Survey: Americans see Israel as ally

ADL study says at least 65% see Israel as an important ally; also say Palestinian plight fault of PA.

Abe Foxman 224.88 AJ (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Abe Foxman 224.88 AJ
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A large percentage of Americans continue to support the State of Israel, especially in relation to the Palestinians and the "war on terror," according to a survey released Sunday by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The survey reveals that a large majority of Americans, 65%, see Israel as an important ally. A 2005 ADL poll showed nearly identical numbers of Americans with this view, indicating that American support for Israel has stayed strong and relatively constant over the last few years. This support comes despite the common belief that America's friendship with Israel makes the US a bigger target for terrorists. Though 65% of respondents expressed this conviction, 57% said that the US should continue to give Israel its support. Americans remain much more sympathetic to Israel than to the Palestinian people, the survey says. Forty-five percent of respondents said that they sympathize more with the Israeli people, compared to 16% who said they sympathize with the Palestinians. This sympathy toward Israel has increased only slightly over the last few years. Two years ago a similar poll showed 42% of Americans being sympathetic toward Israel, and 13% sympathetic toward the Palestinians, and a 2003 poll revealed that 40% of Americans had sympathy for Israel and 15% had sympathy for its Palestinian neighbors. In addition, 47% of those surveyed believe that difficulties of the Palestinian people are mainly the result of their leadership's failure to seize opportunities for peace, rather than Israel's actions. Americans also demand Palestinian concessions as a prerequisite for a Palestinian state. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of respondents say that Palestinians must end terror and recognize Israel before a Palestinian state can be created. "These findings are reassuring, not only because of continuing strong support for Israel, but because Americans understand that without a major Palestinian effort to deal with terrorism, there can be no viable Palestinian state," said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman. Despite their support for Israel and their view of Israel as an important American ally, 60% of Americans believe that any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians must be accomplished with minimal US involvement. The ADL survey was conducted via telephone interviews with 2,000 American adults between October 6 and October 19 of this year.