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American Israeli Lobby's Influence in Washington

August 20, 1988

In his venomous article on Israel and AIPAC, Record questioned the U.S. obligation towards Israel and the need for the continuation of a high level of support.

Both are essential and justified for practical, pragmatic reasons.

In 1956, 1967, and 1973 Israel withstood attacks by Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, the Arab allies of the Soviet Union. Israel would no longer exist if it had lost any one of these wars, but the consequences--sentimentality aside--would have been critical for the U.S. Victory by the Soviet surrogates would have made possible an unimpeded takeover of the weaker Persian Gulf states; we would have had to face the People's Republics of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan that would line up with the currently existing People's Republic of South Yemen. The only other alternative would have been direct U.S. military intervention in a war at a time and place not of our choosing.

If unopposed, Soviet control of Middle Eastern oil would allow the Soviets to blackmail the U.S., and even more effectively, Europe and Japan. Old alliances and old friends would have to choose between economic dislocation and surrender, and the world would be quite different--and much worse--than it is now.

Instead, on three separate occasions, Israel stood fast and was victorious against tremendous odds. It won victories without shedding a single drop of American blood, asking only for the tools to do the job. After the 1973 debacle, Egypt gave up its Soviet connection and slid over into the Western camp. It might change sides again--but Israel will not. It stands ready to defend itself and us, whatever the cost.

Yes, the U.S. has done much for Israel, but it received at least as much in return.


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