YouGov Poll: Two-Thirds of Americans Name Israel ‘Ally’ or ‘Friendly’ Nation, With North Korea and Iran Most-Cited Foes

An Israeli flag and an American flag fly at Abu Dhabi International Airport, before the arrival of Israeli and US officials, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 31, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Christoper Pike.

A solid majority of Americans surveyed consider Israel an allied or friendly nation, according to a new poll conducted by The Economist and the firm YouGov, with views of the relationship skewing somewhat along partisan and gender lines.

Asked whether a number of countries were allies, friendly, unfriendly or enemies with the United States, two-thirds of those surveyed saw US-Israel ties positively.

Forty percent of respondents considered Israel a US “ally,” with another 27% calling Israel a “friendly” nation; 14% said Israel was either an “enemy” or “unfriendly,” with 20% unsure.

Among a list of 13 countries given, Israel’s “ally” figure was the fourth-highest, after the UK (58%), Canada (57%), and France (43%). The most frequently cited “enemy” countries were North Korea (58%) and Iran (49%), followed by China and Russia (both 38%).

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Though voters from both parties were more likely than not to view the US-Israel relationship in a positive light, the lean was heavier among men, college graduates, white Americans and 2020 voters of Donald Trump. A third of Democrats called Israel an “ally” and another third said ties were “friendly,” while that breakdown was 54% and 20%, respectively, among registered Republicans.

Respondents appeared most ambivalent about the status of US-Saudi relations. A survey-high 25% said they were “not sure” whether Saudi Arabia was an ally or enemy, and most others were split between “friendly” and “unfriendly.”

The poll surveyed 1,500 American adults, and was conducted from Feb. 27 to March 2. The margin of error was +/- 2.6%.

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