A poll released by Gallup on March 16 found that, for the first time, Democrats have become more sympathetic to the Palestinians than the Israelis.
The poll, from February 1-23, asked respondents, “In the Middle East situation, are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?” Forty-nine percent of Democrats said the Palestinians, 38% said the Israelis and 13% said neither. Gallup’s Lydia Saad noted that the 38% and 13% figures are “new lows” among Democrats and that the 49% figure was an increase of 11% from the previous year.
Forty-nine percent of independents said they were more sympathetic to Israelis, 32% said the Palestinians and 19% said neither side; Saad wrote that the 32% figure was a “new high” among independents. As for Republicans, 78% said they were more sympathetic to Israelis, 11% said the Palestinians and another 11% chose neither; Saad wrote that these figures are “unchanged.”
Nationwide, 54% of Americans said they sympathize more with Israelis, which Saad noted was “similar to last year’s 55% but is the lowest since 2005.” Thirty-one percent said they sympathized more with Palestinians, a “new high” per Saad.
“The resulting 23-point gap in Americans’ sympathy for Israel versus the Palestinians represents Israel’s slimmest advantage on this question in Gallup’s World Affairs poll trend,” Saad wrote. “It is also the first time Israel has not enjoyed a better than 2-to-1 advantage over the Palestinians in Americans’ sympathies.”
Additionally, Saad pointed out that there are generational differences in terms of support for Israel, as “net sympathy toward Israel — the percentage sympathizing more with the Israelis than the Palestinians — is solidly positive among older generations, including baby boomers (+46 points), Generation X (+32) and the Silent Generation (+31).”
“By contrast, millennials are now evenly divided, with 42% sympathizing more with the Palestinians and 40% with the Israelis, yielding a -2 net-Israel sympathy score,” Saad wrote.