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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The American people are much smarter than you think

US chief negotiator bottle washer Martin Indyk may be blaming Israel for the collapse of the 'peace talks,' but the overwhelming majority of the American people don't buy it.
Over twice as many Americans agree with Israel’s claim that they are not primarily to blame for the failure of the Middle East peace process than those who agree with the Palestinian claim that moving toward a unity government with Hamas is a step toward peace, according to a new poll by The Israel Project.  
The poll was conducted May 2-4, 2014, among a national sample of 1595 likely voters in the 2014 midterm election. The interviews were conducted online by Survey Sampling International.
The poll focused Palestinian announcement of progress toward a unity government with Hamas, which came just as the nine month American-mediated negotiations neared an end late last month.
46 percent of respondents agreed with the statement: “Israel says that it cannot be expected to negotiate with a government or party that does not recognize its right to exist and seeks to destroy it.”
In contrast, only 18 percent of respondents agreed with the statement: “The Palestinians say that a unity government of all Palestinians is the first step to lasting peace.”
Seniors and Republicans were the strongest supporters of the Israeli position. When the question of who is to blame for the breakdown of the talks was posed, 48 percent of respondents agreed with the Israeli explanation while 20 percent agreed with the Palestinian position.
"Americans simply don't buy efforts being made by some to blame the impasse on Israel,” said Block. “It doesn't matter how old they are, or what party they belong to, voters understand that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas turned his back on peace when he abandoned negotiations, turned to the international community to attack Israel, and announced a unity agreement with the Iran-backed terror group Hamas in the middle of Secretary Kerry's effort to keep talks going.”
Overall, 49 percent of Americans responding to the poll had a generally favorable view of Israel while 27 percent had an unfavorable view. In contrast, only 5 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Hamas while 57 percent had an unfavorable view. Only Syria (68%), Iraq (70%), and Iran (73%) had higher levels of unfavorability according to the poll.
 Even Obama and Kerry can't fool all of the people all of the time. Israel can sleep easier at night.

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