Half of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders back more aid for Palestinians: Survey

Nearly half of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) believe the U.S. should send more aid to Palestine and less to Israel as the war in Gaza continues, according to a new poll.

The survey, by AAPI Data and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found respondents were more likely than the general U.S. population to say the U.S. is “too supportive” of the Israelis and “not supportive enough” of the Palestinians.

Forty-nine percent of AAPI adults responded that the U.S. is “not supportive enough” of Palestinians, while 48 percent said the U.S. is “too supportive” of Israel. This belief was higher among AAPI adults aged 18-34 than those 35 and older.

In general, 32 percent of American adults said the U.S. is “too supportive” of Israel, while 25 percent said the U.S. is “not supportive enough” of the Israelis.

Survey respondents were also asked about Jewish and Muslim communities in America.

Forty-four percent of AAPI adults said U.S. support for Jewish Americans is “about right,” and about 26 percent said it’s “not supportive enough.”

Related to the Muslim community, 45 percent of AAPI adults said the nation is “not supportive enough,” while 38 percent said the U.S. is “about right” in its support of Muslim communities.

The survey reports that much of what may be driving this sentiment is that many people who identify as AAPI also identify as Muslim, and Asian Americans make up a significant proportion of Muslims in the U.S.

AAPI organizations have professed their solidarity with Palestine for some time. In November, leading groups including the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center and Empowering Pacific Islander Communities both released statements calling for a cease-fire.

The poll surveyed 1,091 U.S. adults who are Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders between Dec. 4-11. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. The Associated Press reports that the poll is part of an ongoing project highlighting the views of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Normally, polls feature only a small sample size of this demographic.

The Israel-Hamas war has been ongoing since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that killed 1,200 people. Though Hamas released more than 100 captives during a cease-fire in November in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue the war until all remaining hostages are returned home.

Over the past four months, the Palestinian death toll in Gaza has risen to more than 27,000, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Among the 2.3 million Palestinians in the area, nearly 85 percent of the population has been displaced, and one-quarter of residents are facing starvation, according to The Associated Press.

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