Israel’s Winning Hearts And Minds

Polls show major U.S. groups backing Israel.

July 23, 2014

By Jonathan Mark | Associate Editor

Israel is not only winning the war in Gaza but the hearts and minds of Americans. Two polls conducted by CNN and the Pew Research Center reveal support for Israel that is solid among virtually every age, race, political party or religion. Pew found 51 percent of Americans sympathetic to Israel, only 14 percent sympathetic to the Palestinians (with the rest answering “both,” neither or “don’t know”), while CNN found 57 percent of Americans saying Israel’s military actions are “justified” and 34 percent saying Israel was “unjustified.”

Pew, which broke down its polling by more than 20 different categories, found that every category overwhelmingly favored Israel over the Palestinians by at least 20 percentage points, other than liberal Democrats and the religiously unaffiliated, who were slightly less supportive (18 and 16 percent over the Palestinians, respectively) but solidly in Israel’s corner, as well.

Both Pew and CNN found that the political parties remain sharply divided, with Democrats at 44 (Pew) or 45 (CNN) percent supportive of Israel, while 73 percent of Republicans supported Israel. Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said in a statement that the Pew survey was a “confirmation of the Democrat Party’s shift over time away from support of Israel, especially at its grassroots.” In truth, there has not been any Democratic shift at all. The Democratic numbers are exactly the same as in 1978, the year of the landmark Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt, when 44 percent of Democrats said they had sympathies for Israel. That percentage that has fluctuated but is essentially unchanged after 36 years.


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