Poll shows that Israelis are split on Barack Obama

Smith Research poll sponsored by 'The Jerusalem Post' shows that numbers saying US president is pro-Israel has doubled; significant drop in those calling him pro-Palestinian.

Obama gives annual Passover holiday message 370 (photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
Obama gives annual Passover holiday message 370
(photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
The same proportion of Israelis believe US President Barack Obama’s administration leans toward the Palestinians as who think it favors Israel, according to a Smith Research poll sponsored by The Jerusalem Post this week.
The poll of 500 respondents representing a statistical sample of the adult Jewish population was taken on Sunday and Monday and had a 4.5 percentage point margin of error. The full results of the survey, including key questions regarding a potential military strike on Iran, will be revealed for the first time at Sunday’s Jerusalem Post Conference in New York.
Asked whether the Obama administration is more pro- Israel, more pro-Palestinian or neutral, 24% said more pro- Israel, 24% said more pro-Palestinian, 36% said neutral and 16% did not express an opinion.
Israelis’ views on the Obama administration varied significantly based on where they place themselves on the political map. Those who consider themselves left-wing were more likely to call the administration more pro-Israel, while right-wing Israelis were more likely to perceive it as more pro-Palestinian.
Among left-wing Israelis, 44% said the administration was more pro-Israel, 8% said more pro-Palestinian and 39% said neutral. Among rightists, 19% said more pro-Israel, 37% said more pro-Palestinian, and 31% said neutral.
The numbers among Israelis who consider themselves centrist were more reflective of the general results of the poll. Twenty three percent called the Obama administration more pro-Israel, 24% said more pro-Palestinian and 45% said neutral.
The question was exactly the same as in six other Smith Research polls conducted for the Post since May 2009. In that first poll, 31% predicted that the Obama administration would be more pro-Israel and 14% said more pro-Palestinian.
The next poll was taken less than a month later, following the first White House meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Obama and the American president’s landmark speech to the Muslim world in Cairo. It found a huge shift, with the proportion calling the Obama administration more pro-Palestinian rising from 14% to 50% and the proportion calling it more pro-Israel falling from 31% to only 6%.
Those calling the Obama presidency more pro-Israel than pro-Palestinian fell in August 2009 to a low point of 4% and rose to 9% in March 2010, 10% in July 2010, and 12% in May 2011, the most recent previous Smith Research poll on the issue.
In September 2011, the same question was asked in a survey sponsored by this newspaper that was conducted by a different pollster who used different methods. Keevoon Strategies took the poll immediately after Obama delivered what was considered a very pro-Israel address to the United Nations General Assembly and blocked an effort by the Palestinians to persuade the UN to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state along the 1949 armistice lines.
That poll found that the percentage of Israelis who considered the Obama administration more pro-Israel than pro-Palestinian was 54%.
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