Growing Partisan Divide on Israel

June 13, 2013, 4:30 PM GMT+0

There is a growing partisan divide when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as Republicans become more pro-Israeli and Democrats waver in their support.

Israel became a major issue in the 2012 Presidential election, with Obama insisting that he is firm in his support of Israel while Romney accused him of throwing Israel 'under a bus' and held campaign events in Jerusalem. Secretary of State John Kerry has recently begun yet another American push for a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, hoping to secure a promise from Netanyahu to stop construction of settlements in the occupied territories. Many on both sides increasingly feel, however, that the moment for the creation of a Palestinian state has passed and that the conflict may soon turn into a struggle by Palestinians for civil rights under Israeli government.

The latest YouGov research shows that there is a significant and increased partisan divide. Among Democrats 18% primarily sympathise with the Israelis and 15% with the Palestinians, compared to 19% and 9% respectively in May 2011. Among Republicans 71% primarily sympathise with Israelis and 2% with Palestinians, compared to 61% and 1% two years ago.

The split continues when asked about US policies towards Israel. 28% of Democrats think the US provides too much support to Israel, compared to 5% among Republicans. 56% of Republicans think too little support is provided, while only 8% of Democrats agree.

Furthermore, attitudes to the creation of a Palestinian state are very split. 47% of Democrats support the creation of an independent Palestinian state, up marginally from 44% two years ago. 22% of Republicans support a Palestinian state, compared to 23% two years ago.

Complete results are available here for 2013 and here for 2011.

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