New Poll – 60% of Americans Regard Israel as an Ally, 4% as an Enemy
August 20, 2010

A new survey has found that 60% of Americans regard Israel as an ally, as against a mere 4% of Americans who regard it as an enemy and 31% who regard it as something in-between. The survey, conducted by Rasmussen Reports, also found that 34% of Americans believe that, in one year from now, the U.S.-Israel relationship will be in worse shape than it is at present, as against 10% who think it will be in better shape and 45% who believe it will be much the same condition as it is now (Toplines – Israel – August 9-10, 2010, National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters Conducted August 9-10, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports).


This decisive level of American majority support for Israel, in contrast to a very small minority of Americans who regard Israel as an enemy, is consistent with many previous surveys, both recent and distant:


·       July 2010 Rasmussen Report: 58% of Americans believe Israel is an ally of the United States, as against 5% who believe it to be an enemy. Only 15% of Americans expect the U.S.-Israeli relationship to be in better shape in one year from now than it is at present, as opposed to 31% who expect to be in worse shape by then and 44% who expect it to be about the same (Rasmussen Reports, Toplines – Relations with Israel – July 10-11, 2010).


·       April 2010 Quinnipiac University survey found that 44% of the American public disapprove of the Obama policy towards Israel and the Palestinians; two-thirds of people questioned in the survey say that President Obama should be a strong supporter of Israel but, by a 42% to 34% margin, voters say he is not (‘Senate Should Ratify Nuclear Disarmament Treaty, U.S. Voters Tell Quinnipiac University National Poll; Obama Not Strong Enough On Israel, Voters Say,’ Quinnipiac University survey, April 22, 2010).


·       February 2010 Israel Project survey found 56% of Americans say that U.S. should side with Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians, as opposed to 15% who believe the U.S. should side with the Palestinians against the Israelis, a margin of support for Israel of 8 to 1 (Israel Project Frequency Questionnaire, February 20-24, 2010).


·       February 2010 Gallup Annual World Affairs survey found that, for the first time since 1991, more than 6 in 10 Americans — 63% — say their sympathies in the Middle East situation lie more with the Israelis than with the Palestinians, as against 15% who favored the Palestinians and 23% who favored both sides (Lydia Saad, ‘Support for Israel in U.S. at 63%, Near Record High,’ Gallup, February 24, 2010).


·       December 2009 Israel Project survey found that 61% of Americans support the United States coming to the military defense of Israel if it strikes Iranian nuclear facilities and Iran retaliates; more than two-thirds of Americans – 68% – support the United States coming to Israel’s military defense if Iran uses Hamas and Hezbollah to strike Israel, and Israel then attacks Iran in response (Israel Project December National Survey, December 14-16, 2009).


·       September 2009 Israel Project poll showed 59% of Americans describing themselves either as a “strong supporter of Israel” or a “supporter of Israel,” as opposed to just 8% who describe themselves as supporting the Palestinians (Israel Project poll, Aug. 22-25, 2009, conducted by Neil Newhouse, a Republican, of Public Opinion Strategies, and Stanley Greenberg, a Democrat, of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, ‘U.S. poll shows strong Israel support,’ Jewish Telegraphic Agency, September 7, 2009).


·       June 2009 Rasmussen poll showed that 35% percent of Americans believe that Obama is not supportive enough of Israel, whereas only 10 percent believe that he is too supportive, while 48 percent think he has the balance right; 81% of Americans believe that Palestinian leaders should acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, as against 7% who think they should not; Only 27% of Americans believe it likely that Palestinian leaders will acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, as against 60% who regard it as unlikely (‘Toplines – Israel & Palestine – June 21-22, 2009,’ Rasmussen National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters Conducted June 21-22, 2009).


·       June 2009 Israel Project poll showed that 49% of American call themselves supporters of Israel, as against 7% of Americans who call themselves supporters of Palestinians; 44% of Americans believe that believe the U.S. should support Israel as against 5% of Americans who believe the U.S. should support the Palestinians and 32% who were undecided (‘Poll: American voters’ support of Israel drops,’ Jewish Telegraphic Agency, June 2009).


·       January 2009 Israel Project poll showed that 57% percent of Americans defined themselves as supporters of the Israelis, whereas only 8% described themselves as supporters of the Palestinians and a further 34% were undecided; 73% of Americans believe the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is about ideology and religion, compared to only 19% who believe that the conflict is about land; 90% of Americans believe it is important for Palestinians to stop teaching hatred of Israel (Israel Project poll, January 10-12, 2009, Etgar Lefkowits, ‘Americans still strongly support Israel,’ Jerusalem Post, February 5, 2009)


ZOA National Chairman of the Board Dr. Michael Goldblatt said, “This poll shows clearly that Israel maintains the support and sympathy of a solid majority of the American public, despite the barrage of anti-Israel propaganda evident in the media, the campaign of boycotts, the machinations of anti-Israel extremists on university campuses and the public pressure on Israel from the Obama Administration which has been generally consistent since it entered office.


“More broadly, this poll also shows, as the many others cited do, that Americans basically understand Israel is under assault and support it over the Palestinians. Some of these other polls also show that Americans find the Obama Administration’s policy to be insufficiently supportive of Israel. Unsurprisingly, therefore, this poll shows majority support for Israel as well as a majority belief that the U.S.-Israeli relationship will either be as fraught as it already is or even worse in a year from now.”

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