Skip to content
Paperback The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy Book

ISBN: 0374531501

ISBN13: 9780374531508

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Paperback

Condition: New

Save $3.46!
List Price $20.00
50 Available
Ships within 24 hours

Book Overview


Originally published in 2007, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, by John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, provoked both howls of outrage and cheers of gratitude for challenging what had been a taboo issue in America: the impact of the Israel lobby on U.S. foreign policy. A work of major importance, it remains...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

A realists view of American foreign policy

The Israel Lobby, by Mearsheimer and Walt, is a highly detailed and well research book on the operations of the Israel Lobby in the United States. The writers main intention is producing this book is to point out that US national interests are being adversely affected by many of the policy choices encouraged by the Lobby. The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 outlines many of the arguments used to justify the large amount of support given to Israel by the US, which the authors precede to critique one by one. These arguments include the moral support for Israel as a democracy, its importance as a strategic ally, defining what the Lobby is and methods is uses to operate. They conclude that it is the influence of the Lobby that gives rise to such massive support. The second part of the book details the Lobby's impacts on US foreign policy, through the use of specific examples, such as Iran, Syria, the wars in Iraq and Lebanon. In each case the authors have gathered substantial amounts of evidence, much of it from the Lobby itself, to show how it sought to achieve its aims and influence US foreign policy. They conclude that US and sometimes Israeli interests have been repeatedly damaged through each of these misadventures. The writers of this book are not anti-Semitic, nor are they `self-hating Jews', as pointed out by a number of other reviewers. Instead, their first concern is for the safety and security of the United States of America. Nor are either of them can be considered left of centre liberals and indeed Mearsheimer has shown himself to be what could rightly be termed a hawk though his other writings such as `The tragedy of great power politics', where he strongly defends the thesis of offensive realism. As they point out in their conclusions, it is the fact that many of the policies advocated by the Lobby are not in the best national interest of the US and sometimes of Israel itself and indeed may actually be making the US's position in the Middle East more dangerous. This book should be read for what it is, being a strong attack on policies that are not in the best interest of the US, rather than as an attack on Israel or the Jewish people.

Brilliant work! Shocking facts!

The two professors are presenting a brilliant study of the the pro-Israel lobby in the USA. The book reveals how the Israel lobby writes the US foreign policy with respect to the Middle east. The book also shows how the US grossly misguided policies regarding the Palestinian question and Israel's widely condemned practices have exacted a heavy price being paid with sacrificing US interests. This book is a great service to America. It brings out to the public eye facts that are normally ignored and avoided by the American mainstream media. Let's hope that the debate launched by this book will finally put our Middle East foreign policy on the right track.

Calling these two anti-Semites is ridiculous

Mearsheimer and Walt's book is written in a scholarly, matter of fact tone. They make the case for why American foreign policy vis a vis Israel is on the wrong course by using all manner of sources, including those who disagree with them. In their introduction, they talk about the many potential pitfalls of writing a book like this and assure their readers that they are not accusing Jews of conspiring or of dual loyalties. They state unequivocally that they support the idea of Israel as a Jewish state, they state unequivocally that they think ethnic minority lobbying is as American as apple pie, and they state that the U.S. government is responsible for its own actions (ie, they aren't saying that our government is paralyzed by Jewish influence). They simply think that what the Israel Lobby argues for is not in America's interest in the same way that someone might argue that an embargo against Cuba or lax gun laws are not in America's interests. They are not left-wing conspiracy theorists, they are respected professors and military veterans. Can't we keep the discussion on the issue for once and not accuse everyone who disagrees with us of being a Nazi?


This book is stunning. The two authors are prominent political scientists with impeccable credentials, hailing from Harvard and the University of Chicago. They have boldly gone where many of their academic colleagues would fear to tread. Although their conclusions about Israel and its negative influence on American foreign policy will awaken much anxiety, resentment and fury in certain quarters, Walt and Mearsheimer don't seem to care. Why not? They are scientists. They appeal to logic, facts and common sense; and let the conclusions fall where they may. The writing is calm, dispassionate, thorough. The basic argument is that the extraordinarily high degree of economic, military and diplomatic support given to Israel by the United States cannot be explained or justified by the notion that Israel functions as a strategic asset to the U.S., or that Israel as the "only democracy" amidst a sea of authoritarian neighbors is deserving of special favor for its "shared interests and values". In fact, the authors claim, Israel is more a liability than an asset. During the Cold War, the strategic-value argument had perhaps some plausibility -- but no longer. What has replaced the Soviet menace, as the enemy which the U.S. supposedly needs Israel's help to combat, is Islamic terrorism. But the U.S. favor shown to Israel at the expense of the Palestinians only makes us more not less vulnerable to terrorism. Furthermore Israel's cruelty towards the Palestinians and its essential nature as a Jewish but not a truly democratic state in which all citizens of whatever ethnicity or religion would be given equal rights and respect, belie the "shared values" argument. So if neither "shared values" nor "strategic asset" can explain the overwhelming U.S. support of Israel, what else is there? The power of the Israel lobby, which has brought about a situation in which it is impossible for elected officials to question support for Israel, much less redirect foreign policy in any way contrary to the perceived self-interest of Israel. This has led the U.S. to make critical mistakes, such as invading and occupying Iraq. The war on Iraq has proven disastrous; the authors argue that the U.S. would not have attacked Iraq, were it not for the influence of the Israel lobby. In the end, perhaps what is most significant and remarkable about this book is that it has seen the light of day. It got published. Could it be that there is still hope for reasonable, open debate about the right courses of action in the Middle East? The authors have been and will continue to be vilified as anti-Semitic or worse. They are owed a debt of gratitude for having the courage to stand up and to refuse to be silenced.
Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell/Share My Personal Information | Cookie Policy | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured