Dr. Ann Gordon
This paper analyzes the factors that influence the American electorate’s support of Israel using data gleaned from the 2016 American National Election Study. Americans have formally recognized the state of Israel since 1948, starting 11 minutes after it declared its independence. Since then, American foreign policy has consistently endeavored to create and maintain a strong Israeli state in the Middle East. However, there is general agreement among foreign policy experts that such one-sided support for Israel has been both economically as well as strategically costly. According to experts, such support has at times contradicted the broader foreign policy goals and general national interest of the United States, and hinders the possibility of lasting peace in the Israel-Palestine region. However, public opinion has demonstrated overwhelming support for a strong Israel over the past 60 years. Although evidence suggests that the base of American support of a strong Israel has shifted over the past decades, it remains a majority, largely bipartisan stance. Situations such as this test the effectiveness of American democracy: what is to be done when majority public opinion goes against national interest? The findings of this paper will be instrumental in predicting the futures of American-Israeli relations as well as American foreign policy in the Middle East.
Thomas, Alexander, "Too Much Democracy?: Trends in American Public Opinion of Israel" (2017). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 234.
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