The Israel Lobby Debate and the Sad State of the US under Bush

A public debate, sponsored by The London Review of Books (LRB), which published the Walt and Mearsheimer paper on the Israel Lobby, took place on September 28th 2006 in NYC on the Israel lobby and its place in domestic and foreign US policy.

Elizabeth, who was at the debate, reported on it in one of her September posts.

I found a link to a video of the debate in 11 parts on the website of the LRB and managed to watch it entirely on the weekend.

The panelists were:
John Mearsheimer, one of the authors of the paper on the Israel lobby; Dennis Ross who is at the Washingtom Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a pro-zionist think tank. Ross was, among his many affiliations and assignations, executive director for the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the main pro-Israel lobby in washington and signatory of many of the neoconish Project for the New American Century (PNAC) statements;
Martin Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel and former research director for AIPAC;
Shlomo Ben Ami, previous minister of public security and foreign minister of Israel in 1999-2000 in the Barak government and peace negotiator during the Madrid and Oslo processes;
Tony Judt, historian, professor and author;
Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor and director of the Middle east Insitute at Columbia University;
The moderator of the debate was Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson school of public and international affairs at Princeton university.

Almost everybody agreed on the eixstence of the lobby but disagreed on the extent of its influence on domestic and foreign policy. John Mearsheimer and Tony Judt insisted on the importance of a debate on Israel and the Israel lobby in the US and its disconnection from Anti-Semisitsm or incitement to Anti-Semitism. John Mearsheimer repeated with clear arguments his main hypothesis that the Israel lobby is driving US policy in ways that are detrimental to both the US and Israel. Shlomo Ben Ami, while refusing to admit that the lobby has influence on US foreign policy blamed this influence on the weakness of some US presidents like George Bush to face the lobby. I thought that Ben Ami's position was conciliatory and contradictory at the same time. He didn't want to defend the Lobby hypothesis but at the same time he was strongly against present US policy in the ME and ended up contradicting himself on the influence of the lobby because to say that there is a lobby only to the extent US presidents cave in to the lobby is to say that the lobby exists and has influence. Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk, both insiders to the lobby, denied that such influence on US foreign policy exists actually but Indyk contradicted himself when Judt reminded him of his op-ed in the WSJ asking AIPAC to lobby the US congress to reroute some funding destined to Israel to compensate Lebanon after the July war. Asked if he thought if the congress would comply to such a demand he didn't give a clear answer but clearly asking the Israel lobby to ask the US congress to cede some of Israel's money to Lebanon is in my opinion a proof that Indyk believes in fact in the power of the Israel lobby to influence decision making in washington, even if he states the contrary. Finally, Rachid Khalidi made an interesting point by stating that the inlfuence of the lobby was exaggerated by Mearsheimer in matters of foreign policy while understated in matter of domestic US policy. Khalidi's statement is interesting because it says that the real influence of the lobby is to silence internal debate on Israel in the US and to ensure maximum financial aid. But this aspect is not disconnected, in my opinion, from the influence of the lobby on US foreign policy in the ME because when the Israel lobby can silence any debate on Israel in the US, Israel can use its force on Arab countries and Palestinians without restraint since it knows very well that the absence of debate in the US will ensure that US public opinion will always side with Israel, and since US public opinion will side with Israel, no matter what, US politicians will not feel pressured to curb Israel's policy in the Middle East toward peace and dialogue or to try to impose any sanctions on Israel in exchange for concessions toward a final solution for the Arab-Israeli conflict. The proof was given by Mearsheimer with the fact that despite all US administrations being against the settlements, seen as an obstacle for peace, there was hardly anything the US could do to extract concessions on this matter from Israel.

The role of Israel in the Iraq war was also discussed and almost everybody agreed that Israel would have preferred going first against Iran but went along as the Bush administration priority was to start with Iraq (understand Cheney's priority), on the condition that Iran and Syria would be next on the list.In this regard, one can consider Israel's war on Lebanon last summer and all what was going on in Lebanon since 2005 as part of a scheme in which the US, embroiled in an unpredictably long war in Iraq, might have given its green light for a war on Lebanon and the Hezbollah as a proxy war against Iran. That makes two failed attempts for the US to reign in on 'axis of Evil countries' while its ally, Israel, has enjoyed, up to now, the mayhem created by the Iraq war to refuse any peace talks with the palestinians and conduct a harsh policy of destruction,targeted killings and elimination of the Palestinians and the Palestine question. Will the US recognize its defeat in Iraq ? Will Israel recognise its defeat in providing the US with a valuable victory over Hezbollah in Lebanon and therefore a proxy defeat of the Iranians? Will they both stop at these defeats or will they pursue another war in the region ?

The time of the Israel Lobby in washington is now counted in my opinion, thanks to the debate that Walt and Mearsheimer started with their paper and there is no doubt that, given the quasi consensus existing in Israel actually about not talking to the Palestinians, the Israel lobby will continue to pursue lobbying for wars in the ME during the Bush administration in order to consolidate Israel's status as the only superpower in the ME. It will be done this way because, as Ben Ami rightly said, it is up to the president of the US to determine what is good for his country and to stand up to the lobby, and Bush is certainly not a man to stand up to the Israel lobby, to any lobby actually, and that is the main feature of his presidency which became a decision center open to all sorts of lobbying, Israel, oil, Christian evangelism, Christian zionism, global economy, etc...This center of power is non existent as a national entity, and, most of all, not preoccupied by a vision that integrates the interests of the US and its citizens... Bush, despite his claims to the contrary, is really the most global non national unpatriotic president, managing his country as one manages a multinational corporation, outsourcing malaise and wars, stiffling critics of his policies, and following the interests of a decentralised globalised entity which has many subsidiaries located everywhere and separated from the interests of the US and its people. The US is an orphan country with a tyrannical stepfather (yes he is a fake father because he was not elected, he was chosen by the supreme court) who sends the children of the country as slaves to wage wars for his subsidiary corporations while collecting his share of the operations...When one thinks of Halliburton, this becomes more than a metaphor, it becomes reality, the sad reality of the US today...And the worst tyranny is the tyranny perpetrated by someone against his own people.

Here is the link for the video of the debate.

An excellent post by Richard at 'How this Old Brit' on how Zionists try to silence Jews like Tony Judt who work against the Israel lobby and want a public debate on the lobby.


Wolfie said...

A pretty accurate summary Sophia.

Even my 76 year-old [Jewish] Mother describes the Iraq war as "The War for Israel". There is no hiding it.

Sophia said...


Wolfie, your mother is right as long as perceptions are concerned but to be honest, Iraq was not a threat to israel and israel would have preferred to finish off Syria first and iran. Well they were able to score points against Syria by driving it from Lebanon and they tried to score against iran by trying to eliminate hezbollah. The War on Lebanon has to be understood from this perspective. However, I think Cheney was longing for the Iraq oil and the reconstruction money going to his buddies of Halliburton. Starting with Iraq was also an easy start because iraq was already decomposing after a long war with Iran, sanctions and the tyrannical folly of saddam aggravated by the Koweit and the first gulf war. However, Cheney and Bush did not expect that the aftermath of the Iraq invasion would be so messy. They gave the green light for a war on lebanon and extended Israel's bombing over lebanon up to more than a month hoping for a reward, a small victory, to compensate for IsraeL's patience and that did not happen. This is what tells me that they are going to do comething against Iran and that the foreign policy of the US and israel in the region will be more agressive than ever for the remaining time of the Bush presidency. They did not achieve goals, not even a half goal.

Your mother, as many Jewish, is probably worried by the potential harm the sacred alliance between Israel and the Bush administration is doing to israel, and the US, in the region. But after all it is israel who is concerned in the first place. Like it or not, Arabs can hate the US but it is with Israel that they will have to live and israelis will have to end up living with Arabs...

My best regards to your mother...

Wolfie said...

In all honesty I don't think she gives a fig about Israel. She does care about young British and American men going to their deaths for nothing. Her position is that her passport says "British", she was born and always lived here and so that is where her allegiances lie.

Sophia said...


I understand your mother. British Jews were shielded from persecutions that other Jews had to endure in other parts of Europe in addition to the fact that they were and still an integral part of the kingdom's political landscape.

Your mother is right. We should care, above all, for young men and women dying for nothing.

No one more than Israel (and probably Saudi Arabia) confuse religion with nationhood and politics. Religion should be in the heart and should have nothing to do with politics...

Anonymous said...

And now to the real 'lobby', the INTERNATIONAL Goliath Arab Muslim LOBBY MAFIA of course


In the UN, EU, and in General

http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.13545/pub_detail.asp The Arab lobby crippling police in security
http://www.scottishfriendsofisrael.org/united_nations.htm Arab lobby and UN

http://www.wzo.org.il/en/resources/view.asp?id=26 The Arab Boycott: Economic War Against the State of Israel

http://www.islamreview.com/articles/europeanfears.shtml Arab lobby functioning through European functionaries, built into the European institutions to influence Europeans

http://www.jewishagency.org/JewishAgency/English/Jewish+Education/Education+FAQ/Hasbara+-+Israel+Advocacy+Resources The campaigns were fueled by the financial and international political power of the Arab lobby in the UN and the world, which exerted pressure through ...

http://www.middleeastfacts.com/Articles/ arabian-fights-how-the-saudis-lobby.php Arabian Fights: How the Saudis Lobby

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=15962 Already the Euro-Arab lobby of the powerful replacement theology models Arafat as a Moses, or even ... , casting the Arafatian cult into the Palestinian

http://www.danielpipes.org/article/981 What Riyadh Buys [in Washington]

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/tobin.archives.asp Delegitimizing pro-Israel voices is priority for Arab lobby after Iraq

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=8902 FBI Polarized by the "Wahhabi Lobby"

http://www.nationalreview.com/interrogatory/murawiec200511220847.asp “Talibans with Oil and a Good P.R. Company”

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/usoil.html Their Oil Weapon

http://www.danielpipes.org/article/161 The Politics of Muslim Anti-Semitism

Arab wealth and influence exceeds Jewish Wealth buys influence. Thirty years of oil wealth have given Arabs wealth that ... is considerably diminished, along with a lot of Jewish lobbying leverage... http://www.samsonblinded.org/israel_america/3arab_wealth_israeli_influence.htm


In the US on high ranking officials

Jimmy Carter and the Arab Lobby http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=26045

James Baker and the Arab Lobby Two stories highlight the financial involvement of James Baker http://www.israelated.com/node/5341">http://www.israelated.com/node/5341

The US The Arab Boycott: Economic War Against the State of Israel, telephone conglomerate Sprint was "persuaded", by the US Arab lobby, to remove the photo of the Dome of the Rock from a commercial advertising phone ... http://www.wzo.org.il/en/resources/view.asp?id=26

HOW ARAB MONEY FUELS DHIMMI CARTER'S HATE, Friday, December 22, 2006. HOW ARAB MONEY FUELS DHIMMI CARTER'S HATE ... jimmy's anti-Semitism is LONG HELD aas are his relationships with "THE ARAB LOBBY! ... http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2006/12/how-arab-money-fuels-dhimmi-carters.html

I'm still waiting for the Walt and Meirsheimer study of how the arab lobby is subverting American interests in the Middle East. http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/lel66/2006/dec/19/the_isg_and_the_arab_lobby


TRAITORS Arab "americans" see US as ENEMY! Excerpts from Arab Lobby's cable TV Talkshow

How Arab 'Americans' propogate, whine, imagine, panic!

Tuesday night: May 16 2006

The Arab international cable ART, had a program on it's "Downstairs Cafe" (managed by Aseel Aborno) about how to lobby, how Arab Americans should get involved, to "counter" the (so called) "Jewish lobby".

What is the Arab agenda? Anti Israelism, that's all!

It seems that their entire burning agenda is how Israel is doing, poor group of people have no other issues, but if Israel the victim & the underdog from Arabs' genocide-menace is a bit successful in getting it's message & image across, now, that just kills them.

Never mind the Arabs living inside Israel that their lives are impacted by empowering Israel, then again it reminds us of the 1948 Arab crime on "Palestinians" (then called Arabs, plain) to leave the area (many did) until they -- promised to -- ethnic cleanse the Jews... then, have put them all in shabby camps, denying all aid from reaching the "Palestinians", so that they could play them against Israel's image.

It's, again, not about pro - Arabs as much as anti Israel, racism at it's "best".

They had a guest: prof. Edmond Ghareeb, his title; 'Middle east analyst', he was advocating the idea that Arab Americans should learn from the pro Israel lobby that convinces that Israel is a strategic asset to the US, that it's in all Americans' interest to support her, (here this "professor" had to insert that lying propaganda of course) they convince that it is a democracy (Any proof against that, like Arab women voting in Israeli election, representation in all government branches, equal rights, with often preferential treatments to Arab Israelis over Israeli Jews in Israeli courts, open free speech, what not?).

Even their "moderates" have ridiculous pathetic paranoia

He was 'kind' enough to point out that it's not Jews, but non Jews also (never occurred to him that most non Jews don't need any Jews telling them who's right & who's wrong, I would also ask him then, why call it "Jewish lobby"?), that are in think tanks, lower level of government, journalists, etc. but even a Prof. like him is really diluted that all these journalists that he might perceive as pro Israel (I bet many of them are anti Israel in me eye...) really work in "cooperation" & in coordination", so such libels sounds familiar?

Yes, welcome to Arab Muslim hidden and open dark "theories" rooms, where they describe the individuals they seem to hate as "linked", oh my God, all these individuals must meet every Tuesday night in a secret location on "how to influence".

CNN gets 5,000 emails on an anti Israeli report

He was crying out that why CNN doesn't get any supporting mails from Arab Americans in the anti Israel reporting cases, well, how about the 5,000 emails are spontaneous?

No, the Arab activists can't bring themselves to think that they are just wrong on the middle east, and that most Americans know the overall picture, and there is no "secret get together", silly Professor!

Sam Saad - A lawyer, self proclaimed implant in US government to influence indirectly: "sit down with the -- US enemy"

This lawyer from the midwest: Sam Saad is of Lebanese descent, he tells M. Karram that is against joining the US government (too many dhimmis or apes & pigs?) but advocates to email the congressmen, Sam Saad says to her and to the audiences:

You have more power if you become fiend with them, then you can really influence them, other wise you are just on the side lines (Prof. Edmond Ghareeb interrupts & says: both are needed).

Sam saad: "You have to sit down with the enemy" -- remember that/his statement!

Racist Sam Saad has a problem with too many Jewish representatives

He was really troubled by the fact of 'how many Jewish Representatives', never mind that a Jewish representative does not always mean a Pro Israel Rep. or wise versa, but even a lawyer and "polished" Arab like him has that racial hatred.


All in all, the entire theme was about on how to be anti (so called) J. Lobby, naturally anti Jewish racism came up, even in such an Arab American -- supposedly -- moderate forum, Sam Saad's treacherous outburst and Anti Americanism should also not be ignored..


The Arab Lobby - Mafia, in Latin America too

(Nov, 2006)

So you already know the years long grip on the UN by the Islamo Arab "lobby" mafia, how they control, threaten dictate those rediculous anti Israel resolutions or to torpedo anything US wants done in world security, or to torpedo any step that would condemn the Arab militias and the Sudanese government's most heinous crimes, slavery, and genocide in Sudan, now spilling over to Chad as well.

So you know as well about Eurabia, and the Islamic Arab goliath lobby mafia in Europe, how the EU is afraid of the Arab Muslim immigrants' usual violent intifadahs, though it doesn't help them much , all those EU various Arabist decisions.

But I doubt if you heard about the Arab lobby mafia in S. America, not only in Brazil that has around one Million Arabs (Syrian and others), that push for more ties with Arab nations in Lula's years but Venezuela is largely supported by Lebanese Arab merchants in that S. American country.

It appears that Arabs' hatred is that high against the US that they would rather support a socialist that will nwever accommadate the Quran but anti Americanism is enough to be such a great motive.

"Lobby"? actually too much of a soft term to this gang, What? the Arab lobby ever does something good for Arabs? like helping in Iraq, Lebanon or amng "Palestinians"? of course not, but all they are about is ANTI (like anti US or the poll that shows most UK Muslims are anti west), never PRO anything (just like they support Hezbollah's crimes on their own people in Lebanon in causing civilians to die, because anti Israelism is that of a sacred goal to them). So now you know why a Christian socialist Chavez -- supported by Arabs -- would risk suicide in dealing with anti-all-west the Jihadi monster: Adolf Ahmadinejad.

And of course do not disconnect all of this to the Islamic Terrorist group Hezbollah finance, channeled from "holy" dirty illegal smuggling at the Paraguay - Brazil border.


Arab Muslim Goliath Lobby Mafia, in central America

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1154525889070&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull Costa Rica to relocate embassy to TA, Most would be hard-pressed to guess, but the surprising answer to the question is El Salvador. , Costa Rica's president, Oscar Arias, said Wednesday the move was needed to bring the Central American nation in line with international law and mend relations with Arab nations.

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/default.aspx?tabid=133&view=item&idx=1138 Last Two Embassies Move to Tel Aviv

Both El Salvador and Costa Rica, the last two bastions of political recognition of Israel’s capital, have decided to move their embassies from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

They, like many other nations, succumbed to pressure from Arab and Moslem nations which refuse to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or deal with countries who do.

Even though the US has it's embassy in Tel Aviv, the move that JUST happened -- all of a sudden -- is surely connected to (the open secret) Arab Muslims that have financed the Costa Rican Oscar Arias.

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/013296.php Fitzgerald: Fighting against the Jihad in Latin America ... Factors militating against Islamic conversions among Latin Americans: ...


Related: The Global Islamic Lobby -

What Riyadh Buys in Washington (2002) -

Europe's Whabbi Lobby (2005) -

The Arab Lobby Loses A Battle - http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/174gxfos.asp

Exposing the Muslim Lobby(2006) - http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50062

Sophia said...

You can write lies and hundred pages on the so called 'Arab lobby', the thing is that FACTS ON THE GROUND CONTRADICT YOUR HYSTERICAL ASSUMPTIONS.
Tell Mr. hateful Pipes about that: facts count, STILL COUNT after so many lies from Mr. Pipes friends.

Sophia said...

Thanks for the short visit and the ready made propaganda. I usually don't publish propaganda on this site but this one was so overt that it helps my argument.

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