Poll: Americans' Support For Israel Remains Consistently Strong
New York, NY, November 19, 2007 … Americans continue to strongly support Israel, according to a nationwide survey released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today. The survey's findings demonstrate that the American people recognize that Israel is a crucial U.S. ally in the war on terror and believe that a Palestinian state must not be established until the Palestinians demonstrate a commitment to end violence and accept Israel's legitimacy.
The 2007 Survey of American Attitudes Towards Israel, The Palestinians and Prospects for Peace in the Middle East, a national telephone survey of 2,000 American adults, was conducted October 6 through October 19, 2007.
Sixty-five percent (65%) of Americans agree that Israel can be counted on as a strong, reliable U.S. ally [view graph], and 65% believe that Israel is serious about reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians [view graph]. When asked with whom their sympathies lie, 45% said Israel; 16% said the Palestinians, compared to 42%-13% in 2005 and 40-15% in 2003. [view graph]
Israel is held in high regard by the American people. A majority -- 58% -- view Israel favorably, just behind Great Britain (75%) and Japan (69%). [view graph]
Of those surveyed, 52% indicated that stopping terror was a prerequisite for the establishment of a Palestinian state [view graph]
At the same time there is concern about the direction in which the Palestinians are heading. Among those who believe conditions for peace have worsened, a strong plurality, 47%-23%, blame the Palestinians, not Israel, as mainly responsible [view graph]. By 47%-25%, respondents attributed difficulties of the Palestinian people primarily to their leadership's failure to seize opportunities for peace rather than Israel's actions [view graph].
While 65% believe that the U.S. is more likely to be targeted for terrorist attacks because of our support for Israel, a strong majority of 57%-34% indicated that America should continue to support Israel even if it means a greater risk of a terrorist attack against America. [view graph]
"These findings are reassuring, not only because of continuing strong support for Israel, but because Americans understand that without a major Palestinian effort to deal with terrorism, there can be no viable Palestinian state," said Abraham Foxman, ADL National Director. "At a moment when the parties are preparing for a meeting in Annapolis, Maryland, this message on how to reach peace is important and should be heeded."
On the subject of Iran, the survey found Americans were clearly concerned about the threats emerging from that country, but less certain about what to do about them. Seventy-one percent (71%) believe that Iran is developing nuclear weapons [view graph] and 80% believe Iran is a threat to the Middle East, either now or in the future [view graph]. As to the possibility of either the U.S. or Israel taking military action to stop Iran from going nuclear, there were mixed views. By a margin of 47%-39%, Americans support Israel taking military action to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon; a narrow plurality, 46%-42%, oppose U.S. military action [view graph].
The complexity of American opinion is revealed in response to a question about U.S. relations with moderate Arab countries. Of those polled, 42% indicated that the U.S. should work with countries like Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, even at the expense of Israel, while 35% said that we should keep our relationship with Israel strong, even at the cost of weakening relations with the Arab world [view graph]. On the other hand by a margin of seven to one, Americans believe the moderate Arab countries should do more to bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [view graph].
The survey was conducted by The Marttila Communications Group, a Boston-based public opinion research firm, which has conducted ADL's previous surveys on anti-Semitism, using similar questions and criteria to measure and monitor levels of anti-Semitism in the U.S.
For those questions answered by all 2,000 respondents, the survey has a margin of error of error of +/- 2.19 percent.
For many questions, the survey used the technique of "split sampling," a process in which the 2,000-person sample was split into two demographically representative national samples of 1,000 respondents each. The margin of error for questions answered by 1,000 respondents is +/- 3.09 percent. For a limited number of questions, the 1,000 person samples were also split into two representative samples of 500 respondents each. The margin of error for these questions is +/- 4.38 percent.
The purpose for split sampling in the survey was to maximize the number of questions that could be asked, to test different hypotheses about an issue and to test the impact of different question wording.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.