The reaction to the Harvard paper from the Israel Lobby simply proved the authors' point. They were accused of anti-Semitism. This is one of the ways, the authors argue, the Israel Lobby succeeds - making false allegations of anti-Semitism against its critics .
The Israel Lobby tries to make something of the fact that extreme right-wing types, like David Duke, the ex-Klansman, agree, in their own distorted fashion, with some of what the Lobby's critics say. This argument is a logical fallacy. But the Portland anarchists used exactly the same argument against me. There is a difference between saying that the Israel Lobby is disproportionately powerful, and kvetching that Jews have too much power, which is what Duke and co. say. Duke probably agrees with me that the earth is round, but this doesn't make me a fascist. You could argue just as logically that since Duke agrees with some of what I say, he is a radical anti-capitalist.
The American left, including the anarchists, is not as critical of Zionism as it might be. There are a few honorable exceptions, for example, the International Solidarity Movement, or the website Counterpunch. But it is no more possible to discuss the issue of Israel rationally with anarchists than it is with the Democratic Party. The magazine Anarchy accused Counterpunch of anti-Semitism .
I go a bit further than Mearsheimer and Walt. They are not anti-Israel. They say that the Israel Lobby is bad for Israel's security - for example, the war in Iraq is making things worse for the Jewish state's prospects. But that is because any policy is bad for Israels' security. War, torture, murder, allegations of anti-Semitism - all these follow from defence of Israel. Israel is based on a failed policy of ethnic cleansing. It does not make sense to support Israel and criticize some of its policies. What part of ethnic cleansing don't you support? The Israel Lobby's fanaticism is understandable. It knows that, once the rest of the American ruling class start to doubt the wisdom of subordinating its foreign policy to a foreign power, the writing will be on the wall.
Jay Knott, March 2006