According to the February 2022 annual Gallup poll of country favorability, 71% of Americans accord Israel a “very favorable” and “mostly favorable” rating. It matches Israel’s average favorability since 2013, compared to 58% in 2002, 71% in 2012, 69% in 2019 and 75% in February 2021. Israel’s all-time high favorability was in February 1991 – 79% – in the aftermath of the January-February Iraqi Scud Missiles striking Tel Aviv.
Israel is ranked 7th among countries rated by Gallup, trailing Canada, Britain, France, Japan, Germany and India. However, none of these countries have been targeted – as has Israel – for daily criticism by the State Department (which fiercely opposed Israel’s establishment in 1948), the United Nations, the NY Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, CNN, MSNBC and many of the political and social science departments on US campuses.
While Israel is considered favorably by 71% of Americans, the Palestinian Authority has earned a meager 27% favorability rating, at the bottom of the favorability scale, along with Cuba – 40%, Pakistan – 21%, China – 20% (all time low), Libya – 19%, Iraq – 16%, Iran – 13%, Afghanistan – 12%, Russia – 12% and North Korea – 10%.
Israel has retained a high-level of favorability among the three major US political groups: 63% of (mostly moderate) Democrats, 71% of Independents and 81% of Republicans. At the same time the Palestinian Authority received a 38% favorability rating among Democrats, 29% – Independents and 14% – Republicans.
The 2022 annual Gallup poll reflects the unique bottom-up phenomenon of the US attitude toward Israel – which is largely determined by the US constituency’s traditional affinity toward the Jewish State – contrary to the top-down phenomenon of the US policy toward foreign countries, which is generally determined by the White House and the State Department.
The February, 2022 Gallup poll of country favorability demonstrates the wide gap between most Americans (who are largely supportive of Israel), on the one hand, and the “elite” media (which is systematically critical of Israel), on the other hand.
Israel’s 71% favorability rating attests that most Americans realize the inaccuracy and immorality of the State Department’s moral-equivalence toward Israel and the Palestinians. They identify Israel as a reliable, democratic and productive ally, and view the Palestinian Authority as a member of the rogue entities of the world, associated with terrorism, in general, and enemies and rivals of the US, in particular.
Irrespective of the NY Times’ attitude toward Israel, most Americans empathize with Israel culturally, historically, ideologically and strategically. They identify the Jewish State with key precepts, which have shaped the American culture, the civic and judicial systems since the Early Pilgrims and the Founding Fathers, such as faith, the Mosaic legacy, civil liberties, patriotism, optimism, defiance of odds and a can-do mentality. Moreover, they consider Israel a unique force and dollar-multiplier for the US economy and defense in the face of mutual threats (e.g., Iran’s Shiite Ayatollahs, Sunni Islamic terrorism) and in the pursuit of a US commercial and military technological edge over China, Russia and Europe.
Israel’s 71% favorability demonstrates that most Americans subscribe to the following assessment made by Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Commander of NATO: “Our best military partner in the region, by far, is Israel…. It truly is a case of two nations that are unarguably stronger together.”