I put off reading it, because I knew it would depress me. Then, because I also knew it would be important to read, as well as lucidly written, thought-provoking, intelligent, and informative, I got over my childish reluctance and read part two in Richard Baehr’s three part expose about the increasing hostility on the American Left towards Israel. Fortunately, the article also reveals the logical fallacies underlying so much of that hostility.
Surprisingly, to the extent it focused on the native common sense of ordinary Americans, as opposed to the twisted thinking of American intellectuals, including many self-hating Jews (Soros, Chomsky, etc.), it was also less depressing than I feared. Nicely, it celebrates the beauty of the connection between Jews who support Israel and Evangelicals who do the same.
Anyway, I’m quoting a little bit from the article (the cheering part), just to whet your appetite for the whole thing:
Would American policy change if the debate were opened up?
The real problem for pro-Palestinian Arabs and Muslims and their allies on the progressive left (who have adopted anti-Israel attitudes as a religion, much like their passionate hatred of the Iraq war and George Bush), is that Americans are not on their side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If Congress in a largely bipartisan fashion is pro-Israel, it is because their constituents are overwhelmingly pro-Israel. AIPAC did not make the man or the woman on the street uncomfortable with Palestinian suicide bombers, or with the Palestinians who cheered the 9/11 attacks in cites across the West Bank and Gaza, or with the Palestinian media, schools and mosques in which hatred is spewed for Jews, Christians, America, the West, and all non-Muslims (infidels).
The Gallup organization has been polling Americans on their sympathies in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians for decades. In every poll taken on the subject, the pro-Israel group has always been much larger. In the latest survey, the numbers show 58% for Israel (close to an all-time high), and 20% for the Palestinians . The 38% margin is one of the largest ever recorded in the survey. Gallup says fewer Americans are neutral or do not care about the conflict than in the past. The results also show very sharp differences among self-proclaimed Democrats and Republicans. Democrat-leaning voters are much more likely to be supportive of the Palestinians than Republican-leaning voters.
In the last few years, there has been a succession of books attacking evangelical Christians, also called “right wing Christians”, for their alleged control over American politics. In fact critics on the left believe they are in the center of political debate, and all who disagree with them are right wing or far right wing or “wingnuts”. It is not clear whom they would regard as left wing other than Joseph Stalin and Chairman Mao perhaps (but only on their bad days). It is not surprising that some of the most vitriolic polemicists on the subject are also hard-line anti-Israel in their views (Chris Hedges is a prime example). With Christian Zionism in full bloom, the left’s hysteria over and hatred of the Christian right will only be more on display, and more intolerant. Christian evangelicals are a very large group of pro-Israel Americans who are among those surveyed in all the polls taken. And no Israel lobby was needed to make them supportive of the one Jewish state.