Dems, GOP grow even further apart in views of Israel, Palestinians

Anti-Zionist Jews burn the Israeli flag

Anti-Zionist Jews burn the Israeli flag

The national survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center and released on Tuesday, found that 27 percent of Democrats sympathize more with Israel, while 25 percent sympathize more with the Palestinians.

The results were similar to a Pew survey from past year, which showed that Democrats were divided over the Middle East conflict. "Currently, almost twice as many liberal Democrats say they sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel (35 percent vs. 19 percent); 22 percent of liberal Democrats sympathize with both sides or neither side and 24 percent do not offer an opinion". Almost half of the Democrats questioned - 46 percent - said they believed that Trump was biased toward Israel, while only 21 percent said the president had struck "the right balance" between Israel and the Palestinians.

44 percent of Democrats favored Israel. The poll showed that 42 percent of Independents sympathize with Israel more than Palestinians.

"The share of liberal Democrats who sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians has declined from 33 percent to 19 percent since 2016", Pew reported.

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A little more than half (52 percent) of Republicans have a favorable opinion of Netanyahu, while a little less than half (49 percent) of Democrats have an unfavorable opinion.

Overall, US public opinion remains well-disposed toward Israel, with almost half of the 1,503 Americans questioned saying they sympathized with Israel over the Palestinians - reflecting a consistent pro-Israel trend dating back to 1978, the poll observed.

Republican support for Israel has remained steady.

For me, that particular point is not such a surprise, although it is interesting to learn that the partisan divide in Middle East sympathies, for Israel or the Palestinians, is now wider than at any point since 1978 (under the Jimmy Carter presidency, naturally). "Over the same period, the share of Democrats saying this has declined 11 points, from 38 percent to 27 percent".

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Differences were also sharp in how the respondents view Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "About a third of those under 30 (32 percent) say they sympathize more with Israel, compared with 23 percent who sympathize more with the Palestinians".

Thirty-one percent of Americans overall have a favorable opinion of Israel's leader, 28 percent have an unfavorable opinion, and 41 percent expressed no opinion of Netanyahu.

Also to the percentage of Dems who see Trump as too favorable to Israel, per the survey.

The poll is based on 1500 adults interviewed between January 10-15.

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