Tag Archives | Israel Lobby

John Mearsheimer Endorses Book by a “Proud Self-Hating Jew”

according to the publisher’s his publicist’s website [and confirmed by a search on Google books.] The proud individual in question would be Gilad Atzmon, who has remarked

I’m not only a self-hating Jew, I’m a proud self-hating Jew! When you try to think of the biggest humanists ever, Spinoza Marx [sic: Marx was born and raised a Christian, albeit of Jewish descent] and Christ were basically proud self-hating Jews also. Why? Because of growing up in this kind of racist, nationalist, tribalist, chauvinist, supremacist society – and this is exactly what they stood up against.

If the book, The Wandering Who? was about Atzmon’s vocation, jazz, that wouldn’t be news, but in fact the book in question seems to be what one might call a meditation on Jewish identity–but an anti-Semitic, or, if you prefer, self-hating one. (Among other things, we learn that his hero and role model is one of modern history’s best-known Jewish anti-Semites, Otto Weininger.)

Mearsheimer’s take: “a fascinating and provocative book …. Should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike.” Says David Schraub: “we should recognize the tragedy of [Mearsheimer’s] fall. It has been swift, shocking, and very, very ugly.”

I wrote five years ago that “many of [Mearsheimer and co-author Stephen Walt’s] critics are erring in accusing the authors of anti-Semitism without supporting evidence.” That now seems hasty on my part, especially given that this isn’t Mearsheimer’s first foray into very questionable territory.

Added bonus: The Harry’s Place blog’s revelation of Mearsheimer’s endorsement of an anti-Semitic book by a self-described self-hating Jew came the same day that Glenn Greenwald wrote a post entitled The Mainstreaming of Walt and Mearsheimer, in particular expressing typical Greenwaldian sputtering outrage that some of their critics had accused them of [...]

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Stephen Walt on Libya

As regular readers know, I’ve been highly critical of Professor Stephen Walt for his shoddy coauthored “Israel Lobby” book.

One response of my critics has been along the lines of “how dare an ignoramus like you criticize a great foreign policy expert like Stephen Walt.”

Call me an ignoramus if you will, but at least I didn’t accept funding– assumedly, directly or indirectly, from the Libyan government–for a trip to speak to Libya’s Economic Development Board, and then write a puff piece about my visit. (It’s not clear whether Walt simply accepted travel funding, which is in itself not objectionable if you, like Michael Moynihan, then refrain from writing a puff piece, or if Walt, like some prominent academic invitees to Libya, accepted a large “consulting fee”.)

One fun irony: Walt, after fulminating about the American domestic “Israel Lobby”, becoming, perhaps unwittingly, a part of the “Libya Lobby” sponsored by the Libyan government.

Added irony bonus: Walt, a leading critic of the friendship between the U.S. and Israel, concludes his piece with the hope “that the United States and Libya continue to nurture and build a constructive relationship.” Because, you know, Israel is so much nastier than Qaddafi’s Libya. [...]

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Dogs and Cats Living Together in Peace and Harmony

A while back, I linked to an interview with Noam Chomsky. I never got around to noting that quite unusually, Chomsky and I appear to be in general agreement on at least one thing: Mearsheimer and Walt and their “Israel Lobby” work.

Here’s Chomsky:

Walt and Mearsheimer are realists—what are called realists. Realists have a doctrine that says that states are the actors in international affairs and follow something called the “national interest,” which is some abstract ideal which is independent of the interests of the corporate sector. What they see from that point of view is that the United States is supposed to be pursuing its national interest, and they know what the national interest is. The fact that Intel and Lockheed Martin and Goldman Sachs don’t agree with them is irrelevant.

From their point of view, then, somehow the United States is not pursuing what they see as its national interest in the Middle East. So there must be some extraneous factor that’s driving it away from its path of innocence and perfection.

Here’s me:

As is very clear from the paper, Mearsheimer and Walt have firmly concluded that U.S. support of Israel is CLEARLY neither strategically nor morally justified. They are sufficiently arrogant that they assume that any normal, right-thinking person who looked objectively at the evidence would agree with them. Thus, U.S. policy would naturally not be supportive of Israel. The fact that it is supportive of Israel leads the authors to a conundrum: either acknowledge that reasonable people might disagree with their conclusions (which would provide a non-conspiratorial basis U.S. support for Israel), or assume that there is a wide-ranging conspiracy involving an amorphous “Israel lobby” biasing U.S. policy in favor of Israel. Rather than suspend their arrogant view that everyone sensible agrees with them,

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