US Public Supports Continued Strong Ties HOW THE AMERICAN PUBLIC SEES ISRAEL. PUBLIC OPINION. One in an Occasional Series Examining Survey Results of Current Interest
John Benson. John Benson is senior opinion analyst at the Roper Center Connecticut. Reviews of opinion data are a regular feature of "The Public Opinion and Demographic Report, ". which the Center helps prepare .., The Christian Science Monitor
IN the weeks leading up to the announcement of a Middle East peace conference in Madrid, Americans signaled their continuing support for Israel, in spite of less than complete agreement with certain aspects of Israeli policy.
Ever since Gallup began to ask the question at the time of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, the American public has consistently expressed more sympathy for Israel than for the Arab nations or the Palestinian Arabs. In its latest asking (August), Gallup found 59 percent sympathizing with Israel, 21 percent with Palestinian Arabs.
When several years of data from the National Opinion Research Center's General Social Surveys are combined, we find that on a 10-point scale from -5 to 5, 45 percent held to a positive view (2 to 5) of Israel, while 31 percent were neutral (1 and -1) and only 24 percent responded negatively (-2 to -5). This generally positive impression was shared by a broad range of age, socioeconomic, educational, ideological, and religious groups. …