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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lobby,not a conspiracy
Walt and Mearsheimer have done the public-in the US and elsewhere-a service by writing about what has been,for far too long,a taboo subject.
Contrary to what some reviewers say,their account of the Israel lobby starts from the view that there is nothing wrong in individuals or groups who support Israel lobbying and trying to persuade politicians,the press or the...
Published on 27 Mar 2009 by Franz Bieberkopf

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19 of 135 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No-one would take this book seriously if it was not written by a Harvard and a Chicago Professor
The book would not be taken seriously if not for Walt and Mearsheimer's reputations. Nowhere in the book is there a sense of complexity, balance, an examination of the variety of factors that cause an event, or of putting individual comments in perspective.

On every issue, they start with unproven, anti-Israel assumptions and then look for isolated examples to...
Published on 13 Nov 2007 by Jonathan Hoffman


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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative, 21 Nov 2007
By 
A. Chambers (Birmingham, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (Hardcover)
I really wish some of the people who decry this book so loudly had actually read it. There is not a shred of truth behind the routine denunciations of anti-semitism with which the authors are frequently attacked. These ad hominem attacks are designed to stifle debate about Israel. Public debate is a cornerstone of democracy, whether you are persuaded by the arguments or not. Both the US and Israel claim to be democracies.

The book correctly points out that there is something very strange indeed about the relationship between the Us and Israel. Israel receives an astonishing amount of economic, military and diplomatic support which it arguably does not need, and which is often detrimental to US interests. When Israel is rightly condemned by the international community for its excesses, such as the 2006 destruction of Lebanon, the US has only positive things to say. No other country enjoys anything like this level of support. What is so special about Israel?

The authors present a compelling case for how this situation has arisen - basically interest-group lobbying gone wrong (nothing illegal, nothing conspiratorial) - and suggest possible solutions which would be to the benefit of all, including Israel itself.

I found the book interesting and informative. Strongly recommended to all with even a passing interest in the Middle East.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unaccountability and democracy, 26 Jun 2010
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This review is from: The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (Hardcover)
For anyone frustrated at the way America's real 'special relationship' - the one with Israel -impacts us all, then this is the book is for you. It fills in all the blanks to illustrate how a small minority can leverage a Superpower. There is no conspiracy theory here, it's shown to be just sheer determination on the part of a single-issue lobby to sustain their influence and oppose in any way any free debate on the Middle East. For a comparatively small amount of money, (mere millions of dollars), and an hierarchy of activists willing to dedicate themselves to the cause - billions of dollars of aid, mountains of munitions and most importantly, diplomatic immunity are purchased. One shock is to find it a prerequisite to survival in American politics that you either accept the lobby's 'protection' or suffer the consequences. It's brutal but so effective. It's also an eye-opener to realise that even presidents rarely have the strength to dare to act independently. A modest swing-vote is all it takes to change governments and the lobby can achieve this.

The level of attention to detail is scrupulous - the last hundred pages are entirely given over to references - while the analysis unfolds in a readable and often compelling manner. Several readings would be required to fully do the research justice.

The writers save their one note of optimism till the very end, arguing that academia can offer the 'freedom of speech' that is denied elsewhere. This is less than convincing, particularly as earlier in the book they illustrated how even US campus life can be manipulated through control of college funding and student action. One encouraging point, though, was how the lobby's reflex use of the 'anti-semite' card is finally losing some of its power to deter debate. But overall this book will undermine the faith most of us have in the integrity of democracy.

The real enemy of Palestine is clearly not the American people - statistics here illustrate a surprising lack of hatred amongst Arab populations - it is American policy. One is left wondering if Hezbollah had the reach and emulated Mossad, would those pulling the strings of US Middle East policy have something to wake them up to the realities of forty years of politiking in death and destruction. The truth is they seem set to remain unaccountable to anything more threatening than an excoriating work like this.
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102 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criticism of Israels sadistic behaviour is not anti-semitic, 5 Dec 2007
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A. Realist (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (Hardcover)
When the Israeli army can shoot Palestinian children in the head in their own homes and foreign journalists in high visibility clothing, blow up entire Palestinian families picnicing on beaches, carpet bomb Lebanon so widely and indiscriminately that the land is not safe to tread for fear of stepping on unexploded Israeli bomblets, commit the mass theft of Palestinian homes and land for their own ends, then ghetto-ise their remaining population by witholding food and electicity, all under the 'anti-terrorism' banner, all with the express backing of the Israel Lobby in America, books like these need to be written.

If Scotland started behaving in the same way towards England, I'm pretty sure many English would be firing a few rockets over Hadrians Wall.
The bottom line is most Israelis I have heard and read think this behaviour is entirely appropriate and any criticism is met with a deliberate tactical charge of anti-semitism. I am glad books like this are finally coming to the surface and showing Israel for the sadistic, self-pitying, land grabbing bully it is.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive work on the subject, 24 Jan 2009
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M. McManus - See all my reviews
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This book analyses the power of the Israel Lobby in the USA. The book begins by deconstructing the two primary reasons Americans give for their support for Israel. Firstly, is strategic reasons, whereby American support for Israel is based on the assumption Israel's geographic position is critical to American interests. The second is moral reasons, whereby Americans feel obligated to support "The region's only democracy". The authors calmly critique these two points.

The book then explains how powerful pro-Israel groups have disproportionate influence in American politics. Their extreme wealth means that campaign contributions for Senators and Congressmen often come with pro-Israel strings attached. Furthermore, this lobby is butressed by a web of other pro-Israel groups, from Jewish associations and even Christian Zionists. The authors suggest campaign finance reform, reducing the amount these groups can donate, would help solve this.

The authors believe that this extraordinary power means that Israel frequently feels it can behave in a wreckless fashion, without having to worry about US reprisals. Worse still, the US finds itself drawn into disputes with countries like Syria, which pose no threat to America but do threaten Israel. As a result, America makes enemies in the Middle East needlessly.

The book is calmly written, in a scholarly tone. The attention to detail is exquisite, and at no time do the authors allow their personal feelings to interfere with what is frankly, the definitive work on the Israel lobby. This is a must read for anyone interested in the subject of Israel, Palestine, the Middle East, terrorism or US politics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody should ever debate mideast politics without having read this book!, 15 Nov 2012
THis is a compelling and eye opening work; especially relevent for the intelligent American voter, but really for anyone who has the intellect to go beyond the junk media directed at the common masses and wiling to discover the foreign policy paradoxes that surround the West's special relationship with Israel. Brilliantly presented by respected professors of two of America's top universities.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched and well written. Books like this are rare and the public needs more of them., 10 July 2013
By 
Alan Holman (Sydney Australia) - See all my reviews
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If the average American taxpayer knew the full story of where their taxes were going, they'd put a lot more pressure on their government.

America has its priorities wrong when hundreds of thousands of homeless veterans are sleeping on the streets and their government is giving aid to an apartheid state for developing weapons and building illegal settlements. Furthermore, that same apartheid state is dragging America into illegal Wars that have nothing to do with American security.

The neocons and Israeli lobbies are running American foreign policy and that puts America on a very dangerous path.

I was pleased to read that most ordinary Jews in America did not support the Iraq war. However I'd like to know why they were not more vocal about it? Why the deafening silence? I don't recall any street marches.

Why were they not flooding the neocons and Lobbies with letters, emails and telephone calls as they do to everything else they don't agree with?

I think it's time they showed America where their allegiances lay. Is it with the country that welcomed them with open arms at the end of WW2? Or is it with the apartheid state that's spent the last 60 years ethnically cleansing Palestine?

The attacks on the education system are deplorable. It's inexcusable when highly respected intellectuals are labeled as anti-Semitic for doing nothing more than telling the truth. What has character assassination and career wrecking go to do with democracy?

The world has tired of the anti Semitic label being applied to everything that doesn't suit Israel. The Israeli Lobby represents an apartheid state that should not be given a platform in the United States. It's a sorry state of affairs when most of their speakers get more standing ovations than Stalin did.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for All Thinking People in the West, 20 May 2013
By 
Dr. R. Brandon (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (Hardcover)
This excellent book should be required reading for all those interested in the politics of the Middle East and the often baffling foreign policy of the United States towards the nations in that area.
Mearsheimer and Walt bring a balanced and extremely well researched approach to explaining the influence of the Israel Lobby and the role of the neoconservatives in the formulation of US foreign policy especially since the 1970s. Notice that the book deals with the Israel, not the Jewish, lobby as the authors are careful to point out that the hard line Israel Lobby, especially the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), does not represent much of the somewhat more liberal Jewish opinion in the US.
In the first part of the book the authors deal with the evidence for the existence of an Israel lobby (which amazingly some continue to deny) and proceed to describe its components and modus operandi. The Lobby works to persuade Congress and the American Executive to provide unremitting support for the state of Israel and Israeli policy. Despite lobbying being an entirely legal and essential part of the American democratic process many readers will no doubt be surprised and shocked to learn of some of the tactics and smear campaigns employed by the Lobby.
The second part of the book portrays the Lobby in action. It provides a forensic analysis of the role of the Israel Lobby with regards to formulating attitudes towards the Palestinian people, the decisions that led to the Iraq wars, Syria, Iran and the US Government approach to the Second Lebanon War of 2006. The wealth and depth of evidence can leave the reader in no doubt as to the veracity of the case made by the authors of overweening influence on the US Government, often orchestrated directly from Israel.
Finally the authors consider how the present situation, which is often not in the interests of either the US or Israel, might be improved. However, they are pessimistic in their outlook given the present entrenched position of Israel and the Lobby activists.
It should be noted that Mearsheimer and Walt are supporters of the state of Israel, this is not a polemic against Israel or American policy, but despite this measured approach they have been subject to a smear campaign and labelled as anti-Semitic in an effort to close down any meaningful debate on Israeli policy. This excellent and well written book should be required reading for the thinking American and British public who continue to be subject to perverse and counter productive policies by the political class of all parties, and more distressingly, misled by their newspaper and television media.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great on many levels, 27 Sep 2012
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I wont re-describe what others have said but the reasons I liked this book is because it taught me a lot about - middle east history and the way the american political system works. The historical stuff is well explained and quite extensive and helped me understand whats been happening over there all this time. What is just as interesting, and what realy got me thinking was just how corrupt (in my opinion) democratic capitalist democracy is. The authors state (a little too many times) that the Israel lobby is doing nothing wrong or illegal and is all above board within the political system, just like the other rich lobbys are doing nothing wrong.
I never realised how blatent and perfectly acceptable it is for the government to bow to the wants of rich people and corporations/lobbys until I read this book.I knew it was the case but wow, its like they dont even need to hide it! Personally if the Israel lobby realy does manipulate foreign policy to the detriment of just about everybody and other lobbys do similar things to serve their interests I think the whole political system needs to be scrapped.
Anyway this is something I got from this book as well as the specifics suggested by the title. It also makes us consider the damage political correctness does to honest/decent public discussion about matters like this. The authors seem like they have to prove they are not anti semetic every 10 pages and it gets a little irritating after a while. I get it guys, your not racists, you said that already! There are interesting discussions of propaganda, though they never refer to it as such, thats what it is.
This book has lots going on in it beneath the obvious. It caused me to think a lot about many things.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They have broken the TABOO, 18 Mar 2014
Mearsheimer and Walt did something brilliant to their country and their people. They initiated a furious but vibrant debate in the political arena.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of investigation, 30 Sep 2013
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This took some reading, for the intensity and thoroughness of the work.
One hopes it has got the acceptance so badly needed in the US.
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The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy
The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy by Stephen M. Walt (Hardcover - 7 Sep 2007)
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