John J Mearsheimer and Stephen M Walt
Mon, 21 Apr 2008 11:38 EDT
In his essay "A liberal Israel lobby" (Prospect, April 2008), Gershom Gorenberg makes a number of false charges about our book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy.
First, he claims that we "overstated" the lobby's influence. "Perhaps the most striking flaw," he writes, "is that Mearsheimer and Walt accept Aipac's own claims regarding its power and who it represents." Our book contains an abundance of evidence demonstrating the lobby's power, and we did not simply take the word of officials from Aipac (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee). We presented testimony from a wide variety of congressmen, congressional staffers, journalists and former executive branch officials, and we referred to surveys that find Aipac to be among the most powerful lobbies in Washington. We also provided detailed case studies showing how pro-Israel groups have worked to influence US policy towards the middle east. Gorenberg does not offer a single example to show that our accounts were wrong. Nor does he point to a case where we clearly "overstated" the lobby's influence.