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The Israel Lobby & US Foreign Policy
(J.J.Mearsheimer, S.Walt)

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Israel's creation and subsequent development is a remarkable achievement. Had American Jews not organized on Israel's behalf and convinced important politicians to support their objectives, Israel might never have been established.

The Israel Lobby US Foreign Policy J.J.Mearsheimer S.Walt


U.S. and Israeli interests have never been identical, however, and Israel's current policies are at odds with America's own national interests and certain core U.S. values. Unfortunately, in recent years the lobby's political clout and public relations acumen have discouraged U.S. leaders from pursuing Middle East policies that would advance American interests and protect Israel from its worst mistakes. The lobby's influence, in short, has been bad for both countries. There is, nonetheless, a silver lining in America's current plight. Because the costs of these failed policies are now so apparent, we have an opportunity for reflection and renewal. Although the lobby remains a powerful political force, its adverse impact is increasingly hard to overlook. A country, as rich and powerful as the United States, can sustain flawed policies for quite some time, but reality cannot be ignored forever. What is needed, therefore, is a candid but civilized discussion of the lobby's influence and a more open debate about U.S. interests in this vital region. Israel's well-being is one of those interests, on moral grounds, but it’s continued presence in the Occupied Territories is not. Open debate and more wide-ranging media coverage will reveal the problems that the current "special relationship" creates and encourage the United States to pursue policies more in line with its own national interest, with the interests of other states in the region, and, we firmly believe, with Israel's interest as well.

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