Bloomberg by the Numbers: 50

Photograph by Said Khatib/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli soldiers keep watch as Palestinian youths demonstrate next to the security fence on the Gaza border east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip.

That’s the percentage of Americans who say they sympathize with the Israelis over the Palestinians in the Middle East conflict, according to the Pew Research Center.

Ten percent said they sympathize with the Palestinians, while 13 percent said neither. The remainder of respondents said they aligned with both sides or didn’t know, according to the survey conducted Dec. 5-9, 2012.

There’s a wide partisan gap on this question, with 70 percent of Republicans saying they align more with Israel, compared with 47 percent of independents and 41 percent of Democrats.

The U.S.-Israel relationship probably will be discussed during confirmation hearings for former Sen. Chuck Hagel, nominated by the president for Secretary of Defense.

“Hagel emerged as the most disputed pick for Obama’s second-term national security team because of positions such as his opposition to the U.S. troop surge during the Iraq war and his comments on the influence of the ‘Jewish lobby,’” Bloomberg News reporter David Lerman wrote yesterday.

Critics have “completely distorted” a record that shows “unequivocal, total support for Israel,” Hagel said in an interview with the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper in Nebraska that was published Jan. 7. Hagel represented Nebraska in the Senate from 1997 to 2009.

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