The spectacle of Congress voting to replenish the Iron Dome funding was heart-breaking. Voting to replenish the interceptor missiles that saved hundreds – if not thousands – of civilians in Israel was a no-brainer, but nine members of Congress thought that any support of Israel was too much.
Democratic leadership noted that their eight anti-Israel colleagues (there was one Republican that also voted to block the funding) were a small minority and the vast majority of Democratic members of congress voted in favor of defensive support. The leadership insisted that those who pointed out the fracturing of the party were trying to inflate the radicals.
But polls of American civilians show that the left-wing has already pulled away from Israel.
In June 2021, a AP-NORC poll showed the left was pushing the administration for greater support of Palestinians over Israelis. Three times as many (47% to 15%) liberal Democrats as Conservative Republicans thought that the United States is too supportive of Israel. Three times as many (61% Conservative to 17% Liberals) thought that the US wasn’t supportive enough of Israel.
The same poll showed the opposite in relation to support of Palestinian Arabs. Eight times as many (58% Conservatives to 7% Liberals) think the US is too supportive of Palestinians, while seven times as many (62% Liberals to 9% Conservatives) thought the US should devote more support to Palestinian Arabs. To lay that out more directly, 62% and 47% of Liberals think the US should be more supportive of Palestinians and less supportive of Israel, respectively. That’s in sharp contrast to 61% and 58% of Conservatives who think the US should be more supportive of Israel and less supportive of Palestinians.
A University of Maryland poll held around the same time yielded similar results with different questions. Regarding the May fighting between Israel and Gazans, ten times as many Democrats as Republicans blamed Israel for the violence (34.8% Democrats to 3.7% Republicans). Conversely, seven times as many Republicans as Democrats blamed the Palestinians (59.1% Republicans to 8.1% Democrats). Not surprisingly, seven times as many Democrats than Republicans (43.7% to 6.3%) want the US to apply more pressure on Israel, including withholding aid. Many more Republicans (49.0%) prefer applying pressure including withholding aid on the Palestinians than Democrats (8.5%). Independents were much more neutral on the issue.
These poll results show a very different dynamic than argued by Democratic politicians. The far-left (and growing) fringe of their party is becoming more anti-Israel. This makes it easier for the leaders of deep blue districts to vote against Israel in concert with their base.
The redistricting that is occurring around the country based on the 2020 census will certainly change Congress at the next election. It will also likely produce a large increase in the anti-Israel voices in congress.
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