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Poll: Americans Pessimistic Over Israeli-Arab Peace

Americans are pessimistic that Israel will ever be able to live in peace with its neighbors, new poll reveals.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/20/2013, 5:16 AM

Obama and Netanyahu
Obama and Netanyahu
Flash 90

Americans are pessimistic that Israel will ever be able to live in peace with its neighbors, a new poll released Tuesday reveals.

The CNN/ORC International poll comes as U.S. President Barack Obama makes his first visit to Israel since winning the White House more than four years ago.

The survey indicates that two-thirds of Americans (66%) say that Israel and the Arab nations will never be able to settle their differences and live in peace, with 32% more optimistic.

The poll, which was conducted March 15-17 for CNN by ORC International, with 1,021 adult Americans questioned by telephone, also indicates that nearly half of all Americans consider Israel to be an ally of the United States.

According to the survey, 46% of those questioned say that Israel is an ally of the U.S., with 33% saying that the country's not an ally but friendly. Only 8% say Israel is unfriendly with 6% calling the country an enemy of the U.S.

"There is a large partisan divide in the U.S. over Israel," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Sixty-three percent of Republicans call Israel an ally of the U.S., compared to only 33 percent of Democrats. A plurality of Democrats think that Israel is friendly to the U.S.; only one in five think it is unfriendly or an enemy."

Obama will land in Israel on Wednesday afternoon (Israeli time) and will be welcomed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. On Tuesday, his Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel to attend some meetings a day ahead of Obama’s visit.

Obama recently signaled there would be no big Middle East peace initiative on the table when he arrives in Israel on Wednesday, for his first visit to the region as president.

The results of a Gallup poll released Monday found that a majority of Americans prefer that, should the President choose to pressure one of the sides in the Israeli-Arab conflict over the peace process, he should choose to pressure the Palestinian Authority.