American support for Israel growing

Thursday, March 06, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

Americans increasingly hold a favorable view of the Jewish state, according to the results of a new Gallup poll published on Thursday.

The survey showed that 71 percent of Americans view Israel favorably, up eight percent from last year.

Analysis of the results revealed that Republicans are far more pro-Israel than Democrats, with 84 percent of Republicans saying they view Israel favorably compared to just 64 percent of Democrats.

Contrasting the overall favorable view of Israel, a mere 16 percent of Americans were approving of the Palestinian Authority. Even less liked was Iran, which was looked upon positively by just eight percent of respondents.

In related news, the US House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations on Tuesday placed a hold on the transfer of $150 in US economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority.

Committee chairwoman Rep. Nita Lowey said the freeze has been imposed until the State Department can guarantee that the funds will not find their way into terrorists' hands and will not be siphoned off to personal accounts by Palestinian officials.

Lowey said Congress was also displeased by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' decision last weekend to suspend contacts with Israel after the latter responded with severe military action to escalating Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza.

Lowey said Abbas' reaction to Israel's efforts to defend its citizens against Hamas terrorism "cast doubt on his willingness to take the steps necessary for peace with Israel."

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