The Arab Lobby

This was published by Ruth Wisse in Jewish Ideas Daily


The problem of the Arab-Israel conflict begins with the term itself, which misrepresents the unilateral Arab war against Israel as a bilateral dispute. Unilateral aggression is not unheard of—when did Poland ever aggress against Germany or Russia?—but nothing in United Nations history compares in intensity or fixity with Arab belligerence toward Israel, a UN member state.

The Arab war has less to do with the scant physical space occupied by the Jewish state than with the opportunity it offers Arab leaders to consolidate their power and prestige by organizing against an external target, especially one trailing so long and encrusted a history of religious and ethnic vilification. This same politics of blame has been no less useful to Westerners like, most recently, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer in their 2006 indictment of America’s “Israel Lobby.” Had these two respected academics set out to study dispassionately the role of American special-interest groups in the making of Middle East policy, they might have unearthed a fascinating contrast in the disparate way that Arabs and Jews operate. Instead, by single-mindedly fingering the Jews, they neatly drew attention away from the larger story of Arab influence-peddlers.

Now at last comes the information missing from Walt and Mearsheimer’s screed. In Mitchell Bard’s The Arab Lobby, we see how, in contrast to the altogether transparent workings of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a lobby supported by tens of thousands of American citizens across political lines, the Arab lobby truly does merit being called, in Bard’s subtitle, an “invisible alliance that undermines America’s interests in the Middle East.”

See the rest of the essay, here

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