Pew: Democrats evenly divided on whether Israel or Hamas is more responsible for the current violence

So that’s why Kerry made that mind-bendingly terrible ceasefire proposal. As usual, Obama was just playing to his base.

A small plurality of Democrats still blame Hamas more than they do Israel, but it’s within the margin of error.

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When asked whether Israel’s response to Hamas has been appropriate, 60 percent of Republicans say it’s either about right or hasn’t gone far enough. Among Democrats, that number is just 40 percent; nearly an equal amount, 35 percent, say that Israel’s gone too far. Which, I guess, helps explain that Michelle Nunn memo: Increasingly, if you’re a Democrat, you need a very strong counterincentive to resist the pro-Palestinian pull from rank-and-file liberals.

The demographic trend lines aren’t good here either if you’re hoping for bipartisan support of Israel for years to come:


Among adults aged 30 or older, Hamas overwhelmingly bears more responsibility than Israel does. Among the liberal/libertarian cohort of people aged 18-29, Israel bears more responsibility — and this isn’t the only poll showing that. Note the racial numbers too. Blacks and (especially) Latinos are more likely to blame Israel than Democrats are generally: As noted, 26 percent of Dems overall hold Israel responsible versus 29 percent who say Hamas is responsible, a pro-Israel spread of +3. Among blacks, the spread is -2; among Latinos, it’s … -15. Presumably (i.e. hopefully) that’s a function of a big margin of error due to a small sample size but I’d like to see more polling on this issue. Given the spread between whites, blacks, and Latinos here, if the numbers are borne out by other data, the Israel/Palestinian dispute will become a partisan issue faster than anyone thinks. Although, given the enormous spike in support among Republicans that Israel’s enjoyed over the last 25 years, I suppose it already is.

Via Greg Hengler, here’s the Palestinian representative to the UN reassuring Wolf Blitzer that those tunnels the IDF have been destroying are mainly entry points for civilians to travel or something.