Ron Grossman Calls John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt’s book “Anti-Semitism:” Letter Not Published

I sent this letter to the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, October 7, 2007 that has not appeared. I believe the reporter publicly owes the authors an apology for this hateful and unseemly example of biased attack-dog reportage. Also there is an arrogance of power. Mr Grossman for years has been writing about education and Jewish cultural issues and I have rarely seen any published criticism of his reporting. No star reporter or columnist should be immune from public criticism. I believe to charge two renown scholars of writing an anti-Semitic book should not be allowed to stand without disputation; apparently the Chicago Tribune believes a reviewer should not be held accountable for ad hominem attacks. This confirms what the academic freedom conference at the University of Chicacgo emphasised. There is an Israel Lobby that, while legitimate in its efforts to sway and influence public policy, has become increasingly censorious and vicious in its use of character assassination to silence and discredit objective analysis of Israel and the Palestinian tragedy:

John Mearsheimer

“Ron Grossman’s October 6, review of John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, was less an exercise in analysis than an egregious act of character assassination. Grossman refers to two of the nation’s leading scholars in international relations as having written a book “in the school of anti-Semitism.” To impugn their integrity as racists for examining the relationship between supporters of Israel and their impact on the foreign-policy process is reprehensible and unseemly. 

“What is even more disturbing is that Grossman does not provide a single example of anti-Semitism. No statement about Judaism, the Holocaust or the survival of the State of Israel is marshaled to sustain Grossman’s charge of anti-Semitism. This pattern of attempting to impugn the motives of those who dare criticize Israel or its American acolytes has become a rampant form of censorship. The denial of tenure to Norman G. Finkelstein and the prevention of Juan Cole from assuming an appointment at Yale are two recent examples in which academics are persecuted for their courage in positing revisionist thinking about the strategic relationship between Israel and the United States. The Chicago Tribune should avoid marginalizing scholars with hurtful charges of racialism particularly when hurled by one of its own reporters.”

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