Via: The Times of Israel
Ahead of Obama’s visit, Gallup poll finds 64% of Americans sympathize more with Israel, just 12% with the Palestinians
By Haviv Rettig Gur March 16, 2013
NEW YORK – Americans’ sympathy for Israel is at a 22-year high, according to Gallup figures released on Friday, just five days ahead of Barack Obama’s first visit to Israel as president.
In figures gleaned from the polling organization’s early February World Affairs poll, 64 percent of Americans say their sympathies “in the Middle East situation” – Gallup’s term for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace talks – lie more with the Israelis than with the Palestinians. Just 12% favor the Palestinians.
Nearly one-quarter, or 23%, said their sympathies lie with both parties, neither, or had no opinion.
The figures mark a 22-year high in sympathy for Israel. The last Gallup poll that showed 64% sympathy came in 1991, at the height of the First Gulf War and in the midst of the first intifada.
Sympathy for Israel then declined through the 1990’s, though it remained comfortably ahead of sympathy figures for Palestinians. The number who said they favored Israel reached a low point of 38% in 1997, during the first government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the early 2000′s, Americans’ sympathy for Israel saw turbulent spikes and drops as US public opinion responded to successive terror attacks on Israel’s cities and the subsequent Israeli military incursions that drew civilian casualties.
But those public opinion swings resolved by 2005 into a steady, rising trend line showing widespread and growing support for Israel.
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