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The $36 Billion Bargain, by A.F.K. Organski

- Abstract

Why does the U.S. government provide such generous support to Israel? Conventional wisdom points to American Jews, their votes, their political donations, and their well-organized lobbying efforts. Whole books (notably Paul Findley’s They Dare to Speak Out and Edward Tivnan’s The Lobby) have been written to make this point.

A.F.K. Organski, professor of political science at the University of Michigan, comes to a different conclusion. Looking at the record of American aid to Israel, he observes a striking fact: U.S. aid was very low before 1970 and very high afterward. And noting that American Jews exerted about the same efforts on Israel’s behalf before 1970 as after that date, he asks himself why the dramatically different aid levels? Logic holds that a constant factor cannot explain a variable event; obviously, then, Organski concludes, American Jews cannot be the decisive factor here. To clinch this argument, he points out that it was Richard Nixon, a politician singularly not beholden to Jews (according to Henry Kissinger, he “delighted in telling associates and visitors that the ‘Jewish lobby’ had no effect on him”) who raised the levels of aid.

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