Pew Survey Reveals Huge Gap Between Young, Old Americans' View on Israel-Palestine Conflict

Roughly equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats favor a two-state solution, and a vast majority of respondents say they haven't heard much about the BDS movement

Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels
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Protesters demonstrating in front of the consulate general of Israel in New York last year.
Protesters demonstrating in front of the consulate general of Israel in New York last year.Credit: TAYFUN COSKUN / Anadolu Agency via AFP
Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels

WASHINGTON – Young Americans view the Palestinian people and government at least as favorably as Israel’s, according to a significant new survey published Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

The findings provide further evidence on how Americans’ views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict skew by age, political affiliation and religion.

According to the survey, 61 percent of adults under 30 regard Palestinians at least as warmly as they do Israelis (56 percent). The Palestinian and Israeli governments are viewed almost identically, at 35 and 34 percent, respectively.

Adults under 30 are also much more likely to view both governments unfavorably than the over 65s (43 percent compared to 18 percent).

The age divide is further evidenced by support for a two-state solution. Young adults are more likely to acknowledge that they aren’t sure what the best outcome would be, compared to older Americans who maintain support for a two-state solution.

The findings are largely mirrored by Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, who hold equally positive views of Israeli and Palestinian people (60 and 64 percent) and governments alike (34 and 37 percent).

Republicans, on the other hand, view Israel’s people and government significantly more favorably than they do the Palestinian people and government (78 percent to 37 percent, and 66 percent to 18 percent).

White evangelicals hold disparately pro-Israel views, including 70 percent believing that God gave the land of the modern State of Israel to the Jewish people — more than twice the number of U.S. Jews who responded to a similar question in Pew’s 2020 survey.

Overall, 30 percent of U.S. adults believe God gave the land to Israel, which is similar to the Pew survey of American Jews. Among this 30 percent, 25 percent support a single country led by an Israeli government – more than double the 10 percent of U.S. adults overall in favor of this outcome.

This cohort is also more likely than other Christians (28 percent compared to 6 percent each of Catholics, white non-evangelicals and Black evangelicals) to support a one-state solution with an Israeli government.

Roughly equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats favor a two-state solution, with 34 percent and 36 percent respectively favoring splitting the land into two countries with separate governments.

A pro-Palestinian protest in Tucson, Arizona, last year.Credit: Ross D. Franklin / AP

Eighteen percent of Republicans support a one-state solution with an Israeli rather than Palestinian government, whereas only 3 percent of Democrats back this.

Conversely, 19 percent of Democrats would favor a jointly governed one-state solution compared to 13 percent of Republicans.

There is a significant split on the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. Eighty-four percent of respondents had not heard much about it, if anything, compared to 5 percent who have heard of it and support it (2 percent of whom strongly support it).

Eight percent of Americans aged 18-29 back BDS – double the 4 percent of those aged 30-49 and 65 and older who support it, and nearly double the 5 percent of those aged 50-64 who support it.

The poll surveyed 10,441 adults over a week in March 2022, weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories.



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