As has been the case for decades, the American public expresses more sympathy toward Israel than the Palestinians, a newly-published Pew Research Center poll shows.
Just over half of all Americans (54%) say that they sympathize more with Israel, while 19% sympathize more with the Palestinians; 13% volunteer that they sympathize with neither side and 3% sympathize with both.
These views are only modestly changed from July 2014. The group sympathizing more with Israel is little changed, while those sympathizing more with the Palestinians has ticked up from 14% then to 19% today.
The partisan gap remains wide. Three-quarters of Republicans (75%) say they sympathize more with Israel (just 7% say they sympathize more with the Palestinians). And though a larger share of Democrats sympathize more with Israel than with the Palestinians, that margin is much narrower (43% vs. 29%). Independents express more sympathy for Israel than the Palestinians, with 52% to 19% respectively.
Notably, there are no differences in views among GOP voters. By contrast, while Clinton supporters are more likely to sympathize with Israel (47% vs. 27%), Sanders supporters are divided (33% sympathize more with Israel, 39% sympathize more with Palestinians).
There also are generational differences. Older generations tend to be more sympathetic toward Israel than younger generations.
Currently, 43% of Millennials report sympathizing more with Israel, while 27% are more sympathetic to the Palestinians. The share sympathizing with the Palestinians has risen significantly in recent years, from 9% in 2006 to 20% in July 2014 to 27% today. The share sympathizing with Israel has changed little over this period.
Among older generations, the balance of opinion remains somewhat unchanged over the course of the decade. Baby Boomers and those in the Silent generation sympathize more with Israel by about four-to-one. Generation Xers are somewhat less sympathetic toward Israel than older generations; still, by roughly three-to-one (54% vs. 17%), they say they sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians.
Can Israel and an independent Palestinian state peacefully coexist?
By a 50% to 42% margin, a majority of Americans say that there is a way for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully. More now say a two-state solution is possible than said this in August 2014 (43%) shortly after the end of weeks of hostilities between Israel and Hamas.
Younger adults are the most likely to say a peaceful two-state solution is possible: 60% of those under 30 say this. Older adults are more skeptical than younger people; nearly half of those ages 65 and older (49%) say a two-state solution is not possible.
There are also partisan differences on this issue. Conservative Republicans are the most doubtful about the viability of an independent Palestinian state peacefully coexisting with Israel; 60% say it is not possible to find such a solution. On the other end of the ideological spectrum, two-thirds of liberal Democrats (67%) say a peaceful two-state solution is possible.
Democrats, in particular, are more likely now to say that a way can be found for two states to coexist than they were two years ago: Today 61% say there is a way for an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully with Israel, up from 49% in August 2014.
But Republican views are little changed from two years ago: 38% now say Israel and an independent Palestinian state could peacefully coexist, identical to the share saying this in 2014.
About half of independents (51%) see a two-state solution as possible, up from 43% in August 2014, but little different than in April 2014.
By: United with Israel Staff
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