US Public Support for Israel hits Historical Low: Gallup Survey

The support of American people for Israel has fallen to its lowest level in the past decade, a new poll has found, indicating that President Trump’s many controversial decisions to boost ties with Israel are antagonising people back home.

In this file photo taken on May 23, 2017 US President Donald Trump (L) and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after delivering a speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. (Photo by AFP)

The new Gallup poll released Wednesday found that 59% of Americans said they were “more sympathetic” towards Israel on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. This marks a sharp decline from last year when 65% of the American public sided with Tel Aviv.

The six-percent drop over a one-year period is the biggest in the history of the yearly poll, which was first conducted in 2001. The decline was seen among both Democrats and Republicans, however, followers of Trump’s own party posted the sharpest decrease.

While among Democrats, feelings of sympathy for Israel went down by a total of six percent, Republican support fell by 11 percent.

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The staggering drop in support among Republican comes in contrast to Trump’s deeply close relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The percentage of Republicans saying they sympathize more with Israel in the conflict fell from an all-time high of 87 percent in 2018 to 76 percent today,” the poll said.

The percentage of people who identified as political independents remained the same over the last year, with 60% sympathizing more with Israel. The number of Americans who said they supported Palestine remained unchanged at 21 percent.

Last year’s survey came amid Washington’s preparations to proceed with Trump’s order to relocate the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that infuriated Palestinians and prompted mixed responses in Washington.

Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, leading Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to halt US-brokered talks with Israel while questioning Washington’s ability to stay unbiased.

Trump in response cut American aid to the PA, withdrawing fund from such institutions as the East Jerusalem Hospital Network as well as several joint Israeli-Palestinian agencies.

The poll comes amid controversy surrounding freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who has been forced by the Democratic Party to apologize for comments that implied wealthy Americans bought politicians through the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC.

The Minnesota lawmaker, one of the first female Muslim members of Congress, has also supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Israel.

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