Silencing Israel's Critics
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America Attacks a Study on the Israel Lobby
A working paper, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, March 2006, by Harvard professor Stephen Walt and University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer details their facts and opinions of how the Israel Lobby has served to distort U.S. foreign policy and harm U.S. interests. The more aggressive supporters of Israel have leaped to the defense of the Israel Lobby in an effort to disparage the working paper. Although working papers solicit criticism, these critics don't argue in an academic and helpful manner. They use vicious and demagogic techniques: vilifications, hate, superficial analysis, irrelevancies, distortions of truth to demean the authors of the working paper, and their rhetoric doesn't counter the thesis: that the Israel Lobby has served to distort U.S. foreign policy and harm U.S. interests.
An analysis of the response by one of these critics, The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), to the Kennedy school working paper: The Israel lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, discloses the specious arguments of one of Israel's ardent supporters and the manner in which CAMERA casually misrepresents statements to support its contentions.
Note: The analysis examines all of CAMERA's rebuttals to the working paper. Only the pertinent comments of CAMERA's rebuttals are detailed.
In fact, even a cursory examination of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy reveals that it is riddled with errors of fact, logic and omission, has inaccurate citations, displays extremely poor judgment regarding sources, and, contrary to basic scholarly standards, ignores previous serious work on the subject. The bottom line: virtually every word and argument is, or ought to be, in "serious dispute."
CAMERA, a watchdog for "misstatements" concerning Israel, is sometimes correct. However, the "Israel above all" organization uses deceptive criticism, in which a minor fault in one dubious statement is used to negate an entire thesis. Camera argues with ambiguities and exaggerations to steer the reader from truth to confusion.
Examination of CAMERA's response to the working paper: Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
Working Paper: For the past several decades, however, and especially since the Six Day War in 1967, the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy has been its relationship with Israel. the overall thrust of U.S. policy in the region is due almost entirely to U.S. domestic politics, and especially to the activities of the "Israel Lobby."
CAMERA: Is it true that U.S. policy in the Middle East, and specifically our support for Israel, is due almost entirely to the activities of the "Israel Lobby?" The authors are hardly the first to so argue, though one wouldn't know it from reading their report, which, as noted, ignores all prior serious work on the subject, including the seminal book refuting such claims by the late Professor A.F.K. Organski, The $36 Billion Bargain: Strategy and Politics in U.S. Assistance to Israel.
Alternative Insight: CAMERA misrepresents. It misinterprets the word "centerpiece," which only indicates an essential part and the phrase, "almost entirely to U.S. domestic politics" to make it seem the authors are stating that U.S. policy in the Middle East, and specifically support for Israel, is "due almost entirely" to the activities of the Israel Lobby." The media watchdog then cites a previous work, published in 1991, which it terms a "seminal book," (is it really?) and indicates the authors' efforts are incomplete because they haven't examined every book on the topic, especially those that agree with CAMERA.
CAMERA: Though the authors do cite Organski's book once, on the strategic importance of Israel during the cold war, they entirely ignore his main point, which is that the primary reason for U.S. support of Israel can't possibly be the Jewish vote, or Jewish political contributions, or the activities of any pro-Israel lobby, for the simple reason that, as polls indicate, Jews were just as pro-Israel before 1970, when U.S. support for Israel was minimal, as they were after 1970, when U.S. support for Israel grew rapidly.
Alternative Insight: CAMERA confuses. After pretending that Organski's book is relevant to the argument, Camera becomes tangential to confuse the reader. They ignore the facts that the Israel Lobby wasn't as well organized and as well funded back in 1970 as after 1980. "As recently as the late 1960s, the organization now considered the most powerful foreign policy lobby in Washington was essentially a one-man operation run by (Sy) Kenen." (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/)
What polls indicate that American Jews were as ardently pro-Israel before the 1967 war as they are now? CAMERA makes a statement without providing references. Is that scholarship? If the pro-Israeli Jewish vote ( not the average Jewish vote) and pro Israeli political contributions (and not just Jewish) are not significant, why do legislators unashamedly cater to the pro-Israel voters, appear at their rallies and why did Newt Gingrich state: "(AIPAC is) the most effective general interest group over the entire planet. ( Pulling US strings on Israel, Michael Flynn, Asia Times online, May 19,2005)
Two quotes from the professors' working paper that CAMERA ignored:
Although neoconservatives and other Lobby leaders were eager to invade Iraq, the broader American Jewish community was not.
...not all Jewish-Americans are part of the Lobby, because Israel is not a salient issue for many of them.
In a 2004 survey, for example, roughly 36 percent of Jewish-Americans said they were either
not very or not at all emotionally attached to Israel.
Working Paper:.. the United States has a terrorism problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel, not the other way around. U.S. support for Israel is not the only source of anti- American terrorism, but it is an important one, and it makes winning the war on terror more difficult.
CAMERA: While the 9/11 Commission report did mention Israel as a factor in the attacks, there is much evidence to argue against the assertion, and they certainly did not point to Israel as the major factor in provoking the attacks
Alternative Insight: CAMERA misrepresents. The authors used the words "in good part" and not the words "major factor." They explicitly state "support for Israel is not the only source of anti-American terrorism."
Working Paper:... Israel has provided sensitive U.S. military technology to potential U.S. rivals like China, in what the U.S. State Department Inspector General called "a systematic and growing pattern of unauthorized transfers.
CAMERA: In their efforts to prove their at best shaky case the authors also argue that Israel is a bad ally. For example, they allege, Israel has compromised sensitive U.S. military technology: What they don't tell readers is that the accuracy of the State Department report has been called into serious question. Richard Clarke, for example, then the official in the State Department responsible for overseeing arms transfers, and later President Clinton's counter-terrorism chief, stated there was one, minor improper transfer, not a pattern of them.
Alternative Insight: CAMERA obfuscates. The working paper quotes State Department Inspector General Sherman Funk, who stated in a March 1992 report that, "alleged Israeli violations of US laws cited and supported by reliable intelligence information show a systematic and growing pattern of unauthorized transfers...dating back to about 1982." That's not good enough for CAMERA who instead believes its more fair to quote State Department official Richard Clarke, the State Department official accused of enabling Israel's arms transfers during previous administrations. Although Israel has been accused of transferring arms to many nations, isn't just one transfer to China too much.? How pregnant can a person be?
Working Paper: In addition to the case of Jonathan Pollard, who gave Israel large
quantities of classified material in the early 1980s (which Israel reportedly passed onto
the Soviet Union to gain more exit visas for Soviet Jews)...
CAMERA: In the same vein, the authors also charge that Israel passed to the Soviet Union information it received from convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, supposedly to get more exit visas for Soviet Jews. But this claim, which originated in an extremely controversial sentencing memorandum submitted by Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger, is known to be false.
Alternative Insight: CAMERA misstates. The working paper did not "charge." It used the word "reportedly" and placed the report in parentheses. It is well known that CIA sources alleged that some of the enormously sensitive secrets stolen by Pollard might have been either sold or bartered, by Israel to the Soviet Union.
Working Paper: Contrary to popular belief, the Zionists had larger, better-equipped,
and better-led forces during the 1947-49 War of Independence and the Israel Defense Forces
(IDF) won quick and easy victories...These victories offer eloquent evidence of Israeli
patriotism, organizational ability, and military prowess, but they also reveal that Israel
was far from helpless even in its earliest years.
CAMERA: This claim is simply laughable. Consider, for example, the relative strengths of the Israeli forces and the Arab forces arrayed against them during the first critical weeks of the war:
Tanks Aircraft Artillery Troops Israel 3 35 5 28,000 Arabs 270 300 150 35,000
Arab-Israeli Wars, A.J. Barker
As for Israel being better led, the authors are apparently unaware that the invading Arab forces were professional armies, while the Israeli forces facing them were no better than militias, with experience only in small unit operations. How then did the Israelis win? Quite simply they were able to win because they were fighting for their lives, unlike the Arab forces, who could lose and go home, and because the Arab leaders did not trust each other and often acted at cross purposes.
Alternative Insight: CAMERA has a valid criticism but its response, in which it uses the world 'laughable,' is arrogant, amateurish and reveals an emotional bias. Actually, the Zionists had 65,000 persons with weapons and had better morale and leadership, as CAMERA seems to admit. The so-called professionalism and equipment of the Arab armies didn't prove to be of much value in the fighting that occurred. Military analysts have ignored the difficult desert supply lines which diminished the effectiveness of the Arab armies. The Vietcong and North Vietnamese didn't have planes, tanks and exceptionally well trained forces but defeated the well equipped U.S. army. Being proud and professional, they never pleaded weakness. Nevertheless, the proof is in the result. Weak adversaries don't gain victories. In 1948-49 the incipient Israel succeeded in repelling Arab armies, seizing and controlling territories that more than doubled its original size and expelled 750,000 indigenous Palestinians.These are the important events of the 1948-49 war and they should not be sidetracked by military power disputes.
Working Paper: As David Ben-Gurion put it in the late 1930s, "After the formation of a large army in the wake of the in the wake of the establishment of the state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine."
CAMERA: The authors also try to undermine Israel's moral standing by citing seemingly damaging quotes from Israeli leaders. They claim, for example, that Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion stated that: "After the formation of a large army in the wake of the establishment of the state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine." The authors are a little naive, and are apparently unaware that there is a whole "industry" of fake Zionist quotes, both on anti-Israel websites, but also in many seemingly respectable books. Too bad, then, for the authors, that they didn't check this "quote" more carefully. Here's the actual protocol of the relevant part of the meeting that the above alleged quote is based upon:
Mr. Ben-Gurion: The starting point for a solution of the question of the Arabs in the Jewish State is, in his view, the need to prepare the ground for an Arab-Jewish agreement; he supports [the establishment of] the Jewish State [on a small part of Palestine], not because he is satisfied with part of the country, but on the basis of the assumption that after we constitute a large force following the establishment of the state - we will cancel the partition [of the country between Jews and Arabs] and we will expand throughout the Land of Israel.
Mr. Shapira [a JAE member]: By force as well?
Mr. Ben-Gurion: [No]. Through mutual understanding and Jewish-Arab agreement. So long as we are weak and few the Arabs have neither the need nor the interest to conclude an alliance with us... And since the state is only a stage in the realization of Zionism and it must prepare the ground for our expansion throughout the whole country through Jewish-Arab agreement - we are obliged to run the state in such a way that will win us the friendship of the Arabs both within and outside the state.(Efraim Karsh, "Falsifying the Record: Benny Morris, David Ben-Gurion and the 'Transfer' Idea," Israel Affairs, V4, No. 2, Winter 1997)
In other words, Ben-Gurion was stating the opposite of what the authors would have their readers believe.
Alternative Insight: CAMERA deceives. According to CAMERA, we should not believe reports in any history book or archive that mars the reputation of Israel leaders, except remarks certified by CAMERA, guardian of the truth. CAMERA's diatribe has nothing to do with the working paper's assertions. David Ben-Gurion, as all politicians, recited opposing statements at different times.The working paper source for the sentence is not Benny Morris, but historian Simha Flapan who, unlike CAMERA, had first-hand knowledge of events during the birth of Israel. The footnote cites:The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities By Simha Flapan, National Secretary of Israel's Mapam, and the director of its Arab Affairs department. And by the way, hasn't Israel canceled partition and expanded throughout the land of Palestine?
Working Paper:...the Zionists had to expel large numbers of Arabs from the territory that would eventually become Israel. There was simply no other way to accomplish their objective. Ben-Gurion saw the problem clearly, writing in 1941 that "it is impossible to imagine general evacuation [of the Arab population] without compulsion, and brutal compulsion."
CAMERA:Unfortunately for the authors, they also "quoted" Ben-Gurion a second time, this time apparently supporting brutal measures to expel Palestinians. Amusingly enough, in this case the authors' own citation undermines their claim. They refer to a Palestinian author, Nur Masalha, and to the book Righteous Victims, by Israeli Benny Morris. Now either they never really checked the latter, or they are trying to fool their readers, for this is how Morris actually recounts the quote: "Complete transfer without compulsion - and ruthless compulsion, at that - is hardly imaginable." (Righteous Victims, p 169). In other words, if you take seriously the authors' own citation, it disproves their claim.
Alternative Insight: CAMERA misrepresents. The sentence in the working paper and in Benny Morris' book are the same. The working paper authors used the same sentence from a source that, possibly due to translation, has another sentence structure but the same sentence meaning. The working paper authors are not accusing Ben-Gurion of advocating transfer of the Arab population. Many Zionists had proposed transfer and the working paper authors are showing that Ben-Gurion "saw the problem," and warned that a general evacuation would require brutal compulsion - which happened; only about 150,000 Palestinians of an approximate 900,000 remained behind the Green line after the 1948-49 war. If the authors wanted to accuse Ben-Gurion of recommending transfer, they could have used the quote from P.659 of Benny Morris' book, Righteous Victims - "As Ben-Gurion put it again in 1944: 'I do not reject [the idea of] transfer, morally...or politically.'"
Working Paper:...no Israeli government has been willing to offer the Palestinians a viable state of their own. Even Prime Minister Ehud Barak's purportedly generous offer at Camp David in July 2000 would only have given the Palestinians a disarmed and dismembered set of "Bantustans" under de facto Israeli control.
CAMERA: This claim about "bantustans," or cantons, was directly contradicted by the one person who was in on all the negotiations, Ambassador Dennis Ross, President Clinton's chief Middle East negotiator. According to Ross: "... the Palestinians would have in the West Bank an area that was contiguous. Those who say there were cantons, completely untrue. It was contiguous... And to connect Gaza with the West Bank, there would have been an elevated highway, an elevated railroad, to ensure that there would be not just safe passage for the Palestinians, but free passage." (Fox News, April 21, 2002)
Alternative Insight: CAMERA selects a quote from someone who has been accused of being an Isarel apologist. If Prime Minister Barak wanted to create a Palestinian state that had no cantons, was contiguous and had a "free"elevated railroad connecting Gaza and the West Bank, why didn't he do it? After all, Israel has done anything it wanted with Palestinian territory, so why didn't it do what it proposed? Why is Israel now creating a "Palestinian State" that has cantons, is not contiguous, and doesn't have this elevated railway? Several participants have noted that the Camp David proposals were verbal and not documented and the working paper authors quote several reliable observers for their remarks. CAMERA quotes Dennis Ross, the person whom many regard as sharing responsibility for the Camp David failures and who spends most of his time defending his position and Israel.
Working Paper: The IDF also murdered hundreds of Egyptian prisoners-of-war in both the 1956 and 1967 wars. In 1967, it expelled between 100,000 and 260,000 Palestinians from the newly-conquered West Bank, and drove 80,000 Syrians from the Golan Heights. It was also complicit in the massacre of 700 innocent Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps following its invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and an Israeli investigatory commission found then-Defence Minister Sharon "personally responsible"for these atrocities.
CAMERA: In addition to criticizing Ben-Gurion and Barak, the authors also try to link Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to war crimes: "[the IDF] was also complicit in the massacre of 700 innocent Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps following its invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and an Israeli investigatory commission found then-Defence Minister Sharon 'personally responsible' for these atrocities."
In fact, while the Kahan Commission did find that Sharon bore "personal responsibility," it is clear from the rest of the report that the authors misunderstood this reference, which was in contrast to Ministerial responsibility. In the latter a ministry makes a serious mistake, and the Minister, though unaware, must take responsibility, since he heads the ministry. With personal responsibility, the Minister himself made the mistake. Sharon indeed was found to have made mistakes, but he was found to be only indirectly responsible for the outcome.
Alternative Insight: CAMERA omits and confuses. In this case, CAMERA leaves out the complete sentence between the words [The IDF] and [was also complicit] that shows Israel's perfidy and which CAMERA knows it can't refute. The working paper authors reference a statement that "Sharon had personal responsibility for atrocities." CAMERA concludes the authors are unfairly criticizing Sharon, although the Kahan Commission relates exactly the same words as in the working paper. Does anyone understand this logic? CAMERA then expounds on something that has nothing to do with the working paper statement.
Working Paper:Pro-Israel forces have long been interested in getting the U.S. military more directly involved in the Middle East, so it could help protect Israel.
CAMERA: Mention must also be made of yet another claim by the authors with a bogus reference: "Pro-Israel forces have long been interested in getting the U.S. military more directly involved in the Middle East, so it could help protect Israel." They support this extremely dubious claim with footnote 181, which lists only one reference, a report, Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century. This report is easily searched, and it mentions Israel only once: Obviously this report offers no support whatsoever for the claim that Israel wants the U.S. to fight its battles. Whether this is a careless mistake, or something more serious, it only further undermines the credibility of the authors.
Alternative Insight: CAMERA misrepresents. The working paper doesn't claim "that Israel wants the U.S. to fight its battles." It claims, similar to the actions of pro-Albanian forces during the Kosovo dispute, that "Pro-Israel forces have long been interested in getting the U.S. military more directly involved in the Middle East, so it could help protect Israel." Regardless of any possible "lack of reference support" and incomplete discussion, can the working paper claim be considered "dubious?" Didn't the pro-Israel neocons urge the U.S. to attack Iraq? Aren't pro-Israel forces urging the U.S. to attack Iran?
Working Paper: The United States is a liberal democracy where people of any race, religion, or ethnicity are supposed to enjoy equal rights. By contrast, Israel was explicitly founded as a Jewish state and citizenship is based on the principle of blood kinship. Given this conception of citizenship, it is not surprising that Israel's 1.3 million Arabs are treated as second-class citizens, or that a recent Israeli government commission found that Israel behaves in a "neglectful and discriminatory" manner towards them.
CAMERA: In a further effort to discredit Israel the authors compare Israeli democracy unfavorably with U.S. democracy: "The United States is a liberal democracy where people of any race, religion, or ethnicity are supposed to enjoy equal rights. By contrast, Israel was explicitly founded as a Jewish state and citizenship is based on the principle of blood kinship." It is not clear what the authors mean by blood kinship, but clearly there are many Israeli citizens who are not Jewish and some of them don't even have any kin in Israel, blood or otherwise. So what does this mean?...And, if the authors are going to argue that the Law of Return is somehow racist, they should be aware that quite a few other countries, including democracies, have similar laws, including Greece, Germany, Ireland, Finland, etc.
Alternative Insight: CAMERA deceives. Note that CAMERA has omitted the last sentence that clarifies the previous sentence and explains its meaning. Yes, Israel has citizens that are not Jewish, but only by accident; they are descendants of those who didn't leave during the 1948-49 war or were not evicted during or after the war. And although they are citizens by default, Israeli ID cards and passports mark their nationality as Arab and not Israeli, while Jewish Israeli citizens have Jewish nationality. Except for special situations, all new citizens since the end of the 1948-49 war have been only Jewish. Even many non-Jewish Russian immigrants who are married to Jews have been denied Israel citizenship. It is obvious that Israel citizenship is based on the principle of blood kinship, which means those of Jewish blood can obtain citizenship; those who don't have Jewish blood might obtain citizenship, but only due to unusual circumstances. As for other nations having a Law of Return, other nations apply the law to descendants of persons who had been born in the country. It is opposite in Israel. Israel allows persons who are not descendants of those born in the country, but who are Jewish, to receive citizenship after coming to Israel but denies a Right of Return to Palestinians who were born in the land, owned land and technically were citizens after the partition that created the state of Israel.
Working Paper: Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing the amounts provided to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1976 and the largest total recipient since World War II. Total direct U.S. aid to Israel amounts to well over $140 billion in 2003 dollars. Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America's foreign aid budget. In per capita terms, the United States gives each Israeli a direct subsidy worth about $500 per year. This largesse is especially striking when one realizes that Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to South Korea or Spain.
CAMERA: One obvious target for the authors is the supposedly massive level of US aid to Israel. Interesting that the authors mention Israel being a wealthy industrial state, like South Korea. The implication being that South Korea doesn't get huge amounts of U.S. aid, while Israel, supposedly because of the lobby, does, to the tune of about $3 Billion annually.
However, we have had around 40,000 U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea for about 50 years. The presence of these troops is a direct subsidy to the South Koreans - because we are there protecting them, they have that much less a defense burden, and we have that much more a defense burden (that is, if we didn't have to defend them, we could have a smaller, less expensive, military). The money that South Korea saves can be used to reduce taxes, or to create, say, a car industry, or a steel industry, or a chip industry, producing goods which they can then sell to the U.S., and jobs that they can take from the U.S. All subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer. And what do those troops and their equipment and other related items cost the U.S.? About $3 Billion a year. (source: New York Times, Jan. 8, 2003)
And what of the defense of Japan and the rest of East Asia (excluding South Korea)? Perhaps another $40 Billion. Same consequences as above, just multiplied by a factor of 13.
Which brings us to the defense of Western Europe - aka our NATO commitment. That runs to about a third of the defense budget, roughly $80 Billion a year. Same consequences as for Korea, just multiplied by a factor of around 26.
Alternative Insight: CAMERA deceives by its misinterpretation of U.S. foreign aid. The working paper authors have correctly cited contributions to Israel under U.S. direct military and economic assistance programs. CAMERA has referenced military programs that are essential and contractual parts of mutual defense treaties with several nations, which were signed early in the Cold War. Recipients of foreign aid have no relation to military spending by treaty.
Working Paper:One CNN executive has said that he sometimes gets 6,000 e-mail messages in a single day complaining that a story is anti-Israel. Similarly, the pro-Israel Committee for Accurate Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) organized demonstrations outside National Public Radio stations in 33 cities in May 2003, and it also tried to convince contributors to withhold support from NPR until its Middle East coverage became more sympathetic to Israel. Boston's NPR station, WBUR, reportedly lost more than $1 million in contributions as a result of these efforts.
CAMERA:The authors also make bogus claims about CAMERA (and they get our name wrong): "the pro-Israel Committee for Accurate Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) organized demonstrations outside National Public Radio stations in 33 cities in May 2003, and it also tried to convince contributors to withhold support from NPR until its Middle East coverage became more sympathetic to Israel." In fact, CAMERA (The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) did not organize the demonstrations outside NPR stations. They were organized by a woman named Diana Muir, independently of CAMERA. And CAMERA does not want coverage more "sympathetic" to Israel, we want coverage that is fair, accurate and balanced.
Alternative Insight: CAMERA has a point, but isn't it a trivial point? Although the working paper referenced numerous articles for its claim that CAMERA organized demonstrations against NPR, the facts indicate that Diana Muir and the Boston Israel Action Committee actually organized the demonstrations. (Is Boston in Israel?) The working paper didn't grope blindly. It had many references on this one topic. The references:
Barringer, "Some U.S. Backers"; Gaby Wenig, "NPR Israel Coverage Sparks Protests," The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 9, 2003; Gila Wertheimer, "NPR Dismisses Protest Rallies," Chicago Jewish Star, May 30 - June 12, 2003. Also see James D. Besser, "NPR Radio Wars Putting Jewish Groups in a Bind," Jewish Week, May 20, 2005; Samuel Freedman, "From 'Balance' to Censorship: Bush's Cynical Plan for NPR," Forward, May 27, 2005; Nathan Guttman, "Enough Already from Those Pro-Israel Nudniks," Ha'aretz, February 1, 2005; E.J. Kessler, "Hot Seat Expected for New Chair of Corporation for Public Broadcasting," Forward, October 28, 2005
The working paper assertion and CAMERA's rebuttal are significant because it indicates there are other pro-Israel organizations that tend to intimidate news sources and steer their approaches. Besides, nobody can accuse NPR of being unfair to Israel. The writer once called NPR to protest an obvious false statement concerning the Middle East conflict. My call was routed to a person who recited Israel propaganda to me and sent me literature written by the Israeli right wing extremist KACH organization. Really! NPR has presented news that is not complimentary to Israel; after all, it is a news organization, but NPR, on balance, has mostly presented news reports that are favorable to Israel and has omitted many, many news wire reports concerning severe attacks against Palestinians. NPR will allow Israel apologists to participate in debates and bars extremist spokespersons for the Palestinians. CAMERA is not being truthful in claiming: "we want coverage that is fair, accurate and balanced." If that were true, why hasn't it ever complained about unbalanced coverage of events that falsely portray Palestinian actions?
Silencing Israel's Critics
CAMERA has not performed a worthwhile analysis in its criticism of the working paper: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. A worthwhile analysis doesn't nit-pick words and only select certain sentences from 42 pages of text and 41 pages of footnotes with the sole purpose of damaging credibility. Anyone reading the paper can observe that it is exceptionally well-organized, clear in its approach and informative. A worthwhile analysis examines the argument of a paper and then either supports or criticizes the argument with facts and opinions. Actually, CAMERA has been incorrect in almost all of its rebuttals and has shown that its analysis proceeds from bias. CAMERA has not critiqued the argument; The Israel lobby has served to distort U.S. foreign policy and damaged U.S. interests; it has only criticized the authors with provocative and insolent statements. By not properly evaluating the argument, CAMERA has demonstrated the validity of the working paper.
CAMERA is one of many pro-Israel organizations that seem to have only one purpose - silence Israel critics no matter the truth, right or wrong of their reports and the situations. These organizations often use vituperations, insults, deceptions and McCarthyism tactics of "guilt by association" to achieve their objectives. Similar to Senator McCarthy, these "one-sided" supporters of Israel are doomed to eventually fail. The working paper, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, March 2006, by Harvard professor Stephen Walt and University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer might be the start of something big: The downfall of the Israel Lobby and the finis to the extremist tactics of some of Israel's more aggressive supporters.
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