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Harvard posts rebuttal to paper

Reply challenges 'lobby' assertion

Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government yesterday posted on its website a rebuttal from Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz to a paper that alleges that US foreign policy is dominated by a pro-Israel lobby to the detriment of the US national interest.

The original paper, written by University of Chicago political scientist John J. Mearsheimer and Kennedy School academic dean Stephen M. Walt, has stirred an uproar in academic circles since it appeared in the working papers section of the school's website in mid-March.

That paper can be found online at:

http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP06-011/$File/rwp_06_011_walt.pdf

The Dershowitz rebuttal attacks the scholarship of the Israel lobby paper for allegedly uncritical use of material from authors known for antipathy to the United States and to Israel, for allegedly distorting the historical record, and for 10 assertions about Israel and the Israel lobby that Dershowitz says are demonstrably false. It can be viewed at:

http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/research/working_papers/dershowitzreply.pdf

This is the first time the Kennedy School has posted a rebuttal to a working paper on its website, under a new policy announced by Dean David Ellwood in response to widespread complaints about the Mearsheimer-Walt paper. Under the policy, any full-time Harvard faculty member is entitled to rebut assertions of the Kennedy School faculty so long as the rebuttal is scholarly in nature. Rebuttal papers must pass review by senior faculty of the school before they can be posted.

Charles A. Radin

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