“Let’s move over here–in the corner. It’ll be better for us to talk in private. Or else some people might get the wrong idea,” chuckles John Mearsheimer, a Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and co-author of the incendiary book, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.”The controversial book’s co-author, Stephen Walt, an Academic Dean at the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School of Government, smiles and concurs as we all find comfortable seats in the back end, lounge corner of San Francisco’s Prescott Hotel for our exclusive, in-depth interview.
“The wrong idea” according to the authors is the inaccurate labeling and smearing of their reputation as “Anti-Semites.” According to them and their supporters, they’ve unfairly earned this slander solely due to their detailed and systematic criticism of an “Israel Lobby” and its alleged actions in greatly influencing U.S. foreign policy in the volatile Middle Eastern regions of Israel and Palestine.
The Anti-Defamation League, which retaliated by publishing “The Deadliest Lies: The Myth of the Israeli Lobby” on the same release date as “The Israel Lobby,” lambasted the professors’ work as an “anti-Jewish screed: a relentless assault in scholarly guise.” However, talking to them in person and later observing their demeanor at a speech followed by question and answer session held at U.C. Berkeley, the two professors both appeared very calm, rational, collected and lacking the stereotypical, passionate vitriol and acidic anger unfortunately espoused by all parties associated with the endless “Israel-Palestine conflict.”
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