Israel Did Not Send the U.S. and Britain into Iraq

(New Republic) John B. Judis - Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, the authors of The Israel Lobby, have been dead wrong in trying to blame the Israel lobby or the Israeli government for America's invasion of Iraq. And now Walt is repeating the same nonsense in a recent column on the Foreign Policy website, where he wrote that Tony Blair's testimony last month before Britain's Iraq War Commission confirmed that "the Israel lobby...played a key role in the decision to invade Iraq in 2003." I have read Blair's testimony. I don't find it to be proof of anything of the kind. Walt does not seem to have taken the trouble to have read the transcript of Blair's testimony. If he had, he would have realized that Blair was not talking about how invading Iraq might benefit Israel, but about the conflict then occurring between Israel and the Palestinians. The second intifada had reached a new height with the Passover and Haifa suicide bombings and the beginning of the siege at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Blair was concerned that the Bush administration was not actively pursuing the peace process and wanted the administration to put the Arab-Israeli issue on a par with the threat of Iraq. These discussions led eventually to getting Bush to launch the "Roadmap" for peace. The discussions Blair and Bush had with the Israelis were not about Iraq but about the peace process. The writer is a senior editor at The New Republic and a visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

2010-02-19 09:07:13

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