Poll: US Should Stay Out of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Image: Poll: US Should Stay Out of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Smoke rises from buildings following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike.

Friday, 11 Jul 2014 03:36 PM

By John Blosser

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American voters have a message for President Barack Obama when it comes to the latest in a long series of Israeli-Palestinian conflicts: Stay out of it.

In a new Rasmussen Reports poll, the majority of Americans said they want the United States to avoid military involvement in the flare-up between the Israelis and Palestinians, and 1 in 3 voters believe that U.S. support for Israel hurts U.S. relations with other countries.

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Some 42 percent of those surveyed place the blame on Palestinians for the growing military conflict, and only 15 percent accuse Israel of being at fault, but most of the poll recipients, or 43 percent, were sitting out the blame question.

However, 54 percent of respondents to the July 9-10 poll agree that the United States should avoid any involvement in the current conflict.

That is an increase from a 2013 Rasmussen poll which found that half of the respondents, or 50 percent, believed involvement in the Middle East to be bad for U.S. interests.

The current conflict began three weeks ago, when three teenagers — Gilad Shaar, Eyal Vifrach, and American Naftali Fraenkel — were kidnapped and murdered while hitchhiking in the West Bank.

Hamas, the terrorist organization that shares in governing the West Bank, caused outrage when it praised the kidnappers and "the success of the kidnapping" and said that "the movement pays tribute to the heroes who are behind the kidnapping" while the Palestinian Authority has denied responsibility, according to Fox News.

House Foreign Relations Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., insisted that the perpetrators be "held accountable" for the act and added, "The brutal murder of these boys should leave the administration with no illusion that a Hamas-backed Palestinian government will be a partner for peace. With these killings, the genocidal intent of Hamas has been laid bare yet again," The Jerusalem Post reported.

Israel retaliated with bombing raids, and Palestinians and Lebanese launched rockets into Israeli cities, with over 100 killed so far, Breitbart.com reported.

However, while the Obama administration decried the kidnappings as a "despicable terrorist act," it appears to be ducking military involvement in the conflict thus far, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying during the search for the missing teenagers, "We have encouraged full cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian security services," Fox reported.

The Rasmussen Poll was split strongly along party lines, with 64 percent of Democratic respondents and just 38 percent of Republican respondents agreeing that the United States should stay out of the conflict entirely. Of those who favored involvement, 55 percent of Republicans and only 16 percent of Democrats believe the United States should actively assist the Israelis.

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