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The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  2,449 ratings  ·  246 reviews
The Israel Lobby," by John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, was one of the most controversial articles in recent memory. Originally published in the London Review of Books in March 2006, it provoked both howls of outrage and cheers of gratitude for challenging what had been a taboo issue i
Hardcover, 484 pages
Published August 27th 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published January 1st 2006)
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Jan 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Sometimes I feel like I’m living in the Matrix. There is the reality that everyone seems to accept as being real and then there is the really real. What is going on in the Middle East at the moment messes with my mind in exactly that way.

I wrote to a GoodReads friend a week or so ago – can’t quite remember how we got onto the topic, but I was telling her how distressing I was finding what was going on in Gaza. I started off by making sure I stressed I had grown up with Jewish friends and blah,
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
When I encounter something I don't understand, I educate myself.

I didn't understand the automatic support for Israel by the United States. What the United States stands for - liberty and justice for all - could not be further from the agenda of Israel. In that country an exclusive group of people are out to evict, dispossess, imprison, and in general oppress the people who lived there, or are the sons and daughters of those who lived there, before the arrival of Europeans known as Zionists. For
Hai Quan
Mar 22, 2021 rated it did not like it
As I have stated in many of my book reviews, particularly "Heart Of A Soldier", " The Fall Of Baghdad " among others, it's my belief that the noblest endeavor , mission and the most sacred role, ordained by Heaven for a writer, with very narrow exceptions , IS A DEFENDER OF the powerless, voiceless and more often than not penniless MASS ** versus** a big ass majority of despicable hired pen who has sold his sorry soul to The Power That Be, the all powerful, ruthless nobles and high pries
Jan 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favs
We all remember the events of 9/11, but can you remember your thoughts from 9/12? Were you confused, questioning the reason(s) for these attacks? Aren't we the good-guys, fostering human rights, democratic values, and the removal of authoritarian rulers? Clearly, there must be, or must have been, something about our foreign policy in the Middle East to cause such hate and anger toward us. Do you find President Bush's attempted explanation that "... they hate us for our freedom and our democracy" ...more
Budd Dwyer
Mar 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: likudniks
Recommended to Budd by: arabs
Great book! A lot of Americans still have residual respect for Israel, and this book ought to smash that out of their skulls once and for all.
Anoush Dehkordi
Jan 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Anoush by: I found it online, no one recommended this book to me but I reco
"The Israel Lobby" asserts what almost 40% (per the authors) of Americans recognize - that Israel is one of the main causes of anti-Americanism, that the U.S. provides Israel with extraordinary material and diplomatic support, and that many policies pursued on Israel's behalf jeopardize U.S. national security.

Documentation is not wanting for these claims. Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. aid since WWII, amounting to some $154 billion (2005 dollars), and about $500/citizen today. Since 198
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
I had really high expectations for this book but unfortunately the authors have managed to write a book full of naivite, incorrect claims and too much good faith in the US government. The book does give plenty of insight into the world of the Israel lobby (AIPAC, WINEP etc) on Capitol hill and elsewhere yet manages to make bizarre conclusions. Maersheimer and Walt claim that the primary reason for the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was the pressure upon politicians by the Israel lobby. I regard it ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mearsheimer and Walt are two respected scholars who took on this project and the invitation of Atlantic Monthly - both were very aware that they were about to kick a hornets nest. The reaction to their outstanding work is perhaps the ultimate vindication of their points. While this particular exposé discusses the role of the Lobby in US foreign policy, a discussion about the role of the Lobby in domestic policy would be just as enlightened to be sure.

The relevance and importance of the authors'
Feb 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, non-fiction
I had long wondered why the U.S. and Canada immediately come to the defense of Israel whenever its critics voice a concern, however justified. This book answered my questions and should be read by all North Americans (especially U.S. citizens) as it provides insight into the unique relationship Israel enjoys with the West and the enormous costs associated with it. The authors apologize frequently (too much so) in an attempt to prevent the inevitable accusations that they are anti-Israel but the ...more
Harold Citron
Feb 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
A modern day version of the anti-Semitic screed "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion".

Walt and Mearsheimer set out not to just bash Israel, but American Jews. While they lambast Israel a threat to America and supposedly "normal" Americans, it is their self-proclaimed cabal of American Jews who they hunt and label as a fifth column who would eagerly bring down the Republic.

That the two have followed up this disgusting work by attending Palestinian advocacy meetings while holding up their secret
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: palestine, u-s
This is overall a very good book, but the authors spend way too much time reiterating the fact that they believe Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state. This right after criticizing just about everything about the country since its founding, yet they still can't drop this point. There's also too much use of the term "terrorism" where it doesn't quite belong. Despite these shortcomings, however, the book is invaluable for anyone seeking to understand this country's pathetic "special relati ...more
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
Growing Up In The Middle East I Was Always Kinda Confused About The American-Israeli Unconditional Affiliation And The Conflicts Between America And The Islamic World (Turning A Blind Eye On Some While Heavily Criticizing Some. Tho Reality Cannot Be Ignored Forever).
On Top Of That, The Mainstream Media Never Seemed To Explore This Subject, Naturally Leading To Increased Underground Conspiracy Theories Around The Subject.

Finally, I Got The Opportunity To Pick This Book (One Book Leads To Another
David M
Jul 02, 2018 marked it as to-read
On the left, the woke anti-imperialist position seems to be that the Israel lobby isn't all that significant. Israel is a proxy of the US, not the other way around. I understand the good intentions of saying this, but is it actually true?

Walt and Mearsheimer do present some compelling evidence here to the contrary. The chapter on Iraq is especially interesting. Because, honestly, what the hell was that about? I don't think oil quite suffices as an explanation. What if Israel wants to be surround
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book, I could not recommend it any higher to a person who wants to learn about the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. The fact that it even exists and that it is known as 'The Israel Lobby' will upset many people, but Mearsheimer goes well out of his way to explain that there is, in fact, no such thing as an Israel Lobby. Instead, the book chronicles all of the reasons why the U.S. supports Israel so strongly and why it is a poisioned topic in the public forum. This book is enti ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very informative, well researched, and courageous book. The authors recognize how the smear of anti-semitism is used to shut down criticism of Israel or their lobby yet they put out this book anyways. As expected, they were labelled anti-semites.

This book has changed the way that I think of Israel. It has wiped away all my preconceptions of Israel including that it is a valuable ally. It is clear now that a policy based on unconditional support of Israel is against America's best interest.

Ina Cawl
Hitler would really liked this book
i cant believe this antisemitic book has been so famous
even in backward areas like my country you hear Clerics reciting this book while preaching hate lectures about Jews
sorry but this book is really amplify what anti semite believes about Jews
and i wouldnot surprise if it were found in Osama bin laden own library
please dont buy this CRAP
Beauregard Sexton
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book should be required reading for every American. Every high school senior should have to read this book. People shouldn’t be able to vote unless they’ve read this book. Most Americans are so uninformed about what shapes American foreign policy in the Middle East. If they knew, they would be angry; and things would change.
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
For those who want to know why US is always backing Israel for whatever it does.
Oct 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Great read, brings into light Israel's influence in US Foreign affairs. ...more
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Who controls US foreign policy?
George McCombe
Reading the ‘Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy’ is a rather dispiriting experience when one grasps how highly lauded it is by so many people. The central thesis of the book is that the ‘Israel Lobby’, a loosely connected and far-reaching group of high-movers and grassroot activists devoted to supporting Israel, yield a disproportionate influence on the United States Government, and use this influence to advance a hard-Right Israeli political agenda which is ultimately detrimental to the United ...more
Dec 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
The authors argue in this book that due to the influence of the Israel lobby on US politicians and the public, the United States supports Israel to a degree that is not commensurate with Israel's importance and which often works against the policies and priorities of the United States. They do NOT argue that Israel should not receive any support from the United States, nor do they argue against Israel's right to exist. They simply challenge the legitimacy of the arguments for supporting Israel u ...more
Pam Rasmussen
Jan 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Since I have read many books on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and recently traveled to the region with Global Exchange, most of the information in this book was not new to me. However, I must admit that I was a bit skeptical of the authors' position that Israeli pressure was a key, decisive force behind the U.S. decision to invade Iraq (and the current pressure to attack Iran). I still am, but they are very persuasive. In addition, this book serves a critical role by bringing together in one ...more
Joseph Lieberman
An outstanding book. well balanced. For me, and most the most important aspect of the book's structure is the frequent use of cross references to hard evidence supporting the author's observations and conclusions.

What is now most disturbing is the discussion on pages 250-260 regarding the dreams of regional transformation and what we now know as the Arab spring. A CHILLING PREDICTION FROM THE AUTHORS WHEN YOU NOW CONSIDER THEIR OBSERVATIONS RE IRAN AND THE DIPLOMATIC SPEAK NOW (NOVEMBER 2011) ur
한 카트
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
While the general idea is nothing groundbreaking, it's the details of the mutual cooperation that are pretty spectacular. The authors go to great lenghts to prove that The US gain nothing from being associated with Israel, and that it's more of a liability than a strategic asset that increases the American superpower. Still,this begs the question as to why? Why do The US keep being the biggest tool this planet has ever seen? And why does their public opinion keep being manipulated like this? ...more
Jun 04, 2008 added it
This book offers an interesting insight into the affect on the United States' international and domestic security standing of its fervent backing of the State of Israel. I recommend this text for anyone interesting in knowing more about U.S. foreign policy or the role of the U.S. in the Middle East. ...more
Sam Norton
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Probably a good bit longer than necessary. Took me almost two months to finish. The make a good point though, something has to change about our unconditional support of Israel. I wish more Americans were aware what Israel was doing to the Palestinians, but unfortunately our media shows us nothing but the Israeli side of the story.
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Even though this book was written over a decade ago in the second term of George W. Bush it is still relevant today. The Israel Lobby is still undermining U.S. interests and trying to drag us into wars with Syria, Iran, and possibly even Russia. They didn't learn anything from the Iraq debacle. ...more
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Insightful on the influence pro-Israel lobbyists wield with Congress through campaign contributions and blocks of votes.
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Informative and brave. I wish Qatar would start an Arab lobby instead of flirting with Indyk in their Doha-based Brookings institute.
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John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. His many books include Conventional Deterrence. He lives in Chicago, IL.

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