A poll of registered voters from the end of the year shows that on the issue of the UN Security Council resolution against settlements of December 23, there are sharp splits between Democrats and Republicans and between Jews and African-Americans/Hispanics.
There’s a huge partisan divide in the data released by Politico/Morning Consult. Democrats support the UN resolution, by 47 to 16 percent. Among Republicans, it’s the opposite: 43-24 percent against.
And the Democratic Party is divided between traditional blocs: Jews were against the resolution by 47-42 percent. But Hispanics are 44-17 percent for the resolution. And African Americans are 39-18 percent for the resolution. Religious nones/atheists are also strongly for the resolution.
Here’s the raw data, of 2000 registered voters. The UN Resolution question is at page 180. Let’s drill down a little bit into the numbers.
Registered voters support the resolution, overall, 35-28 percent. Good news for those who oppose settlements: the voters have the politicians’ backs. Break out whites, they support the resolution: 34-31 percent. Though bear in mind, in each of those categories, there are large numbers who are indifferent.
Jews and Protestants stand out as being against the resolution.
Jews: 47 oppose, 42 support. Only 12 percent don’t know. That’s the indifference quota, very low.
Evangelicals: 36-27 percent oppose it. But 37 percent don’t know.
Protestants oppose the resolution, 41-28. But Catholics support, it 39-30.
Here’s the big kahuna in the poll: Atheists/Agnostics/Nones: 43-16 percent support the UN Resolution. That’s whopping. Notice that the Nones/Agnostics/Atheists now make up 478 of the sample of 2000 — nearly a quarter. Jews are only 63. Talk about punching above your weight! Those Nones are what gave Bernie Sanders his oomph on this issue.
More of the partisanship. Clinton voters: 49-14 percent support the resolution. But Trump voters: 46-23 percent oppose it.
The more education, the more support for the Resolution. It’s 46-34 percent support for the resolution among those with post-graduate education. No college, just 32 percent support. And those with a college degree: 37 percent support the resolution.
Change the script. On page 174 of the data, the pollsters ask a different question: Do you see the settlements as a legitimate security measure in a hostile region, or illegal? And there are some interesting results.
The partisan split is the same. Republicans regard settlements as a security measure, 40-18. Democrats go the other way, and see them as illegal, by 38-19.
But on political ideology, the differences are huge. Liberals 42-17 say illegal over a security measure. Conservatives flip the other way, 46-17.
Young people don’t buy the security argument. From ages 18-44, the numbers are about 30-20 percent saying that the settlements are illegal. Between 45 and 55, it’s even. The numbers only start going the other way, for the settlements as a security measure, above age 55.
The religious difference is even more pronounced when you ask whether settlements are a security measure or illegal. Jews go 52-32 percent for them being a security measure, with 16 percent having no opinion.
And while evangelicals line up more or less with Jews, by 35-19 saying it’s a security measure, 47 percent don’t know/have no opinion.
So much for the fervor of the evangelicals. Again: Jews know about settlements. Only 16 percent of Jews don’t know or have no opinion. But among other religions the no opinion numbers are all 39 or higher. Nones/Agnostics/Atheists say they’re illegal, 35-18. But 47 percent have no opinion.
This is important because it shows that while Jews are just 3 percent of the sample, they care more than any other group. They know the story. And they’re conservative on the question.
The Democratic Party is fractured. The party blocs of Nones, Higher Educated, African-Americans, Hispanics are against the settlements. Only Jews are for them. That divide is not going away. It’s getting rawer. Norman Finkelstein is surely right that the conflict is politically quiescent/sewn up in Israel/Palestine. But it’s not sewn up here. No: things are busting out all over. Wait till Republicans work to expose the differences. Wait till Keith Ellison and Tom Perez square off over this issue inside the Democratic Party.
Something else. The liberal Zionists constantly tell us that American Jews oppose the settlement project, so Obama was pushing on an open door in the Jewish community. No. Maybe attitudinally they do, but when it comes to our government taking action, the numbers don’t support the liberal Zionist claims. The numbers support the Jewish establishment, which has castigated the Obama administration for the vote. The young Jews are against settlements vociferously; but why do you think the Democratic Party establishment is so against Obama, as we reported the other day? It’s not just the sclerotic leadership, it’s the community. Jews are against Obama on this; and you can bet older Jews overwhelmingly so. Older Jews are donors.
This is why Barney Frank once told Jeff Halper after witnessing the horrors of the settlements: I’m with you, but I won’t commit political suicide till you produce the names of 5000 Jews in my district who support you. He knew the Jewish street, in Newton and Brookline! The Jews were the ones who cared, and they were not really against the settlements. Now can we go forward?