The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is a book authored by John Mearsheimer, and Stephen Walt two of the leading scholars of America international relations. The term lobby is defined in the book as a coalition of individuals and organizations who influence American policy towards pro-Israel. The authors of the book are right in this respect as they describe the 2008 Presidential elections. All the candidates were pro-Israel. They could disagree on every other thing but agreed on matters Israel. The argument of the authors in this book is that there is a misfit between American interests in the Middle East and the pro-Israel foreign policy lobby groups. One question that needs to be considered in this case is why American political leaders have focused the nation’s foreign policy towards Israel. The traditional answer to this is the notion that both Israel and the United States have shared values and the fact that Israel plays an important role in protecting America’s strategic interests.
However, these are dismissed by the authors in the book as they state that the strategic role played by Israel has been overtaken by events in the post-Cold War era. The moral issue is also currently a burden for Americans because of the manner in which Israel is treating its conflict with Palestine. According to the authors, Israel has become a strategic liability. However, the authors do not get into length to describe other strategic partnerships between America and Israel. America imports and exports goods to Israel and has a military agreement with Israel. These are important considerations in the post-Cold War era where nations are striving to maintain political and economic relevance.
One weakness of the book is that the authors fail to identify the precise boundaries of the Israel lobby. The implication of this being that the authors could be engaging in distortion of facts. The authors do not consider the religious influences for the bias towards Israel in American foreign policy.
- Mearsheimer, John J., and Stephen M Walt. The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Penguin Books Limited, 2008.