The Middle East stands outside the great debate of American foreign policy since World War II - the disagreement over the danger posed by the U.S.S.R.... Political discussion there is dominated by an entirely different and wholly unrelated dichotomy - the Arab-Israeli dispute. Conservatism does not predispose an American to favor one side, nor does liberalism.
Sixteen years later, a left-right split has now emerged, as I have noted in 2000 in "The friendly Republicans":
[A recent report indicates] "a significant partisan split" exists on Middle Eastern issues. Specifically, Republicans are "more hard-line and pro-Israel" than Democrats. This difference is very substantial, with Republicans three times more friendly to Israel than Democrats. Thus, in response to the question, "With regard to the Middle East, how do you feel the next president should relate to the region," 22 percent of Republicans said he should be pro-Israel, while only 7% of Democrats opted for this reply. (It also bears noting that among born-again Christians, the percentage on the pro-Israel side rises to 29%.)
Comment: In the last three years, this division has only become more pronounced. (April 27, 2003)