US policy and the pro-Israel lobby: A university in Jerusalem takes on the debate
The authors of 'The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy' said Thursday that the special-interest group is leading the charge for attacking Iran and damaging US interests.
Warming things up that much more, two academics who have cast a critical light on the nature of US-Israel ties came here Thursday as part of a larger Middle East tour, during which they called on America to end its "special relationship with Israel and treat it as a normal country."
Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, professors at Harvard University and the University of Chicago, respectively, published "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy" last fall, raising a maelstrom of reactions: criticism from some corners and praise from others.
In pro-Israel circles, the book is viewed – along with former US President Carter's "Peace Not Apartheid" book – as an attack on a pillar of American foreign policy.
Critics of Profs. Walt and Mearsheimer say that the book and the arguments they make in it has anti-Semitic overtones and paints the pro-Israel lobby in the US as an all-powerful interest group doing damage to American and international interests.
But the two men, who were brought to Israel as guests of the left-wing group Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc) and later invited by colleagues to speak at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said their words had often been misread and misinterpreted.
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