Israel and U.S.: Why More Young, Black and Latino Americans Than Ever Before Don't Like Israel

Updated | This article originally had a headline that suggested young, black and Latino voters didn't like Israel. This has been corrected to say that fewer of these demographics like Israel than previously recorded.

The more Americans know about Israel, the less they like about it, according to a new survey.

The Brand Israel group has commissioned regular surveys in its bid to promote the image of Israel as a key ally to America in the Middle East, according to a report in Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

While more Americans said they are more knowledgeable about Israel than before, larger numbers said they had a negative opinion of the country. Less than two-thirds (62 percent) of people surveyed in 2017 have a positive view of Israel, compared to just over three-quarters (76 percent) in 2010.

Although a majority of  Americans still view Israel favorably, support is declining among younger Americans and especially among the black and Latino population.

GettyImages-758256 Jewish demonstrators gather to pray April 8, 2002 outside of the Israeli Consulate office in Philadelphia, PA. Don Murray/Getty Images

“Shared values are the bedrock of our relationship, and young Americans do not believe Israel shares our values,” Fern Oppenheim, one of the group’s co-founders, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “That’s a huge issue. We have to have a narrative about the heart and soul and humanity of the Israelis.”

The survey was carried out between September and October 2016 by polling firm Global Strategy Group on behalf of Brand Israel, and sampled 2,600 Americans across a range of demographic groups.

It found that while older Americans, Republicans and men were more likely to view Israel approvingly, the opposite was the case for Millennials, Democrats, women, as well as African-American and Latino Americans.

Though most people in each demographic surveyed had a positive view of Israel, that number had declined from 73 percent to 60 percent among Democrats, and by 20 points for Latinos and African-Americans.

Previous polls on American attitudes to Israel have found views remaining fairly consistent, with a February 2016 Gallup Poll finding that 63 per cent of Americans saying they have more sympathy with Israelis than Palestinians, when quizzed on their views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Conversely, U.S. President Donald Trump enjoys popular support from the Israeli public, with a Pew Research poll released this week finding that Israel was one of two countries, the other one being Russia, where the U.S. president is viewed favorably.

In a May trip to Israel, Trump said he had a “a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace” to the region.

Join the Discussion