The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

Further evidence of left-wing radicals abandoning Israel? The Pew Research Center did a survey to assess how Americans felt about the Israel-Hamas fighting, over the week July 8-14, 2014. The numbers came back overwhelmingly supportive of Israel by over a 2-to-1 ratio. It is consistent with polls over the decades which show Americans supporting Israel more than Arabs in the ongoing conflict. The details of the poll (not highlighted by the New York Times) show a trend of conservatives and liberals diverting much more on this issue than was historically the case. Conservatives enthusiastically backed Israel by a 19-to-1 ratio, while liberals were the only group to not even cross a 2-to-1 ratio supporting Israel.

Support of Israel v. Palestinians

  • Conservative 77% v. 4%
  • Republicans 73%
  • White Evangelical Christians 70% v. 5%
  • Independents 45% v. 17%
  • Democrats 44%
  • Blacks 43% v. 20%
  • Hispanics 41% v. 17%
  • Liberals 39% v. 21%

What makes the poll results particularly distressing is that it was made in the middle of a war initiated by Hamas, the anti-Semitic terrorist organization that is sworn to destroy Israel. Had the poll been made in the middle of peace negotiations, one could have imagined that people would have been more evenly split in their projected hope that the parties could arrive at a settlement.

The slip in the Democrats feelings towards Israel can be traced to a number of actions since Democratic US President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Less than two years ago, in September 2012, Democrats took several concrete steps to distance themselves from “Israeli-leaning positions” that had always been part of the party’s platform during the Democratic National Convention.

DNC2012 vote
Democrats split on recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel in 2012 convention

Consider:

HAMAS: In 2008, the Democratic Party platform called for the isolation of Hamas until it renounced terrorism. “The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and abides by past agreements.”

In 2012, the statement was removed.

 “REFUGEES”: In 2008, the Democratic Party platform called for the settlement of the descendants of Palestinian refugees to be in a Palestinian State. “The creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations, together with an international compensation mechanism, should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel.”

In 2012, the statement was removed.

BORDERS: In 2008, the Democratic Party platform said that the 1949 Armistice Lines were unreasonable borders. “All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”

In 2012, the statement was removed.

JERUSALEM: In 2008, the Democratic Party platform recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.” The party removed the statement, and then reinstated it after a bitter fight on the convention floor.

SECURITY: The only pro-Israel statement that the Democrats kept in 2012 without a public brouhaha was about Israel’s right to self-defense (which is self-evident for any country on the planet anyway).

In March 2010, Obama made demands of Israel to halt construction in the eastern part of Jerusalem – along with 12 other demands – to get peace negotiations with Palestinian Arabs moving. It was the first time that the building of Jewish homes was ever advanced as a pre-condition to talks. Obama effectively reprimanded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu through a series of deliberate acts such as walking out of the meeting, refusing to make a joint statement and taking customary photographs together.

All of these efforts by the liberal US president originated from his intention to have “a New Beginning” with the Islamic world. In June 2009 he visited Egypt where he took a position that no American president had made before: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.” Remarkably, the first black president of the United States said that Jews should not be allowed to live in certain places: places they had lived for centuries, including under the Ottomans; places they were legally guaranteed to live under the League of Nations British Mandate as Article 15 clearly stated: “No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.”

The champion of American liberals made a clear path from his “New Beginning” until today to undermine the rights of Jews in the Middle East. His followers have taken note and are breaking with the majority of Americans. His foreign policy approval rating of 37% would appear to be made up only of fellow liberals.

On July 24, 2014, the New York Times posted an article about how out of touch Americans are with the rest of the world in supporting Israel. The liberal paper has been consistent in taking an aggressively pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel approach in it’s coverage of Operation Protective Edge. It would appear it knows its audience.

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Sources:

Pew Report: http://www.people-press.org/2014/07/15/as-mideast-violence-continues-a-wide-partisan-gap-in-israel-palestinian-sympathies/

2008 Democratic Party platform: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=78283

2012 Democratic Party platform: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=101962

The 2012 vote to remove Jerusalem as capital: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/sep/06/democratic-convention-reinstatement-jerusalem

March 2010 Netanyahu “dress down” by Obama: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/7521220/Obama-snubbed-Netanyahu-for-dinner-with-Michelle-and-the-girls-Israelis-claim.html

Cairo speech: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/NewBeginning/transcripts http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/us/politics/04obama.text.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

British Mandate: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp

Obama approval rating: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/poll-obama-lowest-approval-rating-nbc-wsj-107978.html

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