Bradley Burston argues that Jimmy Carter’s book was intended primarily to strike at the organized Jewish pro-Israel community:
Best of all, from Carter’s standpoint, is the blistering flak he has taken from an A-list of prominent American Jews. The criticism grants weight to Carter’s carefully worded accusations as to Jewish control of the American media, a self-fulfilling charge if ever there was one, and one sure to keep the hardcovers flying off bookstore shelves.
Echoing Mearsheimer and Walt, Carter hammers on the Jewish conspiracy to prevent criticism of Israel (here in an LA Times Op-ed):
The many controversial issues concerning Palestine and the path to peace for Israel are intensely debated among Israelis and throughout other nations — but not in the United States. For the last 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee and the absence of any significant contrary voices.
The sudden prevalence of this point of view smells like a carefully crafted public relations offensive. As I’ve written before, the combination of this with the mysterious FBI sting against AIPAC and the new influence of the Baker-Scowcroft gang seems all of a piece. My feeling is that Israel’s enemies know how important American support is to Israel, and how critical American Jewish influence has been to keep that support. And they want to stop it.
Recently, more and more has come out about Carter’s being a paid lackey of the Saudis. And Baker’s law firm represents the Saudi government. I think it would be useful to look for Saudi connections in other places, like Mearsheimer and Walt. And it would be instructive if we could find out who initiated the AIPAC sting.