Sep 29 2010
‘ARAB LOBBY’ – New book by Mideast expert Mitchell Bard claims the Arab lobby, headed by Saudis, ‘has unlimited resources to try to buy what they usually cannot win on merits of their arguments.’
The so-called Israel lobby has been widely denounced and demonized in the media, but its power pales in comparison to the decades-long corruption of American interests by Arab governments. Indeed, for more than seventy years, U.S. policy in the Middle East has been shaped not by the power of a nefarious “Israel lobby” but by a misguided emphasis on pleasing and placating the Arab states.
This outlook has ensured that the United States pays disproportionate attention to their demands, assisting Arab countries—all of them dictatorial regimes with abysmal human rights records—that do not share our values, and often work to subvert our interests.
Arabists in the State Department, many of them openly anti-Semitic, tried to prevent America from recognizing Israel in 1948, and have since waged a long bureaucratic war to undermine the alliance between America and the only true democracy in the Middle East, blocking arms and aid to Israel, while seeking larger weapons sales for their Arab friends. Many of these Arabists subsequently found lucrative jobs promoting business with Arab countries, speaking on their behalf and criticizing U.S.-Israel policy.
Today the Arab states influence American policy through numerous hidden and informal channels, including former members of Congress, subsidized think tanks, paid media spokesmen, academics who hold chairs endowed by Arab money, human rights organizations, assorted UN agencies, European diplomats, and Christian groups hostile to Israel. A number of former ambassadors, university professors, and think tank experts routinely opine on Middle Eastern affairs, but never reveal these conflicts of interest.
Mitchell Bards “Arab Lobby” was written as a sort of response to those who warn of AIPAC’s influence over Washington. Bard, who serves as executive directorof the nonprofit American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), claims that “one of the most important distinguishing characteristics of the Arab lobby is that it has no popular support.
While the Israeli lobby has hundreds of thousands of grass root members and public opinion polls consistently reveal a huge gap between support for Israel and the Arab nations-Palestinians, the Arab lobby has almost no foot soldiers or public sympathy. “What they lack in human capital in terms of American advocates, they make up for with almost unlimited resources to try to buy what they usually cannot win on the merits of their arguments,” he writes in the book.