October 03, 2007

The reviews of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy are coming in, and—yes, I know you’re shocked—they largely confirm the book’s thesis: that the Lobby is determined to smear anyone who so much as posits their existence. Over at The New Republic, the heavy-breathing is particularly intense:

“And yet the fact is that the Israelis, and the pro-Israel lobby, were focused mainly on the threat from Iran, not Iraq, during the first years of this decade. AIPAC supported the administration in its pursuit of Saddam Hussein, but only after the invasion seemed to be a fait accompli. Last month, in an interview, Lawrence Wil- kerson, who was Colin Powell’s chief of staff at the State Department, and who is an adversary of administration neo-conservatives, told me that Israel had been consistently warning the administration that Iran was the main threat, not Iraq.”

Author Jeffrey Goldberg is apparently unaware that this “argument” is hardly reassuring: even as we hurtle toward war with Iran, and the Lobby and its partisans in the media beat the drums for war with Iran—quite against the views and wishes of the greater part of the population—the unparalleled power of Israel’s supporters to determine the direction of US foreign policy is demonstrated in all its awful efficiency.

Over at Reason, David Weigel hoists Goldberg on his own petard by quoting from an earlier piece in the New Yorker that seems to echo the Mearsheimer and Walt thesis: the AIPAC, Goldie writes, “is a leviathan among lobbies.” “AIPAC’s leaders,” Senor Goldberg averred, “can be immoderately frank about the group’s influence.” But of course to write an entire book about that influence is an “anti-Semitic” act.


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