GOP sympathizes with Israel more

Jan. 9, 2013 at 3:34 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A higher percentage of U.S. Republicans express support for Israel than U.S. Democrats, a Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday indicated.

Asked whether they sympathized more with Israelis than Palestinians, 50 percent of U.S. adults said they sympathized more with Israel and 10 percent sympathized more with the Palestinians while 13 percent volunteered they sympathized with neither.

The center said attitudes toward Israel and the Palestinians have become more divided along partisan lines.

Seventy percent of Republicans sympathized more with Israel while 2 percent sympathized more with the Palestinians and 7 percent said they sympathized with neither side.

About four-in-10 Democrats, 41 percent, sympathized more with Israel and 13 percent sympathized with the Palestinians. The center said Democrats were more likely than Republicans to say they sympathized with neither side -- 15 percent versus 7 percent -- and to offer no opinion, 27 percent versus 18 percent.

The center said the 29-point partisan gap in the percentages sympathizing more with Israel is about the same as it has been in recent years, but differences were more modest a decade ago. And in 1978, after the Israel-Egypt peace agreement, the gap was just 5 percentage points.

Among Independents, 47 percent sympathized more with Israel compared with 13 percent with Palestinians and 16 percent who said they sympathized with neither.

The center said white evangelical Protestants were far more likely to sympathize more with Israel -- 67 percent. Only about half of white mainline Protestants and white Catholics -- 47 percent each -- sympathized more with Israel. Among the religiously unaffiliated, 40 percent said their sympathies were more with Israel than the Palestinians.

The poll was conducted Dec. 5-9. The size of the sample and margin of error were not given.

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