Thursday, March 06, 2008

USraelis Pick Hillary

The term USrael is usually used as a derogatory term to describe an alleged colonial imperialist conspiracy spearheaded by Little Satan and Big Satan to meddle in the affairs of the Middle East and the rest of the world. I, of course, will not use it that way. Instead, it's how I'll call dual citizens of the United States and Israel.

Last month Democrats Abroad conducted a global primary for American citizens living outside of the US who identify themselves as Democrats. Obama won a big victory, winning two thirds of the votes and all but three countries. Democrats in Israel, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic (USraelis, USlippinos and USominicans, I guess) chose Hillary Clinton. In Israel, she won 54 to 45 - not such a huge margin. It was so close that among those who voted on-line the vote split evenly between Obama and Clinton, with 124 votes for each contender. The vote in the Tel-Aviv voting center made the difference, with 59 votes for Clinton and 31 for Obama (Clinton also won the mail-in/fax vote 7 to 4). In the Palestinian territories only one person cast a vote, and it was for Obama. A country by country breakdown is available here.

I expected Clinton to win by a landslide here in Israel. I'm surprised it was as close as it was. Bill Clinton was, and still is, the most popular American president among Israelis. Indeed, Israel's Channel 10 news conducted a poll among Israelis (not USraelis this time, but the general population) that asked how they would vote if they were American citizens. In a Clinton-Obama match, Clinton wins 62% to 16%. In a Clinton-McCain race, she wins 58 to 12. In a McCain-Obama race McCain wins 42 to 30. When asked which of the three is best for Israel 53% said Clinton, 16% said McCain and 9.5% said Obama.


  1. I find these results truly puzzling: I wouldn't expect, among the general Israeli population (not just dual citizenship holders), a Democrat to win hands down. After all, there are more unconditional Israel supporters in the Republican camp.

    From what I've seen about Israeli politics there appears, at least in my perception, to have taken place a gradual slide to the right over the last three or so decades. Am I wrong?

  2. You're right to a certain degree, but most of the shift in the last 30 years has been from socialism to capitalism. The views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (and the Israeli-Arab conflict in general) have been shifting back and forth.

    It seems to me that this shows that Israelis don't define pro-Israel as someone who adopts the Likud agenda, but rather someone whose views are closer to the Israeli mainstream