A survey by the Pew Research Center suggests that the current dispute between Israel and Palestine is drawing the highest level of Western “support” to the region since the 1970s, with 51 percent of Americans sympathizing with Israel. Among those supporting the country are a large portion of the Black and Hispanic populations.
The survey, conducted between July 8th and July 14th, sampled 1,805 adults, found that 43 percent of Black Americans sided with Israel. Even though that figure is less than half, only 20 percent sided with the Palestinians, leaving 37 percent opting not to take sides. Only 44 percent of Democrats surveyed express support for Israel, and 41 percent of Hispanic Americans show support for the country over Palestine.
The political party most supportive of Israel is the GOP (73 percent); 70 percent of White evangelists side with Israel.
As the United States has been one of the closest allies to Israel, it should come as no surprise that Israeli support is strong here. The US has given an estimated $3 billion in foreign aid is to the Israeli military. The New York Times reports that in the US, Israel maintains high levels of support even as other countries question the number of casualties that the fighting has wrought. More than 650 Palestinians, many of them civilians, have died. Thirty-five Israelis have died, 32 of them soldiers. Protests are taking place across Europe and world leaders, including Iceland’s UN ambassador Greta Gunnarsdottir, are staunchly opposed to Israel’s presence in the West Bank.
In the latest news from the ongoing conflict, 10 people were killed on Thursday in explosions at a school in the Gaza Strip that’s run by the United Nations. Many more people were injured in the blast. Israel says they didn’t target the school, and the cause right now is unclear. Israel says people in the area were warned that the school is located in a combat zone and should be evacuated. Civilians had gathered in the school to take refuge from the fighting.
Secretary of State John Kerry is hoping to help broker a cease fire between the two sides.