ADL Poll: American Support for Israel Remains Solid; Increase in Support for Action to Prevent Iran From Going Nuclear

Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:15am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

ADL Poll: American Support for Israel Remains Solid; Increase in Support for
Action to Prevent Iran From Going Nuclear

The American people's strong support for Israel remains constant and their
support for action to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power has
substantially increased, according to a new nationwide survey released by the
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today.

The survey's findings demonstrate that Americans recognize Israel as a strong
and loyal U.S. ally, are skeptical about "peace dividends" that would be
realized by Israel stopping all settlement construction 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 2009 Survey of American Attitudes on Israel, The Palestinians and
Prospects for Peace in the Middle East, a national telephone survey of 1,200
American adults, was conducted September 26-October 4, 2009 by Marttila
Communications of Washington, D.C. and Boston. The margin of error is +/-
2.8%.

"This latest survey of the American people, coming at a time of a full range
of challenging issues facing Israel and the region demonstrates anew the
breadth and depth of American public support for Israel from a variety of
perspectives," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "Americans see
Israel as a loyal ally to the U.S., as being very serious about wanting to
achieve peace with the Palestinians and as deserving the sympathy of the
American people in the conflict with the Palestinians."

Mr. Foxman also noted a changing dynamic regarding Iran and the nuclear issue.
"The significant increase in Americans viewing Iran as a threat and
supporting, if nothing else works, U.S. or Israeli military options against
Iran, reflect a new and needed sense of urgency about the issue in light of
Iran's oppressive policies and the discovery of a secret Iranian nuclear
plant," he said.  "This is the first time a majority of Americans -- 54% --
support such an option for the U.S."

       The full poll is available online at
http://www.adl.org/Israel/poll_israel2009/default.asp

Key findings on Israel and the Palestinians

    --  67%, the highest figure in recent years, see Israel as a country to be
        counted on as a strong, loyal U.S. ally.
    --  By a 3-1 ratio, the American people express more sympathy with Israel
        than with the Palestinians.
    --  64% of Americans continue to believe that Israel is serious about
        reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
    --  Americans see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as difficult to
resolve. 
        Of the 26% who believe the prospects for peace have worsened, 51%
blame
        the Palestinians.
    --  There is increased support for U.S. involvement in the process --39%,
up
        from 30% in 2007, but still a significant plurality - 48% -- believe
        that the sides must solve their own problems with minimal US
        involvement.
    --  Americans are skeptical about "peace dividends" that would result from
a
        freeze on settlements. 53% believe leaders of the Arab world will
        continue to refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist, even if
Israel
        stops all further construction settlements; only 25% believe the
        Palestinians would be prepared to achieve a final resolution of the
        conflict if Israel stopped further construction of settlements.
    --  61% of Americans believe that the differences between Israelis and
        Palestinians will drag on for years.  Only 29% believe that the two
        sides "will never have a better opportunity to reach a peace agreement
        than they do at the present moment."
    --  While Americans support the creation of a Palestinian state, 56%
believe
        it must not be established until the Palestinians end the violence and
        accept Israel's legitimacy.

    --  A majority place the onus for peace on Palestinians because of the
        division between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, and the Arabs,
        because of their refusal to accept Israel's right to exist as the
major
        obstacle to peace other than Israeli settlements.  51% believe
        Palestinian division stands in the way of peace.


Key Findings on Iran

    --  63% of Americans now see Iran as an immediate or short-term security
        threat to the Middle East, up from 50% in 2007.
    --  83%  believe that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, up from 71%  in
        2007
    --  57% support Israeli military action to keep Iran from developing a
        nuclear weapons program, up from 42% in 2007

    --  54% support U.S. military action to keep Iran from developing a
nuclear
        weapons program, up from 47% in 2007.


Methodology

       Marttila Communications, a Washington, DC/Boston-based public opinion
research firm, which has conducted ADL's previous surveys, conducted this
national telephone survey of 1,747 adults. The base sample is 1,200 plus an
oversample of 256 African Americans, and 250 Hispanics, bringing the
oversample for both communities to 400 each.

For those questions answered by all 1,200 respondents, the survey results have
a margin of error of +/- 2.8%. For many questions, the survey used the
technique of "split sampling," a process in which the 1,200 person sample was
split into two demographically representative samples of 600 respondents each.
For those questions that were answered by 600 respondents, the survey has a
margin of error of +/- 4 %.

The purpose of 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.





/PRNewswire--USNewswire -- Oct. 26/

SOURCE  Anti-Defamation League

Myrna Shinbaum, +1-212-885-7747, Todd Gutnick, +1-212-885-7755,
adlmedia@adl.org
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