NEW YORK — 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 percent 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.
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 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu favorably, 50%, than did their Democratic and Democratic-leaning counterparts, 21%.