Poll: 74% Republicans, 33% Democrats sympathize with Israel over Palestinians

Largest gap found between Republicans, Democrats on Israeli-Palestinian issue

By JTA
January 13, 2017 11:08
1 minute read.
Israel US flags

Israel US flags. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The difference between the proportion of Republicans and Democrats who sympathize with Israel over the Palestinians is the largest it has been in surveys dating to 1978, according to a new report.

While 74% of Republicans sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians, the number is 33% for Democrats, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Jan. 4-9 and published Thursday.

Eleven percent of Republicans sympathize with the Palestinians over Israel, and 15% sympathize with neither, both sides or did not express a view. Among Democrats, those numbers were 31% and 35%, respectively.

The findings represent the first time in surveys conducted by Pew that Democrats were about as likely to sympathize with the Palestinians as with Israel. Among “liberal Democrats,” 38% of respondents sympathized more with the Palestinians while 26% sympathized more with Israel.

Partisan gap in Mideast sympathies is now wider than at any point since 1978
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The proportion of Republicans sympathizing more with Israel has risen since 1978 while it has fallen for Democrats. In that year, 49% of Republicans and 44% of Democrats sympathized more with the Jewish state, according to data from the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations obtained by Pew.

A majority of Democrats, 60%, said there is a way for Israel and a Palestinian state to coexist peacefully, while less than half of Republicans, 44%, believed that to be possible, the new Pew survey found.

A higher proportion of Republican and Republican-leaning respondents viewed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu favorably, 50%, than did their Democratic and Democratic-leaning counterparts, 21%.

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