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  • Congressional and Voter Attitudes Toward Israel

    Posted by David Foster on October 19th, 2010 (All posts by )

    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
    George Miller,Democrat,Martinez,CA

    Congresspeople with negative votes of 3 of the 4 factors were:

    Peter DeFazio,D, Springfield, OR
    Lois Capps,D,Santa Barbara,CA
    Sam Farr,D,Carmel,CA
    Andre Carson,D,Indianapolis,IN
    John Oliver,D,Amherst,MA
    Nick Rahall,D,Beckley, WV
    Lynn Wolsey,D,Petaluna,CA
    Maxine Waters,D,Los Angeles,CA
    Betty McCollum,D,St Paul,MN
    Dennis Kucinich,D,Cleveland,OH
    Ron Paul,R,Lake Johnson,TX
    James Moran,D,Arlington,VA
    Jim McDermott,D,Seattle,WA
    Gwen Moore,Milwaukee,WI

    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.

    and

    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.

     

    6 Responses to “Congressional and Voter Attitudes Toward Israel”

    1. David Foster Says:

      Some related commentary from Robert Avrech, who says:

      “I didn’t leave the Democrat Party. The Democrats abandoned me.”

    2. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Looking at the names, a few explanations occur to me.

      Dingell, of course, represents the district with the highest Arab and Muslim population outside the Middle East. Dearborn is where the street ministry people were arrested for handing out Bibles near an Arab meeting.

      Blacks may tend to be anti-Israel.

      Barbara Lee,Democrat, Oakland,CA CBC

      Andre Carson,D,Indianapolis,IN CBC

      Maxine Waters,D,Los Angeles,CA CBC

      Gwen Moore,Milwaukee,WI CBC

      Actually, fewer than I expected.

      McDermott, of course, was Saddam’s favorite Congressman.

    3. tehag Says:

      So: is the world irrevocably on the path to Hell (WW3)? Will the divisions between the Democrat and Republican Parties over Israel leave the Jews to be massacred by Arabs or Persians or Turks with the tacit approval of the EU? Will the apparent weakness of the United States lead others to conclude that now is the time to settle scores, for example, India and Pakistan or China; China and Taiwan; Russia and Ukraine? Can use of nuclear weapons be restricted to Arabia?

      “These Democratic voting patterns appear to reflect the values of their core supporters.”

      Democracy works: voters elect those who best reflect themselves.

    4. MadVoterInMN Says:

      I see my intellectually inept congresswoman, MN Rep D Betty McCollum made your list. Here is a blog post I wrote a couple months ago about her views towards Israel.

      http://mncdneedschange.blogspot.com/2010/08/betty-mccollum-supports-hamas-not.html

      She is in a tough battle against a great challenger in Teresa Collett; we are praying and working to get Teresa elected, and rid congress of this goof; who as part of her re-election campaign has to be the only person running on the I Love Nancy Pelosi platform…

      http://mncdneedschange.blogspot.com/2010/09/mn-rep-d-betty-mccollum-supports-nancy.html

    5. David Foster Says:

      Raul Grijalva, a “perfect” 4 on the list, also appears to have been associated with a Code Pink effort to send cash and supplies to **enemy insurgents** and their families in Fallujah.

      Another reason to support the rocket scientist.

    6. setbit Says:

      As someone who follows Ron Paul closely, I want to point out that he almost certainly voted no on all four of those resolutions for the simple reason that the Constitution doesn’t give Congress any general authority over foreign policy, other than regulating commerce and declaring war. Such is the age we’re living in, when adhering to his oath of office as a matter of principle puts Dr. Paul squarely on the lunatic fringe.

      Actually, that’s the only comprehensible reason I can think of for voting against H RES 34. I consider it a very reasonable point of view to say that the House of Representatives has no constitutional business sticking its nose into foreign conflicts, as long as one is consistent about it (which Ron Paul is).

      But I can’t imagine what kind of sick thought process would disagree with the proposition that Hamas does bad things and that they ought to stop. I wouldn’t trust those four Dems who voted no with they keys to my car for ten minutes, much less a seat in the US House of Representatives for most of their adult lives.