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The Company they Keep: Mearsheimer, Walt and “The Socialism of Fools”

John Mearsheimer (left) and Stephen Walt: Why is this man smiling?

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COMMENT: In FTR #613, we explored the Mearsheimer/Walt book on the Israel Lobby against the background of what a French analyst once termed “the socialism of fools”–anti-Semitism.

A review linked below by Walter Russell Mead accurately characterized the book as not anti-Semitic, but a book that anti-Semites would love. 

It now develops that Mearsheimer has run professional interference for a wild-eyed anti-Semite named Gilad Atzmon. Ostensibly an Israeli Jew (like Wikileaks lynchpin “Israel Shamir” aka Joran Jermas, linked to the same professional milieu), Atzmon has not only blamed the Holocaust on the Jews themselves, but has hinted that it never actually occurred, as well as giving credence to “blood libel”–the medieval allegation that Jews killed gentile babies to use their blood to make Passover matzoh.

(One wonders if Atzmon/Jermas might be descendants of some of the Nazis who were given Jewish/Israeli cover with expertly-forged documents crafted by concentration camp inmates. We have touched on this in some of our discussions with John Loftus. These are distinct both from the “Bormann Jews” we’ve spoken about, as well as the Israeli right-wing itself, which has a fascist heritage.)

Notable for its unbridled, primitive venality, the views of Atzmon couldn’t be more unequivocal. It is possible that Mearsheimer hadn’t done any homework about Atzmon before writing a glowing jacket promo for his book. Nonetheless, Mearsheimer has unequivocally defended his actions.

In his blog, Mearsheimer’s erstwhile co-author Stephen Walt gave him an opportunity to reinforce his endorsement of Atzmon. 

In addition, Walt has penned a piece as a guest contributor for Middle East Monitor  (MEMO, not to be confused with MEMRI), that serves as a spearcarrier for Hamas.

Essentially a reworking of the Mearsheimer/Walt presentation on the Israel Lobby, Walt’s MEMO piece is, in and of itself, unremarkable. What is very, very noteworthy is the caliber of the other featured commentators and writers in MEMO, the Islamo-fascist nature of which is beyond intelligent dispute.

In an upcoming post, we will tackle the Israeli/Arab conflict and ruminate about it against the background of more important dynamics.

Suffice it to say that there is, of course, an Israel Lobby and it has influence. That influence however, pales in comparison with the unchallenged power of the fossil fuels/Muslim Brotherhood/Saudi lobby, which dominates the transnational corporate landscape, the American political infra-structure and the GOP of Karl Rove and Grover Norquist.

None of the critics of Mearsheimer and Walt excerpted here have done in connection with their book is to–“follow the money.” In FTR #613, we noted the back story to the Mearsheimer/Walt book:

  • In 2002, Bank al-Taqwa director, Islamist and neo-Nazi Achmed Huber states: “We will bring down the Israel lobby and change for­eign pol­icy. We’ll do it in Amer­ica. When it hap­pens, you’ll understand.”
  • Mohamed El-Arian, the Egyptian-born CFO of PIMCO–the bond division of German insurer Allianz–becomes head of the lucrative and influential Harvard endowment fund. (One of Germany’s “core corporations,” Allianz has been the focus of litigation by Holocaust survivors. It is undoubtedly a major element of the Underground Reich. Headed up by Ron Paul supporter William Gross, PIMCO was at the epicenter of the bailout gambit following the 2008 financial meltdown.)
  • Muslim Brotherhood financier Prince Alwaleed contributes millions of dollars to Harvard to promote “Muslim-Christian understanding”–not Muslim/Christian/Jewish understanding, you’ll notice. (At the same time, Alwaleed gives millions to Georgetown University to promote–again–Muslim/Christian understanding. No Jews.)
  • Mearsheimer and Walt (the latter a professor at Harvard) publish their book.
  • Mohamed El-Arian returns to PIMCO as CFO.
  • “Mission Accomplished!”

Stephen Walt and the Islamist Lobby by Petra Marquardt-Bigman; The Algemeiner; 3/28/2013.

EXCERPT: When John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt published their book “The Israel Lobby” in 2007, the respected American scholar Walter Russell Mead argued in a very critical review that this “may be a book that anti-Semites will love, but it is not necessarily an anti-Semitic book.” Mead also noted that the book was “written in haste” and predicted that it would “be repented at leisure.”

As it turned out, the assumption that Mearsheimer and Walt would have any regrets about writing “a book that anti-Semites will love” was all too optimistic.

Some four years later, Mead commented on reports that John Mearsheimer had endorsed a book written by “a Hitler Apologist and Holocaust Revisionist.” Mead noted politely that “this is not normally the intellectual company a Distinguished Professor at the University of Chicago is expected to keep” and he suggested that “we may even hear some thoughts from Professor Walt about his co-author.”

Unfortunately, this was again an all too optimistic expectation, because Stephen Walt promptly used his blog at Foreign Policy to give his co-author a prominent platform to double down on his endorsement of the book in question and its author Gilad Atzmon. . . .

. . . . At this point it was becoming increasingly hard to avoid the conclusion that both Walt and Mearsheimer didn’t mind at all if their writings appealed to people with openly antisemitic views. Indeed, whether intentionally or not, there can be little doubt that Walt and Mearsheimer have done much to mainstream antisemitism. . . .

. . . . Now Stephen Walt has taken another step to confirm this conclusion. He has been featured as the March 2013 Guest Writer for the Middle East Monitor (MEMO), a website whose self-described mission is promoting “the Palestinian cause” by reaching out “to opinion makers and decision makers in a deliberate, organized and sustained manner.”

However, as far as MEMO is concerned, the “Palestinian cause” is really the cause of Hamas. It is therefore no coincidence that, together with their esteemed guest writer Stephen Walt, MEMO also featured a “New strategic document” by Hamas leader Khalid Mishaal (also spelled Mashal or Meshaal). . . .

. . . . As Walter Russell Mead observed, this may not be quite the company that a distinguished professor is expected to keep, but Harvard’s Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs Stephen Walt was apparently happy to be a MEMO Guest Writer.

Walt’s supposedly “exclusive” contribution to MEMO is entitled “Obama, American Jewry and the prospects for Middle East peace;” but as it happens, he was not the only writer on this topic featured by MEMO. There was another piece by one of MEMO’s well-known contributors , Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based Arabic language newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi, who prides himself on his “often controversial opinions” that include admiration for Osama bin Laden, endorsements of terror attacks against Israelis and the declaration that he would “dance with delight in Trafalgar Square” if Iran bombarded Israel.

Unsurprisingly, Atwan’s piece was entitled “Obama, the Israel sycophant;” and Atwan complained bitterly that Obama “has disappointed us and reminded us of Uncle Tom in the famous American novel.” . . .

. . . . Since documenting the appalling views propagated by MEMO could easily fill a book, I will for now just highlight that the site’s current offerings include an utterly lunatic “report” claiming that “Israeli police enable rabbis and settlers to mark Passover inside Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Needless to say, MEMO is also among the ardent admirers of Sheik Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch in Israel, who subscribes to the medieval libel that Jews use the blood of Christian children to make Matzo bread.

Of course, Professor Walt may not have known any of this when he agreed to provide MEMO with an “exclusive” – but just a few moments of googling could have enlightened him and led him, for example, to this excellent post by Alan Johnson.

Among the unsavory examples of MEMO’s connections listed by Johnson is Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham, who hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for the notorious Israel Shamir in 2005. As Johnson explains:

“Shamir’s speech, reported [by] The Times journalist Stephen Pollard, included these opinions: ‘All the [political] parties are Zionist-infiltrated.’ ‘Your newspapers belong to Zionists . . . Jews indeed own, control and edit a big share of mass media, this mainstay of Imperial thinking.’ ‘In the Middle East we have just one reason for wars, terror and trouble—and that is Jewish supremacy drive.’” . . .

“John Mearsheimer Dances with the Dark” by Walter Russell Mead; American Interest; 9/23/2011.

EXCERPT: . . . . Professor Mearsheimer, however, seems to have danced with the dark side a little more intimately. From Jeff Goldberg over at the Atlantic (and, by the way, if any readers catch themselves thinking that “of course” it would be a Jew who reported this news, you may want to reconsider just how free you are from certain ugly prejudices) comes the news that Professor Mearsheimer has blurbed a genuinely anti-Semitic book by a deeply twisted anti-Semite — who happens also to be Jewish.

The author Mearsheimer endorsed argues among other things that we should re-open the question of whether medieval Jews actually used to kill Christian children and use their blood to make matzo for Passover. He points out that poor Adolf Hitler’s actions against German Jews only came after US Jews called a boycott on German goods following Hitler’s appointment as German Chancellor. Gosh — if it weren’t for those pushy, aggressive Jews and their annoying boycotts, the Holocaust might not have happened!

Or did it happen? Gilad Atzmon thinks we should take another look. Says Atzmon:

I think that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled to start to ask the necessary questions. We should ask for some conclusive historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative that is sustained by political pressure and laws. [emphasis J. Goldberg]

Via Meadia agrees with part of this; Holocaust denial should be fought with argument and evidence rather than laws, and European laws on this topic are misguided. But this is not normally the intellectual company a Distinguished Professor at the University of Chicago is expected to keep.
Writes Professor Mearsheimer about Atzmon’s latest book:

“Gilad Atzmon has written a fascinating and provocative book on Jewish identity in the modern world. He shows how assimilation and liberalism are making it incredibly difficult for Jews in the Diaspora to maintain a powerful sense of their ‘Jewishness.’ Panicked Jewish leaders, he argues, have turned to Zionism (blind loyalty to Israel) and scaremongering (the threat of another Holocaust) to keep the tribe united and distinct from the surrounding goyim. As Atzmon’s own case demonstrates, this strategy is not working and is causing many Jews great anguish. The Wandering Who? Should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike.”

Perhaps Professor Mearsheimer hadn’t read the book thoroughly before blurbing it. Perhaps the book itself (which Via Meadia has not read) is less incendiary than some of Mr Atzmon’s other statements, and Professor Mearsheimer did not know the whole story when he agreed to blurb the book. Conceivably, Professor Mearsheimer thought that since he could oppose the Israel lobby without being an anti-Semite, all other critics of Israel were similarly as benign. If there is a good explanation that makes Mr. Mearsheimer look imprudent and unlucky rather than complicit, we will be happy to share it with our readers. . . .

“John Mearsheimer Endorses a Hitler Apologist and Holocaust Revisionist” by Jeffrey Goldberg; The Atlantic; 9/23/2011.

EXCERPT: Gilad Atzmon is a jazz saxophonist who lives in London and who has a side gig disseminating the wildest sort of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. He is an ex-Israeli and a self-proclaimed “self-hater” who traffics in Holocaust denial and all sorts of grotesque, medieval anti-Jewish calumnies. Here is a small sample of his lunatic thoughts (bold text is mine):

I think that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled to start to ask the necessary questions. We should ask for some conclusive historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative that is sustained by political pressure and laws. We should strip the holocaust of its Judeo-centric exceptional status and treat it as an historical chapter that belongs to a certain time and place.

Sixty-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz we should reclaim our history and ask why? Why were the Jews hated? Why did European people stand up against their next door neighbours? Why are the Jews hated in the Middle East, surely they had a chance to open a new page in their troubled history?

If they genuinely planned to do so, as the early Zionists claimed, why did they fail? Why did America tighten its immigration laws amid the growing danger to European Jews? We should also ask for what purpose do the holocaust denial laws serve? What is the holocaust religion there to conceal? As long as we fail to ask questions, we will be subjected to Zionists and their Neocons agents’ plots. We will continue killing in the name of Jewish suffering. We will maintain our complicity in Western imperialist crimes against humanity…

…The Holocaust became the new Western religion. Unfortunately, it is the most sinister religion known to man. It is a license to kill, to flatten, no nuke, to wipe, to rape, to loot and to ethnically cleanse. It made vengeance and revenge into a Western value.

Atzmon also believes that the Jews persecuted Hitler:

Not many people are aware that in March 1933, long before Hitler became the undisputed leader of Germany and began restricting the rights of German Jews, the American Jewish Congress announced a massive protest at Madison Square Gardens and called for an American boycott of German goods…

….Jewish texts tend to glaze over the fact that Hitler’s March 28 1933, ordering a boycott against Jewish stores and goods, was an escalation in direct response to the declaration of war on Germany by the worldwide Jewish leadership.

He has also suggested that Jews specialize in the trafficking of body parts:

Fagin is the ultimate plunderer, a child exploiter and usurer. Shylock is the blood-thirsty merchant. With Fagin and Shylock in mind Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum. . . .

. . . In this new book, Atzmon suggests, among other things, that scholars should reopen the question of medieval blood libels leveled against Jews– accusations that Jews used the blood of Christian children to make matzo, and which provoked countless massacres of Jews in many different countries. . . .

. . . . Gliad Atzmon, by the way, is also on record saying this:

“I believe that from certain ideological perspective, Israel is actually far worse than Nazi Germany.”

“Mearsheimer Responds to Goldberg’s Latest Smear” by Stephen Walt; Foreign Policy; 9/26/2011.

EXCERPT: . . . Goldberg maintains that Atzmon is a categorically reprehensible person, and accuses him of being a Holocaust denier and an apologist for Hitler. These are two of the most devastating charges that can be leveled against anyone. According to Goldberg, the mere fact that I blurbed Atzmon’s book is decisive evidence that I share Atzmon’s supposedly odious views. This indictment of me is captured in the title of Goldberg’s piece: “John Mearsheimer Endorses a Hitler Apologist and Holocaust Revisionist.”

This charge is so ludicrous that it is hard to know where to start my response. . . .

. . . . Equally important, Gilad Atzmon is neither a Holocaust denier nor an apologist for Hitler. . . .

 

 

Discussion

3 comments for “The Company they Keep: Mearsheimer, Walt and “The Socialism of Fools””

  1. More on Gilad Atzmon here- also more on left-wing antisemitism and has some links talking about its links to Islamofascism. The rest of the site is good too, covering in depth the far left’s hatred of Jews.

    http://www.paulbogdanor.com/antisemitism.html

    http://www.paulbogdanor.com/left.html (scroll down- you will see the far left’s support and collaboration with fascists, eugenicists and jihadists).

    Posted by Tembel | March 31, 2013, 12:35 am
  2. @Tembel: Just visited. Some decent stuff, but it’s far from the best source and some of these things linked are downright questionable. He also also says NOTHING about rightist anti-Semitism or support for jihadists, eugenicists, etc.

    Posted by Steven | March 31, 2013, 1:41 pm
  3. Steven — left support and collaboration with fascists, eugenicists, and jihadists are the final four elements, at the bottom of the page.

    Posted by KCarroll | April 1, 2013, 12:46 pm

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