Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (L) and US President Barack Obama meet in the White House.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spat over Jerusalem with US President Barack Obama’s administration last week helped the prime minister regain some of the support he lost when he ended Operation Protective Edge, a Shiluv Millward Brown Market Research poll taken for Channel 2 found Sunday.
Netanyahu and Obama got along before the cameras at a photo opportunity ahead of their meeting Wednesday at the White House. But after Netanyahu left the White House, Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest issued a sharply worded statement attacking Israel for advancing a building project for Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem over the Green Line.
“This development will only draw condemnation for the international community and distance Israel from its closest allies and poison the atmosphere, and not only with Palestinians but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations,” Earnest said.
The poll found that 55 percent of Israelis called Netanyahu’s performance good, up from 32% on August 27, after the operation in Gaza ended. Twenty-five percent called his performance not good and 20% did not know or did not express an opinion.
The peak in Netanyahu’s popularity came on July 23 after ground forces entered the Gaza Strip, when it hit 82%.
In Sunday’s poll, when respondents were asked who is most fit to be prime minister, 24% said they did not know or had no opinion, 23% said Netanyahu, 15% Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett, 10% opposition leader Isaac Herzog, 9% Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, 8% Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni, 7% former welfare minister Moshe Kahlon, and just 4% said Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid.
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