USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

Debating the Lobby in Manhattan: Israel Sends in the Clowns

Posted by uscsjp on September 30, 2006

Does it seem implausible that one might actually feel sympathy for a professor at the University of Chicago? So I would have thought; but as John Mearsheimer got the waterboard treatment from Martin Indyk and Dennis Ross last night at New York’s Cooper Union, there was something undeniably poignant in his situation. Mearsheimer, an earnest, polite, owlish gent, had the bemused air of a man trying to reason with a pair of rabid Dobermans. The occasion was a “debate,” hosted by the London Review of Books, on the question, “The Israel Lobby: Does it have too much influence on US foreign policy?”

Noam Chomsky observes somewhere that “debates are one of the most irrational institutions that humans have devised,” because they “demand irrationality” on the part of the combatants. He neglected to add that they also often bring out the worst in the spectators. And when the subject is Israel, and the debate takes place in New York, where this topic usually evokes irrationality on a titanic scale — well, the ensuing spectacle is likely to delight a misanthrope’s heart. (continued. . .)

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