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March 25, 2006

The Israeli Lobby and US Middle East Policy

John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University wrote a study of the Israeli Lobby. An edited version appeared in the March 23, 2006 volume of the London Review of Books. This research has sparked debate on all sides of the political spectrum.

I'm not sure what I believe on this subject - I agree that AIPAC is an extremely powerful lobbying entity in the US. I agree that discussions of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict in the US are often one-sided, rampant with stereotyping and fear-mongering. On the other hand, I agree that the US policy in the Middle East is part of its larger policy for world domination / imperialism. So, I guess I don't agree with Mearsheimer/Walt when they argue that US policy in the Middle East is dictated by Israel's needs and runs counter to what is best for the US. While it would be better for the US to completely overhaul its foreign policy, I cannot blame the USG's actions on one lobby and one foreign country. (On the other hand, I agree that the impact of AIPAC on the creation and execution of foreign policy should be studied more and that the entire issue of US collusion in Israel's occupation of Palestine needs to be addressed.)

More info:
"The Israeli Lobby," by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in the London Review of Books
Unedited, 81 page pdf version available here

"A Silent, Crippling Fear," by Paul Woodward on The War in Context

"Blaming the Lobby," by Joseph Massad on Al-Ahram

Posted by cj at March 25, 2006 5:44 PM


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