More On The Israel Lobby

This opinion piece by Daniel Levy in the Israel newspaper Haaretz largely supports the conclusion of the John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt study to which I posted a link this morning. The basic conclusion is the that pursuance of the foreign policies advanced by the Israel Lobby have made the world, specifically the Middle East, more dangerous for both the USA and Israel. The piece is well worth a read.

Levy argues in this excerpt the Israel Lobby should divorce the neoconservatives and Christian right and to stop stifling debate through intimidation:

First, efforts to collapse the Israeli and neoconservative agendas into one have been a terrible mistake – and it is far from obvious which is the tail and which is the dog in this act of wagging. Iraqi turmoil and an Al-Qaida foothold there, growing Iranian regional leverage and the strengthening of Hamas in the PA are just a partial scorecard of the recent policy successes of AIPAC/neocon collaboration.

Second, Israel would do well to distance itself from our so-called “friends” on the Christian evangelical right. When one considers their support for Israel’s own extremists, the celebration of our Prime Minister’s physical demise as a “punishment from God” and their belief in our eventual conversion – or slaughter – then this is exposed as an alliance of sickening irresponsibility.

Third, Israel must not be party to the bullying tactics used to silence policy debate in the U.S. and the McCarthyite policing of academia by set-ups like Daniel Pipes’ Campus Watch. If nothing else, it is deeply un-Jewish. It would in fact serve Israel if the open and critical debate that takes place over here were exported over there.

Fourth, the Lobby even denies Israel a luxury that so many other countries benefit from: of having the excuse of external encouragement to do things that are domestically tricky but nationally necessary (remember Central Eastern European economic and democratic reform to gain EU entry in contrast with Israel’s self-destructive settlement policy for continued U.S. aid).

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