A couple days ago I was talking to a well-connected woman who has met Steve Walt, the former Harvard dean and anatomist of the Israel lobby, and she offered this characterization: Walt is the brilliant nerd type, "the smartest kid in
the high school. He loves ideas. He doesn’t care who comes up with a
good one." Then the woman said that Walt had been surprised by the response two years ago to his
paper. "He is naive."
I asked why she felt that way.
"Walk around Harvard and the Kennedy School, what are the names on
the buildings? Taubman, Rubenstein, Belfer, Weiner. Where do you think
the money is coming from in academia?" I mentioned that Walt’s own
chair is endowed by Robert Belfer, who I believe is on the advisory
board of Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a thinktank that
Walt and Mearsheimer attack. The woman said, "This is why tenure is
mention this exchange because it was 1, typical of the kind of private
conversation that even sober Establishment types (her; not me) have
about these issues and 2, a reminder that you cannot honestly describe
the formation of Middle East policy without acknowledging that Jews are
principals in the establishment, and Jewish wealth is a significant
factor in public life. I’m told that a hawkish Council on Foreign Relations conference on Iran last year was partially underwritten by Lester Crown. John Mearsheimer was disinvited from the Global Affairs Council in Chicago last year– I believe because Crown, whose fortune began in waste management, is at the head of it. It never ends. Obama and Hillary debated in Philadelphia in the Kimmel Theater at the Constitution Center; and Kimmel is a leader of the movement for separate schools for Jewish kids.
There’s nothing wrong with Jews making money. It’s Jewish identity that we need to work on…