Back in 2006 Ed Lasky wrote an expose’ which said in part:
The rank and file of the Party has become increasingly anti—Semitic and support for Israel has noticeably fallen. Democratic Congressmen have reflected this trend in very visible ways: their votes and actions in Congress reveal that support for Israel has eroded in alarming ways…..These disconcerting trends can be observed by a bottom—up approach: looking at the grassroots base of the Democratic Party, how these views are expressed in Congress, and how the Democratic leadership has responded to these developments….
…. Political blogs have achieved a high level of …As several pundits have noted, the blogs have become a hot bed for anti—Semitic sentiments.
In this Wall Street Journal op—ed, Bill Clinton’s former Special Counsel, Lanny Davis expressed his distress at the increasing tide of anti—Semitism and vitriol spewing forth from Democratic blogs. Examples he noted:
“Ned Lamont and his supporters need to [g]et real busy. Ned needs to beat Lieberman to a pulp in the debate and define what it means to be an American who is NOT beholden to the Israeli Lobby” (by “rim,” posted on Huffington Post, July 6, 2006) “Joe’s on the Senate floor now and he’s growing a beard. He has about a weeks growth on his face. . . . I hope he dyes his beard Blood red. It would be so appropriate” (by “ctkeith,” posted on Daily Kos, July 11 and 12, 2005). On “Lieberman vs. Murtha”: “as everybody knows, jews [sic] ONLY care about the welfare of other jews; thanks ever so much for reminding everyone of this most salient fact, so that we might better ignore all that jewish propaganda [by Lieberman] about participating in the civil rights movement of the 60s and so on” (by “tomjones,” posted on Daily Kos, Dec. 7, 2005). “Good men, Daniel Webster and Faust would attest, sell their souls to the Devil. Is selling your soul to a god any worse? Leiberman cannot escape the religious bond he represents. Hell, his wife’s name is Haggadah or Muffeletta or Diaspora or something you eat at Passover” (by “gerrylong,” posted on the Huffington Post, July 8, 2006).
Nothing has changed since 2006, in fact it has gotten worse. Maybe that is the influence of President-elect Barack Obama, who surrounded himself with anti-Israel advisers in his campaign, and has been strangely silent since the Gaza war started. His only comment, we only have one president, is a ruse because he has commented when he has agreed with President Bush. His silence is an an indication that he DISAGREES with Bush’s support of the Jewish State.
Now two years after his first report, Lasky takes another look at the Democratic party and find that for the first time, there is a REAL difference between the two major political parties when it comes to support of Israel:
The Democrats and Israel
The ideology of political parties changes over time. Democrats in the South were obdurate in the wake of civil rights reform; that history is all but forgotten. Likewise, Democrats were long considered the party that was most strongly supportive of ties between America and Israel (helped by Harry Truman’s recognition of the founding of the state of Israel).
Now it appears that another shift is happening. Democrats are no longer as supportive of Israel as they have been in the past. I wrote about this dynamic two years ago in an article that analyzed voting patterns in Congress as well as public opinion polls and surveys that sought to examine any correlations between political affiliation and the level of support for ties between America and Israel. The article pointed out a simple , if disconcerting fact, Republicans were far more supportive of Israel than were Democrats.Glenn Greenwald (a leftist critic of Israel) wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times this weekend that notes a new Rasmussen poll which has received some attention. The trend continues and is more pronounced: Republicans continue to be far more supportive of Israel than are Democrats when asked about the current Israeli action in Gaza in response to thousands of rockets being fired into Israel:
Not only does Rasmussen find that Americans generally “are closely divided over whether the Jewish state should be taking military action against militants in the Gaza Strip” (44 percent to 41 percent, with 15 percent undecided), but Democratic voters overwhelmingly oppose the Israeli offensive — by a 24-point margin. By stark contrast, Republicans, as one would expect (in light of their history of supporting virtually any proposed attack on Arabs and Muslims), overwhelmingly support the Israeli bombing campaign (62 percent to 27 percent).
Shmuel Rosner comments that this trend is “not new,” hopes that President –elect Obama is not as “naïve” as his supporters are regarding the threats coming from terrorism, and issues a challenge to Democrat leaders to show that their claim that the party is as supportive of Israel as Republicans is supported by the numbers.I think this commentary can be expanded. To what extent has Barack Obama himself shifted the views of Democrats?Leaders, especially persuasive ones, can shift the opinions of Americans. Historians have analyzed the efforts of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (one of the Presidents that Barack Obama admires) to shift American public opinion from isolationism toward engagement in the years leading up to the conflict with Naziism and Japanese militarists.Are we seeing the process in reverse?Has Barack Obama over the last few years convinced Americans that diplomacy will work with terrorists? That “talk therapy” can work with the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , Hamas and Hezbollah? That all wars are “dumb wars”? That Iran is not a threat? That high-tech defense programs are a waste of money? That we have to be “even-handed” when dealing with the Palestinians and Israelis (begging the question of how one can be even-handed between a terror regime that hates America and a democratic and Western ally)? That “no one has suffered more than the Palestinians”? As the public heard this rhetoric over the last few years, has their collective consciousness changed?Has the public already become receptive toward this type of message by years of “education” by an academia that has increasingly become the province of left-wing academics?What else can be taken from the column and the Rasmussen poll? Greenwald is an influential blogger who writes for Salon but whose views often reflect the views of the left-wing of the blogosphere and the Democratic Party as a whole. He is issuing a clarion call to Democratic politicians: get tough with Israel or their support among Democrats will be put at risk.This field of inquiry opens up all types of questions regarding political alignment. For example, how long will Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi be able to withstand the pressure coming from her own district (all but contiguous with San Francisco-the epicenter of anti-Israel activity) to take a tough line with Israel?Stay tuned.