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.