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Israel vs. Palestinians: The Numbers and the Growing Gap

by Shmuel Rosner

May 6, 2013 | 8:24 am

Updated: December 2014

What we have for you here are the detailed numbers of two polls that frequently ask Americans about the favorability of Israel compared to that of the Palestinians. You can see the numbers for Pew, the numbers for Gallup, the gap between Israel and the Palestinians in each poll, the graphs that accompany the numbers, and some technical notes.

We wrote a lengthy explanation and analysis for this page which you can find here.

Our regular favorability feature, the graph, computed by Prof. Camil Fuchs, which describes favorability of Israel (rather than Israel vs. Palestine) is right here.

Here are the numbers from Pew. The question used by Pew is: “In the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, which side do you sympathize with more, Israel or the Palestinians?”

PEW numbers Israel Palestinians Gap
July 8-14, 2014 51 14 37
Apr 23-27, 2014 53 11 42
Mar 13-17 , 2013 49 12 37
Dec 5-9 , 2012 50 10 40
May 25-30 2011 48 11 37
Apr 21-26, 2010 49 16 33
Oct 28-Nov 8, 2009 51 12 39
January 7-11, 2009 49 11 38
May, 2007 49 11 38
August, 2006 52 11 41
July, 2006 44 9 35
May, 2006 48 13 35
Late October, 2005 43 17 26
July, 2005 37 12 25
July, 2004 40 13 27
Late February, 2004 46 12 34
April, 2002 41 13 28
Mid-October, 2001 47 10 37
Early September, 2001 40 17 23
September, 1997 48 13 35
September, 1993 45 21 24
Chicago CFR: 1990 34 14 20
Chicago CFR: 1982 40 17 23
Chicago CFR: 1978 45 14 31

 

Notes:

  • You can find the numbers online here (except for the gap – this is our addition).
  • Pew notes that “In the 1978 Chicago Council on Foreign Relations survey conducted by the Gallup Organization, results are based on respondents who said they had “heard or read about the situation in the Middle East,” which represented 87% of the public. As a context note, in both the 1978 and 1982 CCFR/Gallup surveys, this question followed a broader question: “In the Middle East situation, are your sympathies more with Israel or more with the Arab nations?” and in 1982, a question regarding “U.S. military aid and arms sales to Israel.”
  • The numbers for “neither” and for “DK/Ref are not included here. The “neither” for the last four polls was 16%, 12%, 13%, 16%.

 

Here’s the graph for the Pew surveys:

The numbers for Gallup refer to the question: “In the Middle East, are you sympathizes more with Israel or with the Palestinians?”

 

Gallup numbers:

Israel

Palestinians

Gap

2014

62

18

44

2012

61

17

44

2010

59

18

41

2008

58

20

38

2006

52

18

34

2004

58

13

45

2002

51

16

35

2000

43

12

31

1998

38

8

30

1994

42

15

27

1990

64

7

57

1988

37

15

22

 

Notes:

  • The dates we have here are approximate: Gallup didn’t post the exact details in recent posts, so we relied on its graph and put the year closest to the numbers shown. This should not be of much consequence.
  • As you can see, the numbers for both Israel and the Palestinians are higher for Gallup, because of a different methodology of computation.
  • Gallup list “both”, “neither” and “no opinion” under one category. In the last poll the number for this category was 21%.
  • Gallup had more polls with this question, but we only used the ones that were listed in the recent post – see it here.

 

Here is the graph for the Gallup numbers:

And here is the table of gaps – Pew and Gallup side by side:

 

Gap Gallup

Gap PEW

2014

44

42

2012

44

40

2010

41

33

2008

38

38

2006

34

35

2004

45

34

2002

35

28

2000

31

23

1998

30

35

1994

27

24

1990

57

20

 

Notes:

  • To make this more friendly and understandable, we only used here the Pew polls that correspond to the dates for which we had Gallup polls. That is, we eliminated here the polls from dates for which we don’t have polls from both institutions. Naturally, this means that we have less polls here (you can see the rest of them in the separate tables above).
  • When we had more than one poll for a year (for Pew) we used the one with the number closer to other polls. When we had three polls for the same year we used the number from the poll in the middle.
  • As you can see here – and in the graph – the only time when there was a really big difference between the two polls was 1990. We didn’t examine the exact dates of the two polls but assume it has to do with their dates as they correspond to the first Gulf War, a time when Israel’s favorability hit the roof (hence the 57% gap in the Gallup poll that year, that quickly went down later).

 

Here is the graph for the gaps, which we already used on the analysis post.

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