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Mediacheck

Who's for the War in Lebanon?

Opinion is strong and deeply divided.

By Angus Reid 1 Aug 2006 | TheTyee.ca

Since Hezbollah guerillas kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and killed three on July 12, the conflict in Lebanon has spiralled into a global affair. Governments are picking sides, and populations are supporting and rejecting the biases. Israel's bombing Saturday that killed over 30 children might have served as a turning point in public opinion and has lead some to believe an end may be in sight. But by and large, the newest global polls show supporters and opponents of Israel's offensive are staunch in their opinions of the region and of western leaders.

In Lebanon, 86.9 per cent of respondents support the resistance against Israel, and 63.3 per cent think Israel will never defeat Hezbollah. For more information, click here.

Also, 58.3 per cent of Lebanese feel their administration's diplomatic moves are not enough to confront the enemy, and 54 per cent say their government has not properly helped the refugees. For more information, click here.

In Israel, 82 per cent of respondents think the military operation in Lebanon is justified, and 48 per cent think their armed forces should continue fighting until Hezbollah is completely eradicated. For more information, click here.

The approval rating for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reached 78 per cent, second only to Vladimir Putin in the entire world. For more information, click here.

In the United States, 46 per cent of respondents say both Hezbollah and Israel are to blame for the current situation...

...but 65 per cent of Americans think the U.S. should not take sides.

In addition, 58 per cent think it is not their country's business to try to resolve the situation...

… and 87 per cent of respondents believe the U.S. military should stay out of the war.

As far as the possibility of a peacekeeping mission, 45 per cent of Americans would be willing to deploy soldiers on the border between Israel and Lebanon. For more information, click here.

In Canada, 45 per cent of respondents think Stephen Harper's position on the crisis has been fair, balanced and appropriate, while 44 per cent perceive a pro-Israel bias. For more information, click here.

Support for a peacekeeping role by Canada's Armed Forces stands at 56 per cent. For more information, click here.

In France, 58 per cent of respondents think Hezbollah and Israel are equally to blame for the crisis. For more information, click here.

In Britain, 50 per cent of respondents think Tony Blair's close relationship with George W. Bush stops the country from playing a more constructive role in the crisis between Israel and its neighbours. For more information, click here.

In the Gaza Strip and West Bank, 79.6 per cent of Palestinians express a positive view of Hezbollah. For more information, click here.

TrendWatch runs twice monthly, exclusively on The Tyee. The series shares the global scan of Angus Reid Consultants, Vancouver-based leaders in public opinion analysis.

Related Tyee stories: Michael Byers explains why Israel's offensive may be counter-productive. Jeremy Keehn looks at the grim prospects for Israel's other ongoing battle with Palestine.  [Tyee]

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