can’t see the forest

The Israel Lobby Revisited

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Reclaiming Space has posted a retrospective of the influence of AIPAC and the Israel Lobby in general on the U.S. Congress and U.S. foreign policy, one year out from the groundbreaking paper by Walt and Mearsheimer. The article is bursting with links to further information—definitely a great starting point for getting involved.

There are not too many academic papers that manage to make a splash in the policy world as well as academe. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s paper on the role of the The Israel Lobby has been one of them, and only President Carter’s book that followed has attracted anything near the firestorm of much needed debate on unqualified US government backing of Israel. . .

. . .

Since then, too, the Likud-Zionist influence has been seen in US foreign policy toward Iran, threatening a possible conflagration that the Israel Lobby has again long been shrilly propagating, as it did with Iraq.

But cracks are emerging in the influence of the Israel Lobby. Other Jewish groups are making a noise on both sides of the Atlantic, speaking up against the intimidation of groups like AIPAC who they say do not speak for them.

Cracks in the Lobby fortress are also emerging with challenges in the prevailing directions of the governing elite. As James Petras argues, a split can be seen between what he calls the traditional economic empire builders (EEB) and the civilian militarists/ Zio-cons. At least one article has recently speculated about the possibly waning influence of the neocons.

As a good friend of mine involved in the campaign to end apartheid in South Africa has reminded me, it is just when things are at their worst and most unbearable, that a tipping point is often reached. This tipping point may come suddenly, but it is a spark that is made possible by, and generated in, the long electric struggle for justice.


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