NEW YORK - Though over 40 percent of Americans view Israel as a threat to world peace, support for Israel's policies remains high among the American public, according to the results of a survey released yesterday by the Anti-Defamation League.
According to the survey, 43 percent of respondents cited Israel as a threat to world peace, while 37 percent responded similarly about their home country, the United States.
A large majority of respondents, 77 percent, said that North Korea is a threat to peace.
The survey shows, however, that proportionately fewer Americans regard Israel as a major threat to world peace compared to Europeans: In a European public opinion survey conducted two weeks ago, 59 precent said that Israel is the country which poses the most grave danger to world peace.
Meanwhile, sympathy levels for Israel remain high among Americans, the majority of whom support Israel's positions in its dispute with the Palestinians, according to the ADL survey.
Asked "which side in the dispute do you support," 40 percent of the respondents answered "Israel," while 15 percent answered "the Palestinians." Almost 60 percent of all respondents said the Israeli and U.S. policy of not negotiating with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat is justified.
As for who bears primary responsibility for the current violence, 39 percent blamed the Palestinians while 16 percent accused Israel.
About 70 percent of the respondents said that Israel is making a more serious effort to attain a peace agreement.
Forty-two percent of the respondents said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is interested in achieving a long-term peace arrangement, but 36 percent said that the premier's true goal is to "push the Palestinians toward a state that has as little territory as possible."
About 75 percent of respondents said that special relations between Israel and the United States are anchored in shared values relating to freedom and democracy. More than 60 percent of respondents said that the U.S. can rely on Israel as an ally.
Anti-Defamation League officials said yesterday the survey results prove that despite widespread anti-Israel propaganda in Europe, "the American people continue to display a just, supportive attitude toward Israel."
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