The conspiracy continues &mdash lets blame the Jews

Three books, two already in print and one soon to appear, all point readers in the same direction. Taken together, we believe, they represent an unholy trinity of hate, distortion and vituperation that needs to be answered with a clear message.

No one should dispute that these volumes have the right to be published, but we have an obligation to expose these views to the full light of what they truly represent. Let there be no doubt that these distortions need to be exposed and repudiated by all individuals of conscience.

A new book will soon be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Professors John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government are the authors of a March 2006 “working paper” entitled “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.” Their forthcoming book will be based on this earlier work.

David Gergen, adviser to four U.S. presidents, denounced the working paper, stating that “allegations that a pro-Israeli ‘lobby’ has hijacked American policy in the Middle East are without foundation and do a disservice to American Jews.”

In a review of the Mearsheimer-Walt paper, Eliot A. Cohen, counselor to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, has asked a critical question: Is this work anti-Semitic?

Cohen answers by stating, “If by anti-Semitism one means obsessive and irrationally hostile beliefs about Jews; if one accuses them of disloyalty, subversion or treachery, of having occult powers and of participating in secret combinations that manipulate institutions and governments; if one systematically selects everything unfair, ugly or wrong about Jews as individuals or a group and equally systematically suppresses any exculpatory information — why, yes, this paper is anti-Semitic.”

The endorsement of the Mearsheimer-Walt paper by David Duke, the neo-Nazi, Holocaust denier and former Ku Klux Klan leader, is no accident. As German newspaper editor Joseph Joffe aptly put it, their paper “puts ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ to shame.”

If that were not enough, one-time United Nations arms inspector Scott Ritter’s new book, “Target Iran,” is equally disturbing.

Despite his protests that he supports Israel, Ritter offers a view of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and those who support Israel that is filled with distressing undercurrents. He states that “over the years, AIPAC has exerted its influence over the U.S. and the executive branch of government to a degree unparalleled by any other single nation or group of nations.”

Ritter describes “the duality of loyalty inherent in AIPAC, where Israeli interests continuously trump those of the United States” and speaks of the “ongoing espionage scandal in which two senior AIPAC officials were indicted as part of an effort to have classified U.S. information pertaining to Iran transferred through unofficial channels to the Israeli government.” Code words such as “duality of loyalty,” the accusation of “ongoing espionage” and “classified U.S. information” raise concerns that cause us to question whether Ritter really is a “friend” of Israel.

It has been 26 years since Jimmy Carter departed the White House. His recognized bias against Israel was evident then and is back with a vengeance today. His latest book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” is a one-sided, inaccurate work that has been labeled for what it is, an anti-Israel tirade.

Carter’s bias against Israel is nothing new. In this book, his bias is indisputable. Carter’s longtime associate on projects relating to the Middle East, Emory University Professor Kenneth W. Stein, for many years director of the Carter Center at Emory, summed it up exactly when he recently wrote that Carter “has done what no nonfiction author should ever do. He allows ideology and opinion to get in the way of the facts … To suit his desired ends, he manipulates information, redefines facts and exaggerates conclusions.” In an act of conscience and courage Stein terminated his relationship with Carter and the Carter Center.

What makes this tragic trinity so disturbing is that, taken together, they weave a web of imagined conspiracy that provides fodder for those who would contend that there is a plot by supporters of Israel to subvert the United States and the direction of American foreign policy.

The Israel lobby and Jews in America, they allege, are responsible for all the sins and omissions of American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Our immediate response must be clear. This kind of distortion of the truth must be unequivocally exposed and repudiated without delay.

David G. Dalin and John F. Rothmann are the authors of the forthcoming book “Mandate for Hate: Hitler’s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam.”

David G. Dalin is the Taube Research Fellow in American History at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

John F. Rothmann is a talk show host on KGO News Talk 810 AM and is on the faculty of the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco.