Ayoon Wa Azan ( The Israeli United States)
Jihad El Khazen Al-Hayat - 12/05/06//
What is the story behind "The Israel Lobby", by Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt? As we all know, the study shows the massive influence of the Jewish lobby on US politics to the extent that it steers it in the interests of Israel, even at the expense of US interests.
The ferocious campaign against the co- authors, which only proves that they are right, may give Arab or Muslim readers the impression that all Jewish Americans or Israelis defend Israeli extremism. But this is not true. I will attempt to reveal an important Jewish role that influenced the co-authors' thoughts and led to the publication of the study.
Mearsheimer graduated from West Point. He served as an officer in the Air Force before he went to study at Southern California University. Later, he became a professor there.
As for Walt, he studied at Stanford, Berkeley and Princeton before he finished his study at Harvard. He became the dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
I read in The Nation magazine that Mearsheimer remained a strong supporter of Israel until mid the 1990s, when he began reading works of the "New Historians" in Israel. They are academicians and journalists. Among them were Benny Morris, Avi Shalim and Tom Segev, who disclosed the extent of Israeli acts of violence against the Palestinians.
Mearsheimer and Walt realized that the Israelis were not the victims in 1948 because it was impossible for the waves of Jewish immigrants from Europe to succeed in establishing a sovereign state in a populated Palestine without harming its original inhabitants.
The events of 9 radically changed the thoughts of Mearshiemer and Walt. They realized that America's alliance with Israel was destroying US relations with other countries, and that US policy towards the Palestinians was fanning terrorism.
In a TV program, Walt complained that this subject was not presented to the public, and that attempts were made to silence those who wanted to bring the public's attention to it. For his part, Mearsheimer fully realized the power of the Jewish Lobby in 2002, when Ariel Sharon ignored President George Bush's call for an Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian towns in the West Bank, and the US President gave in. Mearsheimer complained that this subject was prohibited from being discussed at The American Political Science Association. Many people supported the stance of Mearsheimer.One of his colleague told him that "The Atlantic" magazine wanted an article that would raise these issues.
The magazine entrusted the two professors with making a study in 2002. Both believed that the study should be co-authored: if it were made by one of them, he would be ignored or condemned, and his ideas will be blacked out. After a long discussion, the two professors worked together and presented their study to" The Atlantic," which requested some modifications. After some lengthy arguments, they presented the final draft early last year, but the magazine refused to publish it.
It was assumed that the subject had been closed. But a colleague of the two professors told them that he had read the study, which had been sent to him by an editor of "The Atlantic," and that he had found it very impressive. This colleague suggested that they contact The London Review of Books to publish it. They met its editor-in-chief, who contracted with them to publish the study.
The London Review of Books published a summary of the study in 18 pages. It may be the longest subject I have ever read in this magazine, to which I have subscribed for many years. Later, the study was published in full by Harvard. It was in 80 pages, half of which contained a list of source references
Here, I have to make a digression to draw the attention of the reader to the fact that Mearsheimer and Walt were influenced by some Israeli writers who revealed the Palestinians' suffering to them. They also revealed that the editor-in-chief of the London-based magazine which published the study was Mary Wilmers, a Jewish woman. Yesterday and today, I was informed of several subjects and analyses written by Jews, some of them prominent figures, such as the Israeli Uri Avnery and Phillip Weiss from "The Nation," who wrote an in-depth feature on the story behind this study.
I stress the Jewish role in drawing up and publishing the study, hoping the Arab or Muslim reader will distance himself from anti-Semitism, which is a handy accusation exploited by the pro-Israel extremists to silence their opponents.
Reading is my hobby, and it also serves my career. I have noticed that the number of extremists who justify and connive with the Israeli government's crimes is the same as that of the liberal Jews who do not hesitate to say the truth.
For example, Alan Dershowitz has his opposite in Norman Finkelstein. The first is a lawyer and professor at Harvard; the second is a professor at De Paul University. Both men are writers.
Dershowitz, who practices law to the extent that he defended O.J.Simpson, who was first acquitted from murder and then declared guilty by a civil court, wrote a book entitled" The Case of Israel," in which he defended Israel . He also said, in true Nazi style, that it did not matter if the number of dead civilian Palestinians dead exceeded that of the Israelis.
Finkelstein, who is famous among Arabs for his "The Holocaust Industry: Reflection on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering", refuted Dershowitz's claims in his recent book,"Beyond Chutzpah: on the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and Abuse of History". Finkelstein's response was sharp and succeeded in ruining the reputation of this mean defender of Israel.
When Mearsheimer and Walt's study was released, Dershowitz refuted it in a 15000-word article similar to his previous defense of both Israel and O.J.Simpson, and just as convincing.
The two professors, who work at Harvard and Chicago respectively, have raised an argument, and the supporters of Israel will not succeed this time in quashing it. This argument should encourage us to read a feature entitled "The Israeli United States," by the renowned British journalist, Robert Fisk. On this feature was the Star of David, instead of the stars of the American flag. It is as if we were looking at a Syrian or Yemeni newspaper, not a British one.