Israpundit has done a useful analysis of the votes of individual Congressmen on issues affecting Israel–it seems to have been distributed only via e-mail, and not available on their site. The format of the data is pretty unwieldy, so instead of posting the whole thing I’ve done a bit of analysis. If this issue matters to you, then you might want to check and see if your current Congressman is on the list below. In any event, I think the data is pretty revealing.
Israpundit rates the Congresspeople on four votes:
–proposition 867, calling on the President to oppose the Goldstone report (nay=negative)
–letter to President to force Israel to end blockade of Gaza (yea=negative)
–Hoyer/Cantor bipartisan letter in support of Israel (nay=negative)
–the 2009 resolution recognizing Israel’s right to defend herself (nay=negative)
(The Israpundit data also considered support to the organization called J Street as a negative; I did not use this factor in my analysis)
Based on the above factors, the most consistently anti-Israel Congresspeople, scoring a “perfect” negative on all 4 factors, were:
Donna Edwards, Democrat, Ft Washington, MD
John Dingell, Democrat, Dearborn, MI
Maurice Hinchey, Democrat, Saugerties, NY
John Olver, Democrat, Amherst, MA
Raul Grijalva,Democrat, Tucson AZ
Barbara Lee,Democrat, Oakland,CA
Congresspeople with negative votes of 3 of the 4 factors were:
Peter DeFazio,D, Springfield, OR
Lois Capps,D,Santa Barbara,CA
Nick Rahall,D,Beckley, WV
Maxine Waters,D,Los Angeles,CA
Betty McCollum,D,St Paul,MN
Ron Paul,R,Lake Johnson,TX
Note that every single one of the “4″s, and all of the “3″s with the single exception of Ron Paul, are Democrats.
These Democratic voting patterns appear to reflect the values of their core supporters–Daniel Pipes notes that at the level of the individual voter, polls show a much higher level of support for Israel among Republicans than among Democrats:
An April 2009 poll by Zogby International asked about U.S. policy: Ten percent of Obama voters and 60 percent of voters for Republican John McCain wanted the president to support Israel. Get tough with Israel? Eighty percent of Obama voters said yes and 73 percent of McCain voters said no. Conversely, 67 percent of Obama voters said yes and 79 percent of McCain voters said no to Washington engaging with Hamas. And 61 percent of Obama voters endorsed a Palestinian “right of return,” while only 21 percent of McCain voters concurred.
Almost a year later, the same pollster asked American adults how best to deal with the Arab-Israeli conflict and found “a strong divide” on this question. Seventy-three percent of Democrats wanted the president to end the historic bond with Israel but treat Arabs and Israelis alike; only 24 percent of Republicans endorsed this shift.
A consensus exists that the two parties are growing further apart over time. Pro-Israel, conservative Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe finds that “the old political consensus that brought Republicans and Democrats together in support of the Middle East’s only flourishing democracy is breaking down.”…Thanks to changes in the Democratic party, Israel has become a partisan issue in American politics, an unwelcome development for it.
In late March 2010, during a nadir of U.S.-Israel relations, Janine Zacharia wrote in the Washington Post that some Israelis expect their prime minister to “search for ways to buy time until the midterm U.S. elections [of November 2010] in hopes that Obama would lose support and that more pro-Israel Republicans would be elected.” That an Israeli leader is thought to stall for fewer Congressional Democrats confirms the changes outlined here. It also provides guidance for voters.