Religious Roots and Rural Americans' Support for Israel During the October War

Many factors are assumed to be responsible for this pro-Israeli sentiment among Americans. Perhaps most important is the American sympathy-guilt syndrome which emerged from the experiences of European Jews during World War II. Closely related to this factor is American sympathy for Israel as the underdog in an Arab-dominated Middle East, a feeling which originated with the founding of the Jewish state in 1948. Despite arguments that antiSemitic feelings have been directed toward the Jewish people (Hero, 1973), Americans' pro-Israeli sentiments have been reinforced by the media's portrayal of Israel and Israelis in favorable and sympathetic terms (Abu-Lughod, 1970; Beling, 1973) as well as the cultural identification with the Jewish people and the Holy Land through the nation's Judaic-Christian traditions (Beling, 1973; Davis, 1974). One purpose of this research is to describe a sample of rural Americans' reactions to the Arab-Israeli conflict during the early days of the October 1973 war. The primary purpose, however, is to determine whether Americans' religious roots are related to their willingness to favor United States economic and military assistance for Israel.

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