Which Americans support Israel - and which do not?

Survey shows major decline in support for Israel among Democrats, Millennials, blacks and Latinos.

David Rosenberg ,

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Flash 90

A new study of pro-Israel sentiment in the United States suggests support for the Jewish state is becoming an increasingly partisan issue, with the gap between Republicans and Democrats widening dramatically.

According to the survey, conducted by the Global Strategy Group on behalf of Brand Israel, a majority of Americans still say they support Israel, but the number has fallen dramatically since the last study was made back in 2010.

The survey, which polled 2,600 respondents from September to October 2016, showed that 62% said they had a favorable view of the Jewish state, compared to 76% who said they supported Israel in 2010.

While pro-Israel views remained stable among self-described Republicans, the number of Democrats who said they supported Israel dropped 13% since 2010, from 73% to 60%.

Broken down by demographic groups, the decline in support for Israel was apparent among groups which tend to vote Democratic: younger Americans, blacks, and Latinos. Blacks are increasingly associating Palestinian Arab rights with their own struggle.

While roughly three-quarters of blacks and Latinos said they had favorable view of Israel in 2010, support among both groups plummeted by 20 points since then to just over 50%.

College students also became significantly less likely to say they backed Israel, with a narrow majority (54%) saying they had a favorable view of Israel, compared to 71% in 2010. Among Jewish college students the decline was nearly as sharp, with the favorability rating falling from 95% to 82%. Some of this may be attributable to anti-Israel propaganda on campus.

The poll also shows that the number of American Jewish college students who back the Palestinian Authority over Israel has gone up more than sixfold since 2010, rising from 2% to 13%. Fifty-seven percent said they favored Israel over the PA, compared to 84% who backed Israel over the PA in 2010.

A significant gender gap has also opened up, with the number of American women who say they have a favorable view of Israel falling from 74% to 57%.

Support for Israel among Republican-leaning demographic groups – including men and older Americans – remained virtually unchanged since 2010.