Americans less favorable toward Israel, Palestinian Authority

  • Americans are more likely to support Israel than the Palestinian Authority
  • Younger Americans showed the biggest decline in support for Israel
  • Most Americans continue to support a two-state solution
Israeli soldiers drive a tank inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. The army is battling Palestinian militants across Gaza in the war ignited by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack into Israel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Israeli soldiers drive a tank inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. The army is battling Palestinian militants across Gaza in the war ignited by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack into Israel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

(NewsNation) — Americans’ views of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have dropped since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October 2023.

Among Americans, 58% have a very or mostly favorable view of Israel, the lowest rating in more than two decades, while just 18% hold a positive view of the Palestinian Authority, the lowest since 2015.

The data comes from a Gallup World Affairs survey taken in February. Americans have traditionally held Israel in more esteem than Palestine since Gallup began measuring opinions in 1989. The lowest rating for Israel historically was 45% in 1989.

Gallup began measuring sentiment regarding the Palestinian Authority in 2000, which hit an all-time high of 30% in 2021.

Young adults are the most likely to have a less favorable outlook on Israel, with 18-to-34-year-olds down to a 38% approval rating, while those ages 35 to 54 dropped to 55% approval. Among adults older than 54, there was no change with a 71% approval rating. That makes older Americans more than twice as likely to see Israel positively compared to younger ones.

Views on the Palestinian Authority showed less movement, with 35-to-54-year-olds dropping to 15% approval, putting them closer to older Americans, who have an 11% approval of the governing body as compared to younger Americans, who are 32% positive.

Americans were roughly as likely to feel sympathy for Israel or Palestine as they were last year, suggesting the current conflict has done little to sway people’s views. More Americans sympathize with Israel, at 51%, than with Palestine at 27%, and 4% said they sympathized with both sides, while 10% did not sympathize with either one.

However Americans may feel about the sides in the conflict, 52% say it is a critical threat to U.S. vital interests, up from 35% two years ago. Another 38% of Americans say the conflict is an important threat.

Democrats and Republicans are roughly equal when it comes to assessing how much of a threat the conflict poses, and independents fall in line with the two major parties.

Older Americans are more likely to believe the conflict between Israel and Palestine is a threat than middle-aged or younger Americans.

Americans are also equally split on whether the U.S. should put more pressure on Israelis or Palestinians when it comes to seeking a resolution, with young adults and Democrats favoring more pressure on Israel, while Republicans think more pressure should be put on the Palestinians.

The war between Israel and Hamas has also made Americans more pessimistic about peace in the Middle East, with 53% not expecting things to calm down in the region. Still, Americans are more likely to support a two-state solution, with 53% favoring the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Democrats (74%) and independents (55%) are more likely to support a Palestinian state than Republicans (26%).

The divides in how the conflict is seen are also likely to play a role in the 2024 election, with President Joe Biden facing pushback from young voters and progressives unhappy with how he has handled the war while also seeking to gain support from demographics that are more likely to support Israel.

Israel at War

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