Pew Research Center released a new survey of American attitudes toward the world yesterday, and on Israel the news is clear: the Democratic Party is split, and Bernie Sanders represents the Palestinian-sympathizing camp and Hillary Clinton the Israel-sympathizing one. Key excerpt (my emphasis):
By more than two-to-one (53% vs. 19%) conservative and moderate Democrats sympathize more with Israel. [Among] Liberal Democrats, on the other hand… 33% sympathize more with Israel and 40% sympathize more with the Palestinians.
You know how everyone says that some day U.S. public opinion will come to a tipping point? Well that tipping point has taken place among liberal Democrats. Notice that since 2014, the numbers among liberal Democrats have surged and reversed:
And do you see, the sympathies are rising among liberal Republicans too! But look at the conservative and moderate Democrats. Yes, more sympathy for Palestinians than before; but also growing support for Israel, too. And the same trend is visible in liberal Republicans. That’s the establishment, right there: three to one or more on Israel’s side.
But inside the Democratic Party, there are two trains going the opposite way on the same Democratic tracks. And of course it’s about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
while Clinton supporters, on balance, are more likely to sympathize with Israel (47% vs. 27%), Sanders supporters are divided (33% sympathize more with Israel, 39% sympathize more with Palestinians).
That’s not quite a divide, Pew. That’s a tilt toward Palestinians, very much like the one among liberal Democrats. Bernie Sanders sounded that public when he made his bold declaration in New York on April 14, that Netanyahu is not always right.
And the question is whether Sandersites can support someone– Hillary Clinton– who so thoroughly opposes their views on this key question. When she panders to AIPAC and did everything she could to stop the Iran deal and is the most hawkish candidate running. The fight inside the British Labour Party is coming here, and soon.
More from Pew. Some of this is obviously generational. Young people– those 35 and under– are shifting rapidly. From my emphasis, they were clearly horrified by the Gaza massacre of ’14:
Currently, 43% of Millennials report sympathizing more with Israel, while 27% are more sympathetic to the Palestinians….
The share sympathizing with the Palestinians has risen significantly in recent years, from 9% in 2006 to 20% in July 2014 to 27% today.
ALL groups, Republican, Democrat and Independent, broadly sympathize with Israel more than Palestinians:
The partisan gap remains wide. Three-quarters of Republicans (75%) say they sympathize more with Israel (just 7% say they sympathize more with the Palestinians). And though a larger share of Democrats sympathize more with Israel than with the Palestinians, that margin is much narrower (43% vs. 29%). By 52% to 19%, independents express more sympathy for Israel than the Palestinians.
But among Independents who lean Democratic, it’s a horse race, 34 to 33 percent for Israel over the Palestinians. While Indies who lean Republican are overwhelmingly for Israel, 72 to 9.
The bottom line here is that liberal Democrats are leading the country on this issue. That’s where the movement is. Look at those lines crossing one another since 2014 among the bleeding heart liberals. The same liberals who drove change on: civil rights, feminism, same-sex marriage. Brace yourself.