Support for India and Pakistan in Britain is aligned with national background. Backing for Israel and Palestine, if our survey is right, is dividing by party support.
Labour has vocal and articulate pro-Israel supporters, but its members as a whole are decidedly pro-Palestinian (and, to an alarming degree, anti-semitic – but that’s another story).
We’ve never polled our members’ panel on Israel before, but the returns from our last survey leave little doubt where they stand.
Almost two in three reserve the right to criticise Israel when necessary – or rather for the Government to do so – but see it as an ally and part of the western liberal family of democracies, with interests usually aligned with ours.
And one in four go further in their support – agreeing that Israel’s interests and our own are aligned, full stop. That’s a substantial minority.
By contrast, only one in ten believe that the country’s commitment to democracy and justice is questionable, that our interests and its own are not usually aligned, and that we must be able to criticise Israel’s when necessary.
And only one in a hundred believe that our interests and Israel’s aren’t aligned at all. These are small minorities of the whole – tiny, in the last case.
It may be that a survey question aimed at measuring our panel’s view on the Israel-Palestine dispute would throw up a result that would muddy these clear waters.
But for the moment we have what we have: a more pro-Israel take from Party members than, in our experience, from Tory MPs, though probably not by all that much.
You will make your own judgement about whether it’s a good thing, more broadly, for backing for these causes to be so starkly distributed between the two main parties. We are doubtful.