A man rides past a pro-Trump sign in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israelis are skeptical of President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promise to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, but think he is a true friend of Israel, according to a Panels Politics poll conducted ahead of Wednesday’s Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Jerusalem.
About half of Israelis think Trump will not move the embassy, with 11% certain he will not and 38% believing it is unlikely. Only 6% of respondents think Trump will definitely move the embassy to Jerusalem, and 32% think it is likely.
Last month, Trump’s daughter Ivanka promised that Trump would relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and in the days after the election, Trump’s advisers on Israel, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, said it would be one of the administration’s first moves.
In 1995, Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, mandating that the embassy must be moved by May 31, 1999. But President Barack Obama and his predecessors Bill Clinton and George W. Bush used executive privilege and did not implement the act.
The poll also found that more Israelis (44%) think Trump is a true friend of Israel than not (18%), but over a third (38%) said they do not know.
Most Israelis who identify as rightwing – 59% – said Trump is a true friend of Israel, as opposed to 10% who disagree. On the Left, only 17% say Trump is a true friend of Israel, and 44% say he is not.
Respondents were almost evenly split over whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is guiding Israel’s diplomatic relations with the world well, with 44% saying yes and 41% no. Another 15% said they do not know.
As for the possibility of a UN decision in the next year to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state, 45% said they do not think it will happen, and 33% said it would.
The poll was conducted by Panels Politics on November 15 among 519 respondents constituting a representative sample of the adult population in Israel. The margin of error is 4.5%.