Mearsheimer gets FresnoZionism Reality Inversion Award

Once in a while the Reality Inversion phenomenon is so wrenching that I’m (almost) at a loss for words. So I’ll just quote from the speech Dr. John Mearsheimer gave at the Palestine Center in Washington DC, and wonder if anyone can possibly think of another bit of rhetoric quite as twisted:

American Jews who care deeply about Israel can be divided into three broad categories.  The first two are what I call “righteous Jews” and the “new Afrikaners,” which are clearly definable groups that think about Israel and where it is headed in fundamentally different ways.  The third and largest group is comprised of those Jews who care a lot about Israel, but do not have clear-cut views on how to think about Greater Israel and apartheid.  Let us call this group the “great ambivalent middle…”

To give you a better sense of what I mean when I use the term righteous Jews, let me give you some names of people and organizations that I would put in this category.  The list would include Noam Chomsky, Roger Cohen, Richard Falk, Norman Finkelstein, Tony Judt, Tony Karon, Naomi Klein, MJ Rosenberg, Sara Roy, and Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss fame, just to name a few.  I would also include many of the individuals associated with J Street and everyone associated with Jewish Voice for Peace, as well as distinguished international figures such as Judge Richard Goldstone.  Furthermore, I would apply the label to the many American Jews who work for different human rights organizations, such as Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch.

This is insulting on several levels. First, his use of the term ‘righteous Jews’. Of course he is familiar with the Righteous Gentiles, honored for protecting Jews threatened by the Nazi Holocaust; his use of the term is intended to suggest that Israel is guilty of a Nazi-like Holocaust against the Palestinians. Not only is this obscenely false, it is close to the precise opposite of the truth, which is that the Palestinian Arabs have been waging war against the Jews in the land of Israel with the intent of wiping them out since before the state was declared (they haven’t succeeded, but not through lack of trying).

Nothing is more revealing than his list of the ‘righteous’. What distinguishes most of them  is that they are haters.  Weiss, Finkelstein, Chomsky, Roy and Falk positively drip hatred for Israel in a way which is — yes — antisemitic, sometimes to the point of lunacy. They are literally deranged by hatred, and yet they are the ones that Mearsheimer calls righteous!

This is not surprising, given that their objects of love and pity, the ‘Palestinian people’, have built an entire culture on a foundation of hate. Don’t believe me? Palestinian Media Watch documents it here. Note that they are mostly talking about the Palestinian Authority (PA), the ‘legitimate’ Palestinian representatives with whom Israel is expected to make peace, and not radical Islamists of Hamas. The main difference between these groups in this connection seems to be that the PA broadcasts its hate mostly in Arabic, while Hamas is not ashamed to do it in English as well.

I do appreciate that “many of the individuals associated with J Street” were included among the Righteous along with Finkelstein, etc.  This validates my contention that J Street belongs with those who want to destroy the Jewish state.

Mearsheimer’s “new Afrikaners” are “individuals who will back Israel no matter what it does, because they have blind loyalty to the Jewish state.” It’s ironic that this man who has made a career of parroting traditional antisemitic themes and Arab propaganda accuses his opponents of being robots. What does characterize them is that they are Zionists:  that is, that they believe that the Jewish people, like other peoples — including the recently created ‘Palestinian people’ — have a right to self-determination, and that the Jewish state is wholly legitimate and has a right to exist. This is quite different from supporting any actions the state might take!

Mearsheimer’s arguments show an appalling ignorance of the historical facts about the founding of Israel and the conflict that it has been embroiled in ever since. He says that in 1948 “the Zionists drove roughly 700,000 Palestinians out of the territory that became the new state of Israel, and then prevented them from returning to their homes;” but in truth the total number of refugees was significantly smaller, and only a small fraction of those were forced to flee by the Jews.

In fact, Ephraim Karsh has recently published a book called Palestine Betrayed which would be a good antidote for Mearsheimer’s ignorance (see Daniel Pipes’ review of it here), particularly in connection with the flight of the Arab refugees and the reasons that they did not return. Indeed, Karsh’s book was necessitated in part by the misinformation promulgated by ‘righteous’ Jewish revisionist historians like Ilan Pappé, Avi Shlaim and (until recently) Benny Morris.

So I’ve decided that Mearsheimer, a ‘distinguished’ professor at the University of Chicago and co-author of the antisemitic article and  book “The Israel Lobby,”  will get FresnoZionism’s first reality inversion award. There’s no prize associated with it, just the feeling of a job well done.

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3 Responses to “Mearsheimer gets FresnoZionism Reality Inversion Award”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    You rightly point out that Mearsheimer is a particularly disgusting person. I have no doubt there is here an effort at revenge by someone of German origin on the Jewish people. The Shoah is after all an eternal, as far as anything human can be eternal, stain on the name of Germany, and Germanness. The truly contemptible picking up of the ‘righteous Gentile’ idea here hints at where Mearsheimer shows the kind of low character this ‘scholar’ is.

  2. Robman says:

    I have a rather unique perspective on this.

    I was a student of both Mearsheimer and his co-conspirator, Stephen Walt, while attending graduate school at the University of Chicago in the late 1980s. I had several classes with Mearsheimer, and one with Walt.

    I can tell you that Mearsheimer was a tough professor, very demanding. If my work had reflected the level of “scholarship” he has exhibited in his anti-Israel diatribes, he would have flunked me in a Chicago minute.

    I can also tell you that Mearsheimer was capable of brilliance. Really. As a student of his as the Berlin Wall was coming down, while the rest of us were anticipating a Brave New World of ‘peace, love, and dope’ (his favored phrase for our attitude of the time), his was a lone voice of pessimism. He managed to get a cover story published in the Atlantic Monthly in which he warned that the end of the Cold War would bring a new period of global instability, as old, dormant regional conflicts that had been kept in check by the superpowers would emerge anew. The first place he expected this to happen was in Yugoslavia. He was dead on.

    I don’t accept for a minute that a person of his intellectual caliber really buys what he is saying nowadays. He is lying, and he knows he is lying.

    He gave no clue in the late 1980s regarding his antipathy towards Israel. At one point I asked him what he thought of our relationship with Israel, and he only said that it made sense in the context of the Cold War, but as the Cold War ended, he was at a loss to explain the strategic value of this relationship. That was it.

    Stephen Walt, on the other hand, was an intellectual mediocrity. Very affable and approachable, I would put his academic success down to knowing the right phrases to parrot, and the right behinds in which to burrow his nose. He was merely a cookie-cutter, trendy 60s liberal, who seemed more about being liked and impressing pretty co-eds at academia cocktail parties than having anything remotely resembling an original thought about anything.

    To give you an idea, during the one class I had with him, he dismissed American efforts at preventing countries such as Libya from getting nuclear weapons as being hypocritical. Official explanations of this policy centered on the irresponsible nature of the the Libyan regime – a no-brainer – but he pooh-poohed this to my amused classmates by denigrating the degree of responsibility exhibited by the U.S. ‘Who are we to tell others what constitutes responsible behavior with respect to nuclear arms?’, was his argument. So, American administrations are being compared to cross-dressing delusional dictators….now THERE’S scholarship!

    As per the standard academia liberal mold, Walt was pro-Palestinian. He probably believed in what he was doing, and that is an accurate reflection of his intellectual abilities.

    Mearsheimer, on the other hand, was someone who really should have known better.

    Their line falls in PRECISELY with the Saudi line. Israel is the problem. The only “good Jews” – and “enlightened” Saudi stooge types speak in these terms – are Jews who disassociate themselves from Israel. Any Jew who is pro-Israeli is a traitor and a racist. If Israel can be brought to heel, all of the problems of the Middle East will then be solved. The “moderate Arabs” will then be able to show their people that the U.S. is on “their” side, and thus the “extremists” can then be isolated. Etc., etc.

    Walid Phares – a noted Lebanese-American scholar – has well-documented the multi-decade, multi-billion dollar Gulf Arab effort at subverting Western academic institutions.

    Now, connect the dots, people….

    I’d bet my house that if Professor Mearsheimer’s finances were investigated, there would be a large Swiss bank account with a big wad of petrodollars stuffed into it. If I ever run into the bastard again, I’ll be sure to ask him if his retirement portfolio was looking a little thinner than he would have liked, and maybe that was why he turned himself into an Arab whore these past few years.

  3. Vic Rosenthal says:

    I’ve looked up Mearsheimer’s academic CV before and I was shocked at the comparison with the shoddy logic in his ‘lobby’ article/book and again in this talk.

    I’ve speculated in exactly the same vein — Saudi money. What’s needed is an investigative reporter to prove it.

    There’s always the possibility of simple antisemitism. Maybe some Jew ended up with a girl he liked back in college. Who knows? But I’d bet on the petrodollars.