Walt responds at length. Some of the more salient points he makes:
[T]he real differences between Judis and us is how one defines the "lobby" and how one interprets the role of the neoconservatives. He concedes that the neoconservatives were the primary architects of the war, and he presumably understands that the war would not have occurred absent their influence. But like some of our other critics, Judis wants to define the "lobby" narrowly.
Specifically, he wants to confine it to formal organizations like AIPAC that engage in actual "lobbying" activities and exclude the neoconservatives completely. He also wants to exclude academics and commentators who have strong attachments to Israel and who consistently defend the U.S.-Israel "special relationship." Employing this narrow definition enables Judis to argue that the "lobby" had little to do with the war. In short, Judis is attacking me for claims I did not make...
We defined the "Israel lobby" as a "loose coalition" of individuals and groups that actively works to promote and defend the "special relationship" between the United States and Israel (i.e., the policy of generous and unconditional U.S. support). Having a favorable view of Israel or generally pro-Israel attitude doesn't make someone part of the Israel lobby; to qualify, a person or group has to devote a significant portion of time, effort or money to promoting that "special relationship."
Read the whole thing, but this seems to me to be a powerful counter-factual:
What if staunchly pro-Israel pundits like Charles Krauthammer, Max Boot, Kenneth Pollack, Jeffrey Goldberg, and Thomas Friedman, among others, had spent 2002 raising questions about the wisdom of an attack, or arguing as passionately against the war as they did in favor of it? It's possible that Bush & Co. still might have been able to stampede the country to war, but surely it would have been much harder.
Add me and Mike Kelly to the mix, to reiterate that this was not a solely Jewish-American group of writers or bloggers or pundits.
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