Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Americans support Israel, but do Democrats?

Michael L.


A recent Gallup survey demonstrates that Americans favor Israel over "Palestinians" by terrific margins.  Seven out of ten Americans have a "mostly favorable" or "very favorable" view of the State of Israel.  In contrast, less than two in ten have a "mostly favorable" or "very favorable" view of the Palestinian Authority.

However, when one breaks the findings down by political party a very different image emerges.


A full 83 percent of Republicans sympathize more with Israelis than "Palestinians" in the Arab-Israel conflict.

However, only a minority of Democrats sympathize more with Israelis - a mere 48 percent - which when I went to school suggests that a majority of Democrats do not sympathize more with Israel than with the "Palestinians."  My suspicion is that this is probably the first time within polling Americans on the Arab-Israel conflict that a majority of Democrats favor the Arabs over the Jews.

The consensus among American Jews - if not Jews, more generally - is that support within the United States for Israel must remain bi-partisan.  It seems, however, that this bi-partisanship is in considerable jeopardy.

The Democratic party comes out of the tradition of social justice and Civil Rights as it expressed itself in the last half of the twentieth century.  Democrats stood with Martin Luther King, Jr., not Republicans.  Democrats fought for feminism and a woman's right to choose an abortion, not Republicans.  It was Democrats who both started the Vietnam War and did most to end it on the grassroots level, not Republicans.

The natural sympathies of American Jewry has been with the liberals and the Democrats since FDR, because it was the liberals and the Democrats who were fighting for the little guy, the down-and-out, the outsider.  And if there is one thing that Jewish people know a little something about it is, as we recently saw on PBS' Downton Abbey, what it is like to be an outsider.

However, after the 1967 6 Day War, Israel gradually went from being "David" to being "Goliath" in the popular imagination of the progressive-left and the activist grass-roots of the Democratic party.  This development was very much encouraged by the Arabs who realized that since they could not defeat Israel militarily then they could, perhaps, defeat it on the field of propaganda which is the western mind.

For thirteen centuries Jews lived under the jack-boot of Arab-Muslim Supremacy.

Our numbers were kept low and any security that we had depended on knowing our place as dhimmis within the system of Islamic imperial jurisprudence known as al-Sharia.  We were not allowed to ride horses, only mules.  We were not allowed to repair or build new synagogues.  In some places we were not even allowed to go out in the rain lest Jewish filth wash onto, and thereby contaminate, the clean Muslim streets.

And now the West is telling us that Jews are being mean to Arabs.

The Arab states, plus the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria, launched a war against the Jews directly after the Holocaust that is ongoing ever since.  World War II never actually ended for the Jews of the Middle East, it merely morphed into the Long Arab War.

The people who call themselves "Palestinian" are the forward cadre of the much larger forces arrayed against those Jews.  Their job is to attack and attack and attack in any manner that they possibly can - including encouraging their children to engage in the traditional Arab sport of stoning Jews - until Israel responds and then, as soon as it does, the western propaganda machine rolls into action.

For years the Gazans were shooting rockets into southern Israel making life impossible there.  The economy was in shambles and children were developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because they were continually having to race into bomb shelters.  However, as soon as Israel responded by destroying those terror tunnels and targeting Hamas fighters, the progressive-left and the grassroots-netroots of the Democratic party rose up as one to denounce Jewish Israelis for genocide, ethnic-cleansing, targeting children for death, and any other vile accusation that they could throw onto the wall in order to see what might stick.

Needless to say, western journalists did more than their part in the defamation game as Matti Friedman has so nicely illustrated.  It is as if they honestly think that Arabs have every right to try to kill Jews and if Jews fight back, this represents a form of aggression.

Meanwhile, of course, the academics - such as the vile SFSU Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, of Race and Resistance Studies fame, who advised the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) during a period when they were holding up signs calling for the murder of "colonizers"  - were telling their students that Israel is a racist, imperialist, colonialist, apartheid, militaristic, racist state... despite the fact that it has far-and-away the best human rights record of any country in the entire region.

In any case, an ongoing campaign of defamation against the Jews painted them as modern monsters or the New Nazis and has succeeded in turning progressives and Democrats against one of the most persecuted people in human history... on moral grounds.  The Jews of Israel may believe that they are acting in self-defense, but progressive Democrats know that they really act out of racism and white privilege, or Jewish Supremacism, or the shear lust for violence.

And this, ultimately, is why the Democrats have turned against the Jews.

They honestly think that the Jews of the Middle East richly deserve whatever beating they get.


  1. It is an inevitable result of the whole slew of theories that have infected the Academy since the sixties. As long as the obsession with a binary world of victims and oppressors has a stranglehold on the mindset of the 'intelligentsia' it will continue. You are right to say the Democratic party was fighting real moral injustices at one time. However, they have been unable ( or unwilling) to grasp that their fighting paid off. The civil rights movement was enormously successful. As was the fight for women's rights. And, later, gay rights. One of the most interesting things about the left is their refusal to acknowledge that things are so much better. They would have you believe that America is still in 1963. That nothing has really changed. They have now got to the point of endlessly having to invent or hallucinate the problems they obviously 'need' to believe still exist. Perhaps because without those problems, they themselves would have to relinquish their role in society. In some ways, in real terms, they have made themselves redundant. Their elevation of 'victimhood' to being the highest goal of all is an exercise in a sort of moral narcissism. It is, in a sense, all about them.
    They need their 'victims' more than they actually help them. Their 'victims' give them a purpose. It seems not to matter whether they actually make people's lives better. If you look at the inner cities, I would argue that the policies and ideologies of the left have, in fact, helped to hobble the lives of the people they claim to care about. #blacklivesmatter. But only when a black person's life is taken by a white person. Or, in other words, it is not the 'people' they really care about - it's the narrative. All of their thinking has become about the narrative. The lunacy of the atmosphere on the campuses is a hymn to the narrative of permanent victimhood. And now the grotesque idea that is whispered into young people, that they are either the possessors of authentic victimhood, or that they should be obsessed and stigmatized by 'privilege'. Their own, or other people's. As people have said, it is like the Olympics of victimhood. With an enormous amount of infighting now. Most of it preposterous.
    It does seem most of what the left does now is a type of posturing. Perhaps they long for the illusion that they are still fighting a cause of great moral clarity. In reality, the world is made up of complex messy problems. Ones that require sophisticated thinking, and little opportunity for heroism. It is more seductive to imagine oneself as a hero than to be prepared to work long and hard to make a bit of a difference. The left is consumed by the idea that the world must be radically transformed- by them. So, nothing can ever be good enough - or ever will be. Somewhere is a blueprint for utopia. On a desk somewhere. They cannot accept the difficult and rather messy nature of reality. And now have been in the business of denying reality ( human nature) for a long time. They keep moving the goalposts.
    Israel /Palestine is a focus for all their obsessions. And the only important thing is the narrative. They are not really concerned with the well-being of the Palestinian people. They are concerned with how they 'seem' while they profess concern for the Palestinian people. And that necessitates turning Israel into a wholly monstrous entity. Something they can oppose. It gives them a chance to be 'heroes' and 'rescuers'- their favoured roles. The Palestinians are their 'pets'. They cannot see that everything they do actually makes the lives and prospects of the Palestinians worse. It is irrelevant. It is really all about 'them'.
    They have become a hysterical, morally narcissistic mob. Utterly self-righteous, and, like all mobs, dangerous.

  2. For most Jew hating democrats Israel and/or the 'palestinians' are a shill, a meme. They'd hate the Jews whatever the circumstances and they have in the past. The democrats quashed news about Hitler and the Holcaust, the democrats worked to exclude Jews from fleeing Europe to the US before during and after WW2, the democrats worked with Soviet puppet regimes in the 1950s and 60s. The democrats sought out detente with the Arabs and the Iranians. The democrats have been at the vanguard of fundraising for antisemitic causes in the US.

    You can't change how people view themselves. It's impossible. And if 3 out of 5 American Jews choose to view themselves as sufficiently second class citizens so that their affinity goes directly to the people who hate them most and even wish they were dead, there's nothing to be done with that. If you take "Jewish" out of the equation it starts to make sense. As in Europe where the middle class stands the most to lose and in fact is losing the most to unchecked Muslim immigration - they are the core that's whipping their own governments to bring in even more and prostrate themselves harder. They believe I suppose that they're above it and that everyone will celebrate their moral certitude as hard as they do.

    For my part I take a Chabadnik approach to it and tell you they're not really Jews at all. A Jew is someone with Jewish children and grandchildren. And the Jewish democrats who've embraced the checklist of antisemitism, Israel-hate etc. won't have Jewish children and grandchildren. Ergo they're not Jews, not essentially. Only they don't realize it yet.

    As far as the 'rest' of the democrats are concerned, so what? All you can do is point it out them. They don't care if you do and some of them like the idea. Isn't it the flipside of saying the GOP 'hates women' or 'hates blacks' or 'hates gays' or whatnot? We know more or less what democrats think about Jews and/or Israel. We know what the Congressional Black Caucus thinks. We know what the Arab and Iranian lobbying groups for the democratic party think. We know what they say all day on MSNBC and CNN. We read what they write in the NYT. We see that for all intents and purposes Obama has ended diplomatic relations with Israel. We see the US state department moving their non-embassy embassy to an Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem and outsourcing building security to the PLO while the ambassador publicly scolds Israeli politicians to remove their kippot. We hear the rhetoric coming out of the White House vis a vis Netanyahu unmatched by statements directed at genocidal dictators and war criminals the White House wants to shame. We hear the words of the US UN ambassador who once suggested the US invade Israel militarily and wipe the country out by force.

    We're pretty clear what the democrats say do and think. In their own words, at their own convenience. And they're unabashedly shameless about it. Proud even.

    1. You mentioned MSNBC and I just watched Chris Matthews trot out Ann Curry to spout administration talking points about an Iran deal. I almost had to laugh, she couldn't get them out fast enough. The show ended with Chris editorializing about how he bets the Israeli public isn't backing Bibi, who according to Chris, wants a war with Iran (is Matthews reading British newspapers?). I got the distinct impression he's betting on Obama's team to swing the Israeli election away from Netanyahu to prove him the ever prescient political pundit. Nothing like a little regime change, huh?
      Is there any part off Obama's behind Chris Matthews wouldn't kiss? The ironic part of all this is that back in my days in the Bay Area, when Matthews was Washington Bureau Chief for the Examiner, I considered him a bit too conservative for my tastes.

    2. Matthews sees himself as the Mencken of his age and perhaps if you look at his Jew hatred he's on par. But he's no Mencken. He's more of a self anointed minister of propaganda who believes that he personally is an unelected 4th branch of government.

    3. It nay be an Irish thing with Matthews. Long ago I noticed that nearly all his guests were Irish (that may have changed since I stopped watching).

      One time he introduced Frank Gaffney as"the only Irish neocon." Funny, no? About as funny (and as subtle) as a rubber crutch.

    4. My dear departed father, a life long Democrat, never used to say Matthews' name, but would always simply refer to him as 'the Irishman.'

    5. I don't watch Matthews anymore, but I am not surprised if he is on his knees to Obama.

      He was on his knees to Bush, as well, for 3/4 of his time in office.

  3. "My suspicion is that this is probably the first time within polling Americans on the Arab-Israel conflict that a majority of Democrats favor the Arabs over the Jews."

    While the situation is not good, you are overstating it slightly. Looking at the overall figures, 70% favor Israel and 19% the Arabs, or slightly under 90% falling on either side. While the 48% of Democrats favoring Israel is less than a majority, it is likely still a slight plurality, though trends could lead to even that changing. While the ratio of those favoring Israel to those favoring the Arabs is lower than we would like, let's not exaggerate what the current situation is.

    "For thirteen centuries Jews lived under the jack-boot of Arab-Muslim Supremacy."

    That statement needs a bit of clarification. For thirtheen centuries, Mizrahi Jews lived under the jack-boot of Arab-Muslim Supremacy (everything else on that theme is accurate as applied to Mizrahi Jewry). During that time, European Jews lived under the jack-boot of Christian Supremacy.

    The problem we have is that the Left considers Jewry to be European Jewry. In that framework, Jews were under Christendom's jack-boot, emerged out of it in the 20th century, and then turned around at the end of the 20th century to put another people, that is the Arabs, under their jack-boot.

    No argument about what the Christians of earlier centuries did to the Europeans among us will address the sophist point that the "innocent" Arabs are paying the price for what those Christians did. What's needed is to call attention to the fact that a substantial portion of Jewry is Mizrahi Jewry and that in Mizrahi Jewish history, the Arabs are not so innocent.

    Anyone for an event commemorating the Farhud the week before Shavuot?

  4. But does it entirely matter all that much? After all none of them are actually Israelis who vote, work, live or serve there. If they want to spend their lives shaking their fists at an imaginary supernal Jew they live to hate just like the Arabs do, so what? Will I lose any friends and family over it? No. Will I care if some people don't like me? No.

    How important, really is any sort of micro deep 'support' Israel gets from the US? The dreaded SC veto? What is that really worth? The fact is that the UNSC is largely a symbolic effort at force, not force itself. Many countries have suffered through unvetoed resolutions in the UNSC and have persevered. The UNSC is ALWAYS an exercise of force by the strong over the weak. ALWAYS.\

    Look at Ukraine. For the second time a country that is invaded by a superior Russian force is being told to stand down and 'negotiate' for how much of their own territory they should be happy to give up without even more invasion forces streaming in. And those are the people the UN SUPPORTS!

    Look at Kosovo - a country created BY the EU, NATO and the UN (in way that Jew haters falsely claim Israel was created) and yet the firm hand of tyranny by the UN and EU makes the state they created non sustainable. Kosovo is told who it can trade with, who is allowed to 'vote', which services it can offer its own people.

    No I'm afraid we put too much in the so called international community. It exists for the strong to subjugate the small. By design. This is why the OIC and non-aligned movement exists. To create a bloc in order to punch far above the weight of any one member. What Israel should do is look east - to India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam. Establish its own bloc or blocettes. As well as North east to the Armenia, Georgia, some of the -stans. It should look to Nigeria and Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon, the C.A.R, Angola and Mozambique. Most of these are somewhat stable forward looking countries that are leaps and bounds more advanced politically and socially than the Arab world. They don't have much of an opinion about Jews or Israel good or bad. It's not something in their list of things to worry about.

    Why not? The Arab world is dying, the wider Muslim world is unstable and faltering and there's no return in trying to get along with them. The US and parts of Western Europe, New Zealand and Australia are still undecided on whether they should commit suicide or how fast they should do it and how much of it to blame on the Jews. Eastern Europe is still relatively robust but Russia is still there and it could all go very bad very quickly. South America and Central America don't appear very eager to engage Israel, they are still fumbling through the detritus of their long history of Communism and Marxism as well as Peronism and fascism. Maybe Mexico is a good target to explore. A trillion dollar economy, with better job growth than the US and they build nearly as many cars as the US.

    You know where I'm headed with this: embrace the liberalism in the world that actually exists, not the imaginary liberalism of the 'progressive' west that's a cover for hatred, depostism and antisemitism. Cut it loose. Let them march around with their protests and signs and calls for genocide. They will anyway. If American liberals and academia think it's noble to be Jew haters, let them. If they think progress is instilled by ethnic cleansing of Jews from most strata of American society, let them. Let them ban and boycott what they like. Let them outlaw the presence of white people or men or Jews or straights or anyone else on college campuses. Let them embrace sharia and ban literacy itself. Let Obama's party call for a purge of Jews from its ranks and the erection of laws like in Nazi Germany that stripped Jews of civil and human rights. Let them, or let them try. America is on a terminal glide path and that is what dying societies do.

    I'm not that worried about it.

  5. I think it is important to support Israel as much as possible. There are not many nations who are on their side. It is important that they get all the support that we can give them. I hope more people will be able to help support Israel soon. http://peaceandconflictpolitics.com/2015/04/25/obamas-support-for-israel-ive-come-to-the-end-of-my-rope/