In the New York Sun, Ira Stoll takes an advance look at the new, slightly more refined (book) version of The Israel Lobby by Harvard’s Stephen Walt and the University of Chicago’s John Mearsheimer. Stoll finds peculiarities that it shares with the pseudoscholarly essay from which it is derived. The book’s official publication date is next week, and I understand that the authors have been careful to keep advance copies from reviewers likely to be hostile, but Stoll has the professors’ number:
What are we to make of the professors’ classification of the former governor of Vermont, Howard Dean, as a supporter of Israel in part on the basis that “Dean’s wife is Jewish and his children were raised Jewish as well”? Or of the assertion that “Christian Zionists exert less impact on U.S. Middle East policy than the other parts of the Israel lobby do,” because the Christians “lack the financial power of the major pro-Israel Jewish groups, and they do not have the same media presence”?
Instead of the charge that the Jews or the “Lobby” are “manipulating” the press, the new, cleaned-up, book version of Messrs. Walt and Mearsheimer asserts that, “If the media were left to their own devices, they would not serve up as consistent a diet of pro-Israel coverage and commentary.” Left unexplained is exactly whose devices the press has been left to, if not their own.
Discussing Elliott Abrams, an aide to President Bush, they quote an unremarkable passage from one of his books