Al Jazeera America launched less than 24 hours ago, and the network’s first guest validated a good deal of its critics’ concerns: The network welcomed Harvard professor Stephen Walt, co-author of a book arguing that American foreign policy is run by the “Israel Lobby,” to discuss the uprisings unfolding in Egypt.
In 2007, Walt and University of Chicago’s John Mearsheimer penned The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, which focused on the so-called “lobby’s influence on U.S. foreign policy and its negative effect on American interests.” The book received widespread criticism from scholars, journalists, and current and former American diplomats, with some labeling it anti-Semitic. Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright called the book’s claims “highly overstated and a genuine problem,” while a fellow Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz described it as a “hate-filled screed against Jewish participation in American politics.”
In his interview with Al Jazeera America yesterday, Walt harkened to the book’s thesis by arguing that the “main reason” the U.S. was even involved in the conflict is the maintenance of the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty, which he said was “not vital” to the U.S. “What happens there is not likely to affect Americans’ strategic interests in any fundamental way,” he explained.
Via the Washington Free Beacon.