America's strong support for Israel remains steady, poll finds

Even college-aged youth sympathize with Israel by a more than 2:1 ratio, according to Gallup survey.

March 1, 2016 10:18
2 minute read.
Israel US flags

Israel US flags. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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A Jewish Jerusalem resident was indicted in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for allegedly attacking police when they stopped him from illegally forcing his way onto the Temple Mount.

The American public remains strongly pro-Israel, with even those aged 18-29 saying they are more sympathetic to Israel than the Palestinians by a more than 2:1 margin, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.

According to the annual survey of American’s sympathies in the Middle East conflict, 62 percent of the public say their sympathies lie more with Israel than the Palestinians, and only 15% say they are more sympathetic to the Palestinians.

This 47 point difference is the third largest gap in the last 15 years of polling on the matter. During the seven years of the Obama Administration, marked by patches of high tension between Jerusalem and Washington, the percentage of those expressing more sympathy for Israel went from 59% in 2009 to 64% in 2013, and has remained steady at 62% over the last three years.

According to Gallup’s summation of the findings, “Americans have become more sympathetic toward Israel over the past 15 years, and that more pro-Israel view held steady in the past year.

While Republicans show extraordinarily high support for Israel – an affinity evident at the Republican presidential debate in Houston last week, where every candidate professed his strong support for the Jewish state – the majority of Democrats and independents are also on the same page.”

There is a significant difference of support along party lines, with 79% of Republicans saying they sympathize more with Israel, as opposed to 53% of Democrats and 56% of Independents.

Among the Democrats, 23% voice more support for the Palestinians, as opposed to only seven percent among Republicans.

Amid oft heard voices saying that Israel is losing the support of the college- aged youth, the Gallup poll shows that even among the 18-29 year old demographic there is considerably more support for Israel than the Palestinians, with 54% saying they are more sympathetic to Israel, and 23% to the Palestinians. Support for Israel increases significantly among those 50 and older, with those numbers being 72% more sympathetic for Israel, and 10% for the Palestinians.

The poll showed that Protestants are more sympathetic than Catholics, 72% vs. 58%; with those professing no religion sympathizing the least with Israel over the Palestinians: 41% to 29%.

When asked their overall views of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, 71% of the public said they have a favorable view of Israel, compared to only 19% who said they have a favorable view of the Palestinian Authority.

The poll also asked about support for the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, with 44% in favor, and 37% opposed.

Although this is up from the 42% who said they were in favor last year, it is a steep decline from the 51% who said they were in favor when Obama came into office in 2009, and an even further drop from the peak of 58% favoring a Palestinian state in 2003.

The poll was based on telephone interviews conducted February 3-7 among a random national sample of 1,021 adults. The poll has a ±4 percentage point margin of error.

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