07 November '10
This is a Guest Blog by Wales-based historian Professor William Rubinstein:
Supporters of Israel who are worried that the bad press and media which its actions vis-à-vis the Palestinians and other Arabs often receive will impact negatively on public opinion might be relieved to learn of some recent Gallup Polls in the United States which show that the opposite appears to be the case.
The Gallup Polling Agency is the world’s oldest and perhaps most widely respected, and has a useful website reporting its findings. Gallup Polls relate to many subjects and questions apart from American elections, among them the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The two most recent surveys it did on this issue were posted in March 2009 and February 2010. In both polls – and in similar polls going back many years – it asked a random sample of American respondents, “Are your sympathies with the Israelis or the Palestinians?” and has asked this same question annually over many years. In 2009, it found that 59 per cent of Americans said their sympathies were with Israel, 18 per cent with the Palestinians, and 23 per cent with neither. A year later, support for Israel had actually risen, despite all the negative media reporting – support for Israel was recorded at 63 per cent, compared with an unchanged 23 per cent for the Palestinians.
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