The Debate over the Israel Lobby: The Search for Middle Ground
Weeks, Marissa F.
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In March 2006 professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt published a working paper called "The Israel Lobby." Since its publication a fierce political debate has erupted over the influence of the pro-Israel lobby and its effects on U.S. foreign policy. This paper will take an in depth look at the Mearsheimer and Walt paper and the rebuttals that followed its publication. The pro-Israel lobby, notable AIPAC, will be analyzed along with the Arab lobby and the role oil plays in influencing U.S. foreign policy. The view that it was Israeli security that drove the United States to invade Iraq in 2003 will be argued against along with many of the criticisms of the authors' argument. Mearshimer and Walt raise serious concern regarding the influence of the Israel lobby as a whole, but fail to provide a convincing assessment of the reasons for the 2003 Iraqi invasion. The Israel lobby should be criticized for many of its actions inside Washington, but it should not be held responsible for mistakes made by the decision makers of U.S. foreign policy.