Americans overwhelmingly want Saudi Arabia to be the next country to make peace with Israel.
What’s more, they want the next U.S. president to make it happen.
And it’s not just Republicans.
The vast majority of Democrats say a Saudi-Israeli peace deal is important to them and should be a top foreign policy priority for the White House.
Given the intense partisan rancor over the future of U.S.-Saudi relations over the past several years, that’s the surprising finding of an exclusive new ALL ARAB NEWS exit poll of Americans who voted last week.
The exclusive ALL ARAB NEWS exit poll asked respondents to evaluate the following statement: “Now that the U.S. has helped the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Republic of Sudan sign full peace treaties and normalization agreements with the State of Israel, I believe that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should be the next Arab country to make peace with Israel. The next president, whoever it is, should make brokering an Israeli-Saudi peace treaty one of his top foreign policy priorities.”
- 78.4 percent of Americans said they agreed
- 21.2 percent disagreed
- Only 0.5 percent said they did not know or had no opinion
Interestingly, 84.6 percent of Donald Trump voters agreed with the statement.
Yet 72.5 percent of Joe Biden voters also said they want to see an Israeli-Saudi peace deal and want the next president to give it a big push.
While 83 percent of self-described “conservatives” agreed, so did 72 percent of “liberals” and 78.5 percent of “moderates.”
Could such numbers have an impact on persuading Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) that they should announce their desire to move forward with a normalization agreement with Israel, if they have already concluded such a deal would be in the Kingdom’s own national interest?
Could such an announcement by Riyadh radically reset how the American people – including those in the Democratic Party – see the Kingdom?
While a Saudi-Israeli peace deal would not erase the serious ill will of Democrats in Congress towards Riyadh, it might just put the Saudis on the positive side of a huge bipartisan issue at a moment when bipartisanship is sorely lacking in Washington and in the U.S. more broadly.
The poll results were released as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who believes President Donald Trump will end up the winner of the 2020 elections, announced he will travel soon to Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well as to other states in the Middle East.
President Trump has insisted for weeks that the Saudis, whom he considers a strategic ally of the U.S., are moving closer to normalization with Israel and that he can make the deal.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, by contrast, has vowed to radically change the nature of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.
Biden, meanwhile, is calling on Trump to concede the hotly disputed presidential race for the good of the country.
Should Biden take the oath of office in January, would he prioritize a Saudi-Israeli peace deal, dramatic and historic as it would be?
Perhaps. One cannot rule it out.
But throughout the presidential campaign, Biden indicated that he is gunning for the Saudis, not looking to work closely together.
During a November 2019 Democratic debate, Biden insisted he would make Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his government “pay the price” for their role in murdering Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident who was also a columnist for the Washington Post.
“I would make it very clear we were not going to, in fact, sell more weapons to them,” Biden said of the Saudis.
“We were going to, in fact, make them pay the price, and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are,” Biden added.
Biden said there is “very little social redeeming value in the present government in Saudi Arabia.”
Referring to the ongoing war in Yemen, Biden said he would end “end the sale of material to the Saudis where they’re going in and murdering children.”
In their war against the Houthi militia in Yemen, the Saudis maintain they are fighting a terrorist group armed and backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Saudis further argue that the Houthis have fired hundreds of ballistic missiles at innocent Saudi civilian centers and that this radical Islamist force must be defeated.
The Trump administration has generally agreed with the Saudis, but urged them to dramatically improve their targeting so as not to accidentally hit civilian sites in Yemen.
Biden and most Democrats do not see the reason for the war in Yemen in the first place.
Other interesting results from the ALL ARAB NEWS poll:
- 82 percent of white “born again” Evangelical Christians want to see a Saudi-Israel peace deal happen and want the next U.S. president to make it a priority
- So do 83.6 percent of Hispanic Americans
- 63.7 percent of African Americans
- 72.1 percent of Asian Americans
The survey was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, a respected American polling company, between Nov. 1-4, 2020, of 1,000 actual U.S. voters.
The margin of error was +/- 3.1% with a 95% confidence interval.
The company is run by John McLaughlin, which has conducted polling for a wide range of companies and political leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump.