Believe Half of What You See, and None of What You Hear

05/25/2011 12:15 pm ET
  • Eric Alterman Distinguished Professor of English, Brooklyn College, City University of New York

I've stayed out of round two of the Walt-Mearsheimer fight for a few reasons. One is, I'll admit, I'm tired of the tsoris I get from the Likud Lobby -- note: not the "Jewish lobby," and not even the "Israel lobby," but only the Lukidnik Lobby, in which I include Alan Dershowitz, Marty Peretz, Abe Foxman, and Cathy Hughes (whether they themselves would include themselves, I don't really care). I recently found out that my rather mild, moderate, pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian, pro-peace position almost cost me dearly -- and would have, without the intervention of a dear friend -- and I can't even tell you in which direction, though I have a pretty good guess. I'm willing to endure this crap on behalf of my own views and values but not on behalf of someone else's. Second, though I've not had time to read the book, my impression is that it takes the original argument -- with which I mostly but not entirely agreed -- to a place I would not go. AIPAC and its friends do not explain the fact that we went to war in Iraq. (Dick Cheney, and to a lesser extent, alas, George W. Bush, do.) Not having read the book, I can't even tell you whether they in fact argue that, since the authors have been so routinely slandered in so many places, but either way, I'm going to let it be someone else's problem. Call me a coward if you like, but I'm an awfully busy coward.

Read the whole Altercation here.