[tweetmeme] After Hussein Ibish challenged John Mearsheimer on the latter’s talk about the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Andrew Sullivan joined the conversation. Quickly, Mearsheimer gave a lecture describing how the two-state path was dead and Israel was, in the short-term, to become an apartheid state and, in the long-term, lose its Jewish character. Ibish claims foul: noting that Mearsheimer overlooked many important aspects while being too interested in the Israeli lobby. Ibish goes on to say that Mearsheimer doesn’t know what he is talking about and doesn’t care about the Palestinians.
Sullivan at The Daily Dish argues that, well, Ibish is right and Mearsheimer doesn’t care about the Palestinians:
What Hussein doesn’t seem to understand is that John Mearsheimer is completely uninterested in the fate of the Palestinians. What arouses Mearsheimer, as a sufferer of Jew-On-The-Brain Syndrome, is Semitical perfidiousness. If the Palestinians had a different adversary, John Mearsheimer would be completely uninterested in their fate.
While ‘completely uninterested’ seems like perhaps a tough way to frame it, I agree that Mearsheimer is perhaps more influenced by the Israeli side of the conflict than the Palestinian side. And, considering his extensive work on the long reach of the Israeli lobby in American, it’s not tough to believe. However, as I wrote earlier, Mearsheimer (as Ibish implied) was probably pushing his speech more on American Jews than Palestinian supporters – as a sort of wake up call to the self-destructive nature of Israeli policies.
Thus, if it is true that Mearsheimer is focused more on the Israeli side (particularly the lobby aspect) of the conflict and if was indeed aiming his message at American Jews (as I suspect), I think it is pretty clear that Mearsheimer knows exactly what he is talking about.