The American people display a robust, long-term support of the Jewish State in spite of President Obama’s policy and in defiance of the NY Times and Washington Post (which contrast the Wall Street Journal’s attitude toward Israel).
According to an August 10, 2009 poll, conducted by the “Rasmussen Reports”
(http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/ally_enemy/americans_still_see_more_enemies_than_friends_in_middle_east), one of America’s most experienced and reliable pollsters, 70% of American voters view Israel as an ally (66% in a June 2, 2009 Rasmussen poll) and merely 8% consider Israel an enemy. In contrast, only 39%, 23% and 17% believe Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, respectively, are allies of the US. No more than 32% assume that Muslim countries are well-intent toward the US, a mere 21% assess that US ties with Muslim countries will be improved in 2010, while 25% assess that ties will deteriorate. Only 34% believe that the Palestinians will recognize Israel’s right to exist, while 74% do not believe that a lasting-peace between Israel and the Palestinians is possible during the next ten years.
A March 3, 2009 Gallup poll ranks Israel as the fourth preferred ally of the US, following Britain, Canada and Japan and ahead of Germany. That is consistent with a March 3, 2008 Gallup poll, ranking Israel fifth (71% support), following Germany, but ahead of India, France, South Korea, Mexico, etc. The Palestinian Authority (14%) joined North Korea (12%) and Iran (8%) as the least favored by the American electorate.
The aforementioned polls demonstrate that the pro-Arab, pro-Muslim pronouncements by President Obama and his top advisors, and the attempts to denounce Israel as an obstacle to peace, have not eroded the inherent support for Israel and the latent opposition-suspicion-skepticism toward Muslims, including Palestinians.
Israel has been perceived, by the American public, as a role-model of counter-terrorism, helping to prevent a repeat of 9/11, while Muslims are perceived as a role-model of anti-US terrorism, threatening a repeat of 9/11. The American taxpayer blames Muslims for the burdensome security constraints at airports, which have taxed the time, pocket and blood pressure of Americans. The Muslim image has, also, been undermined by daily media reports, from Iraq and Afghanistan, of the killing of American soldiers by Muslim terrorists. On the other hand, the daily US routine, since 9/11, has enhanced US empathy towards the daily Israeli routine – and with Israel’s mode of combating terrorism – since the 1948 establishment of the Jewish State. While Muslims have been identified – since the establishment of the US and its war against North African Muslim terrorism – with threat, belligerence, injustice, deceit and treachery, Jews and Israel have been identified with compassion, justice, truth, faith, reliability and defiance of threat.
The Jewish State has earned its unique support of the American constituent, and has demonstrated the capability to swiftly rebound from a low ebb in public opinion, despite its non-Anglo Saxon origin, notwithstanding its faraway Mideast location and in defiance of US policy makers and public opinion molders. This special attitude toward Israel is the result of Israel’s unique contribution to the US commercially, medically, agriculturally and militarily. However, the unique US-Israel relationship is primarily due to American empathy towards the concept of a Jewish State – since the 17th century – culturally, morally and ethically.
The US is the most religious western democracy (91% believe in God), which is based on Judeo-Christian values, does not recognize Muslim-Christian values and appreciates the role of Judaism in shaping the US morally, judicially, culturally, as well as politically. Forty-five percent of US Christians attend Sunday services and listen to Biblical sermons; almost every hotel room in the US displays the Bible; about 15 million copies of the Bible are sold annually in the US; the number of religious TV stations in the US has increased in thirty years from nine to 275; Moses’ statue is placed in front of the seat of the House Speaker on Capitol Hill and above the desk of the Supreme Court Justices; a monument of the Ten Commandments is displayed on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol; a similar monument will be shortly displayed on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol; and, the US House of Representatives starts its daily deliberations with a prayer.
Israel benefits from solid, long-term support by American voters, who are at the center of the US political system and who signal to Senators and House Members: “We shall remember in November!” At the same time, the representatives of the American people on Capitol Hill are attuned to their constituents, and therefore are aware of their endemic affinity toward the Jewish State. They would not join an attempt to impose on Israel a retreat from land and principles. Will the Jewish State leverage its significant American population base of support, in order to advance US and Israeli national security interests?