Columnist Jeff Jacoby writes in The Boston Globe (www.boston.com) on Sept. 23 that despite earlier fears, no one is silencing the authors of The Lobby:
"When John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt embarked on The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, which argues that a mighty pro-Israel machine controls America's dealings in the Middle East and crushes those who get in its way, they expected to be condemned as anti-Semites.
" 'The charge of anti-Semitism,' the two academics write in their book (as they had in their notorious 2006 essay on the subject), is one of the 'most powerful weapons' in the Israel lobby's arsenal.
"This accusation they label the 'Great Silencer.' Accordingly, Mearsheimer and Walt weren't surprised when leading booksellers refused to carry the The Israel Lobby and when attendance at their public appearances was suppressed. As they predicted, media outlets either refused to review their book or published reviews that tarred them as anti-Semites.
"In another universe, that is.
"In this one, nothing could be further from the truth.
"The Israel Lobby is on sale everywhere. It debuted at No. 12 on The New York Times Best Sellers list, and No. 6 in the Los Angeles Times. Far from being stifled or ignored, Mearsheimer and Walt have had invitations aplenty to air their views in venues as varied as NPR's 'Fresh Air' and 'On Point.' The media has neither cold-shouldered them nor deployed the 'Great Silencer' to defame them.
"What is not debatable is that Mearsheimer and Walt have not been silenced in any way. Their views have been widely discussed. A leading publisher invited them to extend those views in a book. Their claim that anyone critical of Israel or its supporters is ruthlessly muzzled is simply a lie. From Jimmy Carter to Noam Chomsky, from the media to academia, from the corridors of the United Nations to the 'realists' of the State Department, Israel's detractors are loud and legion.
"So why the Big Lie about the 'Great Silencer'? Perhaps to disguise the fact that hostility for Israel is simply not a flavor most Americans like. Yes, the Mearsheimer/Walt message can sell books and garner lecture bookings. But in the marketplace of ideas, it is weak and unconvincing. If America's policies are pro-Israel, it is because America's people are pro-Israel — and they are pro-Israel not because of the machinations of a Zionist lobby, but because they see in Israel a liberal democracy and a loyal ally."
A Knife in the Heart of Everything
Columnist Suzanne Fields writes on www.JewishWorldReview.com on Sept. 17 about the connection between Nazism and Islamism:
"A few days before the sixth anniversary of 9/11, a young man ranting in Arabic accosted a rabbi walking home from his synagogue in an upscale neighborhood of Frankfurt, and stabbed him. The rabbi survived, and Jewish leaders in Germany were outraged and condemned the barbarism, but moderated their criticism.
"While the Germans have made enormous efforts to atone for the Holocaust, the attempted murder of the rabbi invites attention to a contemporary problem. Radical Islamists who go undercover in Germany fuse anti-Semitism with hatred for America, and the antecedents of this hatred are rooted in the Germany of Adolf Hitler.
"Matthias Kuntzel, a Hamburg-based political scientist … traces the connection to Arab and Muslim hatred of the Jews that fed the fantasies of der Fuehrer. He, like a growing numbers of Germans, is astonished that reporters and commentators, along with policy-makers, have made so little of the Islamist rhetoric that links Islamism with Nazism in both ideology and strategy.
"What's important about the Nazi-Islamist connection is the way it inspires terrorists today. It's fashionable to say that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, but that's misleading. In its charter, the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, which has morphed into the terrorist organization Hamas, lists conspiracy theories blaming the Jews for everything from the French Revolution to the communist revolution.
"Hitler dreamed of building a huge warplane able to fly from Berlin to Manhattan and back to launch a small, light suicide-like bomber into the skyscrapers of Wall Street, which he believed was the 'center of Jewry.' Mohammed Atta, the 20th conspirator of 9/11, regarded Wall Street as a nest of Jews as well. Matthias Kuntzel describes Hitler's obsession as the fantasy foreshadowing 9/11. Hitler's fantasy bomber, meant to be shoved into the belly of Wall Street, foreshadowed the knife shoved into the belly of a rabbi in Frankfurt."
Got Gas? Stop Shooting, Power Returns
Historian Benny Morris writes in the Los Angeles Times (www.latimes.com) on Sept. 22 about Israel holding the Palestinians accountable for violence:
" 'It's about time' was the reaction of most Israelis to the government's decision on [Sept. 19] to impose further economic sanctions on the Gaza Strip and to define it as 'hostile territory.' The government spoke specifically of cutting off electricity to Gaza's inhabitants if more Kassam rockets were launched from the Hamas-controlled territory, and of a possible fuel cutoff down the road.
"A variety of terrorist groups — Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Fatah-associated Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade — have been firing the primitive, homemade Kassams at Israel's border settlements since the end of 2001, and the first ones landed in the border town of Sederot in March 2002. The rockets have so far inflicted relatively few casualties and little damage — more than 1,000 have been fired, killing about a dozen Israelis and seriously injuring several dozen — but they have caused widespread unease or panic in Sederot.
"Dozens of families have moved out of the area in recent months after the Israel Defense Force, deploying a variety of means including cross-border armored incursions, ambushes and helicopter missile attacks on the rocket teams, proved unable to stop the rocketeers. The IDF measures sometimes resulted in collateral damage and casualties, triggering condemnation by human-rights groups, and Western politicians and media.
"Since June, when Hamas took control of Gaza, it has allowed Islamic Jihad and other terror groups to continue rocketing Israel, and it supplies these groups with Kassams when they run short, according to Israeli intelligence. Hamas engineers are said, also by Israeli intelligence, to be hard at work on producing Kassams with more powerful warheads and longer ranges. Indeed, a handful of improved Kassams even reached the southern outskirts of the city of Ashkelon, north of Gaza.
"The Israeli cutoff of electricity will leave Gaza with sufficient energy to run all its hospitals, government offices and other vital services, but will no doubt result in many of the 1.5 million inhabitants suffering periodic blackouts. If a fuel cutoff is eventually added to this, the result could be far more severe. But this is what Israel is threatening — if Palestinian terrorists continue to rocket Israel's border."