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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Americans on Israel and Egypt

Our chapter on national security and foreign policy discusses the role of public opinion.  When it comes to the Middle East, Americans have definite preferences.

Gallup reports on opinion toward Israel:
President Barack Obama prepares to visit Israel, the Palestinian West Bank, and Jordan next week -- his first trip to the region as president -- Americans' sympathies lean heavily toward the Israelis over the Palestinians, 64% vs. 12%. Americans' partiality for Israel has consistently exceeded 60% since 2010; however, today's 64% ties the highest Gallup has recorded in a quarter century, last seen in 1991 during the Gulf War. At that time, slightly fewer than today, 7%, sympathized more with the Palestinians.
Consistent with prior years, Republicans are substantially more likely than Democrats to favor the Israelis, 78% vs. 55%, with the preferences of independents -- currently 63% -- more closely matching those of Democrats.
Gallup reports on opinion toward Egypt:
The slight majority of Americans, 53%, now hold an unfavorable view of Egypt and 40% a favorable view. That is the most negative tilt in Americans' views of Egypt since Gallup began measuring favorability toward the country in this format in 1991.