Lobby book authors suffer backlash

Venues are canceling appearances by the authors of a book criticizing the impact of the “Israel Lobby” on American foreign policy.

Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, university professors who penned the forthcoming book “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” have had a number of promotional appearances canceled, The New York Times reported.

The City University of New York, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a Jewish cultural center in Washington and three organizations in Chicago have turned down or canceled events with the authors over concerns with their controversial thesis or the event format.

At the Chicago council, where both authors have spoken, President Marshall Bouton was reported to have told Mearsheimer that he had a “political problem” and needed “to protect the institution.”

The book, an elaboration on a controversial paper the professors published last year, argues that Israel is a strategic liability for the United States and that continued support for the Jewish state is due only to the successful efforts of a broad coalition of groups referred to collectively as the Israel Lobby.

Critics charge that the book echoes traditional anti-Semitic charges. Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote a book refuting the Walt-Mearsheimer thesis. Both books will be released Sept. 4.

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