Steve Walt shows incredible forbearance in writing about Peter Beinart’s piece in the NYRB. Pints out that he, Walt, and Mearsheimer made many of these points long ago (their big mistake was not being Jewish). And asks, if Israel’s behavior is so concerning, well, what would Israel have to do for you, Beinart, to break off the special relationship? He raises the religious angle:
Beinart’s essay is primarily directed at the American Jewish community, which is understandable. Yet I’m curious as to whether he thinks this is a topic that all Americans should engage with, or whether he thinks (as some do) that it is a topic on which non-Jews should remain largely silent. My own view is that the special relationship has a profound impact on American foreign policy and therefore it is a subject that all Americans should care about very much and be able to discuss openly — without being unfairly attacked — even if they are critical of Israel’s actions and America’s unconditional support for them. No group should enjoy a privileged position in that debate. I wonder if Beinart would agree.