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Poll: American support for Israel at its lowest in a decade

March 7, 2019 at 12:56 pm

Israeli and foreigner peace activists stage a protest against Israeli authorities’ decision on evacuating Palestinian families who live in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Eastern Jerusalem on 25 January 2019. [Faiz Abu Rmeleh – Anadolu Agency]

The American public’s support for Israel has dropped to the lowest point across party lines since 2009, a new Gallup poll published yesterday has shown.

The overall amount of Americans who take the side of Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians is now 59 per cent, a five point drop from the 64 per cent who did so in 2018. The number of Americans who side with the Palestinians, however, remains unchanged at 21 per cent, showing that many are becoming disenchanted with the pro-Israel narrative and are now sitting on the fence with regards to the conflict.

The decline is surprisingly noticeable among Republicans, who are traditionally those who possess the highest support for Israel amongst Americans, but now consists 76 per cent of member which support Israel compared to an all-time high of 87 per cent last year. Meanwhile, only 43 per cent of Democrats sympathise more with Israel in the conflict than with Palestinians, indicating a decline of support for the country among both moderate and liberal Democrats.

READ: Congress criticises Ihlan Omar’s words, but remains silent about Israel’s violence

The poll reflects the controversy of the blatantly pro-Israel policies enacted by the Trump administration throughout his first term, particularly the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the moving of the US embassy to the city from Tel Aviv, as well as the consequent neglect of the US’ status as a mediator in the conflict.

The poll also comes amid widespread allegations of the Democrat party growing ever more anti-Semitic due to the raising of voices within the party which are sceptical of Israel and its possible interference in American politics.

The recently elected US Representative for Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, has been embroiled in a case for the past few weeks in which she has been accused of anti-Semitism due to an alleged statement in which she said that many American Jews possess dual-loyalty towards Israel, and that if they were forced to choose between supporting the interests of one country, they would choose those of Israel. The controversy has sparked a debate within the US regarding its relationship with Israel and the extent of its political ties and interference.