Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

National Poll Shows Support for Israel Up Among American Opinion Leaders

Cupertino, CA and Washington, DC - After two years of bruising violence and negative images in the press, overall support for the State of Israel, long the target of terrorism in the Middle East, has increased by 19% among American opinion leaders. The poll was sponsored by the non-profit, ISRAEL21c and The Israel Project.

Of those Americans with college or post-graduate education, who are also regular readers/viewers of a national newspaper, news magazine and or network/cable news shows with incomes of $75,000 or more, just over 50% of those polled in October identified themselves as supporters of Israel while only 12% said they supported the Palestinians in the conflict. The increase in support for Israel was significant: The 50% figure was up from 42% in July and represents a 19% increase.

Furthermore, while 80% identify Israel as a democracy, its democratic form of government was now seen as the primary reason the US should support Israel by 19%, up from 12% less than 3 months ago. Also given as primary reasons for US support of Israel are the shared fight against terrorism and Israel's ongoing role as an ally in the region. Particularly noteworthy was a significant jump in polling numbers in Washington, DC where those who say they have a "warm" feeling toward Israel increased 10 points - to 66% - since the April 2002 survey. In fact, the percentage of Washington area opinion leaders who are favorable to Israel rose from a net positive of +36% to a net positive of +52% - an enormous jump in support.

In Washington D.C., television ads highlighting the democratic practices of Israel, created by The Israel Project and supported by The American Jewish Committee, a prime sponsor of the earlier research, and Israel 21C, have been airing on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX since early September. The survey, conducted from October 17th to October 24th by noted pollster Stanley Greenberg of Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research included 594 opinion formers nationally and an over sample of 209 opinion formers in Washington, DC, was completed under the auspices of The Israel Project.

The poll also found that national opinion leaders overwhelmingly reject the idea of encouraging universities and others to divest their interests in companies doing business in Israel with 61% saying divestment is a bad idea and only 30% in favor. This is a hotly contested issue on a number of college campuses in the United States. "American support for Israel is on the rise," said Zvi Alon, chairman of ISRAEL21c. "The poll shows that educated, well-informed Americans support Israel because of the democratic values and traditions shared by the two countries. It is good news indeed that this important group of Americans understand the opportunities and constraints a democracy such as Israel brings to the conflict."

"In the past, people in the pro-Israel community accepted image problems as inevitable - like a hurricane on the move - and were resigned to just complaining about unfair perceptions of Israel," said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder and president of The Israel Project. "However, this poll has demonstrated that common democratic values are a strong basis for true allegiance and friendship between Israel and America and that Israel is a true friend of America. America's opinion leaders understand the importance of Israel." "This poll shows the first movement in support of Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in two years," said pollster Stan Greenberg. "The directional shift amongst opinion elites in the Washington area is particularly significant. That Israel has emerged as a special democratic ally at this critical point puts Israel in a much stronger position in the United States."

ISRAEL21c is a non-political, non-profit organization established in 2001 with a mission to focus media and public opinion on the 21st century Israel that isn't seen in today's headlines or news programs. ISRAEL21c seeks to highlight the Israel of high tech development and advanced medical research; the Israel that is a force for decency and democracy in the world. ISRAEL21c educates people on how Israel adds value to American life or how Israel shares the values that underpin American society. For more information see The Israel Project works for the survival of Israel and the Jewish people through improving Israel's image in Democracies across the globe. Founded in March of 2002 by political consultant and pro-Democracy activist Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, The Israel Project is a non-partisan non-profit organization.

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