Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

American Public Opinion Polls: Regarding U.S. Middle East Policy

(Updated March 2017)

Do you agree that the United States has a moral obligation to defend Israel?
        (Harvard-Harris, March 2017)

Yes, the U.S. has a moral obligation to defend Israel

62%

No, the U.S. does not have a moral obligation to defend Israel

38%

Should the U.S. alter it's commitment to Israel?
        (Harvard-Harris, March 2017)

The U.S. should reduce it's commitment to Israel

19%

The U.S. should keep it's commitment to Israel the same

55%

The U.S. should expand it's commitment to Israel

26%

Do you hold a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?
        (Gallup, February 2017)

 

Favorable

Unfavorable

Don't know
Netanyahu

No Opinion

February 2017

49%

30%

13%

8%

February 2015

45%

24%

18%

13%

July 2012

35%

23%

21%

20%

If you had to choose, would you rather the U.S. focus it's diplomatic and military resources on the Middle East or Asia?
        (PBS/Marist, May 2016)

 

Republican

Independent

Democrat

Total

Middle East

58%

55%

53%

53%

Asia

29%

22%

27%

24%

Don't know/refuse to answer

13%

24%

20%

23%

Regardless of whether or not you think the U.S. should have a military role in the Middle East, which of the following do you think is the best reason for staying involved in the region?
        (PBS/Marist, May 2016)

 

Republican

Independent

Democrat

Total

Commitment to Israel's safety

23%

15%

19%

18%

The importance of Middle East oil

10%

5%

6%

9%

The need to defeat ISIS

63%

72%

67%

64%

Don't know/refuse to answer

4%

8%

7%

9%

When it comes to the U.S. role in the Middle East, do you think the U.S. should...?
        (PBS/Marist, May 2016)

 

Republican

Independent

Democrat

Total

Increase it's military presence

40%

21%

16%

23%

Keep military presence at current levels

14%

26%

30%

23%

Decrease it's military presence

19%

31%

27%

24%

Completely withdraw

15%

10%

16%

15%

Don't know/refuse to answer

12%

13%

11%

14%

From what you have heard or read about the U.S. role in the Middle East, do you think the U.S. is doing more harm or good in the region?
        (PBS/Marist, May 2016)

 

Republican

Independent

Democrat

Total

Doing more harm

57%

52%

42%

49%

Doing more good

23%

27%

35%

27%

Don't know/refuse to answer

20%

22%

23%

25%

Do you agree or disagree with this proposal, or don't you know enough to say? Recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv?
        (Gallup, March 2016)

 

U.S. Jews

Agree

24%

Disagree

20%

Don't know enough to say

56%

One of the issues of tension between the United States and Israel has been its construction of Israeli settlements in the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 war. These settlements are considered illegal by most of the international community and have been opposed by every US administration, both Republican and Democratic. The Israeli government has continued to build settlements arguing that they have the right to do so, or that these are not obstacles to peace. How do you believe the US should react to new settlements?
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 

Republican

Independent

Democrat

Total

Do nothing

30%

51%

16%

27%

Vocally oppose, but do not take action

38%

13%

30%

31%

Impose economic sanctions

20%

18%

37%

27%

Take more serious action

6%

13%

12%

10%

Don't know/refuse to answer

5%

6%

5%

5%

As you may know, there have been suggestions that the UN Security Council should endorse the establishment of a Palestinian state. This idea has received some support in Europe, but opposition in Israel. If the UN Security Council considers such a plan, what do you think the US should do as a member of the UN Security Council?
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 

Republican

Independent

Democrat

Total

Vote in favor of a Palestinian state

18%

15%

39%

27%

Vote against a Palestinian state, including using America's veto power

43%

13%

15%

26%

Abstain from voting

37%

65%

42%

43%

Don't know/refuse to answer

3%

7%

4%

4%

In general, what role do you want the United States to play in mediating the Israeli Palestinian conflict? Should the United States...
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 

Republican

Independent

Democrat

Total

Lean towards Israel

45%

13%

19%

29%

Lean towards the Palestinians

2%

3%

4%

3%

Lean towards neither side

51%

80%

75%

66%

Don't know/refuse to answer

1%

4%

2%

2%

As you may know, the United States has been acting as a mediator between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, with the aim of reaching an agreement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Whether or not these efforts succeed, there is a question about what kind of future for Israel and the Palestinians the US should be supporting over the long term, and many analysts feel that time is running out for some options. Here are four possible options that are frequently discussed. Please select the one you think the US should support?
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 

Republican

Independent

Democrat

Total

Two states, side-by-side, 1967 borders

29%

25%

45%

35%

One state, equal citizenship

29%

33%

33%

31%

Annexation of territories without equal citizenship

11%

14%

7%

10%

Maintain the status quo indefinitely

22%

20%

11%

17%

Don't know/refuse to answer

10%

8%

4%

7%

Do you believe that the Israeli government has...?
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 

Republican

Independent

Democrat

Total

Too little influence in American politics

22%

17%

14%

18%

Too much influence

25%

35%

49%

37%

The right level of influence

52%

42%

36%

44%

Don't know/refuse to answer

1%

6%

2%

2%

Thinking about US interests, how important an issue is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 

Republican

Independent

Democrat

Total

The single most important issue

9%

3%

4%

6%

Among the top three issues

25%

13%

20%

21%

Among the top five issues

42%

26%

35%

27%

Not among the top five issues

24%

54%

39%

35%

Don't know/refuse to answer

--

4%

2%

1%

How important is the Israeli-Palestinian issue for you personally?
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 

Republican

Independent

Democrat

Total

The single most important issue

5%

3%

4%

4%

Among the top three issues

18%

7%

11%

14%

Among the top five issues

27%

13%

16%

20%

Not among the top five issues

49%

76%

68%

61%

Don't know/refuse to answer

1

2%

1%

1%

When you are deciding which candidate to vote for in Congress or for President, how much do you consider the candidate’s position on US policy toward Israel?
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 

Republican

Independent

Democrat

Total

A lot

40%

22%

14%

26%

Some

36%

18%

35%

33%

Just a little

10%

21%

27%

19%

Not at all

14%

30%

25%

21%

Don't know/refuse to answer

<1%

8%

<1%

1%

In the Middle East conflict, do you think the United States should...?
         (Chicago Council, November 2015)

Take Israel's side

30%

Remain neutral

64%

Take the Palestinian side

3%

Would you favor or oppose the use of U.S. troops if Israel were attacked by it's neighbors?
         (Chicago Council, November 2015)

I would favor this

45%

I would oppose this

55%

Should economic aid to Israel be increased, decreased, kept about the same, or stopped alltogether?
         (Chicago Council, November 2015)

Stopped alltogether

18%

Kept the same

21%

Decreased

46%

Increased

12%

Should military aid to Israel be increased, decreased, kept about the same, or stopped alltogether?
         (Chicago Council, November 2015)

Stopped alltogether

18%

Kept the same

19%

Decreased

46%

Increased

13%

Do you think the U.S. government should be secretly spying on the government of Israel or not?
         (Chicago Council, November 2015)

Yes, they should spy

44%

No, they should not

52%

Do you think U.S. leaders should meet and talk with the leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah, or Iran?
         (Chicago Council, November 2015)

 

Hamas

Hezbollah

Iran

Yes, they should meet and talk

50%

50%

73%

No, they should not meet and talk

50%

50%

27%

In covering the recent escalation of violence, the world media has favored...?
         (Rasmussen, October 2015)

The Israelis

22%

The Palestinians

30%

Media coverage has been fair to both sides

23%

Don't know/refuse to answer

25%

If the current violence continues between the Israelis and Palestinians, the United States should...?
         (Rasmussen, October 2015)

Get more directly involved

34%

Leave the situation alone

55%

Don't know/refuse to answer

11%

In the recent escalation of violence in Jerusalem, are most Americans more supportive of the Israelis or the Palestinians?
         (Rasmussen, October 2015)

Israelis

60%

Palestinians

10%

Don't know/refuse to answer

30%

Would you support or oppose legislation that would make any Iran agreement subject to congressional approval?
         (Quinnipiac, April 2015)

Support

65%

Oppose

24%

Don't know/refuse to answer

10%

Would you prefer military intervention against Iran's nuclear program or a negotiated settlement to reduce its nuclear potential?
         (Quinnipiac, April 2015)

Military intervention

13%

Negotiated settlement

77%

Don't know/refuse to answer

10%

Do you think the President of the United States should be a strong supporter of Israel or not?
         (Quinnipiac, April 2015)

 

April 2015

October 2011

April 2010

Yes they should

67%

63%

66%

No they should not

20%

20%

19%

Don't know/refuse to answer

13%

17%

15%

Do you think President Barack Obama is a strong supporter of Israel or not?
         (Quinnipiac, April 2015)

 

April 2015

October 2011

April 2010

Yes he is

38%

39%

34%

No he is not

48%

40%

42%

Don't know/refuse to answer

15%

21%

24%

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the situation in Iran?
         (Quinnipiac, April 2015)

 

April 2015

January 2014

October 2013

November 2011

Approve

37%

39%

48%

46%

Disapprove

52%

47%

40%

38%

Don't know/refuse to answer

10%

14%

12%

16%

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the situation between Israel and the Palestinians?
         (Quinnipiac, April 2015)

 

April 2015

October 2011

April 2010

Approve

31%

34%

35%

Disapprove

53%

48%

44%

Don't know/refuse to answer

15%

17%

21%

Based on what you know about the proposed new deal with Iran and the negotiations on it's nuclear program, would you say President Obama is being too tough on Iran, too soft, or striking the right balance?
         (Fox News, April 2015)

Too tough

2%

Too soft

51%

Right balance

34%

Don't know/refuse to answer

13%

Do you think negotiating with Iran is the right thing for the United States to do because it’s the best way to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, or is negotiating with Iran the wrong thing to do because Iran can’t be trusted to honor any agreement?
         (Fox News, April 2015)

It is the right thing to do

40%

It is the wrong thing to do

50%

Mixed/not sure

5%

Don't know/refuse to answer

5%

How would you say things are going for the U.S. in the fight against Islamic extremists?
         (Bloomberg, April 2015)

Very well

3%

Somewhat well

30%

Somewhat badly

24%

Very badly

29%

Don't know/refuse to answer

5%

Recently there have been clashes between Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Obama. Which of these individuals are you more sympathetic towards?
         (Bloomberg, April 2015)

Netanyahu

34%

Obama

47%

Don't know/refuse to answer

19%

When it comes to relations between the U.S. and Israel, which of the following do you agree with more?
         (Bloomberg, April 2015)

Israel is an important ally, the only democracy in the region, and we should support it even if our interests diverge

45%

Israel is an important ally, but we should pursue our own interests when we disagree with them

47%

Don't know/refuse to answer

8%

Some people say Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is in the middle of an election at home, and it is inappropriate for the U.S. to host him for a speech only two weeks before the election is being held. They say this is a Republican attempt to make Netanyahu look stronger before his election. Other people say Iran is getting closer to building a nuclear weapon. As one of the world's most knowledgeable leaders on the Middle East and the Iranian nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should address Congress before the March 31st deadline for a political framework with Iran.  Which do you agree with?
         (CNN/ORC, February 2015)

It is inappropriate to host Netanyahu so close to an election

25%

It is not inappropriate to host Netanyahu so close to an election

43%

Don't know/refuse to answer

33%

In your view, should the United States become more active in world affairs, less active in world affairs, or continue it's current level of activity in world affairs?
 (NBC News/the Wall Street Journal, September 2014)

 

September 2014

April 2014

September 2001

May 1997

March 1995

More active

27%

19%

37%

17%

17%

Less active

40%

47%

14%

32%

34%

Current level

29%

30%

44%

46%

47%

Not sure

4%

4%

5%

5%

2%

In your opinion, is the United States too involved in Middle East affairs?
         (Rasmussen, July 2014)

The US is too involved in the Middle East

44%

The US is not involved enough in the Middle East

21%

The level of US involvement in the Middle East is appropriate

24%

In your opinion, are the United States and it's allies winning the war on terror?
         (Rasmussen, July 2014)

The US and it's allies are winning

27%

The terrorists are winning

36%

Neither side is winning

29%

Do you support the short-term agreement with Iran that ends some economic sanctions in exchange for cutbacks in Iran's nuclear weapons program?
         (Rasmussen, November 2013)

Favor deal

41%

Oppose deal

43%

Don't know/No opinion

16%

Would you favor or oppose direct diplomatic negotiations between the U.S. and Iran in an attempt to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons?
         (CNN/ORC, September 2013)

 

October 2009

September 2013

Favor

78%

76%

Oppose

22%

21%

Unsure

1%

3%

Would you support military strikes on Syria if it does not give up its chemical weapons?
         (Pew, September 2013)

Favor Strikes

37%

Oppose Strikes

49%

Don't Know/No Opinion

14%

Should the U.S. conduct airstrikes against Syria in response to reports that the government used chemical weapons?
         (Pew, September 2013)

Favor Strikes

28%

Oppose Strikes

63%

Don't Know/No Opinion

9%

Should Congress pass a resolution authorizing limited U.S. military action in Syria?
         (CNN/ORC, September 2013)

Should Pass

39%

Should Not Pass

59%

No Opinion

2%

Should the United States get more directly involved in the Syrian crisis or leave the situation alone?
          (Rasmussen, August 2011; February 2012; June 2012; Reuters/Ipsos, August 2013)

 

Aug 2011

Feb 2012

June 2012

Aug 2013

Get more directly involved

12%

19%

20%

26%

Leave the situation alone

66%

56%

50%

50%

Undecided

22%

25%

30%

24%

Should the United States continue to provide military and financial aid to Egypt?
         (Rasmussen, August 2013)

Continue Providing Aid

18%

Stop Providing Aid

54%

Undecided

27%

Should the United States get more directly involved in the Egypt situation?
         (Rasmussen, August 2013)

Leave Egypt Situation Alone

73%

Get More Involved

10%

Undecided

17%

Should President Obama be involved in trying to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians?
         (The Hill/Pulse Opinion Research, March 2013)

Very Involved

21%

Somewhat Involved

37%

Not Very Involved

23%

Not At All Invovled

9%

No Opinion

10%

Generally speaking, is President Obama more pro-Israel, anti-Israel or neither?
         (The Hill/Pulse Opinion Research, March 2013)

Pro-Israel

28%

Anti-Israel

30%

Neither

29%

Not Sure

13%

If Israel were to attack Iran to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, then what should the United States do? Should the United States support Israel's military action, or should the United States not get involved?
         (CNN/ORC, March 2013)

Support action

49%

Not get involved

49%

Unsure

2%

In order to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, do you think the United States should increase pressure on the Palestinians or the Israelis to compromise?
         
(Gallup, February 2013)

 

Feb. 2007

Feb. 2008

Feb. 2013

More Pressure on Palestinians

39%

38%

48%

More Pressure on Israel

30%

25%

25%

More Pressure on Both

11%

15%

10%

No More Pressure on Either

10%

10%

8%

No Opinion

10%

11%

10%

Do you support or oppose the United States taking military action against Iran if there is evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons?
         
(Reuters/Ipsos, March 2012)

Support

56%

Oppose

39%

Neither

2%

Both/Unsure

3%

Which of these two statements is closest to your own view?
          (ADL, October 23, 2011)

 

2007

2011

"American Jews stifle debate about U.S. policy toward Israel and the Middle East."

23%

25%

"The national debate about U.S. policy toward Israel and the Middle East is vigorous and wide open."

46%

52%

Obama promised to veto the Palestinian statehood bid, intervened in the embassy crisis with Egypt, and supported Israel in his UN speech. What's the main reason? (TNS/Teleseker, October 4-6, 2011)

Elections are coming, he needs Jewish votes

67%

He is balanced, may support Palestinians in future

9%

He's learned more about the Middle East

6%

Has always been pro-Israel

5%

Don't know

13%

Do you think President Obama is a strong supporter of Israel or not? (Quinnipiac University/The Israel Project, October 3, 2011)

 

April 2010

June 2011

October 2011

Approve

35%

35%

34%

Disapprove

44%

47%

48%

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the situation between Israel and the Palestinians? (Quinnipiac University/The Israel Project, October 3, 2011)

 

June 2011

July 2011

September 2011

October 2011

Approve

46%

47%

44%

44%

Disapprove

44%

43%

47%

48%

Do you think the President of the United States should be a strong supporter of Israel or not? (Quinnipiac University/The Israel Project, October 3, 2011)

 

April 2010

June 2011

October 2011

Republican

Independent

Democrat

Should

66%

66%

63%

76%

62%

56%

Should not

19%

18%

20%

12%

25%

19%

Would you say that President Obama favors Israel or favors the Palestinians?
(Independent Media Review Analysis, September 2011)

Israel

21.4%

Palestinians

36.2%

Treats them equally

20.6%

Don't know/Refused to answer

21.8%

Do you think Obama's policies towards Iran will succeed in convincing them to abandon developing nuclear weapons?
(Independent Media Review Analysis, September 2011)

Yes

10.2%

No

77.6%

Don't know/Refused to answer

12.2%

President Obama is pursuing a policy of diplomacy and sanctions to stop the Iran nuclear program. Do you think this policy will succeed?
(McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Yes

28.0%

No

58.6%

Don't know/Refused to answer

13.4%

Do you think President Obama's policies toward Iran will stop them from getting nuclear weapons?
(McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Yes

12.8%

No

78.5%

Don't know/Refused to answer

8.7%

Do you think President Obama's failure to stop Iran's nuclear program would lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East?
(McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Yes

50.3%

No

33.8%

Don't know/Refused to answer

15.9%

When Israel faces a conflict with its enemies, do you want your elected officials to express their support for Israel, or to pressure Israel for a cease-fire? (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Support Israel

42.9%

Pressure Israel

32.4%

Don't know/Refuse to answer

14.8%

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? "The Israeli-Arab conflict is the key to improving American's standing and interests in the region." (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Agree

50.6%

Disagree

31.8%

Don't know/Refused to answer

17.7%

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? "Enemies of America use the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as an excuse to create anti-American sentiment. Even if the dispute is settled, they would find another way to justify their hostility towards America." (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Agree

81.8%

Disagree

11.2%

Don't know/Refused to answer

7.0%

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing handling America's relations with Israel? (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Approve

43.2%

Disapprove

44.3%

Don't know/Refuse to answer

12.6%

Do you think President Obama's policies in the Middle East are improving Israel's security or harming it? (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Improving security

29.6%

Harming it

42.7%

Don't know/Refuse to answer

27.7%

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? "Barack Obama has been less friendly to Israel than previous presidents." (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Agree

51.6%

Disagree

35.4%

Don't know/Refuse to answer

13.0%

President Barack Obama is committed to a policy of outreach to the Muslim World. Knowing this, do you think this policy has increased or decreased the security of the United States? (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Increased

33.1%

Decreased

46.5%

Don't know/Refuse to answer

20.4%

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? "Israel's enemies are America's enemies." (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Agree

50.9%

Disagree

38.4%

Don't know/Refuse to answer

10.7%

When it comes to the peace process, the Obama Administration has followed a policy of publicly criticizing and pressuring Israel, but not the Palestinians. Do you agree or disagree with this approach? (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Agree

27.0%

Disagree

54.4%

Don't know/Refuse to answer

18.7%

Thinking specifically about the Middle East, do you approve or disapprove of the way President Obama is handling U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinian territories? (ADL, October 2009)

Approve

46%

Disapprove

32%

In your opinion, does the Obama administration tilt toward Israel, the Palestinians, or is it generally balanced in its Middle East polices? (ADL, October 2009)

Toward Israel

13%

Toward the Palestinians

15%

Generally balanced

49%

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: "The U.S. is more likely to be targeted for terrorist attack because of our support for Israel." (ADL)

 

2003

2005

2007

2009

Agree

73%

68%

65%

64%

Disagree

33%

22%

26%

-

In your opinion, should the U.S. continue to support Israel even if it means there will be a greater risk of terrorist attacks against America, or should the U.S. pull back from its support of Israel to minimize the risk of a terrorist attack in this country? (ADL)

 

2003

2005

2007

2009

Support

62%

61%

57%

61%

Pull back

31%

31%

34%

33%

In the Middle East conflict, do you think the United States should take Israel's side, take the Palestinian's side, or not take either side?  (Gallup, May 2002)

 

Israel's side

Palestinian's side

Neither side

No opinion

2002 (May)

24%

2%

68%

6%

2001 (September)

27%

1%

63%

9%

2000 (July) 16% 1% 74% 9%
2000 (January) 15% 1% 72% 12%
1998 (December) 17% 2% 73% 7%
1998 (May) 15% 2% 74% 9%

Have you followed the recent developments in the Middle East? (Gallup: October 1973 January 1978)

  October 1973 June 1977 January 1978 August 1978
Yes 90% 86%

63%

82%
No 10% 14%

37%

18%

Asked of those who have followed the recent developments in the Middle East: Do you approve or disapprove of the way President Carter is dealing with the Middle East situation? (Gallup, January 1978)

Approve

56%

Disapprove

26%

Don't know/Refuse to answer 18%

Do you think President Carter is leaning too much in favor of Israel, too much in favor of Egypt, or do you feel that he is treating both sides fairly equally? (Gallup, January 1978)

Favor Israel

16%

Favor Egypt

6%

Both Equally 62%
Don't know/Refuse to answer 16%

Asked of those who have followed the recent developments in the Middle East: Do you think Israel is or is not doing all it should to bring about peace in the Middle East? (Gallup, January 1978)

Yes, Israel is

25%

No, Israel is not

57%

Don't know/Refuse to answer 18%

Asked of those who have followed the recent developments in the Middle East: Do you think Egypt is or is not doing all it should to bring about peace in the Middle East? (Gallup, January 1978)

Yes, Egypt is

32%

No, Egypt is not

50%

Don't know/Refuse to answer 18%

Asked of those who have followed the recent developments in the Middle East: Do you think the United States should supply arms and material to Israel? (Gallup: November 1973, January 1978)

  November 1973 January 1978
Yes

37%

31%
No

49%

56%
Don't know/Refuse to answer 14% 13%

Asked of those who have followed the recent developments in the Middle East: Do you think the United States should supply arms and material to the Arabs? (Gallup, January 1978)

Yes

16%

No

72%

Don't know/Refuse to answer 12%