49% Say Israel Should Stop Building Settlements As Part of Peace Deal

Rasmussen Reports – 17 March 2010
www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/israel_the_middle_east/49_say_israel_should_stop_building_settlements_as_part_of_peace_deal

Israel’s insistence on building new settlements in disputed Palestinian territory has heightened tensions with the United States. Forty-nine percent (49%) of U.S. voters think Israel should be required to stop those settlements as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 22% of voters disagree and believe Israel should not be required to stop building those settlements. Another 29% are not sure.

Seventy-five percent (75%) agree, however, that the Palestinians should be required to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as part of a peace deal, although that’s down six points from last June. Only six percent (6%) disagree with that. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided.

But 73% also think it is unlikely that there will be lasting peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis in the next decade, consistent with findings in previous surveys. This includes 19% who say it is not at all likely.

Fourteen percent (14%) say a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians is at least somewhat likely, with just two percent (2%) who believe it’s very likely.

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When President Obama challenged Israel’s settlement policy last June, 48% of voters said the president’s Middle Eastern policy was about right, but 35% say he was not supportive enough of Israel.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of voters now say Israel is an ally of the United States, while two percent (2%) view the Jewish state as an enemy. For 32%, the country is somewhere in between the two.

In a separate survey in August of last year, 70% of Americans rated Israel as a U.S. ally.

In September, 59% said America should provide military assistance to Israel if it is attacked. It’s one of only five countries that most Americans feel that way about.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of male voters say Israel should be required to stop new settlements in the disputed territory as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians, but just 42% of female voters agree.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Democrats and a plurality (48%) of voters not affiliated with either party favor an end to the Israeli settlements as part of a deal. Republicans are almost evenly divided on the question.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of GOP voters and 61% of unaffiliateds view Israel as a U.S. ally, a view shared by just 46% of Democrats. Forty-three percent (43%) of Democratic voters see Israel as somewhere between an ally and an enemy.

Israel’s announcement of new settlements last week while Vice President Joe Biden was visiting caused the latest flare-up between the two longtime allies. Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters say they have followed news stories about Biden’s trip to Israel at least somewhat closely. Forty-three percent (43%) didn’t follow that news closely, if at all.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.

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