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May 08, 2006


S Silverstein


You correctly observe "It takes a special kind of scholarship to cite Shlomo Ben-Ami for the proposition that the Israelis did not offer the Palestinians a contiguous state at Camp David."

It takes a "special" kind of scholarship to write a paper like Walt and Mearsheimer's "Lobby" paper, indeed. Special in the sense of "good enough for the Jews."

See my brief posts at http://informaticsmd.blogspot.com/2006/05/ivy-academia-and-differential.html




Again, excellent and detailed scholarship by you, quite in contrast to that of Walt and Mearsheimer. They practice a variation of Agenda Driven Journalism, perfected by the NY Times and the TV networks. They start with an agenda (in this case, Israel and the Jews are to blame for ...) and only use information that is consistent with it. Facts and logic are not primary, especially when as in this case they are in conflict with their agenda.

David in DC

I read their paper in its entirety, but each time I take another look in depth at various sections I am astounded all over again at the brazen intellectual dishonesty exhibited by W&M.

The only redeeming thing that can be said about the paper is that it highlights just how poor the "anti-Lobby's" case really is, to have to rely on bad logic, quotes taken egregiously out of context, falsehoods and historical revisionism to make a case.

I guess it also highlights that rather than trying to suppress debate, "the Lobby" will vigorously debate the facts(/lack thereof) in the public eye, showing one of W&M's main recycled canards to be utterly false.

Daniel in Brookline

Many thanks for your legwork and clear explanations of this, Rick!

W&M's work needs refutation... because if they are the only ones talking, they will be the only ones believed.

Jerry Pournelle once pointed out that you can "prove" anything you want, if you allow yourself to use fraudulent data -- and that, if you restrict yourself to the established facts, but permit yourself to throw away data you don't like, you can still "prove" almost anything. (The only assertions W&M could not prove, with their twisted logic and selective memory for facts, are the assertions that aren't backed up by any facts at all, e.g. "Yasser Arafat was Chinese".)

And clearly, a system of logic -- or scholarship -- that can "prove" almost anything, is one that produces worthless results.

Daniel in Brookline


An underlying theme of W and M is that Americans ,in the main ,are too ignorant of knowing they are being manipulated,or they asre members of "fringe groups".Since Jews at least those "in the know" can't be in the manipulable mass,let's look at those who are.
Christians(meaning evangelical/fundamentalist ones),who are stupid and asily manipulable.
Neocons-which may be a code word for Jewa,anyway
Republicans,who are narrow minded,and anti Arabic.(let's not forget they've always been against civil rights .
Now let's look at this as a Man from Mars.What's more helpful,and ethically satisfying:To ally and help a country that's liberal(old fashioned meaning),a democracy,an ally that has geo=political and military strategic value and a relationship going back decades or?


Re: Ben-Ami and "Bantustans"

You may be interested in his first answer in this "live chat" at the Oxford U Press blog. He's rather definitive in his answer (and mentions maps).



This reflects about what I have understood about teh Camp David Accord. One point only. Ben A,mi states he was surprised that ether was no counter offer. Apparently it was Arafat's style never to make any proposals. The entore Camp David Accord consisted out of proposals by Israel, and Americans acting "on behalf" of a non proposing Palestinian team which preferred just commenting (dennis Ross)


Two questions:

When you quote Ben-Ami from his book saying the Camp David offer was not a "deal of Bantustans" does he agree with M and W's claim that Israel would have maintained control of the Jordan Valley? I'd look it up myself but don't have the book.

And then secondly, why do you think it's good to compare the ability for an Arab to live in Israel with the ability of settlers to live in the occupied territories? (That is your comparison, isn't it?) Palestinians act violently towards settlers because they (and the international community) believe the settlements are illegal?
And if you're wondering why Jews don't live among the Palestinians - outside of settlements- in the occupied territories then that's an interesting question. I would guess mainly because economic prospects are very slim in Palestine, as compared to the alternative of immigrating to Israel and becoming citizens in a prosperous state committed to social welfare. I'd be interested to know if you knew of any Jews who had tried to live in Palestine in this way.

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