No, really. that’s the button CAIR activists gave to Mearsheimer at his recent presentation in Washington DC. His response?
“I like it,” he said, beaming.
Go read Dana Milbank’s account of this event in the Washington Post.
Then go back and read Lee Smith’s takedown of their original paper (I linked to it in a post called “Fat, Drunk, and Stupid Is No Way To Run The Kennedy School“).
And finally go back and read Benny Morris’ evisceration of their historical analysis (originally at TNR, reprinted at Jeff Weintraub’s).Then back to the Post:
Walt kicked off the session with a warning that we face a “threat from terrorism because we have been so closely tied to Israel.” This produced chuckles in the audience. Walt allowed that this was “not the only reason” for our problems, but he did blame Israel supporters for the hands-off position the Bush administration took during the Lebanon fighting.
“The answer is the political influence of the Israel lobby,” Walt said. He also hypothesized that if not for the Israel lobby, the Iraq war “would have been much less likely.”
Right. If it only wasn’t for those pesky Jews…and their habit of defending themselves.
This line of argument could be considered a precarious one for two blue-eyed men with Germanic surnames. And, indeed, Walt seemed defensive about the charges of anti-Semitism. He cautioned that the Israel lobby “is not a cabal,” that it is “not synonymous with American Jews” and that “there is nothing improper or illegitimate about its activities.”
But Mearsheimer made no such distinctions as he used “Jewish activists,” “major Jewish organizations” and the “Israel lobby” interchangeably. Clenching the lectern so tightly his knuckles whitened, Mearsheimer accused Israel of using the kidnapping of its soldiers by Hizbollah as a convenient excuse to attack Lebanon.
It’s funny, we’re just back from watching Suicide Murders, about which more in a bit. And having watched the interviews with the failed bombers – and their happy willingness to go bomb again (in every case but one), and watched the interviews with the parents who raised them believing that killing Jews is the highest calling, and seen the streets of Gaza – lined with billboards glorifying murderers. I’m a lot more sensitive to these kinds of arguments then I might have been this afternoon.
And it looks like Alwaleed’s $20 million gift to Harvard may be paying off. Oh – sorry, that wasn’t mentioned in the original study, so it must not really count.