Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Norman G. Finkelstein: "The Lobby: It's Not Either-Or"

I just posted Norman G. Finkelstein's comment on the controversy rekindled by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's essay "The Israel Lobby": "The Lobby: It's Not Either-Or" in MRZine. I think his perspective is very useful.

I attempted to put the roles played by establishment Jewish leaders in the context of similar identity-based mobilizations for imperialist foreign policy, with a glance at the tragicomic character of their coalition with evangelical Christians, in
"'Save Darfur': Evangelicals and Establishment Jews" (also in MRZine, revised from a posting here). But, boy, it's attracted quite a bit of name-calling and some wingnuts.

Had I talked mainly about, say, establishment Cubans, establishment Iranians, establishment whatever allying themselves with and actively pushing for imperialist policy, such responses would not have come. Some people appear to take mentioning Jewish identity at all, if it is in the context of criticism of a coalition for imperialist policy, to be offensive. Why can't we have rational discussion of the roles played by identity politics in imperialism?

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