Americans Back Israel, Say U.S. Should Stay Out of Peace Talks

Rising Numbers Say Leave Negotiations to Parties

Rising Support: Two new polls say rising numbers of Americans support Israel. Perhaps a sign of peace fatigue, a growing number also opposes active U.S. involvement in talks.
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Rising Support: Two new polls say rising numbers of Americans support Israel. Perhaps a sign of peace fatigue, a growing number also opposes active U.S. involvement in talks.

By JTA

Published March 18, 2013.
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A new poll shows that most Americans support Israel, but do not want the U.S. to take the lead in an Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Fifty-five percent of Americans, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday, sympathize more with Israel than with the Palestinian Authority. Nine percent sympathize more with the P.A., 14 percent sympathize with neither side and 18 percent had no opinion on the question.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents, though, said the U.S. should leave peace talks to the Israelis and Palestinians, while 26 percent said the U.S. should lead the negotiations.

The 69 percent figure is 15 percentage points higher than when the poll last asked about the U.S. role in peace talks 11 years ago, during the second intifada.

Even numbers of Americans, according to the poll, believe the U.S. puts too much or too little pressure on Israel. The poll also showed that 34 percent of Americans think the U.S. puts too little pressure on the P.A., while eight percent said the U.S. pressures the P.A. too much.

More than seven in 10 Republicans support Israel over the P.A., while that number drops to 49 percent among Democrats. Only 11 percent of Democrats and 4 percent of Republicans sympathize more with the P.A. than with Israel.

Conducted by Langer Associates, the poll sampled 1,001 respondents and had a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

Meanwhile, another polls showed Americans’ sympathies lean heavily toward Israel over the Palestinians in the highest level of support seen in 22 years.

According to data gleaned from Gallup’s 2013 World Affairs poll, 64 percent of Americans support Israel over the Palestinians, with 12 percent backing the Palestinians over Israel. The last time Israel garnered as much support from Americans was in 1991 during the Gulf War.

Republicans are much likelier than Democrats to favor the Israelis, at 78 percent to 55 percent, with independents at 63 percent. But since 2001, independents have shown the greatest gain in support, up 21 percent. The support from Republicans has increased 18 percent during that time and Democrats’ backing has grown 4 percent.

Older Americans backed Israel in the greatest numbers, with 71 percent among those 55 and older showing sympathy. The figure fell to 65 percent among 35- to 54-year-olds and 55 percent among 18- to 34-year-olds.

Among young adults, the percentage of those answering no opinion or does not favor either side has increased.

Each age group polled 12 percent in favor of the Palestinians.

The poll was conducted Feb. 7-10, with a random sample of 1,015 adults aged 18 and older living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 points.


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