Israel bucks international trend with support of Trump, US

About 70% of Israeli have confidence in US President Donald Trump when compared to other countries.

A LIKUD CAMPAIGN poster in Jerusalem featuring the Trump- Netanyahu bond. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
A LIKUD CAMPAIGN poster in Jerusalem featuring the Trump- Netanyahu bond.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Israel has once again bucked an international trend, but this time it is for expressing confidence in US President Donald Trump and the United States.
According to the latest Pew Research Survey on “Global Attitudes & Trends,” about 70% of Israelis have confidence in the US leader, including 74% who endorse his decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and 66% who support his decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal.
This percentage stands in stark contrast to most other nations; a median of 65% of 33 countries surveyed say they do not have confidence in Trump to do the right thing in world affairs. Moreover, only 29% express confidence in the president.
In Brazil, for example, despite its growing Evangelical Christian community, which tends to be supportive of Trump, only 28% of respondents have confidence in the president to do the right thing regarding world affairs. That number is only 13% in Germany and 36% in both Japan and Poland.
The situation is especially acute in Mexico, where 89% of respondents lack confidence in Trump.
Pew points out in its executive summary of the survey, which was published on January 8, that Trump’s marks are lower than his predecessor, Barack Obama, in nearly all nations where trends are available. Pew reported in 2017 that after Trump took office, favorable ratings for the US declined in general.
But not in Israel, of course.
Between 2017 and 2018 in Israel, confidence in Trump increased significantly from the time of his inauguration, and the president already received substantially higher ratings than Obama got near the end of his second term, according to a similar Pew Research Survey released in October 2018.
This latest survey, conducted between May 18 and October 2, 2019, had 36,923 respondents.
The survey found that opposition to Trump is centered largely on his policies, including disapproval of increased tariffs on imported goods (a median of 68% are opposed); withdrawal from international climate agreements (66%); and building a wall on the border with Mexico (60%).
Those on the ideological Right, however, express more confidence in the US president than they did last year, according to the survey. Trump is generally more popular among people on the Right. This is especially true in Israel, where more than 80% of Israelis on the Right have confidence in Trump, compared with just 37% of those on the Left.
The survey released this month and the one released in 2018 compared Trump to four other international leaders: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. In both surveys, Trump was viewed the most negatively.
In the current survey, some 64% of respondents express no confidence in Trump, versus 57% in Putin, 43% in Xi Jinping, 36% in Macron and 29% in Merkel.
In 2018, 70% of respondents expressed no confidence in the US president, versus 63% in Putin, 56% in Xi Jinping, 34% in Macron and 31% in Merkel.
However, when it comes to having a favorable opinion of the United States in general, the majority (54%) express positive views.
The country receives its most positive review from Israel, where 83% of respondents view the US favorably. However, there is a gap between Jewish and Arab Israelis: 94% of Jews see the US positively, while only 37% of Arabs agree.
Across the Middle East, outside of Israel, views of the US are more negative. For example, in Turkey, the Pew survey showed that only one in five respondents has a favorable opinion of America.
Other countries that rank the US favorably include Poland (79%) and Lithuania (70%). The country also enjoys favorable views from most respondents in the sub-Saharan African nations and Asia.
In the previous survey, Israel likewise stood in contrast to most other nations. Then many countries noted that the US does not take into account global interests when making foreign policy decisions, and that under Trump, the country was doing less to help solve major global challenges than it used to.
In contrast, most Israelis (52%) were more likely than any other public surveyed to say the US was doing more to address global problems than a few years ago.