Despite their polite academic tone, and frequent denials that they are attacking all Jews, Jews as such, or even Israel, or that they support anti-Jewish "conspiracy theories," in essence their claims are just a rehash of traditional anti-Israel and indeed anti-Jewish mythology and rhetoric. There is nothing either new or true about them. In fact, nearly all of Walt and Mearsheimer's arguments, much of their "research," many of their "facts," and even the expression "The Lobby," derive from a bestselling book first published [1] twenty years ago, "The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy," by Edward Tivnan . Our scholars have only updated this earlier book a little. They retell [2] some of its anecdotes without changing their substance.

Let us take a moment to examine each count in Walt and Mearsheimer's indictment of Israel and the so-called "Lobby," and compare each with the actual state of affairs.

AS A RESULT OF THE POWER OF THE "THE LOBBY." AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY GIVES UNQUALIFIED, UNLIMITED SUPPORT TO ISRAEL. THIS HAS BEEN ESPECIALLY TRUE DURING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION.

As Canada's late Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, once memorably remarked, "Oh, Fuddle-duddle!" During the recent Al-Aksa Intifada" Palestinian Arab terrorist campaign (2000-2004), the United States repeatedly restrained Israel from taking military action against the terrorists, even though Israeli casualties from the terror attacks steadily mounted. Even when it finally "permitted" Israel to attack the primary terrorist base in Jenin, it compelled the Israelis to withdraw quickly. The U.S. administration has repeatedly demanded and received from Israel "confidence-building" and "goodwill" unilateral acts, such as the closure of security checkpoints in the disputed ("occupied") territories, and the release of convicted terrorists from prison. All of these unilateral gestures have been followed by increased Arab terrorist attacks, not peace. The U.S. administration also forced Israel to accept the so-called "road map" peace plan that would compel her to withdraw to its pre-1967 frontiers (more or less) and place the homes and futures of 400-500,000 Israelis living outside these frontiers in jeopardy. The Bush administration has strongly and consistently campaigned for the creation of a Palestinian state, which would leave Israel exposed to continuous terrorist attacks, rockets and mortar fire from at most a few miles, and in some cases a few yards, from its principal population centers. It has sold vast amounts of state-of-the-art, high tech weapons to countries unfriendly to Israel, most notably Saudi Arabia and Egypt. It has even given weapons and provided military training to the Fatah terrorist organization-assistance that the Fatah "Al-Aksa Martyr's Brigades" made very effective use of during their "Intifada" to kill Israelis. If all this is unqualified support of Israel, one wonders what opposition would look like.

CONGRESSMAEN AND SENATORS ARE AFRAID TO DO ANYTHING THAT IS OPPOSED BY "THE LOBBY", SINCE "THE LOBBY" TARGETS AND BRINGS ABOUT THE ELECTORAL DEFEAT OF ANY LEGISLATOR WHO OPPOSES A PERCEIVED INTEREST OF ISRAEL.

Once again,"fuddle-duddle." For decades, Congress has been approving the sale of tens of billions of dollars worth of advanced weapons systems to Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, including some advanced technology that the U.S. refuses to sell to Israel. And it has approved the executive branch's requests to fund the Palestinian National Authority, which is controlled by Fatah. Even though Israel has made it plain that it doesn't like these sales and/or aid to its enemies, and even though pro-Israeli activists in the U.S. have also opposed them, Congressmen have continued to vote for them just the same. Moreover, most of these Congressmen have been reelected without difficulty. Few have been "targeted" by pro-Israel groups.

W & M's claim that "The Lobby" in effect controls the American electoral process, and can insure the defeat of anyone who opposes or criticizes Israel, also ignores the fact that the voters have some say about who gets elected to Congress. There exists no 'lobby" in this country that has the power to prevent American voters from voting for someone that they believe has supported their interests. By claiming that the pro-Israel "Lobby" controls American elections, W & M are claiming that American democratic elections are frauds rigged by behind-the-scenes "interest groups." This view in turn implies contempt for American democracy itself.

THE "LOBBY" PREVENTS A FREE, RATIONAL DISCUSSION ABOUT ISRAEL AND AMERICAN AID TO ISRAEL BY "SMEARING" ANYONE WHO OPPOSES THEM AS "ANTI-SEMITES"

In reality, very few pro-Israel activists have ever suggested that most or all of those who disagree with them are anti-Semites. Indeed, most pro-Israel advocates are extremely careful to avoid any such aspersion against Israel's critics. Even more to the point, it is very dubious whether anyone in the United States has ever been dissuaded from criticizing Israel by fear that someone might call him an anti-Semite. It is very questionable whether anyone in the U.S. has ever lost a job, gone out of business, lost his friends or suffered social disgrace simply because someone has called him or her an anti-Semite. This accusation is very rarely damaging to anyone-not even when there is overwhelming and obvious evidence that it is true. The billion-plus dollars made by Mel Gibson from a film that was widely criticized as anti-Semitic by members of the American Jewish community, and the fact that he suffered no damage to his career even when he made crudely anti-Semitic remarks to an officer who arrested him for drunken driving, is a case in point.

As for our American debate about the Middle East and Israel, it is lively, free, and open to all shades of opinion. The great deference with which W & M have been treated throughout the country, the vast amount of press attention they have received, and the numerous speaking invitations to them, even from Jewish groups, is proof that there is no suppression of criticism of Israel in the United States, and no penalty to be paid by those who criticize her. Equal proof of this is provided by the best-seller status achieved by Jimmy Carter's recent book denouncing Israel.

THE AMERICAN PRESS IS EXTERMELY BIASED IN FAVOR OF ISRAEL, AND REAELY OR NEVER PUBLISHES COLUMNS OR OP-EDPIECES THAT CRITICIZE HER.

Oh, wow! Apparently W & M have never read the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, or the Chicago Tribune. No honest and fair-minded individual could possibly read any of these major American newspapers on a regular basis without becoming aware of their fierce anti-Israel bias.

ISAREL AND ITS LOBBY DRAGGED THE UNITED STATES INTO THE IRAQ WAR, FOR ISRAEL''S BENEFIT RATHER THAN THAT OF THE UNITED STATES.

W & M now reluctantly acknowledge that there are some facts that appear to contradict this claim, even while they continue to repeat it. In order to reconcile this accusation with a fact that other scholars have called attention to, namely that Israel's leaders actually wanted America to attack Iran rather than Iraq, because they considered Iran the greater threat to Israel (see for example , Martin Kramer's documented analysis at http://www.matinkramer.org/sandstorm.html), W & M turn intellectual summersaults. Israel at first favored an American attack on Iran rather Iraq, they concede. But upon discovering that the "war party" in Washington was determined to attack Iraq, Israeli leaders obtained a promise from the "war party" (an expression that our authors use interchangeably with "the neoconservatives") that America would attack Iran sometime later. The Israelis then joined forces with the "war Party"/"neoconservatives" to persuade the U.S. government to attack Iraq.