The Hill reports: Republicans believe that the deepening crisis in Gaza could ultimately loosen the grip that the Democratic Party has traditionally held upon American Jewish voters.
While declarations of a rift between Democrats and the Jewish community have proven premature in the past, things could be different this time, they assert.
Just in the last week, the Obama administration used unusually strong language to condemn the shelling of a United Nations-run school in Gaza, apparently by the Israeli military, and drafted a document for a cease-fire that Israeli officials denounced as favoring Hamas.
Conservatives say the overall stance of the administration has created an atmosphere of skepticism in the Democratic base toward Israel.
They point to a succession of recent polls to make their case. A Gallup survey last month found that only 31 percent of Democrats believed Israel’s actions against Hamas were justified, whereas 65 percent of Republicans held that view.
A Pew poll during the same period asked people which side was most to blame for the violence. Democrats split almost evenly on that question, with 29 percent blaming Hamas and 26 percent blaming Israel. By contrast, more than four times as many Republicans held Hamas culpable (60 percent) as pinned the blame on Israel (13 percent.)
“The bigger issue is not whether the Obama administration imposes a ceasefire on Israel or not,” said Noam Neusner, who worked for the administration of President George W. Bush as a liaison to the Jewish community.
“The bigger issue is with the Democratic Party electorate, namely academic elites, African Americans and younger voters. As those blocs of voters become more skeptical of Israel’s right to defend itself – and that seems to be happening – that is going to make American Jews who are Democratic Party voters less comfortable in their own party.”
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