Anti-Semitism and the Anti-Israel Lobby

[Wall Street Journal] Jeff Robbins - A crop of Israel's critics - most prominently Jimmy Carter and now Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer - have managed something of a feat: They express no concerns about the massive pro-Arab effort, funded in significant measure by foreign oil money, taking American Jews to task for participating in the American political process; meanwhile, they inoculate themselves against charges of anti-Jewish bias by preemptively predicting that "the Jewish lobby" will accuse them of it. The Saudis have not been shy about supplementing their considerable leverage in the U.S. by targeting expenditures to affect the debate over Middle East policy by funding think tanks, Middle East studies programs, advocacy groups, community centers and other institutions. Just last year Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated $20 million each to Harvard and Georgetown Universities for programs in Islamic studies. Walt and Mearsheimer have repackaged the "the-Jews-run-the-country" stuff which has long been the bread and butter of anti-Semites. But if anti-Semitism is too harsh a term, perhaps one can conclude that "anti-Jewish bias" fits the bill here. After all, where there is nothing wrong with foreign money from Arab countries advancing a pro-Arab agenda, in Walt's and Mearsheimer's world there is something very wrong with American citizens who are Jewish exercising their civic right to speak out on behalf of Israel and taking issue with the pro-Arab agenda. The writer was a U.S. Delegate to the UN Human Rights Commission during the Clinton administration.

2007-09-07 01:00:00

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