The Limits of “The Israel Lobby”

Source: Quillette
by Matt Johnson

“[John] Mearsheimer and [Stephen] Walt have long taken credit for breaking what they believe is a taboo on discussing Israel’s influence in Washington. ‘From the perspective of any lobby,’ Mearsheimer said, ‘it’s best if it can operate behind closed doors and wield significant influence that the public doesn’t see. But the Israel lobby can’t operate that way anymore.’ The subject of Israel’s relationship with the United States has been openly and widely debated in both countries for decades. ‘The lobby’ — which is really just Mearsheimer and Walt’s term for the entire constellation of pro-Israel opinion in the United States — has never existed in the shadows. … A central weakness of Mearsheimer and Walt’s case is the failure to account for why Israel attracted so much American support and solidarity in the first place.” (05/29/24)