Walt and Mearsheimer have had a dramatic effect on the American discourse, in a silent way. No, the powers that be don’t want to give the authors credit, but things are changing. Robert Siegel’s Do-they-hate-us-because-of-Israel question in the Dem debate (in my previous post) was enabled by Walt and Mearsheimer’s broadside. Again, no credit given. That is because the media are embarrassed. They know this is a story they should have done over and over again; but they were scooped by two scholars in their 50s. The media will be playing catchup on this for a long time. And slowly W&M’s assertions will become the conventional wisdom.
But let me get to the point. Great news. The other night on Charlie Rose (12/31/), the talk-show host allowed Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar to go on about the sinister power of the Israel lobby in American politics:
ROSE: What`s the power of the settlers today?
AKIVA ELDAR: The power of the setters is here in the United States, more than in Israel. Here, in Washington, yes. Because of the strong evangelical and Jewish lobby that will not allow the administration to touch them. Because in Israel–
CHARLIE ROSE: So the administration has no leverage — the administration in Washington has no leverage against whatever Israeli prime minister there is?
AKIVA ELDAR: Because the administration doesn`t want to use its leverage, because the administration doesn`t want to confront the political lobby. You know, Kissinger used to say that Israel doesn`t have foreign policy, only domestic policy. You can say this about this administration, when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It`s purely domestic. Israel is not part of American foreign policy. Israel is a domestic policy. You know, I`m sure you heard this joke that somebody was asking if they would like Israel to be the 51st state of the United States. And he said no, no, in this case, we will have only two senators.
And you wonder why those evil settlements exist in the West Bank? The cause is here. From Charlie Wilson to Charlie Rose, Americans are finally listening…