Israel is America's closest ally in Middle East, survey finds - World Jewish Congress

Israel is America's closest ally in Middle East, survey finds

More than two-third of Americans regard Israel as an ally despite recent diplomatic tensions, a nationwide survey conducted by the American polling firm 'Rasmussen Reports' concludes. Seventy per cent of respondents view Israel as America's friend, twice the number of respondents who view Egypt as a US ally, although that Middle Eastern country has been polled as the most highly regarded Islamic country among Americans.

According to the survey, 81 percent of American voters agree that Palestinian leaders must recognize Israel's right to exist as part of any future Middle Eastern peace agreement. As part of the telephone survey, a representative number of adults were asked to evaluate America's relations with key Middle Eastern countries. Israel is by far considered the closest friend among respondents. Eight percent of Americans polled said that Israel is an enemy of America, while 16 percent placed it somewhere between ally and enemy.

Following Egypt, Saudi Arabia is the American's second favorite Islamic country, with 23 percent of respondents considering it an ally. However, 25 percent regard Saudi Arabia as an enemy, and nearly half put it somewhere in between.

Twenty-one percent of respondents said America's relationship with the Muslim world would be better a year from now. Twenty-five percent believe that the relationship will get worse and 44 percent estimate that it will be roughly the same a year from now.