August 27, 2007

The publication of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, a book-length version of the now-famous essay by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, is—naturally!—an occasion for the Lobby to go into high gear, and the intimidation tactics are already well along. Mearsheimer and Walt were invited by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to speak before the group, but the event was cancelled by the group’s president, Marshall Bouton, who gave out the party line that the two could not be permitted to speak without a “balancing” point of view by none other than Abe “ Armenian Genocide”€>What Armenian Genocide?”€ Foxman. That’s the Lobby’s “€œargument”€”€”that Mearsheimer and Walt’s thesis is so “€œtoxic”€ that it cannot be allowed to stand alone, without a “€œcorrective”€  offered by the Anti-Defamation League or some other outfit associated with the Thought Police.

This just goes to confirm the authors”€™ thesis, expressed in their London Review of Books piece:

“The Lobby pursues two broad strategies. First, it wields its significant influence in Washington, pressuring both Congress and the executive branch. Whatever an individual lawmaker or policymaker’s own views may be, the Lobby tries to make supporting Israel the “€˜smart”€™ choice. Second, it strives to ensure that public discourse portrays Israel in a positive light, by repeating myths about its founding and by promoting its point of view in policy debates. The goal is to prevent critical comments from getting a fair hearing in the political arena. Controlling the debate is essential to guaranteeing US support, because a candid discussion of US-Israeli relations might lead Americans to favour a different policy.”


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