The Impotence of the Pan-Semitic Front

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Here's a fact that might astonish Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, whose book, "The Israel Lobby," posits the existence of a nefarious, all-powerful Jewish lobby that works in direct opposition to American interests: The "Lobby" (they love to capitalize the word, to accentuate its alleged uniqueness) has failed to convince two successive American administrations, one Republican and one Democratic, to attack Iran's nuclear sites. So much for Jewish power.

Here's another fact that might astonish Walt and Mearsheimer: It turns out that the Jewish lobby wasn't even the main lobby working to bring about an attack on Iran. It was, according to the treasure trove of State Department cables released by Wikileaks, the Arab lobby -- whose lead lobbyist is, by the way, the King of Saudi Arabia (which is a big job, since he's also in charge of the world's oil supply) -- that was at the forefront of an intensive, even ferocious, anti-Iran lobbying effort. For Walt and Mearsheimer to acknowledge that the Arab lobby, and not the Jewish lobby, was the prime mover of this issue would mean that they would have to recall their book, and somehow stuff back into a bottle all of the anti-Semitic invective they unleashed in the book's wake. So don't expect an apology anytime soon.

In sum, what we have here is a situation in which all of the Semites in combination have been proven impotent in their attempt to move American foreign policy. Which suggests that American foreign policy might actually be made by Americans. This is definitely a tough week for the neo-Lindberghians.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/11/the-impotence-of-the-pan-semitic-front/67222/