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Majority of Democrats Consider Israel A Burden On U.S.

TEL AVIV – A majority of Democrats believe Israel is a burden on the United States and has too much influence on American politics, according to a poll released by the Brookings Institution on Friday.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they believed President-elect Donald Trump would favor Israel in any future negotiations with the Palestinians. The same percentage said they want Trump be an impartial party to the negotiations.

A majority of Americans (76%) said Israel was “a strategic asset” to the U.S., but 55% said “Israel is also a burden.” Twenty-four percent of Republicans and 41% of independents consider Israel a burden while 52% percent of independents do not. A majority of Democrats (55%) say that Israel is a burden.

More Americans (34%) said they were in support of a UN resolution endorsing a Palestinian state than against it (31%). Thirty-two percent were in favor of abstaining.

Overall, “slightly more than half of Americans (54%) disagree with the concept of Israel being a burden to the U.S. as Israel’s actions in the region generate hostility toward the United States in Arab and Muslim-majority countries whereas 40% of Americans feel this way,” the survey’s authors said.

Forty-six percent of Americans believe that Israel should be sanctioned over its settlement policy, up 9% from last year.

The twin surveys conducted by the think tank’s Shibley Telhami before and after the November 8 presidential elections also showed 55% of Democrats believe Israel has too much influence on American politics and policies, while 54% of Republicans think Israel has the “right level” of influence.

Sixty percent of Democrats and 31% of Republicans support economic sanctions on Israel over the issue of settlements.

The polls showed that nearly half of Americans – 46% – would support measures by President Barack Obama at the UN to pressure Israel over the moribund peace process with the Palestinians. Twenty-seven percent would oppose such measures, while 25% were neither for or against.

The polls surveyed 2,570 people with margins of error between 2.5%-3.04%.

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