In a new book, Ottawa-based independent political analyst Stephen Gowans examines why the USA has given such extensive military, diplomatic and economic support to Israel for the last half century. That support has led some to conclude that Israel (or “Zionists”, or even “Jews”) control US politics. Gowans calls this the “Judeo-Israeli hijack theory” and believes it is mistaken. Read more and watch the short video interview with Gowans here.
In 2007, respected US academics John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt wrote a bombshell study about the powerful influence of Israel on US foreign policy. It was called “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy“. The book describes the work of a “loose coalition of individuals and organizations who actively work to steer U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction”. The authors argue that by all-out support of Israel, the “lobby” actively undermines American interests. It was a New York Times best seller.
The idea that Israel, or Zionists, or even “the Jews”, control US foreign policy is widespread in Canada, including among many Palestinian human rights activists . It is also a trigger for many in Canada and the US who fear that lurking behind such claims is an anti-Semitic bias. This fear can be exploited by the Israel lobby itself to protect Israel from criticism.
The effectiveness of the charge of “anti-Semitism” was shown recently in Trudeau’s rapid backtracking when Bnai Brith alleged that Hassan Guillet an approved Liberal candidate, was “anti-Semitic” based on a quote in which he argued that US foreign policy is controlled by Zionists. Trudeau moved quickly to dump him.
But independent researcher Stephen Gowans thinks the idea that US foreign policy is controlled by Israel (or even by Zionists) it is mistaken.
Gowans doesn’t deny that AIPAC, which claims to speak for 4 million American Jews, is powerful and influential. But, he points out that there are many other lobby groups who are also very influential (for example the National Rifle Association with its 5 million members, or the dozens of US defence industry associations which have fewer members but very deep pockets).
Overall American policy, he argues, is shaped by huge corporate interests.
In fact, instead of Israel controlling the US, he claims that the exact opposite is true. “Israel is completely at the mercy of the United States for its existence”, he writes. “It must do Washington’s bidding, or risk losing the special relationship that protects it. Without the shelter Washington provides, Israel would perish.”
CTIP interviewed Stephen Gowans about his theory.
Israel, A Beachhead in the Middle East: From European Colony to US Power Projection Platform Paperback by
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