Philip Weiss and Muzzlewatch report that Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, authors of the forthcoming The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy have been disinvited from addressing Chicago’s Council on Global Affairs. Apparently, their views are just too incendiary for the audience to bear. Laughably, the Council suggested Walt and Mearsheimer could only attend if someone of the caliber of Abe Foxman were there to counterbalance their revolutionary flame-throwing anti-Israel rhetoric:
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has canceled a September speech on U.S.-Israel relations and Washington’s pro-Israel lobby by two prominent U.S. political scientists.
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were scheduled to use the Sept. 27 address to outline their upcoming book, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” which is expected to be released by Farrar, Straus & Giroux early next month. But the president of the Chicago Council, Marshall Bouton, canceled the event under pressure from critics who were uncomfortable with the academics’ arguments, according to a letter drafted by Mearsheimer and Walt to the Council’s board.
These opponents of the event argued that the two political scientists could only address the Chicago Council if someone from the opposing side, “such as Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, concurrently appeared on stage with the authors.
The Foxman ploy sounds suspiciously like the one they tried against Jimmy Carter when he was to speak at Brandeis. The University asked if instead of speaking alone he’d debate Alan Dershowitz, to which the former president said something like: “What? You must be kidding.” Brandeis caved and Carter spoke alone as was befitting a former president. Unfortunately, Walt and Mearsheimer don’t have quite the sway that ex-presidents do. It’s a bit harder to insult them and get away with it. But the pair’s revenge will be the phenomenal sales of their book when it comes out. As with Carter’s book, inveighing against it will only increase interest in it and sales. In fact, you can preorder it here.