Israel Lobby Portal

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Welcome to the Israel Lobby Portal on Powerbase

Welcome to the Israel Lobby Portal on Powerbase—your guide to networks of power, lobbying and deceptive PR.

Powerbase has a policy of strict referencing and is overseen by a managing editor, a Sysop and various associate portal editors.

The editors of the Israel Lobby Portal are Hilary Aked and Jamie Stern-Weiner.

See an A-Z list of all Israel Lobby Portal pages.

What is the Israel Lobby?

The Israel Lobby in the United States has been described as "a loose coalition of individuals and organizations that actively works to move U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction... it is not a single unified movement with a central leadership". It is "a powerful interest group, made up of both Jews and gentiles, whose acknowledged purpose is to press Israel's case within the United States and influence American foreign policy in ways that its members believe will benefit the Jewish state. The various groups that make up the lobby do not agree on every issue, although they share the desire to promote a special relationship between the United States and Israel" (John Mearsheimer & Stephen Walt, 2007: 5).

Mearsheimer & Walt make a clear distinction between the Israel Lobby and anti-Israel conspiracy theories, arguing: 'The Israel lobby is the antithesis of a cabal or conspiracy; it operates out in the open and proudly advertises its own clout. In its basic operations, the Israel lobby is no different from interest groups like the farm lobby, steel and textile workers, and a host of ethnic lobbies, although the groups and individuals who comprise the Israel lobby are in an unusually favourable position to influence U.S. foreign policy. What sets it apart, in short, is its extraordinary effectiveness' (Mearsheimer & Walt, 2007:150).

The Israel Lobby and the media

Philo & Berry's study into the news coverage of the conflict between Israel and Palestine found that “The news framework and presentational structure, which was most frequently used in reporting events, tended to favour the Israeli perspective” (Philo & Berry 2004:160). They explain the effect the Israel Lobby have on the news coverage of the conflict:

The pressures of organised public relations, lobbying and systematic criticism together with the privileging of Israeli perspectives by political and public figures, can affect the climate within which journalists operate. There is no total control and there are areas of the media where the debate is relatively open. But these factors go some way to explaining why journalists sometimes have difficulty in giving a clear account of the Palestinian perspective, while they can apparently more easily facilitate that of the Israelis. (Philo & Berry 2004:256).

Herman and Chomsky's propaganda model describe this phenomenon of organised negative responses to media coverage as "flak"; they argue that powerful governments and corporations can use their influence to pressurise the media into being uncritical of their activities (Herman & Chomsky 1994:28). UK Journalist Nick Davies describes this type of flak as an electric fence which journalists are unable to cross; he says "the most potent electric fence in the world is the one erected on behalf of the Israeli government"(Davies 2008:124).

Priority pages

Israeli government and intelligence connections
US Lobby
UK groups
European lobby
Israeli think tanks
Media Pressure Groups

HonestReporting | Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America | Give Israel Your United Support | Middle East Media Research Institute | Palestinian Media Watch | Anti-Defamation League | Champollion | Stop the Boycott

Issues

Associated categories

Latest Israel Lobby updates

References and Resources

Books

  • Mearsheimer & Walt (2007), The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, Penguin: London
  • Philo, G & Berry, M (2004), Bad News from Israel, Pluto Press: London
  • Davies, N (2008), Flat Earth News, Chatto & Windus: London

Articles

Videos

Resources

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