RAMAT GAN, Israel, June 15, 2012 … The Israeli public has a strongly positive attitude toward the United States and continues to perceive the U.S. as a loyal ally of Israel, according to a new poll of Israeli public opinion issued today. The poll found nearly 70 percent of Israelis have a positive attitude toward the U.S. and just as many believe that it is and will remain a loyal and unwavering ally of Israel.
The comprehensive poll of Israeli public opinion was released today by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies ("BESA Center"), the Bar-Ilan University Center for International Communication ("CIC"), and the Anti-Defamation League ("ADL") and queried Israeli citizens about a number of issues affecting U.S.-Israel and Israel-Diaspora relations. The poll is a follow-up to the 2007 and 2009 BESA Center-ADL surveys on these issues.
Among the key poll findings:
The survey of Israeli opinion was prepared for the international conference on "American-Israeli Relations," June 17-18, 2012 at the BESA Center. It was conducted by the Maagar Mochot polling agency between May 28 and June 1, 2012. 540 adult Jewish Israelis were surveyed. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 4.5 percent.
"The bedrock of the U.S.-Israel relationship is found in the people of Israel and the people of the United States. Poll after poll shows broad support for Israel among Americans and that Israelis just as broadly support America," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "That mutual reinforcement, based on shared values and interests, explains the historic and lasting alliance between the two countries. This latest poll is another affirmation of the strong ties that bind our two countries and the good will felt by many Israelis when asked about their nation's unshakable alliance with America."
Prof. Eytan Gilboa of the BESA Center and director of the Bar-Ilan University Center for International Communication, who directed the new poll (along with Dr. Yael Bloch-Elkon), said that "the survey indicates that despite occasional tensions between leaders, the Israeli public remains one of the most pro-American communities in the world. Overwhelming majorities, that have only grown since our first poll in 2007, view the U.S. and Israel as having similar strategic interests in the Middle East, see the U.S. as Israel's loyal ally, and as a friend that will come to Israel's aid in times of trouble. At the same time, Israelis are clearly concerned about President Obama's Middle East policies with regards to Israel-Palestinian affairs, the Arab uprisings, and Iran."
Professor Efraim Inbar, director of the BESA Center, adds that "This poll shows Israelis to be apprehensive about some of the policies of the current U.S. administration, while continually optimistic about America and the American people's friendship for Israel into the future."
The poll serves as background to a broad-ranging international conference on "American-Israeli Relations" that the three organizations will jointly convene this coming Sunday-Monday, June 17-18, 2012 at Bar-Ilan University's Feldman Conference Center. The conference is open to the media and public.
On Sunday June 17 at 6:00 pm, Lt. Gen. (res.) Moshe Yaalon, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs will give the opening keynote address to the conference. On Monday June 18 at 4:15 pm, Prof. Eytan Gilboa of the BESA Center (who co-directed the poll) will present and analyze the full results of the survey. Immediately afterwards, former Israel National Security Advisor Prof. Uzi Arad will close the conference with a discussion of the strategic ties between the two countries.
Other conference speakers include former US National Security Council Mideast Chief Elliott Abrams, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Mr. David Makovsky, CNN senior political analyst Prof. Bill Schneider, Leslie Mirchin of AIPAC, Prof. Paul Wachtel of NYU, and professors Hillel Frisch and Jonathan Rynhold of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.
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