It’s official: the Democratic Party has abandoned Israel to its fate. This development has nothing to do with that most ancient of hatreds, antisemitism. Rather, in an age when a compelling narrative increasingly trumps a cold, hard history lesson, Israel’s version of the events leading up to Operation Protective Edge, while factually sound, is a snoozer.
The results of a recent Pew Research Center poll revealed the largest partisan gap in forty years on the issue of supporting Israel.
Conducted from July 8-14, the week Israel began its air operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip but before its ground invasion, the poll asked 1,805 respondents, “In the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, which side to you sympathize with more—Israel or the Palestinians?”
The poll found that respondents considering themselves conservative Republicans supported Israel by 77 percent, compared to 68 percent of moderate Republicans. Among Democrats, 48 percent of moderate Democrats supported Israel, compared to 39 percent of liberal Democrats.
In other words, 61 percent of liberal Democrats either sympathize with Hamas, a group of war criminals designated as a terrorist organization by, among many other countries, the United States, or are utterly apathetic to the plight of a small, faraway democracy whose millions of citizens are being forced to flee for their lives under daily, sometimes hourly, rocket fire.
While the Israeli government and its supporters have done a valiant job of delivering just the facts to a ravenous international media, the fix is in. After all, you would have to be made of stone to not be moved to tears by the sight of defenseless Palestinians being mowed down by the Israeli war machine.
Israel vs. Hamas. Goliath vs. David. Got it.
Now, at the risk of throwing cold water on the misguided passions of Hamas supporters and the otherwise uninformed, let us compare founding documents.
The Hamas Covenant states “…Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
Doesn’t leave much room for a Turkish and Qatari-backed cease fire, does it?
Now, let us get a glimpse into the heart of darkness that is, to the mind of many liberal Democrats, the Israel Defense Forces.
“The IDF and its soldiers are obligated to protect human dignity. Every human being is of value regardless of his or her origin, religion, nationality, gender, status or position.”
Sounds positively Progressive.
The Israel Defense Forces is sending soldiers into the hornet’s nest of Palestinian terror – booby-trapped with mines and riddled with subterranean tunnels – when it could simply be carpet-bombing these areas.
Let’s not forget that during World War II, the British army responded to Nazi attacks by leveling entire German cities from the air, with tens of thousands of innocent civilians being killed as a result.
I don’t recall a war crimes tribunal being convened against the WINNERS of WW II.
Yet, the IDF’s unimaginable restraint has left good American liberals in a tizzy of moral outrage.
What is it about men in uniform that never fails to make good-hearted (is there any other kind) Progressives see red?
This phenomenon may be connected to how the liberal Democrat processes information. Slaves to gut emotion, and averse to rigorous academic research, liberals do not bother to figure out who is right or wrong in any conflict.
Instead, they instinctively root for the scruffy-looking student, professor or terrorist and against the uniformed military.
Hamas is responsible for the murder of more than 1,000 Israeli civilians in terrorist attacks since 1996. Its founding charter calls not only for the destruction of the State of Israel, but the murder of all Jews.
Each missile that Hamas is now launching against Israel constitutes a crime against humanity because it is directed at civilian targets.
Forced to respond to such attacks, Israel is doing so, but only after warning Gazans to evacuate their homes before bombardment. In such a case, if someone is killed, international law considers it a mistake rather than an intentional killing.
Back to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. In 2014, you will find Israel’s staunchest and most consistent defenders in the Republican Party.
Meanwhile, the ranks of Democrats include a good number of the State of Israel’s harshest, most vocal critics.
As such, Israel has no home in today’s Democratic Party.
4 thoughts on “No Home for Israel inside the Democratic Party”
You do Israel no favor when you castigate “liberals.” There are many millions of us liberals who think rationally about conflicts, and who, incidentally, love Israel. Here’s one who loathes Obama and has nothing but contempt for Kerry. Go IDF!.
Thanks for replying to my piece. Liberals or anyone else who wrap themselves in Progressive values and then either support war criminals or fail to support the only democracy in the Middle East are fair game for castigation (is that a word?). I have no doubt that many fair minded liberals such as yourself evaluate the world we live in rationally and with an interest in getting at the truth. I love Israel as much as you do, Keith, and the fact that so many liberal Democrats have ‘opted out’ of supporting Israel in favor of Hamas is disconcerting. Yet, I believe that the next US administration will, as history tends to show, tilt the pendulum back in this country’s favor. Have a nice, peaceful weekend,
While not minimizing the issue, the fact is that while there is weakening in democrats’ support for Israel, support is still very strong and the more Israel can do to avoid being a bipartisan issue the better. The very successful US pro-Israel relationship is based on an open community. I attribute it more to the current Obama ascendency and that it will recorrect after 2016 when Obama is gone and Dems look to the future.
They are just going to get smacked in the upcoming 2014 election. That alone will want them to be more competitive. 75% of American voters are pro-Israel, they will want to centralize on the issue not diverge. Secondly, the retrospective on Obama has already begun, he is seen by most Americans as an abysmal failure in foreign policy and US-Israel relations are right up there with his list of monumental mess ups.
Do not plan on a mass migration to the Republican party by US Jews. But US Jewish democrats have seen their party in operation, are very concerned and will be very assertive in their pro-Israel advocacy.
Good the hear from you. I agree that the coalition of voters that elected Barack Obama twice are, generally speaking, less interested in such far away places as Israel, Syria and Iran and more focused on domestic issues. Of course in 2008, with the collapse of the American economy, the domestic agenda was front and center, justifiably. The Pew poll I cite in the piece wasn’t just of Jewish American Democrats, but Democrats as a whole. I’m not quite sure why American Jewish voters have turned membership in the Democratic Party into an almost sacred obligation. Just like the values, platform, agenda and leading figures inside the GOP are markedly different today than 1933, same goes for the Dems. I’m generally suspicious of behavior that smacks of habit and is not the result of rigorous thought and analysis. I hope that the next US administration, DEM or GOP, will begin to reassert American influence, a force for good, across the Middle East. Not only will Israel benefit, but all those little-mentioned opposition groups in places like Syria and Iran. Thank you and be well,