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Jewish Journal

Poll: We Like Barak

by Matthew Dorf

July 15, 1999 | 8:00 pm

American Jews have a favorable view of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak by a 30-1 margin, according to a poll released this week by the Israel Policy Forum.

The survey also found overwhelming support for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, with 88 percent of respondents expressing support, while 11 percent said they oppose it.

Israel Policy Forum, a group that supports the peace process, released the poll on the eve of Barak's first visit to Washington since his election as prime minister.

Anticipating a battle on Capitol Hill if Israel and Syria reach a peace agreement, the group asked whether the United States should provide troops to a peace-keeping force if Israel returns the Golan Heights to Syria: Forty-six percent said yes, and 44 percent said no.

On domestic political issues, the poll revealed a politically active Jewish population. Some 35 percent of respondents said they gave a campaign contribution since 1996, and 37 percent said they had contacted a member of Congress during the last year. Some 75 percent identified themselves as Democrats, compared with 16 percent as Republicans.

President Clinton enjoyed a 69 percent favorable rating, some 16 percentage points higher than recent surveys of the general population.

Only 32 percent of those polled viewed GOP presidential candidate Texas Gov. George W. Bush favorably. Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic front-runner, scored a 73 percent favorable rating.

The telephone survey of 606 American Jews, conducted from June 27 to July 1, has a margin of error of plus- or minus-4 percent.

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