This dissertation poses a set of six questions about one of the Israel Lobby’s particular components, a Potential Christian Jewish coalition (PCJc) within American politics that advocates for Israeli sovereignty over “Judea and Samaria” (“the West Bank”). The study addresses: the profiles of the individuals of the PCJc; its policy positions, the issues that have divided it, and what has prevented, and continues to prevent, the coalition from being absorbed into one or more of the more formally organized components of the Israel Lobby; the resources and methods this coalition has used to attempt to influence U.S. policy on (a) the Middle East, and (b) the Arab-Israeli conflict in particular; the successes or failures of this coalition’s advocacy and why it has not organized; and what this case reveals about interest group politics and social movements in the United States.
This dissertation follows the descriptive-analytic case-study tradition that comprises a detailed analysis of a specific interest group and one policy issue, which conforms to my interest in the potential Christian Jewish coalition that supports a Jewish Judea and Samaria. I have employed participant observation, interviewing, content analysis and documentary research.
The findings suggest: The PCJc consists of Christian Zionists and mostly Jews of the center religious denominations. Orthodox Jewish traditions of separation from Christians inhibit like-minded Christians and Jews from organizing. The PCJc opposes an Arab state in Judea and Samaria, and is not absorbed into more formally organized interest groups that support that policy. The PCJc’s resources consist of support and funding from conservatives. Methods include use of education, debates and media. Members of the PCJc are successful because they persist in their support for a Jewish Judea and Samaria and meet through other organizations around Judeo-Christian values. The PCJc is deterred from advocacy and organization by a mobilization of bias from a subgovernment in Washington, D.C. comprising Congress, the Executive branch and lobby organizations. The study’s results raise questions about interest group politics in America and the degree to which the U.S. political system is pluralistic, suggesting that executive power constrains the agenda to “safe” positions it favors.