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Clinton vows to fight BDS, as poll shows support for Israel falling amongst Democrats

July 7, 2015 at 11:10 am

Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton has vowed to “stand up for Israel” should she win the race to the White House, expressing concern over the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

In a letter sent on July 2 to Israeli-American businessman Haim Saban, Clinton asked for advice “on how leaders and communities across America can work together to counter BDS.”

The Democratic candidate said countering the boycott from “Congress” to “classrooms” was a priority stretching “across party lines”, describing the campaign as “counterproductive to the pursuit of peace and harmful to Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Saban is a major Clinton donor, and recently convened an anti-BDS fundraising “summit” along with the Republican-backing businessman Sheldon Adelson.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “Clinton’s letter to Saban – and it’s dissemination by Saban’s spokespeople and Clinton’s election headquarters – are meant to garner support among the American Jewish community, in particular Jewish voters who are unhappy about President Barack Obama’s policy towards Israel and are considering voting for a Republican nominee.”

Meanwhile, a survey by well-known U.S. political consultant has found that support for Israel is dropping amongst “Democratic opinion elites.”

The poll, conducted by Frank Luntz, found that 47 percent of Democrats agreed that Israel is a racist country (compared to 13 percent of Republicans). 76 percent of Democrats said that Israel had “too much influence” on US foreign policy. Asked if Israel wants peace with its neighbours, only 48 percent of Democrats agreed (compared to 88 percent of Republicans).

More than 1 in 4 of Democrats polled went so far as to describe themselves as “pro-Palestinian”, and 31 percent of Democrats expressed support for the BDS campaign (even as described by a pro-Israel pollster).

Luntz described the findings a “disaster” for Israel, saying: “Israel can no longer claim to have the bipartisan support of America.”