March 31, 2006

Israel Lobby - the empire strikes back

The London Review of Books has now published a crop of letters criticising the Israel Lobby article. I was surprised to see one letter from Daniel Pipes, an Israel Lobbyist par excellence. Of course he was disclaiming the existence of the Israel Lobby.
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt write: ‘The Lobby also monitors what professors write and teach. In September 2002, Martin Kramer and Daniel Pipes, two passionately pro-Israel neo-conservatives, established a website (Campus Watch) that posted dossiers on suspect academics and encouraged students to report remarks or behaviour that might be considered hostile to Israel.’ This account is inaccurate in several ways (e.g. Martin Kramer had no role in founding Campus Watch), but I write specifically to state that no ‘Lobby’ told me to start Campus Watch. Neither the Middle East Forum nor myself has ever taken orders from some mythical ‘Lobby’, and specifically I decided to establish Campus Watch on my own, without direction from any outside source. I challenge Mearsheimer and Walt to provide their information that connects this ‘Lobby’ to my decision to establish Campus Watch.

Daniel Pipes
Philadelphia
So maybe, just maybe, they got a name wrong but did they really try to suggest that Daniel Pipes takes orders from a lobby group? A quick look at what they actually wrote suggests not:
The Lobby also monitors what professors write and teach. In September 2002, Martin Kramer and Daniel Pipes, two passionately pro-Israel neo-conservatives, established a website (Campus Watch) that posted dossiers on suspect academics and encouraged students to report remarks or behaviour that might be considered hostile to Israel. This transparent attempt to blacklist and intimidate scholars provoked a harsh reaction and Pipes and Kramer later removed the dossiers, but the website still invites students to report ‘anti-Israel’ activity.
Oh yes, and there's one subscription cancellation.

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