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by Richard H. Shulman



Professors Mearsheimer and Walt were interviewed by Wajahat Ali. They answered his questions with some of the usual antisemitic assertions, paralleling those in that forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Examples are that the Israel lobby dominates the U.S. media and government, works against the U.S., manipulated the U.S. into the Iraq War, that the professors are not antisemitic because some Jews agree with them, and anyone who criticizes Israel is called antisemitic. They offer no explanation for their concurring with those traditional antisemitic notions.

In addition, they falsified or mislead about history, poorly assessed diplomacy, and over-emphasized or under-emphasized to suit.

Here are the topics in this series:

  1. Jewish state created by crimes
  2. Israel now is a Goliath
  3. Israel not serious about making an Arab state
  4. Arab terrorism understandable
  5. Why concessions should be made to Palestinian Arabs
  6. Israel lobby versus U.S. Presidents on settlements
  7. Israel lobby caused Iraq war, harms U.S.
  8. Israel lobby takes hard line
  9. Israel lobby and the media
  10. Academia is fair
  11. Critics of Israel are called antisemitic.


In their interview, Professors Mearsheimer and Walt claimed that the Jewish state "involved the infliction of great crimes against the local residents — the Palestinians." None specified.

Oops, the professors let the cat out of the bag. They don't just criticize Israel, they resent its foundation. Surely that notion colors their view of Israel now.

Why do they consider only the Arabs "the local residents?" There are Jewish families in Israel who preceded all the Arab families. Most of the Arab families followed the Zionist land-purchasers in, to share in the prosperity that Muslim rule destroyed and the big, modern, Jewish return was restoring.

In the creation of Israel, great crimes were committed against some local residents. Local and foreign Arab aggressors tried to exterminate the Jews, as the Arab leaders boasted they would. They failed, but did drive out thousands, including from eastern Jerusalem and the Territories. In reaction to that war, Arab states expropriated the property of hundreds of thousands of inoffensive Jews, whose families preceded Arab rule there, and forced the Jews out. Arab aggression and terrorism continued.

Most of the Arabs fled, though Israel begged them to stay. Those who did stay were allowed to stay. In other words, there was no large-scale expulsion of the Arabs, just of a few in sensitive military areas. I have been reporting Arab admissions of that. Thus the events contradict the professors' claim. One value of learning history is to know when someone is lying about it.

On the basis of the mythical crimes against the Palestinian Arabs formerly living in Israel, the professors conclude that those Arab families should have a state in the Territories. I don't understand their logic, which they do not elucidate.

Statehood should be earned, not be used to pay off decades of terrorism. Statehood should be for a separate nationality not having a country, depending on the circumstances. The Palestinian Arabs do not qualify. They share the language, religion, and culture of surrounding Arabs. They have a state in Jordan. Let the Arab states in which they live integrate them, instead of using them as a wedge against Israel. The professors did not acknowledge that abuse of Palestinian Arab refugee families by Arab states.


Professors Mearsheimer and Walt consider Israel the Goliath, because it won its wars decisively and now has peace treaties with some former belligerents. They suppose Israel secure now.

They misstate history and they assume that the future will follow their mistaken notion of events. The new weapons of mass-destruction and the realignment of international forces put Israel's future into question.

Israel did win its wars militarily. But it lost them diplomatically, because of great power opposition, including the opposition of the U.S. government, supposedly under the influence of the Israel lobby. Each time, Israel's armies were prevented from driving victory home. Israel was prevented from really disarming the defeated Arabs. The Arabs never had to pay for their aggression. The world hardly condemned the Arab aggressors but often condemns the Israeli victims. There is an international movement to boycott Israel and take away its legitimacy.

Israel did not win most of its wars easily. First, there was the War for Independence, really an Arab war to prevent Jewish independence and exterminate the Jews. Israel started out such an underdog, that Secretary of State Marshall predicted its defeat. Israel had a few militias, not an army. It had few weapons and ammunition and almost no heavy weapons. It was under an arms embargo, whereas Britain armed Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan. It started out faring poorly under assault from local Arabs. Fortunately for it, it learned fast, held out until it could buy arms, and organized better. It could not, however, defeat the Arab Legion of Jordan.

The 1956 war was just against Egypt for sending terrorists into Israel, and Israel won handily, assisted as it was by Britain and France.

When the 1967 war started, by Arab blockade and mobilization for war, Israel faced annihilation at the hands of superior Arab forces. Fortunately, Yitzchak Rabin went on a drunk, and the next in command decided upon the initiative of bombing enemy airfields before the airplanes went into action. That is why Israel won.

In the 1973 war, as the professors acknowledge, Israel had setbacks at the outset. The professors don't show that Israel became desperate, just that they emerged with victory. That victory was due to technical improvisation, luck that Syria failed to seize the opportunity to smash through the thin Israeli defense, and to Ariel Sharon rising to the occasion with a daring maneuver that wasn't popular until it succeeded.

In the recent wars with Hizbullah, Israel won but barely. In that war and in the Gaza combat, the leftist government was appeasement-minded and defeatist. It did not try hard to win. It left the enemy sufficiently intact to regenerate. Thus Israel's own leftists harm Israel.


I wish that the accusation by Professors Mearsheimer and Walt, that Israel has "never shown any serious interest in allowing the Palestinians to have a viable state" were true. I believe that an Arab state does not belong in the Jewish homeland. Israel needs the Territories for its own national development and for strategic reasons. The Arabs have proved themselves not interested in peace. Therefore, having another Arab state would not facilitate peace but another Arab war.

Before Jewish sovereignty was reconstituted in the Land of Israel, the early Zionists tried to work out some partnership with the Arabs. The Arabs rejected this idealistic effort.

When Britain arbitrarily partitioned Palestine into an Arab state east of the Jordan R. but still allowed for a Jewish state west of it, now called Jordan, the Zionists acceded. They did not seriously object to making a Palestinian Arab state then.

When the UN proposed statehood for the Jews and for the western Palestinians, the Jewish Agency accept the proposal. The Arabs refused. The Arabs have made it clear ever since that they are not serious about allowing a Jewish state. That is the problem. Would that our learned professors understood.

In the 1948 war, Arab states seized the Territories. They did not permit the Palestinian Arabs to make a state out of them. Have you ever heard criticism of Jordan and Egypt for that?

In the 1967 war, Israel liberated the Territories, in self-defense. Despite the Imperative to settle Jews in them, both in the Palestine Mandate that set the legal status of the Territories, and in Zionist ideology, Israel did not do so for many years. Instead, Israel held the Territories as a bargaining chip for peace, as it did the Sinai. The Arabs responded with the famous four negatives, including no recognition of Israel, no negotiation, and no peace. Again, Israel would have permitted an Arab state to be formed there if it meant peace, but the Arabs were not serious about forming another Arab state and about making peace. The professors have it backwards.

Israel made other offers, but the Arabs were interested only in Israeli surrender and not in peace. Arafat made peace agreements with Israel, which he, like Egypt and Jordan, violated. Again, the Arabs were not interested in peace, only in what they could pretend in order to get something from Israel.

Israel offered the Arabs almost all of the Territories, but the Arabs refused, and Arafat made another Intifada. Why is not known.

Some think he didn't want a state, just a state of war.

Some think he wanted 100% of the Territories, instead of 96%. In other words, no compromise. But that would not be a compromise on principle, if the conflict were merely territorial. There is no principle behind the boundaries of the Territories, being merely the armistice line due to the accident of war.

Some think it is because he wanted to inject all the refugee descendants into Israel. Israel had to refuse, lest the millions of hostile Arabs swamp the Jewish state.

Some say Arafat feared being assassinated, as was Sadat, who got land for the Arabs but said he recognized Israel and privately acknowledged his peace was a fraud. Nevertheless, the Islamists considered his action an affront.

I think there is validity to all that speculation, but a principle is involved, too. That principle is reflected in the continued refusasl Palestinian Authority (P.A.) to recognize a Jewish state, even while the P.A. demands having a Muslim Arab state in which Islam is the established religion and no Jews are allowed. The operating principle here is that of Islam. Islam does not recognize the legitimacy of non-believer states, especially in areas that Islam had conquered. The Islamic imperative is to re-conquer them.

Thus we are back to the fact that the Arab-Israel conflict is religious. It is part of international jihad. International jihad threatens not only Israel but also the U.S. and civilization in general.


Professors Mearsheimer and Walt claim to "understand" Arab terrorism. They say they disapprove of it, though too mildly, in view of its mass-murdering and its threat to regional stability, to be convincing. They practically excuse it on the grounds that the Palestinian Arabs are poor and don't have a big army. This is specious.

Islamic terrorism is not limited to Palestinian Arabs nor even to Arabs in general. Ask the Indians in Mumbai, the Afghans in Kabul, Christians in the Mindanao, Philippines, or the Arabs in Iraq, bombed almost daily now.

Most international terrorism is from Radical Islam. The notion of terrorism, like the notion of suicide bombing and skyjacking has been spreading from the Palestinian Arabs, to other Muslims and to other peoples. That is the Palestinian Arab "contribution" to civilization. However, poor people live elsewhere, and mostly do not indulge in terrorism.

Terrorism is a criminal type of warfare, never justified. It is neither accurate nor fair to contend that Arab terrorism is for lack of other means of dealing with national and religious differences. Some countries side-by-side with Israel had armies, but used terrorism as part of a war of attrition. Let them try tolerance and negotiation! The Palestinian Arabs signed peace agreements, refuse to negotiate, and then have the temerity to continue warfare.


Professors Mearsheimer and Walt want Israel to make concessions to the Palestinian Arabs. They omit discussion of the Palestinian Arabs dedication to destroy Israel. In view of that frequently reiterated or demonstrated pledge, why should Israel facilitate its implementation?

As if in answer to that question, which the professors don't ask, they contend that the Palestinian Arabs don't pose an existential threat to Israel. The poor logic here is that the Palestinian Arabs cannot succeed by themselves in killing all the Israelis, so Israel should help them, as it has been doing by prior concessions, to kill thousands more of them.

The professors also claim that Israel exaggerates the existential menace to it with Hizbullah. Oops, now it is not just the Palestinian Arabs but a proxy of Syria and Iran. Israel's enemies have or are developing weapons of mass-destruction. They also have been so much trained and better educated, that they pose more of a military threat.

Don't the professors know that the conflict, once called the Arab-Israel conflict, is part of global jihad? They fail to discuss the Muslims' religious doctrine about non-believers, a doctrine that leads one to conclude that the conflict is inexorable and any Israeli concessions would be futile and therefore foolish.

The Palestinian Arabs are not alone. Almost the whole Muslim world works for them in diplomacy, with money, with arms, and sometimes with armies. Here is a scenario, based on our experience that the Arabs lurch into war irrationally and that their Muslim doctrine disregards material wealth and their own safety, when they can strike a military blow for their religion.

From Iran, goes forth the word: kill Israelis! Hizbullah launches its 40,000 rockets at Israel. Hamas launches 10,000. If Mearsheimer and Walt were heeded, The Palestinian Authority would be a state and could launch thousands of its own. Israel has almost no defense against so many in so short a time. Sections of Israel are devastated. That is what happens when criminal enemies are allowed to prepare for war.

Instead or in addition, the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) troops could launch a surprise attack from right alongside Israel cities. Putting to use when the U.S. trained them in, the P.A. troops could cut off or tie down many Israeli reservists, long enough for the big Arab armies to reach that front and deliver the death blow before the IDF is organized.

Perhaps Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran withhold their rockets at first. When they see the disarray in which the terrorist armies put Israel, they may not hold back. Egypt, whose armed forces can challenge Israel's, would not want to forfeit its leadership position. Egypt's military doctrine and religious bigotry is to invade Israel. Jordan has a jackal-like mentality of coming to share in the spoils. Add that all up! It constitutes an existential threat.


Another basis the professors offer for condemning the Israel lobby is that U.S. Presidents oppose Israeli settlements that Israel does not oppose. To be accurate, sometimes Israeli regimes do hamper them, and Presidents such as Reagan do not. The Oslo Accords shepherded by President Clinton impose no restriction on settlements.

The main faulty logic here is that if the government of Israel disagrees with a U.S. President, Israel opposes the U.S. national interest. That logic is not valid — think of the many U.S. foreign policy failures and the general U.S. lack of strategy in behalf of the national interest!

We just showed that in the case of the Iraq war, Israel supported what was in the U.S. national interest, and the President opposed what was in the U.S. national interest. Presidents have their faulty reasoning and error-prone CIA advisors and State Dept. diplomats that inherited anti-Zionist bias and are suborned by prospective Saudi retirement packages.

As many of my articles explain, removing Jewish settlements would constitute a reward for terrorism and a victory for jihad. That is contrary to the U.S. national interest.


My global concept is the fact that in many countries of the world, depending on Islamic influence there, Radical Muslims are waging various stages of war on civilization in the name of their radical ideology. They have advanced that cause just as U.S. power is waning. Professors Mearsheimer and Walt give no indication of realizing the spread and purpose of Radical Islam. They look either for the traditional scapegoats or see attacks on us as reactions to what we do, as if everything were our fault and the Israel lobby's fault. They fail to perceive Muslim indoctrination and drive and reaction to modernity.

The professors acknowledge that lobbies are part of our democratic way. However, they assert that the Israel lobby works against the interests of the U.S.

Their premise is faulty in general, because the Arab lobby works to dull our defense against jihad. That is against the American national interest. The Israel lobby, in general, tries alerting us to the danger of jihad. That assists the American national interest.

They claim the high moral position of patriotism, but don't know those basics about jihad that affect national survival.

On what grounds do they impugn the Israel lobby? For one thing, they claim that lobby brought us into war on Saddam, to protect Israel. That is false and ridiculous.

The Bush Administration saw Saddam as part of the evil axis and Saddam, who retained his nuclear weapons staff, as redeveloping nuclear weapons. Iraq was throwing off UN restraints. It kept violating his truce and Security Council mandatory Resolutions. Those were legitimate reasons for renewing the Gulf War. The result ended Saddam's genocide and oppression. Unfortunately, the U.S. overreached, didn't stay the course, and Iraq is falling back into its factionalism and corruption, prey for terrorists.

The professors deny that oil was a factor in the Iraq war, just anti-terrorism and the Israel lobby. I'd say that the first Gulf War involved oil, but not in a bad way. Saddam had seized Kuwait and was moving on S. Arabia. He would corner the world's main oil supply, to extort and expand further, aided by weapons of mass-destruction. The U.S. undid his aggression. Reasonable.

What was Israel's position? Israel never asked for U.S. military forces. When the Israel lobby realized that the Administration was preparing for war, the lobby pled with it not to take on Iraq. It assessed Iran as the greater danger. It suggested that if the superpower wants war, target Iran.

The lobby made sense at the time and has been vindicated by events. Patriots Mearsheimer and Walt should have joined it.

Israel has done a lot of benefit to the U.S. in military and strategic matters, alone. Israel's defeat of aggression by Soviet allies Egypt and Syria, including help in keeping Syria from conquering Jordan, had major repercussions. (1) Israel gave the U.S. valuable intelligence about the Mideast. (2) Israel helped keep the USSR from taking over the Mideast. Indeed, this had much to do with Egypt abandoning the Soviet embrace. Israel did all this at a fraction of the cost to the U.S. of maintaining NATO allies of dubious utility. (3) These wars enabled Israel to analyze Soviet weaponry facing NATO and to pass on data and samples to the U.S.. The U.S. saved many billions of dollars and enhanced its security by using that data to improve its own weaponry. (4) As Israel demonstrated the superiority of most U.S. weapons, the U.S. was able to sell more of them.


I'd say taking a hard line is the Saudi plan, which Mearsheimer and Walt call a peace plan, though it really amounts to surrender terms. It amounts to weakening Israel so it can't defend itself from without, and letting in enough Arabs to destroy it from within.

Mearsheimer and Walt call the Israel lobby hard line, because it opposes sovereignty for the western Palestinian Arabs or supports settlements. They do not explain what is wrong with that nor why it is hard line. They use the term, hard line, as a pejorative, to impugn the lobby, rather than to explain the issue. Nobody has explained settlements as a logical cause of a jihad that preceded them and is global rather than limited to the Territories.

Why is it hard line of the Israel lobby to want Israel to retain the core of its national heritage area in the homeland set up for that purpose? Why is it hard line not to trust sovereignty to the Palestinian Authority, which continuously violates its peace agreements and repeatedly states that its goal is to destroy Jewish sovereignty and acts on it? What is wrong with Jewish settlements, and not with Arab settlements? (See my recent articles explaining those issues.) The faulty grasp of real life problems lays with the critics of the Israel lobby.

The professors accuse Israel of being insincere about allowing an Arab state. They give their reason that Israel won't give up territory for a corridor linking the two parts of that prospective state. They did not give a reason for having a second Palestinian Arab state joining the score or so Arab states, the second time that the Mandate for a Jewish national home would be whittled down.

Pres. Obama pressured PM Netanyahu to begrudgingly accept eventual statehood for those Arabs. I think the less of Obama for pressuring and Netanyahu for acquiescing. But Netanyahu stated conditions. The professors don't take up those conditions, just the corridor.

If a corridor bisects Israel, then Israel's parts would not be contiguous. In any case, Israelis would be justified in objecting to enemy Arabs passing through their territory. Terrorists, often doubling as P.A. police, very likely would take advantage of access to Israel. The professors' goal would lead to murder. They are not on the high ground in this aspect.


Professors Mearsheimer and Walt concede only that the Israel lobby does not control the media. They contend that the lobby intimidates it. Hence, they say, people are not allowed to criticize Israel or are too intimidated to. Hence the media is filled with Jews defending Israel and very few Arabs writing about it.

The professors rationalize in the same way as prejudiced Muslim Arabs. Used to a relatively collectivist and confessional society, many Arabs assume that members of an ethnic group in the government or media of a country of mixed population represent their ethnic group. Western society is not or should not be like that.

Gentiles often defend Israel. The professors mention only American Christian Evangelists. Lord Balfour and Lloyd George, who initiated the Balfour Declaration and Palestine Mandate stemmed from a non-American, non-Evangelist but Christian pro-Zionist movement). Jews often oppose Israel, either outright (i.g. Noam Chomsky, Prof. Norman Finkelstein), or pretend to be friends of Israel (i.g. Americans for Peace Now, New Israel Fund, Thomas Friedman), or naively think that there is a peace process requiring more compromise by Israel. So much for the professors' religious prejudice that stereotypes people's political views.

What about the media? Most of the big networks, magazines, and newspapers fall into those categories. In the NY Times, many Arabs and Jews write against Israel. Rarely does a Jewish nationalist view get heard. Yes, when books against Israel come out with many falsehoods or misconceptions, such as Jimmy Carter's or the professors', critics expose them. Since the writers, such as Mearsheimer and Carter, are unable to defend against the criticism, the criticism must be valid and not based on prejudice. Sometimes Jewish organizations protest against lecture forums being turned over to bigots. What bigots say and write should not be censored but why host them, they have nothing constructive or truthful to say.

On the campuses, Arabs and leftists feel free to insult Jews and malign Israel in vicious ways. Pro-Israeli speakers get shouted down or hounded out, including PM Netanyahu in Canada. University Middle Eastern Studies Centers usually are run by Arabs or their leftist fellow travelers.

The public has little understanding of the issues. They certainly have not been briefed by genuine Zionists, whom the professors consider so influential.

In Europe, the media is vicious and deceptive to an extent long absent from the U.S.. Once again, the professors got it wrong.


Professors Mearsheimer and Walt told their interviewer that only in

academia is Israel "treated as a normal country, whose past and present actions are critically assessed, and where public opinion on the matter is most accurately reflected."

I wouldn't boast about public opinion in a country that can hardly educate its people and doesn't keep them well informed.

To what public opinion are the professors referring? In the U.S. public opinion still is much more pro-Israel than pro-Arab. Not in Europe, but Europe is rabid against Israel, not rational. Europe is looking backward, rather than forward to the Islamic menace preparing to take away their civilization.

In the social studies departments of U.S. academia, as in Israel, Far Leftists and Arabs (there are fewer Arabs in Israeli departments) set the tone. They distort history to favor their ideology. They do not make a critical assessment. They need not be scholars, so long as they follow the politically correct view. They use their classrooms for anti-Israel propaganda. That is what the professors admire — abuse of academic freedom.

As self-proclaimed patriots, these professors should be disturbed about the leftist bias dominating many college departments, because the same people who dislike Israel also dislike the U.S.. But what can one expect from Mearsheimer and Walt, who endorse that non-scholarly Holocaust denier, Prof. Norman Finkelstein?


I took this issue up last, to show that professors Mearsheimer and Walt base their case on many substantive errors, which can be refuted without reference to this issue.

I prefer debating the issues to intimidating opponents by calling them antisemitic. Some people accuse opponents too readily of being antisemitic. I deplore that. But as the Introduction to this series showed, Professors Mearsheimer and Walt do make ridiculously antisemitic arguments. Thus they condemn themselves. Their apparent bias casts doubt on their whole case.

They cite as an example accusations that Jimmy Carter is antisemitic. Jimmy Carter, by the way, was a President who let Iran get away with holding our embassy hostage and reduced our armed forces to the point at which the Soviets believed themselves in the ascendancy. He did not uphold the U.S. national interest.

In office, his hostility toward Israel demonstrated ignorance about area history. Out of office, he certifies the election of dictators and almost always favors the Arabs but condemns Israel on false grounds. I don't care whether Carter is antisemitic so much as that he is foolish and dangerous.

His book misrepresents Israel. Reviewers have found numerous lies, too. How many one-sided smears does it take to reveal bias? When he and other anti-Zionists propose steps that would render Israel vulnerable to destruction in behalf of enemies of civilization, they are good candidates for the position of antisemite. That is not merely criticizing some policies of Israel, that is striving to destroy Israel. Some go further and openly strive to get sovereignty rescinded only for the Jewish people. They are like the antisemites who condemn Jewish nationalism and Judaism, but not Arab nationalism and the imperialist and oppressive aspects of jihadist Islam. What would you call that? But, again, that isn't as important as the fact that Carter's ostensible facts are erroneous and his views are warped.

The complaint that critics of Israel would be called antisemitic has become a pre-emptive tactic, to impugn those who disagree with these anti-Zionists. But do ask yourself why did the professors get so much wrong. It is difficult to see straight, when one is blinded by prejudice.

Our contemporaries who follow the Arab line are like those a couple of generations ago who followed the Soviet line. They had an entirely false narrative, perhaps with some half-truths. They were stubborn about it. They denied their bias. They worked for the most villainous regime in history but considered themselves idealists. They blamed the innocent for not appeasing the guilty. And they milked the opprobrium of McCarthyism, especially its false accusations of Communism, to deter criticism.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at and visit his website:

This essay was submitted September 25, 2009.


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