More Democrats Sympathize With Palestinians than With Israelis for First Time, Gallup Finds

Craig Bannister | October 11, 2023
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More Democrats now sympathize with the Palestinians than with the Israelis in the Middle East conflict, Gallup’s 2023 World Affairs Poll reveals.

Conducted in February, before last weekend's Hamas attack on Israel sparked war, the national survey of U.S. adults asked the following question:

“In the Middle East situation, are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?”

Democrats sympathize more with the Palestinians than Israelis for the first time, the annual survey finds.

Democrats’ sympathies have been shifting for the past decade, and this year’s 11-point jump flipped the net score to the Palestinians’ side (49%-38%). Those more sympathetic towards the Israelis and the percent of neutral Democrats (13%) both fell to new lows.

Asked which side they have the most sympathy for, a majority of all U.S. adults still choose Israel:

  • Israelis: 54%
  • Palestinians: 31% (new high)
  • No Favorite: 15% (new low)


Israel’s 23-point advantage is the smallest in the history of the poll.

In terms of favorability, however, Israel is still viewed far more favorably (68%-26%) than the Palestinian Authority.

In separate questions, respondents were asked if their “overall opinion” of Israeli and the Palestinian Authority was “very favorable,” “mostly favorable,” “mostly unfavorable” or “very unfavorable.”

Majorities of all party affiliations have a favorable view of Israel, though Democrats have the least. Here, Democrats (56%), Republicans (82%) and Independents (67%) all rate Israel both favorably and higher than the Palestinian Authority.

“What little increase has occurred in the Palestinian Authority’s favorable rating over the past decade has been exclusively among Democrats (up 16 percentage points since 2013) and independents (up 14 points),” Gallup reports.

Gallup observes that “Democrats’ waning religiosity” may by a driving force behind their increasing affinity towards Palestine, since sympathy with Israel is highly correlated with religion and weekly attendance at religious services.

Liberal media bias against Israel may also be responsible, as NewsBusters explains in its review of the media's legacy of one-sided, pro-Palestine reporting.

Among all U.S. adults, Israel’s 68% favorability is consistent with its annual average since 2001, while the Palestinians’ rating has increased from 19% to 26%.

Gallup’s annual World Affairs Poll of U.S. adults was conducted February 1-23 of this year, as part of its monthly Gallup Poll Social Series. The World Affairs poll is conducted in February of each year. The Social Series surveys were introduced in 2021.