American public support for Israel in the ranks of the country’s most educated, most informed citizens has risen for the first time since the current round of Palestinian-Israeli violence began two years ago, according to a national poll conducted by two pro-Israel organizations. The survey by ISRAEL21c and The Israel Project found that 50 percent of “opinion leaders” identify themselves as supporters of Israel, compared to 42 percent in July.
The poll also showed an increase in the percentage of respondents who base their support for Israel on its status as a democracy, and who have a “warm” feeling toward the Jewish state.
“It is good news indeed that this important group of Americans” — wealthy, college-educated, with an avid interest in the news — “understands the opportunities and constraints a democracy such as Israel brings to the conflict,” said Zvi Alon, chairman of ISRAEL21c, a nonprofit, apolitical organization that concentrates on the media and public opinion.
According to the poll, opinion leaders by a 2-1 margin oppose divestiture by universities and other institutions of their business interests in Israel.