Anti-Israel lobby in the United States

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The anti-Israel lobby is a term used by some who criticize those groups and individuals that oppose Israeli policies or United States foreign policy which they consider to be too favorable towards Israel. Those opposed to such policies state that they seek a more "even-handed" U.S. approach to the conflict in the Middle East.[1]

Caroline Glick, managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, writes in an opinion column that recent years have seen "the emergence of a very committed and powerful anti-Israel lobby in Washington."[2] However, critics of Israel's policies often object to the phrase “anti-Israel” being used in regards to such lobbying.[3][4][5]

Organizations labeled members of the "anti-Israel lobby"[edit]

American Friends of the Middle East[edit]

Historian Paul Charles Merkley wrote in his 2001 book, Christian Attitudes Towards the State of Israel, that the American Friends of the Middle East, which was founded in 1951, "remains an active anti-Israeli lobby."[6]

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee[edit]

Martin J. Raffel identified the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) as being part of "The Anti-Israel lobby", hostile to the Jewish-American community in the late 1980s.[1] The Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor identified it as "very active" in "anti-Israel political causes."[7][8]

Council for the National Interest[edit]

Rafael Medoff, founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, labels the Council for the National Interest (CNI) as an organization that is part of the "anti-Israel lobby." CNI was founded following former Congressman Paul Findley's 1982 defeat by "pro Israel PAC money."[9] CNI's website states its objective as "seeking to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values, protects our national interests, and contributes to a just solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is CNI’s goal to restore a political environment in America in which voters and their elected officials are free from the undue influence and pressure of foreign countries and their partisans."[9][10]

Other organizations[edit]

In 2008, The Jerusalem Post wrote that Wikipedia was "Part anarchy, part mob rule" and that "the 'mob' is the vast anti-Israel lobby that haters of our country have managed to pull together." The article focused on the negative reaction to the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting's Israeli lobby campaign in Wikipedia.[11]

Caroline Glick wrote that the "anti-Israel Jewish lobby J Street," supported by several other Jewish groups "supports the White House's hostile positions on Israel as ends unto themselves." She also identifies George Soros as the individual who "first raised the prospect of a Jewish anti-Israel lobby in October 2006."[12]

Individuals labeled members of the "anti-Israel lobby"[edit]

Criticism of the term[edit]

Bret Stephens, foreign-affairs columnist of The Wall Street Journal and former editor of The Jerusalem Post, in a 2006 speech to the Chicago Friends of Israel student organization at the University of Chicago,[15] criticized John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy for lumping together "the hugely disparate elements" of groups that support Israel and suggest they constitute a "lobby." To make his point, he described a hypothetical "anti-Israel lobby" made up of disparate groups, including such political opposites as Pat Buchanan and Noam Chomsky.[16]

In 2008, University of Florida political scientist Ken Wald warned that the left leaning pro-Israel lobby group J Street "will get hammered and accused of being anti-Israel" by "more conservative pro-Israeli factions."[17][18] The founder of J Street responded to such criticism of being "anti-Israel" saying that "the most pro-Israel thing any American politician or policy maker can do is help to bring about a two-state solution and a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and her neighbours."[17]

Barack Obama, during the 2008 election campaign, implicitly noted differences within the lobby in his comment that "there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says, 'unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel, that you’re anti-Israel,' and that can’t be the measure of our friendship with Israel." Commentary magazine notes: "It was an odd choice of words—Likud has not been Israel’s governing party for more than three years—but what Obama clearly meant was that an American politician should not have to express fealty to the most hard-line ideas relating to Israel's security to be considered a supporter of Israel's."[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Raffel, Martin J. (2002). "History of Israel Advocacy: The Anti-Israel Lobby". In Mittleman, Alan; Licht, Robert A.; Sarna, Jonathan D. Jewish Polity and American Civil Society: Communal Agencies and Religious Movements in the American Public Sphere. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 140–143. ISBN 978-0-7425-2122-3. 
  2. ^ Glick, Caroline (12 March 2009). "Column One: Intelligence and the anti-Israel lobby". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Taylor, David; Demetriou, Danielle (11 February 2003). "Peace protesters 'hijacking war march'". Evening Standard. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  4. ^ Youmans, Will (25 October 2002). "Israel's Singles Night Out: Critics Charge that Divestment 'Singles Out' Israel. They Are Right". CounterPunch. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  5. ^ Prabhu, Saritha (24 April 2009). "U.S. support of Israel isn't without problems". The Tennessean. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Merkley, Paul Charles (2001). "Introduction: Israel's Reappearance in the Company of Nations". Christian Attitudes Towards the State of Israel. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. pp. 3–8. ISBN 0-7735-2188-7. 
  7. ^ Whitson, Sarah Leah (8 September 2009). "Experts or Ideologues? A Systematic Analysis of Human Rights Watch's Focus on Israel". NGO Monitor. The Amuta for NGO Responsibility. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  8. ^ ADC Times. 2002. Washington: Vol. 21:7, April 30, 2002.
  9. ^ a b c Medoff, Rafael (2002). "Case Study: The Anti-Israel Lobby". Jewish Americans and Political Participation: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. pp. 244–245. ISBN 978-1-57607-314-8. 
  10. ^ "About Us". Council for the National Interest. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  11. ^ Shamah, David (6 May 2008). "Digital World: Internet Independence Day". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  12. ^ Glick, Caroline (30 July 2009). "Column One: The lonely Israeli Left". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  13. ^ Rothkopf, David (6 January 2009). "About the anti-Israel lobby". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  14. ^ Robbins, Jeff (7 September 2007). "Anti-Semitism and the Anti-Israel Lobby". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  15. ^ "About Us". Chicago Friends of Israel. University of Chicago. 2007. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  16. ^ Stephens, Bret (3 May 2006). Meet the Israel Lobby (PDF) (Speech). Israel Week 2006 Keynote: Delivered to Chicago Friends of Israel. University of Chicago. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-08-08. 
  17. ^ a b Besser, James D. (26 March 2008). "New PAC To Offer Pols A Dovish Mideast View". The Jewish Week. Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  18. ^ Deveson, Max (16 April 2008). "US Jewish lobby gains new voice". BBC News. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  19. ^ Rosner, Shmuel (February 2009). "Jews and the 2008 Election". Commentary (magazine). Retrieved 12 February 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Barsky, Yehudit, "The Anti-Israel Lobby Today: An Examination of the Themes and Tactics of an Evolving Propaganda Movement", ADL Special Report, 1991.

External links[edit]