Binyamin Netanyahu speaks at previous Congress address
Binyamin Netanyahu speaks at previous Congress addressAvi Ohayon/GPO/Flash 90

A Gallup poll has found that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's "favorable" rating among Americans has risen 10 points in the past three years. The poll was taken on Feb. 8-11, just as the controversy over Netanyahu's speech in Congress was heating up.

The poll shows that 45% of the public see Netanyahu favorably, a statistical tie with his highest Gallup rating, back in 1998. Just over half that amount, 24%, view him unfavorably. Approval for him among Republicans, and in general, improved by 10 percentage points since 2012.

While Netanyahu's favorable score has varied slightly over the years, his unfavorable score has been relatively stable, ranging from 20% to 28%.

A article summarizes: "Even if Netanyahu has seen his relationship with the White House deteriorate [in the wake of the speech controversy], it appears to have had no impact on his standing with the American people." However, there are sharp differences between the two parties. While 60% of Republicans view the prime minister with favor, compared to 18% who feel the opposite, the Democrats are split down the middle, 31-31. Independents' favorable ratings of Netanyahu are twice as high as their unfavorable ratings, and are 13 points higher than three years ago.

Another Gallup finding from the same poll shows that Americans in all age groups have grown more partial to Israel in the Israel-Arab conflict over the past 15 years, but those aged 50 and older have grown particularly likely to sympathize with the Jewish state. Support for Israel among Americans aged 18-29 has grown only from 50% to 56%, while support among the over-50 group has soared from some 50% to nearly 70%.