The israel lobby and us foreign policy by stephen m walt best book on us foreign policy


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The israel lobby and us foreign policy by stephen m walt best book on us foreign policy

  1. 1. The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by Stephen M. Walt A Hard TruthThe Israel Lobby,” by John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicagoand Stephen M. Walt of Harvard‟s John F. Kennedy School ofGovernment, was one of the most controversial articles in recent memory.Originally published in the London Review of Books in March 200 6, itprovoked both howls of outrage and cheers of gratitude for challengingwhat had been a taboo issue in America: the impact of the Israel lobby onU.S. foreign policy. Now in a work of major importance, Mearsheimer andWalt deepen and expand their argument and confront recentdevelopments in Lebanon and Iran. They describe the remarkable level ofmaterial and diplomatic support that the United States provides to Israeland argues that this support cannot be fully explained on either strategic ormoral grounds. This exceptional relationship is due largely to the politicalinfluence of a loose coalition of individuals and organizations that activelywork to shape U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction. Mearsheimerand Walt provocatively contend that the lobby has a far-reaching impact onAmerica‟s posture throughout the Middle East—in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, andtoward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—and the policies it has encouragedare in neither America‟s national interest nor Israel‟s long-term interest.The lobby‟s influence also affects America‟s relationship with importantallies and increases dangers that all states face from global jihadist terror. Writing in The New York Review of Books, Michael Massing declared,“Not since Foreign Affairs magazine published Samuel Huntington‟s „TheClash of Civilizations?‟ in 1993 has an academic essay detonated withsuch force.” The publication of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy iscertain to widen the debate and to be one of the most talked-about booksof the year.Features:Steven Rosen, the former AIPAC official, illustrates AIPACs power for theNew Yorkers Jeffrey Goldberg by putting a napkin in front of him andsaying, "In twenty-four hours, we could have the signatures of seventy
  2. 2. senators on this napkin." As Mearsheimer and Walt make clear, this is noidle boast, and they go on to say, "As will become clear, when issuesrelating to Israel come to the fore, Congress almost always votes toendorse the lobbys positions, usually in overwhelming numbers".They note AIPAC President Howard Friedman telling the organizationsmembers in August 2006, "AIPAC meets with every candidate running forCongress. These candidates receive in depth briefings to help themcompletely understand the complexities of Israels predicament and that ofthe Middle East as a whole. We ask each candidate to author a "positionpaper" on their views of the U.S.-Israel relationship - so it is clear wherethey stand on the subject."One congressional candidate (Harry Lonsdale) who went through thisvetting process recounts that, "I found myself invited to AIPAC inWashington, D.C. fairly early in the campaign, for "discussions". It was anexperience I will never forget. It wasnt enough that I was pro-Israel. I wasgiven a list of vital topics and quizzed (read grilled) for my specific opinionon each. Actually I was told what my opinion must be, and exactly whatwords I was to use to express those opinions in public..... Shortly after thatencounter at AIPAC, I was sent a list of American supporters of Israel.....that I was free to call for campaign contributions. I called, they gave, fromFlorida to Alaska."AIPAC also keeps track of congressional voting records and direct funds toopponents of congressmen who dont follow their line.Apart from Congress, Mearsheimer and Walt show successful Jewishactivists in key government positions (particularly from the 1970sonwards), such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, ElliottAbrahams, David Wurmser and Lewis "Scooter" Libby in the Clinton andBush administrations. This political combination managed to steer GeorgeBush, sideline Condoleeza Rice, and bully Colin Powell into the Iraq war .The authors show the enormous frustration of the CIA as their intelligencewas distorted to support the lie of Iraqi W MD and start an unprovoked warthat was not in the interests of the United States.A feeble Congress votes record aid budgets to Israel (currently four billiondollars a year), with loans being converted to grants, and quickacquiescences to Israeli demands that aid be paid up front (which meansthe U.S. has to borrow it to give to them), and to the Israeli refusal toaccount for how it was spent, both necessary conditions for other aidrecipients.The whole process is supported by Jewish Think Tank activists such asDaniel Pipes, Michael Rubin, and Joshua Muravchik at the AmericanEnterprise Institute, and prominent journalists such as William Kristol,Michael Ladeen and Norman Podhoretz who are now agitating for America
  3. 3. to declare war on Iran (and subsequently Syria and Saudi Arabia althoughthey are not so open about this).In their conclusion, Mearsheimer and Walt ask what can be done about theoutlandish failure of the American government to act in the interests ofAmerica. They doubt that the Israel Lobby will relinquish its power in thepress, campaign finance or government, so they suggest pressure formore open discourse, which seems to be happening. It was initiallyimpossible to publish this book in America but it did eventually see the lightof day after an article in the London Review of Books and an unprcedented275.000 downloads of the working paper on Harvards Kennedy School ofGovernment website.The authors see the possibi lity of congressmen being elected on a "AntiIsrael" platform but they rightly point out that this could easily slide intoanti-semitism and it is clear that the majority of American Jews arentLikudniks and opposed the war in Iraq. They dont like the AI PAC /Wolfowitz group but they lose out to the extremists, so its not clear whereall this goes apart from generating some rumbling at the other end of thespectrum (for example, Robert Griffins, "The Fame of a Dead MansDeeds" ). For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by Stephen M. Walt - 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price!