Aug. 1, 2007

The Israel Lobby? An Examination

The Israel Lobby? An Examination. By Akio Bandle The Israel Lobby is arguably the largest elephant in Washington. Yet, it happens to be a crucial piece to the American foreign policy puzzle. Academics John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt explore this paradox in their working paper, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”. Based on their Realist school-of -thought, the professors argue that our partnership with Israel is strategically pointless, if not detrimental to our national interests. Despite this, we channel billions of dollars in aid to Israel, and unflinchingly support their policies as it continues to hurt our image in the Middle East. The professors conclude that our strong alliance with Israel is due to the Lobby’s immense influence over our foreign policy. Likewise, the Israel Lobby is able to suppress voices of opposition in the realm of government, mainstream media, and academia. Stifling the fora has enabled the Lobby to operate virtually unknown beyond the political landscape. Mearsheimer and Walt define the Israel Lobby as a “loose coalition of individuals and organizations who actively work to shape U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction.” They highlight the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in particular, as the most clear cut case of the Lobby’s power. The Israel Lobby’s tour de force presence on Capitol Hill and the White House has caused a power shift more favorable to Israel’s interests. In turn, our stringent pro-Israel disposition has enraged the Arab world, fueling terrorism and sabotaging hopes for peace in the Middle East.

No comments: