Practically all of my adult life,I have witnessed both broad and very specific attacks on the pro-Israel community.Indeed it was Saudia Arabia through the efforts of Prince Bandar ,that brought us the AIWAC fiasco in 1989.Their successful attempt to bring about that sale regardless of cost was documented by Steve Emerson in his book"The American House of Saud" .It was that battle that motivated me to become involved in AIPAC and of course to susequently start and build HUVPAC.
Normally,thiswould not be the time or place to document the continued attacks on the political activity of the pro-Israel community, were it not for the report that came out this weekend from the Harvard Univ. JFK School of Govt. and the University of Chicago entitled "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy"
Written by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt,this 81 page (including footnotes)paper, can be summed up with the conclusion that Israel is a strategic liability not asset to the US,and were there no Israel lobby, Iran would not be a danger to the US or the world.
It is a typical European-type liberal attack of Israel as a Democracy.It questions Israel's role and rationale for existence,and questions whether Israel is a loyal ally at all.Is there a moral basis for "privileging " it over the Palestinians ? ask the authors.
It presents a straight forward anti-zionist revisionist history.
The authors describe 1300 years of continued Arab control of Palestine as the majority population.
Secondly it states that 1947-8 gave the Jews the opportunity to drive 700,000 Palestinians into exile -.They note that Arab leaders urged them to stay, but the Zionists forced them out.(Thus the need for a right of return)
The report then seeks to relive (from 1982-when the pro-Israel Pac movement began its vibrancy) all of the lies and attacks on AIPAC and the loyal American citizens whose only crime was to be activists with their time,money,votes and committments on behalf of a cause they believe in-the survival of a fellow democracy-Israel,
The authors seek to avoid the entire concept of " Participatory Democracy" where every citizen has the same opportunity to organize and lobby.
Are we to blame if the pro-arab community has tried to emulate us but has failed?
Should we be ashamed when the pro-arab community tried in 1989 to dimantle our infrastructure by taking AIPAC and HUVPAC and others to the FEC, but failed?
Should we be blamed if the American public in state after state after state has supported candidates who are proud of their pro-Israel voting records?.
Should we be ashamed of Christian and other non-Jewish groups who come to visit Israel and see not occupiers, but peace loving hard working individuals,who live by the rule of law,with funtioning courts in a vibrant democracy.Their only crime is that they seek to defend themselves.They see a free press ,womens rights,a citizen army, growing industry and tehnology,unions and a love of their relationship with a fellow democracy-the US.They did not dance in the streets on 9/11 when the WTC and Pentagon were hit.Americans who visit or study Israel don't see suicide bombers in the name of religion.They do see Ethiopian Jews being integtated into society at every level.
This report is so extensive that a true review requires more than a few paragraphs.Although over the last 35 years as the pro_Israel community has grown in numbers and political strength. almost each one of these charges and lies have been answered .Were it not the academic source of these charge the paper would be considered a rehash of old and discredited charges and innuendoes..
This paper is an attack on neo-conservatism and their supporters (code for Jews). Whether the war on Iraq, pressure on Syria,the Iranian controversy, and even the Presidents push for Democracy in the middle East can all be somehow blamed on the" lobby".
This paper is too extensive for me to do a line by line review at this early stage, but I hope those with the time and resources will undertake the effort-It is critical that the charges and half-truths not go unanswered.In addition a closer look at who the authors are is certainly indicated.They are no friends of President Bush.