49% of US Democrats favouring Palestinians against 38% Pro-Israel

Younger US Generations Are More Pro-Palestinians


GEW Assessment Report

The Western support for Israel, particularly from the United States and some European countries, has often been justified on the grounds of shared democratic values and strategic interests. However, when Israel’s actions are perceived as violating international law—such as the bombing of civilian areas, including hospitals—this support becomes ethically questionable. It places Western leaders in a moral dilemma: should they prioritise geopolitical alliances over humanitarian concerns?

Public Opinion vs Political Action

Public protests against military actions in Gaza reveal a significant gap between the electorate’s views and their leaders’ actions. Anti-war sentiments are often strong among the public, raising the question of why democratic leaders, supposedly the people’s representatives, continue to endorse illegal or brutal Israeli actions that appear at odds with public opinion. This disjunction has led to increasing disillusionment with political institutions and has raised questions about the effectiveness of democratic governance.


The latest Gallup World Affairs poll reveals significant shifts in American sympathies regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Democrats, in particular, have shown a notable increase in sympathy for the Palestinians, with 49% now leaning toward the Palestinians compared to 38% favouring Israelis. This represents an 11-percentage-point increase in Democratic sympathy for Palestinians in the past year. Conversely, Republicans continue to strongly favour Israelis, with 78% siding with them, while 11% sympathise with Palestinians. Independents also saw an increase in Palestinian sympathy, with 32% supporting them, but more still lean toward Israelis at 49%.


Overall, among US adults, sympathy for Palestinians is at a new high of 31%, while those not favouring a side are at a new low of 15%. The majority, 54%, continue to sympathise more with Israelis, marking the smallest margin of advantage for Israel in Gallup’s history. It’s the first time Israel has not held a better than 2-to-1 advantage over Palestinians in American sympathies.

Generational differences in views are also notable, with older generations strongly favouring Israelis, while millennials are evenly divided, with 42% sympathising with Palestinians and 40% with Israelis.

Despite these shifts, favourability toward Israel remains strong, with 68% of Americans viewing Israel favourably compared to 26% for the Palestinian Authority. Israel’s favorability rating is slightly below past decade averages but consistent with the average since 2001. Democrats have shown a slight decrease in their favorability rating for Israel.

In conclusion, American views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have become more polarized, with Democrats increasingly sympathizing with Palestinians, while Republicans maintain their support for Israelis. The recent escalation in hostilities may explain the shift in Democrats’ perspective, but long-term trends suggest other factors, including waning religiosity, may be at play. Regardless, majorities in all generational and party groups still view Israel favourably, suggesting a desire for solutions that respect both sides’ needs.


A Majority of US Democrats Are Now Pro-Palestinians


This has never happened before. While Joe Biden rushed to back Netanyahu’s planned slaughter in Gaza, many people in his Democratic Party sympathise with the Palestinians. If Biden’s goal was to win the next presidential election with the Jewish lobby’s support, he has already lost within his own party.


The recent shift in attitudes among Democrats towards sympathising with the Palestinians over the Israelis has raised questions about the role of younger adults, particularly millennials, in driving this change. According to the latest data, a larger percentage of Democrats now sympathise more with the Palestinians (49%) than with the Israelis (38%), resulting in a net sympathy score of -11 for Israel.

Similar trends have been observed among U.S. millennials, where they were once more inclined to sympathise with Israelis but are now evenly split in their sympathies. However, it’s important to note that this shift cannot be solely attributed to millennial Democrats.


The analysis conducted over several years reveals the following key findings:

  1. From 2011 to 2014, a majority of Democrats consistently sympathised more with Israelis (53% to 58%).
  2. From 2015 to 2018, about half of Democrats leaned towards Israelis (47% to 53%).
  3. From 2019 to 2023, less than half of Democrats mainly sympathised with Israelis (38% to 44%).

When examining these trends by generation, all four generational groups of Democrats have become less partial towards Israelis. However, millennials and the Silent Generation have experienced the most significant shifts. In 2011-2014, 51% of millennial Democrats supported Israelis, while in 2019-2023, that number dropped to 35%, resulting in a -11 net sympathy score for Israel.

The overall shift in millennials’ net sympathy for Israel between the two time periods was 36 points, compared to 39 points among the Silent Generation, 23 points among baby boomers, and 14 points among Generation X. Generation Z’s views were not included due to limited data, but they appear to align with Democratic millennials.

As millennials’ proportion within the Democratic party continues to grow, their influence on the party’s overall stance on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict becomes increasingly significant. This shift is also observed among independent and Republican millennials, with notable differences in how their parties’ generational groups have evolved.

In summary, millennial Democrats have played a crucial role in the pro-Palestinian shift among Democrats, although they are not the sole driving force behind this trend. Their changing views, combined with their growing numbers, have contributed to a disproportionate influence on the broader shift towards Palestinian sympathies within the party.

Ramifications for Democracy and International Relations

The discrepancy between public sentiment and political decisions has further-reaching implications. It not only threatens to erode faith in democratic institutions but also risks exacerbating tensions in the Middle East, potentially leading to retaliatory acts of terrorism in Western countries. The dissonance between public and political will may also undermine international norms and agreements, further destabilising an already volatile region.

Concluding Thoughts

The unwavering support shown by Western leaders for Israel’s military actions in Gaza poses a serious ethical and political problem. It has the potential to undermine the credibility of democratic institutions and deepen geopolitical tensions. While the situation is fraught with complexities, the onus is on Western leaders to align their foreign policies more closely with the principles of justice, human rights, and democratic representation. Failing to do so risks perpetuating a cycle of violence and distrust that benefits no one in the long run.

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