Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East

Article excerpt

The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East. By Mitchell Bard. New York: Harper, 2010. 432 pp. $27.99 ($14.99, paper).

An "Israel lobby" in the United States has been the subject of at least eight books in recent years with the 2007 Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy1 by Harvard's Stephen Walt and the University of Chicago's John Mearsheimer perhaps best known. Reminiscent in part of the Protocols of the Elders ofZion and other examples of anti-Semitism, these books argue that Western, and especially U.S., foreign policy is at the mercy of this small but super-powerful lobby. While some, like Abraham Foxman and Alan Dershowitz, have attacked these works by exposing manipulated facts (and in some cases outright lies), Bard, executive director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, offers another, and perhaps more effective, approach.

Bard turns the tables on the conspiracy theorists and compellingly dissects the arguably more powerful Arab lobby. He demonstrates convincingly that an Arab lobby exists and is comprised of two main clusters. Members of the first group are agents of the oil exporting states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), especially Saudi Arabia. They have powerful allies in the United States in the form of multinational oil companies and exporters of defense industrial goods, alongside Arabists within the State Department.

The second group is composed of ethnic lobbies of Arab and Muslim- Americans, in alliance with non-evangelical Christian groups and the campus-based academic left. …

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