The American people's strong support for Israel remains constant and their support for action to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power has substantially increased, according to a new nationwide survey released by the Anti-Defamation League on Monday.
The survey's findings demonstrate that Americans recognize Israel as a strong and loyal US ally, are skeptical about "peace dividends" that would be realized by Israel stopping all settlement construction and believe that a Palestinian state must not be established until the Palestinians demonstrate a commitment to end violence and accept Israel's legitimacy.
The 2009 Survey of American Attitudes on Israel, The Palestinians and Prospects for Peace in the Middle East, a national telephone survey of 1,200 American adults, was conducted September 26-October 4 by Marttila Communications of Washington and Boston.
"This latest survey of the American people, coming at a time of a full range of challenging issues facing Israel and the region demonstrates anew the breadth and depth of American public support for Israel from a variety of perspectives," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director. "Americans see Israel as a loyal ally to the US, as being very serious about wanting to achieve peace with the Palestinians and as deserving the sympathy of the American people in the conflict with the Palestinians."
Foxman also noted a changing dynamic regarding Iran and the nuclear issue.
"The significant increase in Americans viewing Iran as a threat and supporting, if nothing else works, US or Israeli military options against Iran, reflects a new and needed sense of urgency about the issue in light of Iran's oppressive policies and the discovery of a secret Iranian nuclear plant," he said.
Some two-thirds of Americans consider Israel a strong and loyal US ally, as previous surveys showed. On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 64% believe that Israel is serious about achieving peace with the Palestinians, with three-to-one respondents expressing more sympathy with Israel than the Palestinians, when asked to choose a side.
There has also been significant gain in those who would support either Israel or the US using military action to stop Iran from making a nuclear weapon, with 57% of Americans supporting an Israeli hit, up from 42% in 2007, and 54% supporting a US move, up from 47% in 2007.
Concerning the question of the Iranian threat, 63% of the respondents consider Iran an immediate or short-term security threat to the Middle East compared to 50% in 2007.