The Arab Lobby

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The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East
The Arab Lobby.jpg
AuthorMitchell Bard
CountryUnited States
PublisherHarper, Broadside Books
Publication date
31 August 2010
324.4089 B
LC ClassJK1118 .B28 2010

The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East[1] is a book written by Mitchell Bard, the head of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise and the director of the Jewish Virtual Library, published in August 2010. It was written in response to John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's bestselling albeit controversial The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, which focused on the role of the Israel lobby in shaping U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction.


In the Arab Lobby, Bard argues that an influential Arab lobby has sought to counter the Israel lobby by tilting U.S. foreign policy towards a pro-Arabist and anti-Israel direction. He describes the lobby as having two components: an "oil lobby" and a domestic Palestinian advocacy lobby.[2] The oil lobby is described as a "petroleum-diplomatic complex" consisting of Saudi Arabia, Arabist sympathizers within the State Department and diplomatic community, and defense contractors.[3] Meanwhile, Palestinian advocacy groups include mainline non-evangelical Christian denominations, Arab and Muslim-American interest groups, and Middle Eastern studies academics.[4] Bard traces the origins of the "petroleum-diplomatic complex" to the days of King Saud.[5] The main premise is that the Saudis and other Arab states of the Persian Gulf have the oil and will supply it to America and its allies on the condition that America keeps the Arab ruling families in power.[6]

Bard also argues that several groups within the pro-Palestine component and with the Muslim-American community including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the American Muslim Council, and the Middle East Studies Association secretly sympathize with the Islamists.[7] He argues that the influence of the Christian Zionists has been exaggerated by anti-Zionist critics and alleges that several mainstream Christian denominations and organizations including the American Presbyterian Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, and Quakers promote a pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel agenda.[8] He has alleged that historical Christian anti-semitism and the propagation of liberation theology and Replacement theology among mainstream denominations and Arab Christian provide the main sources of "Christian anti-Zionism."[9]

Bard has also alleged that Saudi Arabian interests and pro-Palestinian advocates were hijacking the academic field of Middle Eastern studies within several prominent American universities including Georgetown University, Harvard University, and Columbia University.[10] This has involved Saudi Arabia and other Arab states of the Persian Gulf funding centers and chairs at universities to promote a pro-Arabist agenda.[11] Bard has also accused several prominent Middle Eastern studies academics including John Esposito and Rashid Khalidi of abusing positions by advancing a pro-Palestinian political agenda.[12]

In addition, Bard has criticized the Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA) for adopting a pro-Palestinian standpoint. Bard has also alleged that MESA marginalizes non-Israel-related topics including the Kurdish–Turkish conflict and the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities like Middle Eastern Jews, Christians, and non-Arabs.[13] Finally, Bard has contended that since the September 11 attacks, the Arab lobby working through Middle Eastern Studies university departments have sought to influence pre-university education by tailoring education programs and resources to reflect a pro-Arabist agenda.[14]


It was reviewed positively by several conservative and pro-Israeli news media and groups including Ynetnews,[15] FrontPage Magazine,[16] Tablet Magazine,[17] the Christian Broadcasting Network,[18] and the Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.[19] Kirkus Reviews praised Bard for identifying the "malign influence of the Arab lobby—specifically that of Saudi Arabia—on U.S. government policy." [20] Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz also gave The Arab Lobby a positive review in The Daily Beast, citing the Ground Zero Mosque controversy as evidence that Arab governments influenced American politics.[21] The book was also criticized in a Newsweek article by R.M. Schneiderman which was later reproduced in The Daily Beast.[22] The book was also positively reviewed by Steven J. Rosen in Daniel Pipes's Middle East Quarterly.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bard, Mitchell (2010). The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East. New York: Harper. p. 432. ISBN 006172601X.
  2. ^ Bard (2010) p.343–44
  3. ^ Bard (2010) p.344–46
  4. ^ Bard (2010) p.344
  5. ^ Bard (2010) p.66–70
  6. ^ Bard (2010) p.86–107
  7. ^ Bard(2010) p.219–25, 295–98
  8. ^ Bard (2010) p.240–62, Chapter 12: "God Takes a Side: Christian Anti-Zionists Join the Lobby"
  9. ^ Bard (2010) p.241–43, 252–53
  10. ^ Bard (2010) p.284, 306–311
  11. ^ Bard (2010) p.284
  12. ^ Bard (2010) p.293–94, 307–08
  13. ^ Bard (2010) p.295–97
  14. ^ Bard (2010) p. 284, 322–323
  15. ^ Benhorin, Yitzhak (2010-08-26). "New book: Arab lobby rules America". Ynetnews. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  16. ^ Glavoz, Jamie (2010-09-10). "The Arab Lobby". FrontPage Magazine. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  17. ^ Smith, Lee (2010-09-01). "The Arab Lobby: A new book explores the 'petrodiplomatic complex' and Saudi influence on U.S. foreign policy". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  18. ^ "Arab Lobby's Chokehold on U.S. Mideast Policy". Christian Broadcasting Network. 2010-10-25. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  19. ^ Muravchik, Joshua (2010-11-08). "Book Review by Joshua Muravchik: Mitchell Bard's The Arab Lobby". Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  20. ^ "The Arab Lobby". Kirkus Reviews. 2010-07-01. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  21. ^ Dershowitz, Alan (2010-08-24). "The Arab Lobby Rules America". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  22. ^ Schneiderman, R.M. (2010-09-03). "'The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East'". Newsweek. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  23. ^ Steven J. Rosen (2012). "The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East - Reviewed by Stephen J. Rosen". Middle East Quarterly. Middle East Forum. XIX (2). Retrieved 29 November 2012.