Pew poll: More U.S. sympathy for Israel than Palestinians

More Americans express sympathy for Israel than for the Palestinians, according to a new survey.

A poll released last week by the Pew Research Center for People & the Press found that 34 percent of Americans sympathize with Israel “a lot,” as well as 32 percent who sympathize “some,” versus 11 percent who sympathize “a lot” with the Palestinians and another 35 percent who sympathize with them “some.” Thirty-seven percent sympathize with both sides, while 18 percent sympathize with neither.

As has been common with recent surveys of American public opinion surrounding the conflict in Gaza, responses break down differently along partisan lines. Seventy-seven percent of Republicans expressed “a lot” or “some” sympathy for Israel, versus 66 percent of independents and 62 percent of Democrats. By contrast, only 29 percent of Republicans expressed “a lot” or “some” sympathy for the Palestinians, while independents were at 50 percent and Democrats at 57 percent.

There were likewise partisan divides on President Obama’s handling of the Middle East situation.

Just 32 percent of Republicans thought he struck the proper balance between favoring Israel versus the Palestinians; 71 percent of Democrats said he was striking the right balance.

Young people were the most optimistic about the two sides reaching a peaceful two-state solution, with 53 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds surveyed saying they thought it was possible, versus 43 percent of all adults. — jta