The Water's Edge and Beyond
Defining the Limits to Domestic Influence on United States Middle East Policy
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One of the most commonly held notions in American politics is that American Jews have a great deal of influence on U.S. foreign policy. Some influential Americans have even argued that Jewish-Americans control American policy in the Middle East to the detriment of the national interest. Such views are readily accepted by leaders of the Arab world, and influence their own policies, perspectives, and lobbying activities. How accurate is this assessment?This study provides the most thorough analysis to date of the Israeli and Arab lobbies, their effectiveness, and the impact they exerted on the American political process from 1945 onward. Bard examines the reasons for the acknowledged effectiveness of Israeli lobbying efforts, and the relative ineffectiveness of Arab lobbies, and compares and contrasts their approaches. He shows that lobby - influence is constrained by a number of variables, including the President's own position on the issues, the specific policy content of an issue, the election cycle, the popularity of a President, and where decision-making authority resides.Using case studies, a thorough knowledge of political theory, and sophisticated quantitative analysis, Bard presents a study that will be of interest to all those concerned about Middle East policy, interest groups, and foreign policy decision-making. Above all, it will compel a retreat from stereotypical thinking about the Jewish "lobby" and the function of lobbies in general.