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Has Israel lost Democratic “opinion elites”?

Has Israel lost Democratic “opinion elites”?

My column at The Times of Israel responding to Frank Luntz’s survey.

Frank Luntz recently conducted polling of American “opinion elites” attitudes toward Israel.

The results, but not the data, were published in an article by David Horvitz, Editor in Chief of The Times of Israel, Israel losing Democrats, ‘can’t claim bipartisan US support,’ top pollster warns:

Three quarters of highly educated, high income, publicly active US Democrats — the so-called “opinion elites” — believe Israel has too much influence on US foreign policy, almost half of them consider Israel to be a racist country, and fewer than half of them believe that Israel wants peace with its neighbors. These are among the findings of a new survey carried out by US political consultant Frank Luntz.

Detailing the survey results to The Times of Israel on Sunday, Luntz called the findings “a disaster” for Israel. He summed them up by saying that the Democratic opinion elites are converting to the Palestinians, and “Israel can no longer claim to have the bipartisan support of America.”

He said he “knew there was a shift” in attitudes to Israel among US Democrats “and I have been seeing it get worse” in his ongoing polls. But the new findings surprised and shocked him, nonetheless. “I didn’t expect it to become this blatant and this deep.”

Read the rest of Horvitz’s article for more details.

The article created huge concern in pro-Israel circles, and delusional euphoria among Israel haters. But is the sky really falling on Israel?

I have written a response, published in The Times of Israel.

The short version is that there is no evidence in Gallup or Pew polling of any meaningful decline in overall support for Israel. Support for Israel is approaching 100% among Republicans, and among independents the levels are strong and growing. Even among Democrats, recent declines simply put Democrats back to levels of support shown during 2006-2010.

But, Luntz is not wrong to identify some important factions in the Democratic Party as moving away from Israel, namely progressive elites. Anecdotally, the farthest of far left is moving away from Israel, aided and abetted on campuses by pro-boycott faculty. But these people mostly hate the U.S. as well. If close to 50% of those progressive elites consider Israel a racist society, I wonder what they think of the U.S.

Here’s an excerpt from my analysis, Don’t panic over Democratic Party ‘opinion elites’:

The report has caused grave concern in some pro-Israel circles, and near euphoria in anti-Israel circles.

But is the panic warranted? Does the Luntz poll reflect a sea change in US opinion about Israel? ….

As of this writing, Luntz has not released the full polling data and cross-tabs, so it’s hard to know what other findings and data may paint a different picture. For example, how do independent opinion elites poll on Israel? Equally important, the report does not put these questions and answers in historical perspective – have Democratic Party opinion elites changed over time, or have they always been more hostile to Israel.

And where do they fall on other political issues – are they disproportionately the more liberal wing of the party?

Anecdotally, I’ve always found liberal Democrats to be less supportive of Israel. By the time one gets to the progressive wing, including the people who staff newsrooms and left-wing think tanks, less supportive attitudes can become hostility. This is nothing new, it’s been part of the landscape as long as I can remember.

You want more?

You know the drill. Go over to my column at The Times of Israel, and share it on Facebook and Twitter.

[Featured Image: Pro-boycott Ohio U. Student President Megan Marzec ordering arrest of Pro Israel student Rebecca Sebo Ohio University // credit: Kaitlin Owens video)]


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Yah, but those people are flucking CRAZY…


Not to worry.

    LukeHandCool in reply to Ragspierre. | July 6, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Yes, they are.

    IQ is greatly overrated. It is but one of many, many important human characteristics and qualities.

    These people are by and large intelligent, no doubt.

    But a lot of them have, for lack of a better term, psychological blind spots/disorders when it comes to human nature and constructing a cogent worldview.

    MattMusson in reply to Ragspierre. | July 7, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Once the bozos get rid of the Confederate flag – they will come for the flag of Israel. They will paint the entire country as apartheid and racist to the core. After that, Israel can do no good and those that attack Israel are totally justified no matter how savage they are.

And this is a surprise?

These people voted for Obama. Twice.

LukeHandCool | July 6, 2015 at 4:46 pm

My own anecdotal analysis and summary of progressives’ views on success in general and Israel in particular:

Progressives despise success except for their own personal success and that of like-thinking progressives.

Outside of these circles, success neighboring the dysfunction of designated underdogs—thus throwing that dysfunction in broad relief for all to see—is especially awful to them.

Israel is a huge success story, and they hate it for that.

Democrats would sacrifice other people’s babies, dignity, labor, etc. in order to enjoy Caesar’s wealth. I’m not sure what the opinion of someone who adopts a pro-choice doctrine is worth.

I imagine another poll would show similar reductions in support for the US from the same demographic.

They don’t hate Israel for being Israel, they hate Israel for loving the US.

“The Closing of the American Mind” began with ‘60s Democrats on German psychoanalysis and LSD and continued with the likes of political ideologues Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky.

Israel must win the PR campaign. Reality has been spun into “All the News That’s Fit to Beguile”.

The truth must be pounded home. Israeli perseverance must wear holes in the iron domes of the “closed-mind elites.”

And, that is what you are trying to do professor. May God bless your effort.

The modern Democrat Party hierarchy and their friends are not only bigots, they are anti-Semites, anti-Christian and way too dangerous to be in power. They would probably have turned a blind eye when Hitler was Chancellor of Germany. Unfortunately, most well educated Jews in America are ok with this.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to natdj. | July 6, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    RE: “probably” – They did! Who do you think was in the White House and in control of Congress from 1933 to 1941?


Not A Member of Any Organized Political | July 6, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Good news David Horvitz. The truth is they’re “Three quarters educated, high, publicly active asses — the so-called “opinion elites in their own minds”… But oh they’re gonna “get” their education – the good book foretells it!

Miss (Democrat) Thang, Miss (Democrat) Thang …went on down to Burger King and found they wasn’t hiring…”

This is not exactly correct. When Israel was more socialist-leaning, and definitely before 1967, Israel was widely supported among the left-wing part of the Democrat party. The left wing Democrats have changed and have recently increased their numbers. Israel has been abandoned by them in part because of Israel’s (responsible and correct) actions but mostly because the left wingers have come to see Israel as a power and not a victim, as an economically successful capitalist country and not as a socialist experiment, as a success and not as a charity case.

Furthermore, this shift is actually quite important and quite upsetting, because even though the increased support among Republicans and conservatives evens the overall numbers, there is now a marked decrease in support among successful and outspoken Jews. Traditionally American Jews were the staunchest supporters of Israel. Now, staunch support for Israel is only seen among certain groups of Jews such as the more religious, the politically conservative, and some holdout old-school Zionists. These supporters ally with Christian Zionists, but they probably cannot replace the mainstream old-guard of Conservative (as in religious affiliation) and Reformed Jews who once supported Israel without exception and now usually choose the Democrat party over Israel.

Under Obama Israel has NO influence on US foreign policy, but to the Jew haters in the Democratic Party, that is too much. But Jews keep voting for Democrats. Crazy.

You know the Richard Hawley sone, “There’s a storm coming”?

Well, there is a storm coming.

May G-d keep and preserve Israel and hold her in the palm of his all-powerful hand and bless her and destroy every one of her enemies, without restraint.

American Jewish voters love affair with liberalism and the Democrat Party shows the power of “installed base” voting. It is time for Jewish leaders to move Jewish voters from voting liberal Democrat to voting for the party that actually supports them and their interests, including Israel,the Republican Party. Any time a group tends to vote as a block they also tend to be taken for granted and that is what the Democrat elites do with the Jewish vote. But, if that vote began to shift away from them, they’d have to pay more attention to it. In states like PA where there are many Jewish voters and Democrat control is still only a few points, a Jewish voter shift would be a wake up call to the Democrat elites that will pay a price for their shift. But, changing long standing voting patterns is difficult.

Upon reading the headline for this post, my initial reaction was the same as the prof’s: What’s new?