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Israel Lobby Power Waning? Pundits Weigh In On How Influence Stands Today

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 04:26 PM

The conflict in the Middle East creates diminishing influence for the Israel lobby. Whether a drop in support is temporary because of periodic hostilities or a sign of a continued decline, the pundits have noticed changes in how people view Israel.

More Democrats, even Jewish Democrats, have increased their criticism toward Israel in recent years, according to JTA, a Jewish news source. During the Gaza conflict, Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat from Kentucky, told MSNBC he didn’t see how Israel’s incursion into Gaza would “solve the long-term problem.” He also added, “the Palestinians are essentially quarantined there; that’s the polite word.” Yarmuth mentioned Jewish opinions regarding the Middle East have become more diversified. Republican political pollster Frank Luntz has concluded that Israel is losing support among traditional Democrats, including women and minorities, JTA notes.

Vote Now: Should the U.S. Continue to Support Israel?

Support may be waning among Washington insiders for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobby group, according to a Zogby poll in early 2014 of Washington staffers, government officials, think tank leaders and journalists as reported by the Washington Examiner. A majority of the 165 subjects polled thought AIPAC was losing its influence in Washington and only 18 percent believed the pro-Israel lobby’s work would increase the chances for peace in the Middle East. More than 50 percent in the survey agreed that “AIPAC is the National Rifle Association of U.S. Middle East policy.”

Israel’s support among Democrats may be decreasing while it remains strong among Republicans, according to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center. Republican sympathy for Israel increased by five points over previous months in the summer of 2014 to 73 percent following the Gaza conflict. But Democratic support dropped two points to 44 percent. While it doesn’t necessarily mean Democrats support Palestinians, it may indicate that Democrats are becoming weary when it comes to war in the Middle East, the Huffington Post noted.

Be Heard: Should the U.S. Cut Back Israel Support? Vote Here

A Gallop poll around the same time found more support among Republicans than Democrats in Israel’s response in Gaza to the attacks from Hamas. Support for Israel has been waning among women, minorities and young people, the poll revealed. Americans under age 30 called Israel’s actions unjustified, 51 percent to 25 percent in that category. As these groups make up more of the Democratic Party, their views could influence party leaders.

Salon reported the attack on Gaza caused an “obscene civilian death toll.” This has had a profound effect on the millennials, who receive much of their information through social media. They see many images of war-torn areas from Palestinian sympathizers. Photos from cell phone cameras and even mainstream news bring out emotions when deaths of children are involved. As a result, the Israel lobby suffers as Israel receives criticism when it chooses a response that involves military use.

Editor's Note: Newsmax Readers Weigh In on Israel. Vote Now

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The conflict in the Middle East creates diminishing influence for the Israel lobby. Whether a drop in support is temporary because of periodic hostilities or a sign of a continued decline, the pundits have noticed changes in how people view Israel.
israel, lobby
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2014-26-20
Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 04:26 PM
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