Walt and Mearsheimer censored: Chicago Council on Global Affairs cancels talk

After appearing without incident at the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Press Club and Georgetown University, The Israel Lobby authors Stephen Walt of Harvard and John Mearsheimer of U of Chicago got the boot.
The Wall Street Journal reports:

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has canceled a September speech on U.S.-Israel relations and Washington’s pro-Israel lobby by two prominent U.S. political scientists.

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were scheduled to use the Sept. 27 address to outline their upcoming book, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” which is expected to be released by Farrar, Straus & Giroux early next month. But the president of the Chicago Council, Marshall Bouton, canceled the event under pressure from critics who were uncomfortable with the academics’ arguments, according to a letter drafted by Mearsheimer and Walt to the Council’s board.

These opponents of the event argued that the two political scientists could only address the Chicago Council if someone from the opposing side, “such as Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, concurrently appeared on stage with the authors.

(As we have reported, a growing chorus of Jewish critics are calling for Abraham Foxman’s ouster: here, here and here.)
This has got to be a major embarrassment for the respected Chicago Council on Global Affairs. A cancellation based on pressure (it’s not yet clear what kind of pressure was exerted or why the Council yielded) would seem to violate every the mission of the organization.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, founded in 1922 as The Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, is a leading independent, nonpartisan organization committed to influencing the discourse on global issues through contributions to opinion and policy formation, leadership dialogue, and public learning.

The Chicago Council brings the world to Chicago by hosting public programs and private events featuring world leaders and experts with diverse views on a wide range of global topics. Through task forces, conferences, studies, and leadership dialogue, the Council brings Chicago’s ideas and opinions to the world.

To inquire about the Council’s standards try calling them directly to register your disapproval:

Rachel Bronson at 312.821.7510

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