Thursday, February 17, 2011

TIP Poll: U.S. Support for Israel Rises to 55% during Period of Mideast Instability;

(The Israel Project).Fully fifty percent of voters personally support Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, up from forty-five percent in January. And, an even greater number (55 percent) believe the United States SHOULD support Israel. This rise in support for Israel comes amid continued unrest in Egypt and throughout the Arab world following Egyptian President Mubarak’s decision to step down. The rise in support is significant and suggests the importance American voters give to their alliance with Israel. 

Neil Newhouse, Republican partner of TIP’s bipartisan polling team, notes “This uptick in support for Israel in the U.S. comes at a critical time as voters are paying a little more attention to recent events in the Middle East.”

Thinking about the future of Egypt, a majority (56 percent) believe the country is more likely to end up like Turkey, with a Muslim majority, mostly democratic government and a U.S. ally, than it is to end up like Iran, an Islamic fundamentalist state. A similar number (53 percent) say that a future Egyptian government will maintain diplomatic ties with Israel and honor its peace agreement. However, voters are divided as to whether the new Egypt will secure the border with Gaza to prevent weapons smuggling (39 percent – WILL secure border/34 percent – NOT likely to secure border).

When asked their greatest concern about the instability crisis in the Middle East, voters cited “The United States will have to get even more involved in the Middle East,” and “It will cause American leaders to focus on foreign policy instead of problems at home” as the top two concerns.

Stanley Greenberg, Democratic partner of TIP’s bipartisan polling team, explains “U.S. public is optimistic about the popular forces and the prospective new, ‘democratic’ regime that may emerge. They think Egypt will continue to recognize Israel, though are uncertain whether they will address the on-going problem in Gaza.”

The national survey (Poll Questions, Presentation) of 1,000 likely 2012 voters reached by both landline and cell-phone was conducted February 7-9, 2011 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research on behalf of The Israel Project.