Poll Shows Majority of Americans Want U.S. to Continue Working with Israel, Egypt for Autonomy Talks

An overwhelming majority of Americans who study and discuss foreign policy is clearly in favor of the U.S. continuing to work closely with Egypt and Israel to make the Palestinian autonomy negotiations a success, according to the results of the Foreign Policy Association’s annual nationwide “Opinion Ballot” survey for 1981.

That option was endorsed by 64 percent of the respondents, compared to 15 percent who favored bypassing the Camp David process in favor of a new initiative and 17 percent who favored letting Israel and the Arabs work matters out for themselves.

With respect to U.S. policy in the Middle East generally, and its stance in the Persian Gulf in particular, the survey found opinion almost evenly divided.

A more direct role by the U.S. in maintaining the security of the Persian Gulf and an increase of U.S. military capability for that purpose was supported by 36 percent of the respondents; 28 percent would build up the military capabilities of friendly powers in the region; and 26 percent preferred to limit U.S. commitments to their present level, up from 15 percent a year ago.

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