Americans have more favorable views of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples than of their governments, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. And as previous surveys on this subject have shown, there are substantial partisan differences in these attitudes.
The survey was conducted April 1-15 among 10,523 adults on the Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel. It asked one group of people whether they had favorable or unfavorable opinions of the Israeli people and, separately, of the Palestinian people. Another group of respondents was asked for its opinions of the Israeli government and the Palestinian government.
(There is not a unified Palestinian government; rather, since 2007, there have been two Palestinian governments, one on the West Bank and the other in the Gaza Strip. To make this question accessible for respondents, and to provide a comparison with views of the Israeli government, the question asks about the “Palestinian government.”)
For decades – most recently, last year – the Center asked a different question on this topic: “In the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, which side do you sympathize with more, Israel or the Palestinians?” The Center has asked this question since 1993; for more than a decade before that, it was included in surveys conducted by Gallup for the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. Since 1993, this question has been asked on telephone surveys. Previously, it had been asked in face-to-face interviews.