Obama’s attack ‘out of proportion,’ Israeli polls say

Majority of Israelis also feel administration's reaction harmed peace process.

March 19, 2010 06:43
1 minute read.
Obama’s attack ‘out of proportion,’ Israeli polls say

obama 88. (photo credit: )


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Three-quarters of Israelis believe that US President Barack Obama’s administration’s attack on Israel for building in Jerusalem was disproportionate, according to two polls released Thursday.

The polls were taken after a week of headlines about outrage from top Obama administration officials about a low-level Interior Ministry planning committee announcing plans to build 1,600 housing units in Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood during the visit of US Vice President Joe Biden.

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A Ma’agar Mohot poll of 511 respondents, representing a statistical sample of the population, found that 75 percent of Israelis who expressed an opinion believed the Obama administration had overreacted, while 25% said it had not blown the issue out of proportion.

The poll, which has a margin of error of 4.5%, was sponsored by Dr. Aaron Lerner’s Independent Media Review Analysis organization.

A separate poll of 483 Israelis taken by Shvakim Panorama for Israel Radio found that 74% of Israelis believed the Obama administration had exaggerated in its response, while 17% believed its behavior was justified. The rest did not know or did not express an opinion. That poll also had a 4.5% margin of error.

The Ma’agar Mohot poll also asked whether the American administration’s criticism of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government helped or harmed the peace process. Among those who gave an opinion, 63% said it harmed the peace process, 31% said it would have no impact, and just six percent said it would help.

The numbers were more stark among voters on the Left side of the political map. The view that Obama had harmed chances for peace was shared by 82% of Labor voters and 70% of people who voted Kadima.

When asked whether they were satisfied with the Obama administration’s efforts to prevent Iran’s nuclearization, 67% of respondents said no, 9% said yes, and 24% said it was so-so. Only 1% of Israelis described themselves as “very satisfied” with Obama’s handling of the Iranian situation.

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