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Gallup poll shows Democrats express most sympathy for Palestinians, least for Israelis

Highest percentage recorded in 22 years • Support for Palestinians up among independents; remains same among Republicans.

American and Israeli flags flying together. Credit: John Theodor/Shutterstock.
American and Israeli flags flying together. Credit: John Theodor/Shutterstock.

Democrats are showing the most sympathy for Palestinians and the least support for Israelis in 22 years of Gallup polls. In 2023, 49% of Democrats are more sympathetic to Palestinians, compared to 38% who are more sympathetic towards Israelis. Last year, 38% sided with Palestinians and 40% with Israelis.

Political independents are also the most sympathetic towards Palestinians that they’ve been in 22 years—32%, up from 26% last year—although they still favor Israelis (49%). Last year, 54% of independents were more sympathetic towards Israelis.

Republicans favored Israelis over Palestinians 78% to 11%. In 2022, it was 77% to 13%. (The parties have swapped positions on Israel in the past 60 years.)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)—slammed by colleagues for saying “you cannot claim to hold progressive values yet back Israel’s apartheid government”—shared the Gallup results on Twitter. “New polling reflects the shift we’ve seen in our communities, with Democrats increasingly supporting Palestinian human rights,” she wrote.

“This is an extremely troubling trend,” tweeted Matt Brooks, CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “It’s long past time for Democratic leaders to admit they have a problem that must be addressed to restore the historic bipartisan support for Israel.”

Beyond partisan differences, Gallup stated that its polling reflected “generational distinctions,” in which baby boomers (+46 points), Gen X (+32) and the silent generation (+31) favor Israelis over Palestinians, while millennials are roughly evenly divided with 42% sympathizing more with Palestinians and 40% with Israelis. (Gen Z seems to be similar to millennials.)

When asked if they view the Palestinian Authority or Israel more favorably, 68% favored Israel compared to 26% that favored the P.A.

“Americans’ views on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have become more polarized as Democrats increasingly commiserate with the Palestinians, while Republicans maintain their solid alignment with the Israelis,” stated Gallup.

The survey was based on telephone interviews with 1,008 adults at random in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., which Gallup conducted between Feb. 1 and Feb. 23.

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