Unraveling American Sympathies toward Israelis and Palestinians

86 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2024

See all articles by Rikio Inouye

Rikio Inouye

Princeton University, Department of Politics, Students

Yusaku Horiuchi

Dartmouth College - Department of Government

Daniel Corstange

Columbia University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: February 5, 2024

Abstract

Conflicts manifest on two fronts---on the battlefield and in global public opinion. This study explores how ordinary individuals shape their sympathies toward people involved in conflicts abroad, focusing on American public opinion about the 2023 Gaza conflict. Despite the stark divisions between Israeli and Palestinian sympathizers, the sources of such sympathies remain unclear. Using a conjoint experiment fielded on the day after Israel began its ground invasion of Gaza, we observe that Americans rely on an identity-based shortcut---majority religion---to determine their sympathies. However, this shortcut does not prevent more deliberate considerations. People pay attention to substantive aspects of the conflict and evaluate their preferred side favorably. Consequently, while sympathy per se seems rooted in universal sentiment about suffering, its expression reflects individuals' selective information processing based on their perspectives and prior considerations. This finding suggests the challenge for Israeli and Palestinian sympathizers in understanding the perspectives of the other side.

Keywords: Israel, Palestine, war, sympathy, conjoint analysis

JEL Classification: D74, H56

Suggested Citation

Inouye, Rikio and Horiuchi, Yusaku and Corstange, Daniel, Unraveling American Sympathies toward Israelis and Palestinians (February 5, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4716880 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4716880

Rikio Inouye

Princeton University, Department of Politics, Students ( email )

Princeton, NJ
United States

Yusaku Horiuchi (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Government ( email )

204 Silsby Hall
HB 6108
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

HOME PAGE: http://horiuchi.org

Daniel Corstange

Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )

7th Floor, International Affairs Bldg.
420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
91
Abstract Views
183
Rank
508,275
PlumX Metrics