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Israel has American’s Sympathy, But At An Arms Length

by Pini Herman

November 21, 2012 | 8:43 am

A Rasmussen Survey released yesterday

Voters tend to blame the Palestinians for the escalating violence in Gaza but also are slightly more are inclined to think the United States should stay out of the situation rather than help Israel. 47% said that  U.S. should stay out of an escalating Gaza situation. (The question wording: "Should the United States help defend Israel, help defend the Palestinians, or stay out of the Middle East conflict entirely?")

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds 50% of Likely U.S. Voters feel the Palestinians are more to blame for the escalating military conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Just 12% think the Israelis are more to blame, but a sizable 38% are not sure. Just 12% think the Israelis are more to blame, but a sizable 38% are not sure. 

The support of the majority of Americans for Israel was confirmed in a CNN/ORC poll conducted on Nov. 18, Tom Kludt of LiveWire writes:

Americans are predominantly supportive of the Israeli cause in the nearly week-long conflict that's engulfed the Gaza Strip, according to a poll from CNN and ORC International released on Monday.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans believe that Israel has been justified in its ongoing military strikes in Gaza, while only one in four believe the attacks have been unjustified. Moreover, "nearly six in ten say their sympathies are with the Israelis," compared with a mere 13 percent who back the Palestinians in the conflict. Eleven percent said they support neither side.

But despite the robust support for Israel, CNN notes that the poll still found division in attitudes along ideological, generational and gender-based lines:

"Although most Americans think the Israeli actions are justified, there are key segments of the public who don't necessarily feel that way," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Only four in ten Democrats think the Israeli actions in Gaza are justified, compared to 74% of Republicans and 59% of independents. Support for Israel's military action is 13 points higher among men than among women, and 15 points higher among older Americans than among younger Americans."

Pini Herman, PhD. has served as Asst. Research Professor at the University of Southern California Dept. of Geography,  Adjunct Lecturer at the USC School of Social Work,  Research Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles following Bruce Phillips, PhD. in that position (and author of the “most recent” 15 year old study of the LA Jewish population which was the third most downloaded study from Berman Jewish Policy Archive in 2011) and is a past President of the Movable Minyan a lay-lead independent congregation in the 3rd Street area. Currently he is a principal of Phillips and Herman Demographic Research. To email Pini: pini00003@gmail.com To follow Pini on Twitter:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Bruce Phillips is Professor of Sociology and Jewish Communal Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles. He has conducted Jewish population...

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