POLITICS

Half Of Americans Think The Nation's Relationship With Israel Has Weakened

04/03/2015 05:18 pm ET | Updated Apr 03, 2015
ASSOCIATED PRESS

A majority of Americans think the relationship between the U.S. and Israel has frayed, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds.

Fifty percent say the relationship between the two countries has gotten weaker over the past year, while a quarter say it's stayed the same. Just 2 percent say it's gotten stronger, and the remaining 22 percent are unsure.

Americans are more split on what the ideal relationship between the two countries should be, with 30 percent saying the U.S. isn't supportive enough of Israel, 22 percent saying that it's too supportive and 20 percent saying the current level of support is about right.

There's also division on who's to blame for any damage in relations. Forty-one percent say President Barack Obama's policies have damaged the relationship between the U.S. and Israel, while 32 percent say the same of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

While 30 percent trust Obama more than Netanyahu to handle relations between the U.S. and Israel, 27 percent say they have more faith in the Israeli politician, with the remainder trusting neither or undecided.

Views have changed relatively little since late 2013, when Americans were also split on the country's support for Israel and about equally likely to say that Obama's policies had been damaging.

The number of people who think Netanyahu's policies are damaging is up slightly in the wake of his March speech to Congress. Twenty-five percent held the same view in 2013, and 24 percent held this view in February.

As the most recent poll shows, opinions are deeply divided along partisan lines. Republicans are more than eight times as likely as Democrats to say that the U.S. isn't supportive enough of Israel, and more than five times as likely to say Obama's policies have hurt the relationship. Just 5 percent of Republicans say they trust Obama more to handle relations between the two countries, while 60 percent of Republicans have greater trust in Netanyahu.

Just 10 percent of all respondents said they believe that Netanyahu favors the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, a topic on which he's made inconsistent statements. Fifty-one percent believe he opposes it, and 39 percent are unsure.

Americans are less sure of their own positions on the issue than they are of Netanyahu's. While 34 percent say they favor the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and 21 percent oppose it, the plurality -- 45 percent -- say they aren't sure.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted March 24-26 among U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the poll's methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov's reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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