(JTA) — Seven in 10 Americans continued to view Israel favorably, despite the breakdown of relations between the U.S. and Israeli leaders, a Gallup poll found.
By contrast, some 17 percent of Americans viewed the Palestinian Authority favorably, according to Gallup’s Feb. 8-11 World Affairs survey. The results were nearly identical to the same question asked one year ago.
However, while 83 percent of Republicans viewed Israel favorably, 48 percent of Democrats shared the same view — a drop of 10 percentage points from last year. The decrease was a possible fallout from the controversy over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial March 3 address to Congress.
The poll also found that 62 percent of Americans say they sympathize more with the Israelis than the Palestinians in their conflict, and that 16 percent sympathize more with the Palestinians, also nearly identical results from one year ago.
The results follow the high-profile disagreements between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama, as well as Israel’s 50-day operation last summer against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The poll was based on a random telephone and cellphone sample of 837 adults living in the United States; it has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
Since 2005, Israel’s public image in the United States has averaged 68 percent of Americans viewing it favorably, according to Gallup. Between 2000 and 2004, the score averaged 60 percent. In 1991, when Israel was a victim of Iraqi rocket attacks, its favorable rating was a record 79 percent, according to Gallup.
Gallup has measured American’s impressions of the Palestinian Authority since 2000, with the percentage viewing it favorably averaging 17 percent.