Thursday, April 30, 2009

Palestine: Most Americans opposed to settlements in the Palestinian territories

A new poll finds that three-quarters of Americans think that Israel should not build settlements in the Palestinian territories. This is up 23 points from when this question was last asked in 2002.

One third of Americans show more sympathy for Israel than the Palestinians, substantially more than the 12 percent who express more sympathy for the Palestinians.

However the largest number -- 51 percent -- expresses equal levels of sympathy for each side. The percentage expressing equal levels of sympathy is up 10 points from 2002.

Even those respondents who sympathize more with Israel feel that it should not be building settlements in the West Bank by a clear majority (64%), as do those who sympathize equally with Israel and the Palestinians (80%), and those who sympathize more with the Palestinians (96%).

"Americans are showing increasing impatience with Israel for building settlements," comments Steven Kull, director of "Even the third of Americans who sympathize with Israel more than the Palestinians oppose the settlements."

Opposition to settlements is found among majorities of Republicans (65%), Democrats (83%) and independents (74%). However, more Republicans show more sympathy for Israel (50%) than sympathize with both equally (41%), while Democrats overwhelmingly express equal levels of sympathy (55%) as do independents (64%).

The poll of 1,004 respondents was fielded March 25 to April 6, 2009 by Knowledge Networks. The margin of error is plus or minus 3-4.5 percent.

A modest majority -- 53 percent -- say that the U.S. should make it a high priority (45%) or one of the highest priorities (8%) "to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians." This is down 16 points from 2003.

The poll was fielded by Knowledge Networks using its nationwide panel, which is randomly selected from the entire adult population and subsequently provided Internet access. is a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland.

Source: Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland

Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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