The new, public debate about the Israel lobby is missing a major point – the lobby’s allies, the many other interests in America that want chaos in the Middle East. For example, in the Walt-Mearsheimer book there is no listing in the index for “military-industrial complex.” For all its vaunted power, the Israel lobby could not dominate America’s Mideast policies without cover and active support from other powerful groups. Although AIPAC promotes the lobby’s image in Congress as being all powerful, it isn’t. The book does specify Christian Zionists as an integral part of the lobby, but it neglects many others.
Another important question is how, when polling data shows that most Jews opposed the Iraq war, did the Likud/settler minority faction take over the whole Israel lobby? Although a minority with an agenda will often win over an amorphous majority, that is not a sufficient explanation. Indeed Jews are at the forefront of the fight against the war and the consequent encroaching police state here in America. Some of the most honest reporting on Israel comes from Jewish media: Ha’aretz in Israel and The Forward in America. What happened?
It was Likudniks headquartered at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington who first undermined the Oslo Peace Accords. They also urged attacking Iraq long before 9/11. Some, such as David Wurmser, even predicted that the attack could result in Iraq being “ripped apart,” splintered into warring tribes for years. Polls show that most Israelis also want peace and support a Palestinian state (in fact, they voted out Likud); meanwhile, the Likudniks want America to attack Iran and Syria. They appeal to those who see a greater Israel “from the Nile to the Euphrates.”