Progressives turned Democrats against Israel
The era of bipartisan support for Israel is over.
Anti-Israel activists have worked for decades to undermine support for the Jewish state.
Now, as the latest Gallup tracking poll of attitudes toward the Middle East conflict indicate, Democrats now sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel.
Currently, 49% of Democrats favor the Palestinians with only 38% backing Israel.
That’s the culmination of a trend decades in the making, as the two parties have largely swapped identities in the last 60 years when it comes to Israel.
In the immediate postwar era, Democrats were overwhelmingly sympathetic to Israel.
That reflected the way most Americans rightly saw the tiny nation, as a plucky democracy battling for its life against the Arab and Muslim worlds that sought its destruction. Republicans were split with many either indifferent or openly hostile.
That changed as the Republicans elected the ardently pro-Israel Ronald Reagan and, by the 1990s, the GOP had become overwhelmingly pro-Israel.
They understood it was the sole democracy in the Middle East and shared common values with Americans.
If anything, that support has only grown with Gallup showing that Republicans now back it by a staggering 78-11% margin.
Yet in 2001, Gallup reported that Democrats still backed Israel by a 51-16% margin.
While that’s still true of some congressional Democrats, they are now out of touch with their party’s left-wing base.
What explains this shift?
Gallup claims it might be a reflection of the “high number of Palestinians killed” in the conflict — without mentioning that those figures are largely composed of slain terrorists.
But they’re not wrong to see it as connected to the “waning religiosity” of most Americans since the remaining people of faith — who are more likely to be Republicans — are strong supporters of Zionism.
They’re missing the real answer: the rise of the intersectional left that falsely analogizes the Palestinian war on Israel to the struggle for civil rights in the United States and depicts the Jewish state as an expression of “white privilege” and an oppressor of Palestinian “people of color.”
A generation of liberals has been soaking up toxic critical race theory myths in academia.
These bad ideas are now parroted in much of the corporate liberal media and pop culture outlets.
They don’t understand that the majority of Israeli Jews are themselves people of color and that Jews are the indigenous people of the country, not interlopers.
They also don’t know that it is the Palestinians who have consistently rejected compromise peace offers.
Until they’re ready to recognize the legitimacy of the one Jewish state on the planet no matter where its borders are drawn, the conflict will continue.
After the hostility of the Obama administration, which struck a nuclear deal with Iran that endangered Israel’s existence, so-called progressives dominate congressional Democrats with the Marxist “Squad” leading the way and being feted as the party’s rock stars. So, the poll numbers are no surprise.
Contrary to anti-Semitic Squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar, support for Israel isn’t “all about the Benjamins.”
Jews haven’t bought Congress. Until our educational system was hijacked by Marxist radicals, Israel was popular with Americans of all backgrounds.
And it remains so among those, like most GOP voters, who don’t buy into the left’s lies about history and race.
But from now on, it isn’t possible to pretend that both parties are equally committed to Israel’s defense.
Thanks to the influence of the ideology to which even President Joe Biden bends his knee, the Democrats have reached a tipping point on Israel from which there may be no road back.
Jonathan S. Tobin is editor-in-chief of JNS.org. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_tobin.