Israel has a steadfast friend in the Democratic Party, even as the Jewish state faces foes on the extremes of the political spectrum. Last week’s Pew poll on differences in partisan attitudes toward Israel set off some conversation and speculation in the pro-Israel community. While the survey claimed support for Israel among Democrats was decreasing, the results do not tell the full story of a party that remains squarely behind the Jewish state.
As former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro and Tamara Wittes of the Brookings Institution pointed out in an article for The Atlantic, the poll suffered from multiple flaws when it came to gauging the attitudes of Americans toward Israel. For one, it based its results on only one question: whether participants “sympathized” more with Israel or the Palestinians. As Shapiro and Wittes wrote, there is so much that such a question leaves out. Some Americans may “sympathize” with the Palestinians while strongly supporting Israel’s right to defend itself and celebrating our two countries’ shared values.