National Security Policy
Walt / Mearsheimer argue that while United States foreign policy is often directed by an elusive and obscure Israel Lobby when it should be guided by US national interests. They define the Israel Lobby as “the loose coalition of individuals and organizations who actively work to shape U.S. foreign poliy in a pro-Israel direction”
The article furthermore puts forth that the Israel Lobby actively labors to silence any discussion of its existence.
I believe that the evidence of pro-Israeli political influence upon US foreign policy are made unambiguous when analyzing the quantified data of US Aid to the “great benefactor” Israel. Receiving over $3 billion in aid each year from the United States, the grand total of US aid in 2003 to Israel since the nation’s rebirth in 1948 is over $140 billion dollars. The sole fact that the United States provides an amount of “aid” to Israel “dwarfing the amounts provided to any other state” should raise some eyebrows.
This unilateral support of Israel totally negates the ability of the United States to negotiate diplomatically as an objective neutral intermediary in regional disputes between Israel and neighboring Arab states. Taking Lebanon for example, Official US Aid to Israel is 10 times more than to Lebanon. One becomes even more suspicious when the amounts of aid are juxtaposed with the Per Capita GDP’s of the two neighboring states, Israel nearly 4 times that of Lebanon. Let’s look at some more states just to get bigger pictures of US Aid to Israel.
GDP PC 2005 est. Direct Official “US Aid”
Iraq $1,800.00 $ 3,969,507,640.00
Israel $25,000.00 $ 240,000,000.00
Lebanon $6,000.00 $ 35,000,000.00
Mexico $10,000.00 $ 27,000,000.00
Zambia $900.00 $ 0.00
Whatever the reason for this support, be it to “aid a fellow democracy”, or to atone for “past crimes” committed against the Hebrew people, the influence of a group or groups is clear. However, in a representational democracy, the influence of organized groups upon policy is a given.
Already labeled by some as anti-Semites, Walt and Mearsheimer have brought an important issue into the arena of public debate. If there are interests other than those of the United States that are leading this nation’s foreign policy it should indeed be discussed. Do most Americans prefer to support Israel than any other state’s interests including our own? So is this then a reflection of representative democracy at work? But dare I ask if perhaps the Israel Lobby was one of the forces that drove this nation to confront and topple Israel’s aggressive neighboring state Iraq? If so, is then the United States paying too high a price in the blood and dollars being pumped into Iraq today in support of Israel? Something to think about.
US Aid by Nation: http://www.usaid.gov/
GDP PC 2005 Statistics by Nation: https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/