Almost 60 percent say U.S. should support Israel.
By six to one margin, Americans believe Israel is more committed to peace than Palestinians.
Majority believe imports into Gaza must be controlled.
WASHINGTON, Sept 13 – A new poll (PDF, PowerPoint) has found that support of Israel among Americans has jumped following the resumption of Middle East peace talks with a strong majority believing that the Israeli government is committed to making peace with the Palestinians and deserves unwavering backing from the United States.
The bipartisan poll of 800 likely voters conducted Sept 9-12 by Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research found that 58 percent thought the United States should support Israel, while 7 percent thought it should support the Palestinians. Six percent said neither and 16 percent did not know or declined to answer. In July 2010, only 51 percent said the United States should support Israel so this poll saw a 7 percent jump. The poll carried a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
A strong majority (58 percent) also thought Israeli Prime Minister was committed to making peace with the Palestinians. Only 40 percent thought the same of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
“Support for Israel among Americans remains strong and steady,” said pollster Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies.
Overall, Americans by a six to one margin believe Israel is more committed to reaching a peace agreement than the Palestinians. By almost two to one (63 percent to 34 percent) they thing the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is mostly about religion and ideology rather than a conflict mostly about land.
Sixty one percent also said Israel should continue to inspect and control commerce going in and out of the Gaza Strip to prevent supplies that might be used for military purposes. Only 30 percent thought Gaza, controlled by Iran-backed Hamas, should be fully open to commerce.