American popular support for Israel hits record high

Americans' support for Israel among highest levels recorded, poll finds

Poll: 64% of Americans favor Israelis in conflict with Palestinians

The figure ranks "among the highest percentages favoring the Arab side of the conflict" since 1988, when Gallup measured 15% sympathizing more with the Palestinians than the Israelis.

While Republicans were only slightly more likely than Americans in general to say they sympathized with Israel in 2001 - 59% of self-identified Republicans, compared to 51% of Americans generally - by 2018 Republicans had opened up a 23-point lead, with 87% of Republicans supporting Israel over the PA, compared to 64% of all Americans.

The general increase in support among Americans for Israel has been fueled largely an increase in support among Republicans, with a noticeable partisan gap emerging over the past two decades.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the perennial Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem - occupied by Israel since 1967 - might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

The result was the highest support recorded in 27 years, when in 1991 - at the peak of Israel's bombardment by Iraq during the Gulf War - support for Israel among Americans stood at 79%.

Although the Palestinian Authority's image is significantly worse than Israel's, this is the second consecutive year its favorable rating has been above 20%, after six years of readings below that level.

Many Palestinians, owing to Israel's security restrictions, are banned from entering Jerusalem.

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Americans also view Israel more favorably now than at any time since 1992.

Democrats are almost two-and-a-half times as likely to view the PA favorably, with 27% expressing a positive opinion of the PA. Twenty-one percent of independents also view the PA favorably.

"As the Trump administration prepares to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and is reportedly finalizing its broader Middle East peace plan, Americans' stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is as strongly pro-Israel as at any time in Gallup's three-decade trend", wrote senior Gallup editor Lydia Saad.

The Gallup poll also shows that Americans increasingly believe the U.S. must place greater pressure on the Palestinian Authority more than Israel to make peace.

These pro-Israel sentiments are particularly strong among Republicans and have been growing in recent years. However, given Trump's past efforts at diplomacy, anything is possible. That figure is up 6% from a year ago alone, when the strongly pro-Israel administration of US President Donald Trump moved into the White House.

The Gallup poll was conducted by phone interviews from from February 1-10, with a random sample of 1,044 adults, and has a, ±4% margin of error. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

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