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.
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)]DONATE
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