April 17, 2002


Republicans, Conservatives More Supportive of Israelis than Democrats, Liberals : Pattern has persisted for at least the past decade (David W. Moore, April 17, 2002, GALLUP NEWS SERVICE )
Recently some news commentators have noted that the politics and conflict in the Middle East have made strange bedfellows. In the current confrontation between the Israelis and the Palestinians, American Jews are rallying support for Israel and are being supported most strongly, it appears, by conservatives and Republicans. Since Jews are overwhelmingly liberal and Democratic -- they voted four-to-one for Gore over Bush in the last presidential election -- this expression of support across the ideological divide is perceived by some commentators as unusual. But an analysis of Gallup polls over the past decade and a half suggests that conservatives and Republicans in this country have persistently provided at least more verbal support for Israel than have Democrats and liberals.

Since 1988, when Gallup first asked Americans if their sympathies lay more with the Israelis or with the Palestinian Arabs, more Americans have sided with the Israelis than with the Palestinians. The percentages have varied, but the margin in favor of the Israelis has never fallen below 22 percentage points, while it reached a high of 48 points in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. In the last 14 years, Republicans have always expressed relatively more sympathy for the Israelis over the Palestinians than have the Democrats. Similarly, the margin of support for Israelis has always been higher among conservatives than among liberals.

It certainly helps that Republicans/conservatives/libertarians don't buy into multicultural self-loathing. Democrats would probably support Native Americans in a conflict with the United States. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 17, 2002 7:50 AM
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