March 22, 2006

The Wall Street Journal's Editorial Department: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

WSJ OpinionJournal editor James Taranto is still sore at the article by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, " The Israel Lobby." The two scholars wrote:

No discussion of the Lobby would be complete without an examination of one of its most powerful weapons: the charge of anti-semitism. Anyone who criticises Israel’s actions or argues that pro-Israel groups have significant influence over US Middle Eastern policy – an influence AIPAC celebrates – stands a good chance of being labelled an anti-semite. Indeed, anyone who merely claims that there is an Israel Lobby runs the risk of being charged with anti-semitism, even though the Israeli media refer to America’s ‘Jewish Lobby’. In other words, the Lobby first boasts of its influence and then attacks anyone who calls attention to it. It’s a very effective tactic: anti-semitism is something no one wants to be accused of.

As if to provide them with an object lesson, Taranto beats the David Duke dead horse/red herring for the second day in a row:

This seems like as good an excuse as any to take a second whack at Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, whose shoddy anti-Israel screed, published under the aegis of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, has won praise from David Duke. Yesterday we eviscerated [c'mon, James, don't be so modest] their moral case against Israel but passed over their dismissal of Israel's strategic value. On that question, reader James Brothers makes an excellent point:

Many years ago I sponsored a Jordanian officer at the U.S. Army Field Artillery Center at Fort Sill, Okla. Ibrahim was quite critical of both Israel and U.S. Middle Eastern policy. He could not understand why the U.S. was so unequivocally pro-Israel.

That is until I asked him the following question: If the Soviet Union attacked the U.S., which side would Jordan be on? He replied that it would depend, but that generally Jordan was pro- Western. Then I asked him which side Israel would be on. You could almost see the light bulb go off. His reply was simply, "Oh."

Oh, indeed. Who can forget the gallant Israeli troops who fought side by side with Americans in Korea and Vietnam? Who can forget how when Stalin died in 1953, the leadership of Israel held a memorial service for his millions of victims in the Ukrainian Holocaust? Who can forget the Lavon Affair in 1954 when Israeli intelligence stopped Muslim terrorists from bombing American facilities in Egypt? Who can forget how, at President Eisenhower's request, Israel stopped Egypt from seizing the Suez Canal in 1956? Who can forget how Israel cooperated whole-heartedly with President Kennedy's anti-nuclear proliferation campaign? Who can forget how Israel rescued the U.S.S. Liberty when it came under attack for hours by hostile Arab air forces? Who can forget how Israel paid Jonathan Pollard to steal the Soviet nuclear war attack plan and then traded it to the United States government?

Oh, wait a minute ... Oops. All that happened in Bizarro World. The opposite actually happened in our world. Never mind ...

Look, Israel is a separate country. I wish it well. Like all separate countries, it does what it feels it has to do. And most of the things it decides it has to do have very little to do with the welfare of America. We shouldn't blame it -- it's located in a dicey corner of the world -- but we shouldn't ignore the reality either.

That numerous Americans truly believe that Israel cares deeply about America's well-being is proof of Ben Franklin's maxim that the way to make a friend is not to do someone a favor, but to have him do you favors.

In his Farewell Address, George Washington (with input from Alexander Hamilton and James Madison) explained the dangers of today's neoconservatism with prophetic clarity. Here's an excerpt:

"Sympathy for the favorite [foreign] nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification... Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests."

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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