The majority of Americans have never heard of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and only a tiny 2% support it, a new Pew survey shows.
Relatively few Americans know or hear about BDS, with 84% saying they have heard “not much” or “nothing at all” about it. Just 5% of US adults have heard at least “some” about BDS and expressed support for it, including 2% who strongly support it.
Conversely, two-thirds of Americans expressed a favorable view of the Israeli people, including one-in-five who say they feel “very favorably” toward the Israelis.
Republicans and those who lean to the GOP are much more likely to express a favorable view of the Israeli people with a large 78%, compared with the 37 % support for Palestinians.
Among Democrats and Democratic leaners, on the other hand, similar shares express favorable views toward both groups, 60% and 64%, respectively.
When asked about their views of the Israeli government, about half of the US public, 48%, expressed a very or somewhat positive view, compared with 28% who view the Palestinian government favorably.
A majority of 33 US states have laws prohibiting doing state business with any company that boycotts Israel.
The BDS movement promotes financial, academic and cultural boycotts of Israel, ostensibly as a nonviolent protest against the so-called “Israeli occupation.” Critics say its activities are a modern form of anti-Semitism and that its true objective is to destroy the State of Israel.