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Gallup Polls on American Sympathy
Toward Israel and the Arabs/Palestinians

(1967-2021)

“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)

 

 

Month

Year

Israel

Arabs

June 2-7

1967

38

3

June

1967

56

4

Jan.

1969

50

5

Jan. 23-28

1969

44

5

Feb.

1969

41

4

Feb.

1970

44

3

March

1970

38

3

Oct. 2-7

1973

38

3

Oct. 5-8

1973

47

6

Oct. 16

1973

44

5

Oct. 19-22

1973

48

6

Dec. 4

1973

48

7

Dec. 7-10

1973

54

8

Dec.

1973

48

7

Jan.

1974

38

6

Jan.

1975

44

8

Apr. 4-7

1975

37

8

June 3-6

1977

44

8

Oct. 14-17

1977

46

11

Dec.

1977

37

8

Feb.

1978

33

14

Mar. 3-6

1978

38

11

Aug. 4-7

1978

42

11

Sep.

1978

41

12

Sep.

1978

42

12

Nov.

1978

41

13

Jan. 5-8

1979

40

14

Mar.

1979

34

11

Nov.

1979

40

14

Oct.

1980

45

13

Aug.

1981

44

11

Nov.

1981

49

12

Jan.

1982

49

14

May

1982

51

12

June 11-14

1982

52

10

Jul.

1982

52

10

Aug.

1982

41

12

Sep.

1982

32

28

Oct.

1982

40

17

Jan.

1983

49

12

Mar.

1983

49

12

Jan.

1983

49

12

May

1986

43

20

May

1988

37

15*

Dec.

1988

46

24

Aug.

1989

50

14

Oct.

1990

48

23

Jan.

1991

64

8

Feb.

1991

64

7

March

1991

60

17

Aug.

1991

59

21

Sept.

1993

42

15*

Nov.

1996

38

15*

Aug.

1997

38

8*

Dec.

1998

46

13*

July

1999

43

14*

Jan.

2000

43

13*

July

2000

41

12*

Oct.

2000

41

11*

Feb.

2001

51

16*

Aug.

2001

41

13*

Sept.

2001

55

7*

Dec.

2001

51

14*

Feb.

2002

55

14*

March

2002

43

14*

April

2002

50

15*

April 22-24

2002

47

13*

May

2002

49

15*

June

2002

49

14*

Sept.

2002

47

14*

Feb.

2003

58

13*

May

2003

46

16*

Feb.

2004

55

18*

Feb.

2005

52

18*

Feb.

2006

59

15*

Feb.

2007

58

20*

Feb.

2008

59

17*

Feb.

2009

59

18*

Feb

2010

63

15*

Feb.

2011

63

17*

Feb.

2012

61

19*

Feb.

2013

64

12*

Feb.

2014

62

18*

Feb.

2015

62

16*

Feb.

2016

62

15*

Feb. 2017 62 19*
Feb. 2018 64 19*
Feb. 2019 59 21*
Feb. 2020 60 23*
Feb. 2021 58 25*

 

*Question asked about Palestinian Arabs

 

Israel

Arabs/
Palestinians

Ratio Israel /
Arabs

Avg. All Polls (N=90) 48.47 12.89 3.8
All Polls After 67 War 48.50 13.10 3.7
Avg. 2011- 61.55 18.55 3.3
Avg. 2000-2020 54.38 15.91 3.4
Avg. 90s 50.20 14.10 3.6
Avg. 80s 45.76 14.59 3.1
Avg. 70s 41.83 8.71 4.8
Avg. Post-Oslo (9/93) 53.00 15.55 3.4
       

Pre-Disengagement (pre-September 2005)

45.77 11.77 3.9
Post-Disengagement (post-September 2005) 60.94 18.06 3.4
       
Question Referring to Palestinians Instead of Arabs (N=38) [Since 11/96] 53.00 15.50 3.4
       
Record High Support for Israel: 64% (Jan. and Feb. 1991, Feb 2013, March 2018)
Record High Support for Palestinians: 25% (Feb. 2021)
 
Record Low Support for Israel: 32% (Sept. 1982 - at time of publicity of Sabra & Shatilla massacre)
Record Low Support for Palestinians: 7% (Sept. 2001)

 

By Administration

 

Number of Polls

Israel

Arabs/Palestinians

Ratio Israel/Arabs

Johnson

4

47.00 4.25 11.1
Nixon/Ford

13

43.77 5.69 7.7
Carter

13

40.08 11.69 3.4
Reagan

15

45.53 14.73 3.1
Bush

6

57.50 15.00 3.8
Clinton

8

41.50 12.88 3.2
George W. Bush

18

51.39 14.78 3.5
Barack Obama

8

62.00 16.25 3.8
Donald Trump 4 61.25 20.50 3.0
Joe Biden 1 58.00 25.00 2.3

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).