Poll shows surge of support for Israel in US

Survey shows surge of support for Israel among Americans since Obama's speech to Muslims.

march for Israel 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
march for Israel 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In stark contrast to the cable leaked last month by Israel's consul-general in Boston saying support for Israel in the US has declined, a recent poll for The Israel Project shows support has bounced back significantly after slipping in the aftermath of US President Barack Obama's Cairo speech. The poll, conducted by Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies and Stan Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (GQRR), asked some 800 likely US voters the following question: "Thinking about the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in the Middle East, please tell me whether, in general, you consider yourself to be an Israel supporter, Palestinian supporter, or neither/undecided." Some 59 percent of the respondents said they were Israel supporters, compared to 8 percent for the Palestinians. The poll was conducted by telephone from August 22 to 25. This was a considerable jump in support for Israel since June, following the US president's speech in Cairo, when the same question was asked by the same pollsters and Israel's support was only 49 percent. The number of Americans who think America should support Israel over the Palestinians also increased considerably over the last two months, with 63 percent saying the US should support Israel, and 8% saying it should support the Palestinians. In June, that number was 44% for Israel, and 5% for the Palestinians. In contrast to the June data, a majority of Americans now believe that Netanyahu's government is committed to reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians, while a majority do not believe either the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas, or Hamas, are committed to peace with Israel. According to the poll, 57% of the public believes Israel is committed to peace, and 39% said they do not think the government is committed to an agreement. In June that number was 46% saying Israel was committed to peace, and 39% saying it was not. By contrast, only 36% of the respondents thought that the PA was committed to peace, and 30% believed Hams wanted an agreement. In the poll Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu trailed Obama by only 3 points when the respondents asked whether they had a warm or cold attitude to a list of leaders. In this question, Obama received a score of 59, Netanyahu 56, Abbas 34 and Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad got a score of 22. In other survey findings, a majority of Americans disagree with Palestinian leaders' position not to start negotiations until Israel halts all construction on settlements. On the contrary, by a 72%-23% margin, Americans agree with Netanyahu's promise not to build any new settlements, while allowing Israel to accommodate for natural growth of existing settlements. As a basis for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, fully 95% of Americans agree that Palestinians need to recognize Israel's right to exist and acknowledge its standing as a Jewish state. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 3.5%.