Public Sees Shared Blame in Israel-Hezbollah Conflict

Republicans, by more than a 4-1 margin, blame Hezbollah more than Israel for Lebanese civilian casualties; Democrats blame Hezbollah as well, but by a much narrower margin, less than 2-1. And about seven in 10 Republicans said Israel should agree to a cease-fire only after Hezbollah disarms; just 48 percent of Democrats agree. Reluctance to contribute U.S. troops to a U.N. peacekeeping force, however, crosses partisan lines.

As noted, ideology plays a key role in partisan differences. Conservatives are twice as likely as liberals to call the Israeli bombing justified, much more likely to blame Hezbollah for Lebanese civilian deaths and more likely to say Israel should agree to a cease-fire only if Hezbollah disarms first.

Race and religion also are factors, with whites, especially with white evangelical Protestants, who are particularly supportive of Israel.

METHODOLOGY -- This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone August 3-6, 2006, among a random national sample of 1,002 adults. The results have a three-point error margin. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.

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