Only 19% want Israel-Palestinian
issue to be an Obama priority
A new poll of American opinion has found that only 6 percent of Americans think that the United States should stand behind the Palestinians in Middle East peace talks, while 66 percent of those polled said the U.S. should support Israel in the peace process. Some 80 percent of GOP voters and 59 percent of Democratic voters were among those backing U.S. support for Israel. The poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and commissioned by The Israel Project, also found that only 19 percent of Americans think “making peace between Israel and the Palestinians” should be among President-elect Barack Obama’s top foreign policy priorities when he assumes office on January 20, 2009. More Americans gave priority to dealing with the Iranian nuclear crisis, Iraq, restoring global economic growth and defeating Al-Qaeda and the Taliban over dealing with Israeli-Palestinian hostilities. Also, despite “all the problems America now faces at home,” 58 percent of those polled agreed more with the statement that “America needs to stand with Israel” than with “Israel needs to take care of itself” (Natasha Mozgovaya, ‘Poll: Only 6% of Americans think U.S. should back Palestinians in peace talks,’ Haaretz, November 16, 2008).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This new poll makes clear that the American public fully understands Israel‘s difficult plight in dealing with the Arab war being waged on many fronts against it. In this poll and in others, the American public has shown that it is against appeasing the Palestinian Authority and other Palestinian groups but, on the contrary, supports Israel and expects the United States government to stand by her. In this, it has shown that it has a far more realistic view of the Arab war against Israel than governments around the world, including the Bush Administration, which has continued to deal with and even fund Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas, despite the PA’s 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.
“This poll shows conclusively not only that the typical American overwhelmingly supports Israel, but also indicates why the overwhelming majority of members of Congress, reflecting their constituencies, also support Israel. If they didn’t, they would not be representing the views of their constituencies. This fact refutes the pernicious claims heard from time to time that Congressional support for Israel is the result of political pressure by American Jewish pro-Israel individuals and groups. Congress supports Israel because the American people do, overwhelmingly.
“It is also pleasing to be able to note that this poll shows even stronger pro-Israel sentiment among the American public than some other, also positive poll results. This result, showing 66 per cent support for Israel as against 6 percent support for the Palestinians, is even better than the 63 percent 16 percent finding of the 2007 Gallup World Affairs survey or the 2007 McLaughlin & Associates poll which found that Americans support Israel over the Palestinians by 45 per cent to 4.6 percent.”