Gallup Polls on American Sympathy
Toward Israel and the Arabs/Palestinians
(1967 - Present)
Note: We are presenting raw data. When available, we provide some or all of the crosstabs (i.e., breakdowns by various categories such as party ID). To analyze the data, we encourage users to read the entire study and the methodology used. Results and reliability can be affected by such things as sample size, question-wording, and question order. Responses may also be influenced by context and timing; for example, if the survey is conducted during a war.
“In the Middle East situation, are your sympathies more with Israel or with the Arab Nations/Palestinians?”*
(Gallup Polls Only. For Comprehensive Polls - Click Here)
By Time Period
|Month||Year||Sympathetic to Israel (%)||Sympathetic to Arabs/Palestinians (%)|
*Question asked about Palestinian Arabs
By Time Period
Ratio Israel /
|Avg. All Polls (93)||48.60||13.23||3.7|
|All Polls After 67 War (90)||48.63||13.44||3.6|
|Avg. Post-Oslo (9/93)||53.08||16.20||3.3|
Pre-Disengagement (pre-September 2005)
|Post-Disengagement (post-September 2005)||60.22||19.22||3.1|
|Question Referring to Palestinians Instead of Arabs (36) [Since 11/96]||53.44||16.36||3.3|
|Record High Support for Israel: 64% (Jan. and Feb. 1991, Feb 2013, March 2018)|
|Record High Support for Palestinians: 31% (Feb. 2023)|
|Record Low Support for Israel: 32% (Sept. 1982 - at time of publicity of Sabra & Shatilla massacre)|
|Record Low Support for Palestinians: 7% (Sept. 2001)|
Number of Polls
|George W. Bush||
The Question of Bias
Gallup found that Americans respond differently to the sympathy question depending on whether they were asked to rate Israel and the Palestinian Authority immediately before they were asked the sympathies question. When the sympathy question is asked after rating countries on a favorability scale, sympathy toward Israel is higher but has little impact on attitudes toward the Palestinians. Jeffrey Jones noted that it was not possible to determine whether “the percentage of Americans who are sympathetic toward Israel is closer to 50% (as it is when not preceded by country ratings) or 60% (as when preceded by country ratings).” In both cases, he notes, “many more Americans sympathize with the Israelis than the Palestinians.”
While the order of questions makes a difference, Jones said, “Gallup largely maintains the same questions in the same order, year after year. Even if there is a known context effect, as on the Middle East sympathies, maintaining a similar context helps researchers be more confident that any changes they see over time are likely due to real attitude change as opposed to context effects or other types of survey bias.”
Sources: Polling and news organizations.
Jeffrey Jones, “Survey Context Effects on Middle East Sympathies,” Gallup, (March 28, 2019).
Laura E. Adkins, “(Almost) Everything You Knew About The Polls And Israel Is Wrong,” Forward, (April 29, 2018).
Lydia Saad, “Democrats’ Sympathies in Middle East Shift to Palestinians,” Gallup, (March 16, 2023).