Poll Shows Sharp Division Between Democrats and Republicans on Gaza Action

From the Republican Jewish Coalition <press@rjchq.org>

Contact: Shari Hillman
Phone: 202-638-6688

RJC Responds to Poll Showing Sharp Division Between Democrats and Republicans on Gaza Action

Majority of Democrats oppose Israeli self-defense actions in Gaza;
Nearly two-thirds of Republicans support it.

Washington, D.C. (January 2, 2009) -- The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) released a statement today in response to a Rasmussen poll of American opinions of the Israel-Hamas conflict, which showed a majority of Democrats opposed to Israel's defensive actions in Gaza while nearly two-thirds of Republicans supported Israel's actions. RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said:

The latest Rasmussen poll (conducted December 30, 2008*) highlights the continuing deep division between rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans regarding support for Israel's right to defend herself. As Israel takes military action to defend herself from the continuous assault of rockets and mortars coming from Hamas-controlled Gaza, that divide is especially note-worthy.

The Rasmussen poll shows that there is a huge split between Democrats and Republicans on whether Israel should have undertaken the current military action against Hamas. Democrats opposed the Israeli action 31%-55% and Republicans supported Israel's course of action 62%-27%.

This is not an isolated instance. We saw a similar split between Democrats and Republicans when Israel fought Hezbollah forces in Lebanon in the summer of 2006. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in late July 2006 showed that among Republicans, an overwhelming 84% said they sympathized more with Israel (1% sympathized more with Arab states); by comparison, just 43% of Democrats did so (12% sympathize more with Arab states). In a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll at the very end of July, when asked whether the U.S. should be more neutral in the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah or whether the U.S. should align itself with Israel, Democrats supported neutrality over alignment, 54% to 39%. However, by comparison, Republicans strongly supported alignment with the Jewish state, 64% to 29%.

While we are pleased that many Democratic congressional leaders have offered their unqualified support of Israel, the fact that an overwhelming majority of Democrats at the grassroots level oppose Israel's self-defensive action is troubling and a cause for concern in the Jewish community.

We hope that going forward, pro-Israel Democratic congressional leaders and advocacy groups such as the National Jewish Democratic Council will redouble their efforts to educate grassroots Democrats and build greater support for Israel's right of self-defense.

* The poll is summarized here.


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1 comment:

Leora said...

Find a diplomatic solution? With whom?