In their book ‘The Israel Lobby And US foreign policy’,Mearsheimer and Walt, when discussing Israel’s influence on Congress, conclude that “…. The bottom line is that AIPAC, which bills itself as “America’s pro-Israel Lobby”, has an almost unchallenged hold on Congress.” (Mearsheimer and Walt: 162).
For anyone who sympathizes with those who are effectively the victims of an ongoing ethnic cleansing that in itself would be depressing enough. However, it is when the authors continue by contending that not only is there an absence of open debate on US policy toward Israel, but that this policy “has important consequences for the entire world” (ibid) that we should worry on a very real and very personal level.
What that means is made clear earlier in the book, when the authors argue that not only was a drift to the right in the Israel lobby accompanied by the rise of the neoconservatives, but that the lobby and the neoconservatives are in fact synonymous (ibid: 128, 129, 130). When we consider that the neo-cons were virtually responsible for the ill-fated invasion of Iraq in March 2003, that contention becomes particularly ominous.
Furthermore, it is something that we should bear that in mind when we consider Benjamin Netanyahu’s antics on Capitol Hill on the March 2nd and the subsequent open letter on the 9th of the month addressed to the “Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran” . The letter, which was signed by 47 Republican senators, basically told Teheran that any agreement on its nuclear programme would not be kept.
It might be worth pointing out that the letter was not only immoral, but that it was also illegal in that it contravenes the Logan Act of 1799, which “forbids any U.S. citizen — acting without official U.S. authority — from influencing “disputes or controversies” involving the U.S. and a foreign government”. However, we might be certain that neither the neoconservatives, nor the Israel lobby, nor Israel itself is going to be held accountable by any law and that is what should worry us.
The illegal occupation of Palestine continues and the ethnic cleansing continues apace, the invasion of Iraq has culminated in hundreds of thousands dead and ongoing sectarian strife. Syria’s sovereignty is being violated on a daily basis, and now we are being told that any agreement with Iran will be torn up. …. and then?