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    Pew Survey Tag

    Pew Research Center has released an extensive report on the media coverage of President Trump's first 100 days.  There are a lot of interesting tidbits throughout, but the overriding conclusion is the right-leaning outlets were more neutral in their coverage than left-leaning or "mixed" outlets. Further, Pew found that right-leaning outlets were more likely to present negative Trump stories than left-leaning outlets were likely to present positive Trump stories.

    Anti-Israel activists regularly, and with never-ending repetition, claim that Israel is an "Apartheid state" because if favors Jews over non-Jews. This accusation is a key part of the strategy to delegitimize Israel, and was developed in 2001 as part of the Durban conference boycott call. That boycott call, based on the accusation of Apartheid, was the foundation of the current Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, as I discussed in my lecture, The REAL history of the BDS movement.

    For several years we have been examining Gallup and Pew surveys of attitudes among Americans of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. What we have seen is a trend of overall support for Israel reaching all-time or near-all-time highs. At the same time, there is a slice of the population in which the support has been slipping -- the left-wing of the Democratic Party. That makes sense based on a number of trends we post about unrelated to polling: The intensive global push, particularly on campuses, to demonize Israel; "intersectionality" theory which makes Israel the central antagonist in the racial and identity politics of the progressive movement; the identification of Israel with capitalism which increasingly itself is demonized among the socialist-friendly section of the Democratic Party that supported Bernie Sanders.

    As you know if you have been reading Legal Insurrection for years, we regularly track Gallup and Pew surveys of attitudes among Americans of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. What we see is that support for Israel among the entire U.S. population remains at near historical highs. For example, the Gallup survey released in February 2016 demonstrated that Americans still overwhelmingly support Israel:
    The survey shows that support for Israel versus the Palestinians remains near historical highs, slightly up from last year:
    Americans’ views about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remained steady over the past year, with 62% of Americans saying their sympathies lie more with the Israelis and 15% favoring the Palestinians. About one in four continue to be neutral, including 9% who sympathize with neither side, 3% who sympathize with both, and 11% expressing no opinion.

    A new poll from Pew reveals that the words most often used to describe President Obama are "Incompetent" and "Good Guy." Behold: Barack Obama, undisputed leader of the free world, commander in chief of the most lethal fighting force on the planet...lovable doofus? No wonder our international reputation is circling the drain. More:
    However, some new words have emerged in the descriptions of Obama: Among the roughly half of respondents asked the question (N=746), dictator is mentioned by 12, while eight describe Obama as impressive. Neither word had been used in nine prior surveys asking for one-word descriptions of Obama since he became president. And a perennial critique of Obama – socialist – is not as prominent on the list of descriptions as in the past; in the new survey, five respondents describe Obama as a socialist. In April 2009, when Obama was generally described in positive terms (and his job approval was much higher than it is today), socialist stood out among the negatives. Still, many of the descriptions of Obama are the same as those used in the past. Some supporters continue to point to his intelligence (21 mentions; another nine call him smart), while opponents describe him as an idiot or stupid (12). Nearly equal numbers call him honest (12) and a liar (11).
    There's even a fun infographic that throws the miserable truth into full relief!

    Surprising absolutely no one, a Pew survey released last month reveals that not only to Americans by and large not trust the government, but that sentiment is nothing new. As of February of this year, only 24% of Americans said that they trust the government "always" or "most of the time. What's more, as trust has decreased (dark blue line), distrust has increased (light blue line): pew trust distrust This means that those who don't explicitly trust the government aren't just ambivalent about it; we're looking at active distrust from an electorate who has seen years of infighting, splits, and general intransigence where we should be seeing governance. When it comes to political parties, the trends are a little less clear; but even trust of the government amongst Democrats has stagnated well below 50%:

    In July, in the early part of the Gaza conflict, Pew Research came out with a survey indicating that support among Americans for Israel's actions in Gaza was strong overall and consistent with past similar surveys. The July Pew study, however, indicated partisan gaps with much stronger support among Republicans than Democrats, with young Democrats the least supportive among all such categories. Support also was lower among minorities. That July Pew study set off much angst and hand-wringing among Israel supporters, and unconcealed glee among Israel haters who convinced themselves that their anti-Israel view was just a generation away from becoming predominant American opinion. But that earlier Pew study didn't really measure support for Israel, as opposed to the conduct of the Gaza conflict. It would be entirely consistent to be a strong supporter of Israel yet not support Israel's actions -- either because you thought it did too much or not enough. Prior Pew studies, as well as Gallup, conducted using the same methodology and questions over long periods of time, show support for Israel growing in the U.S. in recent years, although it is true there is something of a partisan and age gap. A couple of days ago Pew released a new study, taken August 20-24, as to which side Americans sympthized with. True to my thesis, favorable views of Israel predominate and the gap is wide when compared to that Palestinians. This is significant considering how one-sided the media was in portraying Palestinians as victims. Here are the summary findings of Pew's report, More Express Sympathy for Israel than the Palestinians:
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