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The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East Hardcover – August 31, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (August 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780061726019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061726019
  • ASIN: 006172601X
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,805,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bard, the head of nonprofit advocacy group American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, takes a historical look at the relationship between the United States and the lobbying efforts of Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. Bard examines these relations over time and argues that many of the political actions taken by the U.S. have been aimed at appeasing this lobby; even decisions surrounding the establishment of Palestine, he suggests, were influenced by lobbyist complaints. To Bard, there's no mistaking the main motivation behind U.S. interest in Arab lands, and as far back as the mid '30s, the U.S. recognized the strategic importance of Arabian peninsula oil. Bard examines the lobby's beginnings, going back to 1917 when England's call for a Jewish homeland in Palestine sparked opposition, to their current "brainwashing" of children ("American taxpayers... subsidize... K-12 education materials on the Middle East that have been created under Saudi auspices") to the "conspiracy theory" woven by the authors of The Israeli Lobby. A subject this intrinsic to U.S. foreign policy deserves a more rigorous examination than what Bard can undertake, given his position of advocacy.
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From the Back Cover

The so-called Israel lobby has been widely denounced and demonized in the global media, but as Mitchell Bard reveals, its power pales in comparison to the decades-long corruption of American interests by Arab governments. Indeed, for more than seventy years, U.S. policy in the Middle East has been shaped not by the power of a nefarious “Israel lobby” but by a misguided emphasis on pleasing and placating the Arab states. This outlook has ensured that the United States pays disproportionate attention to their demands, assisting Arab countries—all of them dictatorial regimes with abysmal human rights records—that do not share our values and often work to subvert our interests.

In this authoritative history, Bard provides a timely and valuable corrective to the unbalanced view of Middle East affairs that is so widely promoted today. Bard shows that the Arab Lobby’s goals include feeding America’s oil addiction, obtaining more sophisticated weaponry, and weakening our alliance with a democratic Israel. It also seeks to influence public opinion through a well-funded publicity campaign and by injecting distorted views of the Middle East into high school and college textbooks. Bard’s valuable book brings a much-needed balance to a debate fraught with ignorance and propaganda.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Abrams on April 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It basically goes into how the Israeli lobby is demonized or villified which in alot of cases is true, however it goes into the topic of an arab lobby and shows how they control the oil states and oppose american-israeli ties. While I personally never beleive everything published in any book or everything said on the news, I found this to be a good insight on one side of the spectrum,some useful information, again defanitly worth the read. remember folks always two sides to a story.
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48 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Observer on September 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In "The Arab Lobby", Mitchell Bard, a respected expert on the Arab-Israel conflict, writes knowledgeably, with academic rigor, and passionately, without hyperventilating, about this controversial topic. Unfortunately, as he admits in his Acknowledgments, he was not able to interview many people who have been active in recent times, who declined requests for interviews. Perhaps they have something to hide. Future writers and journalists must continue to shine light into dark corners.

Bard makes the important point that, while the Israeli Lobby has been a grass-roots effort by American citizens, the Arab Lobby has mostly been a top-down lobby, mostly financed with endless Saudi petro-dollars, aimed at buying influence in government and academia. Bard is to be commended for opening up this important subject and writing in such a well-organized, readable, and comprehensive way.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on January 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The ever pervasive myth of an all powerful Israel lobby controlling American foreign policy has dominated public discourse on the topic. But here Mitchell Bard shows how Arab governments use their petrodollars and control of energy supplies to control American foreign policy in favour of the Anti-Israel , pro-Arab cause and to also dominate educational institutions and the media, creating a pervasive and biased pro-Palestinian public opinion.
The author demonstrates how the discourse on the Arab-Israeli conflict is distorted due to the immense financial resources of the Arab lobby. And to highlight its manipulation of American foreign policy and public opinion, usually out of public view, and in ways that have gone unnoticed and need to be exposed.
Bard highlights how the Arab lobby exerts a malignant influence on American foreign policy to ignore basic American values and American security in order to bolster and advance repressive Arab regimes and bloodthirsty terrorist organizations.
Most frighteningly it has infiltrated the education system to obscure the threats by and atrocities of radical Islam and to poison the relationship between the United States and Israel. The Arab lobby in the USA has had a long history and this traced by Bard to the 1920s with the machinations of Arabist anti-Semites in the State Department and diplomatic corps. It is ironic today when Communists and the far left, are besides Muslims, the most rabid and proactive leaders of the anti-Israel lobby, that from the 1920s up to the early 50s, a great fear expressed by the anti-Zionists in America was the fear of Jewish sympathy and potential alignment with the Soviet Union.
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30 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Paul Maccabee on October 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Reading Mitch Bard's superb new book, "The Arab Lobby," during a time when Palestinian "negotiators" are threatening again to walk away from 'Peace Talks' if Israel refuses to collapse and give in to Arab demands, is an exercise in deja vu -- author Mitch Bard uses long-secret government memos and the horrific words of anti-Israel activists inside and outside the U.S. Government to show that today's antipathy toward the Jewish state (and the anti-semitism that underpins that anti-Israel fervor) goes back decades.

Especially shocking are Bard's revelations about the power of Saudi Arabia to manipulate U.S. policy toward the Middle East and, intertwined with the Sauds, is Bard's equally stunning expose of how oil companies have tried to exploit Middle East policies to favor Arabs and cripple the democracy in Israel. Powerfully-written in lively prose (especially remarkable given that Bard's quoting from long-dead diplomats), "The Arab Lobby" blows apart the lie (most recently proposed by Walt and Mearsheimer) that AIPAC is the lobby that Americans should worry about. A must-read for anyone who cares about peace in the Middle East. As an investigative journalist who has visited Israel several times, I have read no more disturbing book this year than "The Arab Lobby." Phenomenal.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Zachary Scheinerman on December 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is critical because it is not only well written but finally reveals to the world a topic that too often remains hidden. If you read other histories you will often find the presence of "Arabists" in American government, particularly the State Department, using their influence to convince the American President to change American foreign policy to become pro-Arab. This is not the only aspect of the Arab Lobby, however.

From American college campuses and their "King Faisal Chair of Middle Eastern Studies" to President Ronald Reagan's decision to sell AWACS to Saudi Arabia, Bard's book chronicles the influence (though not always success) of the Arab Lobby. If you are interested in the Middle East or American foreign policy, you owe it to yourself to give it a read.
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More About the Author

Mitchell Bard is the Executive Director of the nonprofit AMERICAN-ISRAELI
COOPERATIVE ENTERPRISE (AICE) and one of the leading authorities on U.S.-
Middle East policy. Dr. Bard is also the director of the
Jewish Virtual Library (www.JewishVirtualLibrary.org), the world's most
comprehensive online encyclopedia of Jewish history and culture.

Dr. Bard has appeared on the BBC, Fox News, al-Jazeera, NBC, CBC, the
Jenny Jones Show and other local and national television and radio
outlets. His work has been published in academic journals, magazines and
major newspapers. He has written and edited 22 books. His newest
book is Israel Matters: Understand the Past - Look to the Future. He has also
written:

The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance that Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East
Israel Studies: An Anthology (coeditor with David Nachmias)
Will Israel Survive?
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Middle East Conflict (4th edition)
48 Hours of Kristallnacht
The Founding of Israel
The Complete Idiot's Guide to World War II
Myths And Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
1001 Facts Everyone Should Know About Israel
Forgotten Victims: The Abandonment of Americans in Hitler's Camps
The Holocaust (Turning Points in World History)
The Nuremberg Trials (At Issue in History)
The Nuremberg Trials (Eyewitness to History)
From Tragedy to Triumph: The Politics Behind the Rescue of Ethiopian Jews
The Complete History of the Holocaust
The Water's Edge And Beyond: Defining the Limits to Domestic Influence on U.S. Middle East Policy
Partners for Change: How U.S.-Israel Cooperation Can Benefit America
U.S.-Israel Relations: Looking to the Year 2000
Building Bridges: Lessons For America From Novel Israeli Approaches To Promote Coexistence
On One Foot: A Middle East Guide for the Perplexed or How to Respond on Your Way to Class When Your Best Friend Joins an Anti-Israel Protest
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding the Brain

Bard holds a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA and a master's degree in public policy from
Berkeley. He received his B.A. in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.