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Poll: U.S. Arabs, Jews agree on peace

Majorities of Arab and Jewish Americans want the U.S. government to press harder for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israel’s occupation of the West Bank to end. A poll commissioned jointly by Americans for Peace Now and the Arab American Institute found that 65 percent of American Jews and 89 percent of Arab Americans believe it is “important” for Israel to end its occupation.Asked about a “negotiated peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians that included the establishment of an independent, secure Palestinian state alongside an independent, secure Israeli state, and resolved final status issues of Jerusalem, refugees, and borders,” 87 percent of Jewish respondents registered support as did 94 percent of Arab-American respondents. The sides were in virtual agreement on President Bush’s handling of the conflict, with 80 percent of Jewish respondents and 77 percent of Arab Americans deeming it “not effective.”Perceptions do not match the reality, the poll found: Only 34 percent of Jewish respondents believed Arab Americans favored a secure Israel, while only 60 percent of Arab Americans believed Jews wanted a secure Palestinian state. The sponsors of the poll, carried out by Zogby International, said that underscored the need for education and working together, and to end “pandering” by politicians that exacerbates differences. “We need to challenge politicians to be responsible in how they approach us,” said AAI President James Zogby.APN President Debra DeLee said, “It’s incumbent upon us and others to get the message out.” The May 22-23 telephone poll reached 501 Jewish Americans and 501 Arab Americans. It had a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.