Politicians are constantly lobbied by those representing the interests of power and privilege, elites who push dangerous policies without regard for principles of justice and democracy. In many cases elites put us at risk, their polices literally endanger out lives. Their concern is enriching themselves and in their greed they ignore truth, justice and the basic principles our country is supposed to stand for. We the people lose, our interests are not reflected in many of the policies that the elites successful get our government to pursue.
What is called "American interests" is actually elite interests. And elites have shown that they are willing to harm the interests of the average American. All special interests who push for dangerous U.S. government policies must be exposed. The track record shows that elites are willing to harm the interests of the average American. Yes, the Israeli lobby harms the interests of the average American.
This question was asked about the Israeli lobby: "Regardless the actual influence of the lobby, should it not be exposed and opposed for advocating unjust policies, even if those policies were to be undertaken without their encouragement?"
Chomsky answers: "Absolutely. That's why I've been devoting a great deal of effort to it for over 40 years, concentrating on the component of the lobby that seems to me the most dangerous: the intellectual-political class, and their remarkable love affair with Israel after its smashing military victory in 1967. Their influence is of course enormous, and I think it's important to expose the massive falsehoods and deceit that envelop this topic -- and not this one alone, of course.
And one should expose any group that advocates unjust policies (the term is a serious understatement, in this case).
As for the relative significance of the lobby in comparison with other factors that enter into decision-making, that should be recognized to be a subtle matter, as I wrote in an earlier response about this. That's even true when there is a rich documentary record about planning, which we don't have in this case. One thing we can say with fair confidence is that it's hard to take seriously views that are expressed with great confidence about such matters as these, let alone those that are accompanied with tirades and hysterical accusations.
The question does have implications for activism. Thus if the lobby has enormous power and is acting in ways that harm the interests of power and privilege, then there are implications for activism. If that's true, a high priority should be given to putting on ties and jackets and visiting executive suites to explain to ExxonMobil, Intel, Boeing, IBM, etc. that their interests are being harmed by a lobby that they could easily overwhelm if they chose -- that is, if we believe that the energy corporations and the rest have some influence in the Bush administration." - Chomsky on Znet Apr 18, 2006
William Blum makes this point, "There are those who argue that the United States has invaded numerous countries without requiring instigation by Israel. This is of course true, it's what the empire does for a living. But to say that the Israel lobby played a vital role in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 is not to suggest an explanation for the whole history of US foreign interventions." -Anti-Empire Update William Blum April 23, 2006
Arnold Evans writes, "I still have not seen the argument that the US has a strategic interest in maintaining Israel's current ethnic composition."
"Far more visibly than any other domestic constituency, the Israel Lobby, defined by Profs. John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt, academic dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, as "the loose coalition of individuals and organizations who actively work to shape U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction", has pushed the government -- both Congress and the George W. Bush administration -- toward confrontation with Tehran." - Iran Showdown Tests Power of "Israel Lobby"