Last weekend Hillary Clinton joined the Republican candidates in coming down hard against Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. Speaking to her financial sponsor Haim Saban as well as a D.C. audience, she described the campaign as anti-semitic and wrong, and meantime offered vague opposition to Israeli settlements.
Well there’s a good reason Clinton doesn’t want the issue politicized. If the matter were actually debated openly between Republicans and Democrats, her own base would be against her. A new poll of American attitudes on the conflict from Shibley Telhami at the Brookings Institution says that Democrats favor sanctions to counter Israeli settlement construction. Telhami reports:
It is notable that among Democrats, more people (49%) recommend either imposing economic sanctions or taking more serious action [re settlements], than those recommending doing nothing or limiting U.S. opposition towards (46%)
The poll also shows broad support for a one-state outcome among Americans. The poll at Telhami’s academic site defines one state as “a single democratic state in which both Jews and Arabs are full and equal citizens, covering all of what is now Israel and the Palestinian Territories.”
Those who advocate a one-state solution, 31%, are now comparable to those who advocate a two-state solution, 35%. The most notable change is that Republicans this year equally support a two-state solution vs. one-state solution (29% each).
This shows that Democrats support a two-state-solution over one state by 45 to 33. Still: a third of Dem voters are for a single democratic state with equal citizenship.
Dems don’t like the Israel lobby either. The poll shows that by more than a three-to-one ratio, Democrats feel that Israel has too much influence in American politics. And Americans generally also are turned off:
Overall, twice as many Americans say the Israeli government has too much influence (37%) than say too little influence (18%), while a plurality (44 %) say it’s the right level. The story once again is more pronounced in the partisan views: Among Democrats, about half (49%) say Israel has too much influence, compared with 14% who say Israel
has too little influence, and 36 % who say it’s the right level.
Netanyahu’s popularity has crashed among Dems, though he’s a heroic figure to Republicans. Notice that Democratic attitudes on blame for the recent “escalation in violence” actually track attitudes on our site. Democrats understand the Palestinian violence as a response to lack of freedom:
A plurality of Democrats, 37%, blame continued Israeli occupation and settlement expansion, followed by 35% who blame the absence of serious peace diplomacy, while 15% blame Palestinian extremists. In contrast, 40% of Republicans blame Palestinian extremists first…
And again, Americans are for a secular democracy there. Where did we ever get that idea?
Strong American majorities continue to favor Israel’s democracy over its Jewishness in the absence of a two-state solution (72% in 2015, compared with 71% in 2014).
Hillary Clinton has very different attitudes. She calls Israel “a thriving raucous democracy” and a “light unto the nations,” and is fundamentally opposed to the idea of any pressure on Israel. She said:
Some proponents of BDS may hope that pressuring Israel may lead to peace. Well that’s wrong too. No outside force is going to resolve the conflict between Israeli’s and Palestinian’s.