Poll: U.S. shouldnt aid PLO until it adheres to accords

The survey questions were part of a national poll of public opinion on a variety of topics. The PLO questions were the only questions concerning the Middle East peace process in the poll by the Luntz group, which works mostly on behalf of Republican causes.

In the survey, 78 percent agreed with the statement: "In order for the PLO to receive U.S. funds, the PLO should be held accountable to its commitments and comply with the peace accords as a precondition for receiving the rest of the funds."

Only 12 percent disagreed. The remainder did not know or refused to answer the question.

The survey also found that 78 percent of those polled said they thought that the United States should suspend aid until the PLO removes terrorist groups such as the fundamentalist Hamas from the Gaza Strip and Jericho. Likewise, 73 percent agreed that the PLO must remove clauses in its charter that call for the destruction of Israel.

The Zionist Organization of America sent a copy of the survey to every member of Congress in an effort to convince lawmakers to make PLO aid conditional on how well it complies with the peace accords' guidelines.

"Congress should consider the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans clearly do not want their tax dollars being sent to the PLO so long as the PLO continues to violate the accords," said ZOA president Morton Klein in a statement to lawmakers.

But not everyone is convinced.

"It's easy to get the answer that you're looking for when you ask a question that doesn't provide context," said Jonathan Jacoby, executive vice president of the Israel Policy Forum, which lobbies on behalf of the Israeli government's peace policies.

"Frank [Luntz] asked questions that either ignored the context or misrepresented it," he said of the prominent Republican pollster. "His answers are not surprising."

Jacoby added that the PLO "is not in violation of its accords," according to a recent State Department report.