An article by two prominent US academics arguing that the pro-Israel lobby exerts a dominant and damaging influence on US foreign policy has triggered a furious debate, pitting allegations of anti-Semitism against claims of intellectual intimidation.
Stephen Walt, the academic dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and John Mearsheimer, a political science professor at the University of Chicago, published two versions of the essay, "The Israel Lobby," in the London Review of Books and on a Harvard Web site.
The pro-Israel lobby and its sway over US policy has always been a controversial issue, but the bluntly worded polemic created a firestorm, drawing condemnation from left and right of the political spectrum.
Walt's fellow Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz -- criticized in the article as an "apologist" for Israel -- denounced the authors as "liars" and "bigots" in the university newspaper, the Harvard Crimson, and compared their arguments to neo-Nazi literature.
"Accusations of powerful Jews behind the scenes are part of the most dangerous traditions of modern anti-Semitism," wrote two fellow academics, Jeffrey Herf and Andrei Markovits, in a letter to the London Review of Books.
Mearsheimer said the storm of protest proved one of its arguments -- that the strength of the pro-Israel lobby stifled debate on US foreign policy.
"We argued in the piece that the lobby goes to great lengths to silence criticism of Israeli policy as well as the US-Israeli relationship, and that its most effective weapon is the charge of anti-Semitism," Mearsheimer said in an interview. "Thus, we expected to be called anti-semites, even though both of us are philo-semites and strongly support the existence of Israel."
The article argues that the US has "been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies" to advance Israeli interests, largely as a result of pressure from Jewish American groups such as the American Israeli Political Action Committee allied to pro-Zionist Christian evangelists and influential Jewish neo-conservatives such as former Pentagon officials Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and Richard Perle. It argues their combined influence was critical in the decision to go to war in Iraq.
India has moved additional troops along its northern border as it prepares for an extended conflict with China, after several rounds of talks failed to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. China has already placed about 5,000 soldiers and armored vehicles within its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh region, an Indian government official said, asking not to be identified, citing rules. India is adding a similar number of troops as well as artillery guns along the border to fend off the continuing incursions by the Chinese army, the official said. The standoff began on May 5, when troops clashed
CLOSELY TRACKED: A US officer said that the warplanes were watched as they flew from Russia by way of Iran and Syria to Libya and were photographed multiple times The US Africa Command flatly rejected Russian claims that Moscow did not deploy fighter jets to Libya, saying on Friday that the 14 aircraft flown in reflect Russia’s long-term goal to establish a foothold in the region that could threaten NATO allies. US Brigadier General Gregory Hadfield, deputy director of intelligence, said that the US tracked the MiG-29s and Su-24 fighter bombers flown in by Russian military, passing through Iran and Syria before landing at Libya’s al-Jufra air base. The base is the main forward airfield for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army, which has been waging an
Singapore’s otters, long adored by the city-state’s nature lovers, are popping up in unexpected places during the COVID-19 lockdown, but their antics have angered some and even sparked calls for a cull. With the streets empty, the creatures have been spotted hanging out by a shopping center, scampering through the lobby of a hospital and even feasting on pricey fish stolen from a pond. While many think of tiny Singapore as a densely populated concrete jungle, it is also relatively green for a busy Asian city, and has patches of rainforest, fairly clean waterways and abundant wildlife. There are estimated to be about
Indonesian officials are forcing people who break social distancing rules to recite Koran verses, stay in “haunted” houses and submit to public shaming on social media as the country battles to contain surging novel coronavirus infections. The Southeast Asian archipelago began deploying about 340,000 troops across two dozen cities to oversee enforcement of measures aimed at halting transmission of the disease, such as wearing masks in public. However, provincial leaders are buttressing these efforts with their own zealous campaigns to fight the coronavirus. Police in western Bengkulu Province have assembled a 40-person squad to find lockdown scofflaws and force them to wear