Poll: U.S. Jews, Arabs want gov't more involved in Mideast
WASHINGTON - Arab and Jewish Americans share a similar vision for the future of the West Bank, and want the U.S. government to be more involved in stopping violence in the Middle East, a poll found on Thursday.
In the national survey conducted in late October, the majority of American Jews and Arabs reported tracking news from the Middle East closely, with both communities largely pessimistic about the prospect of peace.
Still, the 1,000 respondents agreed on the path to reconciliation. About 85 percent of Jewish Americans said Palestinians had a right to live in a secure and independent state of their own, as did 96 percent of Arab Americans.
Nearly 94 percent of Arab Americans and 87 percent of Jewish Americans said it was important that both sides work together to ensure Palestinians and Israelis each have the right to live in an independent state of their own.
"For there to be lasting peace in the Middle East there needs to be a constituency in the United States that supports it, working to sustain it and to push it," said James Zogby,
president of the Arab American Institute, which co-sponsored the survey with Americans for Peace Now.
"These numbers show such a constituency is possible, it can exist. Clearly there is a base to work from," he said.
Asked who was to blame for the breakdown of peace talks, 50 percent of Arab Americans and 42 percent of Jewish Americans said both sides were responsible, each side calling on President George W. Bush to steer a middle course in the region.
The poll has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.