The convulsions of the Arab Spring may be driving the American public’s support for Israel to new highs, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Washington-based group The Israel Project.
Americans who say the United States should support the Jewish state in the conflict with the Palestinians increased from 60 percent a year ago to 68% today, a survey of voters taken November 6-8 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner has found.
Those who said they supported the Palestinians dropped from 8% to 7% in that time.
The survey polled 793 respondents and the margin of error is 3.5%.
“Given the turmoil in the Middle East, increased support among the American public for deepening the special relationship between the US and Israel is both a natural reaction and good policy,” said Israel Project CEO Josh Block. “Americans know that Israel is our greatest and only truly reliable ally in the region, and that is more true today than ever,” he added.
That analysis is supported by the finding that 81% of Americans want to maintain or bolster US relations with Israel, while only 13% want the US to distance itself from Israel. (A consistent 2% want the US to “end its relationship with Israel.”)
That’s a significant bump in support for the relationship from one year earlier, when support for maintaining or strengthening the relationship was at 73%, and for distancing at 23%.
Similarly, 59% said the US should work more closely with Israel, compared to just 24% who said it should work more closely with traditional Arab allies, like Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The poll measured the “warm” feelings of respondents toward each side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Feelings for Israel, it found, remained identical compared to a year ago, with 60% saying they had “warm” feelings while those saying they had similar feelings for Palestinians dropped precipitously, from 26% a year ago to 16% today.
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