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Poll review: Americans consistently favor Israel

American support for Israel has been consistent for 40 years and is stronger than for any other country, a study of polls showed. “Substantially larger numbers of Americans have placed their primary sympathy with Israel rather than with Arab states or with the Palestinians,” the Pew Forum on Religion and Life said in a report published Thursday. It added that such support has been consistent since 1948, when Israel was established. The survey considered some two dozen polls, including Pew, Gallup and others.”The changing fortunes of Labor and Likud governments in Israel seemed to have little lasting impact on American sympathies,” said the report, published to mark 40 years since the Six-Day War. “Neither has the rise and fall of Arab leaders, the central role gradually taken by the PLO or, since the late 1990s, the rise of the Islamic party Hamas.” A 40-year chart shows sympathy for Israel running consistently at just below 50 percent and sympathy for the Palestinians or Arab states hovering in the mid-teens. The lowest point for Israel is the 1982 Lebanon war, when it drops to 32 percent; the high point is the launch of the first Gulf War, when Iraq launched missiles at Israel, at 64 percent. The high for the Palestinians or Arab states is the Lebanon war, at 28 percent; the low is the Six-Day War, at 4 percent. A 2006 Pew Survey also found that the United States far outpaces other nations in support for Israel. The only other nation in that survey where sympathy for Israel substantially outpaced sympathy for the Palestinians was Germany.