Poll: 51% of Democrats want more US support for Palestinians

A new poll on American attitudes toward a core conflict in the Middle East finds about half of Democrats want the US to do more to support the Palestinians, showing that a growing rift among Democratic lawmakers is also reflected in the party’s base.

The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds differences within both the Democratic and the Republican parties on the US approach toward Israel and the Palestinians, with liberal Democrats wanting more support for the Palestinians and conservative Republicans seeking even greater support for the Israelis.

The survey also examines Americans’ opinions on the Biden administration’s handling of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The poll shows Americans overall are divided over US policy toward Israel and the Palestinians. It also shows more Americans disapprove of President Joe Biden’s approach to the conflict than approve of it.

President Joe Biden speaks at a CNN town hall in Milwaukee, Wisc., Feb. 16, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Among Democrats, 51% say the US is not supportive enough of the Palestinians. The sentiment jumps to 62% among Democrats who describe themselves as liberal. On the other hand, 49% of Republicans say the US is not supportive enough of the Israelis, a number that rises to 61% among those who say they’re conservative.

Overall, the poll shows that 29% of Americans say the US is too supportive of the Israelis, 30% say it’s not supportive enough and 36% say it’s about right. In its approach toward the Palestinians, 25% say the US is too supportive, 32% say it’s not supportive enough and 37% say it’s about right.

The poll found 56% of Americans disapprove of the way Biden is handling the conflict, compared with 40% who approve. While 75% of Republicans disapprove of how Biden is handling the conflict, so do 35% of Democrats.

Forty-two percent of liberal Democrats say they disapprove of how Biden is handling the conflict, compared with 31% of moderate and conservative ones.

That’s compared with just 9% of Democrats who disapprove of how Biden is handling his job in general. Overall, Biden’s job approval rating stands at 55%.

The poll also shows just 19% of Americans think the US should play a major role in finding a solution to the conflict, while 50% say it should play a minor role and 28% say it should play no role. Democrats and Republicans are largely in agreement on the size of the US role in the conflict.

A majority of Americans, 57%, say they think there is a way for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully, compared with 39% who say there is not a way. About 2 out of 3 Democrats think there is a way. Republicans are closely divided, with 50% saying there is and 45% saying there is not.

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