The era of bipartisan support for Israel largely over. Support for Israel is now a Republican issue — and opposition to Israel a Democratic one.
That trend began when the far-left wrongly blamed Jews in the George W. Bush administration — the “Israel lobby” — for the Iraq War. It accelerated when President Barack Obama, who had long associated with anti-Israel figures, chose to create “distance” between the U.S. and Israel, including the Iran nuclear deal.
And with the midterm election results on Tuesday night, the transformation of the Israel issue was complete. The Democrats will be bringing several new anti-Israel representatives to the U.S. House, including:
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), who sided with the terrorist group Hamas when it sent “protesters” to storm the Israeli border, and who said she opposed the “occupation of Palestine” but could not define it;
- Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), a radical leftist who has called for the destruction of Israel as a separate state, causing even the left-wing J Street organization to withdraw its endorsement of her candidacy;
- Ilhan Omar (MN-5), who has referred to Israel as an “apartheid regime,” and who once tweeted: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel”;
Republicans suffered the defeat of several pro-Israel Republicans, including Rep. John Faso (R-NY) and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus. Both lost to Democrats who are critical of Israel.
However, pro-Israel Republicans also won several key races.
Foremost among these were the race for governor in Florida, where Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), one of the most pro-Israel members of Congress, defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum, who is closely tied to an anti-Israel organization. Republicans also celebrated the re-election of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a champion of the U.S.-Israel alliance.
In addition, Republicans won Tuesday in races that had been targeted by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) because the Democratic candidates had explicit anti-Israel records.
In Virginia’s 5th district, Democrat Leslie Cockburn had literally written an entire book bashing Israel. The RJC launched an ad attacking her record, helping Republican Denver Riggleman win a closely watched district.
In Pennsylvania’s 1st district, the RJC launched an ad against Democrat Scott Wallace, whose family foundation had supported anti-Israel groups, and who infamously used the “f-word” in a debate held in a local synagogue.
Though Israel was not a major nationwide issue in the election, not one Democrat attended the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Both DeSantis and Cruz were personally on hand in May for the embassy opening, as were other Republican members of Congress.
Though there are still Democratic voters who support Israel — and support for Israel among all Americans remains very high — the party’s elected leaders have chosen the other side.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.