Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Actually, Arab- and Jewish-Americans Agree on Mideast Peace

TPMmuckraker June 4, 2007 05:05 PM: By Spencer Ackerman

This week is the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War between Israel and much of the Arab world, which forever reconfigured Middle Eastern geopolitics. Peace between Israel and the Palestinians seems as far away as ever. But a poll (pdf) released today of Arabs and Jews in the United States, commissioned jointly by the Arab-American Institute and the left-leaning Americans for Peace Now, shows a surprising consensus here on a negotiated two-state solution.

Wide majorities of American Jews and Arabs -- 98 percent of Jews, 88 percent of Arabs -- believe Israelis have the right to exist in 'a secure, independent state of their own.' Similarly, 90 percent of Jewish-Americans and 96 percent of Arab-Americans believe the same thing about the Palestinians. It's unfortunate that 12 percent of U.S. Arabs don't believe Israelis have the right to their own state and that 10 percent of U.S. Jews don't believe that Palestinians do either, but clearly, wide and reciprocal majorities of each community in the U.S. supports a two-state solution to the conflict.

Furthermore, a large and nearly-identical political constituency exists in each community for the 2008 presidential candidates to pledge a more active U.S. role in promoting the peace process. Contrary to the election-year tendency to pander to Mideast hardliners in the U.S., 68 percent of American Jews and 64 percent of American Arabs say that they'd be "more likely" to back an active peace-processor; only 3 percent of both communities would be less likely to support such a candidate. The same robust support exists in both communities for the notion that promoting a negotiated peace is in U.S. interests: 96 percent of Jewish-Americans and 91 percent of Arab-Americans answered affirmatively. And 89 percent of American Jews and 92 percent of American Arabs agree that "Arab/Jewish American collaboration" is important in making Mideast peace a reality.

No comments: