The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests in the Middle East
While critics claim that a nefarious Israel Lobby dictates U.S. policy in the Middle East, the Arab Lobby in this country is older, richer, and more powerful than the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The Arab Lobby is the first book in more than 25 years to investigate the scope and activities of this diffuse yet powerful network. Author Mitchell Bard courageously explores the invisible alliance that threatens Israel and undermines America’s interests in the Middle East.
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Mitchell Bard's The Arab Lobby is a meticulous (almost 400 pages and not even a spelling mistake), well-researched (this book is dense with information) and documented (639 footnotes). The book's purpose is revealed in the subtitle, to reveal "the invisible alliance that undermines America's interests in the Middle East". The book ranges over the whole spectrum of Middle Eastern problems and conundrums that affect America, from the creation of Israel, to the pernicious effect of oil addiction, to the newly formed Muslim lobby groups such as C.A.I.R.. The author familiarizes us with much of the current literature on the topic (a conspicuous exception being Robert Spencer's Stealth Jihad) such as Martin Kramer's Ivory Towers on Sand as well as informing us of many things that were news to this writer at least. I am sure it will come a shock to many liberal Jews in the United States that "... Roosevelt failed to take steps before and during the war that could have saved thousands of European Jews, and that most of his actions with respect to the Zionist program were unhelpful." (p. 16) The Saudi Arabian lobby is documented at great length, from the initial discoveries of oil up to the present time. The author's view of the Saudis is encapsulated in his conclusion: "Arabists see the Saudis as wise exotic rulers, but if not for oil they would be dismissed as anti-semitic, paranoid crackpots of the ilk of Idi Amin and Qaddafi. To author supports this view with facts, anecdotes and arguments that are overwhelming. Many people may know that the Saudis were one of the last nations on earth to ban slavery in 1962; however, very few people know why that happened: "Kennedy was much blunter when Crown Prince Faisal
came to the White House in September 1962. The president gave him the reassurance he sought regarding America's devotion to Saudi independence and territorial integrity, but he also made clear that he expected the Saudis to institute certain reforms, in particular the abolition of slavery. One of the little-publicized aspects of Saudi society, this was also one of the most dramatic examples of the difference in values. Slavery was an issue that was swept under the rug by the Arabists, who to this day show little concern for the human rights abuses of the Saudis. Kennedy was the only president who made this an issue, and his emphatic position was probably the reason that Faisal issued a proclamation out- lawing slavery soon after he returned from Washington, and almost a century after the practice was abolished in the United States." (p. 78) The anti-semitic views of prominent Saudis are demonstrated: "Another important element of these arms sales was secrecy. They were not debated in public or Congress, and therefore the statements and policies of the Saudis did not inhibit the administration's ability to arrange arms transfers. This was a good thing for the kingdom, given the views of King Faisal, a virulent anti-Semite who once told a congressman from San Francisco how much he liked the city, especially the signs in stores that said, "No dogs or Jews allowed." On a visit to Paris, he claimed that five children were murdered and their blood drained by Jews so they could use it to make Passover matzo. Faisal was also famous for giving visitors copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. At the end of every meeting, according to Ambassador Horan, Faisal would say to his protocol assistant, "Have you given him THE BOOK?
Get him THE BOOK!" (p. 57) He further documents at length the Saudis' attempts to influence American policy and society through lobbying legislators, funding professorships and academic departments at prominent universities, funding Arab, Palestinian and Muslim lobby groups, funding dawa (Muslim proselytization), funding the building of Mosques and funding Islamic
Until Bard's "The Arab Lobby," readers had only a vague idea of the pernicious role that Arab oil money plays in our society. Many of us understood that the millions of dollars spent by the oil companies and by oil-exporting countries in lobbying our government for privilege was hurtful to our pocketbook and our national security. But Bard's research lays bare that hurt. Chapter by chapter, he shows how the lobby's tenacles have captured not just trusted institutions like our State Department, but how it works to control ideas by buying up or into our colleges and universities, our media, and even members of Congress and our Administration. It is an eye opener to learn how Arab oil is used to curry favor with ex-United States' presidents by contributing substantial sums to the building of their presidential libraries. Notning is done without expectation of rewards and Bard details the rewards. It's a must read.
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