In this detailed political history, Mitchell Bard exposes the efforts of the powerful interests inside and outside the U.S. government to influence U.S. Middle East policy. Lacking any grassroots support for its positions, the Arab Lobby arrogates for itself the right to determine what is best for America but, ultimately, undermines American values and threatens U.S. strategic interests.
The so-called “Israel Lobby” has been widely denounced and demonized in the media; but its power pales in comparison to the decades-long corruption of American interests by Arab governments. Indeed, for more than seventy years, U.S. policy in the Middle East has been shaped by a misguided emphasis on pleasing and placating the Arab states. This outlook has ensured that the United States pays disproportionate attention to their interests, assisting Arab countries—all of them dictatorial regimes with abysmal human rights records—that do not share our values, and often work to subvert our interests.
Historically, the Arab lobby consisted of the oil industry, Christian missionaries, and current or former US diplomats. Arabists in the State Department, many of them openly anti-Semitic, tried to prevent America from recognizing Israel in 1948 and since independence have waged a bureaucratic guerrilla war to undermine the alliance that formed between America and the only democracy in the Middle East.
The most powerful member of the Arab lobby is Saudi Arabia, which has a nearly 80-year relationship with the United States. From the earliest days when American companies discovered oil in the Arabian Peninsula, the Saudis have used a variety of tactics including threats and bribes to coerce U.S. policymakers to ignore their human rights abuses, support of terrorism, and opposition to American interests. Today, the Arab Lobby’s goal is feeding America’s oil addiction, obtaining more sophisticated weaponry, and weakening our alliance with a democratic Israel.
Bard’s book is the first in over 25 years to investigate the scope and activities of the Arab Lobby, and it provides a timely and valuable corrective to the unbalanced view of Middle East affairs that is so widely promoted today.
Watch a video of Mitchell lecturing on the Arab Lobby:
What Reviewers and Experts Say About THE ARAB LOBBY
"Mitchell Bard has presented a well-documented, concise and insightful analysis of the scope and impact of Arab states' influence on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. This book should be on the required reading list of every college course on contemporary politics of the Middle East."
– Abraham H. Foxman
“After decades of hearing almost exclusively about the Israel lobby, Mitchell Bard finally provides the full story on the Arab lobby in this detailed, fast-moving, and fascinating study. He reveals the malign influence of an unpopular, hate-filled but well-financed campaign that goes back, surprisingly, to the 1930s and has been driven by Arab states, oil companies executives, State Department Arabists, and assorted antisemites.”
– Daniel Pipes
“Mitchell Bard has written an extraordinarily important book vital to our nation’s national security. Meticulously documented, “The Arab Lobby,” provides the most comprehensive account yet on the activities and influence of the Arab Lobby in the media, Congress, think tanks and even law enforcement. This is required reading for any American concerned with the safety of the United States. It will anger you, it will fascinate you and it will hopefully mobilize you. Dr. Bard has done us all a favor for his fastidious research in writing this amazing book.”
– Steven Emerson
“In a pointed response to John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s equally scathing The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (2007), Bard (48 Hours of Kristallnacht, 2008, etc.) goes full throttle in pursuit of what he sees as a more insidious, if less vociferous behind-the-scenes lobby by the masters of Gulf oil and foes of Israel. While the pro-Israel lobby is centrally located in the extremely powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), characterized by the author as “open…transparent” and “extra-governmental,” the Arab lobby is a “many-headed hydra” whose “machinations are often difficult, if not impossible, to trace.” America’s interest in the Middle East grew out of its need for oil, rather than in any “chimerical” notions about the Holy Land, Bard writes, and thus its protection of the Saudi royal family since World War II is engrained in its national interest. The first Arab lobby efforts grew out of the Arab states’ alarm at the creation of Israel, and they used their oil might to blackmail the United States (“The Saudis have had us over a barrel from the moment of the first gusher”)....After the Six Day War of 1967, the Arab lobby split between what he calls the “petrodiplomatic complex” and those Arab Americans supporting a Palestinian national consciousness. The author enumerates many acronym-heavy groups, including those he ascertains support Islamic terrorism. He also lists political campaigns and universities that have received heavy Arab (read: Saudi) funding, and he argues for an end to the heretofore ineffectual “policy of appeasement and indulgence of the Saudis and other Arabs.”
Bard presses every hot button in this incendiary exposé.”