Middle East/North Africa

Poll finds Democrats slightly more sympathetic to Palestinians than Israel

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Democratic voters are slightly more sympathetic to Palestinians amid the ongoing conflict with Israel, according to a Politico-Morning Consult Poll released Wednesday. 

The survey, which polled nearly 2,000 registered voters from May 14 to May 17 as the some of the worst violence in years between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas escalated, found that about 12 percent of voters identified as “Democrat” or “leans Democrat” said they were “more sympathetic” to Israelis, with 18 percent saying the same for Palestinians. 

More than one-third of Democratic voters surveyed, 36 percent, said they were sympathetic toward both sides, while 34 percent said they “don’t know” or had “no opinion.” 

Republican voters in the poll more overwhelmingly sided with Israelis, with 51 percent of Republican or Republican-leaning voters supporting the traditional U.S. ally, while just 3 percent took the side of the Palestinians. 

Roughly 19 percent of Republican voters said they were equally sympathetic to both, and 27 percent indicated no firm opinion either way. 

The survey comes as fault lines have also erupted among Democratic leaders in the escalating violence in the region, with some remaining allies of Israel while others seek to bring attention to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, arguing that the IDF is guilty of vast human rights abuses. 

Both President Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have called for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, a militant group labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. 

The two have urged both sides to end the violence, which has already killed hundreds of people, including dozens of children. 

Meanwhile, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) this week defended a $735 million arms sale to Israel, arguing that it had already been approved a “long time ago,” while progressive lawmakers like Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have questioned whether Congress should revisit U.S. military aid to Israel. 

Wednesday’s poll reported a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

Updated at 8:20 a.m.

Tags Bernie Sanders biden administration Bob Menendez Hamas Israel Defense Forces Israel-Palestine conflict Joe Biden Morning Consult Nancy Pelosi Politico registered voters

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