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Poll: Americans view Israel’s people favorably, but are less positive about its government

New Pew Research Center study shows sharp partisan gaps in U.S. public opinion of Israelis and Palestinians.

Israeli and American flags. Credit: Israel Defense Forces via Wikimedia Commons.
Israeli and American flags. Credit: Israel Defense Forces via Wikimedia Commons.

According to a new Pew Research Poll, most Americans view Israelis favorably, but less than half feel the same way about the Israeli government. The study also shows a sharp partisan divide in opinions on Israel, the Palestinians and their respective governments.

Overall, 64 percent of respondents said they held very or somewhat favorable opinions of Israelis, with just 41 percent saying the same about Israel’s government. However, just 46 percent of respondents had very or somewhat favorable views of Palestinians, and a paltry 19 percent said the same of the Palestinian Authority government.

Comparing Republicans and Democrats, 77 percent of Republicans and right-leaning independents held favorable opinions about Israelis, as opposed to 57 percent of Democrats. While 46 percent of Republicans held favorable opinions of Israelis and unfavorable views of Palestinians, another 30 percent held favorable views of both peoples. Among Democrats, 25 percent held favorable views of Israel and unfavorable views of Palestinians.

When asked about Israeli and Palestinian governments, 61 percent of Republicans expressed support for Israel’s government, compared with just 26 percent of Democrats.

Last year, 46 percent of Americans sympathized more with Israel, while 16 percent said they sympathized more with Palestinians.

The survey was conducted April 1-15 among 10,523 adults on the center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel.

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