AIPAC should invite Walt and Mearsheimer to a debate at its spring policy conference

Here are the reasons to do it:

–AIPAC's annual policy conference is a feast of rightwing Zionist ideas, and many interesting Jewish ideas too. Inviting Walt and Mearsheimer, scholars of American Jewish history, would make it even more of a feast, and create the greatest buzz in AIPAC's history.

–Does AIPAC really think Americans like Israel like they like ice cream (as Stephen Spiegel said when he debated W&M)? Then show the strength of that conviction by inviting these two skunks at the garden party to parade their noxious and flimsy claim that the two countries actually have different interests.

–Walt and Mearsheimer are the shadow conversation. AIPAC knows this. Walt now has a very-legit blog at Foreign Policy. He's jumping up and down on the third rail, and will probably show up in the second Obama administration, methinks. Put your arm around them now.

–AIPAC faces a huge threat from J Street. It would with one blow deflect
J Street, if not coopt J Street's very important message. As Agence France-Press said three days ago, of Walt and Mearsheimer's influence:

[T]heir criticism made its way to the heart
of the US Jewish community and a progressive Jewish organization, J
Street, was established several months ago to defend the goals of
pacifist Jews before the US Congress.

–At a time when AIPAC's reputation is, well, clouded in mainstream life by its cheerleading the Gaza slaughter and other abominations, it would instantly invest itself with a kind of establishment intellectual nobility that only the Phil Weiss's and Jim Lobe's of the world would care to look through.

Reasons not to do it:

–AIPAC would be legitimizing Walt and Mearsheimer in a way that the Establishment has refused to do (Doesn't matter anyway; they're coming inside);

–Walt and Mearsheimer would win the debate, and be chaired through the marketplace…

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of
Posted in Beyondoweiss, Gaza, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics

{ 10 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. samuel burke says:

    what is most amazing throught all this gaza israeli genocide event is how many jewish zionist still continnue to defend and apologize for israels grave war crimes….and still appeal to the holocaust cry of never again as their reason for the war crimes.

    muslim fundamentalism christian fundamentalism and jewish fundamentalism ……

    whats the difference….the difference is that jewish fundamentalism can not be attacked is the sacred cow….
    the fear of americas congress.

  2. samuel burke says:

    Israel Defends Attack on Building Sheltering 700 Civilians, Storing Food
    Posted January 15, 2009

    The headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip was attacked today by Israeli artillery, sparking a fire which continues to burn. The compound was reportedly housing 700 civilian refugees and storehouses of increasingly scarce food aid at the time of the attack.

    But perhaps even more pressing is the nature of the attack, which UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said was hit with shells containing the incendiary agent white phosphorus. “What more stark symbolism do you need?” asked the spokesman. “You can’t put out white phosphorus with traditional methods such as fire extinguishers. You need sand. We don’t have sand.”

    Though Gunness says Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak termed the attack “a grave mistake,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert defended the attack, saying it made him sad but it was legitimate self defense. Israeli forces claimed the headquarters was being used by “militants” who were attacking the invading Israeli troops.

    Israel has retroactively accused Hamas of being at the sites of several of their most serious incidents of attacking civilian targets, but has generally been light on evidence to back up those claims. In an attack on a United Nations girls’ school full of civilians last week, the Israeli military claimed to have video evidence, which later turned out to be a YouTube video over a year old from a different school in a different city. Israel has repeatedly revised their story on that attack since the incident.

    The latest attack has sparked yet another international outcry against Israel for its now 20 day old war on the Gaza Strip. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared the spiraling civilian death toll “unbearable,” while European Union Aid Commissioner Louis Michel was “deeply shocked and dismayed to learn of this incident.”

    The use of white phosphorus as a weapon of war in civilian areas is banned under the Geneva Conventions’ Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, though Israel has repeatedly denied that it is doing so. Still, rising evidence is putting that story, like so many other official stories during this war, in serious doubt.

    Below is a video from CNN covering the phosphorus fires at the compound.

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  3. samuel burke says:

    if and when americans discover the bullshit that israel really is…

    i guarantee you they will hate zionism…israel….and its supporters..

    like they hate foreigners sneaking across their borders… they think they hate the muslims for the attacks on 911….you know the ones…. the muslims that knocked down the three buildings with the two planes…

    the bullshit called tower seven.
    thats how close you all are to being hated.

    were just one truth away.

    good luck.

  4. Lysander says:

    "He's jumping up and down on the third rail, and will probably show up in the second Obama administration, methinks. Put your arm around them now."

    That's what I love about you Phil. You never give up hope. If I had to compare you to a biblical figure it would be Job.

    Like I said before. For things to change here, they must first change there. There has to be a new balance of power less in Israel's favor before anything changes.

  5. Julian says:

    Maybe AIPAC should invite Finkelstein and Chomsky to debate M&W. It would be a lively debate.
    Why are so many Israel haters 911 truth guys? (Richard Falk, the Christisons, Paul Craig Roberts.)

  6. samuel burke says:

    this is a classic piece from a gentleman….named taki theodoracopulos.

    the elitist scum are calling him an anti semite.
    whatever the hell that means any more ?
    they say anti semite is what they call someone whom the jews hate…to denigrate them and drag their name through the mud….the problem anymore is that now its turning into a badge of courage.

    link to

    High Life
    Madoff’s Make Away
    Posted by Taki Theodoracopulos on January 12, 2009
    When Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet committed suicide just before Christmas, I hoped against hope that others would do the same. No such luck. Villehuchet was an aristocrat, a gentleman and an honest man. He felt responsible for the loss of $1.4 billion and he took the honourable way out. I did not know Villehuchet but people who did have spoken very highly of him. The rest of Madoff’s gang I do know, and they are as likely to do the honourable thing as I am to emigrate to Israel.

  7. samuel burke says:

    israel has every right to exist, in the jungle dog eat dog earth that we live in…it is the way of the world.

    good luck to the colonialist ashkenazis who have taken those lands. i hope you learn to live among your brethren.

    i do not hate israel…..its zionisms murderous history that has turned me against its murderous ways….i can not support a lie or the liars that sell themselves off as truthtellers.

    like bolshevism, stalinism, communism…the potemkin villages, humanitarian democracy, the lies sold as truths to humanity are deplorable…the millions upon millions of innocents killed, murdered, all in the name of some ideology ought to be beyond our enlightened humanism, and yet it isnt.

    call me an american idealist….a once christian zionist who everytime i went to learn from history about what i believed in, i found it wanting in veracity.

    i used to donate to all the aliyas…i once believed all of the rabbid rabi become pastor john hagees stories about the myth in the middle east…unfortunately for me those stories did not stand up to the truth, and i had to deal with the truth.

    israel has every right to be a nation..somehow someway,
    but the lies…the crimes…and all in the light of the 20th century….while the world watches…the complicity among the worlds governments, all obviously because of the holocaust.

    and the stranglehold on americas congress and information agencies by the israel lobby becomes deplorable to any american who discovers it.

    ron paul is an american legend.

  8. American says:

    We can rant rave and scream about Gaza and Israel all day.



    Our OWN congess is what has made this genocide of Gaza possible.

    The FBI, the agency charged with defending the country from "domestic threats", needs to start suicidng these traitorous sobs.

  9. Richard Witty says:

    To call Walt and Mearsheimer "scholars of American Jewish history" is a great exageration.

    Do you really think thats what they are?

  10. citizen says:

    How about courageous and bright truth-seekers of American Jewish history?

    Real Americans–like Ron Paul, Richard Falk, the Christisons, Paul Craig Roberts.