Alan Dershowitz has undertaken a response to the execrable Mearsheimer-Walt “Israel Lobby” paper. Professor Dershowitz’s response comes in the form of a “working paper” posted on the Kennedy School research site where the full pseudocscholarly version of the Mearsheimer-Walt paper was posted after its original publication in the London Review of Books: “Debunking the Newest – and Oldest – Jewish Conspiracy:
A Reply to the Mearsheimer-Walt ‘Working Paper.'” I took an early whack at the Mearsheimer-Walt paper in “They too dare to speak out!”
Based on a quick review, Professor Dershowtiz’s paper seems to me the kind of response to the Mearsheimer-Walt paper that it deserves, though it is surely not the last word. Professor Dershowitz concludes:
Walt and Mearsheimer repeatedly claim that they have written their paper, at least in part, in order to stimulate dialogue concerning the influence of the Lobby. They claim that it is the pro-Israel side that seeks to suppress public discussion: “[The Lobby] does not want an open debate on issues involving Israel, because an open debate might cause Americans to question the level of support they currently provide.” Yet the pro-Israel side has risen to the Walt-Mearsheimer challenge and has participated in the marketplace of ideas, only to be greeted by silence from the authors, who have generally refused to defend their views. I have personally offered Walt and Mearsheimer an opportunity to debate the issues raised in their paper, but to date they have not done so. My invitation to debate remains open. I challenge Mearsheimer and Walt to look me in the eye and tell me that because I am a proud Jew and a critical supporter of Israel, I am disloyal to my country.
Something tells me that Professors Mearsheimer and Walt can’t be reached for comment.