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Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The Israel Project Poll: 71% of Americans support US military support for Israel if it attacks Iranian nukes and Iran retaliates

Seventy-one percent of American voters support the U.S. coming to the
military defense of Israel if Israel were to strike Iranian nuclear
facilities to keep it from getting nuclear weapons and then Iran attacked
Israel in response.

New Poll: Americans Concerned about Egypt, Arab Spring
Jump in Support for Israel Coincides with Regional Upheaval

[For full results:

•American voters oppose unilateral Palestinian moves at the United Nations
•Nearly two-thirds say cut Egypt aid if they don’t keep peace; also respect
democracy, religious rights
•Poll finds increased support to strengthen or maintain U.S.-Israel

Washington, November 28 – A significant majority of Americans are concerned
about the rise of the Islamist government of Mohammed Morsi in Egypt, and
nearly two-thirds of U.S. voters favor cutting aid to Egypt if the country
abrogates its peace agreement with Israel, according to a recent poll
(Charts) conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research on behalf of The
Israel Project. Moves by Egypt to undermine democracy or not protect
religious freedom also are reasons to cut U.S. aid, with Democratic voters
seeing those moves as equally compelling as violations of the Camp David
accords, while GOP voters are slightly more concerned with Egypt’s keeping
peace with Israel.

The upheaval in the Middle East known as “The Arab Spring,” has coincided
with a significant jump in the percentage of American support for Israel,
which is up by eight points during the past year, to 68 percent.

“Given the turmoil in the Middle East, increased support among the American
public for deepening the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel is
both a natural reaction and good policy,” TIP CEO Josh Block said.
“Americans know that Israel is our greatest and only truly reliable ally in
the region, and that is more true today than ever.”

Americans overwhelmingly favor (69 percent) a two-state solution for “Israel
as a homeland of the Jewish people and Palestine as the homeland of the
Palestinian people,” and 57 percent oppose a U.N. resolution in favor of a
Palestinian state in the absence of a peace agreement between the parties,
with just 27 percent in favor of a unilateral declaration of independence.

“For more than 60 years, Israel has been extending its hand in peace to all
their neighbors, and the Israeli people overwhelming favor a negotiated
two-state solution. For those of us here in the U.S. who very much want
Israel’s dream of peace become a reality, the Palestinian unilateral effort
at the U.N. – which will not result in any gain for people in the West Bank
or Gaza, or a ‘state of any kind,’ since the UNGA doesn’t have that
authority – is a sad distraction, and the American public understands that,”
Block said.

The number of Americans expressing support for strengthening or maintaining
America’s relations with Israel also rose eight points, to 81 percent of
voters in November 2012 compared to 73 percent of registered voters in
November 2011, with nearly half of American voters now saying they want to
“strengthen” the U.S. relationship with Israel.

Increasing support for a close and growing U.S.-Israel alliance permeated
views on wider Middle East policy throughout the survey. Fifty-nine percent
of American voters say the United States should work more closely with
Israel in the Middle East, versus just 24 percent who say the U.S. should
work more closely with Arab states such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Fifty-five percent of American voters believe new governments like the one
in Egypt threaten U.S. security interests, while forty-one percent strongly
express that view. Just thirty percent believe the new governments do not
threaten U.S. security interests because “they are likely to be moderate and
become more pro-Western.”

Fifty-nine percent of American voters agree the U.S. should cut back its
foreign aid to Egypt if the U.S. thinks Egypt is not keeping its treaty
obligations to Israel, ignoring the argument that Egypt “has been a critical
ally.” A large majority (76 percent) agrees – and 56 percent strongly
agree – that the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt is vital to U.S.
interests in the Middle East.

Unfavorable feelings toward Iran continue to be strong. Just nine percent
hold a favorable view of Tehran, with 69 percent of American voters having
an unfavorable view. In fact, there is a ten percent increase over the past
year in support for the U.S. coming to the military defense of Israel
against an Iranian attack. Seventy-one percent of American voters support
the U.S. coming to the military defense of Israel if Israel were to strike
Iranian nuclear facilities to keep it from getting nuclear weapons and then
Iran attacked Israel in response. Furthermore, there is a very high
intensity, with 49 percent of American voters strongly supporting this. One
year ago, in November 2011, 61 percent of American registered voters
supported military defense, with 39 percent strongly supporting.

“Imagine a world in which Iran goes nuclear. Will their abysmal human rights
record improve? Will their effort to threaten and dominate their Arab
neighbors be less menacing? Will their threats to close the Strait of Hormuz
and disrupt the global economy be less dangerous? Will their terrorist
proxies, who already seek to attack right here in the United States, be more
restrained? As President Obama has said repeatedly, Iran’s nuclear pursuit
must be stopped, and the American people firmly believe that,” Block said.

American voters say the top reasons for the U.S. to be concerned about an
Iranian nuclear program include the Iranian government’s statements
regarding wiping Israel “off the map;” an acceleration of a nuclear arms
race in the Middle East; and that the Iranian government arms and funds
terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. The “nuclear arms race” fears
have merit. A separate poll conducted by TIP in Egypt this summer shows
Egyptians want their own nuclear weapons. Likely a result of Iran’s nuclear
ambitions, 87 percent of those surveyed agreed that Egypt, despite enormous
financial problems and eight billion U.S. dollars in debt, should put its
resources into developing nuclear weapons. Also revealing is Iran’s
increasing popularity in Egypt, with 65 percent of the respondents approving
of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi government’s decision to resume
diplomatic relations with Iran and 60 percent agreeing that re-establishing
a relationship with Iran will be good for Egypt. ( http://goo.gl/9KSQa )

The survey was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research on behalf of
The Israel Project. The respondents were interviewed via the telephone,
November 6-8, 2012, beginning on election night to assess where voters were
just after casting their ballots. The margin of error for the survey is

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