Poll: American sympathy for Israel lowest in nearly a decade

The poll says that liberal Democrats are no less favorable towards Israel but are also more favorable towards the Palestinians.

By World Israel News Staff

The majority of Americans remain partial toward Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with 59 percent saying they sympathize more with the Israelis whereas 21 percent sympathize more with the Palestinians, according to a Gallup poll.

However, while still widespread, sympathy toward Israel is down from 64 percent in 2018 and marks the lowest percentage favoring Israel since 2009, says Gallup.

Meanwhile, the 21 percent sympathizing more with the Palestinians, statistically unchanged from a year ago, is the highest by one point in Gallup’s trend since 2001.

These results are based on Gallup’s annual World Affairs survey, conducted each February. The 2019 poll was conducted Feb. 1-10 prior to Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent remarks questioning U.S. support for Israel and suggesting that some supporters of Israel are pushing for “allegiance to a foreign country.”

The slight decline in U.S. sympathies toward Israel in the past year can be explained by drops among both Republicans and Democrats, says the polling company.

Pro-Israel U.S. motorcyclists visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Nov. 6, 2011. (AP/Sebastian Scheiner)

The percentage of Republicans saying they sympathize more with Israel in the conflict fell from an all-time high of 87 percent in 2018 to 76 percent today. Last year’s reading was taken as the Donald Trump administration was preparing to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a change that highlighted Trump’s strong support of Israel.

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The percentage of Democrats siding more with Israel fell less sharply, (49% to 43%); however, today’s figure approaches the lowest level of Democratic partiality toward Israel since 2005.

The views of political independents are unchanged.

In summarizing its data, Gallup says “Americans’ overall views toward Israel and the Palestinian Authority have changed little in the past year, with roughly seven in 10 viewing Israel very or mostly favorably and two in 10 viewing the Palestinian Authority in the same terms. At the same time…while liberal Democrats are no less favorable toward Israel today than they have been over the past two decades, they have grown more favorable toward the Palestinians and, perhaps as a result, less likely to side with Israel in the conflict,” says Gallup.