Gallup Poll: Democrats Favor Palestinians over Israelis for First Time

Palestinian flag (Mahmoud Ilean / Associated Press)
Mahmoud Ilean / Associated Press

Democrats favor the Palestinians over the Israelis for the first time, according to a Gallup poll released last week and conducted before the dramatic protests in Israel against Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial reforms.

When Gallup began polling the question in 2001, Democrats favored Israel over the Palestinians by a 35-point margin. In 2023, Democrats favor the Palestinians over Israel for the first time, and by an 11-point margin.

In contrast, Republicans favor Israel over the Palestinians by 67 points — an increase from 45 points in 2001. Independents also favor Israel, albeit by a slightly smaller margin — by 17 points, a drop from 25 points in 2001.

Gallup notes that majorities of voters from both parties still view Israel favorably — “82% of Republicans, 67% of independents and 56% of Democrats.” Only a minority of each views the Palestinian Authority favorably.

But when asked, “In the Middle East situation, are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?”, Democrats chose the Palestinians for the first time ever.

Gallup explained further:

Aside from partisan differences, Gallup continues to see generational distinctions in how U.S. adults view the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. 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.

There are too few adult members of Generation Z (aged 18 to 22) in the recent poll to report, but the limited available data suggest their views on this question are similar to millennials’.

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. The escalation of Israeli-Palestinian hostilities over the past year, resulting in a high number of Palestinians killed, could partly explain the most recent shift in Democrats’ perspective. But Democrats’ waning religiosity may be a factor in the longer-term trend. Sympathy for Israel has historically been highly correlated with religion, with those attending religious services weekly being much more sympathetic to the Israelis than those who seldom or never attend.

The poll was conducted from Feb. 1-23 among just over 1,000 American adults. The margin of error was 4%.

Gallup notes that the overall gap between sympathy for Israel and the Palestinians of 23 points was Israel’s smallest advantage in the poll since 2001, and the first time that gap has dipped below a 2-to-1-margin.

Democrats tend to favor foreign policies that compel Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians or to accept the rise of Iran in the region. In recent decades, Republicans have offered Israel more straightforward support. The Palestinian Authority has resisted peace with Israel, regardless of which party is in the White House.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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