A Gallup Poll published on Tuesday showed that support for Israel among the American population is at an all-time high, equal to the previous record reached in 1991 during the Persian Gulf War.

“Americans’ stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is as strongly pro-Israel as at any time in Gallup’s three-decade trend,” the polling research company said in the report titled, “Americans Remain Staunchly in Israel’s Corner.”

Sixty-four percent of respondents said that in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, their sympathies lie more with the Israelis while just 19 percent said they sympathize more with the Palestinians instead.

The rising support for Israel was primarily fuelled by the increase in support for Israel from the Republican electorate.  In February 2001, only 59 percent of Republicans favored Israel. By the onset of the 2003 war in Iraq, that statistic rose to 77 percent and continued to go up until the current level of Republican support at 87 percent.

Gallup attributes this trend to Christian beliefs and principles that are held by many Republicans.

“Republicans have consistently shown greater support than Democrats for Israel, partly because of conservative Christians’ beliefs about the biblical significance of Israel,” the polling organization wrote.

“Another key factor in the especially wide gap since 2002 is likely Israel’s strong backing of the United States at the start of the Iraq War in 2003 and the strong support that Republican President George W. Bush showed for the Jewish state.”

Other parts of the American electorate also saw a bump in support for Israel, though nowhere near that of Republicans.

While 42 percent of Democrats supported Israel in 2001, it now stands at 49 percent. Political Independents experienced one percentage jump higher than Democrats, with 51 percent supporting Israel in 2001 with the current level standing at 59 percent.

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The percentage of Americans that included all those who sympathize with both sides, refuse to sympathize with either side or who have no opinion at all is at a low of 16 percent, which indicates that more Americans are becoming invested in adopting a position on the conflict.

Almost twice as many Americans (50 percent) felt that more pressure should be put on the Palestinians in negotiations than on Israel (27 percent).

Israel’s reputation among Americans far outweighs that of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Seventy-four percent of US adults view Israel favorably, and 23 percent view it unfavorably. In contrast, 21 percent view the PA favorably and 71 percent, unfavorably.

While support for the PA remains at very low levels, the current polling results show an improvement for the PA. This marks the second consecutive year in which the PA’s favorability ratings have been above 20 percent, following six years of being below that percentage.

The poll also showed that Israel received higher favorability ratings from adults aged 55 and older (80 percent) than those aged 35-54 (72 percent) and 18-34 (65 percent). Conversely, the PA received better ratings from adults aged 18-34 (31 percent favorable) than those aged 35-54 (15 percent) as well as those 55 and older (18 percent).

The poll was conducted between February 1 and 10 and included a random sample of 1,044 US adults in all 50 states and Washington, DC. It has a margin of error of four percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

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Source: Israel in the News