Republicans Overwhelmingly Support Israel While Democrats' Sympathies Split with Palestinians


The latest Pew national survey, conducted January 10-15 among 1,503 adults, found that 42% of American voters say President Donald Trump is "striking the right balance" in his Middle East policy, while 30% say he favors Israel too much.

But the falling support for Israel among Democrats will likely alarm American Jewish organizations, who want to avoid US President Donald Trump's vocal support for Israel becoming an appealing target for opponents of his administration. Another 23 percent said they sympathized with neither or both sides and 25 percent said they did not know.

"We call upon Israel to comply with global laws by immediately ending its 50-year colonial occupation and apartheid policies against the Palestinian people and dismantle the illegal wall and the related infrastructures located inside the OPT and compensate Palestinians for all of the losses incurred due to their presence", the Palestinian delegate said, adding that Palestinian "will not be discouraged".

A vast majority of Republicans (79 percent) said they sympathized more with Israel than with the Palestinians, an increase of 29 percentage points from 2001 (when 50 percent of Republicans preferred Israel). When asked about the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, 46% of Americans say they sympathize more with the Israelis, 16% say they sympathize more with the Palestinians and about four-in-ten (38%) either volunteer that their sympathies are with both (5%), neither (14%) or that they do not know (19%).

"In the year since Trump was elected, the situation has only been exacerbated", Hoffman said.

Israel needs to make a well-funded, concerted effort to win back the support of progressives in the United States, Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren said Wednesday, responding to a dramatic survey published the day before that showed that Democrats are nearly as likely to sympathize with the Palestinians as they are with Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian peace conflict. "The share of Republicans who sympathize with Israel has never been higher, dating back four decades", the poll observed. Even so, fewer conservative and moderate Democrats sympathize with Israel today (35 percent) than in 2016 (53 percent).

Declining support for Israel among Democrats and other American progress is a strategic threat to the Jewish state equal to if not bigger than BDS, Oren argued.

Other notable trends highlighted in the poll were younger Americans being less likely than older Americans to sympathize with Israel; support for Israel being likely to drop as one earns more academic degrees; and more men sympathizing with Israel than women, at 50% and 42%, respectively. In 2016, only 16 percent of Democrats said they sympathized with both the Israelis and the Palestinians or neither of them.

Against this backdrop, the Palestinians might as well kiss a balanced stance by the USA goodbye for at least the full term of President Trump in office. A quarter (25 percent) did not offer an opinion, while 3 percent said Trump favors the Palestinians too much (what are they smoking?).