When I was hosting call-in programs in the seventies and eighties in Montreal the most sensitive issue – potentially a firing matter – was any criticism of Israel. Just last week a Jewish-affiliated group criticized Canadian Louise Arbour, the top human rights official at the UN because she “failed to take any public action” on bias against Jews, a charge Madame Arbour flatly denies.
A new book, The Israel Lobby, by Professors Stephen Walt (Harvard) and John Mearsheimer (Chicago) contends that the Israel lobby (not the Jewish people) has a disproportionate amount of influence on the US media and in political circles.
According to Rabbi Michael Lerner (editor of Tikkun and chairman of the Network of Spiritual Progressives), the most energetic part of the Jewish lobby is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Recently a proposal in the House of Representatives would have required the President to get congressional approval for any military strike on Iran. Members of the Israel Public Affairs Committee let it be known they opposed the proposal and the Committee’s supporters in the Armed Services committee succeeded in defeating it. With the result that we may still have a preemptive strike against Iran, a move that would have the full support of Israel.
Rabbi Lerner writes of the Armed Services vote giving Bush a free hand against Iran as “just the most recent evidence that Professors Mearsheimer and Walt’s claim of disproportionate power of the Israel lobby (not of the Jews) is extremely credible.”
Do you believe there is an Israeli lobby in the United States?
Do you think it has undue influence on the media and on American foreign policy?