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.
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