This is somewhat difficult to believe, but John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, the authors of The Israel Lobby, are actually standing by one of the world's most reprehensible anti-Semites, Gilad Atzmon. Atzmon is the charming fellow who argues, among other things, that the Jews persecuted Hitler. Here is Walt channeling Mearsheimer in defense of his endorsement of Atzmon. And here is Walter Russell Mead on the subject: Walter wrote one of the great reviews (and by great, I mean appropriately critical) of "The Israel Lobby." Now he weighs in, harshly, on Mearsheimer's moral descent:


In my otherwise not particularly effusive review of the sloppy and tendentious book on the Israel lobby by John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt, I was careful to say that while many of the book's errors and some of its rhetorical patterns mimicked classic anti-Semitic conventions, the book itself offered no proof that the two authors were anti-Semites themselves.  You can be honestly mistaken about an important subject without necessarily being a hater.

That judgment still stands re Professor Walt.  I think he's wrong about why American policy is so supportive of Israel, and I think his errors confirm anti-Semites in their prejudices, but I don't have any reason to go beyond that.

Professor Mearsheimer, however, seems to have danced with the dark side a little more intimately.  From Jeff Goldberg over at the Atlantic (and, by the way, if any readers catch themselves thinking that "of course" it would be a Jew who reported this news, you may want to reconsider just how free you are from certain ugly prejudices) comes the news that Professor Mearsheimer has blurbed a genuinely anti-Semitic book by a deeply twisted anti-Semite -- who happens also to be Jewish.