Republicans Support Israel; Democrats Prefer "Neutrality"
A Los Angeles Times poll finds, not surprisingly, that Americans are highly sympathetic to Israel in the Jewish state's conflict with Hezbollah. But there are partisan differences:
The poll results suggested that the Middle East conflict could have domestic political consequences in the 2006 midterm elections and beyond, due in part to a growing partisan divide over Israel and its relationship with the United States. Republicans generally expressed stronger support for Israel, while Democrats tended to believe the United States should play a more neutral role in the region.
Overall, 50% of the survey's respondents said the United States should continue to align with Israel, compared with 44% who backed a more neutral posture. But the partisan gap was clear: Democrats supported neutrality over alignment, 54% to 39%, while Republicans supported alignment with the Jewish state 64% to 29%.
When John Kerry* ran for president, one of his chief talking points was that, as he put in in the first debate, he would "build strong alliances," in contrast with President Bush, whom he accused of having "pushed our allies aside." Yet Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to want to sell out a U.S. ally that faces a threat to its existence.Ezzie: I think this is important for Jewish voters to keep in mind for the future.
ADDENDUM: To be clear, I sometimes support neutrality when it comes to Israel, depending on what the other option is - for instance, I prefer Bush's "stay out of the way" approach to Clinton's "let's see how we can help". However, the choice here was not in terms of what we should do, but who we should be aligned with. To that, the answer should be "with Israel".