A new Pew Research Center poll from January 4-9 of American views on foreign policy shows that Democratic Party sympathies for Israel are crashing, down ten points in the last 9 months, from 43 percent to 33 percent. That’s a 23 percent crash. If this was the stock market, Israel would be considered a tanking stock.
Liberal Democrats now sympathize with Palestinians over Israelis by two-to-one, while Democrats overall are now virtually tied in sympathies for Israel or Palestine, 33 to 31 respectively.
While Republicans are overwhelmingly on Israel’s side. The gap of 41 points between parties in sympathies, for either Israel or the Palestinians, is at widest since 1978. Again, notice the numbers crashing for Israel among Dems:
Nearly three-quarters of Republicans (74%) say they sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians…Democrats are divided – 33% sympathize more with Israel, 31% more with the Palestinians, while 35% sympathize with neither, both or don’t express an opinion. While Republicans’ views of the Mideast conflict have changed little over the last few years, the share of Democrats sympathizing more with Israel has fallen 10 points since April 2016, when 43% said they sympathized more with Israel.
Benjamin Netanyahu is driving the trend: Half of Republicans like him, but Democrats and Democratic leaners don’t care for him:
21% view [of Dems] Netanyahu favorably, while 45% have an unfavorable opinion and 34% do not express a view.
Pew polled 1500 people, and it says Israel/Palestine is considered the eighth most threatening issue for the U.S. (after ISIS, cyberattacks, North Korea, Russian power and influence, climate change, Chinese power and influence, Iraqi and Syrian refugees).
Democratic politicians who are bashing the U.N. Security Council vote on settlements? The public isn’t with them:
The survey finds that the United Nations – which along with Israel has been a focal point of political debate since the election – is viewed positively by the public. Currently, 62% view the United Nations favorably, while only half as many (31%) have an unfavorable opinion.
Let’s drill down inside the Democratic numbers. Liberal Dems are down for Palestine, and even conservative Dems are falling out of love with Israel.
Among liberal Democrats, a greater share now say they sympathize more with the Palestinians (38%) than with Israel (26%). Liberal Democrats are the only demographic or political group for which a larger share sympathizes more with the Palestinians than with Israel. By contrast, a greater share of conservative and moderate Democrats say they sympathize more with Israel (42%) than the Palestinians (25%). However, the share of conservative and moderate Democrats who say they sympathize more with Israel is down 11 points since April 2016.
So the issue is dividing the Democratic Party, between liberals and moderates; and that means it is bound to be politicized, at last. During the Keith Ellison party chair campaign, and on into congressional races. Note to the base: House Democrats just voted overwhelmingly to condemn the president’s decision to abstain on the Security Council resolution that called all settlements, including of East Jerusalem, a flagrant violation of international law.
In effect, 109 of the House’s 193 Democrats declined to challenge Trump on the first foreign policy vote of the new Congress, raising concerns that there will be little opposition in Congress to Trump’s agenda once he comes to office.
Not sure I care about this Pew number, but:
Overall, 53% say they think a way can be found for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully with each other, while somewhat fewer (39%) do not think this is possible.Across age groups, young adults are much more optimistic on this question than older adults: 65% of those ages 18-29 think a way can be found for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to peacefully coexist; about half of older adults say the same….Most Democrats (60%) think there’s a way for Israel and an independent Palestinians state to peacefully coexist (32% do not think so).
The poll has interesting numbers on the spiking distrust of Russia, even among Democrats. They’re blaming Russia for the election debacle, not themselves, says Adam Horowitz (h/t).