Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Public Opinion: More Americans Back Intervention

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Public Opinion: More Americans Back Intervention

Article excerpt

Public Opinion: More Americans Back Intervention

An April 28 poll by the Gallup organization conducted for Cable News Network and USA Today found 62 percent of respondents opposed to U.S. air strikes against Serbian targets and 30 percent in favor.

A poll designed by President Clinton's pollster, Stanley Greenburg, and sponsored by the Americans Talk Issues Foundation, shows rapid movement toward a more pro-interventionist stance, however. The results, reported in the May 11 Wall Street Journal, showed that in late February only 14 percent of Americans responded that the U.S. and the U.N. had not gone far enough to stop the killing in Bosnia. Asked the same question early in May, 45 percent of respondents said the response in Bosnia had not gone far enough. In the latter poll of more than 1,000 adults, only 8 percent said the U.S. and U.N. had gone too far.

Israelis Split Over Prime Minister

Asked who is best qualified to be their prime minister, Israeli respondents to a public opinion poll released by the Tel Aviv newspaper Yediot Ahronot on April 2 split their support evenly between Labor Party leader and incumbent Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Likud Party leader Benjamin Natanyahu, at 38 percent each. Another 24 percent felt neither was qualified, according to the Jerusalem Press Service of Washington, DC.

A more recent poll conducted by Israel's Smith Institute and announced in Ma'ariv showed a drop since the June 1992 elections of 6.5 percent in support for Israel's Labor Party and an increase of 4 percent in support for Likud. The poll, reported May 12 by the Jerusalem Press Service, indicates that, in an election held today, the left-wing Labor and Meretz parties would lose 5 to 6 seats to the right-wing Likud and Tsomet. Following is a complete breakdown of responses by Israelis to the question of how they would vote:

Likud 31 percent

Labor 30 percent

Tsomet 10.5 percent

Meretz 9 percent

Mifdal 4.5 percent

Yehudat Hatora 3.5 percent

Shas 3 percent

Moledet 2 percent

Russian parties 1 percent

Others 1 percent

Undecided 3.5 percent

Israelis for Death Penalty

Israeli respondents to the poll reported in the April 2 Yediot Ahronot supported the death penalty for Palestinian "terrorists" by 67 percent, with 32 percent of Israelis opposed to such a measure.

Israelis Against 1967 Borders

A Gallup Institute poll reported on May 6 by Ma'ariv found that 59.3 percent of Israelis oppose returning to Israel's 1967 borders, even when East Jerusalem is excluded, in exchange for a comprehensive peace settlement with the Arabs. Another 26.9 percent of Israeli respondents would support such a withdrawal, and 11.1 percent were undecided.

Israelis Would Trade Some Land

A January poll by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies found 60 percent of Israelis willing to return an unspecified amount of land for peace, up from 38 percent of Israelis who indicated willingness to trade some land for peace in 1986.

Israeli Resistance to Evacucation

Ma'ariv reported May 6 that 55 percent of Israelis support in varying degrees the use of force by Jewish settlers to resist evacuation from the West Bank. Of respondents, 17 percent said they would join settlers in "Judea and Samaria" in resisting evacuation, another 37. …

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