Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Book Looks at The Israel Lobby

There's a newly released non-fiction book that I'm putting on my personal wish list. The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. The Iraq war and our new focus on Middle East regional politics are reason enough to read the book. And getting all sides of a complex picture is important to context and perspective.

The issue has been of personal interest to me for decades and was brought home when my acquaintance, Alex Odeh, was assasinated by an explosive device while sitting at his desk in Santa Ana, California in 1985. It is clear that Alex, a Palestinian/American and a Christian, was killed by a Jewish/Zionist extremist. In fact, two members of the JDL fled to Israel following his murder. He was bombed because he suggested that Israel should negotiate with the late Yasser Arafat (Abu Mazen). In 2001, the FBI classified the JDL as a violent, extremist Jewish organization.

I'd add a couple more facts to the mix, then ask you to search the net and do your own research on this controversial topic. We should not forget that Israel sank the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967, has had several high-profile spies (here and here) caught in this country stealing American secrets, and defied 20 years of U.N. resolutions to build and deploy a large nuclear arsenal. Unlike South Africa, which abandoned its nuclear ambitions when confronted by the U.N., Israel has stubbornly clung to its WMD.

In spite of its extensive nuclear arsenal and economic prosperity, Israel has received more direct and indirect economic and military aid from the United States than any other country; the largest total aid package since World War II (reference). The Israel Lobby is largely responsible. I know that I want to learn more, that's why I'm buying the book.

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