Washington, April 24 – A new TIP poll shows many more Spanish-speaking Americans believe the U.S. should support Israel rather than the Palestinians.
However, almost half of those polled said the U.S. should support “neither” or said they “don’t know.”
Hispanics make up the fastest-growing voting bloc in the United States and are poised once again to have an influential role in the upcoming presidential election.
Of those polled, 21 percent said the U.S. should support Israel while 8 percent favored supporting the Palestinians. But 46 percent either did not know or said the United States should stay neutral, a much higher figure than for the overall electorate where support for Israel hovers around the 60 percent mark.
Leah Soibel, Director of The Israel Project’s Spanish Media Program said, “It is clear that the Spanish speaking community in the US leans toward supporting Israel, but information levels are low. We in the Spanish Media Program look forward to continue working with the media in an educational capacity to better inform the Spanish-speaking public.”
According to the U.S. census, the Latino population grew by 43 percent from 2000 to 2010 when Latinos numbered over 50 million, representing 16.3 percent of the overall population.
Top reasons for supporting Israel include the threat from Iran (22%), that Israel is “our most important ally in the Middle East” (17%), and the shared fight against terrorism (17%).
Regarding national security threats to the U.S., nearly two-thirds (63%) believe that “Iran’s nuclear program” poses a “very big threat” – outranking all other threats on the list, including Islamic extremism, a developing China, the economic crisis in Europe, and the Arab Spring.
There is strong (68%) support for sanctions on Iran to stop the nuclear program, and a slim majority (52%) believes that negotiations and sanctions are at least somewhat likely to be effective.
Asked about where they get their information about the Middle East, respondents ranked television news by far the highest (71%), with the Internet trailing at a distant 5 percent.
The survey of 402 U.S. Spanish-speaking adults was conducted online in Spanish between February 28 and March 6 2012 by Public Opinion Strategies for The Israel Project. The margin of error was +/-4.89%.