August 13, 7:32 AM
A Curious Incident at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, whose London Review of Books article on “the Israel Lobby” unleashed a major storm in the United States, have worked their article into a book. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, arguably the most top-drawer of all U.S. publishers, is bringing it out under the title The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy right after Labor Day. In this connection, the publisher had planned the usual tour to highlight the book, including a stop at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
But no. Evidently under intense, but anonymous pressure, the Council suddenly withdrew its invitation, saying that Mearsheimer and Walt could only appear if they were “balanced” by someone with a contending viewpoint...
Allow me to fill in what I know Horton meant to include:
"BAD Council! BAD! That's a BAAAAD COUNCIL!"
Mearsheimer and Walt are but a tiny fraction of the real balance that has been missing -- nay, banished -- from public discussion on Israel for decades. Had the Council honored their invitation in a manner befitting vertebrate lifeforms, it would have been a tiny step in the direction of restoring balance -- nay, sanity -- to what has long been a woefully and dangerously UNbalanced public treatment of one of the most volatile and costly sets of foreign policy issues we have to face.
Now, this is not to say that Mearsheimer and Walt are wholly unbiased in their analysis and rhetoric. But does the Israel lobby really imagine that, if a feather lights on the other side, that will somehow send their mighty elephant flying off the scales? One wonders, if their position is so unassailable, how is it that they dare not tolerate even the faintest whispering of dissent?
Or is this all just because I'm "a vile anti-Semitic"?