Monday, March 4, 2024

Nearly 100% of Arabs believe US policy on Israel-Gaza ‘bad’

Israel’s war in Gaza – and Washington’s support for it -- is inflicting serious damage on US standing across the Arab world, according to the poll results conducted in 16 Arab countries and released by the research institute, Arab Center Washington DC.

An aggregate average of 82% of respondents across the region described the U.S. response to the war as “very bad”, while another 12% described it as “bad”.

And an aggregate of 72% of respondents said that U.S. policy toward the war in Gaza will harm Washington’s “image” in the region either “somewhat” (22%) or “very much” (50%). Similar percentages said it will harm U.S. “interests” in the region as well. An aggregate of 76% said their views on U.S. policy in the Arab world had “become more negative” since the war began.

An aggregate average of more than half of respondents (51%) also said they regard the United States as constituting “the biggest threat to the peace and stability of the region” – up from the 39% who named the U.S. as the greatest threat in an Arab Center poll in 2022. One in four respondents (26%) described Israel as the region’s greatest threat.

The poll, which queried 8,000 respondents across the 16 countries that together account for 95% of the Arab region’s total population, was conducted by telephone between December 12 and January 5; that is, during the third month of Israel’s campaign in Gaza. The countries included Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, and Qatar in the Persian Gulf sub-region; Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and the Palestinian West Bank across the Levant and Mesopotamia; and Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Sudan in North Africa. Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Syria were not included.

The aggregate regional opinions were calculated as an average of the results of the 16 surveyed countries, with each country given the same weight in order to ensure that the opinions of respondents in the most populous countries did not dominate the survey’s findings.

Despite the International Court of Justice’s provisional ruling, Israel continues its onslaught on the Gaza Strip, where at least 27,947 Palestinians have been killed, including 12,000 children and 8,190 women, and 67,459 injured since Oct. 7, according to Palestinian health authorities.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by Hamas, which Tel Aviv said killed nearly 1,200 people.

The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

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