Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Elders of AIPAC

Excellent review by Jeffry Goldberg (who is often excellent) of the Mearsheimer-Walt book, at The New Republic. Goldberg didn't much like the book, on any level. Actually, he really didn't like it at all, and does a fine job of demolishing it. He opens his attack by putting the book into the context of what he suggests we call 'Judeocentrism", essentially one type, or perhaps one characteristic, of good old antisemitism, but formulated in a compelling way. Basically, the idea that Jews move the world. (My teacher back at the university, Yehuda Bauer, used to end his description of these folks and their ideas with the regret that "alas, the Jews don't have the power thus attributed to them. Wouldn't it be nice if they did?").

I doubt I'll ever read the M&W book. Life is too short, my reading list is far too long, and too much nonsense is bad for one's blood pressure. But Goldberg's review is worth the few minutes. After enjoying the read, I especially enjoyed his parting paragraph:

One would think that the editors at Farrar, Straus and Giroux might have harpooned this leviathan of a contradiction before it reached print. Unless of course you believe, as I do, that Farrar, Straus and Giroux has all along been allowing Mearsheimer and Walt to undermine their own credibility by promoting their abysmal arguments about Jewish power. The publishing house, you see, is not known to be a part of the Jewish lobby, but its owner, the German company Holtzbrinck, has been emphatically friendly to Israel, in part out of guilt that its founder was a Nazi. Remember, everything is not what it seems. This book about a malevolent conspiracy may itself be the work of a benevolent conspiracy. I mean, cui bono? Who really benefits from making anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism seem so indefensible? Come to think of it, the name Mearsheimer does have a bit of a Jewish ring.


Lydia McGrew said...

Thanks for the link. I just found it useful in another thread.

Yaacov said...

Hope you bash them over there.