Americans support the Israelis over the Palestinians by a 2-to-1 margin, although the gap has narrowed in recent years due, in part, to changing opinions among Democrats.
That's according to a new Gallup survey that shows 55 percent of Americans say their sympathies are more with Israel and 26 percent who say they're more with the Palestinians. Another 18 percent say "both," "neither," or are unsure.
The poll, released Thursday, found that support for the Israelis has declined slightly among Americans since 2018, when it was 64 percent. Likewise, support for the Palestinians has risen during that time, from 15 percent in 2016 and 19 percent in 2018.
"A majority of Americans continue to be in Israel's corner," Gallup's Lydia Saad wrote in an online analysis before adding that "the overall strength of Israel's sympathy advantage has declined in recent years as Democrats have become more divided on the question."
Although more than three-quarters of Republicans (77 percent) side with the Israelis, barely half of Independents (54 percent) and only 40 percent of Democrats do.
There is a 64-percentage point difference among Republicans between support for the Israelis and Palestinians (77-13 percent). Among Democrats, it's only two percentage points (40-38 percent).
"The [Democratic] party itself is divided along ideological lines, with liberal Democrats siding with the Palestinians and moderate or conservative Democrats siding with the Israelis," Saad wrote. "But among both ideological subgroups, Democrats' increased sympathy for the Palestinians appears to stem from an assessment of the political situation, not from growing animosity toward Israel per se."
Liberal Democrats back the Palestinians by a margin of 52-28 percent. Conservative/moderate Democrats, though, support the Israelis by a 50-28 percent margin.
The poll also found an age gap on the issue among all Americans. Among young adults ages 18-34, 40 percent back the Israelis, and 37 percent support the Palestinians. But 57 percent of those ages 35-54 and 64 percent of those ages 55 and older back the Israelis.
The survey also included a question about the Palestinian Authority.
"Relatively few adults in any of the three major party groups view the Palestinian Authority favorably," Saad wrote. "However, its rating has improved among Democrats and independents, about doubling since 2013 to 38 percent and 28 percent, respectively. It has been steadier at a much lower level among Republicans, among whom 14 percent now view the Palestinian Authority favorably."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Ronniechua
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.