Friday, February 25, 2011

51% of Americans (2/3 of Republicans) favor continued foreign aid to Israel

(RasmussenReports).Egypt has long been the second largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, but despite its apparent turn toward democracy and similar ongoing moves in neighboring countries, most Americans want to end that aid to all Arab nations in the Middle East. Just over half favor continuing foreign aid to the number one recipient, Israel.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that only 20% of American Adults think the United States should continue providing foreign aid to Arab countries in the Middle East. Fifty-eight percent (58%) say that aid should come to an end. Twenty-one percent (21%) are not sure.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Americans, on the other hand, favor continued foreign aid to Israel. One-in-three adults (32%) oppose further aid for Israel, while another 17% are undecided about it.

Higher-income Americans are more supportive of aid to Israel than those who earn less. They also view aid to Arab nations in the Middle East more favorably, but a majority of those in virtually all demographic categories think aid to these countries should come to an end.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of Republicans believe America should end all foreign aid to Arab countries in the Middle East, a view shared by just a plurality (48%) of Democrats and 50% of adults not affiliated with either major party.

Similarly, 61% of Republicans support a continuation of foreign aid to Israel. But Democrats and unaffiliateds agree by a much narrower 46% to 34% margin.

The United States has often used foreign aid to encourage friendships in the Middle East, even though those countries lack democratically elected governments, but 60% of Americans agree it is more important for the United States to be allies with any country that best protects our own national security than it is to be allies only with countries that have freely elected governments.

Still, 76% of voters also feel it’s generally good for America when dictators in other countries are replaced with leaders selected in free and fair elections.