Let's All Go to the Israel Lobby

by David Weigel

Dana Milbank (via Glenn) offers up the most brutal take on John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt that I've yet seen, and the hook is their choice of partners to promote their work: CAIR.

Yesterday, at the invitation of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), they held a forum at the National Press Club to expand on their allegations about the Israel lobby. Blurring the line between academics and activism, they accepted a button proclaiming "Fight the Israel Lobby" and won cheers from the Muslim group for their denunciation of Israel and its friends in the United States.

The button read: "Walt & Mearsheimer Rock. Fight the Israel Lobby." And this is embarrassing:

As evidence that the American public does not agree with the Israel lobby, the political scientist cited a USA Today-Gallup poll showing that 38 percent of Americans disapproved of Israel's military campaign. He neglected to mention that 50 percent approved, and that Americans blamed Hezbollah, Iran, Syria and Lebanon far more than Israel for the conflict.

Feel free to kick me off the Serious Person Roll Call, but I had initially thought there was merit in the discussion Mearsheimer and Walt were trying to kickstart. They faced a serious hurdle in that discussion of Israel, like immigration, is dominanted by fringe voices, and they were going to be lumped in with that fringe immediately whether or not they liked it. If, as Milbank finds, they do like it, that's too bad.