Unnecessary Hysteria about Declining U.S. Support for Israel

March 29 2019

To judge by the headlines in several major news outlets, a recent Gallup poll suggests a sharp drop in Americans’ sympathy for the Jewish state. Mitchell Bard explains that, to the contrary, the data show little change from previous years:

It is true that overall support for Israel did fall from its all-time high of 64 percent to 59 percent—its lowest point since 2009. Nevertheless, that figure is still well above the historical average of 48 percent registered in the 89 Gallup polls since the Six-Day War. [Looking at a longer timeline], support for Israel has been on the upswing. In the 1970s, the average level of support for Israel was 44 percent; in the 1980s and 1990s, it was 47 percent, including the record highs during the Gulf War. Since 2000, support for Israel is averaging 54 percent. . . .

The real hysteria has focused on an alleged decline in Democratic support for Israel. But the data do not justify such concern. Yes, 76 percent of Republicans compared to 43 percent of Democrats were more sympathetic toward Israel than toward the Palestinians. This sounds bad—unless you know that support among Democrats in 37 polls since 1993 averaged 46 percent. Support for Israel was lower than that in the mid-1970s.

[Yet] support for Israel among liberal Democrats has remained consistent for a decade. Furthermore, when asked their attitude toward Israel this year, 58 percent of liberal Democrats and 66 percent of moderate and conservative Democrats had a favorable view, and only 9 percent viewed Israel very unfavorably. . . .

And what about the whole notion of [large numbers] of Jews leaving the Democratic party for the Republicans? . . . The poll also found that “only 16 percent” of Jews identified as Republican. That is exactly the same percentage that the American Jewish Committee found in its 2018 survey.

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More about: American Jewry, Israel & Zionism, US-Israel relations

Iranian Attacks in the Persian Gulf Require a Firm Response

June 17 2019

In the past few days, Iran has carried out several attacks on oil tankers in the vicinity of Persian Gulf, and attempted to shoot down a U.S. observation drone. These attacks follow other recent acts of sabotage on the oil trade in the region—and that’s not to mention the Iran-backed Houthi militia’s missile strike last week on a Saudi civilian airport that injured 26 people. David Adesnik urges the White House to send a clear message to Tehran:

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More about: Iran, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy