by Barry Rubin
According to the latest Pew poll, 51 percent of the American public say they sympathize more with the Israelis, while just 12% say they sympathize more with the Palestinians. (14 percent say neither; 19 percent have no opinion). That's very impressive, right?
That means that two-thirds of Americans who have an opinion sympathize more with
What about all the academics who hate
The poll also shows that among Democrats the number supporting
True, among those describing themselves as liberals, the gap is only 35 to 27 percent which is quite narrow and far different from the overall population. Here is where the hostility has made some real difference. Yet among Democrats as a whole it is a much wider 43 to 18, and for Democrats to be elected they need votes from the even more pro-Israel independents.
But there's more. Among independents, support for
Wait a minute, though. Pew says regarding the overall figure (51-12), "These numbers have changed little in recent years." But that's just flat wrong.
In fact, in 1990 the figures were 34 percent support for
Since 1990 backing for the Palestinians has remained the same low number, while sympathy for
This is extraordinary.
How can one explain this tremendous shift in the face of such a contrary position by a vocal part of the intellectual and cultural elite?
Presumably, the public understands that Israel tried sincerely to make peace and was turned down by the other side; that radical Arab nationalism and militant Islamism hate America for lots more reasons than its support of Israel; an understanding about the origins of terrorism; a grasp of the threat from Iran (quite visible in other parts of the poll); and many other factors. In short, it is a victory for common sense.
[For the kind of thinking most Americans must be doing, even if only subconsciously, see here]
These figures should shape our understanding of the mood in the
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.