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The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy Paperback – 26 Jun 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 1st Edition Thus edition (26 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141031239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141031231
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 122,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Controversial." --Terry Gross, "Fresh Air," NPR"It could not be more timely." --David Bromwich, "The Huffington Post""The strategic questions they raise now, particularly about Israel's privileged relationship with the United States, are worth debating." --David Remnick. "The New Yorker""Ruthlessly realistic." --William Grimes, "The New York Times""The argument they present is towering and clear and about time.""" --Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss.com "Mearsheimer, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, and Walt, on the faculty at Harvard, set off a political firestorm." --Jay Solomon, "The Wall Street Journal.com""Promises controversy on a scale not seen since Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" sought to reframe a new world order." --Stefan Halper, National Interest.com"Deals with Middle East policymaking at a time when America's problems in that region surpass our problems anywhere else . . . People are definitely arguing about it. It's also t

From the Publisher

How a powerful American interest group has created havoc in the Middle East, betrayed Israel itself and now threatens an even more perilous future. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A really sound and constructive analysis of the relationship between the United States and Israel. However, the concluding argument is not necessarily one which you would expect.

The authors cover many topics such as the military, diplomatic, financial and legal aid handed to Israel by the United States over the years. This has ranged from the latest military technology to simple aid to loans which are not expected to be repaid.... ever !! This is a condition they would not accept from the United Kingdom.

However, the most intriguing aspect of the work is just how much the US has been prepared to accept from their "strategic" ally, or is it how little ?? There is documented evidence of how Israel regularly sells on US arms and technology to nations not quite suited to US foreign policy, including China. There is also quite a large amount of data on how much support Israel receives in Congress with the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) being particularly influential in the forming of US foreign policy.

The book has further dimensions which you will need to explore yourself and I would certainly recommend it to anyone with a historical interest in international relations.
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Format: Paperback
After first reviewing the extent of US financial and non-financial support for Israel, the authors ask whether Israel is a strategic asset or liability for the USA. They consider a number of arguments:

Helping contain the Soviet bear - relevant during the Cold War but not after the collapse of the Soviet Union. They give the example of the first Gulf War where any Israeli involvement would have been seriously damaging to US interests.

Partners against terror - the authors point out that US support for Israel is itself a prime cause for terrorism directed against US interests.

Confronting rogue states - they remind us that the states usually mentioned present no direct threat to the USA and that US support for Israel makes it harder to deal with rogue states.

Having decided that supporting Israel damages the USA, the authors evaluate whether moral considerations require American support for Israel notwithstanding. After doing so, they conclude that the moral case for the USA to support Israel is not currently justified, regardless of the arguments either way in 1947.

It would be easy to believe that US support for Israel is achieved by a conspiracy, with secret arrangements made in darkened rooms. The authors demonstrate that exactly the opposite is true. The Israel lobby operates in the full glare of publicity; there is no conspiracy.

The book shows how American supporters of Israel organise their campaigning efforts, raise money, lobby politicians and also dominate debate in the media and amongst think tanks. This is achieved by many people dedicating their time and money to promoting the cause of Israel.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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 public of the rightness of their views.It is US democracy in action,good old-fashioned politics,and everyone else does it.It's almost impossible to read an article about US politics which doesn't discuss the farm lobby,the labour lobby,the banking lobby or whatever other lobby.
The problem is that there is,in effect,no opposition to the Israel lobby (not all of whom are Jewish,as the authors point out).Any "Arab lobby" or "Palestinian lobby" in the USA is pathetically weak and poor in comparison with pro-Israeli groups.So,the most extreme and confrontational policies of the Israeli government are tolerated,supported or,at most,attract verbal displeasure from the US government-there's no benefit in supporting Palestinians,no loss in supporting Israel.Same with the financial munificence of the US taxpayers to Israel.
Great work of political analysis,and ignore the cries of "anti-Semitism" you may sometimes hear directed at this book.The authors point out that particular canard has been used so frequently and so loosely by pro-Israeli apologists as their response to anything and anybody that opposes anything the Israeli goverment does.
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Format: Paperback
The book discusses the influence of the Israel lobby on the American decision-making bodies and key figures.

Notice here that I use the expression ''the Israel Lobby'', not ''Jewish Lobby'', and the reason is simple: out of around 75 Jewish pressure groups active in the American political realm, only a small number of them stand adamantly for Israel's 'right' to do whatever she prefers, and cracks down on any attempt to even criticize the Jewish state. The rest of the groups, although pro-Israel, maintain a more balanced attitude towads the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They basically lean towards a two-state solution, and on several occasions step out to 'timidly' criticize Israel's practices in the Occupied Territories.

The book impressively outlines the influence of AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) on the American decision-making wether in the Congress or in the Oval Office. Despite the fact that the writers argue that Israel has a legitimate right to exist and live in peace and security, they raise the most critical question of whether American generous support of Israel is by any means justified.

The book cleverly analyzes the scope of the American-Israeli relations from a historical and political perspective, and to what extent America's unconditional (declared and undeclared) financial & military aids to Israel fan the growing anti-US terrorism, and how that endangers both American and Israeli security.

Sporadic points that seem vague in the American foreign policy and the US relations with Israel are logically connected in this book, making it easier for a political observer to correctly lay down the political puzzle pieces.

The book is objective, sharp and very clever...and of course, despite their pro-Israel opinions, the writers have been labeled anti-semitic.
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