A growing chorus of critics maintain that Israel is at the root of America's foreign policy problems in the Middle East. Abandoning Israel, they imply, would solve our problems. They identify the "Israel lobby" as the villain, corrupting American foreign policy in favor of the interests of Israel. But for the schemes of the 'Israel lobby' America would be popular in the Middle East, and the real interests or real Americans would be served.The spectrum ranges from respectable academics to hideous antisemites.
The two most respectable and prominent end of the spectrum is occupied by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, of Chicago and Harvard respectively, who also blamed our terrorism problems "in good part" due to our close alliance woth Israel.
Judith Miller brings to our attention a new report, a systematic examination of this thesis:
The 17-page essay, published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, lists numerous ways in which the U.S. has benefited from its relations with Israel, especially in the defense and intelligence sectors. It also argues America should reject the notion of Israel as a strategic liability and openly embrace it as a strategic asset.
But the essay's even more interesting argument is its attack on the widely held belief, not only in Washington, that America's closeness to Israel weakens its effectiveness in the Arab world.
"Since 1973, we can't find a single example of tangible actions by Arab governments for which the U.S. paid a price for its relationship with Israel," Blackwill told me at the Council on Foreign Relations last week. "Not one," Slocombe agreed.
Blackwill and Slocombe conceded that they confined their analysis to the actions of Arab states, not the views of Arab citizens. Nor did they focus on the extent to which terrorist groups may be motivated by hatred of Israel and America's alliance with it.
Miller's account is concise and worth a quick read. Click here.
Hat tip: Clarice Feldman