Look at these numbers from a March 2015 Pew research poll closely. Overall, they state that Americans sympathize with Israel over the Palestinians. But drill down in the Democratic numbers and you see a different story.
Democrats sympathize with Israel over Palestinians– by just 57 to 54. That is a horse race, in one of our major political parties.
And now look at Liberal Dems: They sympathize with Palestinians over Israel by 68 to 60! That’s Obama’s and Hillary’s base, I remind you. These are the folks who will vote for Donna Edwards in Maryland.
Now consider the numbers for blacks, Hispanics, and the young. Israel wins all three groups: 50-47 among blacks; 45-34 for Hispanics; 54-46 among those under 30.
Yes, all those groups sympathize more with Israel than Palestinians. But the margins are very close. It just shows how fluid US politics are on this question; and as we approach the jubilee year of the occupation, those numbers can only go one way. This is why Peter Beinart said at J Street two weeks ago that the coming battle inside the pro-Israel establishment is not between liberal Zionists and AIPAC, but between liberal Zionists and the left. These numbers are why other polls show growing support for a one-state solution in Israel and Palestine, based on the radical principle, one person one vote.
(A grotesque aspect of the poll is that it juxtaposes Israel and Palestinians, a state and a stateless people.)
Pew also notices the balanced numbers:
Democrats have nearly comparable levels of sympathy for both sides in the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians. Most Democrats (57%) have at least some sympathy for Israel (21% a lot). About as many (54%) have a lot or some sympathy with the Palestinians (16% a lot).
Liberal Democrats and conservative and moderate Democrats express similar levels of sympathy for Israel. But 68% of liberal Democrats have at least some sympathy for the Palestinians (22% a lot). By contrast, just 45% of conservative and moderate Democrats have at least some sympathy for the Palestinians (12% a lot).
A sizable portion of the public — 38% — has at least a lot or some sympathy for both Israel and the Palestinians in their dispute. Meanwhile, two-in-ten (20%) have lower levels of sympathies for both sides…
By contrast, just 14% of Democrats sympathize only with Israel; about as many (12%) sympathize only with the Palestinians. A plurality of Democrats (42%) have sympathies with both Israel and the Palestinians and nearly one-in-four (23%) have lower levels of sympathy for either side.