Monday, March 31, 2008

Israel Project releases poll findings

The Israel Project has released new poll findings after commissioning a poll that was done by Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. Some highlights:
80 percent agree that now is the time to toughen sanctions to compel Iran to stop developing nuclear weapons;
More Americans than ever believe the U.S. should take Israel's side in the conflict;
Fully 76 percent of U.S. likely voters consider Israel a vital ally of the U.S.;
Fully 89 percent believe Palestinian leaders must end the culture of hate that encourages children to become suicide bombers;
More highlights of the findings:
A new bi-partisan poll commissioned by The Israel Project (TIP) shows the percent of Americans who believe the U.S. should take Israel’s side in the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is at an all time high: 71 percent in contrast to 8 percent who believe the U.S. should side with the Palestinians.

"The militant actions by Hamas and disarray among the Palestinians have moved Americans to side with Israel even more strongly than in the past," concluded Stanley Greenberg, Ph.D., of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

Among U.S. likely voters, 60 percent support Israel, while support for the Palestinians has fallen to 8 percent. Majorities voting for McCain (85 percent), Obama (62 percent) and Clinton (58 percent) all support America standing with Israel in the conflict. Additionally, 76 percent of U.S. likely voters consider Israel a vital ally of the United States, and more than two-thirds think U.S. foreign aid to Israel is a good investment.

American support for a two-state solution in the Middle East is at an overwhelming 84 percent. Nearly three-quarters of Americans believe that the establishment of a Palestinian state would help improve the economic future of the Palestinian people, and two-thirds believe it will make Israel more secure as a nation. Only 46 percent think that establishing a Palestinian state will bring lasting peace, and 93 percent agree Palestinians must stop their missile attacks before a two-state solution can bring peace to the region.

Americans see the Israeli government as committed to peace in the Middle East. In contrast, significant majorities do not believe the same about the commitment levels of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. While 66 percent of Americans believe the Israeli government is committed to reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians, 61 percent believe the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, is not committed to reaching a peace agreement with Israel. Similarly, 70 percent believe that the Hamas-led Palestinian leadership in Gaza is not committed to reaching such an agreement.

According to 89 percent of Americans, Palestinian leaders must end the culture of hate that encourages children to become suicide bombers. In contrast, a strong majority of Americans believes Israel respects freedoms of religion, speech and press, as well as the rights of women and minorities.

Americans think the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is more about religion and ideology (69 percent) than land (24 percent). To reach a two-state solution, 70 percent agree Israel should be allowed to trade land with the Palestinians to avoid forcing tens of thousands of Jewish citizens to move from the West Bank. A plurality disagrees that Israel must give up its West Bank settlements and divide Jerusalem for there to be peace.

Fully 84 percent of Americans agree Israel should remain a Jewish state and a homeland for the Jewish people. Nearly two-thirds believe that Jerusalem should stay entirely under Israel’s control because Israel ensures that all the Christian, Muslim and Jewish holy sites remain open and safe for all faiths. Only 20 percent believe that Jerusalem should be divided.

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