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American Public Opinion Polls:
Attitudes Toward Yasser Arafat


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Next, I'd like to get your overall opinion of some people who were in the news this year. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of this person — or if you have never heard of him or her....Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. (Gallup)

 
1/6-8/94*
12/4-6/98
12/28-29/98
5/7-9/99
7/6-9/00
10/25-28/00
2/5-6/02
5/20-22/02
Favorable
23%
24%
35%
26%
27%
18%
17%
7%
Unfavorable
52%
47%
45%
44%
45%
64%
73%
80%
Never heard of
8%
9%
5%
6%
8%
6%
3%
3%
No Opinion
17%
20%
15%
24%
20%
12%
7%
10%

* Asked as PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat

Which of the following statements is closest to your own view? (Source: ADL, December 2003)

The Palestinians and their leader Yasser Arafat are genuinely interested in reaching a long-term peace agreement with Israel 25%
The real goal of Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian leadership is to destroy Israel 57%

Which of the following statements is closest to your own view? (Source: ADL, December 2003)

The U.S. and Israeli government are correct in their decision to stop dealing with Yasser Arafat because he has refused or been unable to stop the terror attacks against Israel. 59%
Yasser Arafat is the duly elected leader of the Palestinian people -- the U.S. and Israel have no choice but to deal with him. 27%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of: (Source: ADL, December 2003)

  Favorable Unfavorable
President W. Bush 59% 36%
Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon 36% 31%
PA Chairman Yasser Arafat 9% 66%

As you may know, U.S. policy says that anyone who harbors terrorists will be treated as an enemy of the United States. Do you think that policy should or should not apply to Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat? (Gallup/CNN/USA Today, April 3, 2002)

Yes, should apply 77%
No, should not 16%
No Opinion 7%

Would you describe Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat as an enemy of the United States, or not? (Gallup/CNN/USA Today, April 5-7, 2002)

Yes, enemy 59%
No, not enemy 34%
No Opinion 7%

What should the Israelis do with Yasser Arafat -- [ROTATED: kill him, send him into exile, or let him go]? (Gallup/CNN/USA Today, April 3, 2002)

Kill him 12%
Send him into exile 52%
Let him go 22%
No Opinion 7%

I'm going to read you the names of several public figures and groups, and I'd like you to rate your feelings toward each one as either very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative, or very negative. If you don't know the name, please just say so. Yasser Arafat?  (Wall Street Journal/NBC News, December 8-10, 2001)

Very Positive 
2%
Somewhat Positive
7%
Neutral
20%
Somewhat Negative 
19%
Very Negative 
41%
Don't know 
11%

From what you've seen or heard in the news, do you think Arafat has the ability to control extremist Palestinian groups, like those responsible for the recent violence, or not? (Newsweek, December 6-7, 2001)

Yes, can control 29%
No, cannot 63%
Don't know 8%

Recently, President Bush said he wants to send a clear signal to PLO Leader Yassir Arafat to end the Palestinian violence against the Israelis. He ha refused to meet with Arfat and has said that Israel cannot be expected to negotiate under the threat of terrorism. What is your reaction to these statements and this policy? Do you... this specific effort by President Bush? (Luntz, 2001 Republican Jewish Coalition Survey, November 2001)

Approve 79%
Oppose 14%
Don't know/Refused 7%

Do you believe that after the World Trade Center terrorist attack [9/11/01], if the United States forced Israel to give up territory to Yasser Arafat for a Palestinian state including the dividing of Jerusalem, that it would end terrorism against the United States, or would it encourage terrorism by rewarding those who support terrorism like Arafat? (New Atlantic Initiative/Chicago Sun Times, Oct. 15, 2001)

End terrorism
10%
Encourage terrorism
62%
DK/Refused
29%

Are you familiar with Yasser Arafat?  IF YES: Are you very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable toward him? (Penn, Schoen & Berland Inc., and First International Resources Inc., January 25 and February 17, 2001)

 
General 
Public
Elites
American Jews 
  Influential Americans
Unfamiliar 
12%  
6%
3% 
0%
Very favorable  
4%  
7%
4% 
0%
Somewhat favorable   
24%   
18%
11%
0%
Somewhat unfavorable 
29% 
36%  
27%
0%
Very unfavorable 
25%  
27%
53% 
0%
Don't know 
6%  
6%
2% 
0%

Yasser Arafat was once a terrorist leader - and at heart, he hasn't really changed his ways. He still wants to push the Jews out of Israel. Do you strongly agree with this statement, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with this statement? (Penn, Schoen & Berland Inc., and First International Resources Inc., January 25 and February 17, 2001)

  General 
Public
Elites American Jews    Influential Americans
Strongly agree   
35%  
29%
58%
 0%
Somewhat agree 
25%  
31% 
19%
0%
Somewhat disagree 
23%   
27%
13%
0%
Strongly disagree  
 10%   
9%
6%
0%
Don't know  
7%   
4%
4%
0%

 


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