Nov 18 2007

unpublished letter to NY times

Published by at 7:02 am under Palestinian politics,Uncategorized

Deeds and not words are the key to any argument

Leslie H. Gelb fails the same test of “backing up their premise” that he sets for professors Mearsheimer & Walt. In  “Dual Loyalties,” ( NY Times September 23rd Book Review of “The Israel lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy)  he denies the power of the ‘lobby’ by arguing the US administration has since 1967 privately expressed support for Palestinian statehood.

Private expressions by the US administration (often done by second term presidents) in favor of returning “almost all of Palestinian territory” and public statements here and there against illegal Jewish settlements actually proves rather than disproves the authors point. The power of the pro Israel (and not the Jewish lobby as Gelb refers to them) is not what is said in private but what actually happens on the ground.  The Israeli occupation has continued and a Palestinian state has not seen the light for over 40 years. The US has vetoed tens of anti Israel UN Security Council resolutions and both the congress and the White House have rejected attempts even by America’s best allies to try and seriously move towards genuine Palestinian independence. In short deeds and not words are the true test of any theory.

Furthermore the Israeli press has regularly related internal cabinet discussions revealing a clear disregard of US public positions because of their knowledge of the pro Israel lobby.

Finally a book authored by professors from two prestigious American universities (University of Chicago and Harvard) and containing over 100 pages of footnotes should not be shrugged off as shoddy scholarship unless it is done by unbiased fellow academics.

Daoud Kuttab 

Daoud Kuttab a Palestinian columnists and currently Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University.

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