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The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

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The Israel Lobby," by John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, was one of the most controversial articles in recent memory. Originally published in the London Review of Books in March 2006, it provoked both howls of outrage and cheers of gratitude for challenging what had been a taboo issue in America: the impact of the Israel lobby on U.S. foreign policy.

Now in a work of major importance, Mearsheimer and Walt deepen and expand their argument and confront recent developments in Lebanon and Iran. They describe the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the United States provides to Israel and argues that this support cannot be fully explained on either strategic or moral grounds. This exceptional relationship is due largely to the political influence of a loose coalition of individuals and organizations that actively work to shape U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction. Mearsheimer and Walt provocatively contend that the lobby has a far-reaching impact on America's posture throughout the Middle East--in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict--and the policies it has encouraged are in neither America's national interest nor Israel's long-term interest. The lobby's influence also affects America's relationship with important allies 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 'The Clash of Civilizations?' in 1993 has an academic essay detonated with such force." The publication of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is certain to widen the debate and to be one of the most talked-about books of the year.

Publishers Weekly Review

Aug 27, 2007 – Expanding on their notorious 2006 article in the London Review of Books, the authors increase the megatonnage of their explosive claims about the malign influence of the pro-Israel lobby on the U.S. government. Mearsheimer and Walt, political scientists at the University of Chicago and Harvard, respectively, survey a wide coalition of pro-Israel groups and individuals, including American Jewish organizations and political donors, Christian fundamentalists, neo-con officials in the executive branch, media pundits who smear critics of Israel as anti-Semites and the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, which they characterize as having an “almost unchallenged hold on Congress.” This lobby, they contend, has pressured the U.S. government into Middle East policies that are strategically and morally unjustifiable: lavish financial subsidies for Israel despite its occupation of Palestinian territories; needless American confrontations with Israel's foes Syria and Iran; uncritical support of Israel's 2006 bombing of Lebanon, which “violated the laws of war”; and the Iraq war, which “almost certainly would not have occurred had been absent.” The authors disavow conspiracy mongering, noting that the lobby's activities constitute legitimate, if misguided, interest-group politics, “as American as apple pie.” Considering the authors' academic credentials and the careful reasoning and meticulous documentation with which they support their claims, the book is bound to rekindle the controversy.

Customer Reviews

The Israel lobby

This is an outstanding book. I have never read a more comprehensive well researched effort to help us understand the confounding mystery of America getting caught up in a movement that is so contradictory to our American values. It may someday be looked back on as the bell that tolled and woke up the countryside. Israelis themselves may someday look back with gratitude as it could become a great contributor to an ultimate solution and save Israel from itself. It is rather peculiar that the critics of the book have resorted to name calling and attacking motives rather than discuss the actual content!


Great book to those who desire the truth submerged in facts.


Good book to figure out Washington if your into Middle East politics

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Politics & Current Events
  • Published: Sep 04, 2007
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 250 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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