NOVEMBER 22-24, 2013
by URI AVNERY

This is not merely a fight between Israel and the US. Nor is it only a fight between the White House and Congress. It is also a battle between intellectual titans.

On the one side there are the two renowned professors, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer. On the other, the towering international intellectual Noam Chomsky.

It’s all about whether the dog wags the tail or the tail wags the dog.

Six years ago the two professors shocked the US (and Israel) when they published a book, “The Israel lobby and US Foreign Policy”, in which they asserted that the foreign policy of the United States of America, at least in the Middle East, is practically controlled by the State of Israel.

To paraphrase their analysis, Washington DC is in effect an Israeli colony. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives are Israeli occupied territories, much like Ramallah and Nablus.

This is diametrically opposed to the assertion of Noam Chomsky that Israel is a US pawn, used by American imperialism as an instrument to promote its interests.

(I commented at the time that both sides were right, and that this is a unique dog-tail relationship. I even quoted the old Jewish joke about the rabbi who tells a plaintiff that he is right, and then says the same to the defendant. “But they can’t both be right!” remonstrates his wife. “You are right, too!” he answers.)

Intellectual theories can seldom be put to a laboratory test. But this one can.

It is happening now. Between Israel and the US a crisis has developed, and it has come into the open.

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