In the August 29 edition of the Washington Post, reporter Dana Milbank wrote a piece about what two noted political scientists had to say on Monday about their criticisms of the Israeli lobby. John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard University spoke at the National Press Club in Washington at the invitation of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. They are widely known for their controversial article, “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy.”
At the event, the two scholars accepted a button proclaiming “Fight the Israel Lobby,” much to the applause of the Muslim audience. Walt then criticized Paul Wolfowitz and Doug Feith, two prominent Jews who have helped to shape Bush administration policy in the Middle East, for having “attachments that shape how they think about the Middle East.”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented as follows:
“After reporting what Stephen Walt said on Monday, Dana Milbank raised an interesting point. He picked up on the word ‘attachments,’ saying it sounds preferable to saying ‘dual loyalties.’ Milbank is correct. That is exactly what Walt was implying: he, and Mearsheimer, are promoting the invidious notion that Jewish neoconservatives are not to be trusted as their real loyalties lie elsewhere.
“As American Catholics, we are all too familiar with the old canard about ‘dual loyalties.’ Indeed, this smear tactic has been hurled at us for over 200 years. Just as we deeply resent accusations that American Catholics cannot think and act independent of the Vatican, we find it abhorrent when it is said or implied that American Jews cannot think and act independent of Israel.
“Bigotry dressed in scholarly veneer is still bigotry. Walt and Mearsheimer have an agenda to sell and what they are hawking is sick stuff.”
(This update courtesy of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.)