The United States has a long history of lobbyists, which by definition are persons who try to influence legislation on behalf of a special interest, to help gain support for their causes. In the case of the relations between the United States and Israel, a certain group called the "Israel Lobbyists", are those who influence, directly or indirectly, American foreign policy for the support of Israel.
In March, 2006, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt wrote an article entitled "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy". In this article, Mearsheimer and Walt bluntly address the issues that lay before U.S. foreign policy regarding the support of its ally, Israel. According to Walt and Mearsheimer, the U.S.'s take on foreign policy in the Middle East has drastically changed since the Israel Lobby has had such a great impact; so much so that they claim the Israel Lobby has already taken over and changed peoples' views on the "national interest" of all Americans.
This article brings to light many truths about how the Israel Lobby is hurting America's national interest, and at the same time greatly strengthening the nation of Israel. While the United State's government is putting their own nation's security on the back burner, they are being persuaded by Israel Lobbyists to keep aiding Israel with financial, political and allied support. By doing this, the United States is practically handing over billions of dollars to the Israeli government, all of which is strictly "aid." Israel receives about $3 billion in direct assistance each year, roughly one-fifth of the foreign aid budget.
Willingly, the U.S. gives billions of dollars to Israel to develop their weapons program which contains Blackhawk helicopters and F-16 jets. With these types of sophisticated weaponry at their disposal, who is to say that Israel may not one day use those same weapons against the United States? Even amidst the U.S.'s opposition to Iran's uranium-enrichment program, the United States "has turned a blind eye to Israel's acquisition of nuclear weapons".
While the United States is extremely worried about Iran's nuclear capabilities, they are not paying attention to an equally important matter. In this case, Israel has all the financial and political backing that is needed to start a nuclear weapons program. Although the United States sees Israel as an ally, there is not any guarantee that Israel does not have any ulterior motives. The United States is putting itself and its people at great risk by backing Israel so much financially and by allowing the Israeli government to do as they please. Although these Israeli lobbyists are powerful, there is a great need for them to be stopped and for someone to start asking questions about the "friendship" between Israel and the United States.
The facts alone on how much the United States supports Israel are astounding. All of this money and aid and political support are going to Israel for something and for some reason, but for what? The American people and congressmen need to start asking if the United States has ulterior motives with these actions.
Israel is benefiting way too much while the United States loses a great amount of money and security in the process. The Israeli economy is currently the strongest in the Middle East. Their arms and weaponry are quite remarkable. While Israel is bettering their own country with the United State's money, what is the U.S. receiving in return?
This question has stunned Mearsheimer and Walt as well as many other critics of the Israel Lobby. The writers point out that Israel may have been a good ally during the Cold War; however, since then, it does not seem as though "Israel is a vital strategic asset" to the United States. In fact, having such a close relationship with Israel is actually making America more of a terrorist target rather than a "strategic asset". This, again, is putting America on the map as a target for more terrorist attacks from other countries that are against Israel and do not support the U.S.â€™s backing of that nation.
This same money that is being used to help Israel could be used to take measures toward benefiting and strengthening the United State's security force. On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorist groups who have long awaited their strike on the United States. Since then, measures have been taken to improve our national security, but too much is never enough. Those billions of dollars should be put toward our homeland national interest and security, not into Israel where it is benefiting their homeland national interest and security. How far will the United States go to put our individual and national security on the line to go after personal and political interests? Until someone starts to ask questions, or until something terrible happens, it will just continue as it is.
(Walt and Mearsheimer's article, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy", can be found here: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html)