CAIRO: A survey conducted by The Israel Project claims that Egyptians are more open to peace with Israel than other neighbors such as Jordan and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
In a survey canvassing the opinions of 800 Egyptians, it was found they were more open to diplomatic relations with Israel than their Arab counterparts, but what the survey highlighted strenuously was that the positive perception of the United States had increased dramatically since President Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo last June.
Eighty-six percent of those surveyed had a favorable opinion of Obama’s speech, though the numbers were much less when it came to Israel. Forty-six percent favored diplomatic relations with Israel, while 36 percent were against. And 43 percent were in favor of the two-state solution while 36 percent were against.
And the survey did acknowledge the deep feelings Egyptians have against Israel because of the lack of progress in the peace process with the Palestinians.
“Unquestionably, there is deep resentment toward Israel in Egypt with the sense of a conflict unfinished combined with sympathy for the Palestinians, said a press release on the organization’s website.
Additionally, the poll found that Egyptians were not enamored with Hamas, with 26 percent giving them a favorable rating. “Furthermore, Iran and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are not well-liked in Egypt, with much disdain for the Shia strand of Islam, the release stated.
The release continued, “Even with a more open climate toward Israel, doubts linger. Despite shared blame for Hamas, the Gaza conflict continues to hurt Israel’s standing in the eyes of Egyptians.
The survey claims come in the wake of the shooting of two Bedouins by Israeli Defense Forces last week, as was announced by Israeli radio. An Israeli embassy spokesperson confirmed the event and told Daily News Egypt that the two Bedouins were smuggling Heroin.
The Israel Project conducted this survey under an initiative titled the Arabic Media Program and is conducting “public opinion research according to its website in Egypt, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. 1600 people were supposed to have been interviewed for the polls by fellow Arabs.
The Israel Project is a Jerusalem-based organization that acts as a fact-provider about Israel to the foreign press and others. It claims to not be affiliated with any government or governmental agency. It was founded in Washington by a former foreign affairs legislative assistant to the US Congress and boasts more members in Washington than Jerusalem.