Hispanic attitudes toward Israel: Six takeaways from the Philos Project public opinion survey

New York, NY — How strong is Hispanic support for Israel? Many are asking that question, but few are answering it – at least not with any real data. The Philos Project recently sponsored a public opinion survey that interviewed 1,038 Hispanic-Americans who identified as Christian (Catholic and Protestant), asking them a series of questions about Israel and the Jewish people that was designed to guide future engagement with this increasingly important demographic.

Here are six takeaways:

1. Hispanics that are self-identified evangelicals and weekly church attendees are among the most supportive of Israel. 

45 percent of all U.S. Christian Hispanics are supportive of Israel. But support for Israel increases among those who are self-identified evangelicals (59 percent) and weekly church attendees (52 percent).

2. Hispanics are uncertain on issues related to Israel. 

Roughly one-third of Hispanic-Americans consistently answered “not sure” to questions about American aid to Israel, theological legitimacy of the Jewish State, and even basic support for Israel’s statehood.

3. Hispanics cling to subtle anti-Semitic sentiments about the Jewish people. 

When asked whether Jewish Americans have too much influence in American society, 41 percent of Hispanics agree, 27 percent say they’re not sure, and 19 percent somewhat disagree. Only 12 percent strongly disagree with this subtle anti-Semitic trope. 

4. 66 percent of Hispanics say they sympathize equally with Israelis and Palestinians. 

While most favored neither Palestinians nor Israelis over the other, among respondents who selected only one, 27 percent identified with the hardships of Israelis and only 7 percent identified with the hardships of Palestinians.

5. 44 percent of Hispanics are not sure if the media is biased or objective toward Israel. 

Respondents favored local media sources as twice as influential on their views as international media overall, but showed overwhelming distrust of the media’s objectivity toward Israel.

6. Hispanics are deeply concerned about the safety of Middle Eastern Christians. 

72 percent of Hispanics agreed they are concerned for the safety of Christians in areas under control of the Palestinian Authority, while only 18 percent said “not sure.”

Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of the survey data or analysis may contact The Philos Project via email at info@philosproject.org, or during business hours at 646-828-7393.

The Philos Project is a nonprofit organization which seeks to promote positive Christian engagement in the Middle East by strengthening minority communities in the region and equipping the Western church to engage positively with them.

This article originally appeared on Philos Project, June 22, 2017, and reposted with permission.