68% of Americans view Israel favorably

Poll: 11% have similar opinion of PA; Iran soars to top of 'worst enemy' list.

pro-israel support US298 (photo credit: AP)
pro-israel support US298
(photo credit: AP)
Almost seven in 10 - or 68% - of Americans view Israel in a "very favorable" or "most favorable" light, a new Gallup Poll revealed Friday. In contrast, only 11% hold similar views toward the Palestinian Authority, and Iran defeated former "worst enemy" Iraq to become the overwhelmingly perceived "worst enemy" of the United States. Almost one-third - 31% of interviewees - awarded Iran the dubious title, while 22% of Americans viewed Iraq as the worst enemy, a percentage unchanged since a similar survey was taken last year. Israel finished behind Canada (89%), Great Britain (88%), Japan (81%) and Germany (79%) in public support, but narrowly defeated Taiwan, the Philippines, India and Mexico in polling of 1,002 adults between Feb. 6-9. Canada and Great Britain were ranked as America's best friends. The percentage of Americans with a positive view of France and Germany has moved up sharply since 2003, the poll said, when the two allies challenged President George W. Bush's Iraq policy. Iran's growing notoriety represented an increase from 14 percent last year, and appeared to reflect growing American concern over the potential for the Islamic republic to acquire nuclear weapons. Behind Iran and Iraq was North Korea, with 15 percent saying it was this country's greatest enemy. North Korea is considered by many to be a danger because of its threats to use the nuclear weapons it claims to possess. The margin of sampling error for the telephone poll was plus or minus 3 percentage points. Other favorable-unfavorable findings, according to the poll: China 44-49, Cuba 21-71, Egypt 58-27, Libya 22-58, North Korea 10-81, Pakistan 30-59, Russia 58-35 and Saudi Arabia 31-62.