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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

June 04, 2003

Muslims lament Israel's existence

PARIS If the American threat of preemptive military action against Iraq inflamed the Muslim world over the winter, the war itself fanned the flames, with a sharp new rise in hostility toward the United States, the latest Pew survey has found.

Animosity is so high that solid majorities in five populations surveyed expressed confidence in Osama bin Laden to "do the right thing" in world affairs.

And, at a time when the Israeli government has accepted the right of Palestinians to statehood, most Muslim populations surveyed believe by wide margins that the needs of Palestinians cannot be met so long as the state of Israel exists.

The poll, conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, surveyed more than 15,000 people in May. Muslim populations included were Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey.

The survey shows that negative attitudes among Muslims toward the United States have soared anew since the war, both in the Middle East and beyond.

Anti-Americanism peaked in Jordan, where 99 percent of the people now have a somewhat or very unfavorable opinion of the United States, up from 75 percent last summer, the survey found. Hostility was also extremely high in the Palestinian Authority (98 percent).[more]