Shyam Sundar's Reviews > The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by John J. Mearsheimer
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Dec 10, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: international-relations
Read in December, 2011

I lived most of my life in Abu Dhabi, the small but bustling capital of the United Arab Emirates. In the Arabian Gulf, like in other Muslim areas of the world, support for the Palestinians runs very high. The media there are very strong in their criticism of Israeli policies and American actions vis-a-vis the Middle East, unlike the Washington Post, the New York Times and other American newspapers and news-channels which praise Israel to no end. Having been brought up in such a pro-Palestinian environment, I couldn’t help but pick up a book titled “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy” authored by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.

Before I started reading the book, I ran a quick background check of the authors. Both of them are respected foreign policy analysts and have written numerous books from a realist perspective of international relations (Realism follows the footsteps of Chanakya, Machiavelli, Bismarck and other astute statesmen in the realm of international relations). Having satisfied myself with the credibility of the authors, I started reading the book.

The authors first present the facts relating to the USA’s vast support for Israel. No other country has ever been given as much preferential treatment by US politicians, both Republicans and Democrats. In fact, no politician ever criticizes Israel or its policies. With such (almost) unanimous support from the US Congress, one tends to conclude that Israel is America’s greatest ally in the Middle East. However, Israeli actions have led to a tarnishing of USA’s image all over the world, especially among the USA’s Arab allies. Due to America’s infinite support for Israel, the rest of the world quite logically assume that Israel’s actions have been sanctioned by the USA. Definitely, no country would stay in an alliance that would pull them down, especially if that alliance caused a disaster like 9/11. So if Israel is USA’s greatest ally despite being a strategic liability, is there some other reason for the continuation of the alliance?

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