'US support for Israel at all-time high'

Veteran pollster to 'Post': Israel's commitment to peace vital to Americans.

By
May 9, 2007 00:34
2 minute read.
us israel flag aipac 88

us israel flag aipac 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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America's support of Israel is greater than ever, veteran pollster Stanley Greenberg told the Knesset's Subcommittee on Foreign and Public Relations Tuesday. Greenberg, who had been commissioned to do a poll by The Israel Project (TIP), found that Israel's image was at a five-year high among US opinion elite. "There is strong support for Israel in the United States," Greenberg told The Jerusalem Post. "It is very important to remind people that Israel is committed to peace. That commitment is important to Americans viewing Israel as an ally, and for Europeans seeing Israel as a moderate country." Chairwoman of the Subcommittee, MK Amira Dotan (Kadima), said Greenberg's visits were always highly anticipated because they helped Israeli officials understand how they were being viewed across the world. "Israel can no longer exist as an island," said Dotan. "The country must consider its place in the world." Greenberg meets with the committee whenever he is in Israel, said Dotan, and makes recommendations to the Knesset and Foreign Ministry. Chief among those recommendations, said Greenberg, was that Israel stress its history of making concessions for peace. "Currently, there is no peace process and it is very hard for North Americans to see that Israel is committed to peace," said Greenberg. "The history serves Israel very well." Greenberg also discussed the Iranian nuclear threat. According to the TIP poll, nearly three-fourths of opinion elite believe Iran should be stopped from developing nuclear weapons, and more than eight out of 10 opinion elite say Americans should divest from companies that do business in Iran. "The divestment campaign is unfolding in the US, and there are opportunities for Israel to reinforce it," said Greenberg. Last month, opposition leader MK Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud) secured the support of the coalition in a bill that would begin divestment from Iran in Israel. That bill is expected to come to a vote in the coming month, and has already been approved for expedited legislature. Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder and president of TIP, said it had commissioned the poll to learn how to better engage the world in preventing a nuclear Iran. "Our name is the Israel Project but we are almost the Iran Project," said Mizrahi. "We have been fortunate in meeting with the important players in the hopes that they will help Israel protect itself." Mizrahi said TIP had recently conducted polls in the US, England, Germany and Spain to learn more on how public opinion impacts the global Jewish community. Greenberg was visiting the region with former White House press Secretary Ari Fleischer. Greenberg has worked as a pollster for prominent Democratic campaigns such as that of Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry.

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