American Opinion On Israel - And The Congress's

Frank Luntz's focus-group assessment of US reaction to the assault on the Mavi Marmara is striking. Some of the Israeli propaganda is simply not working. Take, for example, Charles Krauthammer's claim that "there is a larger issue here. What exactly is the humanitarian crisis that the flotilla was actually addressing? There is none. No one is starving in Gaza," or Netanyahu's statement that "There’s no shortage of food, there’s no shortage of medicine, there’s no shortage of other goods," or Ehud Barak's view that "There is no hunger in Gaza and no humanitarian crisis."

According to Luntz,

56% of Americans agree with the claim that there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza; and 43% of Americans agree with the claim that people in Gaza are starving.

More to the point, only 34% of Americans supported the Israeli operation against the Flotilla. That compares with 71 percent of members of Congress signing the AIPAC-backed resolution defending the raid. What accounts for this extraordinary discrepancy between the views of Americans and the views of the congressmen who allegedly represent them?