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Posted September 18, 2008
James Petras, Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, has written a fine study of the pro-Israel lobby in the USA, joining John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt¿s excellent book, The Israel lobby and U.S. foreign policy. The tide is turning on this matter: 59% of Europeans think that Israel is the biggest threat to Middle East, and world, peace. Part 1 looks at the power of the pro-Israel lobby, and how it promoted the war against Iraq. Petras notes that the US-British policy of breaking Iraq into statelets follows the British precedent in setting up the Gulf States at the end of the 19th century and the EU-US scheme of destroying Yugoslavia at the end of the 20th century. Part 2 looks at the Israeli record of torture and assassination against the Palestinians, the invasions of Gaza and Lebanon, the threat to Iran, and Israel¿s efforts to polarise Christians against Muslims. Part 3 examines the role of so-called `terror experts¿ like Harvard¿s Professor Jessica Stern, who claims to `explain how violent Islamic nihilism continues to spread¿. Part 4 shows the importance of the lobby, rather then Big Oil or finance capital, in shaping the USA¿s imperial policy. The US undercuts the interests of the oil companies, which want peace so that they can maximise their profits, in favour of Israel¿s interests, which wants war to increase its power in the Middle East. Petras also shows how Noam Chomsky underplays the lobby¿s role. Petras concludes, ¿One will hear from Zionists the `relativist¿ argument: `Israel¿s crimes are no worse than many countries in the world¿. However, few countries (except the US) are engaged in colonizing a neighbor, bombing adversaries with impunity (and killing massive numbers of innocent bystanders), storing nuclear warheads with an offensive doctrine, securing the largest proportion of US foreign aid including its most advanced technology, controlling US congressional voting on Mideast issues, shaping the Mideast political agenda for both Presidential candidates, routinely torturing thousands of political prisoners (and sending advisers throughout the world to teach how to do likewise), and practising the totalitarian law of collective punishment for popular resistance.¿ We could do with a similar study of the pro-Israel lobby in Britain, of Blair and Brown¿s fanatical Zionism, and of the lobby¿s fascistic attacks on the University and College Union in Britain.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 12, 2009
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