07 January 2008

07 January 2008 - Walt & Mearsheimer lie about Obama, et al.

Walt & Mearsheimer take another opportunity in the L.A. Times today to bash Israel. They complain that no presidential candidate is “energetically championing a two-state solution.” They claim that this is because Jews are a key electoral factor in several states, including Florida, and because hard-liners in Jewish community organizations would make sure that they lost the election.

Their argument relies on several misrepresentations. They imply that Howard Dean lost the race for the Democratic nomination in 2004 because of Jewish concerns about his position on Israel. Actually, Dean did a pretty good job of self-destructing (anyone remember the rebel yell?). And Kerry turned out to be the stronger, more moderate, more electable (but ultimately unelected) candidate.

They also claim that the views of American supporters of Israel “have been obstacles to peace for many years.” Really? Not the Qassam rockets raining down on Ashkelon? Not the suicide bombing campaign launched by Palestinian terror groups and blessed by Palestinian Authority leaders? Not Arafat’s inability to make crucial compromises for the sake of peace—not just in 2000 but for decades before?

There is more than a hint of anti-Semitism in the way Walt & Mearsheimer assume Israel is the key issue for Jewish voters. Their worst lie, however—made worse because five minutes of Internet research proves the opposite—is their claim that “none” of the candidates seems to care about pushing for a two-state solution (not even Ron Paul!). Well, here’s what the two apparent front-runners have to say:

Barack Obama’s website says that he “…will make a sustained push – working with Israelis and Palestinians – to achieve the goal of two states, a Jewish state in Israel and a Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security.”

John McCain puts the emphasis in the right place, noting that it is Hamas, not Israel, that has to accept the two-state solution: ". . . Hamas must change itself fundamentally - renounce violence, abandon its goal of eradicating Israel and accept the two-state solution.”

In fact it would be difficult to find a serious presidential candidate who opposed a two-state solution. The reason that U.S. policy towards Israel is not an election issue is that two-thirds of Americans—never mind Jews—support Israel. No serious political candidate is going to oppose something two-thirds of the country supports. But never mind the facts: Walt & Mearsheimer are determined to bash Israel. And in so doing, they are prepared to slander the candidates and insult the American people.


At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sent a letter into the LA Times in response to Walt/Mearsheimers: "Israel's False Friends" -
Friends usually prefer to not wash the dirty linen of their relationships publicly. A fortiori would this apply to one friend who lifted another up from the very depths of despair, as the United States did for the Jewish people after the Second World War. Seeing that Mearsheimer and Walt make it abundantly clear that the current democratically elected government of Israel is vigorously pursuing a two state solution together with its American friend, and even quotes the current Israeli prime minister in support of their own policy recommendations, isn't it obvious that Presidential candidates see no advantage to being holier than the pope? What Mearsheimer and Walt are after is a comprehensive crisis in U.S. - Israel relations because they think the relationship was a mistake to begin with. If Arab leaders believe that Mearsheimer and Walt have significant influence on American policy making today, there will be no peace, as the Arabs will continue in their hope for a world without Israel. For there to be peace, America must be a good and true friend, not a false friend like Mearsheimer or Walt.
Rabbi David Hoffman
Congregation Beth Knesset Bamidbar,
Lancaster, California
It will be interesting to see what the LA Times publishes as responses to Walt/Mearsheimer.
Regards from me and my family to our mutual friends.


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