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Thursday, February 26, 2004

NEW POLL: 73% of Americans agree -

JPost: More than half the American public would be more likely to support a presidential candidate who is in favor of a united Jerusalem and defensible borders for Israel, according to a recent poll.

The poll, conducted among 1000 respondents by McLaughlin& Associates for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, found that 52 percent of the respondents would be more likely to support such a candidate, while 13% said these positions would make them less likely to support such a candidate. Twenty-one percent said a candidate's position on these issues would make no difference to them.

On another issue, 73% of the respondents agreed with the following statement: "Under a future Arab-Israeli peace agreement, Jerusalem should remain under Israeli sovereignty with freedom of religion for Christians, Muslim, Jews and all other faiths." Only nine percent of the respondents disagreed.

Reminded that the tomb of Joseph in Nablus, the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, and the ancient synagogue in Jericho were "ransacked or desecrated" by the Palestinians since the start of the current violence, 60 % of the respondents said these events have made them "less trusting" of giving Jerusalem's Christian holy sites to the Palestinians.

Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said the results showing wide support for continued Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is especially significant since the Clinton plan and the Geneva initiative all spoke of dividing the capital. "One might have thought that there has been a significant erosion on the Jerusalem issue," he said.

"The most astounding element of the survey is the massive, across the board support for Jerusalem remaining united under Israeli sovereignty when the question makes reference to religious freedom," Gold said. "Most Americans probably feel that were Israel to give up holy sites to the Palestinians it would be like turning it over to the Taliban."

The Buddhas of Bamiyan, destroyed by the Taliban
The poll also shows massive support for a peace agreement that would give Israel "defensible borders," rather than force it back to the 1967 lines.

Who's listening? Arik? George? Mr. Kerry, sir? Yasser!