Arab political issues in American opinion polls… The Arab-Israeli conflict as a model 1991-‎‎2008‎

Dr. Samir Abu Rumman


This study aimed to know the attitudes of the American public opinion on the Arab-Israeli conflict, by analyzing and studying the results of opinion polls related to the conflict during the period between 1991-2008.

The study dealt with many axes, which included identifying the reality of opinion polls in the United States of America, their fields, uses, and implementation mechanism, the most prominent interests of American opinion poll centers in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the similarities and differences between the results of American public opinion polls regarding various issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict. And the impact of some political events on the attitudes of American public opinion towards the various issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The importance of studying:

The importance of this study lies in its contribution to achieving a deeper knowledge and understanding of the American people’s vision towards the Arab-Israeli conflict, which is considered the most prominent political issues related to the Arab region, and what it can provide from the possibility of predicting the nature of the future relationship between the two parties, in addition to the models it provides for the use of surveys Opinion and reports of American opinion poll centers in a way that serves Arab issues.

Study Methodology:

The researcher used the terms of the comparative approach and the approach of quantitative analysis. As for the comparative approach, it was through:

  1. Comparing the results of public opinion polls in the United States towards a specific issue of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and their differences from another issue.
  2. Comparing the results of American public opinion polls towards a particular issue from one time period to another during the study period.
  3. Comparing the different orientations of the American society segments according to their political, ethnic and religious affiliations.
  4. Compare the differences in the results of an opinion poll center from another on the same issue, and analyze the causes and extent of the dispute.

As for the quantitative analysis, the nature of the study necessitated that the researcher go in different directions and stages in dealing with the subject, and the beginning of these stages was the search for everything related to the Arab-Israeli conflict in the I poll, and then the classification of these polls and their translation into Arabic, with the deletion of repeated and locating the similar, and then placing them in tables, figures and graphs; In an effort to approximate the idea as much as possible, this was followed by a direct descriptive analysis of these results, putting explanations and finding links and relationships between the various variables within the limits of what the nature of the study allowed from its reliance on multiple sources and different time periods. The researcher tried to address this stage by evaluating and judging the formulation The questions of these polls, and the ideas contained in them, including the knowledge required by this matter in the methodologies of opinion polls and the East and professional charters for their implementation.

Since the research is based on the results of different opinion polls, which were carried out from several sides with different tools, varying sample sizes, various question formats, and different times, it is possible to say that the closest thing to this analysis is the term “Meta Survey Analysis”. In an attempt to give a coherent picture of American public opinion towards the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In the form of data presentation and analysis, the researcher chose the presentation method through Percentage Frequency Distributions, and not through numbers or their combination; This is due to the fact that this is the basic form found in the i Poll Bank on the one hand, and its ease and clarity for the reader on the other.

With regard to the research results, the researcher highlighted the majority opinion as it is the closest to expressing public opinion. He also mentioned some issues in which the Americans view the Arab-Israeli conflict as equal, as well as the most prominent issues of the conflict that were in the interest of the Arab and Palestinian side in American opinion polls, such as: Jerusalem, The establishment of a Palestinian state, the construction of Israeli settlements.

The study also examined the methodology of the questions, their vocabulary, the nature of their formulation, and their impact on the results of opinion polls, and many results were written down, such as: the existence of a direct relationship between the inclusion of the “both parties” option in the body of opinion poll questions related to blaming the conflict parties and the rise in the percentage of those who choose this answer.

It is worth noting, and based on the neutrality and scientific balance of the previous presentation in the general vision of the American people towards our Arab issues, the necessity of differentiating in the Americans’ vision between one issue and another of the issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict; Despite the many negative aspects in the Americans’ view of our issues, as the study reviewed through opinion polls, and as is known in other issues, they do not all share the same degree of negative view of Arab issues, which opens the way for researchers to try to explain and explain these differences. and their causes; There is no doubt that these many interpretations that many researchers can provide, each according to his specialization and areas of interest, will provide new dimensions and deeper readings of the results of abstract opinion polls, and it is a fertile field that the researcher hopes to have covered a part of, and opened the way for other researchers from various disciplines. and cultural backgrounds to play this role based on the results of these surveys.

Study axes:

The researcher divided his study into three chapters: The first chapter dealt with: public opinion polls in the United States of America in terms of origin, development, reality, and fields, and included three sections: The first: the emergence and development of opinion polls in the United States of America, and the second: the reality of opinion polls in The United States of America, and the third: Areas of using opinion polls in the United States, and the challenges they face.

As for the second chapter, it dealt with the issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the American public opinion polls, and it was divided into three sections: the first: discusses the importance of the conflict and its effects, the second is concerned with studying the image of the parties to the conflict in American opinion polls, and the third deals with: conflict issues in American opinion polls. The third – and final – chapter came under the title: Armed Conflicts and the Settlement of the Arab-Israeli Conflict in American Opinion Polls, and it was divided into three sections: The first dealt with: armed conflicts in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the second: Peace negotiations and initiatives and conflict settlement, and finally: The role of the United States and nations united nations in conflict resolution.

Then the conclusion of the study came to present the most important findings of the researcher regarding the topic of the research, in addition to recommendations related to how to benefit from public opinion studies in developing the opinion polls process in the Arab region, and opening future prospects for more research and studies in the field of opinion polls in general, and in the political sphere in particular.

Most notable results:

The study reached general results from the overall reading and analysis of previous opinion polls, including:

  1. American opinion polls did not deviate from their interest and formulation from the general environment in American thinking and what the various media put forward regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict and its settlement. A human dimension in the interest of the Arab and Palestinian side, such as: the refugee issue, the Israeli assassinations of Palestinian leaders, the separation wall, the blockade of Gaza, or some issues that condemn Israel, such as: massacres, and Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons.
  2. The Americans who always support the Zionist entity, and as shown by the overall view and the extended study of opinion polls, are in all cases, and no matter how circumstances change and the wording of questions varies, they do not exceed a third of Americans, and the remaining percentage of the American people are distributed with their positions compatible or in conflict with the entity. The Zionist according to the issue covered by the opinion poll questions, or the method of asking about it, in addition to the environment surrounding the time of implementation of the opinion poll, and other factors affecting the trends of public opinion.
  3. One of the most prominent areas of influence on American public opinion is that each party shows that its opinion agrees with the majority, as indicated by the results of opinion polls (majority affect), and this increases the possibility of its great influence on those who have not yet determined their position, or those who are not familiar with the dimensions of Different subjects, who often choose a position of neutrality, or choose (I don’t know) in the answer, which is a large percentage in some surveys. The Jews have excelled in this field, and are still, when they always show that most Americans are sympathetic and supportive of them and their causes, so they archive and publish these results by various means, such as what is done by The Jewish Virtual Library or The Israel Project, and even more than that, when They employ, in an unethical and professional manner, pollsters to produce results for them, such as: (McLaughlin & Associates) and others.

On the other hand, Arab and Islamic parties neglect this important tool of influence, whether by highlighting or inferring it, in the event that the results of the polls are in their interest, or dealing with them, or criticizing them if they are unscientific or not in their interest.


  1. Arab institutions and authorities should be keen to establish specialized centers to carry out opinion polls with high professionalism and scientific accuracy. To counter the numbers broadcast by some Western and American opinion poll institutions, so as to preserve the intellectual and cultural immunity of citizens, and to prevent these parties from influencing the decision-maker and putting pressure on him with the weapon and strength of public opinion and the will of the masses.
  2. Arab media attempts are still modest in establishing opinion poll units at the desired level, and they suffer from weak financial and human capabilities of non-specialists, in addition to the lack of production and its shortcomings, and even the weak use of the number produced by opinion poll institutions to complete the task of conveying the news. The observer that the task of the Arab media, even with polls related to Arab and Islamic affairs, is limited to reporting on international agencies, without any filtering role or systematic evaluation of them, and without taking into account the danger of these volatile numbers in the impact of the majority opinion – as the polls highlight, on the opinion of the general public. for example.
  3. Many departments of Arab universities need to develop and establish highly professional and professional academic opinion poll centers in the Arab world, based on a lofty message of providing decision makers, various governmental and private sectors, researchers, university administration and others with the results of opinion polls in various fields; In order to advance the science and methodologies of opinion polls, and so that this field is not left to non-specialists, who underestimate many of these scientific and methodological steps.
  4. Academic field studies, from promotion research and postgraduate theses, which are spreading prominently and widely in the Arab world, need more attention and care about scientific and practical steps in many stages of implementing this research, such as: samples, training researchers, and techniques to raise the response rate, data collection mechanisms, and others.
  5. Arab literature in the field of opinion polls is still scarce, and many of them suffer from similarities in the topics of scientific research methodologies, with many of them lacking development and adding modern aspects and trends in this context. This requires the intensification of Arabic writings, translations and practical evidence in the implementation of studies and public opinion polls; For the benefit of researchers and Arab readers.
  6. One of the most important elements of the success of the American experience in the field of measuring public opinion was the absence of any obstacle to the huge flow of questions from opinion poll centers. In order to implement opinion polls in our Arab world, no matter how sensitive the topics are; In order for this tool to grow in an environment of freedom, and to contribute to building a relationship of transparency between the ruler and the ruled, and the application of correct community participation; To cultivate sincere loyalty between the shepherd and the subjects, and not the apparent loyalty linked to personal interests on the one hand, and fear of political authority on the other.
  7. Inviting academics, researchers and those interested to activate the Arab Network for Opinion Polls, and to contribute to its activities and development.