National Debate Needed: In the Pro-Israel Lobby Distoring US Mideast Policy?

April 23rd, 2006 - by admin

Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D., / American Center for International Law – 2006-04-23 09:58:49

This nation is immersed in a debate about whether the pro-Israel lobby distorts US policy in the Middle East (e.g., by pressuring us to commence wars against Iraq and Iran). Therefore, here are 7 recent essays offering different perspectives on that debate:

• [1] Tony Judt’s 4-19-06 CD/NYT essay, “A LOBBY, NOT A CONSPIRACY,” contends that Americans must not be afraid to debate whether the pro-Israel lobby’s pressure to support Israel distorts the decisions of our Washington policymakers and explains why this issue has been prominently debated and dissected overseas, whereas it has received virtual silence from the US mainstream media:
(a) fear of legitimizing the notion of a “Jewish conspiracy”; and
(b) fear of being smeared as “anti-Semitic.”
However, we must not conflate “anti-Zionism” with “anti-Semitism,” because it is grossly inaccurate to equate those who merely disagree with Israel’s policies with those who phobically dislike the Jewish people per se.

• [2] Juan Cole’s 4-18-06 Salon essay, “BREAKING THE SILENCE: THE OVERWROUGHT RESPONSE TO JOHN MEARSHEIMER AND STEPHEN WALT’S BRAVE PAPER ONLY CONFIRMS ITS THESIS.” This University of Michigan History Professor is perhaps the nation’s leading expert on Mideastern history and culture, so his perspective on the pro-Israel lobby carries extra weight.

• [3] Michelle Goldberg’s 4-18-06 Salon essay, “IS THE ‘ISRAEL LOBBY’ DISTORTING AMERICA’S MIDEAST POLICIES? Two leading academics, ohn Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, try to breat the taboo against criticising Israel’s powerful US Lobby. “A worthy aim, but their clumsy argument may backfire.”

• [4] G. Jefferson Price III’S April 18, 2006 Baltimore Sun essay, “QUESTIONING US-ISRAEL TIES,” contends that the Mearsheimer-Walt study is flawed by their “absurd” notion that it took the Israel lobby to persuade Bush — a Texas oilman whose wars are all about securing more oilfields — to invade Iraq, or to threaten Iran and Syria.

• [5] Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman’s 4-11-06 Online Journal essay, “ARE MAINSTREAM CHURCHES FINALLY STANDING UP TO THE GOP’S HATEFUL ‘CHRISTIAN’ BLITZKREIG?” The Religious Right’s evangelical movement has its own influential pro-Israel lobby — Christians United For Israel (“CUFI”).

Indeed, right-wing church movements have been a staple of American politics since well before the 1692 witch trials at Salem. But only in the past few decades has the extremist church served as the grassroots base for a new breed of corporate totalitarianism. That unholy union has been nowhere more powerful than here in Ohio, and it has finally provoked a response from the state’s mainstream churches.

• [6] Justin Raimondo’s 4-10-06 Antiwar essay, “SMEAR AND FEAR: THAT’S HOW ISRAEL’S LOBBY OPERATES,” explains why Israel’s once-powerful lobby in the US is running scared.

• [7] Justin Raimondo’s 4-3-06 EtherZone/ essay, “The Israel Lobby And Moral Blackmail” [Prominent Americans have reacted negatively to a research paper by University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer and Harvard Dean Stephen Walt. So much so that they’ve been trying to suppress it and punish the authors.

However, most of their objections are so intellectually dishonest that they’re tantamount to moral blackmail.]: Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »