US President Barack Obama meets with staff in the White House Situation Room.
(photo credit: OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY PETE SOUZA)
Throughout his time in office, US President Barack Obama wanted to see Palestinians and Israelis come together in agreement on a peace deal. Instead, the leader of the free world may be disappointed by the news that the two sides did indeed come together – in their disapproval of his job performance.
According to a new poll by WIN/Gallup International, while Obama is the world leader who is most admired throughout the globe, his favorability rating drops precipitously in Middle Eastern countries including Israel, the Palestinian territories, Iran, Lebanon and Turkey.
The poll indicates that Obama is viewed most favorably in Kosovo, Vietnam, Portugal, Sweden and Colombia.
The poll also shows that Israelis have a slightly higher opinion of Russian President Vladimir Putin than they do of Obama.
One leader admired in Israel is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was recently named Person of the Year by Time.
The US president’s reputation among Israelis has never been sterling. Last year, the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies released a survey that showed that the percentage of Israelis who believe Obama has either a “positive” or “neutral” view of Israel dropped steeply since his visit to the country in 2012.
Of the respondents, 37 percent said Obama has a “positive” position toward Israel, and an equal number said he had a “negative” attitude toward the country.
Another 24% said he was “neutral.”
In 2012, some 51% of the respondents of a similar BESA poll said Obama had “positive” attitudes toward Israel and another 32% believed he was “neutral.”
The telephone survey, released in advance of a BESA conference next week on America’s standing in the world, was conducted from November 16-21 among a proportional sample of 529 adult respondents by Maagar Mochot. The poll has a 4.5% margin of error.
According to the survey, 52% of the respondents believe Obama’s policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been “bad,” while 50% disapproved of his policies toward Iran and 47% said the same about his policies regarding Islamic State.
Some 65% of the respondents said America’s position in the Middle East has been weakened or seriously weakened since Obama took office in 2009, while 24% believe America’s position has remained unchanged and 11% think it has gotten stronger.