Despite the controversy surrounding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress, a new poll shows that American support for Israel remains strong.
According to a new Gallup poll, 70 percent of Americans view Israel favorably.
When asked who they were most sympathetic to in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 62 percent of respondents said that they “sympathize more with the Israelis.”
By contrast, 17 percent view the Palestinian Authority favorably, and 16 percent say that they “sympathize more with the Palestinians.”
Gallup notes that American’s perceptions of Israel have remained “unchanged” since last year’s poll, despite the “evident friction” between President Barack Obama and Netanyahu and the “50-day conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip” last summer.
Republicans are more likely to sympathize with Israel at 83 percent, compared to 48 percent of Democrats. Democrats reporting a favorable view of Israel have fallen to 60 percent from 74 percent last year.
Related polling shows that Americans believe Netanyahu should address Congress. His speech, which was requested by House Speaker John Boehner and not the White House, is scheduled for March 3.
James Phillips, the senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at The Heritage Foundation, said that Americans support Israel, an ally.
“Americans historically have supported Israel, which is widely perceived as a fellow democracy that shares many important values and national interests with the United States,” said Phillips. “Support has risen since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, at least in part because there is a consensus that Israel and America face a common enemy in Islamist extremism, which has sparked terrorist attacks against both countries.”
Here’s how some reacted to the poll on Twitter:
Very clear from this poll that conservatives are preventing America from becoming like Europe re: Israel/Jews http://t.co/DLaTTNe67M
— Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) February 23, 2015
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) February 23, 2015
Fewer than half of Democrats sympathize with Israelis over Palestinians http://t.co/NFsHQhv3mn
— Chemi Shalev (@ChemiShalev) February 23, 2015
Large majority of Americans view Israel favorably, Gallup finds: http://t.co/5GO9VhPsJ3
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) February 23, 2015
The Gallup poll was conducted Feb. 8-11, 2015.