Ambassador Dore Gold, President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, responds today to the anti-Israel accusations by the liberal antiwar authors of a new book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy.
Here is background on this latest anti-Israel book that is being promoted by liberal websites like (surprise!) Daily Kos:
In their new book entitled The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy to be published this September 4, Professors Stephen Walt (Harvard) and John Mearsheimer (U Chicago) are resurrecting their argument from last year that US foreign policy has been hijacked by supporters of Israel, who are undermining the US national interest. They see no compelling US interest in supporting Israel, which emerges in their analysis as a “strategic liability.” They even go one step further stating that one of the direct results of this lobbying effort was the 2003 Iraq War, which they vociferously oppose along with the policies of the Bush administration. American Jewish groups are concerned with an anti-Semitic backlash from the book.
Dore Gold, Israel’s former ambassador to the UN, has concluded that the Walt-Mearsheimer thesis is not just insidious; it is also plain wrong. In a response to their claims, he provides details about the close strategic ties that have bonded the US and Israel and created a virtual alliance between the two countries. Using declassified documents, he traces this alliance back to President John F. Kennedy. He describes how the relationship got its biggest boost from President Ronald Reagan, and he sipplies information about joint military exercises and US naval visits to Haifa. He also shows how after the Cold War, the alliance has even grown further. Moreover, he points out that much of the relationship is in sensitive intelligence channels, to which academics like Walt and Mearsheimer have no access. Onejerusalem.org has reported that former Secretary of State George Shultz has concluded that their work is “a conspiracy theory pure and simple and scholars at great universities should be ashamed to promulgate it.”
This is not just a debate launched by two relatively obscure academics inside the walls of university campuses. They are planning to take their incendiary assertions and launch a major PR drive in the mainstream media. They are seeking to obtain a segment on CBS News’ 60 Minutes and their ideas have already been covered in a major article on August 16 in the New York Times. Some organizations, who feel their past analysis on this subject was unsubstantiated and needelessly inflamative, have refused to give them a platform. In response, there have been sympathetic bloggers, like Time Magazine’s Scott MacLeod , who advocated on the Time-Blog letting the two professors engage in “free discussion” even over this previously “taboo” subject. Daily Kos has featured their ideas repeatedly.
Ironically while criticizing lobbying organizations like AIPAC that strongly support US-Israeli ties, Walt and Mearsheimer have allowed themselves to be adopted by CAIR—the Council for American-Islamic Relations, which defends various Middle Eastern causes in Washington (AIPAC takes no non-American donations, CAIR obtains support from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates). Walt and Mearsheimer are not objective; they have taken sides. They not only want to sell books, they hope to affect the future of the debate over the Middle East, as well.
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** Today, Ambassador Dore Gold responded to the anti-Israeli Walt-Mearsheimer claims at the JCPA.
It is terrific reading for those who wish to gain a better historical perspective on the critical American-Israeli alliance.