A University of Chicago professor has ignited an intellectual firestorm in halls of ivy and corridors of power with an essay in a highbrow British journal.
is the lead. 2nd graf calls the paper "a simple diagnosis." Grossman cites qualified support for it anyhow, even from some Israeli commentators. But he notes:
"The Israel Lobby" smacks of the age-old accusation that a secret cabal of Jews aims at world dominance,
neatly summing up objections.
He also, happily, further identifies Mearsheimer -- "a former West Point cadet" and no "stranger to controversy." Regarding the latter, he cited his 1990 essay "proposing that Germany be encouraged to develop atomic weapons" and his fervent opposition to the Iraq war in 2003 on grounds that "it would give the Israelis an opportunity for an ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza."
"The precedent is there [to forcibly expel Palestinians], and it behooves us to make sure it does not happen again,"
he said at the time. Indeed, in the current essay, he and his co-author, Stephen Walt, say "the creation of Israel entailed a moral crime against the Palestinian people," this in reference to the 1948 evacuation of Palestinian refugees.
Grossman quotes Mearsheimer as dismissing the current controversy as a "food fight."
He and Walt find no "compelling moral cause for sustained U.S. backing" of Israel.
The Trib got to this one in the nick of time, I'd say, but did justice to it. Grossman was just the one to do it. It's a typically reliable, sensible piece by him in which he quotes the subject, who comes off as overly fond of the hot expression ("ethnic cleansing," for instance) and naively arrogant ("food fight").