The pro-Israeli lobby and the American foreign politics of John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt are professors of Political Sciences at the University of Chicago, and Director of Studies and Professor of International Relations in the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard respectively. These two political economists worked in tandem on the influence of the pro-Israeli lobby on American foreign politics.
The compilation of this research data met with criticism following the publication of their article in March 2006 in the London Review of Books. In the aftermath of the polemic, the authors, quite conscious of having raised an enormous taboo of the American policy, decided to publish a work. The authors adopted a realistic approach in the definition of the lobby and its influence on the American foreign politics.
On the basis of the report of a material aid and financial consequence as well as the diplomatic support expressed by the United States towards Israel, Mearsheimer and Walt exposed the strategic and moral reasons used as justification. However, after having shown the insufficiency of those, the reader understands that this privileged relation is the fruit of the political influence of the lobby that was ‘working actively with the orientation of the American foreign politics in a pro-Israeli direction’.
The objective of the authors is to highlight through many historical examples and present that this policy is not only contrary with the American interests, but also with the Israeli interests in the long run.
The purpose will be to focus initially on the components of this lobby, influence and a second time on why it is so effective in shaping U.S. foreign policy. Finally, there is work to enhance its effectiveness against the deficit of representation of Arab interests and the inability of the oil lobby on issues related to the Middle East.
The formulation of U.S. policy is influenced by various stakeholders, one of them being the lobbies. There are many lobbies; they are representative of the interests of social classes, of a certain type of industry or ethnic overtones and / or religious. However, the pro-Israel lobby is complex to define, given the diversity of these components.
In a broad definition, one can consider as part of the lobby, any person or group actively working to guide the U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israeli and sharing the same conviction, that the U.S. should provide diplomatic support, substantial economic and military support for Israel, and this also if Israel pursues a policy that opposes the United States. This joint position paper overcomes the non-centralized structure of the Lobby.
It is clear that the Israel lobby is not a monolithic group; there are disagreements, embodied by separate organizations. However, there is a core group of organizations and individuals promoting "unconditional" support to Israel.
In this regard, one can mention AIPAC - the best known - the CUFI, the WINEP, ADL, ZOA, The Conference of Presidents, established in 1954, over these organizations, so that the powerful lobby can speak with one voice. Many think tanks, political action committees and other organizations also support the action of a pro-Israel and are included in the Lobby.
Tags: “The pro-Israeli lobby and the American foreign politics”; John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt- authors; components of this lobby; US foreign policy;
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