It has been clear for some time that Ilhan Omar owes no one any apologies for her remarks on AIPAC and those who tow its line; quite to the contrary, apologies are owed her. Developments over the past several weeks underscore how important it is to drive that point home.
Before the 2008 publication of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, the subject was, for all practical purposes, taboo.
Everything had to be kept hush hush, just as it did with the NSA (no such agency), the massive signals intelligence operation at Fort Meade. Everybody who cared knew that it was there and what it did, but only “conspiracy theorists” dared speak of it.
Ten years ago, and for many years before that, there was no shortage of books and articles critical of Israel and Zionist ideology. But accounts of anything resembling an Israel lobby were as rare as snowstorms in July. To broach the topic was to invite charges of anti-Semitism.
Then in 2006, two years before they came out with the book, Mearsheimer and Walt published an article in The London Review of Books. The authors are distinguished political scientists and public intellectuals, but no suitable mainstream American publication would touch it.
After the book appeared, it did not take long for its arguments to win the day — to such an extent that, nowadays, the taboo that protected the Israel lobby from scrutiny is, like the one that kept the NSA…