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This support, amounting to $500 per year for each Israeli citizen, comes even when Israel is doing things the U.S. opposes. Walt claims this relationship derives primarily from the influence of a powerful, pro-Israel lobby - a loose coalition of individuals and groups, he is careful to say, not a cabal.
This lobby functions openly to influence U.S. policy to favor Israel and has enough clout, he says,
Critics of Israel’s actions typically find themselves branded anti-Semitic “and marginalized in the public arena.”
Walt points out various
examples of blackballing, including abrupt cancellations in his own book
tour, as evidence of the lobby’s impact.
Bin Laden was,
Now, the Iraq war - “one of the worst strategic blunders in American history,” says Mearsheimer - has helped solidify anger against the U.S. and Israel among Arab nations.
Mearsheimer believes that along with Washington’s neoconservatives,
It’s time for the U.S. to treat Israel like other democracies, and to reward Israel when it behaves,
Respondent Bruce Riedel believes these arguments “oversimplify complex situations.”
As a confessed member of the Israel lobby, as well as an intimate party to several rounds of Middle East peace talks, Riedel asserts that,
In particular, he disputes that Israel pushed for a war with Iraq:
He also says that while Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians have alienated most of the Muslim world, the policy issue for these countries is not how much of Gaza or the West Bank Israel should give back, but American support for the very existence of Israel.