There is that age old question, does freedom of speech allow someone to yell fire in a crowded theater? But a more modern version of that might be does academic freedom allow professors to ostracize one ethnic group with lies and misrepresentation. Well if you ask Messrs Walt and Mearsheimer the answer is yes! Their new book which is a long form version of their article originally published on stolen Harvard Stationary, has just been published, and it is clear that these bigots did not hire a fact checker since the original article was published last spring. Forget the fact checker they didn’t even bother to check their fiction with any of the people who were present at the events they wrote about.
The following article, written by Rick Richman appeared in the Americans Thinker, it deconstructs the Walt and Mearsheimer arguments by pointing out the flaws in the way the conducted their research and is a wonderful read:
Walt, Mearsheimer and the Peace Process
By Rick Richman
The essence of the right of return is choice: Palestinians should be given the option to choose where they wish to settle, including return to the homes from which they were driven. There is no historical precedent for a people abandoning their fundamental right to return to their homes whether they were forced to leave or fled in fear. We will not be the first people to do so.The memorandum ran on for pages, with objections on every page, and demanded resolution of numerous other issues not even addressed in the Parameters:The United States proposal remains silent on a number of issues that are essential for the establishment of a lasting and comprehensive peace. . . . Specifically, the proposal does not address water, compensation for damages resulting from over thirty years of occupation, the environment, future economic relations, and other state-to-state issues.The memorandum closed by stating the Palestinians wanted to emphasize that “we remain committed to a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict” — it was just that “[w]e cannot, however, accept a proposal that secures neither the establishment of a viable Palestinian state nor the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.”This is what Walt & Mearsheimer characterize in their book as an “acceptance” of the Clinton Parameters with a request for “clarification on some points, and express[ing] reservations about others.” It leads to Walt & Mearsheimer’s “we’ll never know what would have happened” conclusion.The Palestinian memorandum was in fact one big No: No to settlement blocs and a 4-6 percent retention of West Bank land for them (with a 1-3 percent land swap). No to any agreement not recognizing a right of return to Israel. No to any agreement that did not “compensate” the Palestinians for “30 years of occupation.” No to any resolution that did not address “the environment,” “future economic relations,” unspecified “other state-to-state issues,” etc., etc.According to Walt & Mearsheimer, the Palestinian memorandum shows “the charge that Arafat and the Palestinians rejected a last chance for peace . . . is false.” In fact, it shows the precisely the opposite, which was exactly how Dennis Ross interpreted it:[Arafat’s] reservations were deal-killers, involving his actual rejection of the Western Wall part of the formula on the Haram, his rejection of the most basic elements of the Israeli security needs, and his dismissal of our refugee formula. All were deal killers.The grossly inaccurate portrayal of the Palestinian response to the Clinton Parameters in Walt & Mearsheimer’s book obscures what the Palestinians in fact did: refuse a last offer of a state on contiguous land, with a capital in East Jerusalem, for the second time in six months.The New Peace ProcessWalt & Mearsheimer’s book is part of an attempt to write a new “narrative” about what happened in 2000 — one in which the Palestinians were never offered a state on contiguous land, were always ready to negotiate in good faith and were stymied by an intransigent Israel. The truth is that in 2000 the Palestinians not only received a “political horizon” but formal offers of a state, not once but twice, and both times they rejected them in favor of other objectives.The Barak concessions in 2000 were an increasingly desperate attempt to consummate the Oslo process as the Clinton administration ended. Israel made an initial offer at Camp David, improved it two weeks later, agreed to even more concessions in the Clinton Parameters, and then began to make even further concessions at a last-gasp meeting at Taba on January 21-28, 2001 (after Clinton left office), until Barak finally ended the charade.One week later, on February 5, 2001, the Israeli electorate overwhelmingly elected Ariel Sharon to replace Barak.The ultimate result of six months of intensive meetings and multiple Israeli concessions and offers was a new “intifada” involving waves of barbaric mass-homicide bombings. The Clinton Parameters were ultimately superseded by the Bush Parameters in the April 14, 2004 letter to Israel, which promised the U.S. would (a) support no other plan than the Road Map, (b) back “defensible borders” for Israel (rather than a withdrawal to the 1967 lines), and (c) act to insure Gaza would not pose a threat, and which recognized that refugees would not return to Israel.Last month, Rudy Giuliani said the Barak concessions had been made “unwisely.” He recognized that a Palestinian state per se is not necessarily in the interests of the United States, unless the Palestinians first renounce terrorism, accept the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, and demonstrate for “some safe period” that the commitments are real. Absent compliance with those conditions, he said he opposes a process to create a Palestinian state, since rather than advance the war against terror it might provide a new base for terrorism.Seven years after the Palestinians twice turned down a state, they are not even close to meeting the conditions articulated by Giuliani (much less the Bush Parameters). They have not dismantled a single terrorist organization, are still pushing their “right of return,” still demanding that Israel move back to the indefensible borders of 1967, and still insisting on sovereignty over the most holy Jewish site in the world (among other deal killers). And not only Israel but the whole world saw what happened after the total withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza.Walt & Mearsheimer figure prominently in a new anti-Israel lobby that is entitled to its own opinions but under no circumstances to its own facts. Fortunately, primary documents that refute their account are easily available. We can only guess at Walt & Mearsheimer’s motivations, but their goal seems to extend far beyond academia: with their egregiously erroneous portrayal of the events of 2000, they seem to be seeking not only to re-write history, but to add to the pressure on Israel to make the same unwise concessions again.