Poll: 80.8% of Americans Oppose $38 Billion Aid to Israel

Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy30.09.2016 MENA
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A majority of Americans would redirect $38 billion the Obama Administration recently pledged to Israel toward other priorities. A federal lawsuit aims to help them.

On September 14 the Obama administration signed an executive agreement pledging $3.8 billion in annual foreign aid to Israel for fiscal years 2019-2028. The funds are earmarked for jet fighters, other U.S. weapons and developing Israel's missile defense systems.

An IRmep poll fielded by Google Consumer Surveys reveals 80.8% of the U.S. adult Internet user population would redirect the proposed spending to other priorities. Caring for veterans (20.7%) was their top priority, followed by education spending (20.1%) and paying down the national debt (19.3%). Rebuilding U.S. infrastructure was favored by 14.9%, while funding a Middle East peace plan received 5.8% of support.

Only 16.8% of Americans said the $38 billion should be spent on Israel.

The statistically significant survey of 1,005 adults was fielded September 14-16 and had an RMSE score of 1.4%. The findings reflect other IRmep survey findings revealing overall low U.S. public support for Israel aid and May, 2016 polling by Shibley Telhami released by Newsweek on September 16.

Survey responses, including by age, wealth and respondent geographic categories may be viewed online.

In August, IRmep’s research director filed a federal lawsuit to block Israel aid on the grounds that it violates longstanding laws banning transmission of taxpayer funds to countries outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty with nuclear weapons programs. Since the lawsuit was filed, news reports reveal former Secretary of State Colin Powell's privately claimed that Israel has at least 200 nuclear weapons while former NRC commissioner Victor Gilinsky writes that Israel conducted nuclear tests.

Among other claims, the lawsuit alleges the Obama administration issued a 2012 gag order on the release of government information about Israel's nuclear weapons program in order to protect aid. The lawsuit seeks an injunction against an expected October financial disbursement and claw back of funds unlawfully disbursed in the past. These would be redistributed toward uses overwhelming numbers of Americans prioritize.



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