Anti-Semitism may not yet be a litmus test for social acceptability in the US, but it has certainly become acceptable.
Proof of this dismal state of affairs came this week with the publication of a supportive profile of University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer in The Atlantic Monthly written by the magazine's in-house foreign policy guru Robert Kaplan.
Mearsheimer is the author, together with Harvard's Kennedy School of Government's Prof. Stephen Walt, of the infamous 2007 book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy. Since the book's publication, Mearsheimer has become one of the most high-profile anti-Semites in America.
Kaplan's article was a clear bid to rehabilitate Mearsheimer in order to advance his pre-Israel Lobby theory of realism in international affairs. Mearsheimer's realist theory argues that the international arena exists in a state of perpetual anarchy. As a consequence, the factor motivating states' actions in international affairs is their national interests. Morality, he claims, has no place in international affairs.
This theory's considerable intellectual underpinning rendered Mearsheimer one of the most prominent political scientists in America during the 1990s. As a realist himself, particularly in relation to the rise of China as a superpower, Kaplan perhaps believed that by rehabilitating Mearsheimer, he would advance his goal of convincing US policy-makers to adopt a realist approach to China.
But whatever his motivations for writing the profile, and whatever its eventual impact on US policy towards China, Kaplan's profile of Mearsheimer served to mainstream a Jew-hater and in so doing, to give credibility to his bigotry.
It has become necessary to rehabilitate Mearsheimer because in the years since he and Walt published their conspiracy theory against Israel and its American supporters, Mearsheimer has actively embraced fringe elements in the US and the world in order to advance his campaign to discredit Israel and its supporters. As Alan Dershowitz highlighted in November, Mearsheimer wrote an enthusiastic endorsement of a psychotically anti-Semitic book written by British jazz musician and prolific anti-Semite Gilad Atzmon.
The book, titled The Wandering Who? is replete with Holocaust denial, claims that Jews control the world and America, characterizations of the Jewish God as evil and corrupt, and claims that Israel is worse than Nazi Germany.
In his endorsement, Mearsheimer called the book "fascinating," and said it "should be read widely by Jews and non-Jews alike."
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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