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Review Essay

Jerusalem Syndrome

Decoding The Israel Lobby

In This Review

The Israel Lobby

The Israel Lobby
By John J. Mearsheimer, Stephan M.Walt
Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2007, 484 pp. $26.00 Purchase

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt claim that they want The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy "to foster a more clear-eyed and candid discussion of this subject." Unfortunately, that is not going to happen. The Israel Lobby will harden and freeze positions rather than open them up. It will delay rather than hasten the development of new U.S. policies in the Middle East. It will confuse the policy debate not just in the United States but throughout the world as well, while giving aid and comfort to anti-Semites wherever they are found. All of this is deeply contrary to the intentions of the authors; written in haste, the book will be repented at leisure.

That is not to say that The Israel Lobby is all bad. Mearsheimer and Walt were previously known as hard-core "realists" who minimized the importance of studying domestic politics and culture to understanding foreign

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