conservatives, established a website (Campus Watch) that posted dossiers on suspect academics and encouraged students to report remarks or behaviour that might be considered hostile to Israel.’ This account is inaccurate in several ways (e.g. Martin Kramer had no role in founding Campus Watch), but I write specifically to state that no ‘Lobby’ told me to start Campus Watch. Neither the Middle East Forum nor myself has ever taken orders from some mythical ‘Lobby’, and specifically I decided to establish Campus Watch on my own, without direction from any outside source. I challenge Mearsheimer and Walt to provide their information that connects this ‘Lobby’ to my decision to establish Campus Watch.
Don't hold your breath, Dan.
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