Most Americans view Israel as a partner, but few see it as sharing American values, AP-NORC poll shows
NEW YORK (AP) – As President Joe Biden prepares to meet with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu A new poll conducted this week in New York found that while Americans generally view Israel as a partner or ally, many question whether its far-right government shares American values.
Survey results from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research The meeting comes during a new period of tension between the Biden administration and Israel. These tensions are caused by Netanyahu Proposed judicial reform which has It sparked mass protests In major Israeli cities, the ongoing disagreements over how to deal with Iran and how to deal with the Palestinians, and comments by Netanyahu’s political allies that angered American officials.
Despite the disagreement, Biden, who has spoken out in veiled opposition to the legal plan, and Netanyahu are expected to forge a strong partnership in which the United States continues to support Israel’s security.
Biden will also emphasize that the United States continues to work to expand the Trump-era Abraham Accords, which normalized Israeli relations with several Arab countries, to include Saudi Arabia. However, there is little sign of an imminent breakthrough on this front.
Although the poll showed that Americans overwhelmingly view Israel more as a friend than an enemy, it also found that they are divided on whether Israel is a country with which the United States shares common interests and values.
The poll found that about 4 in 10 Americans described Israel as a partner with which the United States should cooperate, but they also said that Israel does not share American interests and values. Only about 3 in 10 said that Israel is an ally who shares US interests. Republicans (44%) are more likely than Democrats (25%) to describe Israel as an ally with shared values. About 2 in 10 Americans described Israel as either a competitor or adversary to the United States.
The United States provides Israel with more than $3 billion annually in military and other assistance, and the close relationship has persisted over decades despite infrequent disagreements over policy, most notably over Iran and the treatment of the Palestinians.
Overall, 61% of Americans disapprove of the way Biden is handling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with only 35% approving. This number was slightly lower than Biden’s overall approval rating.
Many Americans do not see the need for the United States to change its position in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. About 4 in 10 Americans, or 44%, said the United States provides the right amount of support for Israel in the conflict, while 27% said it supports Israel too much and 23% does not support it enough.
Almost the same percentage, 42%, say that the right amount of support is being provided to the Palestinians, while 30% say they want more support and 21% want less.
Among Republicans, 34% say they would like the United States to provide more support for Israel, but slightly more (40%) say the current level is sufficient. Only 11% of Democrats said that the United States needs to provide more aid to Israel. The poll found that about half of Democrats said the current amount is “about right,” while only about a third said the United States supports Israel too much.
In their meeting on Wednesday, Biden is expected to confirm the firm American commitment to Israel’s security in the turbulent Middle East. At the same time, his administration hopes to give Netanyahu one of his main demands — entry into the US Visa Waiver Program, which would allow Israelis to visit the United States on a temporary basis without a visa.
US law requires that Americans, including Americans of Palestinian descent, be treated the same in order to qualify for the program. Israel has taken several steps to ensure equal treatment for all Americans entering Israel, but it only has the end of September to prove that the standards are met. Otherwise, Israel must re-qualify for the program during the next budget year, which begins on October 1.
Regarding the Palestinian conflict, about two-thirds of Americans are neutral, according to the AP-NORC poll — 37% said they sympathized neither with Israel nor the Palestinians, while 29% said they sympathized with both equally.
A similar percentage (58%) said that they neither support nor oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state, while 22% support it and 15% oppose it.
The poll of 1,165 adults was conducted August 10-14 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.
This article originally appeared on apnews.com