US sympathy for Palestinians at unprecedented level as Israel’s image is hit – Middle East Monitor
For the first time in US history, sympathy for the Palestinians has surpassed sympathy for Israelis among Democrats, according to the latest Gallup poll. Nearly half of Democrats – 49 percent – have more sympathy for the Palestinians compared to 38 percent for Israel.
The views show an 11 percent increase over the past year for Democrats’ sympathy for the Palestinians and a 29 percent increase for Palestine over the past decade. It is the whole trend with Israel. Democrats’ sympathy for Israel has been between 50 and 60 percentage points for years. The downward trend began in 2014 when Israel launched one of its bloodiest wars against the Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Sympathy for the Palestinians is also higher among political independents, up six points to 32 percent. Republican views are unchanged, with nearly eight in 10 – 78 percent – continuing to sympathize more with the Israelis, and 11 percent siding with the Palestinians.
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As a result of this year’s partisan shifts, sympathy for the Palestinians among US adults is at a new high of 31 percent, while the percentage that does not favor a side is at a new low of 15 percent. Although 54 percent of Americans sympathize more with the Israelis, it is the lowest figure since 2005.
The most consequential changes in public opinion on this issue have occurred in the past five years, as support for the Palestinians and Israel has increased as well as ambivalence about Israel’s occupation of Palestine has decreased.
The shift in Democrats’ favorable attitudes toward the Palestinians coincides with an almost universal consensus among major human rights groups that Israel imposes a system of apartheid on the Palestinians. Apartheid is a crime akin to a crime against humanity.