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. While the WCUSP leadership team does not have a consensus opinion on the Mearsheimer / Walt research, we welcome the debate on the causes of US policy in the Middle East. We believe it is important to recognize both the power of lobbying in creating government policy and the continuation of US hegemonic aggression since World War II.

The Israel Lobby
For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread 'democracy' throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardised not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state?

Thoughts on Mearsheimer
WCUSP has followed the debate created by the publication of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's "The Israel Lobby" study. WCUSP leadership team member Libby Frank articulates four main problems with Mearsheimer and Walt's "The Israel Lobby" study in her response, "Confusing the Issue: Mearsheimer & Walt's 'The Israel Lobby.'" While Ms. Frank's paper should be viewed as her own work, it does reflect US WILPF's goal of exposing the root causes of oppression and our challenge to US policy on Israel / Palestine.

Study: AIPAC works against US interests
A new study, claiming that the pro-Israel lobby in America caused the United States to skew its Middle East policy in favor of Israel, is stirring controversy in the pro and anti-Israel communities in the US.

The 81-page report, written by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt for the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, argues that the pro-Israel lobby in the US managed to convince American lawmakers, officials and US public opinion to support Israel, even though this support runs counter to America's own national interests.

Blaming the lobby
Unless the Jewish lobby loosens its grip on Washington's foreign policy, the US should expect a change in its standing among Arabs, writes Joseph Massad*

The prospect of American ports being run by an Arab company ignited a firestorm in the blogosphere -- and the mainstream media and Congress. Now two of America's leading political scientists allege that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East is being skewed away from U.S. national interests by a "loose coalition of individuals and organisations who actively work to steer U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction." You'd imagine this would provoke, at the very least, a strong reaction.

U.S. Hegemony in the Middle East
Hegemony can be defined as the domination of one state over another; it can also be defined as the domination of one state over its allies. U.S. hegemony in the Middle East, an example of both definitions, is primarily about oil.


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