Trending Topics:

Liberal Democrats sympathize with Palestinians over Israel by 68-60 — Pew

on 28 Comments

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.

Pew numbers on US sympathy March 2015

Pew numbers on US sympathy March 2015

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.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

Other posts by .

Posted In:

28 Responses

  1. pabelmont on April 3, 2015, 10:22 am

    Consider that these numbers represent American opinions molded (or influenced) by an overwhelmingly pro-Israel political elite and MSM. EVEN WITH ALL THAT the numbers are not bad for Palestine. Think what the numbers would be if, for instance, the NYT published daily the Palestinians-killed, Palestinians-jailed, Palestinian-houses-destroyed figures that we tend to see here on MondoWeiss. Think how matters might change if a prominent American — the president comes to mind in these his last 22 months as president — were to make a succession of speeches telling Americans what’s going on. // Democracy without a free press isn’t worth much, and the American system (oligarchy) has a tightly regulated “free” press.

    • just on April 3, 2015, 10:28 am

      +1, pabelmont!

      Spread the word today, tomorrow, and until Palestine is free! 1S1P1V!

      BDS, and don’t forget to tell them WHY!

    • hmp49 on April 3, 2015, 11:53 am

      “…Consider that these numbers represent American opinions molded (or influenced) by an overwhelmingly pro-Israel political elite…”

      What hogwash. The NYT and WP are pro-Israel? CNN is pro-Israel?

      This is what Bill Maher has to say about why the press is pro-Palestinian:

      “On the June 11 Web portion of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” called “Overtime,” Newsweek editor Jon Meacham offered the argument there is not a pro-Israel bias in the media, which is often alleged.

      “The idea that there is a pro-Israeli bias in the broad media – whatever ‘the media’ means at this point, I strongly disagree with,” Meacham said. “I think if anything you run into a very strong feeling on the Palestinian side.”

      That led another panelist on Maher’s show, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to protest by asking who is pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel in politics or media.

      “Who speaks out publicly in a pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli way in mainstream American politics, or media?” Maddow asked.

      That prompted Maher to say the media are anti-Israel, pro-Palestine. And he offered a reason why:

      “I think most of them do because I think the media, to take up your point, mostly – is way too stupid to understand the issues,” Maher said. “So what they do is they go toward, ‘Oh, who’s a victim?’ And yes, their situation in Gaza is tragic. But partly it is tragic of their own making.”

      • annie on April 3, 2015, 1:57 pm

        hmp, this is just a he said she said with no examples. at the end maher jumps to his own conclusion (“people are stupid”..and go for the victim – sans an ounce of evidence) and then explains why. no ‘how’ about it.

      • oldgeezer on April 3, 2015, 2:18 pm

        Maher didnt answer her question as he couldnt. Pro Palestinian bias does not exist particularly in the US.

        Maher used to be a comedian and now he’s just a joke.

      • hmp49 on April 3, 2015, 2:18 pm

        Annie Robbins, have you ever read the New York Times? If the NYT is not “elite” who is? Kindly list the “elite” media sources that are pro-Israel

        Also see:

      • annie on April 3, 2015, 2:56 pm

        Annie Robbins, have you ever read the New York Times?

        huh? what’s that?

        Also see: link to

        lol, yeah right (wing).

        old geezer, Maher didnt answer her question as he couldnt

        remember when andrew sullivan asked of there were any regular non or anti zionist columnists/ journalists employed in the msm? no one could think of any. i don’t think they hire them.

      • Kay24 on April 3, 2015, 5:18 pm

        Maher is one of the stupidest comedians I have ever seen. I mean, he should just stick to comedy, and lay off trying to show his bosses how devoted he is to Israel. “The situation in Gaza is tragic because of their own doing”? He accuses the media of being ignorant about the Palestinian/Israeli problem, but that statement alone clearly shows how ignorant HE IS. How ignorant is he about illegal settlements and the brutal military occupation that has has gone on for nearly 60 years? Is that ALSO the fault of the people of Gaza? He fails to mention this, and in his little brain cannot make the connection. It must be taxing his little mind to connect it all, and to come to an intelligent conclusion, that perhaps if not for the zionists, their land grabs, their blockades, their occupation, their collective punishment, and their numerous crimes against humanity, the Palestinians do not have to keep sending rockets and protesting in every way they can, their imprisonment and being robbed of their resources, daily. Maher displays his ignorance every Friday, when he tries to appear intellectual on his show.

      • hmp49 on April 4, 2015, 9:07 am

        As a matter of fact, Mahler is one of the most intelligent comedians, along with Stephen Colbert, who is also pro-Israel. Bothers the hell out of their liberal audiences.

        Colbert took apart Mearsheimer like a cheap suit when he interviewed him

  2. hmp49 on April 3, 2015, 11:48 am

    And liberal Democrats are a minority within a minority.

    Year after year, Gallup asks the same question of Americans, year after year they get the same answer:

    “In the Middle East Situation, are your sympathies more with the Israelis, or more with the Palestinians?”

    In February of 2015, 6 months after the last Gaza conflict ended, Americans are more pro-Israel than they were a year earlier. by 62-16, about 4-1, Americans are more sympathetic to the Israelis, just as they have been for the last 25 years.

    Moreover, the State of ISrael has a 70% approval rating among Americans vs 17% for the “moderate” Palestinian Authority. Don’t even bother asking about the “approval” rating for Hamas.

    The echo chamber of Mondoweiss is in denial

    • annie on April 3, 2015, 2:52 pm

      hmp, have you ever read the hasbara handbook’s 7 rules on point scoring and how to use polls? also, i’m curious what you thought of the ney vote at the dem convention wrt the jerusalem vote. or this google consumer poll – evidence over 60% of the american public think we give israel too much money?

      you should try playing around with it a little, it’s interactive and very revealing.

    • ckg on April 3, 2015, 6:54 pm

      Welcome to Mondoweiss, hmp49. There is a difference between approval of the PA and sympathy for the Palestinian people. You won’t find many here approving the PA. Hamas isn’t too popular either. Most of us are antiwar skeptics of nationalism in all its forms, I believe.

  3. michelle on April 3, 2015, 2:04 pm

    again with the polls
    by far not my fav.
    sympathize is the ‘hang’ word
    define the issue (it’s not about race or religion)
    switch it to support or agree with
    in this issue
    Palestine is in the right
    Israel is wrong
    a fair poll would ask
    would you like to be treated this way
    then one by one list some of the many
    ways the Palestines are being/have been wronged
    not just by Israel by the world
    things i know
    suffering is not the worst
    causing suffering is
    being hurt is not the worst
    hurting someone is
    pain is not the worst
    causing pain is
    death is not the worst
    causing death is
    being hated is not the worst
    hating is
    G-d Bless

  4. MHughes976 on April 3, 2015, 3:39 pm

    The likes of us used to be negligible and laughable in the Western world, particularly the United States. Now we’re noticeable rather than negligible and taken a little seriously. The swing of opinion against destructive and disastrous wars and interventions in the ME has made quite a difference. And I believe Mondoweiss has helped enormously. The next step is from noticeable to significant, which would mean that there was a bloc of genuinely concerned public opinion that politicians had to think about. We’re not there by a long way yet and there are still very dark clouds over the road ahead.

    • Krauss on April 3, 2015, 3:59 pm

      There’s a lot of problematic stuff in your comment, such as the unwarranted doomster mentality, but above all, the notion that nothing can get done without having a group of pols “think about us” is downright poisonous.

      Change always come by forcing people. It doesn’t come by asking for sympathy. Instead of worrying about pols, you should worry about activism at the grassroots. The pols will inevitably come about, don’t think about them.

      • annie on April 3, 2015, 4:30 pm

        krauss, i didn’t read mhughes “think about us” comment as “asking for sympathy”, where would you get that idea? they used to call us the fringe, like we didn’t matter. but our ranks are growing and as phil mentioned, liberal dems are “Obama’s and Hillary’s base”. not so sure about hilary but obama for sure, because i pounded the pavement for him, and that’s the base. politicians can’t ignore the base because they won’t get reelected. all the money in the world can’t buy the votes if they are not there. we can’t be dismissed in greater numbers. that’s not sympathy, that’s reality.

        and please explain your meaning wrt “doomster mentality”. are we reading the same comment?

    • MHughes976 on April 3, 2015, 6:26 pm

      I suppose I think that there’s a logical link between being a significant political force and being something that politicians have to think about or reckon with – don’t you think so? – and that our move to this status is only just beginning. The forces we have been contesting still have great power and can do great damage. Just for an example local to me, I heard the other day that a major conference on the legality of Israel/Palestine, arranged at Southampton University in the next county, had been cancelled quite late in the proceedings because of the usual protests and pressures that we hear of so often in Mondoweiss reports from American universities. But they will not conquer for ever.
      I would admit to being, in short-term matters at least, on the less optimistic side of Mondoweiss. Which goes with believing that the long road is worth the journey. I’m rather proud to have made the acquaintance of so many good people.

      • just on April 3, 2015, 6:51 pm

        News update on Southampton U:

        “Court hearing expected next week in challenge to UK university’s ban on Israel conference
        Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Fri, 04/03/2015 – 18:04

        The Electronic Intifada has learned details of the court challenge filed in London on Thursday against the University of Southampton’s decision to ban a conference related to Israel.

        One of the organizers of the conference – a professor who grew up as a refugee in Gaza – has said that the legal challenge was taken with a “very heavy heart,” but was essential to defend freedom of speech.”

        Read Professor Suleiman Sharkh’s letter and more @

      • MHughes976 on April 4, 2015, 9:20 am

        This cancellation is a terrible event for us in the UK. Our Universities have an obligation to secure free speech – no parallel obligation, thank the Lord, to secure balanced speech – for all persons on their premises – Education Act 1986, I think, Thatcherite legislation originally intended to secure a fair hearing for Conservative politicians to whom hairy Marxists might have objected. So the conference organisers have some sort of a case, though I can’t really believe that they will win. The University will also have a code of practice which it will claim it was following with the intention of securing public order.

      • just on April 4, 2015, 9:23 am


      • MHughes976 on April 4, 2015, 9:45 am

        The Code of Practice authorises the University’s ‘responsible officer’ to cancel a previously accepted event only if circumstances have changed so much that ‘good order’ is unlikely to be maintained. The circumstances must be exceptional. The only change that could conceivably have occurred is the accumulation of threats from the anti-Palestinian side – it has to be threats, surely, because objection and protest without threat do not pose a risk to public order. It is clear that pro-Israel organisations have (as is their right, of course) protested and objected – but will they agree, or will the University allege, that they have used what amount to threats of physical force? Without this allegation the University would not, as far as I could at first see, have a logical leg to stand on as far as the main issues of free speech and public order are concerned.
        However, I suppose they will say that they expect so many pro-Israel protesters that the sheer number, combined with the likely aggressiveness of some individuals on both sides, will overwhelm their ability to keep order – and I would place a small bet on the judges’ accepting that. There are also procedural clauses in which both the conference organisers and the University authorities could get snarled up.

  5. Krauss on April 3, 2015, 4:01 pm

    Reading this poll its becoming increasingly clear that Operation Install Hillary in the WH and pretend it’s the 1990s again – is doomed to fail and fail badly.

    You won’t be able to put the image of Israel together in the same way. America has some military interests in Israel which will continue but the people who talk about a “special interest” typically are only Zionists, and they are numerous in the top echelons but you don’t hear it among the people unless you only hang around Christian end-timers.

  6. joer on April 3, 2015, 5:49 pm

    Here’s what I get out of those numbers: First, there is a sharp decline in sympathy for Israel in each age group as they get younger. This does not translate into more sympathy for Palestine, however. Nonetheless, if I was Israel, I’d be worried about that trend.

    Also, all segments are generally ambivalent to the whole situation except Old White Evangelicals, who are solidly behind Israel. Palestine has no segment behind it the same way. Generally speaking, the poll would indicate there is waning enthusiasm for Israel, but not most people can’t make that leap from ambivalence and/or apathy to feeling some pity for Palestinians.

  7. ckg on April 3, 2015, 6:21 pm

    A day that will live in infamy for the Democratic Party. Will it happen again in 2016?

  8. just on April 3, 2015, 8:38 pm

    I’m still laughing @ this from Peter Feld via Max B.:

    “Belief that Israel is a US ally is dropping faster than Dershowitz’s pants at a Jeffrey Epstein massage party.”

    Title of article @ Rasmussen is “Democrats See Mexico As Better Ally Than Israel”

  9. James Canning on April 5, 2015, 7:36 pm

    The notion US news media are “anti-Israel” is preposterous.

Leave a Reply