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April 19, 2006
NYT op-ed supports Walt/Mearsheimer
The op—ed is written by Tony Judt, who has called for the destruction of Israel via the one—state (final) solution.
So let's tote up supporters and opponents of the infamous Walt/Mearsheimer paper. Major academics have eviscerated it as being a product of shoddy and manipulated research and logical flaws. The Washington Post had an op—ed that openly called the paper "anti—Semitic." the Wall Street Journal has been stalwart in ridiculing the paper, the Los Angeles Times had an op—ed by Max Boot that harshly criticized the paper, the New Republic and the US News & World Report have also registered objections, as has the estimable New York Sun.
Alan Dershowitz wrote a lengthy and well—researched paper that pointed out many errors of fact and manipulations of quotes by the authors. Even Christopher Hitchens, no supporter of Israel, felt compelled to point out the fallacies in the paper.
On the other side, supporters have included David Duke and radical Islamic terror groups. One columnist for the New York Times—owned International Herald Tribune wrote a column in the Asia Times that supported Walt/Mearsheimer.
Now the New York Times takes their insensitivity to the rise of anti—Semitism and their general anti—Israel approach to a new low. Tony Judt is given valuable op—ed space to make the case for Walt and Mearsheimer. Judt calls criticism of the paper "hysterical" and says that the essay draws on a wide variety of "standard sources" (presumably, those that others have pointed out are often found on anti—Semitic hate websites.
Judt calls Israel a "liability in our war on terror" and he bemoans the lack of discussion is the mainstream media about the claims of the paper. Of course, there has been much discussion — almost all quite detailed — that has exposed the many flaws in the paper.
The two people who have been strangely quiet in the face of criticism are the two authors. They refuse to address opponents —a stance that contradicts their claim to have hoped to spur public discussion of the issues.
Judt calls the mainstream media's refusal to deal with the paper (i.e., to support the paper, since there has been a lot of negative coverage of the Walt/Mearsheimer paper) a "great pity." Judt cannot understand why America's reputation and strength is "closely aligned with one small controversial Mediterranean state."
I guess we should just follow the Arab League and its fellow—travelers at the United Nations.
The New York Times continues its shameful ways.
Richard N. Weltz also comments:
While on one side of the spread the New York Times runs a brief editorial offering faint praise to the Israeli government for its remarkable restraint following the recent suicide bombing of a popular Tel Aviv fast food eatery, its facing op—ed page presents a lengthy commentary on the infamous 'Israel Lobby' paper penned by Harvard Kennedy School dean Walt Stephens and University of Chicago professor Walt Mearsheimer.
Although the Stephens/Mearsheimer attack on American policy toward Israel has drawn much criticism for its sloppy scholarship, misinformation, and anti—Israel tone from prominent Jewish spokespersons such as Alan Dershowitz, Ruth Wisse, several members of the US Congress, and a panoply of other Jewish leaders, the Times saw fit to ignore the paper's publication until well after its coverage in other press organs — ands then only by means of a mild report buried in its Education section.
Today, though, the Gray Lady presents a lengthy apologia for the 'Lobby' paper written by noted anti—Israel professor Tony Judt.
Judt is perhaps best known for his call to dismantle the State of Israel in a paper he wrote for the October 2003 edition of the New York Review of Books, as well as other public writings and statements condemning the Jewish state.
As reported in The Forward at the time,
Nevertheless, the Times, which, incidentally, was itself named (hold the laughter) by Walt and Mearsheimer as a member of the conspiratorial 'Israel Lobby' they accused of controlling American foreign policy to favor Israel even against America's own interests, has so far seen fit only to provide a very late, extremely insipid, and relatively buried mention of the paper's existence — despite the celebrity of its authors and the auspices of the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School of Government under which it was published — and then, for its follow—up, a defense of the Walt/Mearsheimer publication penned by a well—known anti—Israel writer and professor.
Could the Times have been more forthcoming with its original coverage? More objective in the commentary it chose to publish? Well, only if it felt less antipathy than it usually demonstrates toward Israel and Jewish causes in general.