Nearly half of U.S. Democrats—47 percent—believe Israel is a “racist” country, while only 13 percent of Republicans agree with the same statement, according to a new survey conducted by pollster Frank Luntz.
The survey, whose results were first reported by the Times of Israel, revealed that only 32 percent of Democrats actively disagreed when asked if Israel is a racist country, as opposed to 76 percent of Republicans. Seventy-six percent of Democrats, compared to 20 percent of Republicans, agreed that Israel has “too much influence” over U.S. foreign policy.
Luntz’s poll was conducted among 802 respondents. Asked if Israel wants peace with its neighbors, 48 percent Democrats agreed, compared to 88 percent of Republicans. Forty-five percent of Democrats would support a local politician who “criticized Israeli occupation and mistreatment of Palestinians.” Fifty-one percent of Democrats and 90 percent of Republicans said the U.S. support Israel over the Palestinians, while 75 percent of Democrats and 25 percent of Republicans believe Israeli settlements are an “impediment to peace.”
The results are a “disaster for Israel” and show that the Jewish state “can no longer claim to have the bipartisan support of America,” Luntz told the Times of Israel. But Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum think tank, believes the findings simply add to a narrative about the Democratic-Republican divide on Israel that has already been clear for more than a decade.
“We’ve known all this for a long time; he has simply provided a few more specifics,” Pipes told JNS.org.
In 2003, Pipes wrote a blog piece concerning American Arab and American Jewish shifting political leanings, predicting that the Democratic Party “will abandon its historic sympathy for Israel, implying that the considerable continuity in U.S. policy toward the Jewish state is a thing of the past; in the future, it will lurch one way and the other, depending on which party controls the White House.”
While he does not consider them novel, Pipes still called Luntz’s findings a “major problem for Israel,” saying that the “key method to fight this trend is deeply to understand the liberal-left anti-Zionist mentality and address its concerns, something very difficult for those who do not share it.”