Saturday, September 1, 2007
By Tony Karon
"......Like the tech-bubble and real estate-bubble, Washington’s “Israel bubble” is unhealthy and dangerous — in fact, it not only jeopardizes U.S. interests throughout the region and beyond (by serving as Exhibit A for any anti-American element anywhere in the Islamic world to win the political contest with America’s friends), but it is also exceedingly bad for Israel: Particularly over the past decade, the U.S. has essentially enabled Israeli behavior so self-destructive that it may have already precluded any chance of it being able to live at peace with its neighbors.
It is the lancing of this Israel bubble — in the best interests of the United States, the Arab world, and Israel’s own prospects for peaceful coexistence with its neighbors — that John Mearshimer and Steven Walt have dedicated themselves, first in last year’s London Review of Books essay and now in a new book, titled “The Israel Lobby.”.....
But regardless of a number of specific instances that I might analyse somewhat differently, I have no quarrel with its central argument that U.S. policy on Israel and its neighbors is grotesquely biased in favor not only of Israel, but of Israel’s most self-destructive impulses. As such, it is a policy dangerous to U.S. interests and ultimately to those of Israel itself. This biased is maintained and policed in substantial part by an aggressive lobbying effort by an elaborate pro-Israel political infrastructure. Despite its analytical weaknesses, it is a refreshingly candid and courageous (given the all too common fate of those who tackle this taboo — just take a look at the important logging of this stuff at Muzzlewatch) embrace of what has long been the “third rail” of American foreign policy, insisting that a debate be conducted where none has been tolerated until now......
This phenomenon is reflective of a trend that has been confirmed to me anecdotally dozens of times, both in the U.S. and at home in South Africa, where some Jewish liberals of faultlessly progressive politics on every other issue turn into raving tribal belligerents of the Ariel Sharon hue when the conversation turns to Israel. We’ve all seen it, dozens of times, I’m sure — although I’m pleased to say I know a lot more whose politics are consistent, and are not prone to being possessed by Zionist Mr. Hydes.
David Remnick is not among them, unfortunately. In response to Mearshimer and Walt, New Yorker editor Remnick offers a fresh specimen of the denial pathology.
What is most strking about his piece, however, is that it is more of a kvetch, designed to discredit M&W in the eyes of New Yorker readers, than a serious engagement with their argument......."