Democratic 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)
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).
But it goes WAY beyond the blogs, despite the 78% of American Jews that voted Democratic in this past presidential election, the party of TRUMAN, the President who recognized Israel because it was the right thing to do, is NO LONGER, the PRO ISRAEL Party:
The Democrats and Israel
by Daniel Pipes
With Democrats now in charge of both the executive and legislative branches, what changes might one expect in U.S. policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict?
Personnel appointments so far fit the center-left mold. On the plus side, as analyst Steven Rosen observes, this means that none of the team brings a “defined left agenda of dangerous delusions – indeed, many of them are sensible and intelligent, resistant if not immune to the nonsense that blinds the majority of academicians.” Especially when recalling Barack Obama’s earlier associations (Ali Abunimah, Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said) and the potential alternate “dream teams“, this comes as a relief.
On the minus side, Rosen notes, the prospective staffers “are moderate and centrist to a fault, with no one to sound the alarm about the extraordinary dangers we face, to propose a response beyond the usual.”
Looking at the larger picture, beyond personnel, one finds a similar mixed picture. Note the pro-Israel resolution Congress passed earlier this month “recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirming the United States strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.” It passed the Senate unanimously and the House by 390-5, with 22 members registering “present.” Of those 27, 26 were Democrats; and the 27th was Ron Paul, a Republican in name only.
This vote implies two points: First, the strong, bipartisan pro-Israel attitude of Americans has weathered the Gaza conflict. Secondly, persons cool or hostile to Israel overwhelmingly find their niche in the Democratic Party.
Polls over the past decade consistently substantiate that Americans strongly back Israel, but Democrats less so than Republicans. Already in 2000, I showed that “several times more members of the Republican Party are friendly to Israel than are Democrats, and their leaderships reflect this disparity.” In recent years, poll after poll confirmed this pattern, even during the Hezbollah and Hamas wars. To cite a few:
March 2006, Gallup: “are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?” Reply: 72 percent of Republicans and 47 percent Democrats sympathize more with Israelis. (Difference: 25 percent.)
July 2006, NBC/WSJ: “are your sympathies more with Israel or with the Arab nations?” Reply: 81 percent Republicans and 43 percent Democrats sympathize more with Israel. (Difference: 38 percent.)
August 2006, LAT/Bloomberg: Do you agree that “The United States should continue to align itself with Israel”? Reply: 64 percent Republicans and 39 percent Democrats agree. (Difference: 25 percent.)
March 2008, Gallup poll: 84 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats look at Israel favorably. (Difference: 20 percent.)
December 2008. Rasmussen Reports: 75 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of Democrats say Israel is an ally of the United States. (Difference: 20 percent.)
Republican support for Israel is persistently larger, ranging from 20 to 38 percent more than the Democrats and averaging 26 percent. It was not always thus. Indeed, Democrats and Republicans have dramatically changed places in their attitudes toward Israel over sixty years and three eras.
In the first era, 1948-70, Democrats like Harry Truman and John Kennedy showed warmth to the Jewish state while Republicans like Dwight Eisenhower were cool. In the second, 1970-91, Republicans like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan came to appreciate Israel as a strong ally; as I concluded in 1985, this meant that “Liberals and conservatives support Israel versus the Arabs in similar proportions.” With the end of the Cold War in 1991, however, a third era began, in which Democrats focused on the Palestinian cause and cooled to Israel, while Republicans further warmed to Israel.
Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition rightly notes that “Democrats are increasingly turning their backs on Israel.” That trend anticipates a likely tension over the next four years, whether or not to adopt a more “European” approach to Israel.
Tensions already exist. On the one hand, the Obama team has been uncritical of Israel’s war against Hamas, while stating that it will not deal with Hamas, that Israel is the key Middle East ally, and that U.S. policy will take Israel’s security interests into account. On the other hand, it has shown a willingness to associate with Hamas, plus displays tendencies to a more “even-handed” approach, to push negotiations harder, and to divide Jerusalem.
In short, policy toward the Jewish state is in play.