Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Obama and the Israel Lobby

By Glenn Greenwald, Salon, May 22, 2011

Obama and the Israel Lobby
AP
President Obama meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel Friday at the White House.
 
(updated below – Update II [Mon.])

This week’s hysterical, reality-deprived reaction to President Obama’s pronouncements on the Israel/Palestine conflict genuinely provoked laughter on several occasions.  That happened when I thought of the intense controversy triggered by publication of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer’s The Israel Lobby, which examined the “loose coalition of individuals and organizations who actively work to steer U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction,” a coalition driven by “a core consisting of organizations whose declared purpose is to encourage the U.S. government and the American public to provide material aid to Israel and to support its government’s policies, as well as influential individuals for whom these goals are also a top priority.”  This week’s events underscore how remarkable it is that that book’s argument was demonized as some sort of radical, hateful conspiracy tract rather than treated as what it was: a statement of the bleeding obvious (albeit a brave one, given that discussions of that reality had previously been taboo).

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