Learn About the Israel Lobby in the U.S
I recommend that you read deeply and judge on it's merits "The Israel Lobby and U.S Foreign Policy"(.pdf file) by John J. Mearsheimer, Department of Political Science
University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
The paper linked above is complete with footnotes which you can google up for verification. The London Review of Books has an edited version, which is a bit shorter than the originals 40 or so pages(80 pages with the endnotes).
John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt are respected scholars, yet it seems the commercial press would not publish their work.
"I do not believe that we could have gotten it published in the United States," Mearsheimer told the Forward. He said that the paper was originally commissioned in the fall of 2002 by one of America's leading magazines, "but the publishers told us that it was virtually impossible to get the piece published in the United States."
Most scholars, policymakers and journalists know that "the whole subject of the Israel lobby and American foreign policy is a third-rail issue," he said. "Publishers understand that if they publish a piece like ours it would cause them all sorts of problems."
In their paper, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," the two professors accuse "the lobby" of "policing academia," intimidating scholars and stifling dissent on campuses, mainly through accusing critics of being antisemitic.
Mearsheimer said that he and Walt expected to be accused of being anti-Israel and antisemitic, so they made a point of stating in the study that the establishment of Israel was morally justified and that America's support of Israel, in principle, is justified as well. He said the paper takes issue with the extent of American support for Israel and the role that the pro-Israel lobby plays in pushing for such assistance.
Witness Alan Dershowitz, perenial apologist for Israeli state policy (as well as documented plagiarist while doing so) on the attack:
Dershowitz, who is one of Israel’s most prominent defenders, vehemently disputed the article’s assertions, repeatedly calling it “one-sided” and its authors “liars” and “bigots.”
He criticized three piece on three grounds, alleging parallels with neo-Nazi literature, saying that Walt and Mearsheimer’s characterization that Israeli citizenship is based on “blood kinship” is a “categorical lie,” and taking issue with the representation of the lobby as all-encompassing.
Dershowitz said that the article used “quotes from [Israel’s first prime minister] David Ben-Gurion and [former president of the World Jewish Congress] Nahum Goldmann that are found repeatedly on hate sites,” and that in asserting that the Jewish state was founded on “blood kinship,” the authors were mistakenly conflating the right of Jews to immigrate to Israel with citizenship.
Walt and Mearsheimer countered in an interview that “the principle of ‘blood kinship’ refers to the fact that Israel was explicitly founded as a Jewish state and that whether or not you are Jewish is normally a function of ancestry, especially maternal ancestry.”
Is it anti-semitic to criticize the actions of the state of Israel? To document a large and powerful lobby here in the United States?
Norman Finkelstein has taken on those who would equate criticism of the state of Israel's actions with anti-semitism in his book "Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History". Here is Israeli civil libertarian Felicia Langer in the preface of the German edition of this excellent and eye opening book:
It was high time a book on the misuse of anti-Semitism as a political weapon got written. Now it has found its author: Norman Finkelstein. He is no stranger to daring challenges, and as this book clearly shows, Finkelstein has got what it takes. The precision and meticulousness of his research and analyses are admirable.
In the first part of the book, Finkelstein focuses on the misuse of anti-Semitism by the pro-Israel lobby in the United States and Europe, in support of Israeli policies. Any time there is a real risk that the international community will increase pressure on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories as required by international law, a new anti-Semitism campaign is launched: "yet another meticulously orchestrated media extravaganza alleging that the world is awash in anti-Semitism."
With their allegations of anti-Semitism, American-Jewish elites seek, above all, to convince everybody that critics of Israel are really anti-Semites in disguise. Reports on what it is like for Palestinians to live under occupation, reports on their oppression and their suffering must remain taboo – only Israel is entitled to victim status. Thus reality is being inverted, in order to make sure that Israel enjoys immunity.
The hysteria about a "new anti-Semitism" serves not only to silence legitimate criticism of Israel, but also to deflect attention from violations of international law and elementary human rights.
Read "The Israel Lobby and U.S Foreign Policy"(scroll down to download) and check out the citations. Explore criticism of the paper while noting what about it is being specifically called inaccurate. You be the judge. As the paper itself notes:
Some readers will find this analysis disturbing, but the facts recounted here are not in serious dispute among scholars. Indeed, our account relies heavily on the work of Israeli scholars and journalists, who deserve great credit for shedding light on these issues. We also rely on evidence provided by respected Israeli and international human rights organizations. Similarly, our claims about the Lobby’s impact rely on testimony from the Lobby’s own members, as well as testimony from politicians who have worked with them. Readers may reject our conclusions, of course, but the evidence on which they rest is not controversial. (.pdf)