Jews more likely than Christians to think Trump favors Israel ‘too much’
Times of Israel
May 6, 2019
American Jews are more likely than American Christians to
say that US President Donald Trump is favoring Israel too much in his dealings
with Israelis and Palestinians, according to a study by the Pew Research Center
released on Monday.
US Jews are among the most liberal-leaning American
minorities, heavily favoring Democratic candidates in elections. They also have very
high rates of support for Israel.
In the Trump era, the liberal impulse appears to be winning
While “US Jews have a strong attachment to Israel, they
are divided in their assessment of Trump’s handling of the Israeli-Palestinian
issue,” Pew noted in revealing the new findings on Monday.
Fully 42 percent of American Jews say Trump “favors
Israelis too much,” according to the study, which was conducted among US
adults between April 1 and 15. A slightly higher 47% say he has struck “the
right balance” between Israelis and Palestinians.
Just 6% of US Jews say Trump favors Palestinians too much.
Meanwhile, only 26% of Christians said Trump favors
Israelis too much, while 59% said he has found the “right balance.”
In just over two years, Trump has recognized the Golan
Heights as Israeli and Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the US Embassy to
the city. His administration has also balked at criticizing settlement building
and cut support for the Palestinians, while expressing strident support for
Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The moves, many of which upended
decades of US policy, are seen as plays toward his right-wing and evangelical
base, and he frequently mentions them during rallies in middle America.
Among evangelicals, fully 72% think Trump is balanced, and
just 15% think he overly favors Israelis.
While most Jews are Democrat, most evangelicals are
Republican, according to Pew.
“The difference between evangelicals and Jews on this
question partly reflects partisan divisions,” Pew says in the report.
mostly think Trump has struck the right balance between the Israelis
and Palestinians (79%), while 53% of Democrats think Trump favors the Israelis
The most critical Protestant denominations are the
historically black churches, where 33% say he sides too much with Israelis and
40% say he has the right balance.
Among Catholics, 34% say he favors Israelis too much, while
51% say he has the right balance.
The highest level of criticism of Trump as overly favorable
to Israelis comes from those who are not religiously affiliated, at 47% —
though 38% of them still say he has the right balance.
The religiously unaffiliated also showed similar attitudes
towards Israelis and Palestinians themselves. Asked whether their view of the
Israeli and Palestinian peoples were “favorable” or “unfavorable,” 57%
of unaffiliated Americans had favorable views of Israelis (37% unfavorable), and
a similar 54% (with 39% unfavorable) of Palestinians.
Among evangelicals, those who had a good opinion of
Israelis (79%) far outnumbered those who had a good opinion of Palestinians
Not enough Jews were asked the favorability question to be
counted in the results, Pew said.
When it came to the Israeli and Palestinian governments,
however, views veered sharply to the negative, especially in the Palestinian
Among evangelicals, 61% said they had a favorable view of
Israel’s government; just 13% of the Palestinian government.
Among Christians overall, the divide was roughly even
between those who liked and disliked the Israeli government, at 48% favorable
and 42% unfavorable. But it was much more critical of the Palestinian
government, at 16% to 73% unfavorable.
Unaffiliated Americans had a similar — and low —
opinion of both governments, with just 26% giving Israel’s a favorable rating
and 24% giving the same to the Palestinian government.