New York – The ZOA has urged the Bush Administration to review its policy of funding the Palestinian Authority (PA) and maintaining ties with it, following a new Gallup poll that found that 57% of Americans oppose giving any financial aid to the PA while Hamas is in power. The poll shows that Americans have grown more pessimistic that peace can be achieved between Israel and the Palestinians and also strongly sympathize with Israel (Gallup Poll, February 13).
Poll findings indicate that:
- Americans oppose (57%) giving any financial aid to the Palestinians while Hamas is in power;
- A minority of Americans (30%) would support aid to the PA if the Palestinians truly accept Israel;
- A nearly two-thirds majority of Americans believe (65% to 32%) that Israel and Arab nations will not achieve peace;
- Many more Americans (59%) support Israel than support Palestinians (15%);
- A majority of Americans (66%) who claim to follow world affairs very closely sympathize with Israelis;
- A majority of Americans (68% to 23%) have a favorable view of Israel; and
- A great majority of Americans (78% to 11%) have an unfavorable view of the PA.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, This poll shows that the American public has a far more realistic view of the Arab-Israeli conflict than governments around the world, including the Bush Administration, which has continued to fund the PA despite its on-going refusal to fulfill its obligations under signed agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan to dismantle the apparatus of terror and end incitement to hatred and murder in the Palestinian public square that feeds it.
The PA has not disarmed and jailed terrorists, nor have they confiscated their weapons and closed the bomb factories. It has not put an end to PA media, mosques, schools and youth movements glorifying suicide bombing and martyrdom by murdering Israeli civilians. It has not put Israel on its maps or renamed streets, schools and sports teams named after terrorists.
This poll shows conclusively that Americans do understand that the Palestinians have not taken the minimum steps required to make peace and that peace prospects are consequently next to non-existent. A freeze on funding to the PA and severing ties with it until these vital steps are taken would be understood by the American public, involve no domestic political fallout and would be the correct response to the situation. Only such pressure has a chance of producing the desired changes in Palestinian society and thus the possibility of peace with Israel.