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The Netanyahu Speech
Why Support for Israel Isn’t a Partisan Issue

Despite attempts to present U.S.-Israeli relations as a politicized domestic issue in the United States, a recent Gallup poll taken earlier this month shows that seven out of ten Americans continue to view Israel favorably:

Seventy percent of Americans now view that country favorably, and 62% say they sympathize more with the Israelis than the Palestinians in the Mideast conflict. By contrast, 17% currently view the Palestinian Authority favorably, and 16% sympathize more with the Palestinians. [..]

A key reason Americans’ sympathy for Israel has solidified at a sizable majority level is that Republicans’ support for the Jewish state has increased considerably, rising from 53% in 2000 to more than 80% since 2014 — with just 7% choosing the Palestinian Authority. A particularly large jump in GOP sympathy for Israel occurred in the first few years after 9/11 and at the start of the 2003 Iraq War.

Democrats’ support for Israel has also risen since 2000, but not quite as sharply as Republicans’. Additionally, the percentage of Democrats sympathizing with Israel fell 10 points this year to 48%, possibly reflecting the tension between Obama and Netanyahu.

As the media makes much of the friction between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Iran negotiations, this poll serves as a timely reminder of that American support for Israel is both bipartisan and steadfast—and unlikely to change soon in either respect, despite the Administration’s best efforts.

This is why Congress won’t be empty at Netanyahu’s talk next month.

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  • FriendlyGoat

    Good reasons for supporting Israel include a homeland for Jewish people with a history of persecution elsewhere, and the values we share with Israelis on matters such as democracy, education, free enterprise, military cooperation and modern secular approaches to life and society.

    Questionable reasons for supporting Israel might include various interpretations of prophecy and so-called “end times” expectations on the part of people who mostly view Israel through a Biblical lens.

    Drawbacks to supporting Israel (where it is) may include whether we Americans must agree with “any and every” level of action against Palestinians in response to aggression by Hamas (etc.), and whether the neighbors’ hatred of Israel (where it is) spawns a nuclear war.

    When you ask people “whether they support Israel”, we should be asking them a half dozen questions about why they support Israel. We don’t have a picture of their feelings unless we do that.

  • Ellen

    If the goal of Mr. Obama in his foreign policy toward Israel was to pursue the hate-filled attitudes and wishes of Jeremiah Wright, and I believe it has been, then he has clearly failed. It isn’t surprising that he has such a poor grasp of American public opinion on this subject. Remember, he spent 20 years in a solidly black neighborhood of Chicago where Rev. Wright’s views are over represented, and his main white allies were radical leftists at the equally ghettoized University of Chicago in Hyde Park. This was his social environment for the formative years of his political career. Is it any surprise how out of step he is with the rest of the society?

    What is scandalous is the fact that the supine cowards who inhabit the Democratic party leadership and congress have allowed him to destroy the foreign policy principles of the Democratic Party, which were crafted by great leaders such as DP Moynihan and Scoop Jackson. They have behaved like a brainless, fearful sheep-herd and they are going to reap the electoral whirlwind, in return. And there is nothing that the Clintons can do stop it. Hillary will go down with the Obama ship in due course.

    • FriendlyGoat

      The pastors of various churches have all kinds of views on Israel and the reasons for supporting it. American government should not be any more tilted toward the views of the “end times” speculators than it should be influenced by Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

      • Ellen

        Your comment about the quality of views from Oklahoma not being superior to Greater Chicago may be true. But the gross ineptitude and accompanying rationalizations of such of Mr. Obama suggests one conclusion very clearly. And that is, that the quality of the views from the faculty lounge at UChicago is the worst (ie, lowest ) of all. Why? Because various pastors can be ridiculed and ignored, as they usually are, by our mainstream media and pundits. Views of professors and “experts” end up being codified into policy and live on for decades, in spite of the ongoing blood baths that result.

        Some day someone will explain how Mr. Abbas and Mr. Rouhani became anyone’s idea of “moderates”, in their respective conflicts. They are both merely front men, one with turban and one with suit and tie, for a blood thirsty jihadi ideology. Liberal dupes in the West associate smiling faces and cliches about peace with the vapid ideology of “I’m OK, you’re OK” that they grew up with, rather than as a propaganda tool of cynical men pursuing a murderous ideology. At least Vladimir Putin doesn’t smile too much, and thus doesn’t fool our liberal elites. Stalin did smile a lot and did fool an entire generation of deluded Western leftists.

        • FriendlyGoat

          Please don’t confuse me with some leftists who are warm to Islam. I don’t share the view that Islam might be nice if only the Israelis were nicer to the Palestinians, for instance. I think Islam is a crock, beginning to end.

          But I also don’t share the view that America should be marching toward war in part because of the insistence of various religious people (Jews and many Christians) that Israel should NECESSARILY be located where it is because of Biblical history.

          We are concerned about Iran getting a nuclear bomb. But we have to remember that Pakistan already has nuclear bombs—–sooooo, Islam already has nuclear bombs, even though the Sunnis and Shia don’t agree on things. After the movie now out, it’s hard to sensibly use shades of grey in a sentence, but there are some, shall we say, nuanced considerations to all this.

          As for media people ridiculing pastors, I guess that includes Fox not liking Wright, no?

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