Bin Laden’s book club

Stephen M. Walt in Foreign Policy:

ScreenHunter_08 Sep. 19 10.13

Several friends and associates have asked me how it feels to have our book on the Israel lobby plugged by Osama bin Laden. While it is usually gratifying to get kudos for your work, that is certainly not the case in this instance, given what bin Laden has done in the past and given what he stands for. I just wish we had captured him long ago, making it impossible for him to issue any statements to the world.

I do have a few additional comments on the matter, however. To start, Bin Laden's announcement that there is a powerful “Israel lobby” in the United States is not exactly a news flash. If he had not cited us, he could just have easily quoted the late Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) who wrote in his memoirs that “I was never put under greater pressure than by the Israeli lobby … it's the most influential crowd in Congress by far.” Or he could have cited former Senator Ernest (“Fritz”) Hollings (D-SC), who said that “you can't have an Israel policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here.” He might have invoked notorious terrorist sympathizer Newt Gingrich (R-GA), who called AIPAC “the most effective general interest group … across the entire planet,” or even former Senate Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO) who told AIPAC's annual conference that “without your constant support … the U.S.-Israeli relationship would not be.” Heck, bin Laden could even have brought up Alan Dershowitz, who once wrote that “my generation of Jews … became part of what is perhaps the most effective lobbying and fundraising effort in the history of democracy.” In short, he didn't need our book to tell people there's an Israel lobby with a powerful influence on U.S. Middle East policy.

More here.