AND -- and I don't see why this [sc. Walt & Mearsheimer's writing] doesn't bug you more -- because it suggests that there is some monolithic "Jewish" opinion when obviously there is not. Indeed, W&M seem to lump in the "Israel Lobby" groups that have quite different takes on what is in the interest of the US and of Israel.
It doesn't bug me, because I don't think it's terribly relevant, as I have said over and over. I'll have to read the entire W&M book, first of all. The hardliners control Jewish opinion in political terms, that's the point. It doesn't matter what I think, what Wonderment thinks, what Richard Falk thinks, what Noam Chomsky thinks, what Norman Finkelstein thinks, what any of the "righteous Jews" referred to by Mearsheimer in his April, 2010 speech to the Jerusalem Fund think. We don't matter. Jewish opinion may as well have been monolithic for the past twenty-thirty years. The politics may be changing now, I think, and Friedman's column could well be a milestone there, and W&M paved the way for that column.
The reason for focusing on rich Jews as components of the Lobby is that they are the most important in funding the Lobby's activities and in organizing campaign contributions. As I said before, Mead's one-man, one-vote approach to the American Jewish community and its politics is laughably stupid and incorrect, more stupid than any alleged monocausal explanation for America's Israel policy that emerges from W&M.
Friedman has been a long-time protege of Michael Mandelbaum in the field of IR. He has been citing Mandelbaum as his inspiration for years, and now they are collaborating on a book. Mandelbaum was a founding member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, identified by W&M as as prominent member of the Israel Lobby. In addition, Friedman's wife is/was heir to a large [Jewish] real estate fortune in the Midwest. Friedman would have been exposed every which way to Israel-related fundraising and political influence as regards Israel, and at the highest levels. I would be surprised if Friedman did not owe his plum assignment as Mideast correspondent to his connections with "The Lobby," speaking broadly (again, a necessary but insufficient condition for getting the assignment). So, given all this, that Friedman would write the sentence he wrote about congressional applause for Netanyahu being bought and paid for by the Lobby speaks volumes. Friedman has had enough.