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Countering Bias and Misinformation mainly about the Arab-Israel conflict

FP's writers' guidelines and Professor Walt's article on the Israel Lobby

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About Maurice Ostroff

From Maurice Ostroff
To the editor
Foreign Policy       January 28, 2012

Sir

With great respect I suggest that Professor Walt's January 20 article, "The Israel lobby's role in American politics" departs substantially from the following excerpt from your excellent writer's guidelines  "Provide original research or reporting to support your ideas. And be prepared to document what you say. FP fact-checks everything we publish".

Professor Walt provides no support whatsoever for his claim "there was overwhelming evidence of the lobby's impact -- including testimony from a wide range of politicians -- evidence that no amount of distortion or slander could conceal".  Surely no intelligent reader can accept this opinion as fact, without knowing something about the nature of the overwhelming evidence, the nature of the testimony that Walt refers to, the identities of the politicians and substantiation of the inference that lobbyists have engaged unsuccessfully in distortion and slander to conceal the evidence. Or are readers expected to assume that the above unsubstantiated opinions are factual, simply because they are stated by an eminent professor?

Similar remarks apply to his statement "eyes have also been opened by unfortunate events like the Lebanon War of 2006, the Gaza War of 2008-2009, and the Obama administration's failed attempts to advance a two-state solution, all of which cast a bright light on the lobby's clout in Washington".  This statement is meaningless unless we are told what that "bright light" shows about the Israel Lobby's supposed influence on the Middle East conflict in its context.

I would be surprised if any professor would give a passing grade to a first year student who expressed such wide ranging open-ended opinions as facts in an essay with no attempt at clarification or substantiation.

FP  Foerign Policy

Excerpts from

The Israel lobby's role in American politics

Posted By Stephen M. Walt Friday, January 20, 2012 - 4:31 PM 

 

emphasis added

 

While I was away, a friend sent me a link to an article from the online magazine Tablet, and asked me what I thought about it. The piece is by Adam Kirsch, and it's basically a critical summary of the impact of my book (with John Mearsheimer) on the Israel lobby...

 

Fortunately, there is a more parsimonious explanation for why our book may have helped open up public discourse on these issues. Not by legitimizing anti-Semitism, of course, which would be a deplorable development that both Mearsheimer and I would condemn in the strongest terms. Rather, our book may have helped open up a more fruitful debate on U.S. Middle East policy, and especially on the U.S.-Israel "special relationship," for the simple reason that we were pointing out obvious truths that many knowledgeable people already recognized. We may have succeeded because there was overwhelming evidence of the lobby's impact -- including testimony from a wide range of politicians -- evidence that no amount of distortion or slander could conceal. Eyes have also been opened by unfortunate events like the Lebanon War of 2006, the Gaza War of 2008-2009, and the Obama administration's failed attempts to advance a two-state solution, all of which cast a bright light on the lobby's clout in Washington. And it surely didn't hurt that our critics reacted in precisely the way we described in our book, resorting to misrepresentation and smear tactics instead of dealing with our arguments and evidence in a rational and fair-minded fashion.

 

If Kirsch is correct that we are "winning," in short, maybe it's because we paid close attention to facts and logic and did not attack our opponents with inaccurate smears or attempts at character assassination. Maybe we're "winning" because our core argument was correct: the various groups that make up the "Israel lobby" have been mistakenly advocating policies that were in fact harmful to the United States and to Israel itself, and more and more people have begun to figure this out.

 

 

READERS' COMMENTS ON PROFESSOR WALT'S ARTICLE

 

FRANKIEC

 

12:42 AM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

Stephen Walt parses words--who he is, however, is clear

 

Stephen Walt is simply a bat-crazy Israel-hater who uses the veneer of language of academia in an effort to cloak his hatred.

 

Israel is considered a friend and ally by the majority of Americans. This is not because of the "Israel Lobby". This is because Israel's value and America's are aligned, Israel's interests and America's are aligned, and most Americans have a little something called common sense.

 

Were it not for Israel, Iraq and Syria would today have nuclear weapons. Iraq's would have been used to take over Kuwait without American intervention and to spike oil prices still further, hurting our economy and our working class, especially hard. Syria's nukes would currently be getting sold to terrorists by those now revolting against the Assad dictatorship (as occured in Libya, with anti-aircraft missiles, during the revolt there).

 

Were it not for Israel, another two terrorist states would exist, one run by Hamas and one by the PLO. And Hizbollah would be free to focus their own jihad on the U.S., rather than on Israel.

 

Were it not for Israel, our soldiers would not be protected by reactive armor, by the world's best bullet proof vests, and by the world's only effective missile defense technology. We would not have had drones to do targeted work at a distance for our soldiers. We would not have the effective urban warfare doctrines that have prevented a repeat of Somalia.

 

Stephen Walt knows nothing of American national interest.

 

Stephen Walt knows only of his hatred for Israel...and we all know what usually causes that.

  REPLY

 

 

BEN10

 

1:07 AM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

Were it not for Israel we

 

Were it not for Israel we wouldn't have ethnic transfer and modern day apartheid against an indigenous population. Something else to be proud of.

  REPLY

 

 

JOHNBOY4546

 

1:09 AM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

"Stephen Walt is simply a bat-crazy Israel-hater"....

 

...oh, I see, you are talking about ANOTHER Stephen Walt.

 

Sorry, but this is Stephen Walt, the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.

 

He is neither crazy, nor does he hate Israel. He is a realist, and he doesn't think that the current Israel/USA relationship is realistic. So he calls for the USA to have a normal relationship with Israel, as opposed to an abnormal one.

 

He is hardly alone in that: many people both in the USA and in Israel thinks this current Israel/USA relationship is abnormal and, therefore, harmful to both countries.

 

Are they *all* bat-crazy?

  REPLY

 

 

PATTON368

 

6:36 AM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

that iraq and syria would

 

that iraq and syria would have nuclear weapons questionable but conceiveable. the kuwait thing was a america/nato operation so thats a blatant lie. the plo/hizzbulla argument could also swing( without isreal there would be disenfranchised populace that would seek out terrorism). the reactive bricks are cool but not really incorporated into the american fleet, seen them on bradleys and some strykers, what has really been a game changer is the chobam armor developed and given to us by the british. the vests... well also an american development, also we developed the patriot missile batteries that,get this.... defend isreal. the drones were actually a isreali developed technology that was shared with the u.s.a so you were right on that.and last time a checked according to what assets they had in mogadishu the rangers and CAG guys kicked ass, not so much for isreal and there little expedition into lebonan recently. not to knock isreali military prowess but urban warfare is much easier when civilian casualties dont factor into your roe. so as it stands.......... isreal gave us drone technology that we matured into impressive isr and killing platforms.

  REPLY

 

 

BETZ55

 

3:05 PM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

And we rest our case with frankic

 

The reflexive tendency to smear and marginalize critics of the “special relationship” by accusations of being either anti-semites or “self-hating” Jews has become a self-discrediting enterprise, because the charge keeps getting directed at people for whom it is so obviously false.

 

Smearing respected individuals such as Carter, Desmond Tutu, Tony Kushner, Tony Judt, Walt or others who disagree with Israels failed policies is transparently bogus and intended solely to stifle intelligent discourse on a vital subject.

 

And when defenders of any cause have to stoop to such tactics, it reveals that they are defending an increasingly weak case.

 

An even playing field is something that the Israelis and frankic abhor.

 

Israel and frankiec believes they are beyond criticism. When Israel is criticized it responds with bullying and name calling. The world knows this is what you do and the bullying and name calling becomes meaningless. When you can’t attack the facts you resort to name calling.

 

Anything short of effusive praise and deaf, dumb, and blind support for Israel is seen as evidence of bias.

 

“When you cannot attack someone’s facts or evidence, you call them names,” Walt said.

 

Perfect example is frankiec. Go back to your cubicle at the hasbara institute in your capitol Tel Aviv and stay there, your ilk are not welcome here anymore.

  REPLY

 

 

RONNIEB

 

3:50 PM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

Emotional and not logical

 

I read so many critiques of Walt and Mearsheimer but Walt can destroy them all, because he is right and the facts support him. All the critiques are emotional and not based in logic. The sad facts are that Israel is trying to steal the Palestinian land and kick them out. All the words are meant to distract you from noticing this outrage. Something amazing happened this week which was ignored by many of the US news outlets, although the Washington Post covered it. Nick Clegg, the deputy PM of the UK, speaking for his government at a press conference in London on Jan 16th, said that the Israeli settlements were "deliberate vandalism". That sums it all up brilliantly. My t-shirt is already printed. The world was listening and the truth can no longer be suppressed. The rules are changing and Walt and Mearsheimer should be congratulated for their courage in speaking out. The article by Kaplan is very patronizing and he in fact damns Mearsheimer with faint praise, I thought. He uses the same implied anti-semitic nonsense to try to undermine Mearsheimer's critique of Israel and indirectly accuses him of supporting antisemites. That is to say, if David Duke uses a public toilet that you have used, you are a suspected antisemite. The trick is not working any more I am pleased to say, in no small part thanks to Walt and Mearsheimer.

  REPLY

 

 

BETZ55

 

5:11 PM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

Oh, and one more thing frankiec

 

Hamas and Hezbollah each can credit its origin to Israeli occupation. Hamas was born on the eve of the first Palestinian Intifada, from a single incident when an Israeli truck mowed deliberately into a carload of Palestinian workers in the Gaza strip.

 

Officially formed in 1985, Hezbollah, in turn, was jumpstarted by Israel’s 1982 invasion and occupation of Southern Lebanon.

 

You are also ignoring the fact that Israel helped Hamas rise in the 1980s to defeat the PLO and then when the PLO ceased being effective advocates for its people, it embraced it and sidelined Hamas.

 

The armed insurgent is always a “terrorist” and a “fanatic” according to the occupier, but is seen as a hero and a liberator by the oppressed. Hamas is not going to go away. Hamas was democratically elected by the Palestinian people.

 

Zionism is the ethnic cleansing of all Palestinians from ‘Jewish’ land. You can’t accuse Hamas while ignoring all the right wingers in Israel who call for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and the daily terrorism by the illegal settler terrorist squatters. You’re a hypocrite and not very good one at that.

 

I and the most of the world do not deny the right of the Palestinian freedom fighters to resist the land expropriations and ethnic cleansing of the lands in their occupied territories. Nor do I deny them the right to resist Israeli oppression. They are as entitled as were the Jewish Freedom fighters of the Stern Gang, Irgun and Haganah.

 

You can not stop an idea with bombs. The Iranians can and will build a bomb just like Israel did, in secret.

  REPLY

 

 

TARQUINIS

 

4:38 PM ET

 

January 22, 2012

 

FRANKIEC is possibly ill

 

Thanks to Professors Walt and Mearsheimer for their ground breaking truth telling. In fact, they are better friends of Israel in terms of reality than all the emotionally ill hard core Zionists. I wonder when COMETLINEAR and the so called Marine Diaper will bounce in today.

 

Here is reality. It is a certain truth that the Zionist lobbies currently control American foreign policy. To publicly disagree with them will continue to draw the false flag attack of antisemitism. This will not change anytime soon but it is a big problem not only for America but also for Israel. Why?

 

Because as long as they control American foreign policy, they are exempt from reality. Which is that the periodic devastation, death by state assassination, the imprisonment of tens of thousands of Palestinians and dispossession of millions more from their homes and homeland, penning the remainder within huge concrete walls, and the Apartheid policies of Israeli state are TEMPORARILY shielded from their ultimate and certain consequences. History marches on, as it always does.

 

This cannot last. Everyone knows this. In reality, Israel has no better friend than those who maintain (such as the J Street Lobby) that it must be a just and mutually agreed two state solution, a one state solution (unitary, democratic and non-sectarian with one person, one vote) or unending war. An Apartheid Israel is morally abhorrent and politically unsustainable.

 

A third war against Iran that is in reality no offensive military threat against superpower Israel, for reasons of nuclear WMD which they do not have, and because of Iran's political opposition to Zionism, will bring us all to the clear tipping point. The consequences of such a war would be mass chaos from Lebanon to Pakistan. The Straights of Hormuz being largely shut. Figure out for yourself what that would mean. How does the thought of oil at say $300 per barrel strike you?

 

Very suddenly, all the usual ignorant Americans who see Israel as a metaphor, or a biblical prophesy, or as an ally (against whom or for what?) would in a single instant wake up and say, who brought this doom upon us? Who brought us total economic collapse? Then you would get a repeat of humanity's predilection for scapegoating and vengeance. The Jews again held responsible as a total people for wrongs done by the few but the powerful. In so many ways, this is not a good thing.

 

Have courage Professors Walt and Mearsheimer. You are working for the good. Very best of luck to you both.

  REPLY

 

 

USMARINESNIPER

 

1:05 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

Ben10 take a look in the mirror

 

"Were it not for Israel we wouldn't have ethnic transfer and modern day apartheid against an indigenous population. Something else to be proud of."

 

- You must be talking about your treatment and actions towards Native Americans. I didn't realize Israel made you do that.

  REPLY

 

 

USMARINESNIPER

 

1:08 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

Johnboy wipe that brown of your nose and jizz off your lips.

 

"Sorry, but this is Stephen Walt, the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University."

 

"He is neither crazy, nor does he hate Israel. He is a realist, and he doesn't think that the current Israel/USA relationship is realistic. So he calls for the USA to have a normal relationship with Israel, as opposed to an abnormal one."

 

LOL....what a canned, ass-kissing response. Henry Ford invented the Model T. He also hated blacks and Jews. Scholastic or other achievement does not mean one cannot be a bigot or antisemite.

  REPLY

 

 

USMARINESNIPER

 

1:13 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

If walt is so "right" then why does he continually jump to defend himself against minor critiques placed in obscure online magazines. Me thinks he doth protest too much.

 

Or when he defended Meersheimer, after his endorsement of an antisemitic book....

 

Or, when his supporters jump to his defense ranting about hamas and hezbollah and walt's chair at harvard........over a single pro-Israel poster's comments.

 

Such insecurity.....they appear to be afraid the thin veneer of "scholarship" covering their bigotry will be lifted.

  REPLY

 

 

PULLER58

 

5:35 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

Yet another neocon

 

This is all-too-familiar. Like folks like Marty Peretz and Alan Dershowitz, this gentleman resorts to name calling and dishonesty to attack something which threatens his narrow view of realpolitik. The fact remains that Israel's defenders often check their brains at the door when engaging in debate...

  REPLY

 

 

USMARINESNIPER

 

6:41 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

Puller you are a fucking idiot

 

and self-righteous. this is a junk-forum, where anyone posts whatever they want. Don't act like people of all sides don't engage in name calling.

 

I like how you ignore all idiocy from the anti-Israel / anti-semitic crowd on this board, such as this gem from "Tarquinis"

 

"emotionally ill hard core Zionists. I wonder when COMETLINEAR and the so called Marine Diaper will bounce in today."

 

Wow, "marine diaper"...lets just hope me and my Marine buddies never run into this "Tarquinis" in a bar....then again, I doubt he ever leaves his home. Probably still sucking on his mom's tit.

  REPLY

 

 

NEOLEFT

 

6:48 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

If walt is so "wrong " then why are his critics still

 

trying to bring him down 6 yeras after his paper was publiched?

 

>> Me thinks he doth protest too much.

 

Umm, you and your fellow Hasbrats are here doing all the protesting.

  REPLY

 

 

NEOLEFT

 

8:57 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

What Frankie means is the Walt drives Hasbrats batshit crazy

 

>> Israel is considered a friend and ally by the majority of Americans.

 

The majority of Americans can't find Israel on the map. They believe what they are told.

 

Israel's valusand America's are not aligned. Apartheid and ethnic cleansing are not an American value.

 

>> Were it not for Israel, Iraq and Syria would today have nuclear weapons.

 

False. Israel's bombing of Iraq's reactor actually convinced Saddam to pursue nuclear weapons to prevent it happening again.

 

There was no reactor bombed in Syria. Syria had no nuclear weapons program.

 

>> Iraq's would have been used to take over Kuwait without American intervention and to spike oil prices still further, hurting our economy and our working class, especially hard.

 

Israel's desire to bomb Iran will also spike oil prices.

 

>>Were it not for Israel, another two terrorist states would exist, one run by Hamas and one by the PLO.

 

Thanks to Israel illegally and militarily occupying Palestinian land.

 

>> And Hizbollah would be free to focus their own jihad on the U.S., rather than on Israel.

 

Rubbish. Hezbollah would not exist we're it not for Israel's invasion and 18 year occupation of Lebanin.

 

>> Were it not for Israel, our soldiers would not be protected by reactive armor, by the world's best bullet proof vests, and by the world's only effective missile defense technology.

 

Rubbish. The US troops are forced to wear government issued American made body armor. The Israeli defense missile technology has been exposed as a failure.

 

>> Stephen Walt knows nothing of American national interest.

 

Stop projecting.

 

>> Stephen Walt knows only of his hatred for Israel...and we all know what usually causes that

 

Israel's policies and behavior breeds hatred.

  REPLY

 

 

NEOLEFT

 

10:56 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

Come out of the closet USMarine

 

These repeated references to your homo eroic fantasies are gettign kinda creepy.

  REPLY

 

 

NEOLEFT

 

10:59 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

Fake Marine stil comparing Israel to 19th century

 

America.

 

>> You must be talking about your treatment and actions towards Native Americans. I didn't realize Israel made you do that.

 

I didn't realize that Israel was so desperate to relieve the 19th century just because it missed out.

 

BTW. The treatment and actions towards Native Americans is accepted as a crime against humanity and a shameful capter of Amrican history. Do you think we'll nned to wait 200 years for Israel to reach that level of maturity?

  REPLY

 

 

AREN HAICH

 

1:59 PM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

Spider's Web

 

Leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon has described Israeli lobby’s global influence and reach to a spider’s web.

One cannot take Stephen Walt seriously when he says that all is transparent and above the board about the Israeli lobby’s activities in the US and worldwide.

How can one explain the obvious pro-Israeli tilt of the most respectable Western media otherwise?

How can one sit through the packed Joint Session of Congress and watch the over 20 standing ovations the Israeli PM Netanyahu received thanks to the overwhelming influence of the Israeli lobby from the delegates for his highly charged political speech and not wonder that something must be very wrong and corrupt on the American political scene?

The “spider’s web” of Israeli lobby is well-established. All we have to do is to look for the spider at its center.

  REPLY

 

 

USMARINESNIPER

 

4:01 PM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

haha,. Neoleft, move out of your mom's basement

 

"trying to bring him down 6 yeras after his paper was publiched?"

 

First, please learn how to spell neoleft. "Publiched"? Did you graduate from third grade yet? Second, Walt has been brought down. His scholarship has been decried as "shoddy" and Walt has been on some butt-hurt effort ever since to prove he is right.

 

>> Me thinks he doth protest too much.

 

"Umm, you and your fellow Hasbrats are here doing all the protesting."

 

Actually, me and my fellow "hasbrats?" (again, please learn how to spell, you moron) are simply responding to an article. It is WALT who feels the need to write entire articles defending himself and that he is not a bigot. People like me just comment and laugh. Walt acts all butt-hurt on every post against him and writes essays defending himself.

  REPLY

 

 

USMARINESNIPER

 

4:07 PM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

Not only is neoleft a moron who can't spell

 

he also makes up "facts"

 

>> Israel is considered a friend and ally by the majority of Americans.

 

The majority of Americans can't find Israel on the map. They believe what they are told.

----Really? Prove it. Let's see some real data on this. Or, did you simply pull this out of your ass.

 

Israel's valusand America's are not aligned. Apartheid and ethnic cleansing are not an American value.

 

----Haha, coming from someone who lives in a nation that segregated blacks until the 1960s, lets them live in ghettos today, ethnically cleansed and murdered the native americans, and continues to let native americans live in sub-human conditions on "reservations" I find this statement pretty funny. Take a good long look in the mirror you ass-clown.

 

>> Were it not for Israel, Iraq and Syria would today have nuclear weapons.

 

"False. Israel's bombing of Iraq's reactor actually convinced Saddam to pursue nuclear weapons to prevent it happening again."

 

Haha, yeah prove it. Saddam was all bluster and no substance. He had no program and that was proved after the US 2003 invasion. Again, lets see your facts, idiot.

 

"There was no reactor bombed in Syria. Syria had no nuclear weapons program."

 

HAHAHA, except the nuclear reactor site bombed at the Deir ez-Zor region, which the IAEA found to be a nuclear reactor site. On April 28, 2010, the head of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano declared for the first time that the target was indeed the covert site of a future nuclear reactor, countering Syrian assertions.

 

NEOLEFT YOU ARE A LIAR AND FRAUD. STOP MAKING UP THINGS.

  REPLY

 

 

BETZ55

 

5:50 PM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

marine diaper

 

Proves our point to a T. marinediaper - every hasbaric post of yours turn another 3 or 4 people to the pro-Palestinian side. Keep it up, your doing our work for us! Just a suggestion for you - I have the solution for your problems! To open your medication bottle, you need to push the top DOWN, then twist! There, that should do it.

  REPLY

 

 

BKAPLOVITZ

 

5:56 PM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

Abbas’s Mufti Preaches Jewish Slaughter (Contentions)

 

From Commentary Magazine's "Contentions" Weblog

January 23, 2012

 

Abbas’s Mufti Preaches Jewish Slaughter

 

By Jonathan S. Tobin

 

For some in the West, including many left-wing Jews, the prime obstacle to peace remains an obdurate Israeli government whose hard-line policies need to change. This is the conceit behind groups like J Street; the left-wing lobby that claims its services are needed to save Israel from itself. Unfortunately for the group and its cheering section in the press, all that is needed to debunk their argument is to pay even the slightest attention to what the Palestinians–the intended object of the left-wingers’ solicitude–are doing and saying.

 

Their principal religious leader, Mufti Muhammad Hussein, provided the latest example of mainstream Palestinian opinion. Earlier this month, Hussein told a gathering commemorating the founding of the “moderate” Fatah Party the slaughter of the Jews remains their religious duty. The speech, broadcast on official Palestinian television on Jan. 9, is a classic anti-Semitic incitement to hatred and a violation of the peace accords the Palestinian Authority has signed. The fact that it is has largely gone unreported tells you all you need to know about the distorted vision of the Middle East by the mainstream media.

 

The program was, as Palestine Media Watch reports, introduced by a moderator who repeated a familiar theme in Muslim hate speech:

 

Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs is a war of religion and faith. Long Live Fatah!

 

The mufti’s reminder followed that to the faithful saying Islam’s goal is to kill Jews:

 

47 years ago the [Fatah] revolution started. Which revolution? The modern revolution of the Palestinian people’s history. In fact, Palestine in its entirety is a revolution, since [Caliph] Umar came [to conquer Jerusalem], and continuing today, and until the End of Days. The reliable Hadith (tradition attributed to Muhammad), in the two reliable collections, Bukhari and Muslim, says:

 

“The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews.

The Jew will hide behind stones or trees.

Then the stones or trees will call:

‘Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’

Except the Gharqad tree [which will keep silent].”

Therefore it is no wonder that you see Gharqad [trees]

surrounding the [Israeli] settlements and colonies.”

 

This is not the first time Mufti Hussein, who was appointed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, has spoken in this manner. He gave a similar sermon in Jerusalem in 2010 in which he preached that the Jews are “the enemies of Allah.” Israel has condemned this hate speech but there has been no disavowal by the Jewish state’s peace partners. Nor has the United Nations or the European Union, both of which have spoken of Jewish home building in Jerusalem as crimes, spoken out against it.

 

The point about this incident is how unremarkable it is for Palestinians to speak of killing Jews as a religious obligation. Anyone wondering how or why the PA could have rejected Israel’s offer of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and a share of Jerusalem three times between 2000 and 2008 need only read these words to know it is unthinkable for any Palestinian leader to sign an agreement that signifies their acceptance of the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. It is this sort of hate speech, and not Israeli settlements or insistence on security, that is holding up the peace process. Until statements such as those of Abbas’s mufti are regarded as outliers rather than mainstream opinion, the religious and political culture of Palestinian society will continue to make peace impossible.

 

--Posted By Jonathan S. Tobin, 1-23-2012, 10:15 AM

 

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/01/23/palestinian-mufti-abbas-kill-jews-islam/#more-781581

  REPLY

 

 

USMARINESNIPER

 

7:38 PM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

betz nice substantive post

 

marine diaper? Wow, you are such a mature human being. Betz shouldn't you get a job already? are you sad they kicked you out of Zuccati park? Are you sad Ron Paul said you were too batshit crazy even for his campaign?

 

Betz, everytime you post you turn 3 or 4 people on the fence to the side of Israel. Keep posting dear friend.

  REPLY

 

 

SABABA03

 

7:58 PM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

That "Indiginous" aagin.

 

BEN10 writes:

"....indigenous population. Something else to be proud of."

 

Yeah "indigenous people like Yasser Arafat, the very symbol and embodiment Palestinians

 

He was born in Egypt.

He grew up in Egypt

He got his Engineering degree from University in Cairo.

He carried an Egyptian Passport.

 

The the rest of the so called "Palestinians" are as "indigenous" as Arafat - As Newt Gingrich said it well - "an invented people".

  REPLY

 

 

BETZ55

 

9:49 AM ET

 

January 24, 2012

 

to marine diaper

 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH...

  REPLY

 

 

MAXLOC

 

2:42 PM ET

 

January 24, 2012

 

Do you really think?

 

Do you really think that Stephen Walt actually "hates" Israel? I think those are some pretty tough words... Is it possible that he dislikes part of what Israel stands for and how they have basically engrained themselves into American politics? That is entirely possible (hard to argue otherwise to be frank) but to use words like "hate" are taking things too far.

 

Sure, if everyone was in a zen state and relaxed... not so worried about positioning for power and how to get themselves "engrained in the US political system" I think things would flow easier... There is so much glut and corruption in the political system, nothing short of a detox would fix it.

  REPLY

 

 

BEN10

 

12:58 AM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

The Israel Lobby

 

The Israel Lobby was a seminal piece of work and foreign policy scholarship. It's unsuprising that the Israel lobby nexus has reacted with such hostility to it's central thesis, going so far as to misrepresent the book, it's content and libel it's authors. After all, the book can and has caused a shift in public opinion (both on the political right and left) which may in future provoke a change in policy in the middle east that could result in pressure on Israel to modulate it's behaviour.

 

To the lobby, committed as it is to Israeli security and strategic dominance above all else (in some cases to the detriment of the US), the premise that ideas that then lead to changes in public opinion, whichin turn lead to facts on the ground, isn't lost on them: it's an unbearable threat to it's power. But I don't believe this itself is lost on the wider readership, in more prosaic terms, when you have you finger in the electrical socket and everyone is getting very upset, you can be sure something important is at stake.

 

It's also worth nothing that I don't think The Israel Lobby itself has ever been reviewed in The New York Review of books, probably because it's content is too uncomfortable or unpalatable to it's readership. It was first published by the London Review Of Books. But looking in the NYRB today, especially David Bromich's piece on the 'Republican Nightmare' The book's influence is everywhere and inescapable, and it stands the test of time, which must be annoying to it's detractors.

  REPLY

 

 

COMMONSENSEFP

 

1:03 AM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

Goldberg vs. Greenwald

 

Professor Walt,

 

While I understand you wanting to defend your and Mearsheimer's book, the critics just keep levying the same flawed arguments and you keep refuting them in the same manner (sort of like modern IR critics of Waltz's Theory where critics "disprove" it by noting it can't explain certain aspects of non-great powers foreign policy). There's been an interesting discussion as of late of the alleged anti-Israeli strain within the Democratic Party (CAP and Media Matters) which I don't believe you've touched on here. In any case, one of the more controversial aspects of it is demonizing pro-Likud Americans as Israeli-firsters instead of addressing their arguments. Said pro-Likud Americans have objected to this despicable phrase noting the history behind it. In any case, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter given how much you've been demonized so much by the Pro-Likud Americans.

  REPLY

 

 

STEVELAUDIG

 

4:00 AM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

The Rock Man from the Pointless Forest

 

Harry Nilsson, in his album, The Point has a character. The Rock Man. "The Rock Man said "Say babe, there ain't nothing pointless about this gig. The thing is you see what you want to see, and you hear what you want to hear. You dig? You ever see Paris?" "No." "You ever see New Dehli?" "No." "Well that's it. You see what you want to see, and you hear what you want to hear." And with that the Rockman fell soundly asleep, leaving Oblio and Arrow once again all alone."

 

Kirsch could be 1] incurably stupid; 2] could be curably ignorant; 3] could be blind [possibly curable depends upon type of blindness]; or, 4] could be lying.

 

I'm betting on 1, 3 and 4.

  REPLY

 

 

KBC

 

4:01 AM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

How about the other lobbies?

 

How about the Saudi Lobby? How about the Saudi investments in USA? American government would not give the details of Saudi investments in USA.

 

The Zionists decide American foreign policy. The Zionists wanted US to bomb the Serbs twice to save the Bosnian Muslims.

 

The problem is not that the Israel lobby is the strongest. The real problem is that there is a weak Palestine lobby. The events of 911 were celebrated only in two places around the world with zeal. No it wasn't Israel. One was Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the other was West bank.

 

Why doesn't the Saudi lobby work for Palestinians. Not that it is a Saudi lobby, the Americans are not yet ready to call the Zionist state illegal. The great dream of Muslim warriors right from the year 1948 is destruction of Israel.

  REPLY

 

 

DLK

 

5:32 PM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

Netanyahu says 9/11 terror attacks good for Israel, HAARETZ

 

KBC writes:

 

“The events of 911 were celebrated only in two places around the world with zeal. No it wasn't Israel. One was Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the other was West bank.”

 

The infamous celebration was intentionally dropped from KBC’s account; it took place right in Liberty State Park, over-looking the Hudson, in New Jersey. The story was reported by The Forward, the oldest newspaper of the Jewish community in North America. They reported on one key aspect of the Israeli-9/11 connection:

 

“The story of the five employees of a moving van company apprehended hours after the twin towers were struck. They had been observed in Liberty State Park, New Jersey, overlooking the Hudson, with a clear view of the burning towers. A woman had seen them from the window of her apartment building overlooking the parking lot: they came out of a white van, and they were jumping up and down, high-fiving each other with obvious glee. Their mood, it could be said, was celebratory. They were also filming the towers as they burned, and taking still photos.” They all were Israelis or Jewish Israeli sympathizers.

 

One might understand Saddam’s motive for celebrating 9/11, but it takes considerable political savvy to understand why Israelis celebrate 9/11. There are excellent links on Israel and 9/11 that our mainstream media will never cover:

 

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2007/02/16/the-high-fivers/

 

http://www.antiwar.com/israeli-files.php

  REPLY

 

 

RAFAEL

 

8:19 PM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

The problem

 

"The problem is not that the Israel lobby is the strongest. The real problem is that there is a weak Palestine lobby." The problem is that the Israel Lobby stifles other lobbies and the MSM.

  REPLY

 

 

RAFAEL

 

8:51 PM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

The problem

 

"The problem is not that the Israel lobby is the strongest. The real problem is that there is a weak Palestine lobby." The problem is that the Israel Lobby stifles other lobbies and the MSM.

  REPLY

 

 

KBC

 

2:01 AM ET

 

January 22, 2012

 

@DLk

 

I don't know how much Walt believes in conspiracy theories though I am pretty sure he has lesser belief than me.

 

Don't know why I am getting in this with you but your conspiracy theories give more credence to Walt's intellectual bankruptcy.

  REPLY

 

 

DLK

 

3:01 AM ET

 

January 22, 2012

 

It is expected, ignore the message but attack the messenger.

 

KBC,

 

Well, I didn’t expect less from a Zionist of your caliber, who is unable to come up with the counter argument.

 

Your post mentioned those who celebrated 9/11 and you purposely left out those Israelis who expressed glee and great satisfaction that 9/11 took place.

 

Furthermore, I quoted Israeli and Jewish sources in my post (The Forward Jewish Daily, and the Israeli paper, HAARETZ). Nevertheless, it is expected that when the Israeli propagandists fail to come up with the counter argument, they resort to inflammatory accusations; the usual Anti-Semitism and the Conspiracy Theory charges.

 

BTW, you failed to tell us about the nature of your sourness. Had the 5 Israeli High-Fivers danced at Liberty State Park while watching the burning Twin Towers, as reported by the Forward, or not?

 

You, also, failed to tell us whether Netanyahu said that 9/11 was good for Israel, as reported by HAARETZ.

  REPLY

 

 

JOHNBOY4546

 

7:10 AM ET

 

January 22, 2012

 

"How about the Saudi Lobby?"

 

If you lobby on behalf of Saudi Arabia then you have to register as "an agent of a foreign government".

 

But if your organization exists to lobby on behalf of Israel then you don't have to register as "an agent of a foreign government".

 

Go figure, heh? Somehow - and I'm not certain how - Israel ceased to be "a foreign country".

 

Apparently at some stage in the recent past Israel become the 51st State of the Union, and nobody told the American public......

  REPLY

 

 

GILADG

 

12:11 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

Facts and history place Muslims and Arabs on the defense ..

 

And so they should.

  REPLY

 

 

USMARINESNIPER

 

4:23 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

johnboy you are a moron

 

If you lobby on behalf of Saudi Arabia then you have to register as "an agent of a foreign government".

 

What kind of bullshit is this? Do you understand what a foreign lobby is? Do you have any idea why someone would have to register as a foreign agent?

 

The Foreign Agents Registration act requires people and organizations that are under foreign control ("agents of a foreign principal") to register with the Department of Justice when acting on behalf of foreign interests.

 

AIPAC, the Oil Lobby, the Saudi (Arab) lobby are NOT under foreign control. They are domestic organizations, usually run by US nationals located and registered in the US ALONE, that seek to influence foreign policy. I know this is hard for someone like you to understand, but it is LEGAL for these groups to operate and they DO NOT have to register.

 

Learn to read and you would understand.

  REPLY

 

 

NEOLEFT

 

6:54 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

Saudi Lobby?

 

>> How about the Saudi Lobby?

 

Sorry, did I miss the Saudi Lobby annual conference, where US lawmakers line up to give speeches and declare the unbreakable bobe between ISrael and Saudi Arabia?

 

>> How about the Saudi investments in USA? American government would not give the details of Saudi investments in USA.

 

The Saudi investments in USA is public information.

 

>> The problem is not that the Israel lobby is the strongest. The real problem is that there is a weak Palestine lobby.

 

So weak that it doesn't exist. In fact, raising money in the US for Paletinian causes can land you in prison.

 

>> The events of 911 were celebrated only in two places around the world with zeal. No it wasn't Israel. One was Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the other was West bank.

 

Make that 3 places. The third was in Brooklyn, where 5 Israelis were caught dancing in celebration.

 

>> Why doesn't the Saudi lobby work for Palestinians.

 

a. because there isn't one and

b. The Saudi leadership are tyrants

 

>> Not that it is a Saudi lobby, the Americans are not yet ready to call the Zionist state illegal.

 

Thanks to the lobby.

  REPLY

 

 

NEOLEFT

 

6:56 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

Facts and history Gilad?

 

>> Facts and history place Muslims and Arabs on the defense ..

 

Yeah sure, that's why Netenyahu has declared world opinion,l Haaretz and the NYT to be the greatest threats to Israel.

 

Go figure.

  REPLY

 

 

NEOLEFT

 

7:03 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

Fake Sniper has nothign better to do than talk trash

 

>> AIPAC, the Oil Lobby, the Saudi (Arab) lobby are NOT under foreign control.

 

Of course they are. AIPAC is little more than an arm of the Likud party. Before they called themselves AIAPC, the lobby was known as the American Zionist Council.

 

In the early 1960's Israel funneled $5 million (more than $35 million in today's dollars) into US propaganda and lobbying operations. The funds were channeled via the quasi governmental Jewish Agency's New York office into an Israel lobby umbrella group, the American Zionist Council. Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigations and hearings documented funding flows, propaganda, and public relations efforts and put them into the record. But the true fate of the American Zionist Council was never known, except that its major functions were visibly shut down and shifted over to a former AZC unit known as the "Kenen Committee," called the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (or AIPAC) in the late 1960's.

 

John F Kennedy tried repeatedly to force the AZC to registers as a foreign lobby, and never did the lobby argue that it was a domestic organization.

  REPLY

 

 

USMARINESNIPER

 

4:10 PM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

NEOLEFT - prove it you idiot

 

wow, more unsubstantiated statements coming out of neoleft's ass.

 

"Of course they are. AIPAC is little more than an arm of the Likud party. Before they called themselves AIAPC, the lobby was known as the American Zionist Council."

 

REALLY? Prove it. Lets see some documents showing how AIPAC is an official registered arm of the Likud Party.

 

The Arab lobby in the United States is a collection of formal and informal groups and professional lobbyists paid directly by Arab governments that lobby the public and government of the United States on behalf of Arab interests.[1][dead link] and/or on behalf of Arab-American rights in the United States.

 

Many of the players in the Arab lobby are paid directly by Arab governments, the New York Times describes them as an "elite band of former members of Congress, former diplomats and power brokers who have helped Middle Eastern nations navigate diplomatic waters here on delicate issues like arms deals, terrorism, oil and trade restrictions." Powerful lobbyists working on behalf of the Arab lobby include Bob Livingston, Tony Podesta, and Toby Moffett. Arab governments have paid "tens of millions of dollars" to "top" lobbying firms that work to influence the American government.[8] This includes the Saudi Arabia lobby, Egypt lobby and the Libya lobby.

 

In the wake of 9/11, Saudi Arabia hired the lobbying firms Patton Boggs and Qorvis, paying $14 million dollars a year.[8][9]

 

Lobby fees paid by Arab governments to individual firms "commonly" reach levels of $50,000 and above. In 2009 alone the United Arab Emirates spent $5.3 million. The Emirates were seeking nuclear technology. In 2009 Morocco spent $3 million and Algeria spent $600,000 on Washington, D.C. lobbyists, and Turkey spent $1.7 million. According to Howard Marlowe, president of the American League of Lobbyists, "“These kinds of regimes have a lot of money at their disposal, and that’s a great attraction.”[8]

 

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) was started in 1980 by United States Senator James Abourezk. It is the largest Arab-American grassroots civil rights organization in the United States. Former US Congresswoman Mary Rose Oakar is the current president. ADC is at the forefront in addressing anti-Arabism - discrimination and bias against Arab Americans. It also advocates what it calls a more balanced US policy towards the Middle East.[10]

 

The Arab American Institute ("AAI"), founded in 1985 by James Zogby, is a non-profit, membership organization and advocacy group based in Washington D.C. that focuses on the issues and interests of Arab-Americans nationwide. The organization seeks to increase the visibility of Arab-American involvement as voters and candidates in the American political system. It issues "Action Alerts" and encourages individual lobbying and participation in an annual national lobby day. It has promoted actively professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.[11]

 

According to ProPublica, 4 of the top 10 governments lobbying in Washington are Arab, in terms of spending. The United Arab Emirates places first, having spent $10,914,002 in 2007 and 2008. Iraq, Morocco and Saudi Arabi also each spent over $3 million, and the non-Arab, middle Eastern nation of Turkey also spent over $3 million.[12]

  REPLY

 

 

KBC

 

2:50 AM ET

 

January 24, 2012

 

@Neoleft

 

The Saudi investments in USA is public information.

 

Yet, information regarding the magnitude of the Saudi economic infiltration into the United States is secret. The U.S. Treasury’s interpretation of the census law, supported by a 1982 court decision, shields this data from the public. On Oct. 27, 1982, the American Jewish Congress (AJC) was denied information requested under its own FOIA inquiry, by the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. (Civ. A. No. 81-1745). The AJC litigated its FOIA case up to the Supreme Court, but the government won.

 

Indeed, filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Commerce is useless. FOIA Director Burton H. Reist stated in December that this data “is protected by Title 13, United States Code, Section 9, which requires that census records be used solely for statistical purposes and also makes these records confidential.” Furthermore, FOIA “exempts from disclosure records that are made confidential by statute.” In other words, the government wants this information kept secret.

 

For better information :

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2006/jan/15/20060115-103622-3038r/?page=all

  REPLY

 

 

KBC

 

3:06 AM ET

 

January 24, 2012

 

@neoleft

 

The third was in Brooklyn, where 5 Israelis were caught dancing in celebration.

 

Again a conspiracy theory that your cousins in press tv are gleefully propagating. It was based on a testimony of a single woman.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=123885&page=1#.Tx4ebKWonAF

 

What your terrorist friend Osama Bin Laden said on his infamous tapes might convince you. So stop these conspiracy theories for they make someone like Walt even less convincing.

 

Whatever is happening in Palestine is not caused by Israelis. In fact Israel provides more rights to Arabs than any other Arabian country. The problem for so called Palestinians is self created where they would not take anything less than the whole Israel. This is what they tried in 1948 and lost. Don't be sour losers and leave your arms and sit down for talks.

But we all know it is impossible to expect a hate filled Arab terrorist to talk about peace.

  REPLY

 

 

TIMING

 

5:04 AM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

hey ben

 

you must be talking about the ethnic genocide by the european and american colonists against the native indigenous indians, right? :-)

  REPLY

 

 

BEN10

 

4:26 PM ET

 

January 21, 2012

 

Timing is off

 

No I wasn't, hence the term 'modern day apartheid' and 'ethnic transfer', both of which are quite distinct from genocide or indeed industrial scale genocide. Both are abhorent, we can all agree on that.

 

It's curious though, you say it as if European ethno-genocide, in the Americas, and in Australasia for example, is something to be justified. As a way for Israel's behaviour to be excused in historical terms. As a Jew, I find that quite disturbing, living as I do, less then seventy years after the Holocaust - a horrible act of European genocide. That Israel has basically created the word's biggest prison camp, packed with women and children in Gaza (nearly all of them refugees or the children of refugees) who are imprisoned by a walls, watched over by IDF soldiers and drones - is something we should all be ashamed of.

  REPLY

 

 

USMARINESNIPER

 

1:16 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

haha, I've been to gaza

 

and the US "reservations" of native americans are more of a prison camp than anything the palesitnians have. Those reservations have less than 50% literacy rates, zero economic output and lack basic services. Not to mention the crime rate through the roof.....maybe you need to look in your own backyard.......

  REPLY

 

 

NEOLEFT

 

7:05 AM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

I've been to Gaza too

 

The US "reservations" of native americans are a Club Med compared to the open air prison camp known as Gaza.

 

For one thing, tje US "reservations" are not bombed on a daily basis or under siege.

  REPLY

 

 

USMARINESNIPER

 

4:13 PM ET

 

January 23, 2012

 

haha, you haven't been to gaza

 

you are a known liar. You can't speak hebrew or arabic.

 

And gaza isn't being bombed on a daily basis you ass. Nor are the population centers continually under fire. So what native american reservation were you at? Please tell me. And how did you enter gaza? Fucking liar.

 

Native american reservations are more dangerous than gaza. The crime rate is through the roof. More bullets flying and more poverty and intoxication (alcohol) than in most other places.

  REPLY

 

 

SCOTTINDALLAS

 

2:19 PM ET

 

January 24, 2012

 

been to Gaza

 

"Marine," you've evidently been to neither. Gaza is as dense a collection of humanity as there is on earth. The US "Indian Reservations" are open and relatively un-populated. To compare them shows a total lack of credibility or knowledge. Before you threaten anyone Marine, I'll put my ruggers against your small clique of fake Marines anyday. Come to Dallas big talker. I'll use your foot to dislocate your teeth. Then, your toothless mouth will be better for the cocksucking you so relish.

  REPLY

 

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Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.

 

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