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Most Americans side with Israel

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A solid majority of Americans sympathize more with Israelis than with Palestinians, a poll found.

The Gallup Poll published last week found that 59 percent of respondents placed their “sympathies more with the Israelis,” with 17 percent sympathizing more with the Palestinians.

The poll also found that Americans were split evenly on whether the Bush administration was doing enough to advance the peace process, with 46 percent agreeing that it is doing enough and 47 percent disagreeing.

That was not a significant change from a year ago, before the Bush administration launched the Annapolis process and Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. secretary of state, started making frequent visits to the region.

Such activity usually is reflected in polls. For instance, in June 2002, when President Bush launched his “road map” peace plan, 61 percent credited him with “doing enough.” It’s not clear why the administration’s current efforts are not registering.

Americans remain pessimistic about the prospects of peace. Only 39 percent believe Israel and its Arab neighbors at some time “will settle their differences and live in peace,” compared to 59 percent who do not.

The Feb. 11-14 poll of 1,007 Americans has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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