Poll: American Arabs, Jews back two-state solution

63 percent of Arabs and 73% of Jews are "mostly pessimistic" about Mideast peace prospects.

US jews 88 (photo credit: )
US jews 88
(photo credit: )
A new poll shows strong support for a two-state solution among both American Arabs and Jews, and for a presidential candidate who would play an active role in the peace process if elected. US Jews and Arabs also agree that the prospects of peace in the Middle East don't look good, with 63 percent of Arabs and 73% of Jews "mostly pessimistic." Jews are also more critical of US President George W. Bush's handling of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Some 80% said Bush has been "not very" or "not at all" effective, in comparison to 76% of Arabs surveyed. The poll of 501 American Jews and an equal number of Arab Americans was conducted in late May and has a 4.5 % margin of error. It was released by James Zogby's Arab American Institute in conjunction with Americans for Peace Now on Monday, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War. APN President Debra DeLee was encouraged by many of the findings. "Despite the dire circumstances over the past five years in the region … neither community has moved away from a [two-state solution] to the conflict," she said. While 87% of Jews and 94% of Arabs support a two-state solution, 46% of Jews said that most Arab Americans don't believe that Israelis have a right to a secure and independent state and 26% of Arabs said most Jewish Americans don't believe in that right for Palestinians. Nearly the same rate of Jewish (68%) and Arab (64%) voters say they would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate if that candidate "promised to take an active role in the peace process." When it came to settlements, 63% of the Jews surveyed support their continued construction, while 30% agree their construction should be frozen because they "undermine the prospects for achieving peace."