Washington D.C. (January 12, 2017) – According to a new study by Pew Research, pro-Israel Americans have abandoned the Democrat Party and have found a home with Republicans.
For the first time ever, the Democrat Party is nearly equally split between support for Israel and support for the Palestinians. While 74 percent of Republicans sympathize with Israel compared to just 11 percent who sympathize with the Palestinians, only 33 percent of Democrats side with our closest ally, Israel.
“Over the past eight years, Democrats have moved far out of the mainstream by abandoning and alienating Israel. President Obama himself has made it clear time and again that pro-Israel Americans can no longer count on Democrats. Just last month the President stood by, allowing the United Nations to gang up on Israel,” said Matt Brooks, RJC Executive Director. “The fact that a mere 33 percent of Democrats sympathize with the only democracy in the Middle East should shatter the myth that support for our long-standing bond with Israel is still a bipartisan issue. This study confirms what we have long known: The Republican Party is the only home for pro-Israel voters."
For the first time, Democrats are about as pro-Palestinian as pro-Israel
Pew's new data also show unprecedented polarization when it comes to another top foreign policy issue: Israel. Similar numbers of Republicans and Democrats have sympathized more with Israel than with the Palestinians dating back to the late 1970s. Today, though, 74 percent of Republicans sympathize more with Israel, while just 33 percent of Democrats do the same.
And perhaps most notably, for the first time this century — if not ever — Democrats are now about equally split between sympathizing more with Israel (33 percent) and with the Palestinians (31 percent).
The change across the political spectrum is clear when you look at the chart below. The biggest shifts over the last 15 years have occurred among conservative Republicans, who have drifted toward a more pro-Israel view, and liberal Democrats, who have drifted more toward the Palestinians. The most politically polarized are driving the change.
While conservative Republicans favored Israel by a 44-point margin in 2001, the margin is now 70 points. And while liberal Democrats favored Israel by 30 points at the turn of the century, they now favor the Palestinians by 12 points.
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