Harvard Dean Steps Down after Study Is Criticized; Authors Call Israel Lobby 'Driving Force Behind' Iraq Invasion

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Pfeiffer, WASHINGTON TIMES

A widely-criticized study published by Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government that asserts that the Israeli lobby manipulates and damages American foreign policy has led one of its authors to step down as academic dean at the school.

The paper, written by Kennedy School Academic Dean Stephen M. Walt and University of Chicago professor John J. Mearsheimer, asserts that "the Jewish Lobby" is responsible for the Iraq war, the negative Muslim view of the United States and Israel's status as the top recipient of U.S. aid.

They define the lobby as a collective that includes the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), neoconservatives, Christian evangelicals, prominent journalists and lawmakers.

AIPAC has declined to comment on the paper, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy." Even frequent critics of Israel, such as Noam Chomsky, question the study's assertions. "We still have to ask how convincing their thesis is," Mr. Chomsky says. "Not very, in my opinion."

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America says the paper is "riddled with errors of fact, logic and omission, has inaccurate citations, ... and, contrary to basic scholarly standards, ignores previous serious work on the subject."

In their study, Mr Mearsheimer and Mr. Walt say: "The main driving force behind the Iraq war was a small band of neoconservatives, many with close ties to Israel's Likud Party . …