AbstractsPolitical Science

AIPAC: A Voice for Jewish Americans or a Political Arm of Israel?

by Maryam Shater Jannati

Institution: Roskilde University
Year: 2015
Keywords: AIPAC; Israel; Lobby; U.S.; International relations; Alliance
Record ID: 1121019
Full text PDF: http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/20769


The project will aim at investigating the role of AIPAC - a pro-Israel lobby organization - in the persistence of the alliance between Israel and the U.S. In doing so, it draws from Stephen Walt’s theory on alliance endurance, which identifies domestic politics and elite manipulation as factors which allow an alliance to endure. The project investigates the strategies and tactics used by the lobby organization to frame the alliance in terms of American national interests. In order to do this, Walt’s theory was complemented by a theory on interest groups’ influence on foreign policy, adapted from the works of Tony Smith and Haney and Vanderbush. The project argues and concludes that AIPAC is able to successfully influence the persistence of the alliance because of its ability to act on many different levels and with a variety of various tactics. The lobby pressures the political system, both directly by lobbying the political elites, and indirectly, by channeling its message towards different segments of the society and framing in terms of American symbols and values. Moreover, the project recognizes the importance of the conducive context in which the organization works, both in terms of the structure of the political system and with regard to the ‘war on terror’.