web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Why I Wrote The Deadliest Lies


When in the spring of 2006 two professors from distinguished institutions, the University of Chicago and the Harvard School of Government, published a paper in the London Review of Books called “The Israel Lobby,” it raised alarm bells about the spread and impact of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in America.

As part of our agenda at the Anti-Defamation League to combat anti-Semitism and extremism, we are all too familiar with racist and extremist groups who engage in conspiracy theories about Jews. Accusing Jews of controlling America (ZOG = Zionist Occupied Government) is a stock-in-trade for groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, the National Alliance.

We don’t underestimate the dangers from such groups – remember, it was such influences that produced the terrorism in Oklahoma City. Still, if these theories remain in the domain of the extremists, we can contend with them because the haters have no credibility with the American people and our exposure of their views and intentions brings widespread condemnation of them.

It is quite another matter when conspiracy views about Jews come from the mainstream, from the establishment. Then the challenge is far greater. There is a tendency by the public to give them much more of a hearing and, if the writers are smart in how they go about their work, the whole enterprise can gain legitimacy.

That is essentially what deeply concerned me about with the paper by the two aforementioned professors, John Mearsheimer of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard. When their article appeared, I hoped there would be widespread rejection and condemnation of it and their views.

Despite their respectability, their bias toward Israel and American Jews was transparent. I pointed out at the time that one didn’t even have to be pro-Israel to recognize that their assessment of the Arab-Israeli conflict over the years was completely flawed. For them, Israel is, in effect, to blame for every event in the conflict. Far worse, they saw control by the Israel lobby as the reason why America supports what they consider a wayward country to the detriment of American interests.

Unfortunately, there was little condemnation – and it came mostly from Jewish voices. One that stood out amidst the general silence was that of Ned Walker, longtime State Department Middle East hand and former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt and Israel. He pointed out that he had been involved in the making of U.S. Middle East policy for years and there was nothing in the paper he could recognize in how policy is actually made. This was biting criticism from an insider, but was one of too few critiques.

Instead, I began to hear that Mearsheimer and Walt had made an important contribution to the discussion on U.S. Middle East policy, that they had spoken “truths” that others had not said, and that this would be a welcome addition to curricula on campuses around the country.

At that stage, I concluded that there was a need to provide students, journalists, activists and the general public a more comprehensive and integrated perspective as to the dangers of their thesis and how it fits into some broader challenges to Jewish life in America.

I saw the works of Mearsheimer and Walt, Jimmy Carter, Tony Judt and others surfacing in America, the place of the greatest comfort level for Jews in the history of the Diaspora, at a time when dangerous anti-Semitic conspiracy theories were growing overseas, as was violence against Jews. The last thing we needed, I concluded, was to have the spreading legitimacy of the Mearsheimer-Walt-Carter thesis about U.S. Middle East policy and the Jews be left to responses on op-ed pages and in blogs.

So when I was approached about doing a follow-up to my first book on anti-Semitism, Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism, I said that what was truly needed and what I wanted to do was write a serious critique of the American-style conspiracy theorists.

The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control (Palgrave Macmillan), is, I believe, a reasoned, temperate critique of dangerous works that masquerade themselves as legitimate criticism of Israel and American Jews.

Meanwhile, Mearsheimer and Walt expanded their original article into a book of their own, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Nothing truly new here. While they have toned down some of their more extreme statements from their article about Jewish lobbying activities and intention – now insisting they never were questioning the right of Jews to lobby for Israel – their efforts to appear more innocuous are for naught.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Why I Wrote The Deadliest Lies

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
NY rally against Met Opera's 'Death of Klinghoffer' opera. Sept. 22, 2014.
New York City Site of Huge Rally Against Met’s Klinghoffer Opera
Latest Indepth Stories
William Safire

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Particularly galling was the complaint by one Jo Anne Simon about Judge Dear’s supposed “mobilizing on behalf of apartheid and his insensitivity to minority communities.”

Whatever one has to say about Iran, it does have clout in the Middle East and the Gulf region and could play a key role in addressing the ISIS threat.

Rav Shlomo Wolbe states that every member of Klal Yisrael is dependent on the entire nation just as a leaf depends on the tree from which it grows.

“Israel must prepare for waves of immigrants from Arab countries, which may endanger its existence”

“I pray that fellow Jews open their eyes & connect themselves to the national side of being a Jew”

The big service ISIS is doing the West right now is checking Iranian power, just as the Sunni rebels inside Syria are keeping the Iranian agent Hezbollah in check, and just as the PLO is keeping Hamas in check, at least to some degree.

Research shows that high doses of marijuana can produce acute psychotic reactions, lower IQ in teens

The current missionary problem in Samaria is still relatively unknown throughout Israel&to most Jews

Rosh Hashanah is a universal, stock-taking, renewal and hopeful holiday,

No mutual clash between parties, it was Jews repeatedly attacked by Arabs, not the other way around.

Israel would love to be in the coalition,but it’s never going to happen, because, in the end, most of America’s allies would walk away if Israel were on board officially.

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

More Articles from Abraham H. Foxman
Nelson Mandela at Yad Vashem

I first met Mandela in Geneva in 1990 as part of a delegation of American Jewish leaders.

Leo Frank

The trial was a shock to American Jews, as was Frank’s lynching two years later.

Worried about a nuclear Iran? Do you think such a development would not only threaten Israel’s existence but would intimidate the Arab countries of the Gulf, put the radical Islamist regime in position to threaten the West, and lead to unmanageable nuclear proliferation? Have no fear! Kenneth N. Waltz, the highly respected professor of international relations at Columbia University, argues in a recent article of Foreign Affairs magazine that “Iran Should Get the Bomb.”

There was a time when no one living in Israel needed a reminder of what was at stake when the Jewish state was created in 1948 in the aftermath of World War II and the Nazi Holocaust.

The threat of the infiltration of Sharia, or Islamic law, into the American court system is one of the more pernicious conspiracy theories to gain traction in our country in recent years.

On the evening of December 11, 1995, businessman Aaron Feuerstein was with family and friends at a restaurant in Boston. It was his seventieth birthday, and a group of well-wishers had gathered to throw him a surprise party.

So there it was, “perfect proof” of what John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were saying about the Israeli lobby: the pressure mounted and Charles Freeman, the designated chairman of the National Intelligence Council, decided to withdraw his name from consideration.

Coming just weeks after the explosion of global anti-Semitism that followed Israel’s military action in Gaza, the timing couldn’t have been better for the London Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism, held Feb. 16 and 17.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/why-i-wrote-the-deadliest-lies/2007/10/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: