Archive for the ‘MAPAC’ Category

Savage vs the Controlling Terrorist Islamic Lobby CAIR

December 6, 2007

Savage Sues the infamous Pro Terror devious Islamic Lobby CAIR

Radio Host Sues Group That Quoted Him
The Associated Press – Dec 4, 2007
The suit alleges CAIR is not a civil rights group, but a political organization funded by foreigners with ties to Hamas and other terrorist groups.
Radio Host Sues Islamic Civil Liberties Group For Quoting Him AHN
Effort targets supporters of Michael Savage’s talk-radio show WorldNetDaily

‘Proven record of senior officials being indicted, imprisoned
WorldNetDaily, OR – Dec 3, 2007
CAIR denies supporting terrorism and continues to claim to be a “moderate” voice for Muslims in America. The group says its critics are the extremists,

PipeLineNews.org

Clinton Foreign Policy Team Adopts cairs Twisted Ideology
PipeLineNews.org, CA
policy team have now wholly adopted cair’s position on Islamofascism, thus finding common ground with what is widely understood in the counter-terrorism

Congressional Paul Revere Warns Nation About Islamofascist Threat
http://www.aina.org/news/2007112093227.htm
… However, groups such as Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and others have a proven record of senior officials being indicted and either imprisoned or deported from the U.S. Just to name a few: Ghassan Elashi, a founding board member of CAIR, is serving 80 months in prison; Randall “Ismail” Royer, the communications director for CAIR, is serving 20 years in prison; and Bassam Khafagi…

Walter Russell Mead : Why Israel never ‘supported’ Iraq war!

November 4, 2007

Walter Russell Mead : Why Israel never ‘supported’ Iraq war!

Nov. 2007
Walter Russell Mead [author of ‘God & Gold’ – How Anglo-Saxons Chased Gold, Praised God, Stoked `Waspophobia’ (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a6lK8dtDfiQk) replied to Mike Schneider’s ‘Night Talk’ on bloomberg TV [http://www.bloomberg.com/media/tv/schedule_us.html]

Mike: ‘What do you say to those criticis that say that there are some ties anmong Cheney the neocon and some in the others the ‘Israel lobby’?

Walter: Not true, in fact Israelis & pro Israeli activists always said that Iran is THE threat, during my visits to Israel and being over here, I can tell you, they were actually very worried the entire time letting to and during the war in Iraq, that it might hurt actions pressuring Iran.

As to Cheney couldn’t care less what’s going on in Israel-palestinian front, he was defiined as a lobbyist for the Oil, not anything else.

__________

More on Walter:

Walter Russell Mead on Mearsheimer and Walt, academic freedom, and the Zionist spectre (by Jeff Weintraub)

1. I notice that the latest issue of Foreign Affairs (dated November/December 2007) carries a devastating review of Mearsheimer and Walt’s ‘Israel Lobby’ manifesto by Walter Russell Mead. Mead’s critique is rendered especially devastating by the fact that he bends over backward to give M&W the benefit of the doubt in many ways, accepts that their aims and agenda are entirely well-intentioned (even when such an assessment seems a little strained and implausible), and recognizes when they have tried to address issues that really do need to be addressed (but addressed more intelligently and less tendentiously).

As I have noted in the past (here, for example), many defences of Mearsheimer and Walt’s ‘Israel Lobby’ manifesto, both in their original 2006 article and in the new book-length version, try to shift the ground by reframing M&W’s position in a way that jettisons their most central and incendiary claims and makes their arguments sound more plausible and common-sensical than they actually are. Then, in effect, these writers defend the work that they would have liked to see M&W write – a sober, accurate, intellectually careful, and solidly argued critique of US policies toward Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict – rather than the shoddy, irresponsible, tendentious, and pernicious piece of work that M&W actually wrote. But defences of this sort necessarily involve a certain amount of pretence and prevarication, including attempts to bowdlerize M&W’s arguments and to either ignore or skim over their more outrageous and indefensible claims (for example, blaming the Iraq war on American Jews who support Israel).

Other reviewers have been honest enough to say that they wish that M&W, or someone else, had written the kind of serious critical analysis they wanted to see – but that M&W’s actual manifesto doesn’t fit the bill. (Some early examples were disappointed reviews of the original article by Adam Shatz and Michelle Goldberg back in 2006; a good recent example is the somewhat appalled critique of M&W’s book by the long-time Peace Now activist Leonard Fein.)

Mead’s review has the virtue of addressing M&W’s actual arguments, rather than pretending that they simply consist of a sober critique of AIPAC. (For some other useful critiques, see here.)

2. In addition, Mead has something brief but illuminating to say about a related set of issues.

Lately there has been a lot of foolish talk suggesting that any voices that try to be critical of Israel, or of US policies toward Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict, are stifled or suppressed in American academic and intellectual life. (Some people even try to suggest that this is true in western European countries like Britain, but that notion fails the most basic laugh test.) With respect to the academy in particular, even some normally sensible people seem to have swallowed, or at least half-swallowed, the notion that undue interference by ‘Zionists’ (real or alleged) poses a major threat to academic freedom in the US. What is actually involved, in too many cases, is an effort to discredit or intimidate people who seek to criticize anti-Zionism (that is, the demonization of Israel and its supporters) or anti-Semitism too vigorously.

Like many propaganda campaigns, this one has tended to seize on a few incidents and anecdotes, some legitimately worrisome and others more or less fanciful, and to inflate them out of proportion. These include the denial of tenure to Norman Finkelstein at DePaul University (which may indeed have some genuinely troubling aspects, as Norm and others have pointed out, despite the fact that Finkelstein himself is, in my possibly fallible opinion, an obnoxious, abusive, and poisonous academic charlatan) and the truly idiotic decision by St Thomas University to cancel an appearance by Desmond Tutu for fear he might offend some Jews (a decision that has since been rescinded, not unlike the recent reversal of an even more egregious decision by the administration of Leeds University in Britain to cancel a talk by Matthias Küntzel about the history of anti-Semitism in the Middle East on the grounds that it might offend some Muslims). At the more purely ridiculous end of the spectrum are attempts to pretend that criticisms of M&W are somehow illegitimate and amount to ‘muzzling’ them.

There are certainly a great many real threats to academic freedom and to freedom of expression more generally, in the US and elsewhere. (What else is new? Consider, for example, the perennial campaigns in Britain to institute blacklists of Israeli academics.) Some supporters of Israel undoubtedly do their best to be part of the problem, and when they do they should be criticized and resisted. But to suggest that supporters of Israel are a major source of threats to academic freedom – perhaps even among the most dangerous – is either silly or deliberately tendentious. As Mead points out, to find such a picture plausible requires wilfully ignoring the larger context of ideological cross-pressures in academic and intellectual life.

This artificial anti-Zionist panic also ignores a wider problem that really does pose a threat to academic freedom and to freedom of expression more generally – the growing acceptance of a seductive but unfortunate notion that everyone has a right not to be offended. This point should be obvious, but apparently it isn’t, and Mead makes it quite trenchantly.

One problem is that Mearsheimer and Walt decontextualize the activity of Jews and their allies. Attempts by pro-Zionist students and pressure groups to challenge university decisions to grant tenure or otherwise reward professors deemed too pro-Arab are portrayed as yet another sign of the long reach and dangerous power of the octopus. In fact, these efforts are part of a much broader, and deeply deplorable, trend in American education, by which every ethnic, religious, and sexual group seeks to define the bounds of acceptable discourse. African Americans, Native Americans, feminists, lesbian, gay, and transgendered persons – organizations purporting to represent these groups and many others have done their best to drive speakers, professors, and textbooks with the “wrong” views out of the academy. Zionists have actually come relatively late to this particular pander fest, and they are notable chiefly for their relatively weak performance in the perverse drive to block free speech on campus.

As one illustrative example from DePaul University, Prof. Finkelstein’s former employer, there is the well-known case of Thomas Klocek – who, to quote Wikipedia’s succinct and accurate description, ‘is a former adjunct professor at DePaul University fired for arguing with Muslim and Palestinian students [about Israel] outside the classroom.’ (Of course, some might argue that adjunct faculty ipso facto have no rights to academic freedom. But on the other hand, for those who claim that the real danger of alleged Zionist intimidation is the ‘chilling effect’ it has on free expression in academia and in public discourse more generally, such details should be immaterial… so perhaps those people would like to sign this petition on Klocek’s behalf?)

Another example, having no direct connection to the Arab-Israeli conflict, was the recent successful campaign to rescind Larry Summers‘s invitation to address the UC Regents. Trivial stuff… but just as trivial as the decision by the Polish consulate in NYC to cancel a lecture by Tony Judt. Neither of these gentlemen has exactly been muzzled… though, on the other hand, it is clear in retrospect that Summers’s criticism of extremist anti-Zionists was one of the factors that led him to eventually lose his job as President of Harvard.

Overall, what unites such cases is that, for academic administrators and others, fear of controversy plays a bigger role in decisions of this sort than substantive biases. The response of academics and intellectuals to such reflexes, and to well-meaning ideologies that reinforce them by implying that everyone has a right not to be offended, should be a principled and consistent defence of academic freedom and freedom of expression – not the selective demonization of people who have the temerity to criticize anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism. (Jeff Weintraub)

Technorati –

What about the ARAB LOBBY?

November 4, 2007

http://israeltheviewfromhere.blogspot.com/2007/10/israel-lobby-what-about-arab-lobby.html Thursday, October 4, 2007
The Israel lobby? What about the Arab lobby?
With the publication of the book ‘The Israel Lobby’ by renowned academics Professors Mearsheimer and Walt the notion is out there that Israeli pressure groups have had a major effect in coloring American foreign policy to the detriment of the US.
The learned couple would have you believe that Israeli and Jewish lobbyists are the most powerful influence on the US Administration.

My friend, Maurice Ostroff, has partially answered the claims made by these supposed researchers in a rebuttal entitled ‘Academic Freedom and Sloppy Research’.

Mearsheimer and Walts findings fail on two counts. One of incorrect assertions. The other is the failure of what the did not include in their book. This, perhaps deliberate, omission is the most dangerous of their faults. It leaves the reader with the impression that Israeli and Jewish leaders have an unrivalled access to policy makers in Congress and in the State Department.
This is wrong. The biggest investment in lobbying power has, for a long time, been invested in the rich hands of the Arabs, led by the Saudis, and the other oil interests.
Against this powerful force Israel can never successfully compete.
However, the small voice of reason and democracy is trying to make itself heard.

ACADEMIC FREEDOM & SLOPPY RESEARCH
by Maurice Ostroff

The much discussed articles and latest book by Professors Mearsheimer and Walt, attacking the Israel Lobby, are glaring examples of misleading by omission of vital relevant data.

Of course there is no objection to academics expressing unpopular opinions, but it’s scary to realize that some university students are being taught by mentors who, in their public pronouncements and publications, exhibit shockingly low standards of scholarship and even ignorance. Even when they don’t write in the names of their universities, serious readers are entitled to expect a minimum standard of objectivity and intellectual honesty from tenured professors.

The website of Students for Academic Freedom pinpoints one of the most egregious sins of a growing number of academics in its slogan: “You can’t get a good education if they’re telling you only half the story”.

Too many opinion-makers mislead by telling half the story; deliberately omitting all relevant information that may contradict their preconceived opinions. The much discussed articles and latest book by Professors Mearsheimer and Walt, attacking the Israel Lobby, are glaring examples of misleading by omission of vital relevant data.

In response to a letter I sent criticizing their articles published last year, I received an 81-page paper from Professor Mearsheimer, titled “Setting the record straight: a response to critics of The Israel Lobby” (which I will refer to in this article as their response paper). In it, the authors admit that being fallible human beings, their work contained a few minor errors. Let’s take the example of one of their central claims – that pressure from Israel was critical in the US decision to attack Iraq in March 2003 ­ and let the reader judge whether this is merely a minor error.

If they had done a modest amount of research they would have learned and disclosed that contrary to their allegation, Israeli officials had warned the Bush administration against destabilizing the region by invading Iraq.

This information was available to the professors. In an interview with the Mother Jones blog, Professor Walt emphasized that he and Mearsheimer relied heavily on both Israeli sources and Jewish newspapers like the Forward. And in the Forward of January 12, 2007, Yossi Alpher, an adviser to former PM Ehud Barak, confirmed that prior to March 2003, Israel PM Sharon advised Bush not to occupy Iraq and that AIPAC officials in Washington told visiting Arab intellectuals they would rather the United States deal militarily with Iran than with Iraq.

This refutation of the professors’ allegation has since been confirmed by Lawrence Wilkerson, a former member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff as reported by ISP.

Was this a minor error?

In the interview with Mother Jones, Professor Walt explained that as he and Mearsheimer aren’t investigative reporters and have a day job, they weren’t in a position to spend a lot of time interviewing people in Washington. This statement possibly encapsulates the underlying weakness of their publications. Far from being in-depth products of original research by academics from prestigious institutions, they are a rehash of carefully selected extracts from the writings of others, mainly new historians like Noam Chomsky and Benny Morris, whose methodologies have been severely criticized by authoritative historians.

It is almost amusing to note how in their response paper, the authors praise Benny Morris as a respected historian when he expresses views they accept, and then reject his views when they don’t serve their purpose. Having served in the Israel army during the 1948 war, I have challenged from personal knowledge some of the conclusions Morris derived from his interpretation of archived documents, and I absolutely challenge M & W’s third and possibly fourth-hand views on this subject.

In their March 2006 article, the professors wrote: “Contrary to popular belief, the Zionists had larger, better-equipped and better-led forces during the 1947-49 War of Independence.” It is difficult to understand the reason for inserting this bit of totally irrelevant disinformation into a paper about the Israel Lobby.

Those of us who were there in 1948 know that Israel was invaded by five armies in a Holy War to drive us into the sea. The Arab armies included the British-trained Jordanian Legion, the well-equipped Egyptian army, navy and air force and the armies of Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. And we know how desperate and badly equipped we were. We remember how rickety old trucks were converted to homemade armored vehicles nicknamed sandwiches, because the armor comprised timber between two steel plates. (See photo.)

We know that our total population of only 600,000 included women, children and the elderly and that, tragically, 6,000 were killed in the War, not to mention the seriously wounded. We know that many of our troops were untrained newcomers, who had survived the death camps, only to be thrown directly into battle.

In their response paper, the professors go to great lengths elaborating on remarks by Ben Gurion and others indicating that they had hoped for a greater area than allocated under the 1947 partition plan. But they ignore the fact that Israel nevertheless reluctantly, but unconditionally, accepted the partition resolution while all Arab states rejected it outright. There would be no Palestinian refugees today if they had accepted instead of immediately declaring Holy War, with the publicly proclaimed intention of driving the Jews into the sea.

Arab League Secretary, General Azzam Pasha declared, “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades,” and the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al Husseini echoed, “I declare a holy war, my Moslem brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all!”

The professors ignore how Israel reacted to Arabs who stayed neutral in 1948 – such as the village of Abu Ghosh. In an article in the Jerusalem Post in 1997, Sam Orbaum quoted Mohammed Abu Ghosh as saying, “What we did, we did for Abu Ghosh, for nobody else. Others who lost their land, hated us then, but now all over the Arab world, many people see we were right. If everyone did what we did, there’d be no refugee problem . . . And if we were traitors? Look where we are, look where they are.”

Incredibly, their strong prejudices prevent the professors from acknowledging not only Israel’s attempts to negotiate peace, but also the infamous three no’s response of Arab leaders in Khartoum in August 1967: “no peace, no recognition of Israel and no negotiation.”

The professors’ claim that US policy towards Israel is a main contributor to America’s terrorist problem deserves critical examination. In November 2002, Alex Alexiev, in an article published by the United States Committee for a Free Lebanon (USCFL), pointed out that Riyadh, flush with oil money, became the paymaster of most of the militant Islamic movements, which advocated terror. In its aggressive support for radical Islam, even the most violent of Islamic groups, like Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, receives Saudi largesse. He claims that official Saudi sources indicate that between 1975 and 1987, Riyadh’s “overseas development aid” averaged $4 billion per year, of which at least $50 billion over two-and-a-half decades financed Islamic activities exclusively. The SAAR Foundation alone, which has been closed down since 9/11, received $1.7 billion in donations in 1998.

Compared to these numbers, the miniscule Israeli PR budget is laughable.

It is incredible that academics discussing external influences on USA policy ignore the dramatic stranglehold of OPEC, the blatantly monopolistic cartel which threatens not only the US, but the world economy. This stranglehold began with the Arab decision to use oil as a political weapon in 1973 when the price was $2.60 per barrel. After October 1973, when the Arab members of OPEC imposed their oil embargo against the West, the price quadrupled to about $12 by January 1974 and is now soaring to $80. All this, while, believe it or not, production costs average about $6 per barrel for non-OPEC producers and $1.50 per barrel for OPEC producers (Bulletin of Atomic Scientists May/June 2005).

By focusing on one lobby only without placing it in the context of the prevailing phenomenon of the numerous lobbies that are an essential part of the Washington scene, this work cannot be regarded as a scholarly study, but rather as a subjective, no-holds-barred political attack.

Dozens of interest groups spend billions to convince politicians to pass or oppose particular laws. Any study of the Jewish Lobby cannot avoid comparison with Arab influence on Washington, which is indeed harmful to American interests.

But the professors claim: “There is no well organized and politically potent Arab Lobby and little evidence that US politicians ever feel much pressure from pro-Arab groups.” This categorical statement in their response paper is mind-boggling. It indicates either inexcusable ignorance or deliberate suppression of information about the many Arab lobbyists who have had, and continue to have, intimate access to US presidents.

In an article in Harpers magazine of April 17, 2007, John R. MacArthur wrote about Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan:

When he wasn’t entertaining congressmen and spreading good cheer through his highly paid lobbyist, Fred Dutton, Bandar was busy making friends with, at first vice president, and then president, George H.W. Bush, and by extension with Bush’s son, the future president. This personal relationship with the Bush family has served Bandar and his family very well, as documented in Craig Unger’s book, House of Bush, House of Saud.

Before he died in the World Trade Center on 9/11, the former FBI counterterrorism chief John O’Neill complained to French investigator Jean-Charles Brisard that Saudi pressure on the State Department had prevented him from fully investigating possible al-Qaida involvement in the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996, which killed 19 U.S. servicemen, and of the destroyer Cole in 2000.

Now, according to Seymour Hersh, Bandar has virtually joined the Bush administration as a shadow cabinet member. In a March 5, 2007 New Yorker article, “The Redirection,” Hersh writes that Bandar, the Saudi national-security adviser, served as Ambassador to the United States for twenty-two years, until 2005, and has maintained a friendship with President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. In his new post, he continues to meet privately with them.

The organization Axis Information and Analysis (AIA), which specializes in information about Asia and Eastern Europe, has rated Prince Bandar as the most influential foreigner in the USA. As head of the Saudi embassy in Washington in 1983, he was an important participant in backstage intrigues, clandestine negotiations, and billion-dollar deals relating to US interests in the Middle East, with broad links among high-ranking officials in the State Department, the Pentagon and the CIA. Bandar’s father, Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, was a leading figure in the ruling dynasty, which decides the extent of military cooperation with the United States. AIA has publicly stated that it was Bandar Bin Sultan who initiated the first Gulf War in 1990-91, by pushing President Bush the elder to start the military campaign against Iraq.

In an obituary to Clark Clifford (October 11, 1998), the New York Times spoke of him not only as a key adviser to four presidents, but also as a powerful lobbyist for Arab sources. In his memoir, Counsel to the President, Clifford wrote that he advised clients:

What we can offer you is an extensive knowledge of how to deal with the government on your problems. We will be able to give you advice on how best to present your position to the appropriate departments and agencies of the government.

Clifford, a paid lobbyist, made about $6 million in profits from bank stock that he bought with an unsecured loan from the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).

In an interview on Democracy Now, Craig Unger, author of House of Bush, House of Saud, spoke of Bandar’s influence. Referring to the fact that the 9/11 Commission said it knew of six chartered flights with 142 people aboard, mostly Saudis, that left the United States between Sept. 14 and 24, 2001, Unger said that if you look at Prince Bandar’s body language in photos of him and President Bush, this is not a guy standing in awe of the President of the United States. This is a guy who is visiting his friend’s son, and he’s sort of lounging on the arm of a big armchair by 9/13, two days after 9-11. And suddenly, flights began going out.

Unger tells of Saudis investing as much as $800 billion into American Equities, not only in massive blue chip companies but also into companies that weren’t doing so well, but were linked to powerful politicians.

He also speaks of at least $1 million donated to each presidential library, emphasizing that the Saudis give to Democrats and Republicans alike:

Prince Bandar has been quite frank. If we give to our friends after they get out of office, the people in office will get the message.

The Saudis are fabulous at public relations. If you look at their whole campaign over the last 30 years, they spent $70 billion on propaganda. It’s the biggest propaganda campaign in the history of the world, more than Soviet communism at the height of the Cold war. Immediately after 9-11, Bandar hired Burson Marsteller, the huge American public relations firm.

In the knowledge that the above information is readily available, would a first-year student, let alone a tenured professor, earn a passing mark for submitting a paper claiming that there is no well-organized and politically potent Arab Lobby and little evidence that US politicians ever feel much pressure from pro-Arab groups?

Technorati –


The Arab Lobby Controls US Media and Foreign Policy

September 9, 2007

The Arab Lobby Controls US Media and Foreign Policy

http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com/2007/09/arab-lobby-controls-us-media-abd.html

Last year Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated $20 million each to Harvard and Georgetown Universities for programs in Islamic studies. The good prince also owns a chunk of Time/AOL the company who’s unit CNN employs the anti Israel Christiane Amanpour.In November of 2005, Fox’s O’Reilly showed live footage of the French Intifada as it raged in Paris. According to WorldNetDaily, Saudi billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, (aka Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin AbdulAziz AlSaud), who owns 5-6% of the Fox News Channel, personally called Rupert Murdoch and asked him to change the offensive (but accurate) caption: “Muslim Riots” to the less offensive (and less accurate) “Civil Riots.” Within thirty minutes, the Prince had his way.

In December 2005, Prince Al-Waleed donated $20 million each to Harvard University and Georgetown University to finance Islamic studies. The gift to Georgetown, which set up the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in his honor, was the university’s second-largest donation in history, and the gift to Harvard was among its 25 largest. Any idea of what the skew of thoses studies are.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is the largest single stockholder in Time and Citibank he is a one man Arab Lobby. But you wont hear Messers Walt and Mearsheimer talk about him or any of the other Saudi investors who challenge our free speech and influence American foreign policy.


What’s so nefarious about Jews exercising their right to speech?

What’s so nefarious about Jews exercising their right to speech?

By Jeff Robbins

September 7, 2007

A crop of Israel’s critics — most prominently Jimmy Carter and now Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, the authors of “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” — have managed something of a feat: They express no concerns about the massive pro-Arab effort, funded in significant measure by foreign oil money, taking American Jews to task for participating in the American political process; meanwhile, they inoculate themselves against charges of anti-Jewish bias by pre-emptively predicting that “the Jewish lobby” will accuse them of it.

Messrs. Walt and Mearsheimer, in particular, have been heralded by Israel’s critics for their “courage” in attacking American Jews, who have allegedly “strangled” criticism of Israel. Their case seems one part laughable, and one part eyebrow-raising.

An anecdote from my own experience with the anti-Israel lobby may shed some light on the absurdity of the Walt-Mearsheimer offensive. Not long after Sept. 11, 2001, I received a call from a major defense contractor asking for a favor. I was serving as president of the Boston chapter of the World Affairs Council, a national organization that debates foreign policy, and the defense contractor was one of the Council’s principal sponsors.

The Saudi Arabian government was sponsoring a national public relations campaign to cultivate American public opinion, and was sending Saudi emissaries around the country to make the case that Saudi Arabia was a tolerant, moderate nation worthy of American support. Would the Council organize a forum of Boston’s community leaders so that the Saudis could make their case?

While this was patently no more than a Saudi lobbying effort, we organized the forum, and it was well-attended by precisely the slice of Boston’s political and corporate elite that the Saudis and their defense contractor benefactor had hoped for. The Saudis maintained that their Kingdom should be regarded as a promoter of Middle East peace, and that the abundant evidence that Saudi Arabia was in fact promoting a virulent brand of extremist Islam should be discounted.

Saudi Arabia paid for the trip of its emissaries to Boston, for the Washington, D.C.-based public relations and lobbying company which organized the trip, and for the Boston public relations and lobbying company that handled the Boston part of the visit. And it drew upon the resources and relationships of the defense contractor, which sells hundreds of millions of dollars of military equipment to Saudi Arabia, to support and orchestrate its public relations effort.

The billions in petrodollars Arab states spend in the U.S. for defense, construction, engineering and consulting contracts position them nicely to win friends in high places, and friends are what they have. That is true all over the world, is true in this country, and has been true for quite some time. As U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull noted 60 years ago, “The oil of Saudi Arabia constitutes one of the world’s great prizes.” His successor, Edward Stettinius, opposed the creation of a Jewish state in the Middle East, stating “It would seriously prejudice our ability to afford protection to American interests, economic and commercial . . . throughout the area.”

The Saudis and their allies have not been shy about supplementing their considerable leverage in the U.S. by targeting expenditures to affect the debate over Middle East policy by funding think tanks, Middle East studies programs, advocacy groups, community centers and other institutions.

To take one obvious example, just last year Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated $20 million each to Harvard and Georgetown Universities for programs in Islamic studies. Prince Alwaleed, chairman of a Riyadh-based conglomerate, is the fellow whose $10 million donation to the Twin Towers Fund following the Sept. 11 attacks was rejected by then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani after the Saudi Prince suggested that the U.S. “re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinians.”

Georgetown and Harvard had no apparent qualms about accepting Prince Alwaleed’s money. The director of Georgetown’s newly-renamed Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center rejected any suggestion that the Saudi magnate was attempting to use Saudi oil wealth to influence American policy in the Middle East. “There is nothing wrong with [Prince Alwaleed] expressing his opinion on American foreign policy,” he said. “Clearly, it was done in a constructive way.”

In other words, for those who accept the Arab line on the Israel-Arab conflict — namely, that it is the product of Israeli intransigence in some form or another — the increasing proliferation of Middle East-funded enterprises all across the country aimed at advancing the Arab view of the conflict constitute “nothing wrong.” Nor are those hewing to the anti-Israel line troubled by the way in which the massive Islamic bloc of nations, by dint both of their number and their economic leverage over the rest of the world, are able to guarantee an incessantly anti-Israel agenda at the United Nations and other international fora.

Although the aggressive deployment of petrodollars and oil-based influence from foreign sources aimed at advancing a pro-Arab line constitutes “nothing wrong” as far as Israel’s critics are concerned, a new political fashion holds that there is something very wrong indeed about American Jews and other American backers of Israel expressing their support for Israel, and urging their political leaders to join them in that support.

Our major newspapers and networks, with correspondents in Israel able to take advantage of an Israeli political system that is a free-for-all and an astonishingly vibrant and self-critical Israeli press, report daily on every twist and turn of the conflict and are very frequently critical of Israel. As for American campuses, most objective observers would have little difficulty concluding that far from being criticism-free, they are in fact dominated by critics of Israel. Clearly, as strangleholds on criticism go, whatever stranglehold the pro-Israel community has on debate in the U.S. is a very loose one indeed.

If the charge that American Jews are able to stifle criticism of Israel is simply silly, the leveling of the charge that there is something nefarious about Jews urging support for the Jewish state raises questions about whether Messrs. Walt and Mearsheimer have descended into a certain ugliness. And the tactic of trying to neutralize those questions by loudly predicting that they will be asked, however clever a tactic it may be, does not neutralize them.

It is apparently the authors’ position that, even in the face of the overwhelming leverage of an Arab world swimming in petrodollars, with a lock on the U.N. and an unlimited ability to pay for pro-Arab public relations, American Jews are obliged to stay silent. In essence, Messrs. Walt and Mearsheimer have repackaged the “the-Jews-run-the-country” stuff which has long been the bread and butter of anti-Semites.

Messrs. Walt and Mearsheimer deny that they are anti-Semitic, and that is certainly good news. But where they are apparently content with foreign oil money being used to advance a pro-Arab position on the Middle East, but devote themselves to criticizing American Jews for lobbying their public officials in support of the Jewish state, one may legitimately wonder what phrase would apply. Surely, one’s denial that he is anti-Semitic, while welcome, is hardly dispositive; after all, the marked increase in anti-Semitism around the world is well-documented, and yet one rarely hears anyone actually announce that they are anti-Semitic, or that their views are anti-Semitic.

But if anti-Semitism is too harsh a term, and if the word “bigoted” is also taken off the table, perhaps one can be forgiven for concluding that “anti-Jewish bias” fits the bill here. After all, where there is nothing wrong with foreign money from Arab countries advancing a pro-Arab agenda in Messrs. Walt’s and Mearsheimer’s world — but there is something very wrong with American citizens who are Jewish exercising their civic right to speak out on behalf of Israel and taking issue with the pro-Arab agenda — even the most vehement disclaimers of any bias against Jews lack a certain credibility.

The potency of the Middle East-funded anti-Israel lobby around the world and in the U.S. is difficult to ignore. Yet, Messrs. Walt and Mearsheimer and others who adhere to an anti-Israel line ignore it. In and of itself, this is not surprising. When at the same time they portray American Jews’ efforts to make the case for Israel as morally suspect, however, they open themselves up to reasonable charges of something far more troublesome than mere hypocrisy, and that is anti-Jewish bias, by whatever name.

Mr. Robbins, a U.S. Delegate to the U.N. Human Rights Commission during the Clinton administration, is an attorney at Mintz, Levin in Boston and represents David Project in the Islamic Society of Boston lawsuit.