The two professors, Mearsheimer and Walt, dared to say it: the pro-Israeli lobby controls American policy.
But this theory is not completely satisfying. What about the spying affair around Jonathan Pollard, who stays in prison for life in spite of immense Israeli pressure to release him?
Can a world power really be induced by a small foreign country and a powerful domestic lobby to act for decades against its basic national interest?
Another factor often mentioned is the power of the arms industry.
When I was young, no one was more despised than the Merchants of Death. These days are long past. Countries – including Israel – pride themselves on selling arms to the most despicable regimes.
The US supplies us with huge quantities of the most sophisticated weapons. True, a lot of these come to us as a gift – but that doesn’t change the picture. The arms producers are paid by the US government as a kind of New Deal public works project supported enthusiastically even (and especially) by the Republicans. After the arms are supplied to Israel, some Arab countries see themselves compelled to order huge quantities for themselves, for which they pay through the nose. See: Saudi Arabia.
This theory, which was once very popular, does not really satisfy either. No single industry is powerful enough to compel a nation to act against its own general interests for half a century.