It has been a challenging few years between Democrats and Jewish voters in the U.S. given the rise of The Squad and other progressive members of Congress who tend to consider the plight of Palestinians more than their establishment peers.
But political analysts see the latest Israeli war against Hamas as an opportunity for the party to demonstrate that it remains a reliable partner for Israel.
The New York Times reported how the Democrat Party—led by the White House—was quick to condemn comments from Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. And Cori Bush, D-Mo., who called for an immediate ceasefire after the Hamas attack killed hundreds.
The Democrats seem to be in something of a lockstep, and these progressive voices have since toned down their support of Palestine. The White House is also trying to strike a balance by allowing Israel to kill Palestinians and destroy Gaza, but not to a degree that could prompt countries like Iran and Turkey to intervene.
President Joe Biden said it is incumbent on Israel to follow the rules of war, but he also said Israel would be making a “big mistake” if its goal is to occupy Gaza.
“Look, what happened in Gaza, in my view, is Hamas and the extreme elements of Hamas don’t represent all the Palestinian people,” he said.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who is Jewish, was critical of fellow Democrats who did not express the correct level of outrage after the Hamas attack. He said it is important to remember how Americans felt after 9/11.
“And what Israel needs right now, in addition to our military support and our intelligence support, is our unequivocal moral support,” he said, according to The Times. “I’m deeply disturbed by some of the comments of my colleagues on both sides of this war. That should have no place in our discussion of Israel right now.”
NBC News, citing a March Gallup poll, reported that—for the first time—Democratic voters are now more sympathetic toward Palestinians than Israelis.
But Mark Mellman, a pollster, told Politico that the Hamas attack was so brutal and the videos so heartbreaking, that it “brought a kind of awful moral definition to the politics of the Democratic Party.”
“The savagery of Hamas has moved the center of gravity in a pro-Israel direction,” Mellman told Politico. “This is a redefining moment in the same way that ’67 and ’73 were redefining moments.”
TRENDPOST: Messaging is everything.
The State Department told diplomats in a memo on Friday that they should not mention “de-escalation/ceasefire,” “end to violence/bloodshed” and “restoring calm,” when it comes to Israel’s revenge attacks in Gaza.
The Huffington Post, which viewed the high-level memo, said, “The revelation provides a stunning signal about the Biden administration’s reluctance to push for Israeli restraint as the close U.S. partner expands the offensive it launched after Hamas—which rules Gaza—attacked Israeli communities on Oct. 7.”
A State Department official told the Huffington Post that they would not comment on internal communications.
In the meantime, Republican politicians have been forceful in their support for Israel, led by Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and GOP presidential hopeful. She condemned Hamas and said, “I don’t know how they justify 1,200 dead. I don’t know how they justify the torture. That’s between them and God.”
Haley must have forgotten the torture methods used by the U.S. against “terrorists” who were never charged with a crime in secret safe houses that are out of the reach of American law. But it’s not the same when the U.S. kidnaps people, tortures them in Guantanamo and other countries and kills them, because we’re not the terrorists!