Politics

Has Israel Lost the Democratic Party?

FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 29, 2014 file photo, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, speaks during the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York. 2014 has been a difficult year for Israelis and Palestinians, with the failure of peace talks and a string of violent incidents that shows no signs of ending. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
In this Monday, Sept. 29, 2014 file photo, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, speaks during the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

 

Washington (CNN) – Is the Democratic party over for Israel?

For years, support for Israel has been one of the few reliably bipartisan issues on Capitol Hill, with members on both sides of the aisle embracing the embattled Middle East country and welcoming its leaders with open arms.

But when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted an invitation from Republican House Speaker John Boehner to address Congress on Tuesday — when he is expected to sharply criticize White House deal-making with Iran — he alienated more than the Democrat who sits in the Oval Office. As administration officials have exchanged increasingly hostile volleys with Netanyahu, party stalwarts are warning of a Democratic exodus away from Israel.

They caution that the rancor over the speech could accelerate demographic and political trends that suggest support for Israel is becoming a partisan issue, with Republicans strongly pro and Democrats less so.

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