The Israel Lobbies: A Survey of the Pro-Israel Community in the United States

in Israel Studies Review
Author:
Dov Waxman

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The influence of the pro-Israel lobby in US foreign policymaking toward the Middle East has been a subject of great interest and fierce controversy in recent years. Yet, despite being the object of a massive amount of critical scrutiny, the pro-Israel lobby remains poorly understood. All too often it is depicted as a highly organized, cohesive political actor pursuing an agenda in line with, and even determined by, Israel's right-wing Likud party. By undertaking a detailed empirical survey of the pro-Israel community in the United States, this article shows that such a view is grossly inaccurate. The pro-Israel community is neither monolithic nor a unitary actor. It is fragmented into a number of different groups, many of which disagree sharply over their understanding of Israel's real interests. In lobbying the US government for what they believe is in Israel's interests, therefore, the pro-Israel community rarely, if ever, speaks with a single voice.

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