Mearsheimer and Walt have written an excellent exposition of the Israel Lobby, both in articles and in their most recent book. But they have had to spend a great deal of words and time assuring their readers that they are not anti-Semites, an accusation that has been the main force of the attack on them by the Israel Lobby. There is a well-rehearsed chorus of Israel supporters lying in wait for whoever dares to criticize Israel’s policies, ready to pounce, catlike, and with great force on the unfortunate miscreant. What is interesting is that I have yet to see any of Mearsheimer and Walt’s pro-Israel critics challenge the accuracy of what they have written. Those critics rely on the charge of anti-Semitism, as well as vague, unspecified allegations of inaccuracies in what they have written.
The title of Fisk’s new work is a mocking one, taken from a campaign medal his father won as a British officer in the First World War–which few people, and certainly not Fisk, see now as having been a war for civilization.
In 1985 I traveled to the United States for a lecture tour. I was then still the co-director of Al Haq the West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, a human rights organization which I helped establish six years earlier.
My worry was that this might be another leftist book that glibly made analogies between Israel and South Africa. I worried that the story would be more about being a privileged white western woman living with Palestinian others and not enough about the Arab Israeli citizens of this town and their lives.
There’s an old saying among the Jews that goes something along the lines of: we don’t need others to destroy us, because we’re pretty good destroying ourselves. In other words, the red flags were already up when Richard Ben Cramer a “self-confessed proud Jew and pro-Israel supporter” came along and wrote How Israel Lost – the Four Questions.