The Surprising Clout Of Walt And Mearsheimer

If you want to make real waves with a policy or political book, the sales don't count that much. What counts is how you shift the discourse, how you galvanize potential supporters and disorient antagonists. As AIPAC redoubles its efforts to stigmatize its next-generation successor, J-Street, Ezra Klein argues that

the influence of Walt and Mearsheimer's The Israel Lobby has played a serious role. J Street emerged at a moment when the political activity of major Jewish groups was receiving sustained scrutiny for the first time in memory. And that scrutiny kickstarted an overdue process of polarizing Jewish opinion over the generally right wing political approach favored by AIPAC. J Street, in other words, emerged as an alternative to AIPAC at the exact moment that a certain number of center-left and liberal Jews began wondering whether AIPAC remained a suitable representative for their beliefs. In a way, J Street is the concrete manifestation of AIPAC's -- and the Jewish groups that associate with it -- organizational anxieties, and that's led AIPAC and their associates to treat J Street as a threat rather than an annoyance. That, in turn, has made J Street more of a threat than an annoyance.

My suspicion is that whatever tensions now exist, they will be puny compared with the crisis that could break out if Netanyahu decides to attack Iran unilaterally.