Final preparations for Obama visit
Majority of Americans: There will never be peace in Middle East
Obama set to land in J'lem for first visit as president – so how do Americans feel about Israel? CNN poll reveals that while nearly 50% believe Israel is an ally, 66% think peace between Israel and Arab nations is nothing more than a pipe dream
US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will try to use the Presidential visit to show the strong ties between the countries and end negotiation deadlock but according to a new poll, their efforts may be wasted.
Results of a poll carried out by CNN on Wednesday revealed that while nearly half of the American public believes that Israel is the US' true ally, a majority of Americans think peace is not on the horizon. Poll respondents were divided over whether Washington should support Israel were it to carry out a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
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According to the CNN poll, 46% of respondents consider Israel an ally of the United States. Some 33% consider Israel friendly but not an ally and 8% said Israel was unfriendly towards the US, while just 6% believe Israel is an enemy of the US.
"There is a large partisan divide in the US over Israel," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
"Sixty-three percent of Republicans call Israel an ally of the US, compared to only 33 percent of Democrats. A plurality of Democrats think that Israel is friendly to the US; only one in five think it is unfriendly or an enemy."
The poll also showed that two thirds of the American public is pessimistic over the possibility of permanent peace in the Middle East. Some 66% believe that Israel and the Arab nations will never be able to settle their differences and live in peace. In contrast, 32% are more optimistic and believe it is possible.
"One possible reason for that pessimism is the constant speculation that Israel may take matters in its own hands and attack Iranian nuclear facilities to prevent that country from developing nuclear weapons," Holland noted.
As for the US stance in such a situation, Americans are divided. If Israel were to attack Iran to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, 49% believe the US should support Israel's military action, while 49% think the US should not get involved.
The poll included 1,021 adult Americans and was conducted last weekend.
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