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Monday, December 13, 2010

Stephen Walt's conspiracy theory

Stephen Walt attacks Jeffrey Goldberg for disputing Walt's claim that there is no Arab lobby (or no effective Arab lobby as he revises his claim to say here). Eli Lake notes that Walt is incapable of distinguishing between opinion journalism and lobbying, mistaking the former for the latter (Hat Tip: Soccer Dad).

While Lake is undoubtedly correct that Walt has a problem distinguishing between something that is very public and something that is largely very private, there is a much simpler answer to each of the claims (there are eight of them) that Walt makes.

When voters overwhelmingly support a policy position, that position's coinciding with an interest represented by lobbyists is a redundancy. When voters overwhelmingly oppose a position and that position gets a hearing anyway, that's a lobby's influence. In the case of Israel, the American people are overwhelmingly sympathetic to the Jewish state both in absolute terms and in terms relative to the Arab sheikhdoms whose bidding is done by Walt and his ilk.
An astounding 93 percent of those polled say the United States should be concerned about the security of the state of Israel. A majority—54 percent—say the U.S. should be “very concerned” about Israel’s security. Virtually the same number care that their elected representatives be pro-Israel. When asked, “Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate whom you perceive as pro-Israel?,” 53 percent say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate they saw as pro-Israel, 24 percent less likely. Even more striking, the same number—53 percent—say they could not vote for a candidate if he were anti-Israel, even if that candidate agreed with them on most other issues.
There is an Israel lobby in the United States, and it's not insidious at all. It's called the American people.

In fact, if anything, it can safely be said that were it not for the Arab lobby and their patrons' control of a large portion of the World's fossil fuels, no one other than Barack Obama would and the Muslim world would give a damn about the 'Palestinians.'

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At 9:06 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Yup. And people who believe in conspiracy theories don't deserve to be to accorded a hearing.


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