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The Israel lobby, American democracy and foreign perceptions of the USA


Guerlain Pierre, English and American Studies, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre, 200 Bd de la République, 92000 Nanterre, France.



There has been much discussion about the power of the so-called Israel lobby in the United States. Although the debate has been around for at least three decades the terms of this debate have changed with recent publications. The key questions concerning the so-called Israel lobby are, first, one of definition —who can be said to belong to or support this lobby, by no means an easy matter which can be solved in ethnic terms—and then one of effectiveness—is US foreign policy in the Middle East shaped by the Israel lobby and is the image of the US in this region of the world and beyond highly correlated with the activities of a domestic pressure group?

Analyzing the activities of the Israel lobby leads one to challenge the concept of a separation between domestic and foreign policy. This paper analyzes how the Israel lobby operates within the context of American democracy and also tackles the issue of foreign perceptions of the US and of an often ill defined Israel lobby. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.