December 2, 2023

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

The generational rift that explains Democrats’ concern about Israel

The generational rift that explains Democrats’ concern about Israel

in Poll of Economists/YouGov In the poll conducted from Sunday to Tuesday, 42% of Americans said they sympathized more with the Israelis in their long conflict with the Palestinians, while only 9% chose the Palestinians. Another 22% said their sympathy was about equal, and no more than one in four, 27%, were unsure.

Last week, Hamas fighters entered southern Israel on the border with the Gaza Strip and raided communities there, killing more than 1,000 Israelis and taking hundreds more hostage. The killings were denounced as an act of terrorism by President Joe Biden, who expressed US support for Israel in the aftermath.

But some liberal activists, including on universities, have said the killings are Israel’s fault because of its government’s support for settlement expansion in the West Bank and the economic and security restrictions it has applied to Gaza. Some Democratic lawmakers called for stronger recognition of Palestinian sovereignty in the wake of the war. More urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to avoid escalation in his response. Biden himself said on Wednesday that he told Netanyahu in one of their many calls that Israel must “operate by the rules of war” in the future.

Democratic divisions exist among voters, too, highlighting how much last week’s attack and subsequent war threatens to divide party leaders and loyal voters from younger, more liberal parts of the voter base. In the new poll conducted by The Economist magazine in collaboration with YouGov, 28% of Democrats said they sympathize with both groups equally, 26% said they sympathize more with Israel, and 15% said they sympathize more with the Palestinians.

See also  The US is relieved that China appears to be heeding the warnings about Russia

Age and ideology appear to be driving the divide among Democrats.

Among Americans under the age of 30, 25% said they sympathized more with Israelis, 19% with Palestinians, and 25% with both equally. The split was similar among those who described their ideology as liberal: 25 percent for Israelis, 17 percent for Palestinians, and 31 percent who said their sympathies were about equal.

Another poll, A Fox News poll Which was conducted from Saturday to Monday, also found similar splits by party and age. The poll showed greater support for Israel – and respondents were not offered the option of saying they sided equally with both groups – but a majority or near majority of Democrats (59 percent) and voters under 35 (49 percent) said they were more supportive of Israel. . Israelis are far less in the “Middle East conflict” than Republicans (79%) or voters 65 and older (82%).

And a Morning opinion poll Opinion polls conducted on Tuesday and Thursday also showed a wide partisan divide, with Republicans nearly twice as likely as Democrats to say they sympathize with Israelis.

The trend among Democrats and younger Americans has been clear over the past few years. a Gallup poll from earlier this year – Before the war – he found that support had reached a turning point: For the first time in more than 20 years, there were more Democrats than Israelis who sympathized with the Palestinians, driven largely by younger elements in the party membership.

The speed of movement was amazing. Democrats sided with the Israelis by 30 points in 2016, a difference of 41 points in just seven years.

See also  Russia refuses UN help as the death toll from breached dams rises

There was a similar movement among younger Americans in the Gallup poll. Five years ago, millennials, defined by Gallup as those born between 1980 and 1999, were 32 points more sympathetic to Israelis than to Palestinians. Earlier this year, they were split evenly.

Younger Americans are seeing more nuance in cross-cutting issues of sympathy toward one side or the other, said Sam Weinberg, executive director of the liberal youth group Path to Progress.

“I think the sympathies of young people, and leftists in general, lie with those who are seen as deprived,” he said, referring to the conditions in Gaza, which were described as “tragic.” Exceptionally bleak by International aid organizations.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an extremely complex one, and Weinberg cautioned that the long-standing question used to survey American positions — which side Americans sympathize with most — oversimplifies the issue.

“You can be pro-Israel and anti-Netanyahu. You can be pro-Palestinian and anti-Hamas.” “The false dualism we are presented with in the media and in this poll is really harmful.”

Other survey questions also reveal demographic divisions, including in the immediate aftermath of the Hamas attack.

separate YouGov poll Asked whether Americans think aid to Israel is a “very important” goal of US Middle East policy: 58% of Republicans said so, more than double the 24% of Democrats who agreed.