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The Widening Perception Gap: U.S. Policy and the Arab World

Recent polls indicate that Arab public discontent with U.S. foreign policy is now coupled with a growing chasm between Arab governments and their citizens on key U.S. foreign policy concerns. From a surge in Islamic identity, to perceptions of Iran, Iraq, Hizballah, and Hamas, Arab public opinion is demonstrably at odds with the official positions of Arab governments.

The findings of the University of Maryland/Zogby annual public opinion poll in six Arab countries were analyzed by the poll designer, Shibley Telhami of the Saban Center and the University of Maryland, who highlighted the emerging challenges and opportunities for U.S. foreign policy in the region. Telhami is the author of The Stakes: America and the Middle East (2002) and was an advisor to Congressman Lee H. Hamilton (D-Indiana).

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