"Mearsheimer and Walt provide little sense of how AIPAC and other lobbying groups work, how they seek to influence policy, and what people in government have to say about them. The authors seem to have concluded that in view of the sensitivity of the subject, few people would talk frankly about it. In fact, many people are fed up with the lobby and eager to explain why (though often not on the record)".Massing then goes some way to make up for this fault with some first hand research and reporting on precisely who is involved (that includes the "Barbi" in the title of this post, wife of Larry Weinberg of AIPAC's "gang of four") and just how fast some congressmen/women and senators run to the whistle of money.
For example, "in the current election cycle, [Hillary Clinton] has received $80,000 in pro-Israel money—more than any other congressional candidate". It makes Tim Garton Ash's scenario in which it is president Hillary Clinton who launches the strike on Iran seem about right. One congressman, who asked to remain anonymous, tells Massing:
"We're so predictable, so supportive, so unquestioning, of Israel's actions that in the long run we've alienated much of the Arab world. We've passed any number of resolutions making it clear that we didn't want Clinton or Bush to put pressure on Israel with regard to settlements, or negotiations. If we passed a resolution that fully embraced the road map, it would make an enormous difference in the Arab world, and it would help undermine terrorists. But you would never get a measure like that through the international relations or appropriations committees. Congress would never pass a resolution that was in any way critical of anything Israel has done".See also the letter by Betty McCollum.
Buried away in Massing's piece is are reference to Tony Beilenson who suffered in his Los Angeles district because he had wanted to divert one percent of all US foreign aid—including aid to Israel—to help drought victims in sub-Saharan Africa. Israel, a rich country, gets around $500 per head in direct aid from the US. Sub-Saharan Africans get less than a dollar each.