May 11, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Harvard Professor Stephen Walt giving his recent Hisham B. Sharabi Memorial Lecture, titled Deja Vu All Over Again?: Iraq, Iran and the Israel Lobby.
March 5, 2012 § Leave a Comment
US president Barack Obama today welcomes arguably his least favourite foreign leader to the White House. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit neatly coincides with the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac). That event offers both men a chance to appeal to some of Israel’s most ardent American supporters. We can therefore expect to hear repeated references to the “common interests”, “unshakeable bonds” and “shared values” of the two countries.
This familiar rhetoric is misleading at best and at worst simply wrong. No states have identical interests, and Israel and America are at odds on two vital issues: Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mr Obama should continue to rebuff Israel’s efforts to push him into military confrontation with Tehran, while reminding Mr Netanyahu the true danger to Israel lies in its refusal to allow a viable Palestinian state…
June 24, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Steve Walt, co-author of the ground-breaking The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, gave a keynote address on “Obama’s Foreign Policy and the End of the American Era” at an event is co-hosted by the IIEA and UCD’s Clinton Institute for American Studies. You can download the Post Event Notes from this event here.
November 25, 2010 § Leave a Comment
From Al Jazeera’s excellent Empire with Marwan Bishara.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is the largest military force ever assembled, with a potential armed force of more than seven million. But as its original enemies, communism and the Soviet Union, were defeated two decades ago, what is the alliance’s new identity or new role?
September 25, 2010 § 2 Comments
The Palestine Center hosted a panel entitled The New Media and the Palestine Question. In Part One, Professor Jerome Slater and Adam Horowitz discuss how blogging changes the public discussion. In Part Two (over the fold), MJ Rosenberg and Professor Stephen Walt discuss how blogging affects policy change.
July 24, 2010 § 4 Comments
by M.J. Rosenberg
For two days, the Atlantic’s Jeff Goldberg has been calling Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer and other critics of Bibi Netanyahu “anti-Semites.” Nothing new about that. For Goldberg, a major AIPAC neocon, all critics of Israeli policies are anti-Semites by definition. (See this good piece on Goldberg).
But why is he obsessing about Walt so much now?
It is because, in August, Goldberg is coming out with his big Atlantic piece calling on the United States to bomb Iran so that Israel does not have to.
But Goldberg has a problem. As an American who chose to serve in the Israeli army (he was a guard at a Palestinian prison camp), he fears that Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer — who accused the Likud lobby of promoting war with Iraq in their groundbreaking bestseller — will point out that Goldberg is just about the least credible advocate for war with Iran.
May 27, 2009 § 2 Comments
Stephen Walt highlights why the House of Congress’ pledge of $1.5 billion per annum non-military aid for Pakistan isn’t going to do much to change the effect of disasterous American meddling.
At the New Yorker blog, Steve Coll reports that the U.S. Congress is preparing a five-year $1.5 billion per annum non-military aid package for Pakistan, with full support from the Obama administration. (You can read the text of the legislation, entitled the “Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act,” here.)
This step sounds impressive, until one remembers that Pakistan’s population is nearly 180 million and its GDP in 2006 was about $144 billion. So the aid package amounts to around a 1 percent increase in Pakistani GDP, which works out to about $8 for each Pakistani. In other words, the U.S. Congress is going to increase their per capita income from $850 per year to about $858. (It’s actually less than that, because some of the money goes to administrative expenses, auditing, and the like.) « Read the rest of this entry »
March 23, 2009 § 1 Comment
In an apparent acknowledgment that the Freeman controversy has once again confirmed John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s thesis, apologists for the Israel lobby have renewed their assault on the two professors who first drew attention to its power. The effort I believe is meant to preempt people turning to their book for answers by tainting their reputation. Since the right has little credibility on this, the charge has been led this time by ‘liberal’ Zionists such as David Rothkopf and Jonathan Freedland. My friend Phil Weiss recently posted a brilliant defence of Rothkopf’s scurrilous attack on M&W by Middle East scholar Jerome Slater. I am hoping to find some time so I can respond to Freedland’s equally specious arguments.
Phil Weiss writes: ‘What I have urged more than anything else in the Israel lobby discussion is: discussion! Because only with open discussion can the true extent of the Israel lobby be understood. Chas Freeman’s ouster has had a huge effect, of course. A week or so back David Rothkopf published a vicious attack on Walt and Mearsheimer at Foreign Policy suggesting the lobby is a figment of their gentile imaginations. Below, Jerry Slater, a friend of this site who has published his own critique of Walt and Mearsheimer and is distinguished for practicing the new history of Israel/Palestine in our country, leaps to the scholars’ defense re Rothkopf. An ardent, sincere, and moving argument.’
In the year and a half since the publication of John Mearsheimer’s and Stephen Walt’s Israel Lobby, the attacks on the book’s main arguments as well as personal attacks on its authors have intensified–even as Israeli policies and behavior towards the Palestinians have become more disastrous than ever, and even as the lobby demonstrated its muscle in its successful effort to induce Obama to abandon support for the appointment of Charles Freeman as Director of the National Intelligence Council.
March 10, 2009 § 3 Comments
An important post by Glenn Greenwald which deserves to be read in its entirety. As our friend atheo points out, “Hope” doesn’t work after all.
Obviously, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt are rabid, hateful paranoids — total bigots and anti-Semites — for having suggested that there are powerful domestic political forces in the U.S. which enforce Israel-centric orthodoxies and make it politically impossible to question America’s blind loyalty to Israel. What irrational lunacy on their part:
Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair announced today that Ambassador Charles W. Freeman Jr. has requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed. Director Blair accepted Ambassador Freeman’s decision with regret.
In situations like this, it is often impossible to know whether the appointee really did voluntarily withdraw or whether he was forced out and is merely being allowed to say that he withdrew. To his credit, Adm. Blair was in the Senate this morning defending Freeman from the likes of Joe Lieberman, but everything that is publicly known about Freeman makes it seem unlikely that he would have voluntarily withdrawn due to the shrieking criticisms directed at him. If he were forced out — and there’s no basis for assuming he was until there’s evidence for that — then that reflects quite badly on the Obama administration’s willingness to defy the Bill Kristols, Marty Peretzes, and National Reviews of the world when it comes to American policy towards the Middle East.
In the U.S., you can advocate torture, illegal spying, and completely optional though murderous wars and be appointed to the highest positions. But you can’t, apparently, criticize Israeli actions too much or question whether America’s blind support for Israel should be re-examined.
February 26, 2009 § 4 Comments
You won’t see anything like this on the BBC. The Al Jazeera show Empire on the US relationship with Israel. Interviewees include Stephen Walt, Jim Lobe, Avi Shlaim, Ilan Pappe, Anatol Lieven, Stephen Walt and Aaron David Miller. There is a hard hitting segment on AIPAC towards the end of the Part 1. However, despite the excellent contributions from interviewees, especially Lobe, Shlaim, Lieven and Stephen Walt, the host keeps imposing the tired old Leftist view of Israel as a ‘strategic asset’ to the US on the narrative. The program could have also done without the Egyptian idiot in the second part of the show.
In this episode of Empire, Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, and his guests zero in on the special relationship between the US and Israel.
They explore who benefits from the special relationship and whether the status quo will prevail.