Giving John Mearsheimer a Chance to Climb Down

By Jeffrey Goldberg

According to the blog Harry's Place, the new, John Mearsheimer-endorsed book, "The Wandering Who?", by the anti-Semite Gilad Atzmon provides the following "classically fascist/Nazi position on Jewish finance":

"You may wonder at this stage whether I regard the credit crunch as a Zionist plot or even a Jewish conspiracy. In fact the opposite is the case. It isn't a plot and certainly not a conspiracy for it was all in the open."

This is from a book, you'll recall, that John Mearsheimer, a distinguished faculty member at the University of Chicago, has endorsed as "fascinating and provocative."

There is also this, from "The Wandering Who?":

"Fagin is the ultimate plunderer, a child exploiter and usurer. Shylock is the blood-thirsty merchant. With Fagin and Shylock in mind, the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians seems to be just a further event in an endless hellish continuum."

Here is Harry's Place on this very revelatory line:

"We should look closely at what Atzmon is saying here. According to Atzmon, Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is only the latest chapter in a "hellish continuum" of Jews plundering goods and exploiting children. This means that however you consider Israeli actions, they are only the latest in a continuum of wicked actions carried out by world Jewry. In Atzmon's "continuum" Israeli evil carries on from ancient Jewish evil, in which Shylock and Fagin are not vile racist caricatures at all, but accurately reflect Jews. That is why Atzmon can write in The Wandering Who: 'Some Jews are rather unhappy with Charles Dickens' Fagin and Shakespeare's Shylock, who they regard as 'anti-Semitic.'

So, two questions John Mearsheimer might want to ask himself, before he digs himself (and Stephen Walt) any deeper: Was the most recent world economic meltdown caused by Zionists, or Jews? And, two, are Shylock and Fagin historically accurate representations of Jews? If Mearsheimer disagrees with Atzmon, he might want to consider withdrawing his endorsement of this book.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/09/giving-john-mearsheimer-a-chance-to-climb-down/245693/