To the Editor:
L. Carl Brown's capsule review of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" ("Recent Books on International Relations," September/October 2006), by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt (which was published as a research working paper of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government), contains conclusions that materially differ from well-known public information. Mearsheimer and Walt fault the "Israel Lobby" for allegedly distorting U.S. foreign policy in favor of Israeli interests and against U.S. interests. Commenting on charges that the paper suffers from sloppy scholarship and is anti-Semitic, Brown concludes that it is "clearly neither."
Yet Harvard University was so concerned with the paper's scholarship that it removed the university's logo from it and changed the institution's traditional disclaimer to further distance itself from the paper's contents. It also allowed, contrary to its normal practice, Harvard Law School's Professor Alan Dershowitz the opportunity to post a detailed reply on the Kennedy School's Web site. Dershowitz's response, titled "Debunking the Newest -- and Oldest -- Jewish Conspiracy," accused the authors of sloppy scholarship and challenged them to a debate on the issues, which they have so far declined. And the paper's allegation that certain U.S. citizens subordinate the security of their own state to that of a foreign power has been viewed by many as su/cient reason to raise serious questions regarding the piece's anti-Semitic character.
Roseland, New Jersey