Most Americans Want U.S. Out of Peace Process


Sixty-nine percent of Americans believe that the Obama administration should stay out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and leave peacemaking to the two sides, a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Monday found.

While President Obama has stressed that he will not be bringing any specific peace proposals with him on his trip to Israel this week, the issue will definitely be on the agenda. There has been speculation too about the possibility of a joint meeting of Obama with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. If so, it would be the first time the three would be together.

According to the Washington Post-ABC poll, only 26% of Americans think the U.S. should take a leading role in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This reflected a significant decline among Americans in the desire that the U.S. should take a leading role in arranging an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. In an April 2002 poll, 42% of respondents called for the U.S. to lead the peace process, and only 54% said Washington should stay out of it.

According to the poll, 55% of Americans sympathize more with Israel, 9% sympathize more with the Palestinians and 35% of respondents had no opinion or preference between the two sides.

Just 17% of respondents said the Obama administration was exerting too much pressure on Israel in its efforts to engineer a settlement, whereas 21% said that Washington should be putting more pressure on Israel. Forty-one percent believed Obama was putting about the right amount of pressure on Israel, and 20% of respondents had no opinion on the matter.

A larger number of respondents called for more pressure (34%) to be exerted on the Palestinian Authority.

The survey was conducted by telephone March 7-10, 2013, among a random sample of 1,001 adults.

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