July 25, 2006

Is U.S. Middle East Policy Fair?

47%

That’s the number of Americans surveyed by The Pew Global Attitudes project in May 2003 who said they regarded U.S. policies in the Middle East as fair. In the poll, which covered 21 countries, pluralities or majorities in every other country — including Israel — believed that the United States favors Israel over the Palestinians too much. Nearly half (47%) of Israelis said that U.S. policy favors Israel too much.

In a May 2003 Pew Global Attitude survey of 21 countries, 47% of Americans said they regard U.S. policies in the Middle East as fair. (A year later in July 2004, the last time the question was asked in a Pew poll, only 35% of Americans called U.S. Mideast policy fair, but more recent surveys have shown continuing support for Israel among the U.S. public on other questions involving the Middle East.) In every other country surveyed in the 2003 poll, with the sole exception of the U.S., majorities or pluralities believed the United States favors Israel over the Palestinians too much. This opinion was shared in Israel; 47% of Israelis said that the U.S. favors Israel too much, while 38% said the policy is fair and 11% said the U.S. favors the Palestinians too much. But Israel was the only country, aside from the U.S., in which a majority said that U.S. policies lead to more stability in the region. Most Muslim populations saw U.S. policies bringing less stability to the Middle East, while people elsewhere were divided in their evaluations of the impact of U.S. policies. Read More