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 anti-Semitism.

UPDATE: Pejman Yousefzadeh: “Either John Mearsheimer–via his endorsement of the vile and repulsive ‘ideas’ of the loathsome Gilad Atzmon–has outed himself as an anti-Semite, or he is completely ignorant of what Atzmon professes, and Mearsheimer has outed himself as a fool.”

FURTHER UPDATE: Just to be clear for those too lazy or busy to follow the links, Atzmon is not some controversial cultural or religious critic, but a plain old-fashioned kooky anti-Semite. Here is an example of his erudite commentary on the financial crisis:

I don’t think it was a credit crunch, I think it was a Zionist punch.

This war in Iraq may have something to do with energy but largely it was America acting as an Israeli mission for fighting the last pockets of resistance, led tactically by Neoconservatives and the Federal Reserve.

Alan Greenspan’s job was to create a financial boom so America’s people were not concerned with the tactics used in the Middle East.

It should have worked but it didn’t work because the all-American boom was done at the expense of the most deprived Americans, and they just couldn’t pay the mortgages so it all collapsed.

It’s not only Jews that have adopted this world view either. Bush behaved Jewishly (ideologically) – he is a supremacist, he was a tribalist, but he is not a Jew as far as I’m aware.


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