New US Poll Shows Strong Support for Israel

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New US Poll Shows Strong Support for Israel
A new public opinion poll shows that most Americans still favor Israel over the Palestinians after months of the renewed intifada.

The majority of Americans are on Israel's side in its conflict with the Palestinians, and view PLO chief Yasser Arafat as a terrorist leader, according to the results of an opinion survey released on Tuesday. The poll was commissioned by four American Jewish organizations and was conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland, and First International Resources.

Fourteen hundred participants from across the US were interviewed between January 25 and February 17. According to the poll findings, American Jews and non-Jews are on the same wavelength regarding Israel, with two thirds of the general public viewing Israel favorably, while less than one third of Americans view Arafat favorably. Among Jewish Americans polled, 15% view Arafat favorably.

A majority of Americans think the Palestinians are the ones instigating the recent clashes. Americans blame Palestinians more than Israelis for the violence by a margin of 3 to 1.

On Israel's use of force, 54% of the general public and 37% of Jews think Israel is overreacting by shooting live bullets at stone-throwing demonstrators. On the other hand, 49% of Americans, and 77% of Jews, think Palestinian leaders "put children on the front lines of violence for propaganda purposes."

The division of Jerusalem is supported by a slim majority (51%) of the general population and 33% of Jews, while a majority of both Jewish and non-Jewish Americans supports dismantling some or all of the settlements. Less than a third of those surveyed support a Palestinian "right of return" to Israel.

Nearly two thirds of the participants agreed that the US should defend Israel if needed, and 78% of the public supports US involvement in the peace process.

Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

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