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Support for Israel Appears Lessening

A Washington Post-ABC News poll, conducted in three stages, indicated a small, but steady increase in the number of respondents who supported the statement that “the United States should reduce its ties to Israel in order to lessen the acts of terrorism against us in the Middle East.”

In interviews with 508 people on Monday, June 17, 31 percent agreed and 53 percent disagreed with that statement. A poll of another 508 people two days later, on June 19, showed 33 percent agreeing and 53 percent disagreeing. Then in additional interviews with 555 people last Thursday through Saturday, 42 percent said they agreed and 41 percent disagreed.

The question was tied in with the hostage crisis unfolding in Beirut. Because the poll stopped Saturday night, it does not show the effect of Israel’s decision to release a first group of 31 Lebanese Moslem prisoners, announced Saturday, or effects of other events of the last three days, the Post acknowledged.

The Post noted in an article on the survey results that the results of the poll last Saturday — 42 percent favoring the statement — produced nearly the same results as a poll taken after the massacre of Palestinians in Beirut refugee camps in September, 1982. At the time, 42 percent in a national poll said that because of the massacres, the United States ties with Israel should be reduced; 47 percent disagreed.

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