Poll: 53% think Obama's policies bad for Israel

47% dissatisfied with PM's handling of US relations.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
June 8, 2009 10:32
1 minute read.
Poll: 53% think Obama's policies bad for Israel

Obama 248.88. (photo credit: AP)

A majority of Israelis believe that the Middle East policies of US President Barack Obama are not good for the Jewish state, according to a Dahaf Institute poll taken ahead of Obama's speech to the Muslim world. The poll of 501 Israelis, sponsored by Yediot Aharonot and representing a statistical sample of the population, found that 53 percent believed Obama's policies were not good for Israel and just 26% said they were good. The rest did not respond. Fifty-one percent said Obama cared more about the Palestinian desire for a state than about Israeli security, and just 22% said he put Israel's security needs first. Asked whether they were disappointed with Obama's policies, 51% said yes, 41% said no and the rest declined to answer. Half the respondents said they blamed both Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the perceived crisis between Israel and the US, 28% solely blamed Obama and 16% just Netanyahu. Forty-seven percent approved of Netanyahu's performance thus far as prime minister, while 45% disapproved. But when asked specifically about his handling of relations with the US, 47% were dissatisfied and only 34% approved. A majority (56% vs. 40%) said Netanyahu should give into Obama's demands. However, most respondents (50% vs. 44%) said they did not believe Netanyahu would allow the formation of a Palestinian state. On the settlement issue, Israelis, unlike the Obama government, differentiate between established settlements and unauthorized outposts. Seventy percent called for removing outposts, and just 25% supported keeping them. However, regarding freezing current settlements, the gap was much smaller, with 52% in favor and 43% opposed. Regarding natural growth in settlements, 54% said it should be considered and 42% said it should not. The first poll taken after Obama's speech will be published in The Jerusalem Post later this week.


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