- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (August 27, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374177724
- ISBN-13: 978-0374177720
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 379 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy Hardcover – August 27, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Expanding on their notorious 2006 article in the London Review of Books, the authors increase the megatonnage of their explosive claims about the malign influence of the pro-Israel lobby on the U.S. government. Mearsheimer and Walt, political scientists at the University of Chicago and Harvard, respectively, survey a wide coalition of pro-Israel groups and individuals, including American Jewish organizations and political donors, Christian fundamentalists, neo-con officials in the executive branch, media pundits who smear critics of Israel as anti-Semites and the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, which they characterize as having an almost unchallenged hold on Congress. This lobby, they contend, has pressured the U.S. government into Middle East policies that are strategically and morally unjustifiable: lavish financial subsidies for Israel despite its occupation of Palestinian territories; needless American confrontations with Israel's foes Syria and Iran; uncritical support of Israel's 2006 bombing of Lebanon, which violated the laws of war; and the Iraq war, which almost certainly would not have occurred had [the Israel lobby] been absent. The authors disavow conspiracy mongering, noting that the lobby's activities constitute legitimate, if misguided, interest-group politics, as American as apple pie. Considering the authors' academic credentials and the careful reasoning and meticulous documentation with which they support their claims, the book is bound to rekindle the controversy. (Sept.)
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“Controversial.” —Terry Gross, Fresh Air, NPR
“It could not be more timely.” —David Bromwich, The Huffington Post
“The strategic questions they raise now, particularly about Israel’s privileged relationship with the United States, are worth debating.” —David Remnick. The New Yorker
“Ruthlessly realistic.” —William Grimes, The New York Times
“The argument they present is towering and clear and about time.” —Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss.com
“Mearsheimer, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, and Walt, on the faculty at Harvard, set off a political firestorm.” —Jay Solomon, The Wall Street Journal.com
“Promises controversy on a scale not seen since Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations sought to reframe a new world order.” —Stefan Halper, National Interest.com
“Deals with Middle East policymaking at a time when America’s problems in that region surpass our problems anywhere else . . . People are definitely arguing about it. It’s also the kind of book you do not have to agree with on every count (I certainly don’t) to benefit from reading.” —MJ Rosenberg, Israel Policy Forum Newsletter
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Quickly, this new IL offspring gathered strength through the gentle nurturing from its parent organism MW, who carefully and methodically rebutted invader organisms from killing off their newly-born entity.
In fact, as more invaders attacked the newly-born IL offspring, creator-entity MW sprang into parenting mode, to help IL become even larger, healthier, and more robust through more highly-refined written and oral discourse.
As a result, MW had to endure the crucible of more IL refinement and continued defense against the invaders, to enhance IL’s further growth and robust qualities. One year later in 2007, the IL entity became even bigger, healthier, and more robust; and so to celebrate this new phase, it had a name change and an even newer re-birth place for this tempered form of the entity: it grew from its first physical form of 32 pages (including rebuttals) born in London to its current form of an astonishing 496 pages by means of a new but international midwife, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, at its New York office. IL has become so famous that it landed on the coveted #1 Best Seller list position in the New York Times. This position affirms IL’s veracity. IL’s full name now is: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.
This comparison (using genetics [with a little alchemy sprinkled in], ancient world history, and Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest’ to create a new entity) is exactly what happened to Professor John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago) and Professor Steven Walt (Harvard University) in their odyssey of creating a book that no one would dare write before because of the affects of foreign-country interest groups in the US from the Israel Lobby, AIPAC. There is a related group that has also had its tentacles on US campus ME Studies departments from the early 2000s, trying to know what professors were teaching their students and trying to politically either back up or remove those professors whose ideas went against theirs. There has been no public, nonacademic discourse and correction to this activity because universities rely on funding, and money speaks volumes (over discourse). This public free-speech activity (all sides of it) needs to be discussed, especially according to how each comment relates all of our country’s established frameworks/ documents of power (including the Constitution). This affords all participants with a very lively and rich discourse experience in which all participants will learn much from each other. Some of the most educated and important people in the US have views on this topic and ALL of them are worth reading and listening to via all formats (books, articles, journals, videos, podcasts, etc.) All of these people’s views combined with those from Mearsheimer and Walt in this book are part of an important knowledge base that needs to be tapped, understood, and added to in later Mearsheimer-Walt book editions. In short, because there has been much change in this country since this book was first published in 2007, the book has stood the test of time, and these changes need to be included in a revised, later edition.
Mearsheimer and Walt’s book: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is now recommended classroom reading in most poli sci, government studies, ME studies, diplomacy and diplomatic studies preparation programs in institutions of higher education, both in the US and those abroad. Why? Because it is the first book of its kind to look carefully at one foreign country (Israel) and how it affects the behavior and actions of another (the US/ US taxpayers, the group that subsidizes the foreign country) in terms of policy and aid. It also affects who is elected to US Congress and who stays elected.
As with most topics, this book generates needed discourse about countries (those with money and those without it that need it as aid from another, wealthier country), policies, lobby groups, money/ funding, aid, political parties and issues, diplomacy, and how all of these influence and intermingle, to create a larger world-system of which both the US and Israel are a part.
Mearsheimer and Walt have created this book to shed light on a topic that was ready to be illuminated. Once this book was published, like its UK germination stage phase, it (and the authors) went through the second crucible tempering in which the authors had to defend their ideas on US soil, successfully defending them against opposite forces.
This book has passed muster again through this process. Simultaneously, there were videos made of university and diplomacy ‘Round Tables’ with Q/A sessions at the end that are found online for the general public as well as academia. In these, the authors successfully defended their theses, resulting in a further strengthening of their ideas. Also, the comments of all people whose opinions were directed at the two became known, with some of the public agreeing and some disagreeing. Through this process, participants could learn more things about what they believe in, why, and some will even re-edit/ amend their own initial ideas.
Unfortunately, a culling of professional-academic personnel has occurred since the early 2000s, in which some professors and writers have been professionally ousted from their positions in academia and related areas (writing) for their stances against this foreign lobby group. This, alone, warrants the reading of this book and its future revised, edition.
Because this book is so interesting, I have bought extra copies to give to friends to read and later discuss. Afterwards, we form groups and engage in critical thinking and dialog to further hone our knowledge about this topic. Included in this activity is that we all watch designated on-line videos, listen to podcasts, read articles and journals, etc., to enhance what we learn from reading this book.
I thoroughly recommend this groundbreaking book for anyone who has an interest in our country and how it relates to foreign countries.
It is a thought porvoking and intense discussions that the book address. I belie e they are heating all the right notes. Israeli lobby power need to be examined and I also believe it is hurting both US and IsreL I. The long run. As already has been evidant. None of the lobby's effort in curtailing middeleady , Iran, Iraq, Hezbollah, Palestinians has worked out to other US or Israel's advantahe