The Dead­liest Lies: The Israel Lob­by and the Myth of Jew­ish Control

  • Review
By – December 5, 2011

Fox­man, nation­al direc­tor of the Anti-Defama­tion League, tack­les the trou­bling issue of dou­ble loy­al­ty.” Against the back­ground of the chaot­ic Mid­dle East, Amer­i­can Jews are being charged with advo­cat­ing and pres­sur­ing for poli­cies not in the best inter­ests of the Unit­ed States, but favor­able to Israel. Such scape­goat­ing has an ugly his­to­ry, begin­ning with the rise of Jew­ish sta­tus and influ­ence in the pub­lic square. The author recalls the pre-World War II iso­la­tion­ists, the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries in the after­math of 9/11, and the blame placed on Jew­ish neo­cons” for the Iraq War and a pos­si­ble con­fronta­tion with Iran. 

Fox­man responds to recent dou­ble loy­al­ty” con­tro­ver­sies ema­nat­ing from respectable sources. He dis­cuss­es the arti­cle The Israel Lob­by and U.S. For­eign Pol­i­cy” (2003) by Pro­fes­sor John T. Mearshimer of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go and Pro­fes­sor Stephen M. Walt of the John F. Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment of Har­vard, recent­ly expand­ed into a book. Under the veneer of schol­ar­ship, the writ­ers claim that a strong unit­ed Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty, rep­re­sent­ed by the Israel Lob­by,” con­trols U.S. pol­i­cy and impos­es cen­sor­ship of the issue in the media and on cam­pus­es, and that Israel has not sought peace. Fox­man was a par­tic­i­pant in the Tony Judt Affair. Pro­fes­sor Judt, pro­fes­sor of Euro­pean His­to­ry at NYU, pro­posed a bina­tion­al state in his arti­cle, Israel: The Alter­na­tive” (2003). He echoes Mearshimer and Walt’s themes. Fox­man also analy­ses Jim­my Carter’s best sell­er, Pales­tine: Peace Not Apartheid (2007). Fox­man finds errors and mis­state­ments through­out. Carter insists that Israel is at the root of Mid­dle East prob­lems. The author sug­gests Carter may have iden­ti­fied with dis­pos­sessed Pales­tini­ans, who remind him of Native Amer­i­cans who lived on his own Geor­gia lands before their expulsion.

Foxman’s respons­es to the con­tro­ver­sies he presents are per­sua­sive and prag­mat­ic. His tone is con­ver­sa­tion­al in this well-writ­ten and rea­soned work. Bib­li­og­ra­phy, fore­word, index.

Lib­by K. White is direc­tor of the Joseph Mey­er­hoff Library of Bal­ti­more Hebrew Uni­ver­si­ty in Bal­ti­more, MD and gen­er­al edi­tor of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries Newsletter.

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