Fewer in U.S. See Middle East Conflict as Critical Threat
by RJ Reinhart
36% see Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a critical threat to U.S. interests
Down from 45% in 2016
47% in U.S. favor an independent Palestinian state
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Thirty-six percent of Americans say the conflict between
the Israelis and Palestinians poses a "critical threat" to U.S.
interests, down from 45% in 2016 and the lowest percentage in Gallup's
14-year trend. Coincidentally, the percentage who say the conflict is
an "important" but not critical threat has increased from 41% to 48%.
These data come from Gallup's annual World Affairs poll, conducted
Feb 1-10, as U.S. tensions with North Korea and Russia garnered significant
media attention and the Middle East conflict was not as widely covered
Despite Democrats and Republicans holding
different views of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, both parties are equally likely (38%) to say the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict poses a critical threat to American interests. For Democrats,
this represents a modest six-percentage-point decline from 44% in 2016.
However, among Republicans, this represents a 20-point decrease from the
last time Gallup asked the question in 2016 and is the lowest in Gallup's trend.
U.S. Partisan Differences on Perceptions the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Poses a Critical Threat to American Interests
I am going to read you a list of possible threats to the vital interests
of the United States in the next 10 years. For each one, please tell me
if you see this as a critical threat, an important but not critical threat,
or not an important threat at all. How about the conflict between Israel
and the Palestinians?
Critical threat 2016
Critical threat 2018
More Continue to Favor Than Oppose Palestinian Statehood
A key discussion in any Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal is the establishment
of a Palestinian state. Nearly half of U.S. adults (47%) say they support
establishing an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza
Strip, essentially unchanged from 45% last year. Roughly four in 10 Americans
(39%) oppose the creation of an independent Palestinian state, little
changed from 42% last year.
Americans' support for a Palestinian state has varied over the years
since Gallup first asked about it in 1994, reaching a high of 58% in 2003.
Those who favor it have always outnumbered those who oppose it.
Republicans and Democrats continue to hold opposing views on the issue.
Fifty-eight percent of Democrats support the creation of an independent
Palestinian state, little changed from 61% in 2017. Among Republicans,
38% support Palestinian statehood, up 13 points from 25% in 2017, though
similar to previous levels, such as the 41% found in 2014.
Fewer Americans see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a critical threat
to U.S interests than at any other time in Gallup's trend. Rather,
more see it as an important but not critical threat. The overall decline
in Americans' perceptions that it is a critical threat has been largely
driven by Republicans. There are several possible reasons for the steep
drop, including increased media attention on other threats and the Trump
administration's efforts to create what he calls the "ultimate
deal" for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted
Feb. 1-10, 2018, with a random sample of 1,044 adults, aged 18 and older,
living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results
based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error
is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported
margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.
Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone
respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas
by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are
selected using random-digit-dial methods.