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Half of All Americans Register Support for Israel; No American Backs Arabs

June 12, 1967
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The first poll of American public opinion since the start of the third Arab-Israel war on June 5 indicated today that about half of all Americans registered substantial sympathy and support for Israel. Almost no Americans expressed sympathy for the Arabs and about half of all Americans reported they did not have strong feelings on either side of the conflict.

The Harris Poll survey, conducted soon after the fighting started showed that suspicion about the aggressive intentions of the Arab countries was high among those reporting strong feelings on the conflict. By a 12 to 1 ratio, such respondents agreed with the statement that the Arab countries “have wanted to attack Israel for a long time.”

Suspicions about Israeli intentions were correspondingly low. The respondents by a three to one ratio rejected Arab charges that Israel wanted to start the fighting. The American public was shown to believe by about two to one that the Soviets encouraged the start of the war as a way to divert attention from the United States effort in Vietnam.

Most Americans endorsed the United States effort to bring a halt to the fighting through the United Nations, but doubts about the effectiveness of the U.N. in the Middle East crisis outweighed confidence in the U.N. by a two to one margin.

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