Most Democrats think US needs to step up support for Palestine: poll

The Nation  |  Jun 23, 2021

Most Democrats think the US needs to do more to support the Palestinians, according to a new poll released on Wednesday.

About 51% of Democrats say the US is not doing enough to support Palestine, the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found. Support is strongest among liberal Democrats who agree with the stance by some 62%, compared to 43% of their moderate or conservative fellow partisans.

The numbers shift dramatically among Republicans who by 49% think Washington has not been supportive enough of Israel. That figure jumps to 61% among conservative Republicans.

More broadly, 29% of the American public thinks the US has been too supportive of the Israelis while 25% say it has been too supportive of the Palestinians.

The poll comes in the wake of Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip in May that came to an end with a cease-fire after 11 days. The conflict resulted in 257 Palestinians, including 66 children, losing their lives. Thirteen people were killed in Israel due to Palestinian rocket fire, including two children.

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US President Joe Biden refrained from publicly criticizing Israel during the hostilities, but faced mounting pressure from his fellow Democrats, particularly liberals and progressives, to do more to end the conflict.

The AP's poll found the US public is weary of having Washington assume a large role in resolving the wider Israel-Palestine conflict, with most saying it should have at most a minor role in negotiating a resolution.

Half of the public thinks the US should have a minor role while 19% think it should play a major role. Roughly 28% think it should have no role at all.

There is, however, some optimism for a peaceful two-state solution with 57% saying it is possible for the state of Israel to exist peacefully with a Palestinian state. But nearly 40% disagree.

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