US/World News

Survey: Most Americans aren’t aware of BDS movement

(JTA) – A Pew Research Center survey released Thursday, May 26, found that American adults are just not paying attention to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. A whopping 84% of adults surveyed said they have heard “not much” or “nothing at all” about the movement, which seeks to pressure Israel into changing its policy towards the Palestinians by promoting boycotts and economic sanctions. Only 5% of the surveyed adults – who were of diverse religious backgrounds – knew “some” about it, and only 2% strongly support it. Pew used an online panel to survey 10,441 U.S. adults from March 7 to 13, with the stated goal of better understanding Americans’ views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The margin of error for the full sample was 1.5 percentage points

The survey also asked about views on how to best solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and only 35% favor a two-state solution, the outcome long favored by the United States and many other world power governments. The numbers changed little even among Republicans and Democrats. As far as an alternative: 37% say they don’t know the best solution, while 27% favor a one-state solution, in most cases with a joint Israeli-Palestinian government. 

The survey also found that Americans’ favorable impressions of both Israelis and Palestinians are slightly on the rise. Since 2019, when Pew conducted a similar survey, favorable impressions of Israelis rose from 64% to 67%, and of Palestinians from 46% to 52%. Israel’s government was viewed favorably by 48% of Americans as opposed to 41% in 2019. Notably, in the interim, Benjamin Netanyahu was ousted as Israeli prime minister. The Palestinian government’s favorability rose from 21% to 28% and its unfavorable ratings dropped from 71% to 63%. The questions did not give particulars on either Palestinian government: The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Hamas-led authority in the Gaza Strip.

Older Americans were the likelier they were to be favorable to Israeli people: 63% of those aged 18-25 viewed Israelis favorably while 77% of those 65 and older did. Republicans also were likelier to view Israelis favorably: 78% said they had positive views of the Israeli people, while 37% said they had positive views of Palestinians. Among Democrats, 60% said they viewed Israelis favorably and 64% said they viewed Palestinians favorably.

Three out of ten Americans also believe God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people: 46% of Republicans and 18% of Democrats.

Main Photo: A Palestinian man waves the Palestinian flag next to the Israeli outpost of Eviatar, north of Nablus in the West Bank, Oct. 10, 2021. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP via Getty Images)

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