US President Barack Obama's visit to Israel in two weeks will be an opportunity for him to shore up his pro-Israel credentials with a public that does not think he is supportive enough of the Jewish state: a large chunk of American voters.
A poll Monday in The Hill, a Washington DC newspaper, found that 39% of likely US voters do not feel that Obama is supportive enough of Israel, while only 13% believe he is "too supportive." Another 34% said his support was "about right," and 14% said they were not sure.
According to the poll, more people (30%) believe that Obama, who is scheduled to make his first visit to Israel as president on March 20, is generally anti-Israel, than those (28%) who believe he is pro-Israel. Another 29% said neither, and 13% were not sure.
While Obama's trip has been billed as an opportunity to build bridges with the Israeli public -- polls here have shown consistently that more Israelis believe he is pro-Palestinian than pro-Israeli – the trip will also be an opportunity for him to underline to American voters as well his commitment to Israel.
An October Jerusalem Post poll found that 28% of the Jewish Israeli public believes Obama's Administration is more pro-Palestinian, while 18% said it was more pro-Israel, and 40% called it neutral.
According to The Hill, the proportion of voters who now say the president does not give strong enough backing to Israel is higher than it was in each of three similar surveys conducted since May 2011.
The poll was based on a nationwide survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted on Feb. 28 by Pulse Opinion Research. No margin of error was given.