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Harvard Study Finds Pro-Israel Lobby Influences U.S. Foreign Policy

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posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 08:40 AM
Ok, before I lay out the articles, links and facts to this study, I will have to inform you all that I have not yet read the full report from the Harvard study. I simply do not have time to read through the lengthy report (a little over 80 pages). I have to write 3000 words on rocking chairs first.

I have however perused through reports on the report so I have a rough idea of it's contents. Before I present to you some of the articles regarding this study, there are a couple of key points to consider:

  • The authors' claim that one of the main source of power of the Jewish lobby is the anti-Semitic blame game
  • The authors' "disagreement is not with America’s pro-Israel lobby but with the American people, who overwhelmingly support our relationship with Israel, and with Democrats and Republicans in successive administrations and Congress, who so strongly and consistently support the special relationship between the United States and Israel, our only true ally in the Middle East with whom we share all our common values."*

From these two key points, it is important that any criticism of this study NOT come from the 'anti-semitic angle'. Doing so will only play right into their hands.

Now that that disclaimer is out of the way, I present to you a news article regarding that study:

Study: U.S. Mideast policy motivated by pro-Israel lobby

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Middle East policy is not in America's national interest and is motivated primarily by the country's pro-Israel lobby, according to a study published yesterday by researchers from Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

Observers in Washington said yesterday that the study was liable to stir up a tempest and spur renewed debate about the function of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobby. The Fatah office in Washington distributed the article to an extensive mailing list.

"No lobby has managed to divert U.S. foreign policy as far from what the American national interest would otherwise suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that U.S. and Israeli interests are essentially identical," write the authors of the study.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Here is another article regarding the issue (thanks to Regenmacher for providing the link):

Pro-Israel lobby in U.S. under attack.

WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- Two of America`s top scholars have published a searing attack on the role and power of Washington`s pro-Israel lobby in a British journal, warning that its 'decisive' role in fomenting the Iraq war is now being repeated with the threat of action against Iran. And they say that the Lobby is so strong that they doubt their article would be accepted in any U.S.-based publication.

Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, author of 'The Tragedy of Great Power Politics' and Professor Stephen Walt of Harvard`s Kenney School, and author of 'Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy,' are leading figures American in academic life.

They claim that the Israel lobby has distorted American policy and operates against American interests, that it has organized the funneling of more than $140 billion dollars to Israel and 'has a stranglehold' on the U.S. Congress, and its ability to raise large campaign funds gives its vast influence over Republican and Democratic administrations, while its role in Washington think tanks on the Middle East dominates the policy debate.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Here is the abstract of the actual study:

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

In this paper, John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago's Department of Political Science and Stephen M.Walt of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government contend that the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy is its intimate relationship with Israel. The authors argue that although often justified as reflecting shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, the U.S. commitment to Israel is due primarily to the activities of the “Israel Lobby." This paper goes on to describe the various activities that pro-Israel groups have undertaken in order to shift U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction.

Related Internet Links:
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (PDF)
Profile: John J. Mearsheimer
Profile: Stephen M. Walt

I reserve all judgement and comment at this time (since I have yet to read the complete article) but I invite readers to comment on this study, not on the authors, not on the news articles or the sources, and certainly not on me.

Please DO NOT engage in insults or petty behaviour, as it leads to no real discussion of the issue which is Pro-Israel Lobby Influences U.S. Foreign Policy.

Supporting Internet Links:
Study: Lobby influences Mideast policy
Reader's reaction to "The secret weapon"
Study alleges US sets aside own security interest for Israel's (thanks to Regenmacher)

[edit on 21-3-2006 by Beachcoma]

posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 02:36 PM
Truelly a hot button issue and will probably get mired up in impassioned rhetoric and disregarded as anti-semitic. It will certainly raise a lot of hackles within specific groups, especially when David KKKook Duke is endorsing the paper.

At present, I think Walt and Mearsheimer's worries about AIPAC are overblown in light of the US's continued support for the House of Saud. Fifteen of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, and we're still letting the Arabs bend us over the oil barrel. So who really has the most influence?

House of Bush, House of Saud:
The Secret Relationship Between the World's
Two Most Powerful Dynasties

This story needs to ferment longer to see what develops, before I can really fathom the geopolitical and economic implications. I'll admit I am rather bias against anything that may circumvent or water down the Holocaust's lessons too.

[edit on 21-3-2006 by Regenmacher]

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 11:06 AM
Some things i can confirm from my research:
The pro Israel lobby is either the most powerful or the second most powerful lobby in washington...(depending whether you read "the nation", or the jewish virtual library)

we already know how powerful the pro indian gambling lobby was, and the various nefarious deals done by corrupt politicians to sell support, and It doesn't even come on the board of most powerful lobbies...

I will allow the reader to surmise what they will from that.
here are some links:
Congress/Senate supports israel lobby

We are speaking specifically on the amount and result of that influence...
Is it truely in our best interests as a country?

One thing I wonder, is that these authors are accused (by critics) of taking a "Pro Saudi" approach, of appease the oil holders.
Which is also the stance of our President... although he plays to both fields...

what is also wierd is that SA seems to be one of the few arab (supposidly islamic) countries that recognizes Israel...

I kinda think that a pro SA article would go soft on the Pro israel lobby... so it kinda takes the steam out of that arguement... it is probably steming from the various donations given to Harvard by Arab interests (I suspect that most affluent lobbys/interests give donations to Harvard)

then there are the expected statements of this being "anti semitic" behavior... (typical distracting defense)

if it is the truth, can it truly come from an anti semitic angle? What about maybe from a very obvious LOGIC angle?
makes more sense to me personally...

so hopefully that is all that needs to be said in defense of the articles agenda...
now maybe we can discuss (perhaps for the first time) what key decisions are influenced by the Israel lobby...
and maybe more links to examples of this influence

truth is truth...
Israel needs our support, but at what cost to us the US citizen (over the long haul)

to gain perspective, cut out any reference to Israel, and think of it like any other country that exerts influence...

would we accept it if the new democratic Russia was influencing our decisions in the same way? (in relation to its neighbors)

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 11:28 AM
Let's Do Our Best To Deny Ignorance

Originally posted by Beachcoma
Please DO NOT engage in insults or petty behaviour, as it leads to no real discussion of the issue which is Pro-Israel Lobby Influences U.S. Foreign Policy.

Obviously Beachcoma and other members know what a lightning rod this kind of topic is. However, just because it's controversial does not mean we can't discuss it in a civil manner.

We all know this is a touchy issue, and clearly expect trouble, but I refuse to accept the idea that controversial topics are not welcome on ATS.

I urge my fellow members to approach this topic from the standpoint of considering its merits or lack thereof, as the case may be, and to stay focused on the topic, not each other.

Please remember that the article and opinions of members are fair game for criticism, but that members themselves are not.

I will be following this thread closely, and will NOT tolerate personal attacks between members.

Since I will be moderating this thread, I will withhold comment on the topic in the interest of avoiding undue drama, but I encourage any member who wishes to weigh in to do so.

Speak candidly, give your fellow members the respect they deserve, and maybe we might all just learn something from this.

Good luck.

P.S. There are certain troll organizations which are prone to try to turn threads like these into anti-Semitic propaganda-fests. You know who you are, and so do we.

All members are free to discuss this topic candidly, but anyone who seeks to use this thread as a dumping ground for Nazi propaganda or any other disruption prohibited by the Terms And Conditions Of Use will be subject to strict disciplinary action.

I encourage any member who is unsure about this or concerned in any way to contact me via U2U at any time.

Also, for members who may see some of the fallout from this, such as posts/members disappearing, please bear in mind that the reasons the staff takes certain actions are not always apparent, but they are always based on the T&C.

Again, if anything you see in this thread bothers you in any way, please don't hesitate to U2U me or report it with the Suggestion button.

Remember that the ATS staff is here to serve you and the interests of our community.

[edit on 3/22/2006 by Majic]

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 01:24 PM
Ooohh, excellent!
Majic, a very good thing, making it clear that the topic will be discussed in a civil way, discussing the topic and not being personal in postings.

Good job, rookie moderator!

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 02:48 PM
Couple of points. PBS's Frontline did a story regarding the influence of AIPAC and other pro Israeli groups. However, I am unable to find a mention of it from thier site. I could be wrong, but im 95% sure it was Frontline and 100% sure I saw the show on PBS.

Also: AIPAC does not actually give money to candidates but does spend $1 million a yeat + on lobbying efforts. To point to the NRA et al as a counter does not tell the whole story by a longshot. AIPAC and its sister lobbies carry huge weight in Washington. Far more than does the NRA.

The top 20 PACs that are Pro-Israel can be found here:

Who they gave money to can be found here:
Thats alot of influence!

Long term, they are good for about 6-8 million a year by comarison Gunr Rights groups are good for 1-4 million a year

SO in that context the comparison to say the NRA has more pull than the Pro-Israeli lobby is simply not tru considering its outspent at every turn.

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 02:51 PM
Actually when you get down to it the Pro Israeli lobby spend more than almost any other single issue lobby aside from those set up for specific Republican / Democratic issues

Find it here

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 03:30 PM
Good links FredT...

I guess they could have alot of influence...

has it affected our foreign policy?
I think the link I posted shows that "yes" it has...

Is it right for the Russians to buy influence?
the Chinese (Clinton was wrong to think so)?
Or even for Saudi Arabia to buy influence?

These things do happen, but IMO it is wrong for any country to give money to a campaign or political party...
it is doubly wrong for that person/party to accept it...

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 03:40 PM

Originally posted by FredT
Couple of points. PBS's Frontline did a story regarding the influence of AIPAC and other pro Israeli groups. However, I am unable to find a mention of it from thier site. I could be wrong, but im 95% sure it was Frontline and 100% sure I saw the show on PBS.

Fred, not sure if this is what you were referring to, but it's was a good program nevertheless:
Frontline: Israel's next war?

Here's some more info in regards to the topic:

What is AIPAC for?
Does the so-called 'Jewish Lobby' produce pro-Israeli US foreign policy, or the opposite?

AIPAC is the most visible organ of the so-called 'Jewish lobby.' It is widely believed that the 'Jewish lobby' has a vast influence on US foreign policy, and that in consequence US foreign policy is pro-Israel to the point of absurdity. This piece will demonstrate that AIPAC helps produce anti-Israel US foreign policy, and proudly applauds it.

'AIPAC study is ignorant propaganda' -Jerusalem Post, Israel

Prominent Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz is taking on the authors of the study, which blasted the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, AIPAC.

Dershowitz, one of Israel's strongest defenders in the American public and academic arena, was mentioned personally in the study as an "apologist" for Israel, claiming he is one of those responsible for endorsing the notion that Israel pursued peace in the Middle East for many years.

Dershowitz slammed the authors - Stephan Walt, from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago - and challenged them to a public debate at the Kennedy School.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

CAMERA: Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

Study Decrying “Israel Lobby” Marred by Numerous Errors

In fact, even a cursory examination of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy reveals that it is riddled with errors of fact, logic and omission, has inaccurate citations, displays extremely poor judgement regarding sources, and, contrary to basic scholarly standards, ignores previous serious work on the subject. The bottom line: virtually every word and argument is, or ought to be, in “serious dispute.”

In other words, a student who submitted such a paper would flunk.

...Thus the earlier Al Qaeda attacks against the Unites States, in Saudi Arabia, in Kenya and Tanzania, in Yemen, and finally on the U.S. homeland on 9/11. These attacks had nothing to do with Israel and everything to do with U.S. support for Arab regimes. It should be noted also that Al Qaeda never even tried to attack an Israeli target, much less Israel itself, until after 9/11.

Harvard Backs Away from "Israel Lobby" Professors; Removes Logo from Controversial Paper

The new, much more prominent disclaimer reads:

The two authors of this Working Paper are solely responsible for the views expressed in it. As academic institutions, Harvard University and the University of Chicago do not take positions on the scholarship of individual faculty, and this article should not be interpreted or portrayed as reflecting the official position of either institution.

It is especially notable that while the original disclaimer merely stated that Harvard did not necessarily share the views expressed in the article, the revised disclaimer goes much further, stating that:

1. The two authors are “solely responsible” for the content.
2. Both Harvard and the University of Chicago “do not take positions on the scholarship of individual faculty.”

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Camera article really rips apart the professors' credibility and looks like Harvard doesn't want their name attached to the report either.

[edit on 22-3-2006 by Regenmacher]

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 03:56 PM
Reagan, Nope thats not it, but that one was a good show as well.

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 04:13 PM
That camera article itself is very suspicious...IMO

I researched the authors and did not find anything other than the support of a Saudi-American relationship (based upon financial benefits to this country) to make them seem biased...

keep in mind, SA is a very big customer, and vendor to the USA...
Israel is sponsored (and in so doing requires us to sponsor palestine as well) by the USA, and doesn't buy much, and doesn't sell much to us...

again, this is about influence causing decisions to be made that are not in our best interest (BTW, I personally dont agree with a SA-USA relationship)

I think ATSers can read between the lines of the various interests that are pushing info into magazines on this topic, so be alert.

I think extreme vigilance will be required by all posters to make sure that we are posting good info, or if it is questionable, that we admit that we haven't gone thru it ourselves yet... (as the very responsible thread author has done)

and recognize that there is a LOT of power by that lobby... enough to influence media as well...
this is perhaps one of the touchiest topics to be debated, and hopefully we can do so with an unbiased mind.

[edit on 22-3-2006 by LazarusTheLong]

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 04:28 PM
You people act like this is breaking news or something.
Personally, I can care less if the Israel lobby is the largest.
Further, LazarusTheLong, it appears that your having source issues again (ie: with Camera)?

I find Camera to be far more objective than say perhaps the New York Times or the Washington Post, probably more than the BBC.

I suppose that what escapes most of you is that there are a multitude of lobbys that influence US foreign policy. Focusing on the large Israeli lobby(s) is irrelevant, for in reality, the focus should be on why the multitude of lobbys that do influence US foreign policy are allowed to, eh?


posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 04:39 PM
Seekerof makes an excellent point.

Context, in this case, is everything. There's no doubt the lobby is powerful, but it's one among many. They all have a great deal of influence.

There's no reason any of them should be immune to scrutiny and criticism.

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 04:51 PM
I would agree that any Lobby should garner scrutiny, however, in the context of this thread and given the research regarding spending above, this really should be looked at.

Everybody talks about the NRA being the 800 pound gorilla for this type of activity yet they are outspent by the Pro-Israel lobby 2, sometimes 3 to 1. This is not even going into the soft money that is is tossed around Washington like Halloween candy either.

But yes ANY group / groups that are spending money to influence ANYTHING should be scrutinized. Its natural that the biggest, most influential lobby will garner most of the attention.

That being said, if you look at say how much the lawyers as a group give, it makes most of these single issue groups pale in comparison

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 05:23 PM
Myself I find it troubling that maybe 2% of the total population of the United States can determine most of its foreign policy objectives.

Further more this belies what internal control that may exist also.

Somebody brought up Saudia Arabia as being the only Middle Eastern country that supports Israel, well many have suggested that Israel in fact controls Saudia Arabia.

Some interesting comments on Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia

Comments on Walt:

Walt and the agenda

the Saudi Royal Family are said to be Wahabists:

About Wahabists

"The early life of Muhammed Ibn Abd al-Wahhab remains fairly uncertain despite the existence several studies on the subject. Historians at the time had no interest in the life of an obscure, young scholar and most of the contemporary journals do not cover it."

Who was Abdal Wahhab anyways??

Abdal Wahhab

"For example, in 1933, a joint venture between Standard Oil of California and Texaco received a 66-year oil concession in Saudi Arabia. The company became the Arab American Oil Company, known as Aramco. Hundreds of billions of American dollars were being invested in the Middle East, with huge fortunes being realized. Thus, the oil companies became entangled in the region’s conflicts and nervous about possible nationalization."

who owns Standard Oil??

"In early 1945, as World War II drew to a close, King Saud of Saudi Arabia met with Roosevelt. The king expressed his concern about the number of European Jews emigrating to Palestine; he suggested, instead, that displaced Jews be given part of Germany. Roosevelt assured King Saud that Arab interests would not be jeopardized. But within a few months, on April 12, 1945, Roosevelt died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage. His successor, Harry S. Truman, took a pro-Zionist position and recommended that 100,000 Jewish refugees be settled in Palestine."


building of Israel and Saudi concerns

I'm working on more as a follow-up..

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 11:49 PM
I read the full article and it seems the other posters here have not. The Israel Lobby discussed is far more than just AIPAC. Its everyone in the media, and the halls of power that drives the foreign policy in America. Each alone is does not give control, but taken together the power is overwhelming.

Fear of being labled an Anti-Semite leaves only two choices when elected officials address Israels policies; Support or Silence. Each and every one of them alone cannot stand against the media if they decide to speak out against the Zionist agenda, nor can they stand together.

Either Religious, Cultural, or even racial bias has resulted in what appears to be a conspiracy, or there really is an organized Zionist agenda. Whether by chance or design the fact is the Pro-Israel lobby controls Americas actions around the world especially in the Middle East. It may be hard for some to digest but I suggest to everyone; read this paper.

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 11:55 PM

Originally posted by FredT
Everybody talks about the NRA being the 800 pound gorilla for this type of activity yet they are outspent by the Pro-Israel lobby 2, sometimes 3 to 1. This is not even going into the soft money that is is tossed around Washington like Halloween candy either.

An Israel Lobby to NRA comparison is apples to oranges. The NRA focus is on a single domestic issue while the Israel Lobby focus is on many foreign issues. No other lobby focused on Foreign Policy has anywhere near their power.

When you look at other lobby groups where do you find a single one that stands against the Pro-Israel lobby? There are none. The saudis may be spreading money around, but what TV stations do they own? How many Arab News reporters are there? The other side only gets to speak when the Zionists let them, and its always an ambush.

Mod Note: Please Trim Quotes

[edit on 3/23/2006 by Majic]

posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 04:28 AM

Originally posted by Majic
All members are free to discuss this topic candidly, but anyone who seeks to use this thread as a dumping ground for Nazi propaganda...

Thanks for permitting us to discuss this, but Majic if you think you know where some Nazi's are, then I suggest you stop what you're doing and immediately get in touch with the Simon Wiesenthal Center and let them know, here's a link to their homepage.
As I have said before, there's a big difference between anti-semitism and legitimate opposition to zionism and I think it wise to avoid semantic drama from either side of the issue, lest we create a prohibitive and typicly melodramatic witch trial generalization of that legitimate opposition. I am curious as to just what exactly you think a Nazi is...
I'm not a nazi, don't know any nazis, and I have nothing against Judaism, but I'm not ashamed to say that I am very anti-zionist, anti-masonic, and anti-corruption. In fact, it may be of some comfort for you to know that if there was a sect of corrupt and subversive Hamburglars running the show and pulling the strings, I would probably be anti-Hamburglars.

(Mod edit: Doh! I accidentally hit "Edit" instead of "Quote". Sorry, new-b-mod here! --Majic)

[edit on 3/23/2006 by Majic]

posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 08:42 AM
I have been watching this thread for couple of days now without participating for various reasons.

One, I am still a fairly new member and prefer to read more than write.
I live in Canada and and a few too many Canadians still believe that what doesn't affect us directly, also doesn't affect us globally.

I am a Canadian who strongly disagrees with this, for the simple fact every nation across this globe affects each other directly on a daily basis.

I am still trying to put some sense to our global history as I'm sure most people are, but find myself still in conflict as to seperating the truth from the lies.

I have read the report twice. And have read many conflicting reports.
I would be hard pressed and dishonest to come to a conclusion at this point, however I do not find anything anti-semetic in the writings of these two authors. What I found was simply two very partiotic citizens who are extemely concerned about the welfare of their country.

The most disparaging news I read was the fact that Harvard has now disassociated itself from the report.

This in itself sends a very clear signal that saddly, anti-americanism is deeprooted within the breast of its own country.

posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 08:45 AM
Code Of The Moderator Nazi

Originally posted by Majic
I am curious as to just what exactly you think a Nazi is...

A Nazi is one who practices Nazism.

I think you are misunderstanding me. I recommend reviewing my earlier post carefully, and if my position remains unclear, I'll be happy to explain it further. It's actually pretty much my philosophy as a moderator, so I don't mind elaborating on it (as I'm sure my fellow members know

In summary, this is a touchy topic that we all know tends to lead to high drama and topical derailment. I don't want to see that happen.

Rather, I think a topic like this has a legitimate place on ATS, is important, very much suited to the Political Conspiracies forum, and worthy of extensive discussion and further investigation by all interested members.

Any member who wants to comment on this topic is welcome to, regardless of their viewpoints. Whether you are pro-Zionist, anti-Zionist, pro-Israel, anti-Israel, pro-Semitic, anti-Semitic, etc., your opinion is welcome.

Yes, as far as I'm concerned, even card-carrying, brownshirt-wearing, goose-stepping Nazis are welcome to comment, as long as they abide by the Terms And Conditions all of us have promised to honor by being here.

Be Excellent To One Another

Especially this one...

2) Behavior: You will not behave in an abusive and/or hateful manner, and will not harass, threaten, nor attack anyone.

As you have pointed out, discussions like these tend to become melodramatic, and I suppose my "thread manifesto" may contribute to that. I hope not, but you never know.

I just want members to know that the T&C will be vigorously enforced in this thread, and that I'm on alert for intentional disruption of the discussion.

None of the terms you used to describe yourself preclude in any way your right as a member to express yourself candidly, and I encourage you to do so without fear of any undue retribution from the staff.

My effectiveness as a moderator depends on my ability to do my job impartially and honorably, and that means standing up for any and every member who abides by the T&C.

And on that note, what do you think of the study and its implications?

P.S. I'm personally anti-Hamburglar, but I vow not to treat any member who is pro-Hamburglar any differently.

P.P.S. Sorry about the inadvertent edit. I meant to "Quote" and hit "Edit". A classic newb mod error. I promise I wasn't trying to subvert or suppress your post.

P.P.P.S. In the interest of not having me spam further off-topic diatribes in this thread, I'm going to shut up now and stick to moderating. If anyone has any concerns, please U2U me. Please stick to the topic and comment on it like alphacenturi just did.

[edit on 3/23/2006 by Majic]

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