Poll: Americans’ support for Israel high; approval for PA and Palestinians rises

Gallup survey finds overall sympathy for Palestinians at new high, while sympathy for Israelis drops slightly over past few years; majority still back Palestinian statehood

Illustrative: A pro-Israel demonstrator waves flags toward the Capitol in Washington, March 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Illustrative: A pro-Israel demonstrator waves flags toward the Capitol in Washington, March 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Support for Israel among the American public remains very strong, while favorable views of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinians in general have surged to all-time highs, according to a Gallup poll released Friday, with an ongoing decline noted for those who said they sympathized more with Israelis than Palestinians.

Some 75% of respondents said they viewed Israel favorably, compared to 74% in 2020, 69% in 2019, and 75% in 2018.

Some 30% said they viewed the Palestinian Authority favorably, significantly higher than the 23% in 2020, 21% in 2019, and the same 21% in 2018.

Fifty-eight percent said they were “more sympathetic” towards the Israelis than the Palestinians in the new poll, down from 60% in 2020, 59% in 2019, and 64% in 2018.

The number of Americans who said they sympathized more with the Palestinians rose steadily to 25% in 2021, from 23% in 2020, 21% in 2019, and 19% in 2018.

“The 30% now viewing the Palestinian Authority positively is up from 23% last year and compares with an average 19% since 2001,” wrote Lydia Saad, a senior editor for Gallup.

A Palestinian flag is waved against the backdrop of a US flag, outside the American Embassy in the UK on February 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Support for Israel also differed widely across political parties. Some 80% of Republicans surveyed said they sympathized more with the Israelis than with the Palestinians, with 43% of Democrats saying the same. Some 55% of independent voters said they sympathized more with Israel.

The 2021 survey also found that rising support for more US pressure on Israel extended to both of the US’s major political parties.

While 17% of Republicans opting for more pressure on Israel is up from 12% in 2018, among Democrats the support rose to 53%, marking a substantive change in their view of US foreign policy, the poll said. In 2007, just 37% of Democrats had supported more pressure on Israel.

(L-R) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Joe Biden and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (Collage/AP)

Americans’ support for Palestinian statehood continues to register just above the majority level, with 52% holding this view, the poll said. Those in support have constantly exceeded those opposed since 2000, but the extent has varied. In 2020, 55 percent favored Palestinian statehood, the highest in recent years.

Gallup’s survey interviewed 1,021 adults from February 3 to 18; it has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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