NEW YORK — A third of Americans support linking US arms sales to Israel to the latter’s actions toward the Palestinians, according to a new poll.
Notably, support for such a linkage was nearly the same among Democrats (36.3%) and Republicans (32.3%), the University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll found.
But the survey also found that 46.6% of respondents still oppose linking arms sales to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
The poll focuses largely on American perceptions of US President Joe Biden’s handling of the recent Gaza conflict.
A slight majority — 52.6% — disapproved of Biden’s effort, while 47.4% approved.
Among members of his own party, 72.3% approved and 27.7% disapproved of Biden’s handling of the conflict.
Disapproval numbers were higher among Democrats between the ages of 18 and 34, with 49.7% unsatisfied with the US president’s performance.
Among Democrats, 34.8% blamed Israel for the recent conflict, 8.1% blamed the Palestinians and 52.5% blamed both sides equally. By contrast, 3.7% of Republicans blamed Israel, 59.1% blamed the Palestinians and 31.3% blamed both sides.
In an unrelated question, the poll finds that more Americans believe Iran acquires a nuclear weapon than Israel does.
Israel has never officially acknowledged having such capabilities, though it is widely believed to maintain them. Iran, however, is not known to have a nuclear weapon and world powers have been engaged in talks with Tehran in recent years to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring such capabilities.
According to the poll, 60.5% of respondents — including 70.6% of Republicans and 52.6% of Democrats — say Iran currently possesses nuclear weapons, compared to 51.7% who say Israel currently does.
The University of Maryland surveyed 3,379 American adults and the poll had a margin of error of 1.69%.