Obama reported to be distraught.

PRINCETON, NJ — Americans’ views toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict held fairly steady over the past year, with a near record-high 63% continuing to say their sympathies lie more with the Israelis. Seventeen percent sympathize more with the Palestinians.

In measuring Americans’ sympathies toward the disputants in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1988, Gallup has found support for Israel consistently exceeding support for the Palestinians. However, the percentage who are neutral — saying they sympathize equally with both, sympathize with neither, or expressing no opinion — has shifted, with corresponding changes in support for Israel. While the reasons for these changes are not always evident, public neutrality was generally higher in the 1990s as the Palestinians and the Israelis often met at Clinton administration-sponsored peace summits.

Conversely, support for Israel increased during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, as well as immediately after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and during the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war — all events that may have enhanced Israel’s perceived value to the U.S. as a Mideast ally. Sympathy toward Israel was also higher in polling conducted shortly after Hamas’ victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections compared with the year prior, perhaps for the same reason.