Support for Israel used to be a bipartisan element of American foreign policy, but as our nation has grown more divided, bipartisanship is rare on any issue. As many have noted, politics in the U.S. has become largely a team sport–many of us cheer for our “team,” more or less regardless of the facts. And it has now become clear that Hamas is part of the Democratic Party’s team.
This is reflected in poll results from the Trafalgar Group. Trafalgar surveyed 1,100 likely voters between last Saturday and Monday, asking them who they think is most to blame for the current violence. The results are interesting in several ways, but the partisan split is most notable.
Republicans reflect American’s traditional support for Israel. Just 12.5% blame Israel for the violence, while 67.6% hold Hamas, Iran or the Palestinian Authority primarily responsible. Click to enlarge:
With Democrats, the picture is entirely different. A plurality, 38.5%, blame Israel, while only 27.1% can bring themselves to fault any combination of Hamas, Iran and the P.A. Apparently a lot of Democrats can’t make up their minds:
Why do so many Democrats side with Hamas? Partly it is a function of the team sport aspect of current politics. President Trump was pro-Israel, so many Democrats think they must be anti-Israel. But of course, the Democrats’ drifting away from Israel predates the Trump administration. Many Democrats see Israelis (Jews) as white and Palestinians as non-white, which is pretty much all they need to know. And the Democratic Party’s most popular leaders, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, etc., are virulently anti-Israel and take a benign view of Hamas.
So we have come to a place in our political life where a substantial plurality of one of our major parties prefers an openly terrorist and genocidal organization to one of America’s staunchest and most important allies.