American support for the idea of a Palestinian state is at a two-decade low, according to a new poll published on Tuesday.
After a long period of generally bipartisan support for the two-state concept, the Washington Post-ABC News poll indicates that it now is more divisive than at any point in the past 20 years, the Washington Post reported.
With only 39 percent of respondents supporting the concept and 36 percent opposed, support for a Palestinian state is way down from the 58 percent support it received in a Gallup poll in 2003.
The creation of a separate Palestinian state has long been a goal of United States foreign policy.
Regarding a nuclear agreement with Iran, the poll indicates that Americans support an agreement — by 59 percent to 31 percent — but are not optimistic that it would curb Iran's nuclear program.
A Pew poll released Monday showed a similar dichotomy.
Thirty-seven percent of the respondents in the Washington Post-ABC News poll said they were confident that an agreement would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, while 59 percent were not confident.
Support for the two-state solution split largely along partisan lines, with 50 percent of Republicans opposing it while only 33 percent of independents and Democrats did so. The idea was supported by 31 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of independents and Democrats.
Opinions were colored by the rocky relations between the administration of Prime Minister Barak Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The poll showed that 38 percent approve of Obama's handling of the relationship with Israel, while 50 percent disapprove.
The new poll from the Pew Research Center finds little change in the American public’s sympathies in Israel's dispute with the Palestinians or in its views of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
About a third of Americans (31 percent) say they sympathize with Israel a lot in its dispute with the Palestinians, while 34 percent say they partly sympathize with Israel. Just 11 percent sympathize a great deal with the Palestinians and 35 percent have some sympathy for the Palestinians.
The views expressed have not changed much since the previous poll last August.
Opinions about Netanyahu have changed only slightly since before his address to Congress and re-election as Israel’s prime minister.
Currently, 31 percent express a favorable opinion of Netanyahu (down from 38 percent last month,) while 28 percent view him unfavorably. A large percentage (41 percent) say they have not heard of Netanyahu or have no opinion of him.
Sympathy with Israeli has a distinctly partisan tone. About half of Republicans (51 percent) sympathize a lot with Israel and that number increases to 62 percent among conservative Republicans. Only 6 percent of Republicans sympathize a lot with the Palestinians.
Among Democrats, sympathies are almost evenly split. Most Democrats (57 percent) have at least some sympathy for Israel, while almost as many (54 percent) have a lot or some sympathy with the Palestinians.