Walter Russell Mead on Israel and lobbies
Walter Russell Mead, author of the best essay on American foreign policy as an offshoot of domestic policies, "The Jacksonian Tradition" of 1999, confronts many of the misguided critics of "the Israel Lobby" in his blog at The American Interest.
- In "Don’t Blame The Jews":
- A conspiratorial-minded and paranoid Jew could come up with a description of the modern Zionist movement as a gentile plot against the Jews: to push them all into a narrow, inhospitable strip of desert land entirely surrounded by people who hate them. This in fact is one reason so many American Jewish leaders opposed the Zionist movement in the early years. They saw it as a kind of “Jewish Liberia”; just as whites once hoped to recolonize African-Americans in Africa they might want to send the Jews ‘back’ to their ‘home.’
- In "The Israel Lobby and Gentile Power":
- Politicians don’t fear the loss of National Rifle Association PAC money nearly as much as they fear the loss of millions of pro-gun votes at the next election. This, I think is why AIPAC is so powerful. To be convincingly labeled an anti-Israel politician is the kiss of death almost everywhere in the United States — just as to be anti-gun is the kiss of death.
- And finally, "Is This Lobby Different From All Others?":
- What the Zionist movement asked from Americans at this time, and what it got, was pretty much what the other nationalities got: Sympathy and good offices before World War One, American support at Versailles. You could argue that this was exceptional treatment; unlike the other ethnic minorities, Jews did not have a large national terrain where they were in the majority. Persecuted almost everywhere, they needed a state more than anybody else, but scattered across Europe and the Middle East it was harder to find one for them.