Washington, D.C. (January 23, 2018) -- The Pew Research Center reported today that: “The partisan divide in Middle East sympathies, for Israel or the Palestinians, is now wider than at any point since 1978. Currently, 79% of Republicans say they sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians, compared with just 27% of Democrats.”
While support for Israel among all Americans remains strong and has not varied much since 1978, the composition of that support has shifted significantly. The share of Republicans sympathizing more with Israel has risen from 50% to 79% in just the last 16 years, while Democrats’ support of Israel fell from 38% to 27%.
RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said:
Today’s Pew report reconfirms a trend that Pew and other public opinion polls have reported for years: support for Israel is strong and growing in the Republican Party, while it is declining among Democrats.
We saw the Democrats’ views on Israel implemented by the Obama administration, which put “daylight” between the U.S. and our chief ally, Israel, while pursuing a disastrous Middle East policy that contributed to the rise of ISIS, to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, and to Iran moving closer to its goal of nuclear weapons. We’ve seen the rise of the BDS movement across college campuses and efforts to delegitimize Israel in the public square, led and supported by Democrats across the party spectrum.
Now President Trump has put the U.S.-Israel alliance back on a strong footing and reasserted American resolve to stand with Israel. The new Pew poll reflects a deep partisan divide on that question too. Nearly half of Democrats (46%) think President Trump favors Israel too much and 21% think he’s striking the right balance, while a large majority of Republicans (73%) think Trump is striking the right balance.
The numbers are telling and clear: Democrat support for Israel is weakening, while Republican support for Israel continues to rise.
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Pew Research Center: Republicans and Democrats Grow Even Further Apart in Views of Israel, Palestinians