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Gallup: Americans still LOVE Israel a lot, Netanyahu popularity soars

Gallup: Americans still LOVE Israel a lot, Netanyahu popularity soars

The American public continues to be the true “Israel Lobby”

Isreali Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting the U.S. this week, and will meet President Trump.

An important question is what is the status of the American popular opinion towards Israel.

There is a misconception that American political support for Israel is a result of the “Israel Lobby” and “Israel Firsters.” Those are terms frequently thrown around by regressive leftists and anti-Israel activists, a not too subtle play on the traditional antisemitic claim that Jews are disloyal to their home countries.

Polling consistently shows, however, that Americans overwhelmingly support Israel, and that support has increased over the past decade, as we reported last year, Gallup: Americans still overwhelmingly support Israel. The “Israel Lobby” actually is the American people, and political support reflects popular opinion.

There have been some troubling signs that the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party now is evenly split on Israel versus the Palestinians, as a Pew survey, showed last May. But neither Pew nor past Gallup surveys showed this phenomenon moving into the general public.

That’s not what you would think if you read only the liberal press, particularly the liberal Jewish press. You’d think support for Israel is collapsing. “As a Jew” Israel haters, like the misleadingly named “Jewish Voice for Peace” (not Jewish, not for peace), are very good at astroturfing media to create the impression of a groundswell of hostility to Israel. They hold small rallies of one or two dozen activists, but astutely publish tightly cropped photos to make it appear as if there was a massive turnout; the anti-Israel social media echo chamber then promotes the false narrative relentlessly.

I have been anxiously awaiting this years Gallup poll of American attitudes towards the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, to see if there has been any meaningful decline in support for Israel.

That Gallup polling was just published, and it shows no slippage in support for Israel, which continues at near historic highs. The gap in support of Israel over Palestinians is narrower, but in the historical range:

The latest results are from Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 1-5. The same poll included an update of Gallup’s long-standing measure of Americans’ “sympathies” in the Middle East conflict.

In response to the Gallup trend question, 62% of Americans say they sympathize more with the Israelis and 19% with the Palestinians, similar to the past several years. Another 19% express no preference, including 5% who say they sympathize with both equally, 6% who sympathize with neither and 8% who have no opinion.

Unfortunately, this Gallup report does not provide demographic breakdown, so it’s not possible to know if support for Israel has changed among millennials. Hopefully that data will be released at some point.

Supporters of Israel tend to overreact to even statistically small changes in support. But keep things in historical perspective. Here is Gallup data (pdf.) going back to the late 1980s. There were many times when support for Israel was well below 50%.  We simply have become accustomed to the new normal of overwhelming support for Israel.


Of equal importance, given the left’s demonization of Netanyahu over his appearance in Congress to oppose the Iran deal, is that his popularity has soared:

Republicans’ views of Netanyahu have grown more positive in recent years, while Democrats’ views have become more negative. And Netanyahu’s appearance before the U.S. Congress in March 2015 to warn U.S. leaders about the dangers of the impending U.S.-Iran nuclear agreement was a watershed, causing Republicans to view him more favorably and Democrats less favorably. Since then, Republicans have warmed to him even more, while Democrats’ views have only partially tempered.

Currently, 32% of Democrats view Netanyahu favorably and 41% unfavorably. That compares with 31% favorably and 31% unfavorably in February 2015, before Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. Meanwhile, Republicans’ views of Netanyahu are more positive today: 73% favorable and 11% unfavorable, versus 60% favorable and 18% unfavorable in February 2015.

There also is what Gallup calls “tepid” support for a Palestinian state:

As President Donald Trump talks about reaching a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is “good for all sides,” a new Gallup poll finds the American public closely split over one of the Palestinians’ longtime demands — Palestinian statehood. Currently, 45% of Americans support establishing an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip while 42% oppose it. This follows years of significantly more Americans supporting than opposing Palestinian statehood.

Americans’ support for an independent Palestinian state is essentially unchanged from last year, but the percentage opposed is up five percentage points to 42% — the highest level seen in Gallup’s trend. However, on a proportional basis, the latest results are similar to 2015, when 42% favored a Palestinian state and 38% were opposed. The main difference is that fewer Americans today (13%) than in 2015 (20%) have no opinion.

So, on balance, despite the hoopla, there is no indication that support for Israel has slipped at all with the general American public.

The American public continues to be the true “Israel Lobby.”


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Finally, an American President that is in lock step with the American people! That must be driving the Jew race haters (Democrats) crazy!!! 🙂

    Tom Servo in reply to mailman. | February 13, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    I understand that from the bubble that surrounds east coast universities (well, the east coast in general) it may be difficult to know what ordinary Americans out in the heartland are thinking.

    But I live in a medium sized town in East Texas, a fairly ordinary place that I think is pretty representative of a lot of ordinary, middle of the country, places – and I can say, from personal discussions with a large variety of folks here, support for Israel is overwhelming. Also, people I know are extremely interested in Israel and keep themselves informed of what is happening there.

    One more thing I can add – here, in the center of the country, ordinary people overwhelmingly despise the BDS movement.

I hope Trump calls Bibi often for advice and how to handle some of the crisis of the world. I am not too sure that the people around Trump are that smart. His cabinet choices are smart people but have little to no experience working with the troll in DC. In fact, the smarter you are the harder it is to work with them.

Bibi is what leadership looks like! This is why Chairman O didn’t like him, he paled by comparison.

    JOHN B in reply to Romey. | February 13, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Several years ago, Bibi spoke before the US Congress.(not the 2015 speech) His knowledge about the USA was impressive; much more than our own president.

    He spoke so lovingly and caringly about America, its institutions and its people. It was such a breath of fresh air since by then we realized that Chairman O hated America, its institutions and its people.

    At a time when I was losing all hope for our nation and the world, a great man from a great nation showed that we can still survive.

Americans’ solid support for Israel will only increase as Americans learn more about Islam and its core texts that exhort Muslims to hate Jews and attack Israel.

And Muslims, true to form, will follow their “sacred” texts.

Of a principled kind is the American character.

Bibi to Chelsea Obama: “I beat you. Kish mein touchess, tuchas leker.”

    4th armored div in reply to | February 13, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    derech eretz kadma l’torah

    Be a Mensch – show how people should behave as opposed to the Donkey Kong Party do behave.

    what is distressing to me is the number of Jews who have no concept of the history or the culture of Judaism.

    if they want to leave ‘the tribe’ then do so but don’t undermine us or the USA ala Soros – tzuris.

The sad thing is that Americans who support Netanyahu have no idea what he’s really like. The MSM paint him as some sort of hard-liner, and people who don’t trust the MSM on anything else take their word for it on this, and applaud him for it. If they knew what a squish he actually is they would despise him.

Remember that he’s the one who gave Hevron away in the first place, and he stayed in Sharon’s government long enough to enable him to give Gaza away, only “making a stand” when he knew it was too late to change anything. He has released thousands of terrorists, destroyed Jewish homes, interfered in purely local affairs like Jerusalem’s municipal building permit system, and in general has shown himself willing to do whatever it takes, and to adopt whatever principles he thinks necessary to get elected and stay on the good side of the legal establishment.

Yes, he gives wonderful speeches. So did Olmert; remember the fiery speech he gave on the first day of the last war with Hizballah? It was excellent, but was followed by a debacle of government failure. Netanyahu is much the same; an excellent orator whose speeches bear no resemblance to what he does.