Debating the Lobby
Report; Posted on: 2006-10-01 01:47:01

“Lobby? What lobby?”

The London Review of Books put on a panel last Thursday, held at Cooper Union’s Great Hall in New York City, with the provocative title “The Israel Lobby: Does it have too much influence on U.S. foreign policy?” Speaking for the affirmative: John J. Mearsheimer, a co-author of the controversial Harvard University study, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” and dean of the “realist” school of foreign policy studies, Tony Judt, and Rashid Khalidi.

Speaking for the “Lobby? What lobby?” position, two of the major players in the Lobby: Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk, with Shlomo Ben-Ami, former Israeli diplomat and Labor party politician, providing back-up and some degree of plausible deniability.

The New York Observer’s Philip Weiss was there, and provides us with his impression that “the debate belonged to Tony Judt.” Weiss writes:

“He arrived late to the hall in a turtleneck—everyone else was in ties—and might have been Mariano Rivera, for his confidence and dispatch. He was the most imaginative speaker, and imagination is required when you are describing a King kong sasquatch no one has seen and whose wranglers say doesn’t exist."

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