WASHINGTON  – A majority of Americans would oppose joining Israel in a war should it strike Iran, according to a new poll.

The Chicago Council on Public Affairs poll, released on Thursday, reported 56 percent of respondents answering, “No, it shouldn’t” to the statement “If Israel were to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iran were to retaliate against Israel, and the two were to go to war, the United States should or should not bring its military forces into the war on the side of Israel.”

Those responding, “Yes, it should” amounted to 38%.

In other findings, a majority – 58% – favored “making a major effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” as a measure to fight terrorism, with 39% opposing.

The Chicago Council’s analysis said support had dropped for including American troops in an international peacekeeping force to maintain an Israeli- Palestinian peace agreement; Americans were now split, 49- 49, whereas in the past, majorities had supported such participation.

Another finding showed that Americans are split on using US troops to defend Israel if it were attacked – 47% in favor, 50% opposed.

There has been a sharp rise since 2004 in the number of Americans who think the US should take Israel’s side over the Palestinians – from 17% to 28%, while 66% said it should take no side, and 3% said it should favor the Palestinians.

Israel scores much higher than the Palestinian Authority on the “warm, favorable feeling” scale, 57 to the PA’s 32.

The poll was taken between June 11 and June 22, when tensions between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations were just beginning to abate.

The poll was conducted by Knowledge Networks. There were 2,596 respondents, and the poll had a margin of error of 1.9 percentage points.

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