WASHINGTON (JTA) — For the first time, a poll by Gallup found that Democrats are likelier to sympathize with Palestinians than with Israelis, though a majority of Democrats have a favorable view of Israel.
Asked, “In the Middle East situation, are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?” 49% of Democrats sympathized more with the Palestinians and 38% sympathized more with the Israelis. An additional 13%, according to the poll, sympathized with neither, both or had no opinion. It was the first time since at least 2001 that more Democrats sympathized with the Palestinians than with the Israelis.
Sympathy for Israelis among Republicans remains strong, with 78% sympathizing more with the Israelis and 11% sympathizing more the Palestinians. Among independents, 49% sympathize with the Israelis and 32% with the Palestinians. Overall, a majority, 54%, of Americans sympathize more with Israelis and 31% sympathize more with Palestinians.
“The resulting 23-point gap in Americans’ sympathy for Israel versus the Palestinians represents Israel’s slimmest advantage on this question in Gallup’s World Affairs poll trend,” Gallup said. “It is also the first time Israel has not enjoyed a better than 2-to-1 advantage over the Palestinians in Americans’ sympathies.”
Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats view Israel favorably, according to Gallup. Overall, with 68% of respondents have a favorable opinion of the country. Among Republicans, 82% view Israel favorably, and the figure among Democrats is 56%.
Last year, sympathies among Democrats in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were virtually tied, with 40% sympathizing more with Israelis and 38% sympathizing more with the Palestinians. A decade ago, 55% of Democrats sympathized more with Israel, and 19% sympathized more with the Palestinians. Israel’s positive margin in the survey has progressively declined since then.
The trend in recent years, Gallup said in its release Thursday, has been toward increased sympathy toward the Palestinians, but it did not detail what caused the 11% surge in sympathy for the Palestinians among Democrats in the past year.
Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have intensified over the past year. More than a dozen Israelis have died in attacks this year while dozens of Palestinians, who Israel says are mostly militants, have died in Israeli military raids in the West Bank. Late last year, Israelis elected a governing coalition that includes far-right parties, including lawmakers who have declared themselves openly and proudly anti-LGBTQ.
Halie Soifer, the CEO of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Gallup’s question presents a false dichotomy and that the Democratic Party’s leadership is pro-Israel.
“Democrats – from President Biden on down – strongly support Israel’s safety and security,” she told JTA. “There is no contradiction between being pro-Israel and supporting Palestinian rights, which is why Democrats continue to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as… security assistance for Israel and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a zero-sum game, and thus polling that presents it as a binary choice is inherently flawed.”
Matt Brooks, CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said in a statement that declining Democratic sympathy for Israel “is an extremely troubling trend.”
The pollster also reported that sympathies for Israelis tended to diminish among younger voters. Baby boomers sympathize with Israelis over Palestinians by a margin of 46 points. But Palestinians hold a two-point advantage in sympathies among millennials.
The phone poll of 1,008 voting Americans took place between Feb. 1 and Feb. 23. It had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
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Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.
Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary
By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”
Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)
Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station
This is a developing story.
(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.
An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.
Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.
The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.
The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.
Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.
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