Americans Want
Israeli Accountability


WASHINGTON (U.S. Newswire) -- In a clear break with U.S. policy and in direct opposition to Congressional attitudes, a majority of Americans now believe that Congress should hold Israel accountable for maintaining programs of weapons of mass destruction and for its human rights violations in the Palestinian Territories, according to the Council for the National Interest.
A poll conducted by Zogby International for the Council for the National Interest and released today shows that 56 percent of Americans agree and 29 percent disagree that Congress should pass an Israel accountability act on weapons of mass destruction and human rights violations. Nearly one in three (30 percent) strongly agrees. Fifteen percent are not sure.
As might be expected, Muslims were strongly in favor of such an act (72 percent), but so were a surprising percentage of Jews (45 percent).
This flies in the face of repeated Congressional efforts, spearheaded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and other pro-Israeli organizations, to penalize Arab governments for their support of Palestinian independence and failure to rein in "terrorists." The Syria Accountability Act, passed by Congress in 2003 and signed by President Bush on December 11 last year, promises economic and other sanctions against Syria for its support of "terrorist" organizations and for its "failures" to heed UN Security Council and Congressional resolutions.
Currently Congress is considering a "Saudi Arabia Accountability Act," which promises sanctions if Saudi Arabia doesn't stop the private financing of "terrorism" and doesn't cooperate more fully with U.S. anti-terrorist efforts.
Support for an Israel accountability act came primarily from Democrats and independents (61 percent), 18-29 year-olds (69 percent), progressives (70 percent), and liberals (72 percent), but also a plurality of Republican voters (46 percent). People with annual household incomes of $25,000-$34,999 were strongly in favor (70 percent), and also those with $75,000 and above (61 percent).
There has been much written on the support of Israel by the conservative (Born Again) Christian group, but the Zogby poll showed the opposite: 49 percent agreed with an Israel accountability act and 34 percent disagreed, although many held no opinion at all. A majority of African Americans agreed with holding Israel accountable.
The Council for the National Interest, which is circulating a petition to send the act to Congress and the President, is a D.C.- based nonprofit organization founded in 1989 that promotes a balanced policy toward the Middle East. A public forum on the Accountability Acts on March 17 received wide publicity. The draft act is available on the CNI Web site ( ), which has received thousands of signatures since it was first circulated on the Internet April 2.
© 2004 U.S. Newswire



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