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Who do Ukrainians sympathize with in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the results of a telephone survey conducted on November 29-December 9, 2023

The press release was prepared by Anton Hrushetskyi, executive director of KIIS


From November 29 to December 9, 2023, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted its own all-Ukrainian public opinion survey "Omnibus". Bythemethodofcomputer-assistedtelephoneinterviews(CATI) based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers (with random generation of phone numbers and subsequent statistical weighting), 1,031 respondents living in all regions of Ukraine (except AR of Crimea) were interviewed. The survey was conducted with adult (aged 18 and older) citizens of Ukraine who, at the time of the survey, lived on the territory of Ukraine (within the boundaries controlled by the Ukrainian authorities until February 24, 2022). The sample did not include residents of territories that were not temporarily controlled by the authorities of Ukraine until February 24, 2022 (AR of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol, certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts), and the survey was not conducted with citizens abroad.

Formally, under normal circumstances, the statistical error of such a sample (with a probability of 0.95 and taking into account the design effect of 1.1) did not exceed 3.4% for indicators close to 50%, 3.0% for indicators close to 25%, 2.1% - for indicators close to 10%, 1.5% - for indicators close to 5%.

Under conditions of war, in addition to the specified formal error, a certain systematic deviation is added. KIIS previously cited factors that can affect the quality of results in "wartime" conditions.

In general, we believe that the obtained results are still highly representative and allow for a fairly reliable analysis of the public moods of the population.


Who do Ukrainians sympathize with in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?


On October 7, 2023, the Hamas terrorist movement struck Israel. In response, Israel launched a military operation in the Palestinian Gaza Strip. In the world, a large part of people sympathized with and supported both Israel and the Palestinians. KIIS asked Ukrainians who they sympathized with in the conflict - Israel or Palestine.

As can be seen, the vast majority of Ukrainians - 69% - sympathize with Israel. Only 1% sympathize with Palestine. At the same time, 18% of respondents answered that they sympathize with both sides equally. The remaining 12% could not decide on their opinion.


Graph 1. Which side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict do you sympathize with more?



In all regions, the majority of respondents sympathize primarily with Israel (and no more than 4% sympathize primarily with Palestine).


Graph2. Which side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict sympathize with in the regional dimension



World context: who do inhabitants of certain countries of the world sympathize with


The graph below shows the results for three countries: the USA, Great Britain and Russia (conducted in November and October). In the USA and Great Britain, the question was similar to that in the KIIS (more precisely, the KIIS specifically used similar wording to obtain comparable results). For Russia, the data of the Levada Center are similar, but instead of the option "sympathize with both sides" there was the option "do not sympathize with either side"[1].

As can be seen, compared to all these countries, Ukraine is the most pro-Israel. In the USA, we see a predominance of those who sympathize with Israel, but 38% of them (ie less than half). And although only 11% sympathize with Palestine, a large number of Americans sympathize with both sides (28%) or "could not answer the question" (23%). In Great Britain, in general, the share of those who sympathize with Israel and Palestine is the same - 19% each. Instead, 31% either "sympathize with both sides" or "couldn't answer the question".

At the same time, Russia is the only one of these countries where significantly more people sympathize with Palestine (21%) than Israel (6%). Although the majority of Russians (66%) generally answered that they do not sympathize with anyone.


Graph3. Who do the residents of the USA, Great Britain, and Russia sympathize with



A. Hrushetskyi, comments on the survey results:


One of the vectors of Russian propaganda, which, unfortunately, has firmly stuck in the minds of even many educated Western figures, is about the supposedly strong anti-Semitism of Ukrainians. KIIS has been conducting research on inter-ethnic prejudice for many years, which shows that the attitude towards Jews in Ukrainian society is better than towards most of the other ethnic groups we studied. In December 2021 and January 2023, KIIS conducted surveys for the Embassy of the State of Israel, which also showed a fairly good perception of Israel (in particular, 52% considered Israel a friendly country against only 13% who did not think so[2]). Jewish organizations themselves refute the myths about anti-Semitic Ukrainians, and, for example, the chief rabbi of Ukraine Asman Moshe Reuven is very active in supporting Ukraine to repel Russia.

Moreover, Ukrainians now feel solidarity with Israel after the inhumane attack on October 7 and understand the feelings of Israeli society after the terrible terrorist attacks.

 It is clear that the authorities must adhere to certain diplomatic frameworks, especially in the context of relations with Muslim countries. However, the fact that Ukrainians mostly sympathize with Israel contains a valuable choice to a large extent. The choice is in favor of a free democratic world against a world of medieval terror. If the current world events can be considered a clash of civilizations of the free democratic world and an alliance of authoritarian regimes of various stripes, then Ukrainians clearly identify themselves on the side of the first.  



Annex 1. Formulation of questions from the questionnaire


Which side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict do you sympathize with more?

Israel 1
Palestine 2
Both sides equally 3



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