Recent Polling Data Suggest That U.S. Support for Israel Remains Strong

June 23 2021

Examining a poll of Americans’ attitudes regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict taken near the end of last month, and comparing it to the results of other similar surveys, Victoria Coates concludes that reports of diminishing support for the Jewish state are highly exaggerated:

The [survey’s first] question was on general support for the U.S.-Israel relationship, and the results indicate that there is robust, bipartisan support for Israel in the survey sample. Forty percent of respondents are following the issue closely enough to have a strong opinion, which is highly unusual in international issues. Within this group, . . . 6.9 percent strongly oppose [the alliance] and 33.7 percent strongly support [it]. Republican support is predictably the strongest, with 70 percent of [Republican] respondents supporting the alliance either strongly or somewhat, with the majority of that group in the “strong” category. But even within the self-identifying liberal demographic, strong support for Israel does not dip below 24 percent.

Among Democrats more broadly, 65 percent support the relationship with Israel either strongly or somewhat. These are solid numbers for a country frequently portrayed in the U.S. media as polarizing, and suggest that what opposition to the relationship there is among the American people is localized to specific congressional districts, and [that such opposition] would not be a successful platform for a state- or nationwide election.

Coates also cautions against overinterpreting any particular set of data, noting that the past 70 years “have seen wide swings in American attitudes towards the Jewish state,” even as pro-Israel sentiment has proved durable in the long run. Rushing to the conclusion that “the relationship is doomed” based on short-term shifts in public opinion would be, in her evaluation, foolish.

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Read more at Center for Security Policy

More about: U.S. Politics, US-Israel relations

 

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia