Matthew Yglesias writes
"There's no way the AIPAC 2011 annual conference would be a huge deal had the Arab-Israeli dispute been settled in 1997. Nor would it be possible for writers and editorialists with hawkish views on Israel to earn generous paydays speaking to Jewish organizations around the country. And with the (fortunate!) decline of anti-semitism as a practical issue in American life, advocacy around the Arab-Israeli conflict has also become more central to the mission of the Anti-Defamation League and other American Jewish organizations that weren't initially founded with Zionist missions. Obviously, I don't think the leadership of these organizations are insincere in their efforts. But it's still the case that objective interests end up influencing people's behavior through motivated reasoning and motivated skepticism. And the fact of the matter is that we have a fairly large and very successful network of organizations in the United States that both influence Israeli and American policy and also have strong objective interests in seeing the conflict continue. Indeed, in a weird way the more embattled and isolated Israel becomes, the better "pro-Israel" organizations do."
Have you noticed that Notre Dame and USC never get around to announcing a peace treaty where they permanently settle all their differences and renounce forevermore any resort to the gridiron? It's almost as if the leaderships of Notre Dame and USC think that all those young men getting bruised and injured in their annual football match is somehow in their institutions' interests...