Polls Showing Support for Israel Hide Some Ugly Truths

Polls Showing Support for Israel Hide Some Ugly Truths
A demonstrator holds up the flags of Israel and the United States during a rally in support of Israel outside the Colorado State Capitol Building in Denver on Oct. 15, 2023. (Jason Connolly/AFP via Getty Images)
David Harsanyi
10/27/2023
Updated:
10/30/2023
0:00
Commentary

According to a new Harvard/Harris poll, only the police and military are more respected than Israel. It’s heartening that Americans overwhelmingly support civilization over the Islamofascists of Gaza and Iran.

Then again, “Palestinian Authority” gets 17 percent support, and Hamas has a 14 percent positive rating—which is to say 14 percent of your neighbors have taken the side of a medieval religious cult that’s vicious enough to cut Jewish babies out of mothers before beheading them. If 14 percent of Americans supported ISIS or al-Qaeda or the Nazi Party, we would probably be concerned.

Anyway, those numbers seem far too small to me. I think there’s a good reason why. For one thing, many of those who claim to be “supporters” of the Jewish state are not. These are the Barack Obama types, who do the perfunctory throat-clearing about Israel’s right to exist before going into the usual reasons it should not. This faction—let’s be generous and call them “both-siders”—is a growing concern in the Democratic Party and on the fringes of the right.

According to the Harvard poll crosstabs, 36 percent of “liberals” of all ages agreed that the Hamas attack on civilians was justified, as did 15 percent of “conservatives.” Although anti-Semitism isn’t the exclusive domain of left or right, full-blown Hamas apologists are now deeply embedded in left-wing institutions such as universities, major newspapers, cable news, progressive politics, think tanks, and the State Department. They have the kind of disproportionate reach and institutional respect that cosplaying Nazis standing in front of Disney can only dream about.

Also according to the Harvard poll, a majority of 18- to 24-year-olds believe the killing of more than 1,200 Israeli and American civilians was justified. Nearly half of those 25 to 35 said they believe it was justified. That percentage might be a bit lower than what you find in The New York Times newsroom; nevertheless, it is only going to get worse.

How many young people working as engineers or carpenters or starting a new business or at home tending to a new family support Hamas? Very few, one imagines. What about the literature majors or those pursuing international relations degrees or Ph.D.s in one of the social pseudosciences? There is little hope for those who attend hermetically sealed ideological laboratories of higher “learning,” where identitarianism, intersectionality, and other iterations of Marxism—most contingent on some form of anti-Semitism—are taught.

These institutions are run by cowardly administrators who stand up for free speech only when defending terror apologists. They will continue to create credentialed moral nitwits. These are not often places for young people to learn critical thinking skills. But they are places that produce ideologues who’ll be getting those editorial jobs and professorships and teachers union presidencies and law clerkships and security clearance jobs at the Pentagon.

Who else makes up this minority? We’re not supposed to talk about it, but it’s clear. According to a Cygnal poll (the outfit gets an “A” rating from FiveThirtyEight), a majority of American Muslims agree that Hamas was “justified” in its attack on Israel as well.

Though it is indisputable that anti-Semitism is deeply ingrained in certain Muslim communities, to say so will likely get you smeared as “Islamophobic”—always a big topic of conversation in Washington when Jews are being murdered.

But look to Europe, where crimes against Jews have skyrocketed in places with high levels of immigration from the Middle East, to understand the potential problem. When Pew polled the Muslim world, it found nearly universal antipathy toward Jews. Not only in places like Jordan and Egypt, where governments have spent decades ginning up Jew-hatred to distract from their own failing, but also in Muslim-majority nations such as Indonesia, where there are about 20 Jews and the Israeli border sits thousands of miles away. Anti-Semites such as Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib did not appear from the ether. They represent communities in Michigan and Minnesota.

There have been dozens of Charlottesville-type marches in the United States in the past weeks, with chants of genocide ringing in the air. They were attended largely by Muslim protesters, along with the hard left (including a number of self-hating Jews). Though Jews are by far the most targeted religious minority in the United States, we have yet to have a big national conversation about the problem. No one in major media dares even bring it up.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
David Harsanyi is a conservative journalist, syndicated author, and editor. He wrote for the Denver Post for eight years, and edited for The Federalist for more than six years before becoming senior writer at National Review in 2019. Harsanyi authored five books, including “First Freedom: A Ride Through America's Enduring History With the Gun” and “Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent.”
twitter