Israel

Gallup shows that support for Israel is almost at a record high. Walter Russell Mead uses this data to attack "Israel Lobby Syndrome (the belief that the organized, insistent power of American Jews as deployed through organizations like AIPAC is primarily responsible for American support of the Jewish state)":

[W]hy do so many people find it mysterious that American foreign policy supports Israel?  Surely in a democratic republic, when policy over a long period of time tracks with public sentiment, there is very little to explain.  American politicians vote for pro-Israel policies because that is what voters want them to do.  Case closed, I would think.  Late breaking news flash: water runs downhill.

Larison's view of the poll:

[If] we distinguish between sympathy and actively wanting to take Israel’s side, real support is still actually much more limited. If we believe the WPO survey, there is definitely a difference between broad sympathy and the kind of support for Israel that the U.S. actually provides. According to the WPO survey, just 21% favor taking Israel’s side in the conflict and 71% prefer taking neither side. That suggests broad, probably bipartisan support for disentangling ourselves from the conflict all together. It also means that U.S. policy on this question does not simply flow from the will of the people. This 21% is the real constituency for current U.S. policy. This is a sizeable constituency that has effectively advocated and organized to make a one-sided approach to the conflict practically unquestionable in domestic policy debates. They and the policies they advocate do not represent the broad majority of Americans, even though a broad majority of Americans is now much more favorably disposed towards Israel than they once were.

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