Assessing the Divide Over Support for an Independent Palestinian State

To assess the partisan divide over Palestinian statehood, we first follow the same procedure as in previous chapters. Using attitudes toward Palestinian independence as a dependent variable (favoring an independent Palestinian state is coded 1, opposing it is coded 0), we estimate a binary logistic regression where we include the same set of predictors as before—gender, age, race, education, religion, region, party identification and year. Twenty-eight surveys are available for individual-level analysis in this model, conducted sporadically from 1977—2018 (specifically, 1977-1984, 1988-1991, 1993, 1998, 2001-2003, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2018). We cluster standard errors by survey to avoid biasing our estimates. The results are included in column 1 of Table 8.3 in the Appendix for this chapter. In Figure 8.2, we plot the predicted probabilities of the main demographic predictors, as well as party identification.

Probability of Favoring an Independent Palestinian State

FIGURE 8.2 Probability of Favoring an Independent Palestinian State

Note: Demographic and partisan differences in the predicted probabilities of supporting an independent Palestinian state following a binary logistic regression (see Appendix for this chapter). Bars represent the predicted value, and vertical lines represent 95 percent confidence intervals. Regression estimates are summarized in Table 8.3 (column 1) in the Appendix.

Most differences are small, and three of the demographic variables yield results that do not coincide with their effects on dependent variables that measure support for Israel (see Chapter 5). Women are significantly less favorable of Palestinian independence than men are; older age groups (50-64 and 65+) are significantly more favorable of it compared to the younger reference group, ages 30-49 (no significant difference between ages 18—29 and 30—49); and Hispanics are significantly less favorable of it compared to whites, but African-Americans are equally as likely as whites to favor it. These differences may themselves be testament to the fact that Palestinian independence is conceptually different from the issues examined thus far.

There is a large difference on education: College-educated respondents are significantly more likely to favor an independent Palestinian state. On religion, Protestants and Jews are significantly less likely to support a Palestinian state compared to Catholics and all other religions. Note that across all predictors, Jews are the only group more likely to oppose a Palestinian state. As for party, Republicans are less likely than Democrats to support a Palestinian state. Party differences appear small, but this is due to the fact that until the turn of the century there were few differences between the two parties. These have only emerged in the last two decades.

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