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Tom Shillue

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Democrats: Badly out of the mainstream on Israel

(AP Photo/Robert E. Klein)

A survey of opinion on the Middle East brings good news to Israel and bad news for Democrats. The Pew Center asked the question: “In the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, who do you sympathize with?” Among every gender, every racial or religious group, every age or educational level, Americans strongly sided with Israelis.

Only one political group — self-identified Democrats — split nearly evenly between sympathies for Israel and the Palestinians — with 27 percent with the Jewish state, 26 percent for the Palestinians.

By contrast, Republicans backed Israel by a lopsided ratio of 13 to 1, while Independents favored the Jewish state by nearly 3 to 1. What puts Democrats so badly out of the mainstream?

In part, it’s the moral relativism that’s infected contemporary liberalism, leaving the left reluctant ever to say one side’s right and the other’s wrong. Moreover, Israelis and Americans share a reverence for three institutions many liberals instinctively distrust: the military, business and traditional faith.

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