The Corner

Americans (Especially Republicans) Know Who Their Friends Are

But that wasn’t always the case. Bill Kristol writes:

Now we know who constitutes the real Israel lobby: the American public. Especially the Republican-leaning part of it.

Consider the results of a new poll. . . . What the survey shows is this: The American people strongly support the state of Israel, and want their elected representatives to do so as well. An astounding 93 percent of those polled say the United States should be concerned about the security of the state of Israel. A majority — 54 percent — say the U.S. should be “very concerned” about Israel’s security. Virtually the same number care that their elected representatives be pro-Israel. . . .

The bottom line: The public is strongly pro-Israel. But the public consists basically of two groups. The GOP/conservative/Fox News-viewing part of the public is overwhelmingly pro-Israel. The Democratic/liberal/New York Times-reading part of America is . . . comme-ci, comme-ca.

Over 50 years ago, conservatives and Republicans were not so pro-Israel. Indeed, the newly founded conservative magazine, National Review, was hostile to Israel. This prompted the political philosopher Leo Strauss to write an unusual letter to the editor, published in National Review’s January 5, 1957 issue. There Strauss remarked on his agreement with many articles appearing in National Review, but he expressed his incomprehension at the magazine’s hostility to Israel. He noted that if you were attached to the Bible, you should be attached to Israel; if you wanted to stand against “the tide of ‘progressive’ leveling,” you should stand with Israel; and that if you cared about the West, you should care about Israel.

Much to their credit, National Review, and American conservativism more broadly, long ago took these admonitions to heart. American conservatism is now unequivocally pro-Israel. In large part thanks to this fact, the American public as a whole is solidly pro-Israel. It is American liberals who are divided and uncertain.

Jennifer Rubin has some additional thoughts here.

Clifford D. May — Clifford D. May is an American journalist and editor. He is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative policy institute created shortly after the 9/11 attacks, ...

Most Popular

Culture

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More
Immigration

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More