Phi Beta Cons

Walt and Mearsheimer: Surface Clean-Up

In 2006 Professors John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government published a paper on an “Israel Lobby” that manipulates American politics.
Ira Stoll takes a dim view of the authors’ new book-length elaboration of that same theme, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”:

the professors have tried to clean up their act — but only on the surface … But from beneath the surface, … what Messrs. Mearsheimer and Walt themselves define as anti-Semitism manages to poke through. The professors write that “anti-Semitism indulges in various forms of stereotyping and implies that Jews should be viewed with suspicion or contempt, while seeking to deny them the ability to participate fully and freely in all realms of society.” They are at pains to emphasize that “the lobby is defined not by ethnicity or religion but by a political agenda.” Then they proceed to jump in and do exactly what they say anti-Semites do.

For example, they play down the current wave of anti-Semitism in Europe and insist gratingly that “nearly” six million (as opposed to six million) Jews were killed in the Holocaust.
The professors do not, as Stoll says, appear to have “cleaned up their act.”


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