Fewer Israelis confident in Biden than Trump on global affairs - poll

In a separate poll, the Israel Democracy Institute found that most Israelis (54%) do not trust Biden to take Israel’s interests into account.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden (photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE SEGAR/CARLOS BARRIA)
Donald Trump and Joe Biden
(photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE SEGAR/CARLOS BARRIA)

Most Israelis are confident in US President Joe Biden on world affairs, but fewer than those who said the same of former president Donald Trump in 2019, a Pew Research poll has found.

Of the Israelis surveyed, 61% said they have confidence in Biden to do the right thing regarding world affairs, while 71% were confident in Trump three years ago. They are also less likely to describe Biden as a “strong leader” or “charismatic,” but were equally likely to call the presidents “well-qualified” and “caring about ordinary people.” 

Twice as many Israelis viewed Trump as dangerous then compared with Biden now, 42% vs 21%.

Israelis' views on Biden

In a separate poll, the Israel Democracy Institute found that 54% of Israelis do not trust Biden to take Israel’s interests into account in shaping relations between Israel and the US, while 37% do trust him. The majority of voters for left-wing and centrist parties trust Biden, while the group that least trusts him are voters for haredi Orthodox parties.

Jewish Israelis are nearly twice as likely as Arab-Israelis to have confidence in Biden, according to Pew, with 65% and 34% saying so, respectively. Secular Jewish Israelis are about 80% likely to be confident in Biden, compared with 58% who are religiously traditional and 50% of haredim and other Orthodox Jewish Israelis.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after Trump's address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem (credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after Trump's address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem (credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

About a third of Israelis (31%) think Biden favors Israelis too much, while 26% say he favors the Palestinians, and another third (34%) say he is balanced.

What do Israelis and Americans think of one another?

The vast majority of Israelis (89%) and Americans (74%) think that relations between their countries are in good shape. Nearly as many Israelis (83%) have a positive view of the US, but only a little over half (55%) of Americans say the same about Israel.

About 70% of Republicans and independent-leaning Republicans have positive views of Israel, as opposed to 44% of Democrats and independent-leaning Democrats. 

Most American adults under 30 (56%) have an unfavorable view of Israel, while 69% of Americans 65 and older have a positive view of Israel.

About half of Israelis saw economic and cultural boycotts of Israel as a major threat, while 36% saw it as a minor one. More Israelis view infectious diseases and foreign cyberattacks as major threats.

Only 3% of Americans have heard “a lot” about BDS, and 12% have heard “some,” while 31% have not heard much and 53% have not heard anything.

Polling Israelis on Biden

The Pew poll was conducted between March 16 and May 1, before the governing coalition collapsed and Yair Lapid took over as prime minister.

The Israel Democracy Institute found that the vast majority (82%) of Jewish Israelis and a smaller majority (64%) of Israeli Arabs do not think that the Biden administration will bring about a breakthrough with the Palestinians.

But Israelis are evenly divided, 44% on each side, on whether Biden’s visit will lead to a breakthrough with Saudi Arabia.

Three-fourths of Israelis do not trust the Biden administration to take Israel’s interests into account in negotiations with Iran over the nuclear deal.

The IDI poll was conducted June 5-7 among 606 Israeli adults, with a margin of error of 4.06%.