Sheldon Adelson in the Wall Street Journal sees the same trend we’ve been pointing out for years: the leftwing base is getting educated on Israel and doesn’t like the special relationship. He was alarmed by the floor demonstration at the Democratic Convention when party leaders railroaded a platform plank calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Adelson:
So why did I leave the party? …[T]he truth is the Democratic Party has changed in ways that no longer fit with someone of my upbringing.
One obvious example is the party’s new attitude toward Israel. A sobering Gallup poll from last March asked: “Are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?” Barely 53% of Democrats chose Israel, the sole liberal democracy in the region. By contrast, an overwhelming 78% of Republicans sympathized with Israel.
Nowhere was this change in Democratic sympathies more evident than in the chilling reaction on the floor of the Democratic convention in September when the question of Israel’s capital came up for a vote. Anyone who witnessed the delegates’ angry screaming and fist-shaking could see that far more is going on in the Democratic Party than mere opposition to citing Jerusalem in their platform. There is now a visceral anti-Israel movement among rank-and-file Democrats, a disturbing development that my parents’ generation would not have ignored.
I’ve often said that Israel is the royal road to neoconservatism. Adelson left the Democrats for the same reason Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz turned on the party (back in the 70s)– not strong enough on Israel.