There are a number of fissures in the Democratic coalition. This one is widening quickly.
The latest clashes between Israel and the Palestinians has revealed exactly how much the political centre of gravity in the Democratic Party has moved on the conflict in recent years.
“The shift is dramatic; it’s tectonic,” says pollster John Zogby, who has tracked US views on the Middle East for decades. In particular, younger generations are considerably more sympathetic to the Palestinians – and that age gap has been on full display with the Democratic Party.
While President Joe Biden has expressed a more traditional view, repeatedly emphasising that Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas rocket attacks, he’s finding himself out of step in a party that is now at least as concerned with the conditions on the ground for the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank – and Israeli policies viewed as contributing to their plight.
“We’ve seen a steady growth in support for Palestinians, but it’s never really been a high-intensity issue,” Zogby says. “It’s becoming that. It’s becoming a major wedge issue, particularly among Democrats, driven by non-white voters and younger voters, by progressives in general.”