Majority of Americans support Palestinian state, according to survey

  • 8 months   ago
Majority of Americans support Palestinian state, according to survey

A recent poll shows that a majority of Americans are in support of a Palestinian state and of conditioning aid to Israel if the latter continues to build settlements in contravention of US policies.

The online poll, conducted by the Arab American Institute (AAI), based on a sample of over 1,000 Americans, and released on May 27, shows that while American attitudes are shifting toward a more balanced view, US Democrats are much more supportive of Palestinian rights than Republicans.

Almost three-quarters of all Americans say Palestinians and Israelis are entitled to equal rights, including 80 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of Republicans.

Nearly one-half of all respondents agree that an independent Palestinian state should be part of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with only 12 percent disagreeing.

James Zogby, founder and president of the AAI, told Arab News that the shift has been building up for some time.

“American media has been opening up to Palestinians. Congress has been giving space to pro-Palestinian speakers, and even the most pro-Israeli Democrats are tempering their language as a new generation of Americans is leading this change, which has even included young Evangelicals who are moving away from the traditional pro-Israeli positions,” he said.

Overall, Americans have favorable views toward both Israelis (58 percent) and Palestinians (39 percent).

While Democrats and Republicans both have more favorable than unfavorable views of Israelis (Democrats 46 vs. 21 percent; Republicans 68 vs. 9 percent), they diverge on their views of the Palestinians (Democrats 51 vs. 14 percent; Republicans 30 vs. 40 percent).

Zogby said: “It is significant to note that Democrats now view Palestinians more favorably than they do Israelis.”

The partisan divide has been best exemplified by the progressive wing of the Democratic party.

With representatives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib as the key players in this wing, the Palestinian issue is now getting more attention from Democrats. Even traditionally pro-Israeli Democrats like Chuck Schumer, senate majority leader, and Bob Menendez, senior senator from New Jersey, are tempering their voices because they can easily see the change in the Democratic electorate.

The partisan divide is also evident in the recent conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Overall, 30 percent of respondents say that Israel’s use of force in Gaza was “too much,” 24 percent say it was “just right,” and 11 percent say it was “not enough.” Democrats are more likely to say Israel used too much force (43 percent).

 

For Democrats, the disagreement is more pronounced. The poll shows 51 percent saying Israel is wrong to evict Palestinians from their homes, while 26 percent side with Israel. Republicans are closely divided, with 37 percent agreeing with Israeli evictions and 33 percent disagreeing.

Among all respondents, 43 percent agree with congressional Democrats who want to hold off on the weapons deal, while 32 percent support President Joe Biden’s approval of the sale of precision munitions to Israel.

Among Democratic respondents, a majority supports congressional efforts to hold up on the sale (52 percent), while 27 percent support Biden’s approval. Republicans, on the other hand, support the sale by a margin of 42 to 35 percent.

Zogby believes that the close partnership between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former US President Donald Trump contributed to this partisan shift.

Zogby said the change has to do with the vast improvement in how Palestinians are telling their stories. “Palestinians are learning to tell their story much better in part because of social media and because they are no longer tying themselves to the Palestinian leadership,” he said

 

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