The Israel Lobby. Writing in the London Review of Books, John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Harvard University’s Stephen Walt argue that American foreign policy in the Middle East has been diverted from the national interest by a powerful domestic Jewish lobby:
[T]he thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’. Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical.
The article is an edited version of a longer working paper (pdf). While the authors focus on the potency of the Jewish lobby, including organizations such as AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, they also point to the role of evangelical Christians who believe that Israel’s existence is a necessary precondition of the Second Coming, a group whose importance has been remarked upon elsewhere.
I’m terrified to even begin commenting on this. I just don’t have the room in my throat for the number of people I’d expect to jump down it. So, I’m just gonna let y’all have at it.