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Half of the Jews in the United States support direct American negotiations with Iran without preconditions, according to a new Anti-Defamation League survey of a representative sample of 1,200 American Jews. The poll results, released yesterday, show that 45 percent of Jews in the U.S. think the American administration should engage Iran in negotiations only if Iran suspends its enrichment of uranium.

Fifty-five percent of respondents support a U.S. military assault on Iran if negotiations and sanctions don't result in a halt to the country's nuclear program, while 27 percent oppose such an attack. By a slightly larger margin (58 percent), American Jews support Israeli military action against the Iranians if the Islamic Republic persists in moving toward the development of a nuclear bomb. Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed opposed such an Israeli assault.

As for Israel's Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, the survey results indicate support from 74 percent of U.S. Jewry, while 66 percent agreed with the proposition that the Israeli response was appropriate. But 28 percent believed the Israeli response was excessive.

Seventy-three percent of the American Jewish respondents said Israel is within its rights in closing the Gaza border to prevent the smuggling of weapons, even if that delays the passage of humanitarian aid into the Strip. In general, 80 percent of American Jews support Israel, as opposed to 6 percent who identify more with the Palestinians.

The poll found that 61 percent of American Jews, support the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but there is division regarding the U.S. role in the peace process. Forty-seven percent thought the parties to the dispute should solve the conflict themselves, with American mediation, whereas 44 percent indicated that the fate of the peace process depends upon American leadership and American mediation.