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Poll: U.S. Role In Mideast Conflict

Mideast Peace, Talks, Dove, Flags, Israel, Palestine
AP
Americans continue to be torn about the role the United States should play in trying to end the current conflict in the Middle East. In the latest CBS News/New York Times Poll, 48% think the U.S. has the responsibility to try and resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, while 43% think it isn't this country's business to do that. That sentiment has changed little since the conflict broke out.

DOES U.S. HAVE RESPONSIBILITY TO RESOLVE CONFLICT?
Yes 48%
No 43

Men are more supportive than women of the U.S. playing a role in brokering peace there; 53% of men and 44% of women think the U.S. has this responsibility.

Support for U.S. backing of Israel has not changed since two weeks ago. Now, just under four in ten Americans say the U.S. should publicly support Israel. 16% think the U.S. should publicly criticize Israel, and 23% think the U.S. should say nothing.

WHAT SHOULD U.S. DO ABOUT ISRAEL?
Publicly support 38%
Say nothing 23
Publicly criticize 16

In recent weeks Israel has received strong support from conservative Republicans. This poll provides further evidence of that alliance. 38% of Democrats, 48% of Republicans and 55% of conservative Republicans think the U.S. should support Israel publicly.

Evaluations of President George W. Bush have changed little in the last two weeks. 60% now approve of his handling of the situation in the Middle East, and 27% disapprove. 73% approve of his overall job performance.




This poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 1,172 adults, interviewed by telephone April 28-May 1, 2002. The error due to sampling could be plus or minus three percentage points for results based on the entire sample.

For detailed information on how CBS News conducts public opinion surveys, click here.