Democrats beware — Centrists support Israel
Photo: AP Images
any presidential polls show that swing voters, who are likely to decide the 2024 presidential election, would gladly cast their ballots for either a third-party candidate, a Democrat other than Joe Biden, or a Republican not named Donald Trump.
Other public opinion surveys show the vast majority of Americans support Israel in its war against Hamas, but if you follow the mainstream media, especially their coverage of mass anti-Israel protests, it sure looks as if the world is against us. Which view is correct?
According to Dan Backer, an attorney, lobbyist, and veteran campaign counsel based in Washington, D.C., Democrats would be making an election-losing mistake if they bow to their progressive, anti-Israel wing. Over the weekend, Real Clear Politics published an op-ed by Backer titled “Democrats Beware: Swing Voters Know Israel Is the Good Guy, and Hamas Is the Bad Guy.”
“The overwhelming majority of US swing voters recognize the current battle is one of good versus evil, knowing Hamas is to blame for the suffering on both sides,” Backer wrote.
Backer gets his numbers from a firm called Impact Social, a company with offices in Washington and London that tracks 60 million online blogs, forums, and news websites in 44 different languages, and employs a team of in-house human experts to read and analyze thousands of individual posts.
He contends that Impact Social’s sophisticated analysis of the social media posts of 40,000 swing voters shows that nearly 80% of their online conversation is sympathetic toward Israel and against Hamas. He says that most Americans see Israel as “a strong ally amidst a sea of tyranny terrorism and evil” and warns American leaders, on both sides of the aisles, not to fall victim to their political fringes.
“The radical left’s insistence that Israel brought the attack upon itself is a moral disgrace, and it will come back to haunt Democrats the more they align themselves with the Hamas caucus of Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” Backer wrote. “But, on the other hand, some ‘America First’ Republicans who would willingly abandon a loyal, democratic ally in a time of crisis also disgrace themselves. Neither position is tenable, and both extremes should be reviled.”
Backer has a diverse legal and analytic background. He served as a legal policy analyst in military and overseas voting for the Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program. In 2010, he founded DB Capitol Strategies PLLC, a law firm specializing in campaign finance and political law. He has served as counsel for more than 40 campaigns, candidates, and PACs, including the Stop Hillary PAC, as well as counsel for a pro-Trump PAC in 2016 called the Great America PAC.
For 2024, Backer supports Trump’s rival, Ron DeSantis, and he contends that Trump’s big lead is misleading, but that’s a story for another column. In any event, with both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary only two months away, we will all be wiser sooner rather than later.
No Backing Down
Backer’s analysis on Israel support is more urgent, as Israel faces increasing pressure in some corners of the Biden administration to curb its military campaign on humanitarian grounds.
Once again, the Biden administration and many other foreign governments appear to be relying on Hamas propaganda that cynically plays up humanitarian crises facing the Arabs of Gaza that should be blamed squarely on Hamas. After all, nobody asked them to build a terrorist infrastructure in and underneath hospitals, schools, mosques, and private residences. It’s not clear why Israel is being made the fall guy for destroying what should never have been built.
During a news conference on Motzaei Shabbos in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Netanyahu hardened his stance on issues that are bound to put him in direct conflict with American policy.
While Secretary of State Blinken has stated clearly that he expects the Palestinian Authority to be part of the ultimate solution in Gaza, Netanyahu reiterated that “the IDF will continue to have security control over the Gaza Strip for as long as necessary to prevent terrorism from it.”
When a reporter asked Bibi point-blank whether the Palestinian Authority would have a role to play in ruling Gaza, provided Hamas is ousted, Netanyahu replied that there was no chance that Israel would invite any civilian authority into Gaza that teaches its children to hate and commit violence against Israel, or that pays families of terrorists who murder Jews.
The next morning, President Isaac Herzog held a news conference at which he displayed an Arabic-language translation of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf that IDF soldiers found a few days ago in a child’s room in northern Gaza.
This is the enemy Israel is up against. One who draws on the most vile and vicious forms of anti-Semitism to indoctrinate its people and stoke hate and violence.
A series of governments, mostly led by Netanyahu, tolerated this for almost two decades before the horrific Simchas Torah massacres forced their hands. At the news conference, Netanyahu dodged a question about whether he was ready to admit that his policy to allow suitcases of Qatari cash into Gaza was a failure. Netanyahu replied that’s a misstatement of his government’s policy, and noted the numerous military campaigns the IDF has fought to deter Hamas.
It’s too late now for deterrence. It’s become a fight to the finish, and here is where Israel will find support — either from the social media analysts that Dan Backer favors, or even from the mainstream pollsters that Backer eschews.
A new survey released Sunday by pollster Mark Penn of the Harvard/Harris Poll corroborated Backer’s contention that an overwhelming majority believes Israel is justified. The poll showed that 84% of the 2,116 registered voters it surveyed in mid-October side more with Israel than Hamas, some 75% believed the October 7 Hamas attack was genocidal, and that 79% say that Israel justified in eliminating the Hamas government.
The Democratic Party’s progressive wing may be louder and more boisterous, and they continue to receive an outsized share of media coverage, but if President Biden wants to be re-elected on the back of the swing voters who are likely to decide the election, he would be well-advised to pay attention to the proverbial silent majority.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 986)
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