OPEN UNIVERSITY FEBRUARY 16, 2007
by Jeffrey Herf
Alan Wolfe avoids the issue and then introduces the "odious," to use his word, term of "Jewish political correctness." To refer to the views of some writers who are Jewish as an expression of a collective phenomonon called "Jewish political correctness" is unfortunate to say the least.
Alan Wolfe sidesteps the issue of whether or not he thinks John
Mearsheimer and Steven Walt's attack on the Israel lobby recalled older anti-Semitic arguments. In so doing, I will conclude that though he thinks they exaggerate one thing or another, they have not in fact done so. As a historian who has written quite a bit about the nature of anti-Semitism, I take issue with him and think he is unable or unwilling to recognize an anti-Semitic argument when it stares him in the face. This is not an issue of whether or not Steven Walt or John Mearsheimer dislike Jews. One of the saddest aspects of this whole affair is that I have known, respected, and liked John Mearsheimer quite a bit for many years. We have been friends. But the issue which Wolfe again avoids is whether or not the argument they made last spring and continued to repeat bears comparison to past anti-Semitic argumentation.