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Israelis see U.S. as strong ally

Nearly two-thirds of Israelis have a positive perception of the United States, according to a poll on the strength of U.S.-Israel ties.In the survey of Israelis released Thursday, conducted by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and the Anti-Defamation League, 64 percent of Israelis had a positive attitude toward the United States, with only 8 percent displaying negative views. Sixty-five percent saw the United States as a loyal ally of Israel, while 11 percent did not. Fully 80 percent believed the United States would come to Israel’s assistance if its existence were threatened. “Israelis view the U.S. as their closest and most important ally,” said Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director. “The two countries share a truly remarkable, unique alliance.”Fifty-nine percent of Israelis said the United States was correct in going to war in Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein; 36 percent disagreed.The poll, which surveyed 505 Israelis, was carried out as part of a BESA-ADL international conference on “U.S.-Israel Relations in a New Era” to take place May 20-21 at the BESA Center. It had a margin of error of 4.7 percent.