The Palestine Policy of the US before the Israel Lobby

Selin M. Bölme


In their well-known book, The Israel Lobby, John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt argue that the Israel lobby has a significant influence on American policy towards the Middle East. As a consequence of Israeli lobbying, US-Israeli relations warmed by late 1950s and the United States became more committed to protecting Israel’s interests. In my article, I analyse the policy of the US towards the Palestinian question before the Israel lobby gained that influence on US foreign policy, and I try to understand the making of American policy during the establishment of Israel. I also examine the factors that shaped the American policy and focus on Zionist lobbying in this period and question its influence. The period that I examine starts just before World War II under the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945) and I end the period with the recognition of Israel by the US under the presidency of Harry S. Truman (1945-1953). Many different domestic and foreign factors shaped the Palestine policy of the US in that period. However, I argue that even before the Israel Lobby was consolidated in the country, the Zionists had already gained a significant influence on American policy towards the Middle East region.    


Palestine; Israel Lobby; US Foreign Policy; Zionism; Truman; Roosevelt

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