Commenting on a recent Pew Research Center for the People & the Press poll that showed 75 percent of Conservative Republicans sympathizing with Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians, compared with 33 percent of liberal Democrats siding with the Jewish state, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) on Jan. 3 noted the “continued existence of a large ‘Israel gap’” between the two parties.
In the Dec. 14 Pew poll, 2 percent of Conservative Republicans and 22 percent of liberal Democrats said they sympathized with the Palestinian side in the conflict.
Pew had asked 1,503 respondents the following question: “In the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, which side do you sympathize with more, Israel or the Palestinians?” From the poll’s results, Pew concluded that there continues to be “stark partisan differences in Middle East sympathies.”
“This poll confirms the troubling shift among rank-and-file Democrats, for whom support of Israel is now a minority position,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a Jan. 3 statement. “Other polls this past year, as well as the boos from the floor when a pro-Israel resolution was brought before the Democratic National Convention last summer, all point to lower support for Israel among Democrats. The traditional bipartisan support for Israel in Congress and the country is threatened by the leftward shift of the Democratic Party, a shift that increasingly makes it hard for some Democratic leaders to support Israel because of liberal pressure.”
The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) did not immediately return a request for comment from JNS.org.