NEW YORK (Feb. 24)
The American public continues to support Israel more than the Arab nations, according to a new Gallop poll which was released here today by the American Jewish Committee which commissioned the study.
The poll was conducted by the Gallop organization between January 21 and January 30, with a nationally representative sample of 1,515 adults aged 18 and older. Those who were polled were asked: “In the Mideast situation, are your sympathies more with Israel or more with the Arab nations?”
The findings showed that the sympathies of the American public toward Israel had returned to the pre-Lebanon crisis proportions: in favor of Israel, 49 percent; in favor of the Arab nations, 12 percent 22 percent said they favored neither Israel nor the Arabs, while 17 percent said they did not know nor have the answer to the question.
The poll also revealed that persons in higher income brackets and formal education are more likely to express sympathy for Israel. The support for Israel among college educated persons was 56 percent, while support for Israel among those with less than high school education was only 42 percent. The findings also showed that people in the western part of the country sympathize more with Israel (57 percent) than those who live in the east (46 percent).
The support for Israel among religious groups in the U.S. was highest among Jews (94 percent) who indicated zero support for the Arab nations; Protestants, 52 percent for Israel and 10 percent for the Arabs; and Catholics; 43 percent for Israel and 16 percent for the Arabs.
Persons in the 25-34 age bracket showed the highest support for Israel, compared with other age groups, with 55 percent in favor of Israel and II percent in support of the Arabs.
SHARP DECLINE IN SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL REVERSED
The findings of the poll clearly indicate that Israel has recovered from the sharp decline it suffered in American public support as a result of the war in Lebanon and the massacre in two Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut last September. Various polls released in September showed that only 32 percent of the American public supported Israel, compared to 49 percent in July, 1981
Dr. Donald Feldstein, the AJC’s executive vice president, stressed in today’s press conference the natural bond between Americans and Israelis. “Americans, like Israelis have a variety of opinion’s on nuances like autonomy and self-government,” he stated. “But one overwhelming truth is still clear to them; Israel, in the Mideast conflict, is prepared to make peace and live in peace, and the Arab states, except Egypt, are not yet prepared to do so.”