Pew Poll: Democrats, Youth Increasingly Alienated from Israel
A new Pew poll contains ominous findings regarding support for Israel among Americans. While support within the Republican Party has risen dramatically, Democrats feel increasingly antagonistic toward Israel and its leadership. Correspondingly, support among Democrats for the Palestinians has risen significantly.
Today, nearly 80% of Republicans sympathize more with Israel (than the Palestinians). That number was 50% back in 1978, when these figures were first compiled. For Democrats, only 27% prefer Israel (25% sympathize more with the Palestinians); and that number was 44% forty years ago.
An alarming finding is that the number of Democrats who shifted from siding with either Israel or Palestine to “don’t know” rose significantly (from 17% to 25%). Apparently, the sheer contentiousness of the conflict has caused many Democrats to retreat from it altogether.
Only 18% of Democrats view Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu favorably, while 50% of Republicans do. Among liberal Democrats, 49% view him unfavorably. Nearly half of Democrats say Trump favors Israel too much.
Perhaps the finding with which I feel personally most at odds is that almost half of Americans still believe the two state solution is possible. Nearly 40% believe it is not. Democrats favor two states even more strongly. Among all Americans, 65% those who sympathize more with Palestinians say two states are possible, while 40% of those sympathizing with Israel say it is.
There are two bellwethers among Democratic voters: the young and liberals. In recent decades, issues (gay and womens’ rights, DACA, diversity, etc.) first championed by these demographic groups began as minority causes and gradually become mainstream–accepted not just within the Party, but within the American mainstream.
I believe that Israel will become such an issue. Add to that, American voters appear likely to turn out the Republicans in 2018 (though it may be premature to render such a prediction) and it appears unlikely they can win the presidency in 2020, given Trump’s abysmal poll ratings. If the next president is a Democrat and that individual serves for eight years, attitudes toward Israel could shift even more dramatically over that period. Further, the progressive wing of the Party appears in the ascendancy especially in presidential politics. If a candidate like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren wins the office, the change could be even more dramatic.
Israel’s far right leaders read the same polls and instead of attempting to combat the downward drift in Democratic support, they embrace it; by throwing their efforts behind a two-pronged alliance with the rapidly expanding Orthodox Jewish community and Christian evangelicals. Netanyahu has himself declared American non-Orthodox Jews to be dinosaurs who will be swallowed by assimilation; which reminds me of the Mark Twain riposte: “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
This reminds me of that critical period in 1964 when the Democratic Party still controlled the South. But the civil rights legislation of that era drove a stake through the heart of the Party and led to Republican dominance for the next five decades. If you review how this Southern Strategy has affected the national GOP, results are quite mixed. Of the last 7 elections, Democrats have won four and the GOP, three. As I mentioned, chances are excellent that Democrats, barring any unforeseen disasters, will do exceedingly well in the next one and possibly two presidential contests. That would mean continuing Democratic dominance of the nation’s highest office.
All this means that Israel’s leadership may be throwing in with the wrong crowd by giving up on Democrats. If Orthodox Jews don’t grow at the rate expected or if they themselves begin to moderate their views on Israel-Palestine, then where will Israel be then? If evangelicals lose steam over the next decades either in terms of adherents or their theocratic fervor for Israel, where will that leave Israel’s ultra-nationalists?
As I mentioned, some of what I’ve written here is based on projections of what is likely to happen. But even if only some of it happens and other aspects don’t, Israel is in for a very rough ride in the coming decades.
As America is increasingly Israel’s strongest (and at times, only) champion in the world, softening of support for Israel here will put increasing pressure on Israel to retreat from its rejectionist approach. While this alone may not change Israeli policy, added to other negative developments it could play a decisive role.
17 thoughts on “Pew Poll: Democrats, Youth Increasingly Alienated from Israel – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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‘A new Pew poll contains ominous findings regarding support for Israel among Americans. While support within the Republican Party has risen dramatically, Democrats feel increasingly antagonistic toward Israel and its leadership…’
Why are these findings ominous? It sounds like good news to me.
At a minimum, Israel will cease to be the subject of bipartisan adulation and instead become the sole property of the right.
That means she will start to become the subject of critical examination by the mainstream — and I seriously doubt Israel as she is currently constituted can survive that.
Well as RS mentioned the Jewish right to live in the land of Israel is/was provisional. Contrary to this it is stated in the Torah that the land was given to the Jews not because of their merit but because of the ‘evil of the other nations’.
So as you state below “After all, just about every crime Israel has committed is our crime too” it seems that concentration of penance is what should be done.
@ marty: You’re pretty thin on the Biblical interpretation. I’ve never heard of any claim in the Torah or elsewhere that the Israelites were granted the land because of “evil.” There are hundreds of references not only in the Torah but numerous books of the Prophets that the Israelites will lose their right to the land by acting sinfully, immorally or unjustly.
Any crime committed by Israel has nothing to do with a crime committed by another country. You worry about your own crimes and end them.
Marty, your biblical ‘knowledge’ (ahem) reminds me of some of these Muslim youngsters in Europe, who have no knowledge of Islamic tradition, and just google away.They too, tend to end up with ignorant and extremist notions.
And I keep wondering how old you are.I just hope you will not be, or are now, lording it over Palestinians at a checkpoint. (Armed with lethal weapons, sigh…)
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Give me ONE example of anti-Semitism on my side, Marty.
It is YOU who writes stuff like: “Israel deserved the land because of the evil of the nations” (a totally made up ‘quotation’ from the scriptures).
It is YOU who writes that Europeans have “culpability for anti-Semitism in their souls”.
It is YOU who quotes with approval a Jew who converted to Islam, and then declares that “the Arab is too undeserving to be worthy of Islam” (or whatever the racist terminology was).
Plus, you keep insinuating that goyim (be they me or even MLK), have no knowledge or authority to interpret the Jewish scriptures (even when you yourself mess that up all the time).
Who is the prejudiced and hate filled party here?
(And no, I was not going to answer ‘apple’. LOL)
Congratulations Marty, in Deuteronomy 9:4, it is indeed presented as the original inhabitants own fault that they are driven out and destroyed. (No concrete reason given, although I am sure centuries of interpretation have duly provided those.). It must have been my anti-Semitism, which made me forget this unsavory passage in the Bible.
Deuteronomy 7 gives yet another reason, not related to the original inhabitants. As usual with holy books, you can pick and choose your favorites.
Here is an interesting read on the moral problem of the biblical land traditions:
The Bible and Colonialism: A moral Critique. Enjoy reading.
‘If the next president is a Democrat and that individual serves for eight years, attitudes toward Israel could shift even more dramatically over that period…’
Meh. That depends on which Democrat wins. The Israel lobby still has the Democratic leadership pretty well under control. If Hillary Clinton had won, for example, we’d be supporting Israel at least as strongly as we do today — only the support would be ‘bipartisan.’
I’d prefer a couple of more hard-right, Israel-lovin’ presidents — Pence, for example. Let the Left come to repudiate Israel completely and unequivocally — then elect a Democrat. Otherwise, all we’ll get is a return to bipartisan Israel-wuv.
As to whatever damage such presidents would inflict on the US, it can be penance for our sins. After all, just about every crime Israel has committed is our crime too. That’s the problem.
[You are now moderated]
Oh wow, now it gets interesting: You think that I am Richards alter ego? What makes you think that I am secretly a man and a Jew?
A gay friend once joked to me that I was a gay man trapped in a woman’s body, and that really made me laugh. But this one could be equally good. So don’t keep me guessing, please!
You mention Trump’s abysmal poll figures…are these the same pollster who predicted that Clinton had a 90% chance of winning the Presidency?.
@kevinherbert: If pollsters had known that Trump & Putin had gamed our electoral system they would’ve made more accurate projections. BTW, find me a poll, any poll that shows Trump in good polling territory. I dare you.
i just read that paypal closed a bds org. account.
add to that a law that was passed to allow bibi to rule without any term limitations
add to that that the religious mafia thru a tiny law that forces minimarkets to close on saturday in tel aviv to LITERALLY FORCE THE FULL COUNTRY TO SHUT DOWN . LOCK STOC AND BARREL THANKS TO BIBI’S LARGESSES IN ORDER TO KEEP HIS CHAIR.
I USED TO BE A JEW LOVING MY JEWISH FAITH THAT I INHERITED FROM MY RELIGIOUS TREE WHO NEVER BLACKMAILED A JEWISH SOUL TO BE JEWISH
WITH THIS LAW WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE WITH TURKEY’S DICTATORSHIP, BIBI’S YELLS TO THE 4 WINDS ABOUT ISRAEL’S DEMOCRACY. NO MORE JEWS OF THE WORLD ISRAEL IS NO LONGER ANY DEMOCRACY,IT IS A WORSE THEOCRACY THAN TURKEY OR IRAN OR NORTH KOREA, PLEASE SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME THE DIFFERENCE OF THE PERSONALITY CULT BETWEEN BIBI AND NORTH KOREA.
A “RELIGION” THAT NEEDS A DNA TEST IS NOT A RELIGION NO MORE IT IS A CULT. YOU CAN SAY WHATEVER ABOUT THE MULLAHS. THEY DON’T NEED DNA TESTS.
THERE IS SO MUCH A JEW CAN TOLERATE. SO MUCH
There are a couple of religious groups just like Judaism require you to be related to the religion by birth/blood, and not first and foremost by conviction/faith. As far as I know, these include Yezidi, Druze, Samaritans, Zoroastrians in Iran and Parsi in India. It is likely there are more.
But as far as I know, all of these religions incorporated that idea quite late in their history, and always as a result of persecution: Prohibitions against spreading the faith imposed by a majority religion were at first obeyed in order to survive, but over time were internalized as inherent to the religion itself. In other words, they morphed from a compromise into a virtue.
those religions demands are to maintain the TRUE existence of not the religion itself but the KIND of group to whom they pertain. if you wish to live with them they will not reject you or insult you or demean you such as the jews in israel. how may druze or parsi or zoroastrians exist at this moment, look how far under the microscope you went to justify the dna hypocrisy.
shame on you for insulting my religion and my intelligence with such inane comparisons
I wish I could follow what you are upset about. Judaism may have started out as a tribal religion, but it developed a wider appeal over time, and started to spread through conversion as well, in Egypt, Greece, Rome… That development would most likely have continued had Christianity not usurped that role after it became state religion under Constantine.
In medieval Europe, prohibitions against Jews converting non-Jewish employees were repeated so often that it must have been a rather common practice. In the end though, the church won, and active conversion was ceased, and even discouraged by the Jewish community. Pointing out that such processes have applied to other groups as well insults you? I do not justify anything, just point out the mechanism through which such a focus on dna may develop.