Opposing viewpoints on the 'Israel Lobby'

April 01, 2006

Re "Who's afraid of the 'Israel Lobby'?" Current, March 26

Nicholas Goldberg summarizes the arguments that the report on the "Israel Lobby" made against supporting Israel (arguments mostly identified with historical anti-Semitism) and, while mentioning some opposing points of view, ignores the most important reason: An ever-increasing number of the American people support Israel as compared to the Muslim world.

We share the same values. Of all of the United States' allies, Israel is the only one that can and will fight its own battles and not call on the American military to die for them.

The fact that former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke is in agreement with the report says a great deal.


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Goldberg asks us to judge the American Israel Public Affairs Committee for ourselves and to consider just how pernicious the pro-Israel lobby is. To test AIPAC's strength, a candidate who publicly demands that Israel sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, stop building its wall, withdraw unconditionally from all lands occupied during the 1967 war and allow a democratic Palestinian state to be formed immediately should run for office. Would either the Republican or Democratic parties run such a candidate? No. If either party made that mistake, the loose confederation of organizations to which Goldberg alluded would contribute funds to defeat such a candidate. The likelihood of this scenario happening is zilch. I consider AIPAC's impact pernicious because it crushes politically anyone who publicly challenges Israel.




Historically, Jews, in order to survive, have kept a low profile, and I would think Goldberg is well aware of that. Goldberg needlessly reiterates professors Stephen Walt's and John Mearsheimer's statements. Those of us who are concerned and follow events are quite aware of the statements and don't need Goldberg's advice as to how to judge.

The truth is simple: The U.S. needs Israel as a balance of power and foothold in the Middle East, and American Jews need Israel to protect the survival and identity of Jews. Perhaps Goldberg can use half a page to address these issues.




If, as professors Jeffrey Herf and Andrei Markovits note, Jewish Americans have the right "to express their views without being charged with placing the interests of Israel ahead of those of the United States," why don't non-Jewish Americans have the right to criticize the Israeli lobby without being called anti-Semites?


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