CNN poll shows rise in American sympathy for Israel

Pro-Israel feelings up since 2009, according to telephone survey of adult Americans; 82% say Israel is a friend or ally of the United States.

June 11, 2011 17:54
1 minute read.
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PM shakes hands with US congresspeople 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed)


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A new poll conducted by American news network CNN has reported that 67 percent of the American public feel sympathy for Israelis and not Palestinians, compared with 16% who claim to side with the Palestinians rather than Israel.

The poll was conducted by telephone from May 24-26. 1,007 adult Americans were asked their opinions on several different countries, including Israel.


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The results show that pro-Israel feelings are on the rise in the United States. In a similar survey conducted in 2009, only 60 percent of the population sample expressed pro-Israel feelings, while 17%, one percentage point higher than 2011's poll, claimed to sympathize with the Palestinians.

In addition to the high numbers expressing sympathy with Israeli, 82% of the audience said they felt Israel was either a friend or ally of the United States. Twelve percent said they did not regard Israel as a friend, and 5% classified the country as an US enemy. Only Great Britain received higher marks of friendship, with 98% of the polling audience calling that nation either a friend or ally. Conversely, 62% called China either a friend or ally, and only 26% expressed the same sentiment about Syria. 49% of those polled said they felt that North Korea was an enemy of the United States, the same "enemy" rating received by Iran, compared with 24% who said the same about Pakistan.

The survey participants were also quizzed as to their opinions on current events. 54% reported supporting the joint US/NATO mission in Libya, compared with 43% who opposed and 3% who had no opinion. 31% said that the removal of Muammar Gaddafi from power should be a "very important foreign policy goal" of the United States.

The poll, conducted for CNN by the Opinion Research Corporation, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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